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Upgrading from an nVidia 8500 GT -- $150 price range

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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July 19, 2010 9:07:37 PM

Hello everyone! My name is Sain and I'm new around here. I've read the [READ FIRST] threads and I've read the articles citing the best GPUs for the months of June and July, but I have been out of the loop for so long that I still have some questions for those of you that may have been in a similar situation to myself. Or for anyone that just feels like offering advice. :) 

My computer is used primarily to play Team Fortress 2 and Dragon Age which my machine plays ok as long as I turn some settings down. I recently picked up Transformers: War for Cybertron and this game is giving my machine some problems. In order for me to get a decent frame rate I have to lower the resolution of the game way down. I'd like to play it in my native resolution and I really don't care about maxing the settings, and playing the other games with better settings would be awesome as well. I notice hiccups now and then in huge TF2 battles.

So, as stated, I'd like to upgrade my video card. My machine is as follows:

P6N SLI mobo
Intel Core 2 Duo CPU at 2.66 GHz
nVidia 8500 GT (512 mb)
4 GB RAM

I also have a monitor with a native 1680 x 1050 resolution.

So I am asking you, the denizens of Tom's Hardware forums, what is the best ~$150 option for my situation? I had considered using the SLI capabilities of my mobo but I've never done it so I just don't know anything about it (and I live in Hawaii where local "tech support" is terrible). Thoughts? Advice? Beuller? Thanks!
a c 235 U Graphics card
July 19, 2010 9:10:12 PM

what power supply do you have?
July 19, 2010 9:13:55 PM

I knew I forgot something.

It is a 650w Antec power supply. And if it matters, I am running Windows Vista.
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July 19, 2010 9:15:24 PM

For about that range I would suggest a Radeon 5770.
a c 235 U Graphics card
July 19, 2010 9:18:05 PM

the 5770 if you can find it your price range. if not look at the ATI 4850, 5750 or GTS 250.

also, OC your CPU can help in FPS. Tom's has an OC forum section that can help you.
!