New graphics card for an average system?

Hey, so I don't really know that much about graphics cards, but after buying Starcraft 2 I've realized that my 8600 GT is not quite cutting it, so I could use some help.
Or it could be my processor, I don't know, the game just seems to lag on maximum settings.

My computer is average, and has the following specs:

AMD Athlon 64 X2 5200+ 2.6 GHz
3GB Ram
300GB Free space
PCI-E slot.

It's an HP.

Anyway I've never replaced the power supply, so it has what, a 300W or so?
My 8600 GT runs with no heating problems, but I'm worried about getting a new card and not have the right motherboard, or power supply, or something like that.

And my budget is $150 at the most.

Any help would be appreciated.
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  1. budget option for your PCI Express 1.0 x16 slot. this would be a solid step up from the 8600GT and run on the same PSU.

    an Nvidia GT 240 DDR5 or ATI 5760

    more options. PSU upgrade and card

    the Nvidia GTS250, make sure you have room in your case for the dual slot card.

    you can also look into a CPU upgrade if you have an AM2+ motherboard that HP sold faster CPUs on.
  2. I noticed that the Direct X on the Nvidia card is 10.1, should I not be trying for 11?
  3. To run DirectX 11 games you will need to increase your budget and possibly upgrade the CPU.
  4. Dude, you just need to upgrade your entire system.

    SC2 is also heavily influenced by CPU power.

    A 350W PSU will not power any half-decent system so you need a new mobo, GPU, RAM, PSU & CPU at no more than $600. Sorry =[

    edit: I had a similar (albeit inferior) system to yours and I too had to upgrade. You'll be saving more money in the long-run with a new system now as opposed to odd upgrades on an ancient platform.
  5. So Lotus, what are you recommending, that I buy an entirely new computer?

    And you mentioned I need to upgrade RAM, is 3GB not enough?

    Couldn't I just buy a Graphic's Card and a new CPU, or do I definitely need a PSU as well?

    Can my system handle a GTX 260 as is?

    Is that a better card than recommended? (I ask because I've been offered one for $100)

    From the link you've sent me, it seems like I don't need a new graphic's card, what I need is a new CPU.
    Lets say hypothetically I bought the i7 920.

    Can I just put that into my current system, or do I need other factors?
  6. StarCraft 2 does not like older CPUs.Look at the techspot review, even a q6600 struggles to make the cut .StarCraft 2 likes modern, fast(3 GHz or more) dual core CPUs.You should try to overclock the current CPU.To decide what new CPU you need, we need to know about your motherboard.If you upgrade you will have to upgrade the CPU, GPU and the power supply.But 3 GB RAM is enough(for your present system).And a GTX 260 will not work with a 300 W PSU.It will be bottlenecked by your CPU.
  7. Alright, so basically I need a complete overhaul and new computer, as any CPU I get would be constricted by my mobo, and would likely not be enough in the end anyway.
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