I eventually want to purchase a higher end graphics card within the next year or so.
In the meantime I have 3 options I'm considering of which I'm looking for some advice.
1) Continue to run the integrated i3 graphics. Not blown away, but definitely not disappointed. DVD and BluRay playback seems to be pretty solid.
2) Have a budget of around $100 to purchase an interim card. Looking at something like a nVidia GT 240 or 9800 with more memory. Any input or suggestions are highly appreciated.
3) And I'm not even sure this is a option. I have a old ATI FireGL v 3100 graphics card that I could use in the meantime. Will this card even work with my system? Can't find any drivers for it for Windows 7, but it did fine on my older Pentium 4 System running 7. In fact, I believe it had a higher Windows Index for Graphics then I'm getting with my current setup. It also has OpenGL.
What is my best option of the 3?
Couple of things to consider when answering. I'm not a huge gamer, but I definitely want some more performance. My 3d requirements are much more geared towards CAD/Modeling then gaming. I'm missing a lot of the features of the FireGL when it comes to photoshop, flash, AutoCad, etc........I believe this is because I don't have OpenGL or any type of acceleration in my current configuration.
I'm definitely not looking to building a full fledged Cad Workstation with this build. In fact, 90% of any Cad work will be 2D and anything 3d will be very basic......ie. simple textures, minimal lighting, wire frame, etc.
I've been running the FireGL card for the past couple of years so that's kind of the basis of what I'm used to and why I included Cad/Modeling in my first post..........I've prob been using it more as a high end multiple display solution rather than pushing it's 3d/graphics potential.
From you guys answers and a little more research, I've come to the conclusion that:
1. Need to upgrade from the integrated graphics
2. A good gaming CPU that has OpenGL, like most of the nVidia chipsets, will more then handle any of my Cad requirements.
Should of said my that my gpu requirement is: 2d CAD, very minimal/basic 3d CAD, solid multiple display multi-tasking performance, and be able to get some decent fps gaming.
3. And even with my budge requirements at this time, with my current setup, I'll see big improvements with even an entry level gaming GPU.
As far as I'm concerned, it's time to go shopping for a cheap gpu!!!! Any suggestions?? I like the look of something from the nvidia 200 series.
Def, let me know If my thinking is not correct. Thanks again.