Upgrading monitor/gfx. 400$ budget.

Evening, gents.

First of all I'd like to apologise if I have placed this subject in the wrong forum category.

I am a proud owner of a two and a half year old PC, and a 5 year old monitor.

Recently, I've been reading all about LED LCDs and I have a question about them. My current monitor is shown here: http://www.p4c.philips.com/cgi-bin/dcbint/cpindex.pl?ctn=190S6FS/00&scy=cz&slg=en

I was wondering is an upgrade worth it, since so far I have had no trouble with this monitor. Also is there a big visual difference between LCD-s and LED-s (which apparently are some sort of LCD-s as well as far as I have read). Are there any good 1680x1050 new monitors, since a 1920x1080 seems a tad too harsh on the graphics card.

And should I buy a new monitor with a higher resolution, what kind of an upgrade will be required?

My current PC has:
Intel DP35DP Express motherboard,
Core 2 Quad 9450 CPU,
2x2GB DDR2 800Mhz memory,
GeForce 9600GT video card,
Seagate Barracuda 7200.11 HDD,
Fortron Bluestorm II 500W PSU.

I was wondering should I get something like a GTX460, since my card is quite outdated now.
Also, is my PC going to be bottlenecked in any way by the DDR2 memory, and should I prioritise changing that?

My budget is kinda tight, but I'm willing to spend around 200$ for a monitor and around 200$ for a graphics card.

Would be grateful if you answered my questions.
Thanks in advance!
5 answers Last reply
More about upgrading monitor budget
  1. The only difference between regular cc-lcds(regular) and led-lcds is that the led has better contrast and a whiter white color. If you do want to upgrade, just go to newegg and search for LED monitor, and for about $200 you could probably get a nice 1080p 22/23". That would leave another $200 for which you could get a Radeon 6850 or GTX 460 1GB. Or you could try and get a monitor for like $150 or so and then have $250 for a 6870 or GTX 470.
  2. And what about the DDR2? Does it hurt performance notably?
  3. The difference between good DDR2 and DDR3 isn't massive to begin with. So that shouldn't be too bad.

    Personally, I'd spend $150 on a 1080p LCD and use the $250 left over for an ATI 6870 or GTX 470. I'd rather have better performance that a little better contrast ratio. LOL Sure the contrast ratio may be pretty, but when you're furiously gaming in some action packed title you won't be paying attention to details that closely.

    Keep an eye on your Power Supply though. 500W is pretty slim for some of these higher end graphics cards. That might need upgraded too.
  4. I actually heard the new HD6870 is quite economical. Even when compared to the inferior GTX460.

    Edit: Just checked and saw that the HD6870 is PCI 2.1. Will there be any compatibility issues with my motherboard?
  5. You don't need to worry about PCI 2.1; it is backwards compatible with what your motherboard has. In fact, PCI 2.1 makes no real world difference, this is backed up by that no motherboards out use PCI 2.1.

    I would not get a 1680 X 1050 monitor. With your budget you should be able to get a 1920 X 1080 monitor and not worry about the hit that it will deal to your graphics subsystem. Plus there's more space while you aren't gaming. Here's a cheap, well rated, nicely performing monitor which actually uses LEDs, but is still cheaper than basically everything else at the 1920 x 1080 resolution:


    With that monitor, I would recommend the GTX 470, which sells for $250 right now; it has an automatic rebate at the moment. (This may be a Sparkle card (cringe), but it is well rated by the 5 people who responded, fingers crossed.)


    I checked up on power usage and with your system at full load, it should pull under 400W, so you should be well within your PSU's limit. Technical specification also say that you should have at least 35 Amps on the 12 volt rails, which again, your PSU fulfills. My point being that you should have enough power to feed the GTX 470 and the rest of your system at load.

    You don't have to worry about your memory, the difference between DDR2 and DDR3 is negligible.


    Hope this helps!
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