APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: The first of next month
BUDGET RANGE: $130 USD or less, can use up to $50 on a compatible PSU if necessary
USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: Team Fortress 2, Counter Strike Source, Alien Swarm, and other games by Valve, for the most part. Will also be playing the S.T.A.L.K.E.R games.
CURRENT GPU AND POWER SUPPLY: ATI 4350, 420W power supply
OTHER RELEVANT SYSTEM SPECS: Screenshotted specs from CPU-Z:
PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: I'm not picky
PARTS PREFERENCES: N/A
SLI OR CROSSFIRE: No
MONITOR RESOLUTION: 1400x900
ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: I would prefer a 4870 but am not sure if the PSU can support it.
By the way, the PSU has "Turbolink" on it which could be the brand or some power jargon I don't know.
If the PSU isn't sufficient I'm fine with spending extra money on replacing it because the PSU apparently has an over-rated power output; cheapest reliable option, however, if you'd like to recommend. Would http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... work? It has two 6-pins as required and is apparently manufactured by as good company.
Well, the Valve games are notoriously quite forgiving in terms of GPUs, I had a smashing time in TF2 on my 9600 GT and even my 8600 GT before that, so I reckon anything from a 9800 GT up will be more than plenty for that task. Looking to the future though, and with your current PSU, I'd go more for a 4850 than a 4870. The 4870 is quite a thirsty card (relatively), but does give you extra performance. The 500W PSU in the link has 2 12V with 18A, which is quite good but not brilliant. Having said that it will run a 4870 which if I'm not mistaken needs 30A to run. Can you tell us the ratings on your current PSU?
That's a very good PSU, you'd do well if you got that one. Basically, your graphics card will drink from the 12V line, so the more amps you have on there the more powerful card you can get. With you current PSU I would hesitate to recommend a decent card, so go for the PSU in your link and then you're good to get a 4870, 5770, 5830 or from the Nvidia camp the GTX 260, GTS 450 or if you can stretch it, the GTX 460. With a good PSU your options really do open up!