so yea I totally wanted to avoid posting on some hardware forums and be like "oh pros tell me what I should spend my money on" like a noob, however even tho I spent hours of looking at reviews I still fail at judging what would be the best option for me. My main concern is that my monitor is only 1240x1024, and I'm not planning to buy a new one anytime soon, however no one seems to care about this resolution anymore. But anyway since my 2 years old 9600GT Silent fried, I'm looking for a new card. And even tho I have always been going for the budget options (as you can probably tell by my specs), this time I was planning to try the long term investment option. So I was looking around the cheaper GTX 460 versions (cos I am still not a millionaire) but then the question came into my mind, isn't that a huge ass overkill for 1240x1024? What do you guys think? Gonna list my specs below. Note that I know my CPU would be a bottleneck as well, but I am planning to get a Phenom II X4 in a few months.
Yes, it will be a huge ass overkill. Get a GT 240 or HD 5670. HD 5670 is faster, so yeah, get it. The only reason to get a GT 240 would be if you want CUDA, but since you will get a new CPU, you don't really need it. Trust me, even HD 5670 is a bit of an overkill for 1280*1024, but it won't do any harm. It is a good long term investment, since you won't buy a monitor any time soon.
Hm I'm not sure about those cards, now if I buy a new card, I'd like to have quiet some improvement compared to my old 9600GT, and judging by the review of the 5670 on this site, it wouldn't change too much. I don't really like the idea of a GT 240 either, because I was thinking alongside DDR5 and DirectX 11. (Just to be future proof.) But the CUDA that you brought into my attention is tempting, because I'm not sure how quick am I gonna be able to get a new CPU. Whats more my options are limited because I live in Hungary and not all the cards can be bought here. Or I can order from amazon.co.uk but then shipping would probably add to the price. However thats an option too.
Maybe look at a 5770 or GTS450. Both are "overkill" for you current resolution but if you decide to get a nice monitor either one is pretty good, they'll be slightly lacking at 1920x1080 in a few demanding games but for the most part, they're pretty good.
EDIT: I see you did check out a 450
512mb VRAM is ok, but not enough if you do go 1080p. Well, ok, it's usually enough but when you try pushing AA and high textures, 1GB is minimum I'd say to guarantee smooth gaming. So, with current set up: golden. If upgrading to 1080p, it'll struggle a bit.
The ATI 5770 or GTS 450 would indeed be overkill. But they'd both play a lot of games 'up to' 1680x1050 resolution so long as you're not maxing out all the details. So getting one of those would certainly allow for a monitor upgrade (which would be beneficial! lol)
However, an ATI 5670 would be adequate for what you're talking about. I'm guessing based on your resolution maybe you're using an old 15" 4:3 CRT or LCD?
With your current resolution a 512MB video card is perfectly fine. You're not going to need 1GB of RAM for video textures at such a low resolution. Even if you upgraded as high as 1680x1050 you can arguably get away with 768MB of RAM on some cards.
cheers guys, I think I will probably get a GTS 450. Now all I need to figure out is that if I want to pay an extra $20 for having 1GB, just in case I happen to get a new monitor or go with a 512MB one.
Two ways to look at the memory thing. If you go 1920x1080 or higher on a new monitor you need 1GB. But, at that resolution, the GTS 450 isn't enough power. If you upgrade to a 1680x1050 monitor the GTS 450 could get by with 512MB of RAM, but isn't going to play games "maxed out". Nor would it with 1GB. So it won't matter that much.
At resolutions lower than 1680x1050 you just flat out do not need 1GB. So frankly, for the $20 you should probably save your money. Unless you're playing stuff like Oblivion with lots of Texture mods installed. Then the 1GB could be useful.