If possible i would like you guys to recommend me a case, motherboard to accomate the cpu(Am3), power supply and a hard drive, as i do not know if my hard drive atm is sata, im going to be buying around 6gbs of ddr3 Ram
I have a budget of around £300 to £350, if you could help me i would be very gratefull as i dont want to go wrong and i would like the best gaming experience i can get for my money, thanks
These two builds are just examples, you could probably find a way to get better hardware if you can increase your budget slightly, or choose lesser quality motherboard (like a 790 chipset, instead of an 870), or a cheaper case.
Good FPS ratings are a common misconception of GPU performance. While it is true that this is one tool of measurement, the FPS result isn't completely dependend on the GPU. That said, if the only two options were the GTX 460 or the GTX 550 ti, I'd go with the 460.
The 460 will not play most games on their highest settings, but it will out perform the 550. This is a list of things that will affect your FPS, but remember, high FPS isn't indicative of high quality:
1. Screen resolution - The screen resolution is made up by X amount of pixels by Y amount of pixels. These pixels render colors in dots to form an image. So, the larger the screen resolution, the more pixels there are, which in turn creates more load on the GPU. As you increase the load, the performance slows down, thus reducing the FPS.
2. Drivers - Contrary to popular belief, the latest drivers aren't always the best drivers. Drivers are software, and like any other software, drivers can corrupt or be corrupted. When such an event happens, the GPU drivers can cause conflicts, thus reducing the GPU's performance.
3. Monitor - This kind of goes hand-in-hand with screen resolution, as the monitor will have a maximum screen resolution that it can support. If you have a monitor that supports a max SR of 1280 x 1024, for example, but you try to play at 2560 x 1600 just because the GPU can support it, you'll experience lower frame rates because you'd be overbaring your monitor.
4. CPU - The CPU is still important, as nothing can compute w/o the CPU. When the GPUs complete drawing the queued frames before the CPU is able to compute the next subset of vertex data, it leads to a CPU bottleneck because the GPUs are forced to wait before being able to proceed with rendering.
5. RAM - Games will always have its data pulled from somewhere, whether it be an online game (like adult swim games) or something installed locally to your HDD. That said, it is this part of the game that relies upon your system as a whole, instead of the graphics processing. The game data/information is pulled from the HDD and stored on the RAM, temporarily, while the CPU processes this info and sends the command to the GPU to start rendering. If your RAM is too slow for your CPU, this will cause a bottleneck.
6. Anti Aliasing - This feature is available from the GPU or the game. Basically what this does is give the appearance that the jagged edges. Images have jagged edges because monitors are only capable of producing straight lines in a near perfect condition. But when it comes to diagonal lines, the monitors have extreme difficulty and will produce the diagonal lines with jagged edges. Using the AA feature uses more of the GPU memory. So, the lower quality GPUs, coupled with lower quality monitors will produce low quality images. You know that old adage: a chain is only as strong as its weakest link? Yeah, that applies here, too.
7. Vertical Sync - This feature forces the GPU to use the refresh rate of the monitor. However, when turned off, and the fps are above the refresh rate of your monitor, you can get artifacts and tearing on the screen.
Lets say your monitor's refresh rate is 85Hz. That means the screen refreshes 85 times per second. But lets say your video card is producing 150 frames per second. In one seconds time your video card has produced 65 more frames than your monitor can display. This is why you get artifacts and tearing.
Now, to answer your question...
The 460 will give you very high performance on sub par games, but this is to be expected. In its prime, the 460 was a great card, but as the demand for detail continues to increase, so must the support for more intense graphics. This is why the 560 SC, and superior, cards are currently the highest priced of the NVidia line.
In short, the 460 will perform as well as it can with the system it is installed in, but I wouldn't expect to play games with the highest settings being used.
Im planning on playing star wars the old republic when its released, i cant imagine itd be extremely demanding in graphics, also, i have a budget of £150 for a card, any other options better than the 460 or is that the best for the price youd say?
If you could manage to stretch your budget the GTX 560 Ti would be better than the 6870. On the other hand, if you can't spend for the 560 Ti, then I would recommend the 6870, because it is better and cheaper than the 560 (no Ti).