My old graphics card is getting really quite old now, and since the fan is now attached by tape (this actually 'fixed' the fan which occasionally spun down, stopped, refused to restart, overheated the card and crashed my system... moving it an eighth of an inch further away from the heatsink seems to have stopped that).
In any case, my old HD4770 is certainly spluttering and coughing and not really able to give me much beyond lowest settings on almost everything modern and its time to retire it. I've been sitting on doing this because I've been broke, but I think the time really has come.
My problem is that while I'm pretty tech savvy, I'm none too sure of any of the mid-range graphics cards, and particularly I don't know what is going to give me the best bang for my buck. That's what I'm looking for, the best improvement without going over budget.
I am a pretty heavy gamer, but I'm not max settings mad. I certainly want to get modern shooters running at a decent fps (currently I get some noticeable stuttering even at ultra-low). Higher settings is of course great, but since I don't really know whats possible on my budget I kinda don't want to speculate. A good gaming card is in order though.
My ideal budget is around £100, although that can stretch to £150 if that extra money is actually going to be visible. I'm not too picky about ATi or Nvidia, although I do a fair amount of CUDA compatible work and so I am leaning more towards Nvidia, but don't let that hold you back. Oh and I'm in the UK, and shopping in the next couple of weeks btw.
Since your video card is so old, I'm going to assume your computer is as well... therefore you dont need anything current generation.
an nvidia GTX 460 (either 768mb or 1gb) was the star of 2010 as far as price/performance value. That would bring you up to current tech, at a fraction of price. I've seen them around online and ebay at $100 dollars... so 60-70 quid?
The thing with the GTX460 is that I can't find a price below £100, and most are £120+, which is kinda why I'm asking at all. I'm sure the 460 is a decent card, but when I can buy an HD6850 or 6770 instead, its kinda hard to know what gives me the sweet spot of value and performance.
Other stuff from my PC:
Core 2 Quad Q8200
700w Corsair GS700
Asus P5KPL-AM SE Intel G31 mobo
1650:1050 native resolution.
I know its all fairly old (aside from the PSU which got replaced recently) and that a full rebuild is really what I should be looking at to get good performance, but I can't afford to do anything close to that. Sure, the CPU is going to be the bottleneck for a new GPU, but as long as I can continue to happily game in a softcore fashion then I will be happy.