BUDGET RANGE: (no rebate) between 150-200€ which should be between 214-286$ lower is fine ofc!
USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: mainly to play games: AgeOfConan, Mass-effect, SilenthunterV, DragonAge at 1680-1050 (no need for AA, nice graphics with high fps would be great) Photoshop, Blender...
CURRENT GPU AND POWER SUPPLY:
Old GPU was a Asus EN7900GT TOP PCI-e 256Mb (died after 6 months, replacement died after another 6 months... didn't feel like buying another expensive cards and stayed on my replacement since then: a PNY Ge 8400GS (hasn't died yet!!)
I'm looking for a replacementcard that is at least as fast as the EN7900GT I once had, preferably faster...
current GPU: PNY Ge8400GS
current powersupply: Yesico 560w
OTHER RELEVANT SYSTEM SPECS:
(bought in mai 2006)
Mobo: A8N32-SLI Deluxe nForce4 linkytoAsus
Cpu: AMD athlon64 X2 4200+
RAM: Kingston DDR HyperX 2GB Dual Channel Kit
Case: Antec Performance P160W linky
PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: preferably a webshop or store in Belgium, I was thinking about Alternate.be
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: Belgium
PARTS PREFERENCES: I was thinking of trying out a ATI Card for a change: maybe XFX or Sapphire, no ASUS... Most important thing is (and the reason I'm asking help here) that it works on my mobo, which is a bit of age already. So if a nice GeF exists out there I'll consider it, if that nice Gef is ASUS-made I would rather drop dead than to consider it.
SLI OR CROSSFIRE: No
MONITOR RESOLUTION: 1680x1050
ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: preferably a card that is fast, runs cool and from a branch that is reliable and with a high probability that it will last for a couple of years
Is it worth getting a relative high end card for my old system, or won't my CPU/ram keep up?
I also keep reading horrorstories of 2.0 PCIe cards not working well with older mobo's, others again say it works fine... so I'm and don't know what to believe anymore... my mobo is from 2006 and has 2 PCIe x16 slots (no idea if they are 1.0a or 1.0...)
Credits: This post was inspired by, and modeled on, theAnimal's How to Ask for New Build Advice Thread in the Home Build forum. Big thanks to him for his hard work on that thread, which made this one much easier.
PCI-E 2.0 cards should work fine, it is 2.1 cards you should probably avoid but your CPU is really the issue. A old dual core at 2.2ghz is simply insufficient for most current games and the cards you are looking at are overpowered to be paired with such. If you don't want to replace the motherboard/CPU/RAM then a card like a HD5670 or 9800GT is the best you should bother with IMO and you'll want to overclock your CPU if at all possible.
If you are willing to replace things then it doesn't have to cost that much. In the US a decent AMD quad core is a little over $100, an ok AM3 motherboard about $50 and 4gb of DDR3 as low as $25. Prices will be a little more where you are.