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Yet Another Best Graphics Card Question

I would like to extend the life of my Inspiron 530 by upgrading the graphics card in the $150-200 range if it will make a significant improvement in video gaming.

The current configuration is:

Inspiron 530 (Case)
CORE 2 Q6600 @3GHz 1333 FSB (OCed with BSEL single pin mod)
8GB ADATA DDR2 800MHz memory
WD Caviar Black 640GB System Drive
2x500GB Secondary HDDs (Samsung and WD)
Optiarc DVD-RW drive
350 watt Dell PSU
XONAR D1 Sound Card
Windows 7 64-bit

and....

HP w2207 Monitor (1680x1050, HDMI)
Sapphire Radeon HD 4830 (512MB) Graphics Card

I know I will have to upgrade the PSU and am looking for a deal on a 600-750 watt active PFC, modular PSU.

That being said I have been reading Tom's Graphics Card Heirarchy chart as well as searching the various forum entries and an currently considering a Radeon 6850 or a GTX 460 (1GB RAM).

From what I have gleaned the Radeon 6870 will not fit in my current case without removing the secondary hard drive because of the power connector placement. I am unsure about the Radeon 6950. The GTX 5xx series and the Radeon 6950s are a bit out of my price range at the moment but, who knows, a ONE DAY ONLY or BLACK FRIDAY deal may be right around the corner.

Questions:

1) Would the Radeon 6850 or GTX 460 max out my current configuration?
2) Would the Radeon 6950 or GTX 560 (if either would fit in case) be overkill and my CPU/MOBO just bottle neck?
3) Is bottle necking that bad? After all one component or another is always the bottleneck (old saying - choose your system and you choose your problems).
4) Would the choice of any of the above options improve the graphics gaming performance over and above the existing Radeon 4830 enough to make it worth the $150-$250 expense (PSU and Video Card)?
5) Is a "superclocked" GTX 460 worth the additional cost or is it just as good to get a "standard" GTX 460 and manually overclock it?

I don't replace my system often and overall I am currently satisfied with my current system, especially since my next system will be $$$$ as I try to buy the best I can afford when I do commit.... (though and SSD system drive would be nice for Christmas... hmmm.... :sol: ) At any rate I am trying to stretch the enjoyable life out of the current setup as money is tight right now.

Thanks in advance for any suggestions or comments!
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  1. Best answer
    the core 2 quads are still really powerfull cpus thats why intel keeps the price on them so high. that and they want people to buy sandybridge. higher profit margin.
    anyways with the 6950 your processor scores 90% as good as a core i5 2500 on 3dmark 11.
    allthough the 560ti scores about the same as the 6950 on the 2500
    but with your processor it does better, it actually scores your computer and the 2500 as almost the same on the 560ti. as long as you dont want to get 2 more monitors the 560ti is the way to go.
    dont get the 560 make sure it is 560ti.
  2. Thank you Farrengottu for the quick reply! The info now has me drooling on the possibility of a 560ti (and checking to see if it will fit!).

    I searched a bit but could not figure out which 3dmark ii score list/table you are referencing. Would you list the URL (if it is in the forum I will feel stupid but it will not be the first time!).

    Thanks!

    Edit: Is it the 3DMark compare site http://3dmark.com/compare ?
  3. Best answer selected by Muad Dib.
  4. A Tale of 2 560 TI Video Cards - Decisions, decisions

    I am looking at these 2 cards...

    MSI GTX 560 TI HAWK [newegg.com] $240 AR Shipped 3 Year Warranty
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814127578

    PNY XLR8 GTX 560 TI "OC2" [newegg.com] $213 AR Shipped Lifetime Warranty
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814133380

    The MSI HAWK has good reviews while the PNY has few reviews (not bad ones just none at all).

    I keep going back and forth on these two. The MSI is supposed to have military grade components yet only has a 3 year warranty.... but how effective the PNY "lifetime" warranty will be is also questionable.

    I already have a PSU upgrade (650W) on the way.

    Both cards are pushing my budget but I am at the point where WTH the $27 difference in price should not stop me if the MSI HAWK will be the better card. You know "In for a penny, in for a pound....".

    Any ideas/comments would be appreciated!
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