Hello, i'm currently trying to purchase a new graphics card for my budget system
I currently have :
ASUS M2N68 Plus
AMD II x3 445 3.11Ghz
44' Samsung Plasma DVI (1024x768)
NVIDIA GeForce 8400GS DDR2 512mb (i think)
My Windows Experiece Index thingy is currently limited to 3.9 due to Graphics so I thought a new card would do the trick (i haven't purchased one since Voodoo 2 came out many many years ago lol)
I'm a complete computer noob and don't really know which factors to consider when upgrading, i'm ready to buy a Radeon HD 6770 1GB GDDR5 for £80 but been warned my cheap ass system won't be able to handle it. Also should I just buy an HDMI cable instead of using the DVI cable thingy for the monitor?
Any help would be greatly appreciated, i've been stalling on this for several months now and swtor draws near...
DVI and HDMI are both digital, you will see no quality difference between the two (though you should probably move to 720p or 1080p as your screen is likely wide screen and you are running a full frame resolution (makes everything stretched and fat when you do that).
Is that an Athlon II or a Phenom II?
I use to use those 8400GS's all the time, they were great for video playback and light gaming back in the day, and the ones I got were passively cooled which was a nice feature! Anywho, Even moving up to a 9800GT, GTX, or GX2 would be a massive improvement for you over what you are currently running. You could also run a modern card, which will be choked by your processor (but not much), and then you could keep the card for when you finally upgrade the rest of the system. Whatever you buy, make sure your 550W power supply is enough. It should handle all the mid-range cards, but may have issues on high end cards (not so much the total wattage, but the amperage available for the GPU)
Lastly, be careful about hooking a computer up to a plasma screen TV; the bun-in can be killer on static screens or overlays. I would replace it with an LCD/LED TV if you find it causes you issues.