Upgrading Graphics on Custom Build Circa 2006

Hey guys, Amy here. I have a custom build that I'm looking to upgrade. It has the ASRock 939 Dual Sata2 MOBO, An Athlon 64 3200+ Processor, 550W Power supply. I currently have a 6600GT installed. What is the best card I could put in it without replacing the power supply? Thanks in advance!
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More about upgrading graphics custom build circa 2006
  1. What is the brand/model of the power supply? I think you're going to run into a bottleneck issue with the CPU before a power problem.

    What games do you play/plan on playing, and at what resolution?
  2. Also to add to what helltech was saying that mobo only has pci-express 4x on its pci express slot (I have an intel one so I know). So you are looking at a new board and possibly new cpu too unless you are set on sticking with that socket 939.
  3. hmm they must have upgraded it for the amd one. [edit] upgraded meaning has a better chipset [/edit]

    intel one that I have

    But either way I dont think its pci-express 2.0 either
  4. It doesn't need PCI-e 2.0, a PCI-e 2.0 card will work perfectly fine in a PCI-e 1.0a or 1.1 slot.
  5. I understand that but Im looking more at the bigger picture here. With pci-express 3.0 about to come out (again not that you'll need that much bandwidth) would you tell Umbrellacorp89 to go out right now and buy a 2.0 card (especially with southern islands about to start shipping)?

    Either way...

    @umbrellacorp89: assuming you have the winchester core, 2 sticks of ddr2, 1 7200rpm sata, a dvd rom drive, and throwing in 30% capacitor aging, you are consuming an estimated 263 watts with a minimum recommended psu wattage of 313w.

    That gives you enough overhead to upgrade your card quite a bit as long as your power supply is a good quality power supply.

    For instance if you put an nvidia 560ti in your system right now it would jump your psu consumption up to 393w with a recommended psu wattage of 443w. Or if you put in an amd 5870 you'd use up 407w with a recommended psu wattage of 455w. Either of those would be the highest end Id go with (though Im not familiar with which amd card is the best performance per watt or whatever). They both leave a little overhead so your psu isnt completely taxed. [edit] would also be nice to know which psu you have so I can check what the 12v rail amperage is. That might be a limiting factor as well [/edit]

    Lastly as I said to helltech the new gpu's are about to come out in 3-6 months (depending on what day it is lol) now is probably a bad time to think about upgrading. If you wait till the new cards come out you can get either of the cards I listed above for less.

    [edit2]Also your cpu is a single core. Your best bet for improvement of cpu load would be a quad core cpu. [/edit]
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