I know there's a million threads about video card upgrades and what not, but I wanted to put out there what I have and get some recommendations for and upgrade on a video card. I know I dont have the greatest stuff so I dont need something thats rediculously expensive, maybe around $150 or less. Theres just way too many to choose from and thought I would ask people that know more about this stuff than I do. If anyone needs more info on what I have feel free to ask. Thank you for any advice and recommendations.
Asus M3A76-CM motherboard (PCIe)
AMD Athlon 7850 dual core
4GB ram (but soon to be 8GB)
520W power supply
Nvidia GeForce 9500 gt
Windows Vista OS
1600x900 resolution is what I'm set to.
I mostly play SWTOR and some WoW. On SWTOR on low settings I get usually 30 fps but it dips down to around 10 fps at times. For WoW on medium settings I get usually 60fps but dips to around 25-30. Just want to smooth things out.
Well, I think you would be CPU limited in most games and you don't exactly have a killer power supply. Based on that and the resolution you have, I would go with a Radeon 6790. It is actually related to the Radeon 6850 and 6870 and not the rest of the 6700 series. It also only requires a single 6 pin connector and will be able to be overclocked without stressing your 520 watt PSU. It can also play most games at 1600x900 with the settings maxed out. Whether or not your CPU is up to the task is another matter completely, but at least the multiplier is unlocked. Just about any nVidia application will use more power.
Lastly, they start at $120 for a basic one. So you can get a really nice one for a little more with a better or more quiet cooling solution and still be in your budget.
With this card being on sale you have a chance to grab a very decent card that is in your price range and if and when you upgrade the cpu you will then have a very good gaming computer. It only requires a 450w psu so you will be fine with your current psu. Here is a link on where the video cards fall in the order of performance.