I tried to replace the GT 520 with a spare GT 9800 I have, but it wasn't HD compatible and the GT 520 wasn't using the little 6-pronged plug that the 9800 had to use to run the fan (not sure if that's exactly what the plug does, but if someone could elaborate that would be great). I was looking at the 570GTX and that seems nice, but I want something I can just plug in and play with no hassle on the current rig I'm using.
Suggestions are appreciated and if you need more info, then let me know. Thanks!
How much money are you looking to spend, and what resolution do you play at?
Are you talking about the 6-pin PCI-e power connector? If so, that's just how cards get extra power when they need it. Low end cards like the GT 520 don't need the extra power (they can get all they need from the motherboard PCI-e slot), so they just don't have the connectors.
The GTX 570 is a good card if you can find one for a decent deal ($250 ish), but they're typically overpriced around the $300 mark. For plug-n-play, I'd recommend a GTX 660ti if your budget can manage $300. The 7870 is also good at $280 as is the 7950 at $320.
Yep, it's the power connector I'm talking about. Do I need to buy one of these or should there be a place I can connect one to in my PC? I'm running a 1920x1080 resolution.
The 660ti didn't seem to have any reviews on them. Both of those AMD card you mentioned look nice, the 7950 is a lot quieter it seems compared to the 7870. The reviews are saying the 7870 makes some godawful sound. What else do you have to say about the 7950? All of these you mentioned are right around my price range.
What is your power supply? Your power supply needs to have those 6 pin (typically 6+2 pin) PCI-e power connectors. If it doesn't have those, you're probably going to need a new power supply.
The reviews are in on the 660ti are in - just posted a couple days ago (unless you're talking about user reviews).
Not too much else to say about the 7950... it's a tiny bit faster than a 660ti, slower than a 670, has some of the best overclocking headroom of any card out there, but doesn't have a couple of the features of Nvidia cards (e.g. PhysX, TXAA).
I would just take your pick of the 660ti @ 300 or the 7950 @ ~330. Both are solid options.
I'm not even sure how to tell what kinda power supply it is. When I opened the PC up the other day there was no power connector plugged into the current graphics card. I'm guessing that means I'll have to buy a whole new power supply?