Best Video Card & RAM for Older System

Hey Y'all,

I recently had a really sad Gateway lga775 pc bite the dust right when a friend made the jump from his e8400 to an i5-3570k. I guess the story doesn't matter (Mobo is a refurb from China via ebay [no one sells 775 mobos anymore, go figure], hand me down cpu, video card, RAM, new case, new Corsair H60, old power supply and old hard drives) but here is the pc I have right now:

Gigabyte EP45C-DS3 (Supports Crossfire, 16GB DDR2 or 4GB DDR3)
Intel Core 2 Duo E8400 c0 @ 3.6 ghz (essentially running Mobo's fastest native 400 mhz FSB)
Corsair H60 Water Cooling
2 x 2GB G Skill PC2-6400 (F2-6400CL5S-2GBPQ) @ 800 mhz
Xion 500 Watt PSU
EVGA GeForce 550 Ti
Zalman Z9 Plus case
1 TB WD Caviar Black
250GB stock WD

My question for this thread is what is the best video card upgrade. Keep in mind I have a TDP ceiling with the mid-range 500w psu (bought when the old PC got a now dead 8800GT). I'd rather spend $100-$200 now as I plan on a new PC in about a year.

Bonus questions include what the best RAM upgrade would be.
13 answers Last reply
More about best video card older system
  1. Not a GTX 480 or a 660 (not a Ti) or a 7770?

    Where am I hitting diminishing returns on this chart:

    Is the TDP hit worth it? Can a 660 saturate a pcie 3.0 bus making it excessive for my pcie2.0 system?
  2. Don't trust that benchmark. It's inaccurate. Use this instead:

    Your power supply unit has no way of powering a GTX 480. NO WAY. HD 7770 is not really a powerful graphics card, it would be a very minor upgrade, thus waste of money. GTX 660 would be a nice upgrade to GTX 550 Ti.
  3. Or a GTX 570?
  4. I wouldn't trust GTX 570 on that power supply unit either. GTX 660 is probably the ceiling I'd go.
  5. yes a GTX660 or an HD 7850 are your best option. since u r upgrading rest of ur pc next year, these will be awesome.
    or if u r really luck u can get your hands on a hd 7870 for 210$!!!!!!!!!!!
    can u order from newegg?
  6. No, don't get HD 7870. It requires 2 6-pin power connectors which your power supply unit does not have.
  7. yea totally forgot about that :P
    u should get a 660 or a 7850
  8. Wooooap. Didn't see the chart. Thanks for that. 570 wants a 550 watt PSU, boooriiing.

    660 has a nice low TDP of 140. Barely more than I'm using now.
  9. Am I wasting a 660 on a PCIe 2.0 bus and a slow-ish cpu?
  10. Not really.
  11. If a 660 makes sense doesn't a 660Ti make even more sense or is that diminishing returns with this mobo?
  12. GTX 660 Ti needs more power :|.
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