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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Today my Nvidia 7950GT died. FML.
I need to replace this ASAP, and, coincidentally, it's graduation time so I'm hoping to get lots o' money, which lead me to look at a general overhaul of my whole system, but for now I'm trying to stay under $500 (under $400 if possible). Here's what I've got now:

Setup: Maingear Prelude 64 (2007 Build)
Box: Lian Li V100 (I think)
Mobo: Asus M2N32-SLI Delux
CPU: AMD Athlon 64 X2 4600+ AM2 (Runs at 2.41 GHz, no OC)
GPU: EVGA Nvidia 7950GT (Dead)
PSU: 550W Antec...something.
RAM: 2GB Corsair XMS2 PC2 6400
HDD: Western Digital Caviar 250GB and 500GB, both SATA no RAID.
Sound: Cretive Sound Blaster X-Fi Xtreme Music
Video: 20.1" Viewsonic LCD
OS: XP Pro SP3

From this you can see that I'm pretty much limited to AMD AM2/2+ CPUs and Nvidia graphics cards.

I've been eying a nice EVGA Nvidia 9800GTX from Newegg that looks quite good and is relatively cheap, but, to be honest I have no clue what to look for in a GPU. I only like it because their top-line models are still too expensive. I am going to go ahead and get a DX10 card because A) that's about all there is anymore and B) I'm going to transfer to Windows 7 when the bugs are flattened out (but not Vista) anyway, so I might as well get the power now and use it when I have the ability; Though I hear they work great with DX9 anyway.

As for the CPU, I'm more adept but I have questions:
I have it in my power to buy a 3.0GHz Phenom II Quad-Core. My concern is that my motherboard is a socket AM2, and the chip is an AM2+. I know they're compatible, but is the bottleneck with the HT bandwidth and all that enough to warrant just settling for a 3GHz dual-core that I know will work? I can't replace the motherboard right now, nor any time soon as i see it.

Then there's the PSU, which I'm sure will need upgrading. I'm looking at a 750W Corsair unit that should do the job (if it fits in my case...).

Many thanks to anyone who can give me some good answers and/or suggestions.
 

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Why are you limited to Nvidia Graphics cards? You have PCI-E16X so you can use any platform or brand.
What are your needs in a graphics card? Do you game heavily? Do you play graphics intensive games?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I assumed the nForce chipset would have made it better suited to nvidia cards, but I see they aren't really related. Mostly I'm just more of a fan of nvidia cards than ATI, I've had better luck with them in the past and I know more about them.

But yes, I'm a heavy gamer with often heavy graphics. Though with my current setup (when it worked) the only games I owned that would lag consistently or have a constantly low frame rate were Flight Simulator X (on FULL settings) and Sins of a Solar Empire with huge maps (though I think this was more of a memory problem). I've played around with Crysis but as I don't own it I didn't get to really max it out.
 

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I prefer Nvidia also but ATI is the best bang for the buck now.
 

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I personally would shoot for 9800 GTX + and a cpu upgrade to 6400 X2

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819103191


check other websites as the newegg link is for info only


tigerdirect will probally still have them in stock

you will also need a new power supply corsair 750-tx (provantage.com)


sell off your old cpu and power supply on ebay
 
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