I hope you can help with a bit of a conundrum. Basically I am having some trouble in deciding what to do about my old system.
Right now I have the following components in my PC:
Intel D915PBL Mobo
Intel P4 3.4ghz HT
Sapphire X700 Pro
Couple of 160gig HDD's
XFi Soundcard (Extreme Music I think)
400w PSU (came with the case, an AOpen H700B)
I am also running a naff 1280x800 monitor at the moment.
The thing is I have been "OK" to an extent with games on this rig since I bought it (back in early '04), I have been able to play most of the games up until the last few years (when most seemed to switch to SM 3.0) at a reasonable rate (low to medium settings).
I am aware that my little rig isn't all that powerful and that I am probably in dire need of an upgrade!
As I am sure you are aware, money is a little tight right now and I'm wondering what I should do in order to get some of these newer games running.
The way I see it I have two (maybe three) options:
1. Complete upgrade (New everything) - not really open to this right now though
2. Upgrade the GPU to a newer model which still runs from the PCI-Express socket on the Mobo (thinking 4650 or 4670, I have found "Ultimate" versions of both which use passive coolers)
3. Go for the latest 5xxx card and a new PSU - Could probably stretch to this.
So basically I am stuck between getting a new card that will run from the Mobo (no PCI connectors on my PSU) which would probably keep me going for another year maybe 18 months while I save up some dosh for a proper rebuild. Or go for a new PSU and grab a 5770 (or perhaps one of the new Q10 models yet to be announced whihc look like they might take over from the 46xx range).
As I only have a 1280x800 screen right now, would I see much of an improvement if I went for "option 3" over "option 2"? I am aware that my Mobo doesn't support PCI-Express 2.0 (or 2.1, whatever is the latest), according to the Intel Site I can support a PCI-Express x16 card... wow!
I can probably go to around £200 if I went for the "option 2" upgrade, to take into account the current 57xx pricing and a decent PSU. On the other hand, the 4670 I have spotted is around £45, which would allow me a little more time to plan an upgrade.
Basically I don't want to be throwing my money at something like a 5xxx card if it won't run that well on my system. I have read that the "Q1 2010" cards will aim to replace the 46xx range (among others) but I have no clue if they will need a separate Power connector.
I know that this forum is really for ATi "issues" but I thought it worth a try, if this is indeed the wrong place I apologise.
Any help you folks could offer would be truly appreciated,