Inexpensive Video Card Upgrade from 6800GT?

Ok, I’m doing “ok” with my 6800GT on my AMD 64 3800+. With 2GB RAM it runs most stuff pretty good, though my 20" LCD’s 1600x1200 native res means I either turn down details on some games or drop the resolution to something that looks decent but obviously is a compromise.

My question is whether there is a reasonably priced PCI-E video card that is perceptibly better than the 6800GT and that would not be overkill for this (obviously dead-end) rig. If I get any money next year I’ll upgrade to a Core 2 Duo setup I guess but for the next half-year or more I have to keep what I have.

And by “reasonably priced” I mean under $300, for sure.

Sure, the 7950 GT can be found for under $300.

Edit: I believe the BFG cards come with a lifetime warranty, FWIW.

I’m leaning between the ATI 1950Pro or the 7950GT. Most reviewers etc. say the 1950pro is the best bang for the buck and its running $180-240 (Bestbuy has it for 200 this week).

200 is a very good price on that. It’s not the quietest card; the Accelero X2 is a good, reasonably-priced option if you find that the noise exceeds your comfort levels.

For NVidia, I’d still give eVGA the nod for the more comprehensive lifetime warranty and occasionally lower prices than BFG.

You have a few hours to pick up a X1950 Pro for under $200 at BB today.

I am in a similar situation, and built my own computer last time (roughly one year ago).

A bit of a hijacking, but let me once again proclaim how baffled I am at the “build your own, because you can upgrade” crowd. I took them at their word last time. It appears that the only major upgrade I will be making is to put in a new video card. Which I could have also done with a computer from Dell. That would have cost less. And had pretty much the same components.

By dead end, I assume you mean that in order to do anything else of any real value with the computer, you will be putting in a new motherboard and chip, correct?

P.S. To show my complete schizophrenia, I am now considering getting a video card tonight from Best Buy, as I just got a 22" monitor and have a 6600GT. I hate you all (just kidding, big hugs).

Yep. I’ve pretty much stretched this mobo to the end of the line in terms of cost-effective upgrades I think.

I have no NVIDIA/ATI preference except that another NVIDIA card would not require me to swap drivers or anything and I’m lazy. But if it means saving 100 bucks, well.

Give me your old card. Stupid 6600GT blew up. :-P

Heh. Well, I haven’t actually replaced anything yet. I’m still trying to find any info on just what sort of improvement a new vid card would provide. I see a lot of folks going from 6600GTs to newer cards but not so many from 6800GTs. If the difference isn’t that great I’ll just wait I guess.

A good place to start is Tom’s HW’s VGA charts: haven’t seen a more comprehensive comparison.

Wow, that’s neat. Thanks; I had seen this some time ago but forgot entirely about it.