Originally Posted by brettjv
I'll say it again:
Neither of those cores really has sufficient horsepower to make 512MB have much practical value.
I'm referring the 8600GT and 8600GTS. I have NO IDEA why anybody is even bringing UP higher-end cards, they are out of the OP's price range and power supply capabilities.
The monitor size is irrelevant to the above equation.
And mfg specs not withstanding, I would frankly be SHOCKED if one could not run ANY 8600GT (256/512) on an 18A 12V rail, especially since we're talking single-core CPU. After further considering my earlier rec, the GTS on the other hand, may not be happy with that amount of juice. Plus it requires a 6-pin connector (if my memory serves) which a PSU with 18A single 12V rail would not be likely to have.
So ... 8600GT 256MB is my recommendation. And start saving for a new PSU. Chances are you have one of the OLD PSU's that were designed in the days when the CPU used to run on the 5V rail ... tell me, what is the 5V rail rated at? If it's like 25A+, I can tell you with certainty that it's NOT really a proper power supply for an A64 or anything that's come out since ...
Long answer but very useful.
First off, to clear up my power supply it is ULTRA X-Finity 500W, 5v has 30A and 12v1 has 16A and 12v2 has 18A.
I also see your drift since the rest of my CPU is very weak (single core 3500+, small HD, etc)
And I also think the 8600GT 256MB is a great choice since its only $60.
OK I guess you're right about the 512MB. Right now it costs an extra $20 vs. 256, but If i can get it on sale for only $10 more, should I get it. I probably won't be upgrading my card anytime soon after this so I want to make the right choice