I was a sucker the last time I bought a graphics card. I didn't know much about them at the time, and my eyes lit up when I saw the 8500GTs hit the market with 1gb memory.
Anyhow, For obvious reasons, this card isn't cutting it anymore. (It never did, for that matter). I play games like Assassin's Creed and flight simulators (FSX and X-Plane). If I try running AC at 1440x900 (Native res on my monitor) the game lags horribly, and I might get two frames per second. Even when I run it at 800x600 with the graphics turned all the way down, it still remains very jumpy. I found the same to be true in all of my flight simulators.
Now that I am slightly more educated on cards, I am looking for something to replace this worthless chunk of plastic and metal I currently have. My price range is $150, give or take a few bucks. That gives me a couple of options... but still not knowing a whole lot about graphics cards, I want some opinions.
The first option is a pair of 8800GTs. Price - $160
Next is the GTS 250
, which is still 256bit 512mb, but has a clock speed of 756mhz.
Another option is the GTX 260
, which is a 448bit 896mb card, but the clock speed is 576mhz.
I am still a bit fuzzy on bandwidth vs clock speed. (More to the point, I still don't know/understand which one is more important when seeking a card with good performance.)
I also looked at the 8800GTS and 9800GTS, but in all of the reviews I read, the 8800GT/9800GT cards had better performance, plus they are cheaper and easier to find.
If a single card is within my price range, I would still be looking at getting a second one further down the road... but at the same time, if a pair of lower end cards will give me better performance (noticeably) than a single card... Id rather just buy the pair for right now and see what the new cards coming out are like when I am ready to actually spend the money on something decent later on. (Money is limited for now, but won't be forever.)