It's been a year since I first assembled my computer and given that it is used mostly for gaming it is becoming a bit outdated. I'm not a "hardcore" gamer, and by saying so I mean I do not "demand" to play the latest game title with its maximum resolution and with its highest settings.
I do, however, wish to be able to play them on a reasonable resolution (say 1280x1024) and on medium-high settings with decent FPS'.
My budget is around $300~350 and this is my current configuration:
Motherboard: ASUS M2N-E SLI
RAM: 2xKingston 1GB DDR2 800
CPU: AMD ATHLON X2 5200+ 2.6GHz
Video Card: ASUS GeForce 8600GTS
I've been doing some research of my own and I've concluded that the most "critical" component to be upgraded is the video card. I have selected ATi's HD4870 as the best option but what I do not know is whether I can simply plug in on of those into my motherboard and get the system up and running. I'm aware my motherboard is based on an nVidia chipset...Could you tell me if that makes it somewhat "incompatible" with an ATi card? Or perhaps suggest a completely different card?
The prices of that card in my region are around $120~150 so I still have some funds left for further upgrading. I suppose the motherboard also a very important component, should it be replaced? Any suggestions?
Thank you in advance and best regards,
AMD ATHLON X2 5200+ 2.6GHz
ASUS GeForce 8600GTS
ASUS M2N-E SLI MB
2xKingston 1GB DDR2 800