having spent a while trawling through the nividia site looking for an replacement for a GTX260.
some of the specs for a GTX460 / 550 TI look better apart from the memory interface is a lower bitrate. im assuming that improvements in the architecture mean this doesnt make a huge different and the newer cards are better in terms of performance Noise etc.
as the GTX260 is/was a sweetspot for gaming for alot of people.
Don't know about the 550, but I run the GTX560ti and it's sweet. Runs everything I play (eg: ArmA II/DayZ, Skyrim) at high setting without an issue.
The card itself is really quiet (though i do have a noisy fan lol), it does heat up a bit but nothing too drastic.
In a recent review PC Format said that the GTX 570 was better value for money over the 550Ti
GTX 570 with GTX 560Ti as runner up
Ah the quagmire of buying a new graphics card.
How much do you want to spend?
How big is your monitor?
What's the rest of your system like?
If you're thinking about a GTX550 I'd say try and squeeze up to a GTX560. Be aware though, the GTX560 and GTX560Ti are very different cards. The latter is faster and more expensive.
The GTX660Ti is due out in a month, which will mean cheaper but dwindling stocks of 550s/560s and another card to choose from.
monitor is only a 19" at present tho iam looking to get something around the 22-24" shortly.
rest of the PC is a typical pc used for games that is a couple of years old
(Phenom X2 550
4GB RAM (soon to be 8GB)
max budget would be around 100-120 ish i guess
If you're set on nVidia the 460 might be a better bet than the 550, although it'll run hotter/louder: EVGA GTX 460 Superclocked 1024MB GDDR5 Dual DVI Mini.. | Ebuyer.com
If you're open to AMD, though, there's 6850s at £100 and 6870s at £120 which should let you run everything at max on a 19" and get you mighty fine framerates with a few settings dialled down at 1920x1080 (22").
Oh, and memory bandwidth: still very important. It can be a limiting factor for quite a few cards, notably the recent 640 that nVidia released with DDR3 which ruined it entirely...
yeah DDR on a gfx card is just plain wrong if you are going to do anything serious with it..
Looks like a choice between a AMD 6870 and a GTX550 then. You can find both for around £120 and both are fairly happy gaming at 1920x1080, so will be fine at 1280x1024.
You may find your CPU starts to hold it up with some newer games though, so I'd think about upgrading that next.
Slightly jealous of the SSD...
EDIT: Beaten to it by @sonofsanta
it does make a difference, the SSD even tho its a budget one id be slightly put off by the 460's reputation of being a loud noisy thing (the 260 isnt too bad).
I'm running a pair of 6870s in my system and it's still pushing 60+ fps, with one disabled I hit maybe 45-60.
This is at 1920 x 1080.
plumping for a HD6870 better in the things that i play, have to put up with some extra noise lol
SSD prices have plummeted recently, grab a 128Gb Samsung 830 and you'll be like a kid at Christmas. Makes a massive difference.
Originally Posted by OB1
SSD prices arn't too bad at the moment, and the speed difference is amazing! :D
+1 on the above iirc i have an OCZ Oynx which was/is the bottom spec ssd they did at the time and i noticed a difference compared to the 150GB raptor i was using as a boot drive (now for fast storage for games)
If you can wait under the 16th August, the GeForce GTX 660 will be out by then and should cost less than £150...