Originally Posted by Medion
Intel, I have one tweak you should know about MisterMister's post. The 9800GTX by itself may give you, at most, a 20-25%% boost over your 8800GT. I feel that's not worth $185. IMO, get the monitor first, then decide after using it if you still want a GPU upgrade. If you still want one at that point, at the very minimum, get a 9800GTX+. It costs about the same as a 9800GTX (you can get them as low as $170 after rebate on Newegg), and will give you a 30-40% boost over the 8800GT.
I'm not a fan of marginal upgrades though. If you want to upgrade past an 8800GT, the best value is probably the GTX260 or HD4870, which both go slightly over $250. So get the monitor first, then see if you're having issues with GPU performance.
Meh. other then running cooler I cant see any reason to get the "+" over the standard 9800GTX. Yes, the + version has higher stock clocks, but the standard 9800GTX can OC to that level and beyond with the stock cooling. To me it's not worth the extra 30 bucks over the standard version. Of course if you can get them for almost the same price, go with the "+" version.
As for the "%" increases, Im afraid those figures don't hold much water given that the performance differences vary depending on the application (sometimes varying greatly, sometimes not). In either case, a 9800GTX, + or not, will run your games at 1680x1050 without a hitch, much more so then a 8800GT. Basically you are looking at going from running high detail with no AA/AF to running very high detail (maximum) with AA/AF turned all the way up when going from the 8800GT to the 9800GTX.
And, remember, we are talking about an 8800GT
and NOT a GTX/Ultra or even a GTS. There is a rather sizable performance difference between those two cards (the 8800GT vs the 9800GTX, respectively).
edit: Of course the 260GTX has come down in price DRASTICALLY! Check this out:
That's a standard 260GTX for only $235 after the $20 MIR! That is an AMAZING deal, and well worth the extra ~$50 over the 9800GTX. Granted you don't NEED all that power for a 1680x1050 resolution, but it WILL allow you to max out super hardcore games such as Crysis as well as future-proofing your rig even further. Since it's your B-day (happy b-day), perhaps you can swing it so that your parents pony up the cash for most of it while you kick in 50 bucks or so of your own moolah (perhaps the money grandma/grandpa sent?) in order to get both that Samsung SyncMaster and the 260GTX? And believe me that Samsung SyncMaster 206BW is an AWESOME product. I did weeks of research before purchasing mine, so I am trying to save you a lot of reading and time by suggesting that specific product. There is NO back light bleeding, NO ghosting, and best of all I've never seen a dead/stuck pixel on ANY SyncMaster monitor (that's a big one)... plus with a 3K:1 CR and 2ms RR, its one of the best performing monitors available in terms of specs. Of course you don't have to just take my word on it. Consumer Reports as well as a myriad of online reviewers give this monitor top notch reviews as well.