Would like to upgrade from the Nvidia 8800 that came with the xps 630i about two years ago. Could spend about $250. What would people recommend?A single card (if so, which)? Dual cards (if so, which) ? Also, would appreciate confirmation that the system does in fact support either ATI or Nvidia.
There should not be any reason that your system would not run either Nvidia or ATI. If you have been living with the single 8800 GT for two years, I would go with another single card. Staying around the $250 cost you could look at the GTX 275. The next step down for under $200 would be the GTX 260 216 core. The new ATI 5850 seems to be a great card, but is impossible to find. This card came out at $259 and due to high demand and short supply, you now see the price going up. Another choice would be the HD 4890 that would be the equal of the GTX 275 for less money. Any of them would really be a good upgrade from the older 8800 GT. You may see the pricing drop on the GTX 200 series cards once the new Nvidia 300 series comes out. I would expect to see just the high-end 300 cards to be released first (by the of the year) so they may be out of your price range and the mid-range ones not coming out until next year. Therefore, if you are looking to upgrade now, the GTX 275, GTX 260 216 core or the HD 4890 would probably be the ones to look at that are available.
Thanks. This is extremely helpful. I was trying to find some of the ATI cards recommended in Tom's Hardware as Crossfire dual, but couldn't find them anywhere at the prices indicated in Tom's. This explains why! Appreciate it.