First off I have to say it has been a while since I really dove head first into the whole pc hardware scene so forgive me if I sound like somewhat of a retard…that being said my current sys is in my sig, I know its outdated so I wanted to upgrade it. My real goal is being able to play Left 4 Dead with my friends and maybe have a little bit of room left over if I wanna play somethin else.
Firstly, I am upgrading the ram to at least 3GB (maybe 4GB but haven’t decided yet). This is a no brainer to me.
The questions come in when I am looking for cpus/v-cards. The mobo has one pcie 16x slot.
So perhaps someone could suggest a couple of pcie 16x v-cards for me with a cost of around $100. I found these…
GeForce 9800 GT
^^^ The 96 has the edge in core clock (by 50MHz), shader clock (by 125MHz), memory bandwidth (same @ 57.6GB/s but lower price) and pixel fill rate (by 800MPixels/s).
The 98 has the edge in FLOPS (336 GFLOPS vs 208 GFLOPS) and texture fill rate (336 GTexels/s vs 208 GTexels/s), shader processors (112  vs 64) and texture units (56  vs 32).
Leaning toward the 9600GT as its $35 cheaper and seems like it will do the job. The L4D requirements is ps version 2.0. Each of these cards run ps 4.0.
^^Info found here…
Also given the mobo, what cpu would you suggest with a price tag of ~$100. Was thinkin Athlon 64x2 6000+ which averages speeds ~3GHz as the requirement for L4D is a 3GHz processor. The 32 bit version of xp will be fine with this right??
TIA for any help/suggestions.