Need video card advice for new WoW expansion

So I looked and looked, on here and on Google, and I can’t find our old WoW megathread. I was going to ask this question there, but I can’t, so here it is: I’m playing in the WoW: MoP beta right now. The graphics look pretty nice, but I have to keep all my sliders on low, because my video card won’t support better. Most of my settings are on the lowest or second-to-lowest possible, because my video card is so old.

So I was wondering, what is the most affordable video card I can get that will run MoP with Ultra everything? My current card is a wonderful but *VERY OLD *nVidia 7600GT (the poor little clunker is turning 8!). He absolutely deserves an honorable discharge, 21-gun salute, and burial at sea. Therefore, I would like some advice on an upgrade.

I believe all the other parts on my computer are sufficient to run MoP on Ultra. I’ll post the specs of my system when I can get home and can power up Belarc advisor, though, if that will help. I bought a new power supply on Black Friday last year, a Corsair with a single 12V rail, with the intent of powering a higher-end card than I currently have.

Anyway, please help. Every time I look at those stupid video card comparison charts on Tom’s Hardware, my eyes go crossed. I get tired just thinking about it. I’m horribly indecisive even at the best of times, much less when there are literally hundreds of available options. D:

AMD Radeon HD7850 is a strong card if you can find one on sale (like $200). Such sales are very frequent. If you don’t want to wait, an Nvidia GTX 560 Ti is a solid choice at the same $200 price. If $200 is too much, you have an AMD Radeon HD6850 in the $135~ range. There are much better cards, but you’re not really in that market if WoW is your entire gaming universe.

I’m assuming we’re talking 1080p, single screen, 60 Hz here.

That’s a very attractive price, if it will run ultra graphics in MoP. I don’t play any other games with graphical requirements (some Sims, some Portal, that’s really it). My monitor is just a single 19" widescreen, resolution is 1440x900. I used to have a second (larger) monitor, but it pooped out on me a while back.

Here are my other specs from Belarc:

3.00 gigahertz AMD Athlon II X2 250
256 kilobyte primary memory cache
2048 kilobyte secondary memory cache
64-bit ready
Multi-core (2 total)
Not hyper-threaded

Main circuit board:
Board: BIOSTAR Group TA870+
Bus Clock: 200 megahertz
BIOS: American Megatrends Inc. 080015 04/19/2010

Memory modules:
3328 Megabytes Usable Installed Memory
Slot ‘DIMM0’ has 2048 MB
Slot ‘DIMM1’ has 2048 MB

NVIDIA GeForce 7600 GT [Display adapter]
Hanns.G JW199D [Monitor] (19.1"vis)

I have a 6850 and I’m happy with it. I have mixed emotions about AMD’s current set of drivers (mostly that they take forever to load) but the performance in game is outstanding.

Any of the cards on this page of Tom’s current recommendation will be a good choice - it’s the $100-150 dollar range. You could certainly pay more than that for a good card, but it’s kind of pointless given that all the current games (and currently in development games) are being made as cross-platform console games. Any of the cards on this page will work just fine:

That said - do note the power requirements for the new GPU cards. Your 7600gt uses about 35W. That’s about a hundred less than the suggested card. Make sure you have enough to spare on your PSU. If you’re not sure what your watage is, it should be printed on a sticker on the PSU.

You can play around with the calculator here, for figuring your overall power draw.

Yeah my power supply is top notch, a Corsair tx650w. That was the last upgrade I bought, because I knew I couldn’t upgrade to a current video card with the stock PSU in my case.

Thanks for the help! I posted on the forums late last night to figure out the best budget card for my purposes, and the HD6850 keeps coming up. So I’ll keep on the lookout for sales (I don’t do rebates).

Neither do the companies that offer them.

Been burned thrice now.