256MB DDR3 or better
More powerful than a XFX 7600GT clocked at 675MHz core and 1600MHz DDR3.
Has to use less wattage.
According to research online the XFX7600GT uses 24W in 2d and 40W in 3D modes. Info I could find on 8600GT says it uses about 70w and 9600GT is supposed to use over 100w.
Its in a MATX case with a AMD 4400X2(65w), Nforce 430 chipset mobo, 2GB PC6400, 250GB SATA, DVDRW, Audigy 2ZS soundcard, and XPP
This is my secondary LAN box portable gaming system that mostly stays at work for after hours or goes to LAN parties. As such I dont want a expensive high end graphics card and due to the small case size and MATX PSU Im limited on how many watts I van throw at it.
I have been looking at a AMD/ATI HD 2600XT-512MB DDR3 at work before the 3600,3650, etc came out. They are made on 65nm die and are supposed to be good on power consumption.
Now 9600GT is being released but power consumption still seems high.
Thanks for any recommendations in advance.
3650 is slower than 2600XT and 8600GT but is using less power
What power supply do you have? How much are you looking to spend? If it can handle it, the HD 3850 is a great card for $170. That would give you near 8800GTS (old style) speeds.
The case is a Wavesonic CS-3107 aluminum MATX case with a aftermarket 450w MATX PSU. Unfortunately there is no such thing as a high quality MATX PSU so the one I have is the best I can get. Im guesing that even though its rated at 450W its actually good for about 300W.
The 7600GT actually does suprisingly well still on DX9 games. It died not too long ago and XFX replaced it with the latest version and its clocked significantly higher than the old version that died (560MHz to 675MHz) and memory is faster (IIRC 1200MHZ to 1600MHz).
Some games want more GPU muscle and so I was shopping for a replacement but need to keep in the same power consumption range.
IIRC I have already tried my 8600GTS in the MATX system and it would not POST with the 8600GTS in.
I know it's not the issue at hand, but long-term you might want to consider migrating to something like the Silverstone SG-01 (or 03), which will take ATX PSUs.
I'm only suggesting it because graphics cards are only going to get faster and hungrier; even if you manage to squeeze in an upgrade this time, you almost certainly won't next year or whenever you upgrade next.
But that all depends on how long you want the system to last, whether you actually want to spend the money on a new case/PSU and so on.