So this morning I'm browsing through the Fry's Electronics ad not expecting to see anything. But to my surprise there is an X1650 Pro 256 MB video card for $30 after rebate. Thirty dollars. True, the card is... um... less than spectacular. However! This new video card is a full eight (8) tiers above my current nVIDIA 6150 according to Tom's Hardware. Plus my power supply is big enough to handle it. Hot damn.
Lucky for me my sweet wife works near Fry's. She grumbled a little, but in the end spoiled me and picked up one for me. I owe her one.
Now comes the fun installing the card and drivers. Microsoft Vista and I are not friends, but we're learning to live with each other. If all goes well, I'll be back in Azeroth soon with cranked up graphic settings and a respectable FPS. If it doesn't, then expect to hear me whining about it here.
I snapped the new video card into place, plugged in the various cables, and fired up my computer. Panic! The mouse and keyboard were not working. I tried removing the card and going back to the onboard display but no luck. I jumped on Avril's computer and looked on the forums for help. D'oh. I'm embarrassed to admit that I had the mouse and keyboard cables switched. Sad part is they're color coded. Oooops. After switching them back I had no problems getting the new vid card going.
My frame rate in World of Warcraft went from 25 FPS to 120 FPS. I have most of the graphic settings maxed now and the game averages around 60 FPS.
Link is a happy boy.