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Silas13013

Old board, new card

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So my friend is looking to upgrade his computer for the first time and has come to me for help.  I've been out of the game for a few years so I don't really know the waters that well.  That being said, he has the following mobo: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813186155

 

His first upgrade is to get a graphics card (he doesn't have one currently) and I can't for the life of me remember what exactly the limiting factors are on a graphics card.  He wants to spend about 400 on the GPU alone so he has a pretty decent budget but I don't know if his board can support any newer cards.  Can someone give me a crash course on what determines whether or not a board can support a card and what my friends options are? 

 

Thanks

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That system is waay outdated. It would help to see what your friend is running like power supply, memory , cpu , etc. Also what games he wants to play.

 

I can say if that motherboard what your friend is using, the only thing that will transfer to a new build is the video card and power supply (if needed). So crash course, Basically there are a few factors. Power & Connectors, PCIE type (1, 2 or 3), Video Card Ram ( Vram) and others (like system contributions).

 

1:Power & Connectors

 

Video cards come in 3 flavors now; no power connector (powered by motherboard), 6-pin pcie connector and 8-pin pcie connector. The old style not used anymore was 4-pin molex connector.  Mid-range to high end use 2x 6pin or 8pins connectors which can take up to 250watts of power along. So a good power supply is needed.

 

2: PCIE Type

 

That motherboard has PICE 1.1 which provides 16x of bandwidth. Its since been surpassed by 2.0 and 3.0. Currently new video cards use more bandwidth than 1.1 and on the verge of passing 2.0 (which is double 1.1). Pice 3.0 is now current and most new motherboards are 3.0. That being said any need video card especially in the $400 range will run like crap on any modern games / max settings.

 

3. Video Card Memory

 

Video cards have it's own on board memory and is used for textures and other data. The standard today is 2gb where you can run max settings on most games and not suffer frame rate drop. 

 

4. Other (The system itself)

 

Basically that system is dated just basic atlest I know its DDR2 and a AMD X2 Cpu.  You will be lucky to run any current game on medium settings just because the cpu and amount of system memory has a large effect. So in short, getting a $100 video card might be better since you cannot use a high-end card to it's fullest anyways.

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Pretty much any video card will work in that board, so long as you have the power supply/connectors to power it up. Technically all you need is a PCI-e x16 slot and you are good to go. Even if the board has PCI-e 1.1 and the video card is PCI-e 3.0, everything is backwards compatible. It'll be noticeably slower on PCI-e 1.1 though.

 

However his main problem will lie in the fact that that no matter what CPU you have in the board, not even the best processor for that socket will be strong enough to pair properly with modern $400~ish video cards. It'll work sure, but you will be severely limited by your CPU's horsepower, in regards to the machines gaming capability.

 

So honestly? In my opinion don't bother with a video card upgrade at the moment, Do the whole thing at once.

 

EDIT** Also 4GB of RAM is truthfully not good enough anymore. It'll function sure, but realistically 8GB is the new minimum for really any computer but especially higher performance machines.

Edited by MercuryDoun

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i'm typing for a reply but i'm not that fast as you guys up there :P

to sum it all up, this is what in my thoughts;

 

So honestly? In my opinion don't bother with a video card upgrade at the moment, Do the whole thing at once.
 

 

better save then start all over for a new/modern rig imo.

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Alright, thanks for the info guys.  Basically we are looking at a full rebuild of his system based on what you guys have told me :P Probably not what he wanted to hear but it is what it is.  

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The only thing I would really consider that was only hinted at above was buying a cheaper card now. If he wants to game and things like BF4 aren't on the list $100 in the used market could get him a card that can max out that system and even be moved over to something new.  

 

Hell if he's got the PSU to run (another key questions is if the PSU was matched to this system when new does it have enough in reserve to consider adding a card at all) it I've got two old GTX 260s/9600 GSO/8800GT etc cards here and would be more than happy to sell one cheap (much lower than even the $100 mark) if interested.

 

Overall though it's time for a new PC and $400 would be much better spent on that than something like a GTX 770/R9 280X etc that the system cant utilize. (just like everyone above said)  

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Consider an FX-6300/6350 build. For 1080p $200-260 video cards should provide good gaming. Wish Memory had not gotten so expensive.

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