Could my nVidia nForce 520LE chipset motherboard with PCIe v.1 bottleneck my GF 9800GT graphics card? Or more importantly could it bottleneck a better graphics card if I upgrade (one such as an HD 5770 or 5850 if I get some kind of small fortune on my hands).
My system consists of:
AMD Phenom II X4 940 quad core stock clocks (3.0GHz with 15x multiplier)
4GB DDR2 @ 800MHz CAS5, for some reason my mobo thinks they're unganged (single channel) even though they're in the right slots to enable dual channel
OS HDD: 250GB maxtor 7200RPM 8MB cache SATAII
Data/Games HDD: 750GB samsung spinpoint F1 7200RPM 32MB cache SATAII
450W corsair PSU not that it matters in this respect
GeForce 9800GT 512MB palit video card (already mentioned)
2x IDE DVD writers (not that it matters)
PCI card with 5 USB ports
BTW, the chipset gets very hot, often gets to 70 degrees C under load. The small heatsink on it gets too hot to touch even when the PC's idle. Well I can touch it for a few seconds but after about 10 seconds I have to pull my hand away.
One of my nephews runs his unganged. gets better performance believe it or not.... ( not by much ). I always got in the habit of changing the thermal paste on those small heat sinks. Sometimes they weren't greased right or not at all. Sometimes I would install ( screw on or glue on ) 40mm fans to help cool them and I also replaced them with bigger ones that I knew wouldn't interfere with the graphics card......
The graphics card.... if you game at 1600 resolution a GTX260/4890 1gig/5850, etc. would be a decent upgrade from what you have now. I wouldn't get something closer to what you have, it wouldn't be worth it. A card with 512 memory isn't much good for a lot of the newer games. Try and get something with at least a gig if you can.
The power supply... moving to a bigger card and you may have to upgrade that. 30-35 amps probably would be very borderline. I think a GTX260's minimum is like 38amps.
\ If you game at lower resolutions... 1200 .... . the 5770 would be a good enough card. Could probably get away with the same power supply.
So you're saying that the motherboard/chipset wouldn't bottleneck a newer graphics card if I decided to upgrade? Btw I game at 1920x1200 so if I upgraded I'd get a 5770 (already decided this BTW). Not gonna upgrade soon though.
I'm not gonna bother cooling the chipset as it's not worthwhile - the board cost £35 and if it breaks well I'm gonna get another one - I'd rather get a new, better board than spend time/money fixing the current one's defects.