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New video card, old motherboard, will it work?

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
October 27, 2010 2:58:42 AM

Long story short.

Several years ago I bought an ASUS P5B Deluxe, with a C2D E4300, 2GB of RAM and a Geforce 7800 GTX.
My RAM was fail so I updated to 4GB Kingston Low Latency, pretty decent stuff supposedly.
After that I had the chance to sell my E4300 and bought an E7500.

By this time my 7800 GTX was kinda slow for all the new games so I bought a 4870 with 512 of memory...

I was happy, had a 19" monitor with a 1280x1024 resolution... but I received as a present a 22" Dell IPS Monitor that works at 1920x1080... so now my 4870 with its lousy 512Mb can't really handle the resolution with good details....

Summary: I need a new video card, almost bought a GTX 460... but with the new 6870 available, was thinking on going for it.

Question are:
1. Will the new 6870 work with my motherboard and CPU without problems? I KNOW it will bottleneck and I wont be able to use it at its full potential... but I'm concerned if it will even work since my motherboard is quite old....

2. Do you guys think the performance gain from the 4870 to the 6870 will be very noticeable on my system, or should I just stick to the 6850, or even just stay with the 4870 until I can upgrade the whole thing?

3. Last I have a Topower 550W PSU... It never gave me problems with my 4870... I'm assuming it should work with the 6870 since the power consumption is similar and if I'm correct its even lower on the new 6870. Am I correct?

Thanks a lot for the help guys.

PS: Reason I dont upgrade my whole system, its because of budget of course... I usually try to sell my current component before buying a new one, and I just can't seem to find someone that wants my motherboard, cpu and ram :( 
a b V Motherboard
October 27, 2010 3:42:50 AM

Frankly, I wouldn't do the upgrade. I'd save my money and upgrade the other end - the cpu/mobo - first.

The 6870 will outperform the 4870, but not by enough to be truly noticable unless it corrected some minimum framerate issues you were to have at 1920. Unfortunately, that's exactly where your cpu might let you down and give you a net gain of zero.

The 4870 is a decent 1920 card. Spoend your money first on a new platform (when you have enough), and after that is done and budget allows, upgrade the gpu as/if necessary. Maybe even to 2x4870, depending on what's out there when your time comes.
October 27, 2010 2:51:36 PM

Thanks for the quick response. I agree with you... but my plan was to upgrade the card first, so that I can see a better improvement in my games immediately.

Because if I change my system and stay with the 4870 I dont think I'd notice a big improvement in games... or not?

So, do you think its better to buy... say an i3 530 (cant really go for the i5 750 directly)... and stay with the 4870 first, and then next year get a new video card.

Or go for the 6870 (with my p5b deluxe and the core 2 duo e7500), and upgrade the system later???

Damn :\
So difficult to decide.
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October 27, 2010 3:03:50 PM

A dual core at 2.9GHz, 4gb of RAM, and a 4870...
That's actually not outdated at all, I would try and go and sell the 4870, and get a dual 4870 gpu as long as you have good cooling. The 4870 is still a good card, and going for the single dual cpu solution would increase performance.

Also, lol at several years ago you bought a pc with hardware from 2005, confused me for a second.
October 27, 2010 6:17:22 PM

Yes, thought about that... But I really wanna get something with DX11 support and that is actually considerable better than the 4870.

But I dont want to spend a ton of money and dont get any performance gain at all... My main concern is if the 6870 will even work on my motherboard and my PSU
October 28, 2010 12:19:49 AM

epexy said:
Yes, thought about that... But I really wanna get something with DX11 support and that is actually considerable better than the 4870.

But I dont want to spend a ton of money and dont get any performance gain at all... My main concern is if the 6870 will even work on my motherboard and my PSU

I'm not the greatest at judging a psu, but it has 2x6 pins, and can run a 4870. That being said it should run a 6870 fine, you may want to go with a 460 1gb for 220$ if you need a low, yet better solution to a 4870 with dx11 support.

Best solution

a b V Motherboard
October 28, 2010 7:17:08 PM

Given that you are comfortably running the 4870, the 6870 would run fine.

The issue of which to do first is your sole concern. The reason I said the 6870 would not show noticable improvement for you was based on this:

Find the 4870 on the chart, find the 5870 on the chart, and read the authors' comments above the chart about "somewhat parallel". Then consider you aren't buying a 5870, you are buying a less powerful 6870.

Then consider that your cpu is dual core - would your gaming profit more by an extra core or two than by the vid card upgrade?

In gaming, an i3 530 shows a 13% improvement at 1680 vs a 7500, an i5 750 shows a 63% improvement. I don't have any comparisons available at 1920, but it seems like going to the i5 could produce visible improvement.

OTOH, a 1gb 6870 would add vid card memory and perhaps improve the details that bother you.

Summary: Neither upgrade seems significant enough, which is why you brought the issue. So here's the recommendation:

If you were building a new rig next year, would you buy a 6870? If the answer is "yes", then do that upgrade now. If the upgrade is not significant now, you can console yourself with the thought you've bought half of your new rig.

If the answer is "No", is an i5 750 part of a new system you would build next year? If "Yes", do that upgrade now.

If both answers are "No" or "I don't know", then continue gaming at 1680 on your new monitor whenever the detail loss bothers you. And save up your money.
October 28, 2010 8:13:10 PM

Thanks twoboxer!

I really appreciate the time you took to help me out, and I gotta say you pretty much nailed it.

You see, I really want (and think that I will) upgrade my system by next year, problem is... I cannot find someone that wants to buy my mb + cpu + ram combo for a decent price, because I really need that money in order to get a new rig.
And I'm pretty much undecided on that as well, since I've read a new platform from Intel is on the way to replace 1156, might as well wait to see what's that about...

I just have one final question for you... Lets assume the following, from a purely gaming perspective, we have:

A. a new i5 750 system
B. a Radeon 6870

and now lets assume I can only buy one of those now, and the other in 3 or 4 months.

What would you buy first?

Thanks again.
a b V Motherboard
October 29, 2010 12:26:43 AM

Honestly, neither lol. Which you may recall was my first suggestion.

AMD has more cards to announce, and I want that perspective. nVidia may have no answer, or may have some stuff soon. Intel's Sandy Bridge is coming out. March 2011 may be a better time, and I wouldn't want to have spent my money too soon . . . if I had a decent gaming system and a tightish budget . . . which you do lol.

But if I was hot to buy something now, I'd go 6850, 460, or 6870.
October 29, 2010 12:47:04 AM

Thanks once again... If I manage to sell my current 4870 for a good price (believe or not I have a a 150 dollar offer for it here) I'd go for the 6870 (which costs $350) :( 

If I can't sell it... I'll just wait to see what happens and just lower the resolution or graphic details for the moment... As for my new system, I will just wait for Sandy Bridge first, see if its really worth it or not... at most it should lower the prices of the i750 and socket 1156 mbs.

Thanks for all the advices.
a b V Motherboard
October 29, 2010 12:59:16 AM

YW. You've made a very solid decision.
October 29, 2010 1:03:33 AM

Best answer selected by epexy.
a b V Motherboard
October 29, 2010 3:12:55 AM

This topic has been closed by Mousemonkey