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How old of a computer can you put a new GPU in and get full results?

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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January 30, 2011 9:35:08 AM

Say around a ~$200 gpu put into a computer that was a medium computer when it was made. Just in general and not factoring in the possible need for a bigger PSU. Also, no overclocking the cpu.

How old can it be before you no longer get the full use from the GPU?
January 30, 2011 9:42:16 AM

It all depends on the how old it really is. If the motherboard only supports APG gpu's, PCI, or PCI-E. Also, you got to think of bottlenecking from the CPU. You'd have to tell us what kind of CPU, motherboard, and psu you have.
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January 30, 2011 9:48:32 AM

I mean just in general as an FYI
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January 30, 2011 9:54:55 AM

powerfulcrunch said:
I mean just in general as an FYI

That's like asking a general contractor how much it will cost to build a house without specifying how big a house, and what materials to use... :non: 
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January 30, 2011 9:56:27 AM

powerfulcrunch said:
I mean just in general as an FYI


System performance is a combination of all of the parts -- so there is no way to give a general answer you'd need to know what the old system had in order to tell what level of video card would be the best fit for the performance level it can obtain and what would just be wasted since the rest of the system can not perform up to that level. With computer systems it is all about balance so that all of the pieces add up to the best performance level -- having a single powerful piece is just a waste of $ if that power can not be utilized due to the other components. The system can only perform as well as the weakest link and spending more on single components ignoring other weak points only results in wasting $ that could have been spent elsewhere to make the overall system stronger.
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January 30, 2011 11:02:23 AM

If your are talking about modern gpu's for that price.....thenat least a dual core cpu running at around 3Ghz would be needed to avoid significant bottlenecking of the graphics card performance.

But as others have said, the quality of the psu and compatibility of the motherboard is also crucial.

You mention a price of around $200, and by looking at Tom's GPU guide for January 2011, I see the $200 recommendation is the HD 6850 and the GTX 460 1GB. For either of those cards, any good brand name power supply ( corsair, PC Power & Cooling) at around 55oW should be fine.
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January 30, 2011 1:36:48 PM

jdw_swb said:
If your are talking about modern gpu's for that price.....thenat least a dual core cpu running at around 3Ghz would be needed to avoid significant bottlenecking of the graphics card performance.

But as others have said, the quality of the psu and compatibility of the motherboard is also crucial.

You mention a price of around $200, and by looking at Tom's GPU guide for January 2011, I see the $200 recommendation is the HD 6850 and the GTX 460 1GB. For either of those cards, any good brand name power supply ( corsair, PC Power & Cooling) at around 55oW should be fine.


Yes -- But he said an older system so it may be only PCI or AGP based and not even have a PCI-e slot !! So getting into general recommendations as stated is pretty much useless without knowing the specs of the system there is no way a suitable upgrade can be suggested !! Sometimes it is best to scrap the thing and start fresh instead of wasting more $ trying to keep an old system running that is going to continually be behind the curve in overall performance.
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