GPU Upgrade Question...

Hi there. I am a hardcore gamer and for the last few years my computer could handle any game that the market released, up until the DX11 games came along. Now that my computer and I are starting to taste the bitterness of mediocrity in the gaming world, I am looking into upgrading my GPU but I am concerned that my 3-4 year old rig might have either compatibility or bottleneck issues. As of right now my CPU and RAM are the highest/fastest my motherboard can handle and the only thing left for me to upgrade without starting over completely is my GPU. I want to upgrade from my GeForce 8800 GTS 640MB card to a new DX11 card like the GTX 570 but I am not sure my CPU or Motherboard is up to the task. I don't really want to build a new rig at this time so I wanted to get the best bang for my buck on a new GPU without worrying about bottlenecking. This is my current rig:

Motherboard: ASUS M2N32-SLI Premium Vista Edition AM2 NVIDIA nForce 590 SLI MCP ATX AMD Motherboard
Power Supply: Antec - 850W True Power Quattro PSU
OS: Windows 7 (64 bit Edition)
RAM: 4x 2GB Corsair XMS DDR2 800mhz 240-Pin SDRAM
CPU: Athlon X2 6400 Dual Core Processor (3.2GHz)
GPU: EVGA 640-P2-N824-AR GeForce 8800 GTS 640MB 320-bit GDDR3 PCI Express x16
HDD: Western Digital Caviar Blue WD5000AAKS 500GB 7200 RPM 16MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive

I have been surfing forums endlessly and I keep seeing posts regarding CPUs and motherboards and how they can bottleneck GPUs but I want to know what my limits are in terms of GPUs based on my current rig. Is it worth it for me to put a PCIe 2.0 card on my PCIe 1.0 motherboard or will that alone cause a massive bottleneck. I have heard numbers anywhere from a 3% loss all the way to 40%.

Basically all I want to know is:
A) Will my PCIe 1.0 MB bottleneck a PCIe 2.0 GPU?
B) Is it better to get an AMD GPU for an AMD Processor? (Coming from an nVidia lover)
C) What is the best GPU that my computer can handle without causing any bottlenecking? ($400 Budget)

Any advice, comments, info would be greatly appreciated. Feel free to e-mail me at
10 answers Last reply
More about upgrade question
  1. A - Maybe
    B - No
    C - 9500GT Maybe?

    Upgrade whole your system, it's very old and you are trying to get one of the fastest single GPU cards available *no offence*.
  2. ^Intel Graphics on AMD platform? :lol:
  3. Serious upgrades needed. Firstly change your motherboard.
  4. I plan on building an entirely new rig in early 2012 with my tax returns. When that happens, I plan on selling this system but in the meantime I was lookin into any possible upgrades. I really just wana get rid of this 8800 GTS because it runs at 130 degrees idle and up to 170 on full load and I have crazy good airflow. Yea I think I was shooting too high with the GTX 570 but I was looking at the 460s. I was also recommended to swap out my CPU for a Phenom II x4 920 which is only like 90 bucks. My motherboard is AM2 but I heard it supports AM3 chips although Ive heard there are alot of issues with that. My budget is about $300 total so I was thinking 200 for GPU and 100 for CPU. But yea I know my system is old im just too stubborn/broke to start over with a new one right now lol.

    Btw thanks in advance to everyone for their input, I really appreciate it.
  5. shrkbay said:
    ^Intel Graphics on AMD platform? :lol:

    Yea I've heard that ATI cards are more compatible with AMD CPUs and Nvidia with Intel but I don't know if its true or not, and whether thats based on new hardware or not. Either way Ive always been a huge fan of Nvidia GPUs due to the fact that ive had nothing but problems with ATI cards/drivers in the past. I really just want a new GPU that doesnt run so friggin hot.
  6. Gman450 said:
    Serious upgrades needed. Firstly change your motherboard.

    Yea I know its old but Im tryin to make the best with what Ive got. Ive already maxed out the amount of RAM it can handle and I THOUGHT I had the best CPU for the MB but apparently I was wrong. Looks like the Phenom are better and theyre actually pretty inexpensive. Im really just looking for some modest upgrades to keep this thing going for a little while longer while I save up the big bucks to build a new rig early next year
  7. GTS 250 or GTS 450 is as probably as high as you can go, and theres still a bottleneck with those.
  8. Erol, BD is coming out this August (probably), so imo it's worth to wait for it, CPUs will be cheaper then...
  9. Agreed. Just a month more for bulldozer to arrive.
  10. ok cool thanks guys for all the input. definitely gonna do some research on the bulldozer. thanks again : )
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