A Graphics Upgrade for an Old System

I have an old Dell with a 0GM819 motherboard and Q6600 CPU. The motherboard has a PCI Express x16 slot. I'm looking to play games at 1920x1080, but lower is fine too. What graphics cards would work in the system?

Can I put a 6770 or 6850 in? Would they work / not be bottlenecked?

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  1. Considering you have an OEM build, overclocking would not be of much avail to you as their motherboards are locked. Hence, a 6850/6770 would give you the graphic kick of the performance, but there may a significant bottleneck due to the stock q6600. My fps went from 15 fps in stock CPU to 28.5 fps in crysis benchmark with the 6870, the cpu was oc to 3.21.
  2. I'm also looking at a GTX 460 768MB. I'm not too worried about a bottleneck as long as games are playable. I just don't want the perform drop to be massive. I should also mention that I'm not going to be playing something like Crysis.

    My other concern is that I read somewhere that dropping 2.0 cards in 1.x slots works, but sometimes requires a BIOS update to the mobo. Since this is a Dell board, I'm not sure that they'd care/be able to publish BIOS updates. Does anyone have ideas regarding that or should I gamble and assume that the card will work?
  3. PCIE 2.0 cards would work just fine in a 1.0 specification. The only difference between the 1.0 and 2.0 is that the latter ones have double the lanes, meaning double the throughput. Because you are not going to be playing higher end games like Crysis, Battlefield that are resource hoggers, I would say any fermi or even higher 200 series card would so. You will not only get the video boos, but also get a lot of CUDA cores in case you are into video encoding and stuff like that. The bottleneck would only hold your video card performance if you are playing games on resolutions like 1280x1024. If you push it up to more than 720p, the bottleneck would be minimal if not any. Hope that helps.
  4. It is PCI-E 2.1 cards, not 2.0, that can have issues with 1.0 boards. I believe all the HD6000 cards are 2.1. There are a number of 2.0 HD5770s which are basically the same card as the HD6770. All NVidia cards are 2.0.
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