I have a desktop I put together in 2010. The video card is acting up (displaying greenish "graffiti" in 3D games), and I'll need to replace it. My motherboard only supports PCIe 2.0 x16 though, so instead of trying to find another PCIe 2.0 card I figured I'd upgrade the motherboard and get a 3.0 card - but then I'd need to worry about compatibility with my existing processor, memory and PSU. So here is what I currently have:
ATX Mid Tower Case
ASUS M4A785TD-M EVO Motherboard
Geforce GTS 250 video card
AMD Athlon II X3 435 Rana 2.9 Ghz Socket AM3
2x2GB G.Skill Ripjaw 240-Pin DDR3 1600
Seagate 1TB 7200 RPM SATA-300
550W power supply
Is there a motherboard anyone can recommend that would be compatible with these parts (minus the to-be-replaced video card) that will still provide a bridge to other newer parts that I could upgrade to in the future? I'd prefer to keep motherboard cost under $100 if possible.
PCIe 3.0 is not supported on AMD mobos, correct. Fortunately, it doesn't matter, as PCIe 3.0 cards are backwards compatible, and there should be no noticeable drop in performance.
How happy had you been with the GTS250? If it was meeting your needs, then a GTX650 or HD7750 will be good replacements. What brand and model, not just wattage, is your PSU? If it is a good one (e.g. XFX, Antec, or other Seasonic-built), you could run a HD7950 with it, although your CPU would bottleneck it. A modest upgrade for you would be a HD7770 or GTX650Ti.
The GTS250 had worked fine, and if it wasn't for the problems with it I'd still be okay with it. I was actually thinking of a path like this:
1. Replace video card with a GTX560 SE (currently $120 on Newegg)
2. Upgrade motherboard to ASRock 970 EXTREME3 AM3+ ($85)
3. Upgrade CPU to AMD FX-8320 Eight-Core 3.5Ghz AM3+ ($180)
4. Use existing memory and add 2x8GB G.SKILL Ripjaws X Series DDR3 1600 ($85)
If I did that, would I be okay with compatibility? (new video card will work fine on the current motherboad, new motherboard will work with both new motherboard, current CPU and current memory, etc.) Since I can't buy everything at once, I'm trying to buy parts one at a time when possible.