I've lined up the MSI Radeon HD 6850 Cyclone Power Edition/OC -1GB as a potential replacement. A few things concern me though:
1) Putting a PCIe 2.1 card in a 1.x slot seems to be something of an unknown quantity; works for some, not so well for others. Any advice in this regard would be appreciated.
2) Power is another question mark. From what I understand, PCIe 2 delivers more watts that PCIe 1 did. Hence I'm slighty worried that the slot + one 6pin connector will not be enough to power a 6850. The card only has one power connector, so I can't add a second one for a safety margin.
If the 6850 will not work, I'm open to other suggestions. Systems specs are in my sig.
P.S. StarCraft 2 is the most graphically intense game I own, and that's not likely to change soon.
I believe they are the same electrically all supplying 75watts "Power
PCI Express cards are allowed a maximum power consumption of 25W (×1: 10W for power-up). Low profile cards are limited to 10W (×16 to 25W). PCI Express Graphics (PEG) cards may increase power (from slot) to 75W after configuration (3.3V/3A + 12V/5.5A). Optional connectors add 75W (6-pin) or 150W (8-pin) power for up to 300W total."
a good clue is to search your motherboard model + a newer gfx card in google. If any forum results show that it doesn;t work, then I would be wary. the board I used to have, search this http://www.google.com.au/search?source=ig&hl=en&rlz=&=&... and it comes up with many problems. Searched for your motherboard and a bunch of different vid cards and couldn't find any issues.If you like SCII I believe you will be slightly better off with a nvidia card, like the gtx460.
OK, I tried out a borrowed 6850 and it worked, although the performance was not fantastic. In 3DMark06 it benched about 16% better than the 9800GTX. The card was running extremely hot though, which was unexpected.