I need help choosing the right MB

Hi Tom's hardware community, I am looking to upgrade my current home built gaming computer and I need help choosing the correct motherboard.

Current Build

OS: Windows Vista 64 bit

RAM: 16 gb patriot dd3

HD: Barracuda 1 TB

CPU: AMD phenom II x6 black edition (1090T) 3.2Ghz

GPU Vid Card: Radeon HD 6950 2gb (PCIE 2.1)

MB: MSI 870A-G54

Ok now the upgrade I want to do is upgrade my Vid Card to a Radeon 7970. I know that I will probably have to upgrade my motherboard because mine doesn't support PCIE 3.0, but I also think I might have to upgrade my CPU because most MB that have PCIE 3.0 only support AM3+, and my CPU is only AM3. I'm kinda confused on weather I have to upgrade my CPU or not. Or do I only have to upgrade my MB to fit the card?
7 answers Last reply
More about choosing
  1. No need to upgrade. A PCI-E 3.0 graphics card will work in your PCI-E 2.0 slotted motherboard.

    -Wolf sends
  2. Wow really? thanks I will check online to verify this, ty very much!
  3. You don't HAVE to upgrade the cpu to use the new card, because AMD's latest flagship graphic card, the Radeon 7970, is the world's first PCIe 3.0 graphic card. Initial reviews suggest that the new interface would not improve graphic performance compared to earlier PCIe 2.0, which is still under-utilized. However, the new interface would prove advantageous when used for general purpose computing with technologies like OpenCL and C++ AMP.
    So, if you don't have to and based on the above information do you still want to? I would however, upgrade to win 7 lol As well as getting an SSD or 2 to go along with that awesome card.
  4. How would upgrading to windows 7 help improve my performance?
  5. HaHa - windows vista is VERY memory intensive. It usually takes more than 1 GB just to run the OS itself. Windows 7 uses less and has removed lots of the glitches that vista has.
  6. What I'm about to do right now is get windows 8, hopefully its better than vista.
  7. Isn't it still in the testing stage? Both of my copies are and there are still lots of issues with drivers and software compatibility. I wouldn't at this time use it for a primary OS unless you just want a toy, which is what I do with mine. Of course, it's free right now so it's fun to play with. It will be better than vista but it is geared more toward touch screens than regular, old fashion computers like mine. But it does work with/for a lot of things. And NO start button - very confusing until you get used to it.
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