My 8800GT finally gave out. I would like to upgrade and get some added performance. What I don't want to do is get a higher end (more expensive) video card that results in diminshing returns because of my older CPU.
First, this is what I have straight from the system info:
- AMD Radeon HD 6850
- AMD Radeon HD 6870
- AMD Radeon HD 7750
- AMD Radeon HD 7770
- AMD Radeon HD 7850
Probably will go with the Sapphire brand. They seem to get pretty good reviews on reliability.
Here's what I've gathered. 1) The 7000 series are PCI Express 3.0. My MOBO is only PCI 2.1. Does this make this series of cards incompatible? 2) Does it yield same or less results as the 6000 series because of PCI 2.1?
I like the 7000 series because comparing the TDP numbers against the 8800GT I don't think I will have to upgrade my PSU. With that being said, I have no problem upgrading the PSU if the 7000's aren't an option with my MOBO. Since this will never be a Crossfire application I believe 650W would be sufficient. The 6870 without a doubt would require an upgraded PSU since my PSU only has a single 6-pin connector and AMD's specs show the 6870 requiring (2).
Finally, I plan on upgrading the memory to 8GB (4x2GB).
So there you have it. The video cards range from $110-$250. I don't mind the $250 if the performance gains are going to be noticeable. If we are only talking about a few fps because of the CPU then I would be happier with a lesser card and money back in my pocket.
PCI-E is backwards compatible, so you do not need to worry about chosing a 3.0 card with a 2.1 or even a 1.0 board. As far as your PSU, AMD recommends a 500w PSU for every GPU you listed. The question is more of what kind of amperage is available on the PSU you do have, as in reality you do have more than enough wattage. So if you can look at your PSU and see the amount of Amperage available on your 12v rails, I would go for the most powerful card it would support, the 7850.