Looking for a graphics card compatible with my aging motherboard

Hello all, I'll start by posting my current set up:

MSI KA980g motherboard
AMD Athlon II 260 3.2Ghz cpu
3 GB ddr2 ram
Nvidia Geforce 8400gs 512 MB gfx, pci express x16
Power Supply(Not sure, but i know it won't handle a powerful video card.

Also, my monitor is a Vizio 47 inch full HD TV, but currently im running a regular VGA cable to it

My goal:

To run Starcraft 2 and Diablo 3 at max/nearmax at good framerate. I currently am able to run them both at no less than 40 fps, and no higher than 60fps, albeit on low(ugly) settings.

My question is what video card will get the job done and be compatible with my motherboard? I know its old, and am unsure if it can handle a beastly card. I have been told that any PCI express x16 card will work, but I'm no expert, and I'm not sure if thats true. I know my system is old, but I'd like to upgrade it before i go out and buy a brand new one. I am willing to upgrade my power supply, as I assume it'll be necessary, and also my CPU, as I'm unsure if it will handle much better of a card with bottlenecking it. I'd rather just upgrade the gfx, if possible tho.

Also, if i do have to upgrade cpu, what would be ideal? The manual to my board claims that its compatible with some Phenomx4s, but its very vague on exactly which ones. MSI's website hasn't helped me much in answering my questions either.
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More about looking graphics card compatible aging motherboard
  1. If you really care about MAX fps, then a CPU upgrade is in order. Starcraft 2 is a very heavily CPU dependent game, and you need something crazy good to run it on the max it goes.

    As for just a graphics card, it would go well with your current setup. You are probably going to have to upgrade the power supply for most cards today.

    How much are you looking to spend?
  2. Money is no option. I mean, I obviously don't want to spend more than a brand new comp would cost or I would defeat the purpose. I don't mind upgrading my CPU or power supply, I know my CPU is old, I just need to know what i can upgrade it with to be compatible with my board and everything else. MSI's manual on compatibility lists with that motherboard seem too dated to do me any good.

    So what video card am I looking for, and which CPU/power supply will support it. Having everything compatible of course.
  3. To run Starcraft, you are going to have to have a high end quad core CPU, probably by the looks of what you have on there now, you might just need a new motherboard/cpu/gpu/psu.

    You could get by with just a graphics card and power supply if you don't play on MAX graphics, especially SC2. You'll be able to play on medium maybe or even high. The Athlon II 260 is quite old, and you probably couldn't go too high with the graphics.

    What monitor res are we looking at here?
  4. cpu 120.00
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819103727
    video card 240.00
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814121425
    power supply 60.00
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817151093

    The video card and power supply can be used in a new build next year.
    Should do everything you want at a reasonable budget.
  5. Thanks for the replies. Rick, that CPU and video card were what I was looking at, but I wss unsure that CPU was compatible with my motherboard. Are you sure that it is?
  6. I believe it is an AM2+ board so it should work. Not completely sure though, because I couldn't find the model on Google.
  7. @jlowe22:
    I tried to search your motherboard to but even at MSI website, it does not show up. Please check if you have posted the correct motherboard model. You can check via CPU-Z under mainboard tab or post a picture of the box or the motherboard itself showing the model.
  8. randomkid said:
    @jlowe22:
    I tried to search your motherboard to but even at MSI website, it does not show up. Please check if you have posted the correct motherboard model. You can check via CPU-Z under mainboard tab or post a picture of the box or the motherboard itself showing the model.


    Same situation here.
  9. I am pretty sure his board is the KA 780G instedd of the KA 980G.
  10. amd hd7770 is around US$130, might not the best card but it only need one 6pin power cable, therefore you might be able to keep your old power supply.

    PS. you won't be able to run max setting, but it will be significantly better than your old video card
  11. In the case of the KA 780G, it is AM2+, meaning it will run with AM2 chips and AM3 chips. It would be a nice upgrade, along with a power supply.
  12. Yes KA780g, I cant believe I made typo, sorry guys
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