I have just been given an Alienware PC. I am unsure what make an model it is but it has a ASUS M3A32-MVP Deluxe motherboard and a AMD Phenom 9550 quad core processor I believe. I'm looking for a graphics card, about £100 quid for the budget but if justified I could move a little. I would like to get into gaming as it has never been possible with my kit and slow Internet for the last ten years. I would like to connect up to three 1080p monitors but you guys might tell me I have no chance unless I spend more.
I just don't have any knowledge of top end PC's at all although I am capable of putting in the cards etc myself. The guy I got it from suggested a AMD Radeon 6850 as they had to take the existing card for another PC. Comments and suggestions please!
Thanks for your comment and Yea, I think it is fairly old. It's got 4gig Ram so I can tell from that it's been kicking around for a while but the most I have got is a core2duo so I imagine I will see quite a bit of improvement. I used to enjoy stuff like battlefield 2 and I cant imagine I will be wanting to play anything modern at top res anyway. I do photo editing and would like to start editing HD video content too of possible. I might also be into flight sims, I will check out the new free flightsim from Microsoft and perhaps get something like xplane as look at a newer installation of the battlefield series.
The CPU Support list for the Motherboard says that you can put in any of the newer Phenom II X4 and Phenom II X6 CPU's. With just a CPU upgrade you could put in some of the higher end GPU's, such as the 6950/6970 or the 7950/7970 series as well as a GTX 670 or 680. The GPU would be a lot less bottlenecked by a Phenom II CPU if at all and you could run even the more demanding games without too much problem. That board even supports CF-X. Your main limitation is going to be that it only supports DDR2 memory, however, that's not a serious limitation.
Brilliant, thanks for the advice. It sounds like I could actually update this machine more than I thought. I had hoped that with it being an Alienware PC I would be able to get a lot more out of it that my dell dimension 5000 desktops I currently run. Thank you to everyone in the forum who have helped me and I still welcome any further advice regarding this machine as I could even contemplate a graphics, processor, RAM and SSD upgrade if I could have a bit of a beast at the end! (Even if the beast still collects it's pension)
That probably means that it supports four PCIe 2.0 graphics cards. It also means that the board supports Crossfire but not SLI (so multiple AMD cards = OK but multiple Nvidia cards = not OK)
PCIe is backwards compatible each way, so you can put a PCIe 3.0 card in a PCIe 2.0 slot and a PCIe 2.0 card in a PCIe 3.0 slot, etc. No real difference in performance between PCIe 2.0 and PCIe 3.0 at this point.
Cracking, thanks for the advice. Looking at all the options and how much a phenom II processor is the best value is probably a 6790 and no processor upgrade. Will see about RAM and SSD when I get her running I think. Now I better find somewhere to buy it from......... Thanks again folks