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Upgrading GFX card of a older PC

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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January 1, 2013 8:41:14 AM

Hello i have a PC with the following specs

Amd phenom 9650 2.3 ghz (65 nm)
MA78GM-S2h (780g chipset)
4GB ddr2 ram
500w psu
ATI radeon 4850 512 MB

Some latest games although playable are laggy on my PC and i'm thinking of upgrading my graphics card, I'm have squared upon the sapphire 7950 3GB flex edition. As of now i cant afford to upgrade the entire setup and i would like to know if it's ok to upgrade just the GFX card , i have a fair idea on hardware and as far as i know the higher the graphics settings (Full HD ultra high) the lesser CPU power it demands.
1. so will the processor and motherboard be a bottle neck?
2. Do i need to update my bios to support the new GFX card?
3. If the CPU is a bottleneck what will be the FPS hit?

Thank you in advance
a b U Graphics card
January 1, 2013 8:55:19 AM

Firstly, you will see big gains over your current card. However, without knowing what games you are talking about, I have no idea what FPS you will get. Even if I did, one does simply predict FPS. I would, get the 7950 now, then save for a better CPU/mobo.
a b U Graphics card
January 1, 2013 11:55:26 AM

I think it will be better for you if you could somehow settle for the hd 7850 or the hd 7870...your psu might not be able to power the 7950.

you can alway check that out at extreme outervision psu calculator.
Related resources
a b U Graphics card
January 1, 2013 12:08:41 PM

I would upgrade to the 7950 if you can, but.....

* Your PSU make and model would help us help you on our recommendations.
* Your BIOS won't need upgrading for a GPU upgrade, but you will need to use the correct driver for your new GPU.
* Your CPU will probably be the limiting factor, but you should see a big increase in performance over the 4850.

Did you have a budget for this upgrade?
a b U Graphics card
January 1, 2013 12:34:46 PM

that cpu will most definately bottleneck the 7950.
so his best choice is either 7850 or 7870. even 7870 will bottleneck to an extent.
so its wise to settle for a 7850 considering the cpu and the psu as well unless he's willing to upgrade his entire setup

Best solution

a b U Graphics card
January 1, 2013 12:56:39 PM
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Honestly The bottleneck may not be too bad, I'm running a core 2 Quad with a 670 and I don't get too much of a bottleneck. If he was running a dual core cpu that old then I'd be much more worried about bottlenecks.
Get the 7950, a 670 or a 660ti, then when you can afford to build a new setup just migrate the card over and throw the old card back in this system.
January 1, 2013 1:36:34 PM

This is an AM2+ motherboard.
Wish trumpeter1994 listed which Core 2 Quad.
Anandtech Bench (scroll down) Penom 9650 vs Core 2 Quad Q6600
http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/23?vs=53

At this point a new motherboard/cpu may be in order, depending on whether yhe games you want to play are CPU or GPU dependent
Check out Tom's quarterly System Builder Marathon $500 and $1000 builds for results of different combinations of CPU/GPU performance.
Anandtech BENCH Phenom 9650 vs I3 3220
http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/23?vs=677

Phenom 9650 vs G850
http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/23?vs=404

Tom's Gaming CPU Guide is also very good
An AMD Build (should appear next marathon)
Phenom 9650 vs FX-6300
http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/23?vs=699

GPU comparison 4850 vs 7770 (IE if $300 slit between MB/CPU/GPU/RAM)
Appears to show GPU upgrade and later CPU/MB/RAM is best choice
http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/513?vs=536
4870 vs 7950
http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/513?vs=550
January 19, 2013 2:54:11 AM

Best answer selected by midhuncn.
January 19, 2013 3:06:16 AM

Anonymous said:
I think it will be better for you if you could somehow settle for the hd 7850 or the hd 7870...your psu might not be able to power the 7950.

you can alway check that out at extreme outervision psu calculator.


I calculated the PSU requirements in the above website as you mentioned and i got a 339W recommended rating for my current config and a 361W for the same setup with a 7950. so i dont think PSU would be a factor. and sapphire website list 500W as the psu requirement for 7950
!