I am in the unfortunate spot of not being able to build a new rig, so I am doing an intermediate upgrade.
I have an Asus M2N SLI - Deluxe that will soon be running a AMD Phenom X II 945 (first upgrade).
I want to do graphics card upgrade as well. I realize I only have a PCI-Express 1.0, but also understand that most 2.0 and 3.0 cards will work. Need something that will not require additional power. I was thinking a Radeon 7750. Thoughts?
You are correct, PCIe gfx cards are backward compatible. And, it sounds like you have the situation under control. The HD 7750 1GB card is about the best card available that doesn't require a separate power cable. It will provide a good gaming experience at 1440x900 and below with high settings. At 1680x1050 or 1920x1080 you will have to reduce most eye candy settings, though... or reduce the resolution.
The extra VRAM usually is only required for displays/multiple displays that need to address a lot of pixels and texels. I have been running a pair of 1280MB cards for quite sometime at 1920x1080 and have not 'yet' been hampered by limited VRAM... even in games that are 'suppose' to need 2GB. What rez do you game at?
- Upgrade to Asus M2N SLI Deluxe Bios 5001 (not without pain ) )
LOL... Yes, I used to have one of those older Asus Nvidia chipset boards (650i SLI) when the C2Q processors were the hot item. Back then, BIOS updates weren't as 'user friendly' to do as they are today. So don't feel too bad. The main thing is that you got the BIOS updated and it still works.
Are you going to be using the stock AMD 4-heat pipe cooler?
I foolishly tried to update the bios using the Asus tool in windows. Rebooted and....the black screen of despair. Finally pulled the battery and cleared the CMOS and I was back in business.
I did the update to 5001 using the EZ flash tool and a USB drive - much better.
Then did the graphics card - no drama there
Good question on the cooler. I am not a big overclocker, but I was considering grabbing a rocketfish cooler from bestbuy for $20 (less the $10 giftcard I have). I am not interested in blowing a lot of cash on this.
If you don't plan on O/Cing, the stock AMD cooler with the 4 heat pipes is more than enough. In fact, I've used it for some mild O/Cs and it did OK. Of course, if you are getting the OEM version of the processor it won't come with a cooler. Either way, you should be in good shape.
You'll be pleasantly surprised at how much of a good little gamer you have put together. Enjoy.