Budget graphics card recommendation needed for an incredibly old system , possible compatibility issues

Jun 20, 2016
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I'm running a very old system and to say I'm out of the loop on hardware and desktop gaming would be an understatement. I do not have the budget for more than an inexpensive video card. I haven't done any desktop gaming at all in a long time and if I can catch up on some of the older games like GTA4 or games from the same era I'd be content.

I'm currently running a Pentium G620 @ 2.6Ghz with a Geforce 6600 on a Gigabyte GA-H61M-DS2 Rev 1.0 running 4GB of ram on Windows 7. Motherboard specs list my expansion slot as a

1 x PCI Express x16 slot, running at x16
(The PCI Express x16 slot conforms to PCI Express 3.0 standard.)
* PCIE Gen.3 is dependent on CPU and expansion card compatibility.

I assume that even the cheapest video card sold today that physically fits in my PCI-E slot would be a huge upgrade. Is anything sold today physically compatible ? PCI-E 2.0 any different than 1.0 in terms of physical compatibility ?

If that's not the case , even if I'm limited by the bandwidth on my slot I assume I'll be seeing a noticeable difference .. I wasn't able to play GTA4 on this system reliably in 2011.

Checking out the budget section for video cards I'm seeing lots of Geforce GT710 cards like this .. https://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814127931 which are in my price range which is 50-60$.

I assume the PCI-E 1.0 at this point is going to be my bottleneck rather than the card itself so pretty much anything will do ?

Any help is appreciated and as I mentioned before I don't have the budget for anything else at this point but a 50-60$ investment.
 
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DAPUNISHER

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It is early, I read that wrong. Find a used GTX660 or the like, it will be plenty for old games.
 
Jun 20, 2016
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Finding a used card would be more hassle and time than a new option and wouldn't be worth the possible minor savings. Any particular reason why I should go that route besides saving some $ ? Would the card linked or something else not fit in my current motherboard ? Saving 20$ isn't worth scouring the net for a used option for me personally. I'm on a budget but not so much that I want to look for a used card.
 

NTMBK

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Nov 14, 2011
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Don't go for old junk cards like the Geforce 710. Buy a Geforce 1030 and you will get a modern video decoder, which will support formats like h.265 and improve performance when streaming online video.

Your CPU might be old, but your platform is still pretty good. If in a few months you upgraded your CPU to a second hand i5 or i7 then that would still be a reasonable gaming PC.
 

SPBHM

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Sep 12, 2012
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keep in mind, your motherboard can also take a much faster CPUs,
you could buy a RX 570 and a used 2nd/3rd gen i7/i5/E3 and it would be a decent gaming PC for current games (apart from 4GB of ram, if you have 1 4GB stick it's very easy to upgrade with another 4GB, if it's 2x2 you would need to ditch that and buy 2x4)

GT 710 is really bad for gaming, while it's much better than the 2nd gen HD graphics I can't recommend it for any sort of gaming, used makes more sense if your budget is $60
I think something like a HD7870/270x 2GB should be easy to buy for that amount, and maybe even better cards.
 
Jun 20, 2016
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Some good suggestions .. assumed a cpu upgrade would not be an option on this machine. Would I have to go used for the cpu or I can find something new my MB supports ? I'll look into a ram upgrade as well. I'd be willing to up my graphics card budget to 90-100$ as well if there's still some life left to this machine and can easily find a used or new CPU upgrade.

But please keep in mind I haven't even played GTA4 yet .. got lots of catching up to do .. would be content playing games released up until 2012 reasonably well .. but if I can do more with better choices I'm up for it.
 

SPBHM

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Sep 12, 2012
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Some good suggestions .. assumed a cpu upgrade would not be an option on this machine. Would I have to go used for the cpu or I can find something new my MB supports ? I'll look into a ram upgrade as well. I'd be willing to up my graphics card budget to 90-100$ as well if there's still some life left to this machine and can easily find a used or new CPU upgrade.

But please keep in mind I haven't even played GTA4 yet .. got lots of catching up to do .. would be content playing games released up until 2012 reasonably well .. but if I can do more with better choices I'm up for it.
it should run newer cards OK, specially if you have the latest bios,
the main compatibility issues with graphics cards are due to the MB bios and graphics card firmware, I have this Sapphire R7 370 (2015) that is a UEFI only model and it had trouble with an H61 board with 2010 bios, when I updated to the last from 2012 it worked, and most VGAs are better keeping compatibility with legacy bios I think,

keep in mind that GTA4 is a bit of problematic game in terms of performance, and a dual core 2.6GHz Pentium is going to struggle, but even with faster CPUs the performance is not great, very variable, I just used RTSS for a 30FPS max lock last time I played (years ago) and it was my preferred way to deal with that.

if you are going to keep the G620, buying a much faster card might be a waste, some used 750 ti might be all that is worth looking at, but with how prices are, it might not make sense, you could buy a more decent card like a RX 570 and later look into a CPU upgrade.
 

Dribble

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Aug 9, 2005
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Be careful with how big and power hungry some of the gpu's recommend are (mostly the AMD ones). They may not fit in your case, or they may produce too much heat, or your psu may struggle to power them. A more modern lowish end Nvidia is the safest bet.
 
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SPBHM

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Sep 12, 2012
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Be careful with how big and power hungry some of the gpu's recommend are (mostly the AMD ones). They may not fit in your case, or they may produce too much heat, or your psu may struggle to power them. A more modern lowish end Nvidia is the safest bet.
that's a good point, add that in favor to the used GTX 750 Ti or new GT 1030.
 
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Guru

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If you do plan on upgrading your PC, you'd likely need to upgrade your PSU as well, so if you are going to upgrade your PSU to say 450/500W, then you can get pretty much any GPU, your mobo supports it through pci-e 16x, that is not an issue. An issue would be that sometimes new GPU's don't support old bios, only UEFI.

Though I do think upgrading your PC is wrong, yeah you can upgrade it to be a decent gaming PC, but you'll still be stuck to Intel 3rd gen processors at best, which the best one is 3770k, though your mobo might not allow overclocking, its an H61, don't remember if those allowed overclocking. You only have 4GB of ram so that is a big issue, but getting 4GB more is still going to be an issue. Any games from 2015 and newer is definitely going to want 16GB to have a good performance.

My suggestion is to buy a new GPU up to $90/100 as you said, the RX 560 is your best option, its $110 a little over budget for you, but it will give you the best bang for buck. a GT 1030 is $80/90, but its also much slower.

So my advice to you is get the RX 560 if you can, if not alternatively get the GT 1030 GDDR5 version, its very important to check when buying the GT 1030 to see if its the GDDR5 version, because Nvidia the cunts they are introduced a GDDR4 version of it that is extremely slow.

Add 4GB more in your system and use that as much as you can. Its going to offer decent performance if much older games and then start saving up in order to get a new PC down the line. I mean today even a Ryzen 2400G($140) would perform much better than what you have currently. A cheap mobo comes at about $50, Ryzen 2400G is $140, cheaper 2x16GB DDR4 come at about $70, etc...

Point is with about $400 you can get a good PC that can run many of the newer games at a playable rate and all of the esports and older titles. The Rzyen 2400G has a solid internal GPU, its think its almost as good as the GT 1030 in terms of performance, slightly slower.
 

B-Riz

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Feb 15, 2011
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The biggest factor is how much you want to spend on upgrades?

An 1155 i7 is $70 - $80, a decent graphics card is ~$100, 16GB DDR3 is ~$50.

How big is the case?
 
Jun 20, 2016
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I'd have to double check but it is an Antec case .. used to be pretty into hardware so I didn't skimp on the case and power supply. 350w-400w TruePower if I'm not mistaken.

I'll check the prices on some of the cards mentioned. Pretty sure my Geforce6600 is really my gaming bottleneck so wanted to address that first as cheaply as possible.

Once I do that though , my CPU and ram will be holding me back :) One step at a time. Like I mentioned if I can play some decent games from 2009-2012 reliably I'll be happy.

Played Fallout 3 Vegas and it was playable , but not great by any means on my current system.

Thanks for all the great advice everyone.
 

ozzy702

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Nov 1, 2011
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Eat ramen for a month or two and build a new system, or pickup a used machine/parts with much better specs for cheap? This sounds painful...

Your CPU and RAM are both major bottlenecks. Your PSU is old and worn out without much overhead for capacitor aging. Who knows how much life is left on that budget mobo. I'd be very hesitant to throw any money at the current system and I don't like buying super old GPUs. A used AMD 570 would be awesome, but it would be heavily bottlenecked by CPU/RAM and you'd need a PSU upgrade. Depending on bios availability/compatibility for that MOBO a 570 may not work either.
 

Markfw

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I just priced out a Ryzen 1600 6 core, 16 gig of FAST ram(3000), a motherboard that should run the new Ryzens (b450 chipset) and an EVGA bronze PSU, and an AMD 570 for $418 AR (only $10 is rebate)

That is a pretty fast system compared to what you have, all new, and upgradable.
 
Jun 20, 2016
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I know it's not ideal , but if I can toss 50$ - 60$ into a graphics card and play some good games I've missed .. then it's worth it for me.

I'm looking to play 10-7 yr old games here .. not Fortnite. That should be possible shouldn't it with a cheap modern graphics card ?

While I appreciate a different opinion , "save money and get a new system" may not be possible for awhile. So please help me get the most bang for my buck on the vid card upgrade.

Is not even the MX I linked to incredibly faster than a Geforce 6600 ? Gt1030 is a bit pricier than I'd like .. is there anything new in between the 710 and the 1030.
 
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Markfw

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I would try and get something that is supported on win 10, a GTX 960 is about $80-$90 on ebay (I exclude the "from china" as some have gotten ripped off with cards that are not really what they say)

There are some "best offer" cards. I just got a 970 4 gig cards for $90 shipped. You should be able to find a 960 for less than that. It does only have one PCI-E power connectotr, but I hope your PSU can handle that.
 
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Jun 20, 2016
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I know it's a bit counter intuitive since any PC builder has it ingrained to get the best bang for their buck and that's not really what I'm looking to do here :) I'm literally searching for " best games of 2009" and finding stuff I'd like to play .. I can catch up slowly to the modern gaming scene when I'm in better shape but if I can get playable frame rates on some 2012 games on my current system then I'll do it.

Or maybe I'm just overestimating what a cheap modern card can do for my current system ? It wasn't top of the line in 2008 by any means.
 

LOUISSSSS

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forgive me if against the rules, but if you check my other threads, you'll see that i recently upgraded to a RX580 and have a fully functioning AMD Sapphire 7950 w/ dual fans. Runs on 2x 6pin PCI-E power connectors that you may need adapters for from amazon/newegg. LMK if remotely interested, otherwise i'm gunna donate to family
 

Markfw

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I know it's a bit counter intuitive since any PC builder has it ingrained to get the best bang for their buck and that's not really what I'm looking to do here :) I'm literally searching for " best games of 2009" and finding stuff I'd like to play .. I can catch up slowly to the modern gaming scene when I'm in better shape but if I can get playable frame rates on some 2012 games on my current system then I'll do it.

Or maybe I'm just overestimating what a cheap modern card can do for my current system ? It wasn't top of the line in 2008 by any means.
OK< I am trying to give advice that is not stupid. I am already recommending a 4 year old video card that most would say is too outdated to buy, but you might get it for $60-70 and I think your power supply will handle it. If you want to go older than that, then buy whatever you want, I am done.
 
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SPBHM

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I know it's a bit counter intuitive since any PC builder has it ingrained to get the best bang for their buck and that's not really what I'm looking to do here :) I'm literally searching for " best games of 2009" and finding stuff I'd like to play .. I can catch up slowly to the modern gaming scene when I'm in better shape but if I can get playable frame rates on some 2012 games on my current system then I'll do it.

Or maybe I'm just overestimating what a cheap modern card can do for my current system ? It wasn't top of the line in 2008 by any means.
the 6600 is a mid range card from 2004/2005 and it's clearly your main problem for not as old games,
any cheap current card is way better, even the "GT 710", but as said before don't waste your money with such a bad card... your CPU and MB are from 2011/2012, but the CPU is lower end, it will perform like an E8500 which was a good CPU in 2008-2009.

a 750 Ti will run as far as I know any game from 2012 really well, and it can run some current games at low settings, but you can get faster cards for around the same money.

Geforce 6600 and Sandy Bridge/lga1155 is a very strange pairing, the graphics card is much older....
actually, I think the Intel HD graphics from your CPU would be a little less bad on Fallout 3/NV than the 6600...
 

NTMBK

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Actually, the integrated graphics is an excellent point. Not the ones on that Pentium, but the ones on an upgraded CPU. If you upgraded to an Ivy Bridge chip with HD4000 graphics, they might actually handle the games you want alright.
 

DAPUNISHER

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Finding a used card would be more hassle and time than a new option and wouldn't be worth the possible minor savings. Any particular reason why I should go that route besides saving some $ ? Would the card linked or something else not fit in my current motherboard ? Saving 20$ isn't worth scouring the net for a used option for me personally. I'm on a budget but not so much that I want to look for a used card.
Some good suggestions .. assumed a cpu upgrade would not be an option on this machine. Would I have to go used for the cpu or I can find something new my MB supports ? I'll look into a ram upgrade as well. I'd be willing to up my graphics card budget to 90-100$ as well if there's still some life left to this machine and can easily find a used or new CPU upgrade.

But please keep in mind I haven't even played GTA4 yet .. got lots of catching up to do .. would be content playing games released up until 2012 reasonably well .. but if I can do more with better choices I'm up for it.
o_O
 

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