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I built my own computer back in 2005 using an Asus KN8-E Deluxe Motherboard (3GB RAM, AMD Athlon 2.0GHz 64-bit) which came with a Radeon 9800 XT graphics card. I now wish to upgrade the graphics card. Can I simply purchase a graphics card and plug it in the motherboard and expect it to run fine, or should I also purchase a new motherboard?

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So long as the graphics card you purchase is of the correct type (PCI Express version, AGP, etc), you can simply plug it in, load the drivers, and enjoy.

This board apparently takes an AGP card. You won't be able to get the very latest video cards, as they've moved on to PCI-E. But there are still some decent AGP cards out there.

Most online merchants allow you to filter down to show just the AGP cards. Your board supports both AGP 4x and 8x cards. An 8x card will generally be better if you're trying to game. Here's the Newegg AGP cards.

However, no AGP cards will support the newest and greatest games at decent resolutions. If you're a gamer and you're trying to play the latest and greatest, you'll want to upgrade more of your system. But if you get a new board, you'll have to get new memory and a new processor, which, as you can see, will add up in cost pretty quickly.

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The card has to have the same connector as your motherboard supports, as @music2myear already said. In your case that would be an AGP card.

There is one more thing to consider and that is your power supply. Modern graphics card require a lot of power and it is possible that you may not have enough. That has happened to me and the system simply refused to start.

Some cards also require a power connection directly and most of those use PCI-E power connectors, even for AGP graphics cards! So you need to buy an additional adapter cable. To convert the old-style power-plug to the new type.

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The most expensive AGP option on newegg is just over $115, for what should be a signficant increase in performance: the 4670HD card. It's not current generation by any stretch of the imagination. But if you only have a couple hundred and want to play games only a couple years old, it'll do. – music2myear Aug 4 '11 at 16:21
That is almost what I did when I gave my old computer to the kids, otherwise even the old games didn't work. And, yes, I bought it from NewEgg too. – Itai Aug 4 '11 at 16:26

The Asus KN8-Deluxe motherboard has a AGP 8x socket. All modern graphic cards use PCI Express and you will not be able to buy any off the shelf card.

You may be able to look on eBay and buy a second hand card for cheap that is more powerful than your current card - but don't expect anything great, unfortunately, AGP is quite old now and not a lot of cards are made for it due to technical limitations.

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There are still AGP cards available. They're just few and far between and exorbitantly expensive - it'd be easier to buy a new motherboard. – Shinrai Aug 4 '11 at 15:56

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