My computer specifications are as follows:

  • Intel Core 2 Duo E5300 2.6 GHz
  • 8 GB DDR3 RAM
  • Gigabyte GA-G41M-Combo v1.3
  • ATI Radeon HD 4300
  • Windows 8.1 (for now... maybe I will go back to Windows 7)

I am planning to upgrade my VGA card as it doesn't support StarCraft 2 at maximum graphics. In Windows Experience Index in Windows 7 everything was high except graphics.

I have been investigating possible options and was thinking in ATI Radeon HD 7870 (Another option is Nvidia GeForce GTX 670 or 680 but they are expensive). I read in the specifications they have PCI-Express 3.0.

My questions are:

  1. Is PCI Express 3.0 compatible with old motherboards PCI-Express like my GA-G41M has? Do they have the same slot?
  2. Is it overkill? Having PCI Express 3.0 or 4K Video maybe is too much for such an old motherboard
  • 1
    PCIe 3.0 is backward compatible, though some motherboards have needed compatibility patches in the firmware to support newer cards. But...isn't SC2 mainly CPU-bound? Won't your E5300 be the thing that's holding you back? – Ash Oct 26 '13 at 10:30
  • I thought the problem was in Graphics card. But you have a point. I will test it... – Oscar Foley Oct 26 '13 at 10:41
  • 1
    I'd only done a quick search, found this: teamliquid.net/forum/viewmessage.php?topic_id=153319 (search for "bound" in there). It talks about how little GPU power is needed. (Disclaimer: I don't play SC2, so no first-hand knowledge, I just did the google thing :) – Ash Oct 26 '13 at 14:11
  1. Yes they have the same slot and they are compatible. PCIe 3 is backward compatible with the pre-existing slots. Although as Ash suggested, some boards may require firmware.
  2. You wont be using the GPU optimally since the PCI-Express slot is old. The tag wiki contains the bandwidth values.

Do not think of it as an overkill: you will be able to use the GPU after you change the motherboard. From my SC2 experience I can tell the game is mainly CPU bound, as you can see in the video options menu: most of the options have '... relies on CPU' tag.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.