Question Old Motherboard... Old Videocard... Replacement questions...

Feb 15, 2019
I've come to the guru's here with a question...

I have an older machine and the graphics card is just not hacking it anymore... (i.e. I'm tired of playing games with low settings) so given a limited budget that precludes me just replacing the MB, CPU, Memory and so on I want to find the best card my MB can handle...

The motherboard is an M4A88T-V with PCI-e 2.0 slots... I'm currently running a GTX 550 ti videocard... and a 3.~ processor speed...

How much better can I go?
Will I hit a wall with bottlenecking if I go to high?


Jun 2, 2009
If you get a new card most likely your processor will bottleneck and limit potential, so i recommend something cheap to hold you until you can get a new setup.

You can get the geforce gtx 1050 2gb for under 200$ or a 1050 ti with 4gb, and those card have lower power usage too.
Well, from the looks of the motherboard specs sheet you've probably got a Phenom II or Athlon II which makes for a pretty low end CPU these days. If you could get a model number for the CPU it'd be pretty helpful... but generally I wouldn't go any higher than something like a GTX 1050 or RX 560. Anything more and you'll just bottleneck.

Now, for the theorizing portion... it wouldn't be very expensive to get you onto the AM4 platform.

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant

CPU: AMD - Ryzen 3 2200G 3.5 GHz Quad-Core Processor ($91.99 @ Walmart)
Motherboard: Asus - PRIME B450M-A/CSM Micro ATX AM4 Motherboard ($78.68 @ OutletPC)
Memory: G.Skill - Ripjaws V Series 8 GB (2 x 4 GB) DDR4-3200 Memory ($66.99 @ Newegg)
Total: $237.66
Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available
Generated by PCPartPicker 2019-02-15 15:20 EST-0500

That would net you a HUGE performance increase on CPU, and the integrated Vega 8 GPU on the 2200G will be about equal to the 550 Ti (actually about 7% faster). Then later when you get the money you can throw in something like an RX 580 or GTX 1060 and be up to maxing out most games at 1080p. You could also go with a cheaper AM4 CPU as the Athlon 200GE exists. You'd still get a good CPU performance uplift, but I'd use the 550 Ti in that build as the integrated Vega 3 graphics aren't anything special. The Athlon 200GE can be found for around $55.
A lot depends on what you're trying to play, and on what CPU you have now. A Phenom II x4 will handle older games and you'll benefit from getting something like a 1050 for a videocard upgrade.

If you are trying to play newer games, or games that are very CPU demanding, then a new videocard is not going to help much. If you currently have an Athlon II or dual core of either type then a videocard upgrade is also not likely to help.


Dec 5, 2018
Price out like a 3rd gen i7 based dell or hp tower. Throw in a gtx1050ti. 250 and bobs your uncle.

Or if your budget is higher then don't do that.