Question Performance Decrease After Installing Old GPU

Apr 25, 2020
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I'm not a big computer guy, just a casual gamer, and I built a computer in 2018 using an i5-8600K and no graphics card since most of what I wanted to play was LoL since I have multiple consoles already and anticipated that I'd buy a GPU later whenever some prices drop, but it's been holding up pretty well regardless. But recently, I came across my dad's old gaming computer from over a decade ago, which did have a graphics card. A GeForce 9800 GTX to be exact. Now, I know that such an old card is absolutely ATROCIOUS compared to everything out today and would hardly help with any games at all, but to my understanding graphics card was better than no graphics card. So I went ahead and installed it, assuming that I'd maybe get an extra frame or two in some games at least, but it's actually notably decreased my computer's performance, and I'm not sure if that's on it being so bad it's detrimental or I just did something wrong that I can't figure out.

I can't even play MTG Arena on low graphic settings with a YouTube video open or everything slows to a crawl. I also was having a problem where video files would make the screen go black for a second or two when I opened them, which I found a solution to, and some programs will randomly come up completely black and I can't seem to interact with them besides closing them.

I built my computer with the help of my high school teacher who had been building gaming PCs for years and we made sure it would be able to accommodate a 1080ti were I to get one. I also looked up tutorials to make sure I put in the graphics card right, uninstalling my drivers, installing the new ones and making sure the card is connected directly to the power supply. And in case it's relevant, I got msi Afterburner to check the GPU's temperature and it rests at 150°F.
 
Doing a quick comparison, it looks like the integrated graphics on your 8600K (a HD 630) are roughly on par in terms of raw performance with a 9800 GTX (which is slightly astonishing as Intel HD graphics aren't really known for being fast and I remember when the 9800 GTX was a top of a line card - things really are progressing). Couple that with the fact that a 9800 GTX won't have seen a driver update in years (and doesn't support the latest graphics modes - I believe that was one of the last DX9 cards, no DX 10, 11, 12 or Vulkan support) that is probably why it is performing worse than the HD 630. Developers will design their games for current tech (even if older cards are technically supported).

Here is a comparrison:
https://gpu.userbenchmark.com/Compare/Nvidia-GeForce-9800-GTX-vs-Intel-HD-630-Desktop-Kaby-Lake/m8342vsm178724

I think if you were to load up a game from around the era of the 9800 GTX it would be marginally faster but for anything modern it just lacks too many features to be useful. That said you should put that up on the used market as there is big demand for parts for retro builds and legendary cards like that (in working order) can go for more than you expect.

I'm certain you haven't done anything wrong, it's just the age of the card in question. If you would like a cheap graphics card to give your machine a boost there are lots of options available either new or used that would be a big step up from the HD 630 without breaking the bank. Looking at parts from the Geforce 900 series (nVidia really are confusing with their naming as the "900" series is much newer than the "9000" series) or newer, or anything from the AMD 200 series or up (e.g. a Radeon R9 280) would be a huge boost in performance.
 
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