Replacement graphics cards
June 6, 2022 11:22 AM   Subscribe

I passed an old computer of mine on to my Dad last year, and the GPU (a Radeon HD7850) has given up the ghost.

He was mostly using it for X-Plane, so can't get by with the onboard graphics, and even that old Radeon had some display bugs that I'm guessing were caused by AMD trying to support an old chipset with modern drivers. I'm guessing that our best bet for resurrecting the machine is to get a replacement GPU, and I wanted to sanity check this idea. The PC itself is base on an Intel H77 motherboard, with a 3rd gen i3.

1. For best driver support, and low-ish power requirements, it seems like an entry-level GTX card like this one would work. Is that going to work on a motherboard with only PCI Express v2.0?

2. Is it even worth going to GTX? The previous gen GT cards are pretty cheap. I didn't want him to run into the old-chip driver issues he's already been having (and some benchmark sites are showing the Radeon as being faster than the 5-year younger 1030, can that be correct?).

3. There are some fairly tempting used deals on eBay. Are the horror stories of burnt out bitcoin farm GPUs on there really common?
posted by rhamphorhynchus to Computers & Internet (8 answers total)
Best answer: My question is what's your budget?

I'd say RX 460 from eBay for $50-75 with a recent chipset while samel level of performance.

People tend to mine with higher-end GPUs, more "computational units". The mid/low tier stuff aren't really used for mining, not efficient enough.
posted by kschang at 12:04 PM on June 6, 2022 [2 favorites]

Best answer: and some benchmark sites are showing the Radeon as being faster than the 5-year younger 1030, can that be correct?

Yes, it is probably correct. The GT1030 (I have one!) is designed specifically to drop into business PCs without updating the power supply, with a TDP of a mere 30W. The Radeon 7850 has a much higher TDP of 150W. The 1030 wouldn't even be considered "entry level"; it has a specific use case and wouldn't really be considered for serious gaming or graphics.
posted by meowzilla at 12:22 PM on June 6, 2022 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: My question is what's your budget?
Budget's as cheap as you like. I should have mentioned he's in the UK, so shipping from there is preferred. I just hadn't seen anything new for less than about 100 quid.
posted by rhamphorhynchus at 12:29 PM on June 6, 2022

You don't want new. "New old stock" for something that came out years ago will be extra expensive.

1030 can be BARELY considered an NVIDIA card. It also comes in several flavors that may even be MORE crippled. Some are 2GB, some are 4GB, and some are the cheaper DDR4 while some are GDDR5.

FWIW, this used working RX460 claims to be shipping from UK and is 47 quids.
posted by kschang at 12:38 PM on June 6, 2022 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Thanks, looks like I dodged a GT1030 shaped bullet. I found that listing too kschang, after your first answer, so I think I'll grab it.
posted by rhamphorhynchus at 12:55 PM on June 6, 2022

An extremely useful site for video card comparisons is, which allows you to look at ranges of cards based on their Passmark benchmarking score (how powerful they are, to be extremely reductive) and compare prices. You'll still want to do some review checks of the specific models to learn caveats - a model that scores 10,000 but is designed specifically for video editing or something may not suit your needs.

For a super-simple 'what should i get' guide, check out Logical Increments, a budget-based cross reference of what the "best" picks are for any given price range to build out an entire PC.

Either way, the prices for vid cards tend to fluctuate pretty dramatically over the last few years, as a combination of chip shortages (Ye Olde Global Supply Train strikes again) and crypto pricks / scalpers devouring a lot of the newly produced devices. As of very recently it seemed that the crypto crash had resulted in a lot more cards on the market than prior months, but who knows how long that will hold..
posted by FatherDagon at 6:30 AM on June 7, 2022 [3 favorites]

Seconding the Logical Increments Graphics Card Comparison. It's a good way to get an idea of where your current card lands in relation to options you are considering.
posted by xedrik at 7:22 AM on June 7, 2022 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: RX460 installed today; apparently much quieter, solid framerates, display bugs all sorted, and multimonitor support as a nice bonus. Thanks to all!
posted by rhamphorhynchus at 3:18 PM on June 9, 2022 [1 favorite]

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