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Windows 7: suitable upgrade card for mATX Acer EG43M motherboard

11 Jan 2020   #1
Diosoth

Windows 7 Home Premium x64
 
 
suitable upgrade card for mATX Acer EG43M motherboard

Acer EG43M Motherboard Specs

I've been squeezing some upgrades into my old PC- 500W PSU, better CPU, fresh heatsink/fan and RAM. My next goal is a video card, which I know can't be a new model and the size is going to limit me severely, but at least better than the onboard Intel chip.

Playing Skyrim is an ideal goal for me, "max settings" is not essential(I'm accustomed to running Oblivion on low-medium with the Intel chip). The best option I've found so far that's compatible with the board and small enough to fit(I have found one better but it's too long) is the Nvidia GeForce GT 730 2GB which can run the game, but if there's any better suggestion out there, please let me know.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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15 Jan 2020   #2
Diosoth

Windows 7 Home Premium x64
 
 

Another forum recommended the NVidia GTX 750 or 750 Ti. Checking the various makes, specs & requirements I found an EVGA GeForce GTX 750 Ti SC 2GB on eBay for a fair price. It will be a 3.0 card in a 1.0 slot but from what I gather it should be backwards compatible.

HOWEVER after purchase I did further investigation and am now wondering if the BIOS will actually support this card as I've found no solid info. The GPU may require UEFI support and I have no idea if mine does or not. Mobo is an EG43M. My current motherboard BIOS is American Megatrends P01-A0 from 8/18/2009. Gateway's site lists 1 updated driver for this system, P01-A1 from 7/13/2010.

If neither of these will support the card I can cancel the order or return it, but I'd prefer to know before I put the card in and find it doesn't work.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
15 Jan 2020   #3
iko22

Windows 7 x64, Vista x64, 8.1 smartphone
 
 

I have personally tried 2.0 card in a 3.0 slot, and it works!
Not tried the other way round. So, I cannot guarantee it would work, in your case.

PCIe just defines the traffic between the CPU and the graphics card. The CPU should sent commands to the GPU at the lower rate.

No, the card shouldn't depend on BIOS - I do not know where you got that speculation from. Perhaps you mean the PCIe speed? I never touched my BIOS, and my 2.0 card is okay on a 3.0 mobo.

You should get drivers with the card. A utility comes with the drivers, and should work on your BIOS legacy/UEFI, for configuring the graphics card.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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15 Jan 2020   #4
Diosoth

Windows 7 Home Premium x64
 
 

Weirdly enough I can't find any definite documentation that says if the PCI-Express 16X slot is a 1.0 or 2.0 as neither Gigabyte(the original maker) nor Acer(who seems to use slightly updated revisions of that EG43M board) say for certain. Even looking at the board itself I can't find the info by the slots



Specs on the card itself say it should be compatible, as far as PCI slot, OS and PSU are concerned-
EVGA - Product Specs - EVGA GeForce GTX 750 Ti SC
My System SpecsSystem Spec
16 Jan 2020   #5
iko22

Windows 7 x64, Vista x64, 8.1 smartphone
 
 

If the documentation does not explicitly say PCIe (2.0) x16, then you can assume that it is PCIe (1.0).

In other words, PCIe x16, is the same as quoting a PCIe (1.0) x16 specification.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
16 Jan 2020   #6
Diosoth

Windows 7 Home Premium x64
 
 

The card's requirements say it'll work regardless as PCIe 1.0 is listed on the site's compatibility and PCIe slots tend to be backwards compatible(to a degree, as I understand some cards need more voltage than a 1.0 slot can output, but this specific card is within range), it'll be slower of course but it's the best I can manage without a new motherboard. However as I'm not planning on any gaming from the past 1-4 years anyway it's no big deal, it should more than suffice to run Skyrim on adequate settings. I'm used to running Oblivion on the onboard Intel GPU albeit poorly at times(which is barely in spec to run the game but can handle it even with 100+ mods installed).

I upgraded the PSU to a 500W unit, RAM to full 8GB, CPU to something better, I've been trying to squeeze another couple of years from this PC before forcibly upgrading. I'll probably get an SSD & new better-grade HDD at the start of the month too, curiously the 1TB WD Green that came with this PC is still going after 10 years with no errors showing up which is probably a miracle, but I'm not going to risk that longevity much longer.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
22 Jan 2020   #7
Diosoth

Windows 7 Home Premium x64
 
 

I got the card in the mail yesterday so I should be good to go on installation now. Question though- should I use NVidia's current drivers or find an older version? I'm still on 7 Home Premium with an E8600 3.33GHz CPU on a PC that came out when W7 was released. I worry the current drivers might have potential incompatibilities with an older PC.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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22 Jan 2020   #8
iko22

Windows 7 x64, Vista x64, 8.1 smartphone
 
 

Diosoth,

did your new card arrive today? There should be correct drivers in an accompanying CD disk.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
22 Jan 2020   #9
Diosoth

Windows 7 Home Premium x64
 
 

It's a used card, tested & working, it has no driver disc. The 750 Ti is several years old, what few NIB copies still being sold are much more expensive. I wasn't going to pay $40+ more for cardboard.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 Jan 2020   #10
Diosoth

Windows 7 Home Premium x64
 
 

I found a site with older drivers and went with 353.62, I can upgrade from there if I have to but I just wanted something to install and get the card going.

The DX4822-01 seems designed to frustrate any upgrades. The PCI covers were held in with strong spot weld points that required pinching each one with pliers and wriggling them until the weld points broke. A flimsy galvanized steel bracket around the ports also had to come out as the GPU would not slot in with it there. But from there the install went fine.

I tested with Doom 3, "ultra high" detail at 1152 x 864 plays very smoothly, compared to "medium" detail at 1024 x 768 I had to run on the Intel chip. The bigger tests will be TES Oblivion which runs on the Intel chip but not well, and Minecraft which required Optifine just to run at all smoothly. And some of those itch.io freeware games that seem to always have much higher system requirements than the graphics warrant.

The retry button under "My Rig" in the NVidia control panel won't work, it can't connect to NVidia. I don't believe firewall is blocking it, my guess is the control panel is old due to the older driver(says version 2.11.4.1) and won't work with their current system. I'm not sure I need it, however and I can update it later.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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