GPU recommendations to make a gaming system with some older components?
childermass Feb 22
Hi everyone,

I’m trying to put together a system using some existing hardware, and I’d appreciate any advice for what GPU would be sensible here, and whether there are any pitfalls I’m missing.

I already have a main system, and the idea is to set up a second box for when two of us want to play at the same time. I have some old hardware, which I know is more suited for a server, but I wondered whether I could stick a GPU in and get a reasonable gaming experience without spending too much money:

CPU: Intel Xeon E3-1231v3 (apparently similar to a i7-4770 in performance)
GPU: nothing yet!
Motherboard: Supermicro X10SLM-F
Monitor: 1920x1200, so I assume I should look at 1080p benchmarks for a rough idea of the performance

For comparison, my main system has a Ryzen 5 3600 with 16 GB RAM, and a Radeon RX 5700 XT. I don't need the second system to be as powerful, but I'd like it to be good enough to not be frustrating. The games that I’d like to play include Valheim, Elite Dangerous, and Minecraft, but I'd also be happy if I could play some more demanding titles like Baldur's Gate 3.

If I want to get another AMD GPU and spend less than €300, I found two main options:

1) Around €100: a second-hand RX 580 (it's the recommended GPU for Valheim and slightly better than minimum for Baldur's Gate 3). Relatively cheap, with the risk that I'll find it underpowered if I want to do more.

2) Around €200–€300: an RX 6600 or 7600 (not the XT variants, which cost a lot more). From the tables on Tom's Hardware, the 6600 wouldn't be any faster than my existing RX 5700 XT, maybe even slower. The 7600 would be a bit faster, but would also draw more power and run hotter. All other things being equal, I'd like the system to be quiet, which maybe suggests the 6600 over the 7600? Both are more future-proof than the RX 580, but maybe spending this much defeats the object if I'm trying to build a budget second machine with older other components.

Please may I ask for any suggestions or recommendations, or is there anything I'm missing — especially anything Linux-specific that I might not see when looking at general reviews under Windows?

I'll need to check if the PSU is powerful enough and has the right connectors for whichever GPU I get. Also, the motherboard has a slot that is "PCI-E 3.0 x8 in x16” which I think means physically x16 but only x8 bandwidth. I believe this should work, with only a minor loss in performance, right?

Many thanks in advance for any advice!
CatKiller Feb 22
Quoting: childermassMonitor: 1920x1200, so I assume I should look at 1080p benchmarks for a rough idea of the performance
1920×1200 has 11.1% more pixels than 1080p and 37.5% fewer pixels than 1440p. Expect performance between the two, but closer to 1080p.

Another strategy that you could consider is getting a more powerful GPU for your existing rig and moving your existing GPU to your secondary rig. It's possible that approaching it that way might open up more options.
childermass Feb 22
Thanks, CatKiller! Yes, if I get something like a 7600 I would treat that as an upgrade for my main machine and move the existing GPU to the secondary one... but that's still my upper limit for budget, so I don't think I could get anything more powerful than that.

I've watched a few videos of people running Valheim (and even Nightingale) on an RX 580 (admittedly with a faster CPU), and at first glance it looked fairly good, at least for a secondary machine.

I guess it's a question of whether I want to buy something relatively low-powered but cheap, and whether that would be "good enough", or whether I'll soon find it too limiting and should look for something more powerful (and where the price/performance sweet spots are right now).
childermass Mar 26
In case anyone is in a similar situation in the future, I'm just updating this to say that I ended up getting a second-hand RX 580, and I'm (so far at least) perfectly happy with the performance
Seems I missed this thread. I was going to suggest going with the RX 6600 which is very good for the price.

The RX580 is a solid choice nonetheless. I have one on my old rig and can still hold its own in 1080p gaming.
bonkmaykr Mar 27
If you're on a tight budget and really can't afford a better base system you could get an extremely cheap video card like the GTX 1050 Ti and then save the rest of your money to replace the whole thing later. Or just do what CatKiller said which is probably a better investment in the long run, even if you'll be CPU and bandwidth bottlenecked for the time being on that older mainboard.
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