Video card update on 2010 built computer to run AOE2 DE

Aug 24, 2020
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Goal: be able to run Age of Empires 2 DE with 1680x1050 resolution on my desktop computer.

Main Question:
What video card could I buy that would give me good performance (e.g. AMD HD 5850 or better) and be compatible with my Motherboard and build? I'm a complete novice to video cards.

Second question: Are there other upgrades I will need or should consider?

Details below...

Current computer (built in 2010):
Here's Age of Empires 2: DE requirements (minimum)
  • CPU: Intel Core 2 Duo or AMD Athlon 64x2 5600+
  • CPU SPEED: Info
  • RAM: 4 GB
  • OS: Windows 10 64bit
  • VIDEO CARD: NVIDIA GeForce GT 420 or ATI Radeon HD 6850 or Intel HD Graphics 3000 or better
  • FREE DISK SPACE: 30 GB
Age of Empires 2: DE requirements (recommended)
  • CPU: 2.4 Ghz i5 or greater or AMD equivalent
  • CPU SPEED: Info
  • RAM: 8 GB
  • OS: Windows 10 64bit
  • VIDEO CARD: Nvidia GTX 650 or AMD HD 5850 or better
  • PIXEL SHADER: 5.0
  • VERTEX SHADER: 5.0
  • FREE DISK SPACE: 30 GB
  • DEDICATED VIDEO RAM: 1024 MB


So best I can tell, my processor is better than the minimum (link) but my Video is sub-par.

Thanks in advance,
-the raven
 
Feb 17, 2020
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Your CPU is better than the minimum requirement although you (well, everyone) should always avoid userbenchmark when looking up any info. It's never the best source for anything and the numbers it provides are dodgy data at best. So don't get trapped into spending cash based on what it says :)

Also, just because a developer lists X hardware doesn't actually mean the experience will be what a person considers satisfactory.

So while your CPU should be fine to run the game, you may find yourself wanting to upgrade it for better performance. I suppose you can review that once you've played it.

As for the graphics card, just about anything you're likely to find in shops will be better than what you need. A GTX 1650 or RX 570 would be my starting points. They're generally considered entry level for gaming (and greatly exceed what AOE DE asks for).

Do you expect you might play other games?
 
Aug 24, 2020
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Thanks Oussebon!

Looked into both RX 570 and GTX 1650. RX is cheaper (and AMD which matched my build) so inclined to get that one.

However, both are PCI Express 3.0 interfaces. The motherboard I have (linked in OP) has a PCI Express 2.0 x16 slot. Based on this forum post it seems that the 3.0 will work with my motherboard if I update the Motherboard Bios.

That sound right to you or others?

(I don't plan to play other games. AOE2 is a childhood favorite of mine that I'm getting back into. I have 3 kids so no time for more than 1 game : )
 
Feb 17, 2020
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NB: AMD CPU makes no difference as to AMD/Nvidia GPU

PCIe is backwards compatible so you should just be able to plug it in.

The other issue with especially old motherboards is that some (many) modern graphics cards apparently require the motherboard to have a UEFI BIOS.

I'm not sure if your mobo has that, or whether a BIOS update would provide it. But given how old it is and a quick image google search of the BIOS, my guess is no.

Some RX 570s may not support UEFI BIOS while others will (same with GTX 1650). I believe. Some GPUs will have a switch that lets you toggle VBIOS (the GPU's own BIOS) between different versions and one version might support UEFI, but the other doesn't. Sometimes the company can send you a VBIOS for the card compatible with legacy motherboard BIOS I believe.

Some cards may have a hybrid BIOS that allows functionality with both.

If you can't find a model people have consistently got to work on legacy BIOS, your best bet may be to buy from a store with a liberal returns policy and hope for the best.

Or take the plunge and upgrade the platform. A Ryzen 3 3300x / R5 3600 + cheap mobo + 16gb fast RAM might not break the bank, though would cost a lot more than what the GPU does.
 
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Aug 24, 2020
5
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To close this out. Purchased a RX570 by XFX. Worked great out of the box. No special bios configuration needed. AMD's auto-configure program took care of everything driver-wise.

Thanks to Oussebon for the advice!

Running Aoe2 DE with no issues so far.
 

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