Can you install a DDR3 or GDDR5 Video card...

By newjughead ·
Can you install a DDR3 or GDDR5 video card in a computer that has DDR2 memory modules? Also would an NVIDIA card work in an AMD machine? Also, which is more important, the core clock, shader clock or memory speed of the video card? Thanks.

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by TheChas In reply to Can you install a DDR3 or ...

The interface and interface speed on the motherboard is your limiting factor as to what video card you can install.

For the level of graphics performance you are looking for, you need a 16x PCIE slot to get the full performance you are looking for.

As to compatibility, my primary concern would be if there is onboard ATI graphics on the motherboard. If so, you might run into some issues getting the NVidia card to function properly. Should not be any major problems, just may be a few device or resource conflicts until you have the onboard fully disabled.

Always is best practice to uninstall the existing display adapter from Device Manager before you power down to install the new adapter.

Keep in mind that if you are running a 32 bit version of Windows that a video card with a lot of RAM will reduce the amount of system RAM addresses available for Windows and your applications.

As to performance, the first key is how fast can you transfer data from the CPU to the video card. Even with a 16x PCIe slot, an older DDR 2 system may not be able to transfer data to the video card as fast as the GPU can process the data. For the parameters you specified, I would rank them:
Core GPU clock
Memory speed
Shader clock


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Yes you can

by Slayer_ In reply to Can you install a DDR3 or ...

You can install a DDR3 or DDR5 card.

GPU clock tends to give more FPS at the low end,
Memory clock gives more FPS at the high end
Shader clock mostly allows you to turn on more effects like HDR and such without losing framerate.

nVidia in an AMD system is hit or miss, some of them won't allow it, others don't mind. My system loves nVidia even though it is AMD, but it has nVidia chipsets etc. My friends machine is also AMD, but his mysteriously won't work with anything but an ATI/AMD card.

I suggest trying one first, try on a card that you can return in case it doesn't work.

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by newjughead In reply to Can you install a DDR3 or ...

Thanks guys, your answers were most helpful.

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