Graphics card recommendation for old computer?

Hello all,

I am currently running Manjaro on a really old computer (I assume many of you did not even expect that this was possible on such an old machine - it was built long before most of you were even born).

Here’s what inxi -Fxxxza --no-host says:

System:    Kernel: 5.8.18-1-MANJARO x86_64 bits: 64 compiler: gcc v: 10.2.0 
           parameters: BOOT_IMAGE=/boot/vmlinuz-5.8-x86_64 root=UUID=345b76c0-f339-4ca7-8582-440f229512a1 rw quiet 
           acpi_enforce_resources=lax "acpi_osi=Windows 2009" loglevel=3 root=UUID=345b76c0-f339-4ca7-8582-440f229512a1 ro 
           resume=UUID=a9353f2a-2cf9-4d4e-ada9-f72d8602045e vga=off nvidia-drm.modeset=1 
           Desktop: Pantheon info: wingpanel, plank wm: gala dm: LightDM 1.30.0 Distro: Manjaro Linux 
Machine:   Type: Desktop Mobo: Foxconn model: H67M-S/H67M-V/H67M serial: <filter> BIOS: American Megatrends v: C29F1P03 
           date: 03/15/2013 
CPU:       Info: Dual Core model: Intel Core i3-2105 bits: 64 type: MT MCP arch: Sandy Bridge family: 6 model-id: 2A (42) 
           stepping: 7 microcode: 2F L2 cache: 3072 KiB 
           flags: avx lm nx pae sse sse2 sse3 sse4_1 sse4_2 ssse3 bogomips: 24752 
           Speed: 1596 MHz min/max: 1600/3100 MHz Core speeds (MHz): 1: 1597 2: 1947 3: 1597 4: 1600 
           Vulnerabilities: Type: itlb_multihit status: KVM: VMX unsupported 
           Type: l1tf mitigation: PTE Inversion 
           Type: mds mitigation: Clear CPU buffers; SMT vulnerable 
           Type: meltdown mitigation: PTI 
           Type: spec_store_bypass mitigation: Speculative Store Bypass disabled via prctl and seccomp 
           Type: spectre_v1 mitigation: usercopy/swapgs barriers and __user pointer sanitization 
           Type: spectre_v2 mitigation: Full generic retpoline, IBPB: conditional, IBRS_FW, STIBP: conditional, RSB filling 
           Type: srbds status: Not affected 
           Type: tsx_async_abort status: Not affected 
Graphics:  Device-1: NVIDIA GF116 [GeForce GTX 550 Ti] vendor: Gigabyte driver: nvidia v: 390.132 
           alternate: nouveau,nvidia_drm bus ID: 01:00.0 chip ID: 10de:1244 
           Display: x11 server: X.Org 1.20.9 driver: nvidia display ID: :0 screens: 1 
           Screen-1: 0 s-res: 3600x1080 s-dpi: 96 s-size: 953x286mm (37.5x11.3") s-diag: 995mm (39.2") 
           Monitor-1: DVI-I-2 res: 1920x1080 hz: 60 dpi: 82 size: 598x336mm (23.5x13.2") diag: 686mm (27") 
           Monitor-2: DVI-I-3 res: 1680x1050 hz: 60 dpi: 90 size: 474x296mm (18.7x11.7") diag: 559mm (22") 
           Message: Unable to show advanced data. Required tool glxinfo missing. 
Audio:     Device-1: Intel 6 Series/C200 Series Family High Definition Audio vendor: Foxconn driver: snd_hda_intel v: kernel 
           bus ID: 00:1b.0 chip ID: 8086:1c20 
           Device-2: NVIDIA GF116 High Definition Audio vendor: Gigabyte driver: snd_hda_intel v: kernel bus ID: 01:00.1 
           chip ID: 10de:0bee 
           Device-3: Creative Live! Cam Chat HD [VF0700] type: USB driver: hid-generic,snd-usb-audio,usbhid,uvcvideo 
           bus ID: 1-1.3:5 chip ID: 041e:4097 serial: <filter> 
           Sound Server: ALSA v: k5.8.18-1-MANJARO 
Network:   Device-1: Realtek RTL8111/8168/8411 PCI Express Gigabit Ethernet vendor: Foxconn driver: r8169 v: kernel port: d000 
           bus ID: 03:00.0 chip ID: 10ec:8168 
           IF: enp3s0 state: up speed: 1000 Mbps duplex: full mac: <filter> 
           Device-2: AVM Fritz!Card PCI v2.0 ISDN driver: N/A modules: avmfritz port: c000 bus ID: 05:01.0 chip ID: 1244:0e00 
Drives:    Local Storage: total: 1.35 TiB used: 336.98 GiB (24.4%) 
           SMART Message: Unable to run smartctl. Root privileges required. 
           ID-1: /dev/sda vendor: Intenso model: SSD SATAIII size: 447.13 GiB block size: physical: 512 B logical: 512 B 
           speed: 6.0 Gb/s serial: <filter> rev: 4A0 scheme: MBR 
           ID-2: /dev/sdb vendor: Seagate model: ST31000333AS size: 931.51 GiB block size: physical: 512 B logical: 512 B 
           speed: 3.0 Gb/s rotation: 7200 rpm serial: <filter> rev: CC3H scheme: MBR 
Partition: ID-1: / raw size: 438.54 GiB size: 430.65 GiB (98.20%) used: 101.16 GiB (23.5%) fs: ext4 dev: /dev/sda1 
           ID-2: /home raw size: 915.00 GiB size: 899.64 GiB (98.32%) used: 235.82 GiB (26.2%) fs: ext4 dev: /dev/sdb1 
Swap:      Kernel: swappiness: 60 (default) cache pressure: 100 (default) 
           ID-1: swap-1 type: partition size: 16.51 GiB used: 0 KiB (0.0%) priority: -2 dev: /dev/sdb2 
Sensors:   System Temperatures: cpu: 29.8 C mobo: 27.8 C gpu: nvidia temp: 57 C 
           Fan Speeds (RPM): N/A gpu: nvidia fan: 61% 
Info:      Processes: 237 Uptime: 4h 07m Memory: 7.74 GiB used: 3.20 GiB (41.3%) Init: systemd v: 246 Compilers: gcc: 10.2.0 
           clang: 10.0.1 Packages: pacman: 1478 lib: 366 Shell: Bash v: 5.0.18 running in: io.elementary.t inxi: 3.1.08 

As I have seen that the graphics card will not be supported any longer (there’s no driver anymore for kernel 5.9) is there any advice for a graphics card that will run on that old gem and will still be supported by kernel 5.9? Only requirement: It should support at least 2 monitors via DVI or DP.

Thank you very much.

I guess you are misinformed. There will be a driver it only has some delay and is suspected to be released mid-november.

But if you want to upgrade your GPU everyting from Radion HD 7950 up to the 5700xt (AMD) will be oke. Only make sura your PSU gives enough power.

that CPU is only 9 years old and even is 64 bit. What are you talking about? :stuck_out_tongue:


Pure from a technical point of view its is almost prehistoric :shushing_face:

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My computer will be very offended if he reads this :wink:

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That is a myth, a good quality system from 10 years ago is still better than most of the garbage pc’s being sold today in bestbuy and walmart. Most of the ‘leaps’ in tech are actually due to micronization. Which allow for more transistors in a given area and reduce cost and power usage. These leaps have not been that great in the last 10 years. Ryzen is starting to change that however.

I still have an i7 920 computer with a GTX 760 running Manjaro speedily on my other computer that I put together for my wife.

If you overclock the i7 920 and pair it with a modern GPU you can get 130fps on Shadow of the Tomb Raider vs 188fps with an i7 9700k.

The leap between 10 years ago and today is not as great as the leap between 10 years ago and 20 years ago where you’d be putting up a Pentium 3 vs the i7 920. GPU’s have a far greater leap but even then, there are lots of people using lower tier new stuff, which is not as powerful as top tier cards from 10 years ago. According to Techpowerup’s GPU comparison a GTX 480 is only 10% slower than an RX 560 which is an entry level GPU from today. There are also many people using even slower GPU solutions or integrated graphics which would be even slower than the top cards of 10 years ago.
Obviously the top cards of today outmatch the top cards of 10 years ago but to act like they are useless and archaic is fallacious to say the least.

That said the OP’s computer was on the lower end at the time he built it. The i3 he has is still better than an entry level Athlon that some might build today on a low budget. I personally recommend buying good price to performance, waiting on sales’ or clearance to build the best possible computer you can afford that will last a decade or more and still have a use to somebody.

Instead of someone buying a cheap Athlon or Celeron processor, consider buying a used processor that will have many times the power.

Personally speaking my main computer right now has a Ryzen 7 1800X that I bought on a clearance sale for $259.76 Canadian tax included in October of 2018. Since the 2000 series was out I was also able to get a Asus Crosshair Hero VI for a good discount also. I bought a RX 580 and reused my old Cooler Master Storm Trooper case, Corsair 850 watt PSU . The only part I got price gouged on was the RAM which a couple years ago was overpriced. I have 16GB of Corsair vengence RAM. This computer runs very fast and does everything I need it to do. I expect these parts to be useful for many years in the future.

I also reused my old parts to build a computer for my wife. That one contains an i7 920 with a GTX 760 on an Asus P6T MB with 12GB of Corsair RAM in triple channel. The i7 920 and MB were bought in 2010 on sale when the 2000 series Intel’s were being released. The GPU was upgraded to later in 2013 when it was on sale for $300 CAD. To build this computer I only needed a few new parts. A cheap PCI-E USB 3 card to add USB 3 capabilities to the MB, a case(Corsair Spec-02) and an EVGA 750 watt psu all bought on sale.

I also have even older parts built into a third computer, using a Q8400 cpu, a GTX 280 and a Gigabyte board with 4GB of RAM, paired with a new EVGA 650 watt PSU(warehouse deal on Amazon) and a Thermaltake Xaser III case which I got from some guy for $20 CAD. This PC is being used as an Windows XP retro computer that plays old games extremely well and is also used for the kids to watch videos on or play educational software like Gcompris and older kids games.

If you have good parts they can still have a use-case many years later. As you can see, if I upgrade my main computer I can move other parts down the line upgrading them as we go. They can also be repurposed.

In conclusion, if you have a low budget, you might consider playing your own version of scrapyard wars instead of buying the cheapest new tech.


i’m pretty sure that card is pretty well supported by nouveau. So the easiest solution would be to ditch the proprietary driver and use the open one, that way you won’t have to worry about nvidias questionable support ^^

Did you honestly think I was serious? :thinking:

Indeed, that sounds like a reasonable approach at a first glance. However, IIRC you lose all kinds of hardware acceleration when using nouveau - that also includes hardware accelerated video playback.

Plus, I must admit that now, with kernel 5.8, hibernation finally works here with the proprietary nvidia driver. In former times, that was not possible at all, irrespective of the graphics driver being used. The computer always started over when I tried to wake it up from hibernation. The error messages in dmesg always pointed to the graphics driver.

With kernel 5.8, no problems anymore; only the contents of the chromium window shows noise and has to be refreshed (or tabs switched) after waking up from hibernation.

9 years, this is close to eternity in IT :smiley:
With product cycles becoming shorter and shorter, any computer you bought at your store will already be obsolete once you unpack it at home :wink:

That’s what I am currently doing - it’s interesting and sometimes even funny :slight_smile:

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Which is a good way to build and learn. Older components are not bad it only lacks some features in some cases.

Lol my system is also almost 9 years old and still snoring like a kitten.

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I’m not really sure about nouveau as the last NV i used was a 9600GT, but afaik the only “big” issue is that reclocking is missing in cards newer than GTX 8xx because nvidia has encrypted some kind of startup firmware.
For older cards its pretty much feature complete afaik.

well, Intel still uses the same architecture in their current CPU’s :wink: they just shrunk it a bit and optimized it a bit.

I am running an intel Q6600 cpu, AMD HD4870 gpu, on 5.4rt, and everything works just fine. I run 2 monitors thru DVI, Cinnamon desktop. I plan on using this thing until it dies.


I only have a quite ancient CPU:

Info: Dual Core model: Intel Core i3-2105 bits: 64 type: MT MCP arch: Sandy Bridge family: 6 model-id: 2A (42) 
           stepping: 7 microcode: 2F L2 cache: 3072 KiB 
           flags: avx lm nx pae sse sse2 sse3 sse4_1 sse4_2 ssse3 bogomips: 24752 
           Speed: 1596 MHz min/max: 1600/3100 MHz Core speeds (MHz): 1: 1597 2: 1947 3: 1597 4: 1600 

I doubt that a 5700 XT really makes sense in such an old rig.

I did not really look at sense, but only if it is possible :innocent: