Using an old HD7850 GPU with new Z490 MBO

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So my pretty ancient machine (i5-4690k, Asus Z97-A, 8GB DDR3 and Radeon Sapphire 7850) is way past due for an upgrade.

My plan is to get:
  • Core i5-10600KF (but not fixed on that - prepared to look at i7s, i9s or even Ryzens)
  • Z490 motherboard (currently looking at the MSI MAG Z490 but again, not fixed)
  • 2x16GB Corsair 3600MHz DDR4
What I'd like to do is augment that with an RTX3080 but since getting hold of one of those seems currently impossible, I'm thinking I'd just get the above and stick with my HD7850 until the summer when hopefully NVidia stock may improve.

My concern is whether such an GPU will work with the current motherboard chipsets and specifically BIOS. As far as I can tell my Sapphire 7850 doesn't support UEFI. Can I run everything on legacy BIOS until I upgrade my GPU and then switch? Will this mess up my Windows installation?

Ideally I'd also like to use a Samsung 970 Evo as the boot drive but I think NVMe requires EFI to boot?

Am I best just waiting (until God knows when NVidia have stock again) and getting everything together?

Thanks in advance for your advice.
 
Soldato
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Hello
I'd buy either the 10600K or 10600. These have integrated graphics. So you can use the UEFI on the motherboard & install windows 10 onto your NVME drive. Then add your HD7850. Windows 10 SHOULD (& I say that but there is NO guarantee that it WILL knowing sods law & Microsoft :rolleyes: ) detect and install the correct software for the HD7850.

If you buy Samsung thinking its the best, don't bother. The SSD market is much of a muchness these days. £85 more for the Samsung version of this & you wouldn't notice the speed difference in day to day use? No thanks.

My basket at Overclockers UK:
Total: £103.69 (includes shipping: £8.70)​
 
Associate
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So my pretty ancient machine (i5-4690k, Asus Z97-A, 8GB DDR3 and Radeon Sapphire 7850) is way past due for an upgrade.

My plan is to get:
  • Core i5-10600KF (but not fixed on that - prepared to look at i7s, i9s or even Ryzens)
  • Z490 motherboard (currently looking at the MSI MAG Z490 but again, not fixed)
  • 2x16GB Corsair 3600MHz DDR4
What I'd like to do is augment that with an RTX3080 but since getting hold of one of those seems currently impossible, I'm thinking I'd just get the above and stick with my HD7850 until the summer when hopefully NVidia stock may improve.

My concern is whether such an GPU will work with the current motherboard chipsets and specifically BIOS. As far as I can tell my Sapphire 7850 doesn't support UEFI. Can I run everything on legacy BIOS until I upgrade my GPU and then switch? Will this mess up my Windows installation?

Ideally I'd also like to use a Samsung 970 Evo as the boot drive but I think NVMe requires EFI to boot?

Am I best just waiting (until God knows when NVidia have stock again) and getting everything together?

Thanks in advance for your advice.

I built a new PC for a friend and used a GTX 275 from about 2009, it worked perfectly with UEFI.
A GTX 275 is only DX 10 and has 249 cores, 896 MB, GDDR 3. PCI E 2.

Guess what booted fine. It may not have been fast, able to do the latest stuff, but it worked to install Windows 10 Pro 64 bit.

PC was then shipped to his house and then he installed his old GPU, AMD. Again it worked perfectly...

His motherboard was an MSI B550 MAG Tomahawk, released in June 2020.

My advice, build PC, it won't ruin your installation of Windows. If the GPU does not run, borrow a spare or buy a cheap modern one, for example a GTX 710....

Later, once you have gotten your shiny new RTX 3080, uninstall the drivers, pull the card out and put that RTX 3080 in. Oh and sell old graphics card on relevant site and see a good return on it due to crazy GPU second hand prices.

However, another question that comes to mind, why are you putting 3600 MHz RAM with an Intel build, I believe 10 series CPU's only really support up to 3000 MHz Source below, in fact 2933 MHZ!

Latest - Compare the Differences of Intel Z390 vs Z490 Chipsets (shareus.com)

Also, why are you pairing an RTX 3080 with a relatively low end CPU when either Rocket Lake (due March 2021) or Zen 3 CPU's will push the very powerful 4K beast much better.

I am currently running my 980 Ti MSI, until I see GPU prices drop. Rest of my specs are up to date and it flies.
 
Last edited:
Soldato
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@VonScar intel 10th gen Cpu's memory speeds are not limited to 3000mhz on z490 motherboard.

H470, B460 and H410 - suffer memory speed restrictions. 10th-generation Core i7 and i9 models support RAM speedsup to 2933MHz, while with a Core i5 or lower, the limit is 2666MHz
 
Associate
OP
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Hello
I'd buy either the 10600K or 10600. These have integrated graphics. So you can use the UEFI on the motherboard & install windows 10 onto your NVME drive. Then add your HD7850. Windows 10 SHOULD (& I say that but there is NO guarantee that it WILL knowing sods law & Microsoft :rolleyes: ) detect and install the correct software for the HD7850.

If you buy Samsung thinking its the best, don't bother. The SSD market is much of a muchness these days. £85 more for the Samsung version of this & you wouldn't notice the speed difference in day to day use? No thanks.

My basket at Overclockers UK:
Total: £103.69 (includes shipping: £8.70)

Thanks for the suggestions. I'm reticent to pay extra for a CPU with integrated graphics when I'll be getting a dedicated GPU later. I'll check the price difference and if it's not much, I may as well, though. I guess always good to have a backup in case of GPU failure.

I already have the 970 EVO - it's currently installed as a storage drive holding my steam library but I thought I'd migrate Windows over to it to speed up boot times. I tried this over the weekend and in Legacy BIOS mode, windows couldn't install onto the drive and changing the BIOS to UEFI failed to post as my 7850 wouldn't play ball.

My current CPU theoretically has integrated graphics so I may test what you're suggesting with the current system before I splash on the new parts.

Am I right in thinking my procedure would be something along the lines of:
  • Remove 7850
  • connect monitor direct to MOBO HDMI to use on board CPU
  • Open BIOS and change to UEFI
  • Boot from Win 10 USB and install to 970 Evo
  • Power off, Add 7850 (but stay connected to MOBO HDMI), power on and hope it posts
  • Use device manager or similar to check for GPU and see if it can find and install UEFI drivers?
I had a quick google and I don't know if UEFI drivers were ever released for the 7850 but is Windows likely to find something?

If this works I should be alright repeating the process with the new CPU/Motherboard?

I built a new PC for a friend and used a GTX 275 from about 2009, it worked perfectly with UEFI.
A GTX 275 is only DX 10 and has 249 cores, 896 MB, GDDR 3. PCI E 2.

Guess what booted fine. It may not have been fast, able to do the latest stuff, but it worked to install Windows 10 Pro 64 bit.

PC was then shipped to his house and then he installed his old GPU, AMD. Again it worked perfectly...

His motherboard was an MSI B550 MAG Tomahawk, released in June 2020.

My advice, build PC, it won't ruin your installation of Windows. If the GPU does not run, borrow a spare or buy a cheap modern one, for example a GTX 710....

Later, once you have gotten your shiny new RTX 3080, uninstall the drivers, pull the card out and put that RTX 3080 in. Oh and sell old graphics card on relevant site and see a good return on it due to crazy GPU second hand prices.

However, another question that comes to mind, why are you putting 3600 MHz RAM with an Intel build, I believe 10 series CPU's only really support up to 3000 MHz Source below, in fact 2933 MHZ!

Latest - Compare the Differences of Intel Z390 vs Z490 Chipsets (shareus.com)

Also, why are you pairing an RTX 3080 with a relatively low end CPU when either Rocket Lake (due March 2021) or Zen 3 CPU's will push the very powerful 4K beast much better.

I am currently running my 980 Ti MSI, until I see GPU prices drop. Rest of my specs are up to date and it flies.

Glad that worked for you. It looks like there haven't been any recent BIOS updates for the GTX 275 that support UEFI so if it works for you, there's hope it could work for me as well. (Just as an aside but I'm not sure I understand how that works. If the Motherboard boots in UEFI mode and the GPU only supports legacy BIOS, how do they work together?)

On your other points, I'm not fixed on any of the components really. I was more checking that I'm on the right track regarding GPU BIOS conflicts before I nail down my build. Otherwise, if I'm waiting 6 months for RTX stock, my build may well change in the meanwhile. However, on the CPU front, I was initially thinking of an i9-10900K but I was struggling to justify paying twice as much as for the i5 for a 10% performance gain (https://cpu.userbenchmark.com/Compare/Intel-Core-i5-10600KF-vs-Intel-Core-i9-10900K/m1225152vs4071). If the rocket lake is much more of a performance boost, I can always upgrade again as it's still the same socket. Lastly, I was more looking for the 2x16GB modules (as ultimately I want 64GB) and they happened to be 3600MHz. I'll have a look and see if there ae any cheaper 3K MHz RAM blocks.



Thanks so much for the advice everyone. :)
 
Associate
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"GTX 275 that support UEFI"

I was in BIOS setting RAM speeds, checking all was set correctly and it worked fine. I think as long as the cards not an AGP or PCI card, it will work! PCI-e is backwards compatible.

" i9-10900K but I was struggling to justify paying."

I understand, however, might I suggest that you at least consider an Intel CPU with Integrated graphics as a back up? Until you upgrade to Rocket Lake? At least then if your current card dows not work, then you have the piece of mind that you can use the CPU graphics to update that BIOS. Like the 10600K? I know that CPU may not drive your build as much as other CPU's but at least it won't cost £479.99.

▷ Intel Core i5-10600K 4.10GHz (Comet Lake) Soc… | OcUK (overclockers.co.uk)

"and they happened to be 3600MHz."

Understood, however, not sure 3600 MHz will be of benefit unless you overclock a 10600K. Recommended speed is 2933 MHz for Z490 chipset, however, you can always run it at a lower speed if any issues and re-use it with a Rocket Lake CPU.
 
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Thanks for the advice everyone.

I found https://www.techpowerup.com/vgabios/171939/171939 which theoretically is a UEFI BIOS update for my GPU. How dangerous is it to use an unverified BIOS?

My current thinking is I'll update my GPU to the above BIOS using the AMD utility; then disconnect my GPU and use the onboard graphics of my i5 to change my motherboard to uefi, reconnect the GPU then restart and hopefully it'll POST. If it does, I can boot from my Win 10 USB and install Windows to my M.2 drive and have a working Windows install on an M.2 drive using the HD7850.

My thoughts are that if the above works, I can be sure they'll also work on a new system and I can go ahead and get my CPU, motherboard and RAM (precisely which is still under discussion - you've given me a lot of food for thought on CPU choice but that's probably worth another thread) and then just wait until RTXs come back in stock. It'll be another reinstall of Windows but at least I know it'll work before I place the order.

If it doesn't work, how easy is it to roll everything back to legacy BIOS? If the GPU flash fails will it roll itself back or just brick itself? If the worst happens, I have integrated graphics and I can order a cheap GT710 or similar to tide me over but I'd still rather it didn't happen if I can help it.
 
Don
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A UEFI video bios is only needed for 2 things:

1. accessing the UEFI "BIOS" setup menus on a pure UEFI system (e.g. without a "Legacy" or CSM - Compatibility Support Module enabled option), i.e. you won't have any video output until Windows loads and the GPU driver takes over

2. To enable UEFI Secure Boot option (as used by Windows 8, 8.1 and 10), but this isn't required.

Once in Windows the GPU will work fine, so it's just a case of whether you will be able to see the setup menus etc before then - if you go down the option of a chip with integrated graphics, then just a case of plugging into that to access them.
 
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In which case I may be misunderstanding something.

Taking a step back, I currently have windows installed on a 850 Pro SSD with an additional 2TB WD drive for my files, a 970 EVO for game storage and an ancient 1TB HDD I'm trying to get rid of that was once my boot drive. My problem is that somehow when I installed the 850 Pro, Windows installed on it fine and it is the boot drive but my 1TB HDD is listed as a system drive and windows will not boot without it. It's otherwise empty and I have no need for it and SMART suggests it may not last too much longer. My thoughts were to reinstall windows on the 970 EVO, get rid of the 1TB SSD and just use the 970 EVO and 2TB storage drive (plus an 8TB external drive for backup).

In my BIOS I can either set my M.2 port to Sata mode or PCIe. I set it to PCIe and it is recognised by the BIOS and windows can use it fine as a storage drive. However, the BIOS can only see it as a bootable drive when in UEFI. The trouble is that setting my motherboard to UEFI in CSM prevents it from POSTing and the LED under my GPU lights up red - I thought because my now UEFI motherboard couldn't talk to my GPU so it just powered off. Leaving CSM in legacy mode and Windows refuses to install to it.

Looking into it some more, it may just be my motherboard doesn't properly support NVMe and my issues were not to do with UEFI itself. Therefore, the compatibility issue may be just with my current motherboard.

In theory, if I get myself a socket 1200 CPU and Z490 motherboard, plug my HD7850 into it and do a clean install onto my 970 EVO, can anyone see any issues? The card is PCIe so it should POST regardless of BIOS type?

A UEFI video bios is only needed for 2 things:

1. accessing the UEFI "BIOS" setup menus on a pure UEFI system (e.g. without a "Legacy" or CSM - Compatibility Support Module enabled option), i.e. you won't have any video output until Windows loads and the GPU driver takes over

2. To enable UEFI Secure Boot option (as used by Windows 8, 8.1 and 10), but this isn't required.

Once in Windows the GPU will work fine, so it's just a case of whether you will be able to see the setup menus etc before then - if you go down the option of a chip with integrated graphics, then just a case of plugging into that to access them.

If I have to use integrated graphics to check the BIOS, I can live with that until I can get my replacement GPU. If that's the only issue and the PC will POST, boot into Windows and Windows can pick up the GPU drivers after it boots, I think I'll go ahead.
 
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I did a test run and it looks like my initial concerns that prompted this thread were down to my motherboard not supporting NVMe and it was my changing settings in CSM that caused my GPU to stop the PC from POSTing (until I changed the settings back). However, one motherboard flash later, my newly NVMe supporting Asus board now has boots correctly from my M.2 drive and my GPU is perfectly happy. With that test done and a few other settings checked, I can't see any issue in keeping my current GPU for now and upgrading CPU, motherboard and RAM. That may need another thread, though.

Thanks for your help everyone.
 
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