Do I need to upgrade my video card if I am purchasing a 4K monitor?


Three questions:

1) Do I need to upgrade my video card if I am purchasing a 4K monitor?

2) If so, what video card or what video card features should I get?

3) Also, what connection cord should I use with the new monitor?

After serving me well for 2-3 years, my monitor recently died. I purchased a replacement monitor but I am not happy with the image and now, after quite a bit of online reading, I've decided to replace the replacement with a 4K monitor. In the following screenshot (Fig. 1), column 1 shows the monitor I've had for a couple of years, column 2 shows the replacement which I am sending back, and column 3 shows the 4K monitor I'm about to order (shaded cells are calculated).

Fig. 1Fig. 2 displays several specs of my current system as obtained from a Belarc Advisor scan. As you can see, it includes my current video hardware (red box).

Fig. 2I could not find a screenshot-"able" chart of specs for my current video card but here are a couple of links which I believe contain the technical information:

By the way, reading up on this topic has given rise to several questions which I will post in subsequent threads. However, I'm hoping to first get some responses in this thread so I can get the new hardware ordered.

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Dave BaldwinFixer of ProblemsCommented:
The radeon page says the max size is 2560x1600 which is not enough for 4K displays.  Your new card will also have to have 4 times the video memory.
☠ MASQ ☠Commented:
Remember that a 3840x2160 display isn't truely 4K (which is 4096x2160)  3840x2160 is strictly UHD or 2160p

You have an AMD 870 chipset on the motherboard

Not sure which of the HD 4800 series discrete graphics cards you have but they are only really designed to get you to around 2560x1600 so to get the best from a UHD display you're going to need to upgrade.

As you'll see from this comparison chart the HD4800 Series are about to fall off the bottom of the performace league for high powered graphics.

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WeThotUWasAToadAuthor Commented:
Thanks for the responses.
You have an AMD 870 chipset on the motherboard.
I'm not sure what that means but is it that I need to get a new motherboard? Ouch! I hope not.

Also, thanks for the link. That chart is awesome but kind of overwhelming. Can you offer a few specifics that you would use to narrow it down knowing the specs for my system and soon-to-be new monitor?

Also, what type of factors may account for a card costing less than $300 (eg GeForce GTX 970) being ranked higher than several other cards costing well over $1000? I know there's a lot more factors than price in choosing hardware, etc., but the significant overlap in rating vs. cost is pretty amazing.
WeThotUWasAToadAuthor Commented:
OK, I processed my purchase and for your information, it included these three items:

1) Acer B286HK ymjdpprz 28-inch UHD 4K2K (3840 x 2160) Widescreen Display with ErgoStand
2) EVGA GeForce GTX 960 4GB SSC GAMING ACX 2.0+, Whisper Silent Cooling w/ Free Installed Backplate Graphics Card 04G-P4-3966-KR
3) Cable Matters® Gold Plated DisplayPort to DisplayPort Cable 15 Feet - 4K Resolution Ready

My choice of video card was due in large part to the rankings shown in the following screenshot which comes from the same website recommended above:


Thanks again for the input and please do not be shy re pointing out any remaining issues of concern regarding my video hardware choices or their compatibility.

Many thanks
☠ MASQ ☠Commented:
Good choice, it's currently my favourite both in terms of performance and bang per buck!
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