I got a Samsung 6290 UHD (4k) HDR display that accepts only HDMI input.

I have a Gigabyte GA-H77M-D3H rev. 1.1 motherboard with an Intel i3-3225 CPU. Specs say, "The PCIEX16 slot conforms to PCI Express 3.0 standard. Whether PCI Express 3.0 is supported depends on CPU and graphics card compatibility." Native motherboard graphics support only runs to 1920x1080 resolution.

I run Win7x64 and I don't do any gaming, so frame rates are irrelevant to me. (This workstation is for business and development. So it typical runs a database, dev environment, photo editors, and scores of browser instances.)

I want a no-frills graphics card that will support one HDMI 3840x2160 output and take advantage of HDR (which I imagine means 30- or 36-bit color?). Aside from those specs, quiet and stable operation, followed by price, are my primary considerations. What should I buy?

  • What's your budget?
    – 0-60FPS
    Commented Jan 30, 2017 at 2:35
  • So far. I can tell you will be needing a card with HDMI 2.0 output (due to HDR output) but as @0-60FPS requested. Budget is a necessity. Also, what is your PSU rated at? Commented Jan 30, 2017 at 2:43
  • 2
    According to ark.intel.com your i3 only supports PCI-E 2.0. To use the PCI-E 3.0 capabilities, you would need to also upgrade the CPU. Commented Jan 30, 2017 at 2:49
  • @NZKshatriya: No upper bound on budget, but I would prefer not to pay for performance I'll never use. I could upgrade the CPU if the cost and performance warranted it. But I'd just buy a new desktop before replacing the MoBo and its 16GB of PC3 12800 memory. Updated question with my typical usage. I believe PSU is rated at 480W, and I'm only running one spinning drive.
    – feetwet
    Commented Jan 30, 2017 at 4:24

1 Answer 1


Actually, you don't necessarily need to upgrade the CPU. A PCIe 3.0 card will work in a PCIe 2.0 slot. However, you may experience slightly decreased performance. You mentioned that frame rates were irrelevant, so PCIe 2.0 shouldn't be an issue.

If you do want to upgrade to a CPU that explicitly supports PCIe 3.0, one of the most inexpensive options is going to be something like a i5-3340. Which will be a modest upgrade from your i3 3225.

As for a GPU I believe you will need something that uses the Maxwell or Pascal architecture for HDR (assuming you want to go with nVidia).

The GTX 1050 looks like a good option...

  • Supports HDR
  • Has HDMI 2.0
  • Does not require an additional power adapter

In conclusion:

  • Go with the GTX 1050 and use it in a PCIe 2.0 slot. Can be found on Amazon for $110 or on Newegg also for $110.

  • Or go with the GTX 1050 with an i5-3340 (if you would like to use PCIe 3.0, but it's not absolutely necessary). You can find the i5-3340 on Amazon for $175.

As a bit of a side note... You mentioned a "no-frills" GPU. I'm not sure that's really going to be addressable since you will need a fairly modern Maxwell or Pascal GPU for HDR support.

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