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Potentail $500 Graphics and Power supply upgrade to HPE-447? (Answered by Clutchc)

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June 20, 2013 3:54:28 PM

I have a hand me down HPE-447c-b.

http://h10025.www1.hp.com/ewfrf/wc/document?docname=c02...

I'm hoping the CPU/Motherboard/Memory will allow me to upgrade just the Power Supply and Graphics card to turn it into a gaming PC. I have $500 to spend and my only goal is gaming performance at 1080p, with potential system rebuild in the future (12 months or so.)

I'm hoping the answer is that I can get a GTX 770 ($400) and a Power Supply ($100) that I would be strong enough to add a second GTX 770 a year from now when I do a total rebuild around those two parts.

I'm not sure what my options would be with this existing Motherboard. alvorix-rs880-uatx

I'm coming from a P4 3.0 and an old 6800gs agp on my own system, so my bar to upgrade from is pretty low, but as you can tell by the age of my current system, I don't upgrade often.. :) 


Goals.

1. Best gaming performance now.
2. Can build a new system around these parts in 12 months. Hopefully adding a second card, or at least leaving me the potential to make that decision then.
3. Spend around 500 dollars. This is use it or lose it money, so a 300 dollar lesser option isn't as valuable as the best I can get for the $500.
4. My old 6800gs is EVGA so I lean towards NVDA.
5. I know the 1045t is not a top notch (or even near top) gaming chip, but will it be enough to allow high settings at 1080p in most non CPU intensive games?

Thanks for any help...

F

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a b 4 Gaming
a c 140 ) Power supply
a c 400 V Motherboard
June 20, 2013 8:35:11 PM

Your processor is still a viable gaming CPU. The gfx card upgrade will make the major difference. But the GTX 770 may be a bit bottle necked by the Phenom II X6. And, btw, your MB allows for only a single card, unless you mean when you add a new MB.

The GTX 770 is a 230W TDP card. Maxed out, it will draw about 19A from the +12V rail. Adding a 2nd card (with different MB in the future) will require at least a 750W PSU of good quality w/ 1 x 6 pin and 1 x 8pin PCIe power cable for each card.
One such option: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
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June 20, 2013 8:39:17 PM

The GTX 770 you choose will depend on the room you have inside the case from rear expansion slot cover to the 1st obstruction you come to. Most cards are 9.5" long, but many are longer.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=E...

I have always liked EVGA in gfx cards. But lately I have been impressed with the MSI Twin Frozer line of cards.
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June 20, 2013 9:51:05 PM

clutchc said:
The GTX 770 you choose will depend on the room you have inside the case from rear expansion slot cover to the 1st obstruction you come to. Most cards are 9.5" long, but many are longer.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=E...

I have always liked EVGA in gfx cards. But lately I have been impressed with the MSI Twin Frozer line of cards.


First... thanks for the reply... I really do appreciate it. I was getting worried that my question was in the wrong place or just to off to be answered...

I'm trying to decide how much room I have. I'm not sure if you are able to see the picture of the motherboard in the first link I left, but there is a little silver thingy with a thin piece of metal that sort of sticks up a bit. Will the Video card be above that, or is that the limit of my room?

I'm assuming the way the Ram slots are positioned is intentional to allow a Video Card to pass right next to them?

If it can pass over that Silver thing and by the Ram the rest of the case is open and it could be well over a foot... I'm not sure if the picture shows it very well, but the little "arm" that locks that silver thingy down sticks up.. I wonder if I could snip it?

If you are others can understand what I'm saying, I would love to know that the video card would be "higher" than that obstacle..

Now that you have shown me I can get a power supply that would work in the future with a new motherboard to allow 2 Video Cards for under 100 bucks, I'm considering stretching my purchase to include a small SSD.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Would I have any problems having a 2nd HD?

Thanks again for your previous answer and any future info you can share...

J

Direct Link to Overhead of Motherboard Photo.
http://h10025.www1.hp.com/ewfrf/wc/document?docname=c02...
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June 21, 2013 8:57:53 AM

If you're referring to the chipset heatsync, I've never seen a board yet that was designed with a heatsync that obstructed the graphics card. If the arm you refer to is the locking lever to hold the heatsync in place, you could bend or cut it if it comes to that, yes. But, there should be no obstructions on a MB itself that limits the length of the card. In the pic, it looks like the locking lever should be locked under a clip on the MB. Did one side of yours come loose?

Mostly, look for something like the drive cage or a drive in the cage that may limit your length. And check the card to see if the 6/8 pin power connections are on the end of the card or the top side.

The RAM slots also will be no obstruction. All graphic cards extend in only one direction width-wise from the PCB that plugs into the slot. So, looking at that pic of the MB, the card will not extend to the right of the slot at all... only to the left. It will cover the adjacent X1 slot and extend nearly to the 2nd X1 slot.

If you decide to add a SSD, you will want to do a clean install of the OS to it following a few protocols that are necessary because a SSD handles data differently than a HDD. Here is a good guide to avoid pitfalls associated with installing Win7 to a SSD, and some tips to make it more efficient.
http://www.computing.net/howtos/show/solid-state-drive-...

Some folks attempt to simply clone their HDD to their SSD to avoid a clean OS install. But I would never recommend that for the very reasons outlined in the guide.
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June 25, 2013 3:08:10 PM

Yea.. I was just worried about the heat sync, but there is nothing wrong with it. I'm just paranoid that something is going to go "wrong" or be unable to work. I haven't had a real gaming machine since I first purchased my 6800gs about 8 years ago, so I keep worrying something might go wrong.

I'm now trying to decide if I would be better off getting a larger SSD and moving down to the 760. I'm more concerned about being able to play the newest games in 2 or 3 years with the new computer built around these part (and 2nd video card) than the 1080p with current games (or even worse if I stepped up to a better monitor at that time). I'm assuming the 760 would be able to handle most of the current games, and my 1045t CPU would be the bigger problem anyway? Not that I'm sure of that, or even know why I think it.

My budget might be able to be stretched to $550, but I don't think that would be enough for the Power Supply, Video Card and SSD if I stayed with the 770.

Newegg has the 4GB 760 for 280ish. To my layman mind it would seem like its worth the extra 30 bucks to go for the 4GB.

I really do appreciate your help, and your answers have been perfect, but I'm afraid I'm coming up with more questions in my own mind faster than you can give great answers.

Throw out what I have said before (except for gaming as main focus, with potential upgrade as second) what would you do with $550 bucks to turn that old system into a gaming machine?

Thanks for all you help

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June 25, 2013 3:51:33 PM

Finloq said:
Yea.. I was just worried about the heat sync, but there is nothing wrong with it. I'm just paranoid that something is going to go "wrong" or be unable to work. I haven't had a real gaming machine since I first purchased my 6800gs about 8 years ago, so I keep worrying something might go wrong.

I'm now trying to decide if I would be better off getting a larger SSD and moving down to the 760. I'm more concerned about being able to play the newest games in 2 or 3 years with the new computer built around these part (and 2nd video card) than the 1080p with current games (or even worse if I stepped up to a better monitor at that time). I'm assuming the 760 would be able to handle most of the current games, and my 1045t CPU would be the bigger problem anyway? Not that I'm sure of that, or even know why I think it.

My budget might be able to be stretched to $550, but I don't think that would be enough for the Power Supply, Video Card and SSD if I stayed with the 770.

Newegg has the 4GB 760 for 280ish. To my layman mind it would seem like its worth the extra 30 bucks to go for the 4GB.

I really do appreciate your help, and your answers have been perfect, but I'm afraid I'm coming up with more questions in my own mind faster than you can give great answers.

Throw out what I have said before (except for gaming as main focus, with potential upgrade as second) what would you do with $550 bucks to turn that old system into a gaming machine?

Thanks for all you help



Unless you are playing at higher than 1920x1080 resolution a 4GB card is somewhat pointless. That being said, although the GTX 760 is a competent budget gaming level card, it's probably not going to keep up at resolutions high enough to demand the 4GB of RAM to begin with. Therefore somewhat pointless.

If you want a GTX 760 it's a good card. But instead of spending $30 to get more RAM buy one with a better cooler. The EVGA GTX 760 ACX model is $249 @ NewEgg.com right now.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

If you go for a GTX 770 I'd get the EVGA ACX there as well for $409.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

If you need a PSU upgrade NewEgg has had some good 750W ones for $90 recently. This PSU for example would be enough to run two cards in SLI later if you wanted to (or your Motherboard allowed). This PSU also has 4 x 8pin PCI-E power connectors and pushes a max 744W to the +12V rail.
Corsair CX750M 750W $89.99 - $10 MIR = $79.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
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Best solution

a b 4 Gaming
a c 140 ) Power supply
a c 400 V Motherboard
June 25, 2013 4:55:10 PM

As stated above, don't waste your money on a 4GB card when you only have a single 1080p monitor. The extra VRAM will be go unused. 2GB is actually more than needed today for gaming even with the ultra high textures available. But 1GB is becoming too little. So go for the 2GB cards.
Since your HP case is a mATX, you are limited to mATX boards. Nothing wrong with that, just hard to find them with X8, X8 (or better) dual PCIe X16 slots. You may be better off getting the card of your choice for now along with a PSU, and save some more money til you can afford a totally new build.
Your 2.7GHZ Phenom II X6 will hold back the GTX 770 a bit. But O/Cing it will help some. If you switch MBs now and you have an OEM license Win7, you will be expected to buy a new license because an OEM copy is tied to the MB it is originally installed with. (There are ways around that, but here is not the place to go into that)
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June 26, 2013 11:56:26 AM

Very cool guys.. thanks..

So I'm ready to shop today, I believe.. :) 

A couple more quick questions before I hit the "Order" button...

On the GPU, should I spend the extra 10 bucks for this:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

I know it doesn't have the fancy cooler on it, but it comes a bit higher clocked, which is more important?

Second.. This power supply is on sale. OCZ ZT Series 750W.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

With Promo Code it's only $80 dollars

This EVGA SuperNOVA Nex750B is only $87 and has great reviews (only 12 of them)

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Or Stay with what you both have suggested?

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Which has a rebate card to get it back down to 87 or so as well...

At this point the tiny amount of price difference isn't as important as quality. Not sure why I added the prices, but so be it... I guess all things being equal, I would lean towards the EVGA unless you guys suggest against it.

Thanks again, and I'll update after I get the system up and running....

F

P.S.. probably for another thread, (or at least I should research it myself first).. but you mentioned overclocking the 1045t CPU. Should I consider purchasing a Cooler before attempting it? Would I even be able to overclock with the Motherboard and Memory? I've read a few old reviews of this chip with mostly encouraging reviews of attempts at light overclocking on this chip with heat as the major issue...
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June 26, 2013 12:23:59 PM

On the card/GPU choices, I have no experience with either of those PSU brands first hand. Here is a tiered PSU list that may help you decide quality vs cost: http://www.eggxpert.com/forums/thread/323050.aspx

The EVGA SC gfx card is a bit faster and probably can O/C a bit higher than one that is binned stock. The 2.7 GHZ Phenom II X6 won't max out either one, tho.

Overclocking the CPU with that stock MB might not get you very far, and always use an after-market cooler before overclocking. I mentioned earlier about O/Cing, but I was thinking your CPU was a black edition. But it's not, so O/C won't be easy. My bad there.
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June 26, 2013 1:26:41 PM

I'm trying to give a best answer, or question answered and I don't seem to be able to do it. I did a quick search and it said I needed to make this a "question" thread not a discussion thread. I attempted to edit my first message but nothing changed? Not a biggy, but would like to give "credit" for the great answers...

Thanks for any help..

F
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June 26, 2013 1:48:51 PM

No prob with me. I hope you get good results from your upgrade. Check back...
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June 26, 2013 3:34:17 PM

Finloq said:
I'm trying to give a best answer, or question answered and I don't seem to be able to do it. I did a quick search and it said I needed to make this a "question" thread not a discussion thread. I attempted to edit my first message but nothing changed? Not a biggy, but would like to give "credit" for the great answers...

Thanks for any help..

F

Try it now.
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July 2, 2013 8:02:10 PM

Hey Guys.. just giving you the happy update.

The card and power supply are both working great. My only problem is this case doesn't really have a "hole" to screw the video card into. I currently have the case open and on its side to keep any pressure off of the video card .. (hope this will be o.k. for a week or so.) EVGA has a deal for a free back plate when you register, not sure if that is going to help me or not? The only hole on the back of the case is 2 slots over. The old video card that I replaced wasn't screwed in at all. There is some metal there, maybe I'll just have to be creative.

I used both the 6 and 8 pin power plugs from the same chord, is that o.k.? It didn't say not to anywhere... :) 

Fired up Skyrim (which was all but unplayable before (below 10 fps on minimum everything) and its now nearly maxed out. The 770 is running just over 30 Celsius (idle) which is about 40 Celsius less than my old 6800gs which ran near 70c (idle) and 100c (in game).

Well, I'm off to play some games. Not that I really feel like playing anything, I just want to mess with my new toy. I can't thank you guys enough for the solid advice....

F.
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July 2, 2013 8:32:28 PM

Finloq, since you clearly wanted to give clutchc the Best Answer for this thread, I helped you out and selected one of his posts. It looks like Mousemonkey changed the thread to a question thread, so you can change the Best Answer if you wish.

Be sure to turn on Ambient Occlusion-Quality and 2x Transparency Supersampling in your Nvidia Control Panel Program Settings for Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim.
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July 2, 2013 10:07:41 PM

Thanks Matto for the advice and the Best Answer change... that is what I wanted.

I have been (well for about 4 hours) using the Geforce Experience software and its recommendations which seem to be Max/Near Max even with my limited CPU... I'll have to double check AOC and 2x TS. It's all such a huge step up from what I had, that I'm just enjoying every little thing about it...

Not quite, but I almost fit this article, which is aimed at a nonexistent gamer who hasn't been able to play games for a decade.

http://www.rockpapershotgun.com/2013/06/28/get-this-man...

I've watched countless hours of games on Twitch, spent even more hours reading about games, but now I'm finally going to be playing games and the good folks of Toms Hardware forum played a huge role in that happening.

F.
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