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Upgrading Radeon HD 7560D?

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August 1, 2013 12:53:08 PM

Hello. First time poster here at Tom's. I tried searching through the forums to get my questions answered, but couldn't find what I needed. First, a little background:

I've been a console gamer for the last decade or so, but am thinking of getting more into PC gaming, and this week kind of pushed me in that direction. A super old desktop that we had crashed a few weeks ago, and with school getting ready to start, I had to get it replaced ASAP for my kids and wife to use (we home school). So this week I found what I thought was a pretty good deal - it's an HP Pavilion p7 series:

APU: Quad core A8-5500, 3.2 GHz operating speed (Up to 3.7 GHz Turbo... whatever that means)
Memory: 8 GB RAM, DDR3, PC3-12800 MB/sec
IGPU: Radeon HD 7560D
Power Supply: 300W

Being on a budget, this PC seemed to offer good entry level integrated graphics, and I bought it refurbished for $350. Last night I played Skyrim on it at medium settings and was very pleased. But if there's room to upgrade, I'd like to know how to go about doing it, as there are likely going to be other games down the road that I'll want to play (BF4, TitanFall and ES online come to mind). I tried looking into crossfiring but apparently HP blocks vid cards from being used together. So my specific question is:

What would be a good card to upgrade to as the primary graphics card, and how would I go about doing it? I know my power supply is basic, and am willing to upgrade it if need be. I'm totally new to PC gaming, so really don't know much about how to upgrade a system, especially an APU. I'm mechanically and technically inclined though... so I can learn this stuff relatively quickly.

Oh, and my budget maxes out at about $300 for upgrades (still cheaper than a PS4 and XBone, lol).

Any advice and/or links to instructions on this kind of thing would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!

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August 1, 2013 1:14:04 PM

Tom J said:
Hello. First time poster here at Tom's. I tried searching through the forums to get my questions answered, but couldn't find what I needed. First, a little background:

I've been a console gamer for the last decade or so, but am thinking of getting more into PC gaming, and this week kind of pushed me in that direction. A super old desktop that we had crashed a few weeks ago, and with school getting ready to start, I had to get it replaced ASAP for my kids and wife to use (we home school). So this week I found what I thought was a pretty good deal - it's an HP Pavilion p7 series:

APU: Quad core A8-5500, 3.2 GHz operating speed (Up to 3.7 GHz Turbo... whatever that means)
Memory: 8 GB RAM, DDR3, PC3-12800 MB/sec
IGPU: Radeon HD 7560D
Power Supply: 300W

Being on a budget, this PC seemed to offer good entry level integrated graphics, and I bought it refurbished for $350. Last night I played Skyrim on it at medium settings and was very pleased. But if there's room to upgrade, I'd like to know how to go about doing it, as there are likely going to be other games down the road that I'll want to play (BF4, TitanFall and ES online come to mind). I tried looking into crossfiring but apparently HP blocks vid cards from being used together. So my specific question is:

What would be a good card to upgrade to as the primary graphics card, and how would I go about doing it? I know my power supply is basic, and am willing to upgrade it if need be. I'm totally new to PC gaming, so really don't know much about how to upgrade a system, especially an APU. I'm mechanically and technically inclined though... so I can learn this stuff relatively quickly.

Oh, and my budget maxes out at about $300 for upgrades (still cheaper than a PS4 and XBone, lol).

Any advice and/or links to instructions on this kind of thing would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!



The first thing that you need to do is make sure that your system has a free PCIe 16x slot and room for a discrete graphics cards. Some HP computers that use AMD APUs do not have PCIe slots.

If all is well, you've got a few options.

Your first option is to buy a power efficient mid range card that will not necessitate buying a new power supply as well. My usual recommendation for individuals with 300 watt OEM power supplies is something from the Radeon HD 7700 series. If you're serious about games like Skyrim, give the HD 7790 a shot. It's based off of a slightly revised GCN architecture so it's a little better than it's older brother the HD 7770.

Your second option is to buy a lower-highend card that will necessitate buying a new power supply as well. For this I would recommend the HD 7870 which starts at about $200. Couple that with a high quality power supply such as this one, http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... and you're good to go.
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August 1, 2013 1:15:42 PM

Not much to upgrade here. If you want to use the maximum budget you can get something like an HD7850 and a decent 500W power supply.
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August 1, 2013 1:51:39 PM

Pinhedd said:


The first thing that you need to do is make sure that your system has a free PCIe 16x slot and room for a discrete graphics cards. Some HP computers that use AMD APUs do not have PCIe slots.

If all is well, you've got a few options.

Your first option is to buy a power efficient mid range card that will not necessitate buying a new power supply as well. My usual recommendation for individuals with 300 watt OEM power supplies is something from the Radeon HD 7700 series. If you're serious about games like Skyrim, give the HD 7790 a shot. It's based off of a slightly revised GCN architecture so it's a little better than it's older brother the HD 7770.

Your second option is to buy a lower-highend card that will necessitate buying a new power supply as well. For this I would recommend the HD 7870 which starts at about $200. Couple that with a high quality power supply such as this one, http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... and you're good to go.


Thanks for the quick response Pinhedd. Yeah, there is one PCIe x16 slot open right now. I didn't think to mention that until after I posted the thread. I'm pretty sure there's room... it's a full size tower but I haven't actually looked in it yet.

When looking at the HD 7790 on Newegg, I'm seeing MOST minimum power requirements range from 400 - 500W. For example:

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

But then I see this one that has a system requirement minimum of TDP 100W:

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

Am I to assume that the TDP 100W means it has a low power requirement, while the 400 - 500W requirements do not? Sorry if this seems like an odd question, I'm just a noob trying to understand... are not all 7790s created equally when it comes to power consumption?

Oh, and I see the 7790 listed as needing a PCIe 3.0 slot... mine is a PCIe 2.0. Does that matter?

And one more thing... if I was to upgrade to say a 600W power supply and run a lower high end card (like the 7870) with a higher power consumption, would I need to add more cooling hardware to the PC as well?

Thanks again for helping me out.
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August 1, 2013 1:56:29 PM

Eximo said:
Not much to upgrade here. If you want to use the maximum budget you can get something like an HD7850 and a decent 500W power supply.


Why is there not much to upgrade? Like I said I'm extremely new to PC gaming and I'm not sure if you're saying the system here isn't worth upgrading, or if you're saying the system is in pretty good shape as it is.

From what I've found so far I think it's a pretty good system (especially for $350)... but I'm not against adding a little more to it and making it a really good system.
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August 1, 2013 2:00:11 PM

You have a fast AMD processor, plenty of RAM, and integrated graphics.

For the purposes of gaming your only feasible upgrade is a video card, and to power the better ones, a new powersupply.
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August 1, 2013 2:06:52 PM

Ah I see. Thanks. Like I said, I'm really green to PC gaming, as I just started seriously looking into it this week, so I have a lot to learn. With the next gen consoles running $400 - $500, I've said "enough" and will gladly dump roughly half of that into a PC for equal or better results. Just gotta learn how to do it. :) 
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August 1, 2013 2:10:27 PM

Tom J said:
Pinhedd said:


The first thing that you need to do is make sure that your system has a free PCIe 16x slot and room for a discrete graphics cards. Some HP computers that use AMD APUs do not have PCIe slots.

If all is well, you've got a few options.

Your first option is to buy a power efficient mid range card that will not necessitate buying a new power supply as well. My usual recommendation for individuals with 300 watt OEM power supplies is something from the Radeon HD 7700 series. If you're serious about games like Skyrim, give the HD 7790 a shot. It's based off of a slightly revised GCN architecture so it's a little better than it's older brother the HD 7770.

Your second option is to buy a lower-highend card that will necessitate buying a new power supply as well. For this I would recommend the HD 7870 which starts at about $200. Couple that with a high quality power supply such as this one, http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... and you're good to go.


Thanks for the quick response Pinhedd. Yeah, there is one PCIe x16 slot open right now. I didn't think to mention that until after I posted the thread. I'm pretty sure there's room... it's a full size tower but I haven't actually looked in it yet.

When looking at the HD 7790 on Newegg, I'm seeing MOST minimum power requirements range from 400 - 500W. For example:

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

But then I see this one that has a system requirement minimum of TDP 100W:

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

Am I to assume that the TDP 100W means it has a low power requirement, while the 400 - 500W requirements do not? Sorry if this seems like an odd question, I'm just a noob trying to understand... are not all 7790s created equally when it comes to power consumption?

Oh, and I see the 7790 listed as needing a PCIe 3.0 slot... mine is a PCIe 2.0. Does that matter?

And one more thing... if I was to upgrade to say a 600W power supply and run a lower high end card (like the 7870) with a higher power consumption, would I need to add more cooling hardware to the PC as well?

Thanks again for helping me out.


The recommended 400-500 watt power supply is a safety margin to prevent people with PSUs based on an old or inferior design that have limited current capacity on the 12 volt rail from damaging their PSU. The major OEMs have switched to PSUs that are 12 volt dominant, so this will not be an issue for your PC unless the combined load exceeds ~250 watts.
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August 1, 2013 4:09:41 PM

So after digging a little deeper into the HD7790 vs the HD7870 + PSU... I'm thinking that the HD7790 is probably the way to go. For about $130 (which brings my system to $480 total) I can ultimately end up running graphics that are going to be about on par with what the PS4 is going to offer (the PS4 Graphics processor speed is about 1.8 TFLOPS, and the HD7790 offers 1.78 TFLOPS), if I understand all this correctly. And that'll be good enough for me. Same graphical power with the next gen consoles... and not nearly as many restrictions :) 

Thanks again for the help Pinhedd.
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