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New Graphics Card and PSU

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
February 25, 2008 11:55:35 PM

My 12 year old son has a Compaq HP SR2180NX with integrated graphics. I have upgraded his RAM, which improved performance but his graphics card sux. I am assuming he will need a PSU upgrade as well.

I want to upgrade his video card to allow him (and me) to play current games.

I have read through many recent posts and searched online to try to make a decision on the best card and have learned enough to know there are a lot of factors to consider. I would appreciate if you could recommend a card +/- 100 dollars, and a PSU to drive the card. Based on my online research I was leaning toward a 8600 GT but have no clue on the PSU.

From what I have read, cooling is another issue to consider. Can I simply buy and install a card and PSU, load drivers and start playing with the new gard or will I need to add fans, etc to make things work? Will any card fit in the case? Will I need software to control the fan speed? Is the new card plug and play or will I need to disable the onboard integrated graphics card?

Here are specs on his Compaq HP SR2180NX:
Windows Vista Home Premium

Intel Pentium D, two processing cores, (2 x 2.8GHz)
Case (outside measurements) 7W x 16D x 14.5 H
PCIE, 1 x 16
3 Gig RAM, DDR2 PC2 5300
Factory power supply 300W, 19A on 12V rail

Any recommendations or additional considerations are appreciated.

More about : graphics card psu

February 26, 2008 12:27:20 AM

An 8600gt would be a huge increase in performance. I have one and I think it is awesome. You should be able to install a PSU too. I think all compaqs use standard size PSUs, I know mine does. There is also a chance that if you get a 8600, that it would run on the stock PSU, though don't bank on it.
February 26, 2008 12:48:07 AM

MSI R3650-T2D512 OC Radeon HD 3650 512MB 128-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFire Supported Video Card -

CORSAIR CMPSU-450VX ATX12V V2.2 450W Power Supply 90 - 264 V UL, CUL, CE, CB, FCC Class B, TUV, CCC, C-tick - Retail

Most likely this card will also run on stock PSU, but in case you want to upgrade to a good affordable unit that can handle most cards out there...
Related resources
February 26, 2008 1:14:05 AM

It is? I read a review this morning saying it was an Okay card. I just can't picture AMD bringing out an HD 3650 only to be beat by their own HD 2600XT which in turn I believe it's a stronger card than the 8600GT.
February 26, 2008 11:07:36 PM

Thanks for the recommendations. Sounds like the 2600XT is the best bet.

The card referenced has many complaints about the "jet engine fan". Is the loud fan just common with this card and necessary for cooling?

I'm not sure LOML would think the jet engine sound was "cool".

February 26, 2008 11:09:00 PM

Aren't ATI releasing a 3670 to bridge the gap between the 3650 and 3850?