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helping my mom upgrade gpu

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March 21, 2008 4:21:34 PM

Can someone give me some suggestions about what graphics card best fits this MOBO? It has PCI-E x16 but the chipset is ATI Radeon® XPRESS 200 Chipset. I also can't find anything regarding the PSU for her system.

Here's the link to the MOBO specs:
http://www.msicomputer.com/product/p_spec.asp?model=RS4...

Here's the link to the entire system:
http://h10025.www1.hp.com/ewfrf/wc/prodinfoCategory?lc=...
March 21, 2008 4:56:24 PM

She honestly wants to start playing some MMORPG games with my cousin and I. Kind of hilarious actually but fun for her.
March 21, 2008 4:59:56 PM

I'm traveling out to the westcoast to visit her next week and want to order some parts to have when I get there. I'm gonna slap some RAM into her system. Two sets of these:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

I'm considering a new CPU for her but it would need to be 939 pin and I don't know what is out there for her to upgrade too.

Any help I can get would be appreciated.
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March 21, 2008 5:12:10 PM

I know the MOBO has a PCI-E x16 slot...so when you say 'no PCI-E connector', I'm not sure what that means and how it is a limitation. Can you explain?

she is wanting to play DDO and possibly some other higher-end games.
a c 147 U Graphics card
March 21, 2008 5:30:47 PM

jettmorrison said:
I know the MOBO has a PCI-E x16 slot...so when you say 'no PCI-E connector', I'm not sure what that means and how it is a limitation. Can you explain?

she is wanting to play DDO and possibly some other higher-end games.

Sorry, I was refering to the Power Supply. Most higher end cards have 1 or more 6pin power connectors for the graphics cards. With your PSU being 300W it wouldn't handle them regardless.

What is DDO? and when you say higher-end games please explain. What display is she using?
March 21, 2008 5:47:21 PM

Believe it or not...she wants to play Oblivion, NWN2 etc. Pretty high-end stuff.

So she would need a new psu to handle any other graphics card correct? Let's assume I installed a new psu, what should I get for that? Also, once a new psu is installed, what PCI-E x16 card would work in her MOBO considering her chipset?
March 21, 2008 5:55:19 PM

price isn't the issue...I'm trying to convince her to let me build her a new machine...but she just purchased this puter and isn't keen on building a new one. So I'm trying to upgrade it the best I can.
a c 147 U Graphics card
March 21, 2008 5:58:49 PM

OBLIVION!!!
wow she really knows how to pick them doesn't she. The HP Pavilions really aren't the PC's to be putting in high end parts. You MIGHT be better off gutting it and putting everything into a bigger case. Most higher end cards are 9.5" long and don't fit in the space of a Pavilion. What are the rest of the specs of the PC? Regardless it might limit the GPU because of an old CPU.

Another look into this, if she isn't running on a large monitor you might be able to get away with like an ATI HD3850 or Nvidia 9600GT or something like that. They would both need a new PSU though.
a c 147 U Graphics card
March 21, 2008 6:01:58 PM

jettmorrison said:
price isn't the issue...I'm trying to convince her to let me build her a new machine...but she just purchased this puter and isn't keen on building a new one. So I'm trying to upgrade it the best I can.

Now you throw in a 22". Man you keep changing it up like a Baseball pitcher with ADD. with a 22" and oblivion you are going to want like a 8800Gt/GTS.

You might be better off building her a new one. Tell her "if you wanna play with the big boys you have to play with big boy toys"......"Because Mike Rowe said so!"
March 21, 2008 6:06:48 PM

ok...let's assume she isn't going to play super high-end games but just wants to stick with WOW and D&D Online and stuff. Upgrading the RAM and a smaller card would probably do the trick. What card should I get for her?
a c 144 U Graphics card
March 21, 2008 6:13:15 PM

I'd go with an ATI HD3850, the extra RAM and probably a new power supply.

-Wolf sends
a b U Graphics card
March 21, 2008 6:17:05 PM

Looks like you need a new PSU if you plan to go anywhere, RAM and a 3850. If you can't fir the PSU on the current case get a new case and do some modding if the motherboard had non-ATX screw layout
a c 147 U Graphics card
March 21, 2008 6:21:37 PM

jettmorrison said:
would this card fit into her current system? would it need a new psu?
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Yes it should be fine. Anything more powerful than this you will need a new PSU. This card pulls it power from the PCI-E bus and does not have its own power connector.

If you look at bigger PSU's you could get something beefier but you might not get it to physcially fit. I know people have had issues with cards being to long and the PCI-E power connector doesnt fit in.
a c 147 U Graphics card
March 21, 2008 6:53:48 PM

OK!! so here is your mom's PC, pictures and all:
http://pcworld.about.com/news/Sep282005id122758.htm
Looks like she has no clearance issues for a card and that the PSU is of the standard type.

I'd grab a 500-600W PSU
maybe a:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

And then grab an 9600gt or 8800gt that has a decent cooler and away she goes with her OBLIVION, swinging her sword away at mama's gameing boutique.
9600gt: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
8800gt: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
March 21, 2008 6:57:44 PM

absolutely cracks me up...I can't wait to smash my mom down with my level 16 dwarf.

which of the two above cards is the better one?
a c 147 U Graphics card
March 21, 2008 7:05:59 PM

jettmorrison said:
absolutely cracks me up...I can't wait to smash my mom down with my level 16 dwarf.

which of the two above cards is the better one?

The 8800Gt is more powerful. I believe the 9 series has better HD playback for movies and such but you don't care about that crap. Basically I put it in there for budget reasons. It will be hindered by her other hardware but you can always transplant the PSU and Graphics to another PC. ACTUALLYYYYYYY!!!! why not gut the thing, thrown in a new Mobo, CPU, Ram. And have an HP sleeper machine. You know, a slow looking Pavilion on the outside with a Turbocharged highly tuned engine underneith.

Actually an 8800GTS is better overtop of those 2. Might actually be getter because it blows the hot air out of the case unlike any 8800gt coolers.
eVGA GTS: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
MSI (cheaper) GTS: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

HAHA funny thing is my buddy has a Pavilion as well and he gutted it and put in a Core2 e6300, new 650i mobo, 2Gb Ram, new PSU, and a 7800GTX in it about a year back. It made us all laugh. He needed to cut some stuff out of the case to get the card to fit though, but looks like you don't have that issue.
March 21, 2008 9:51:12 PM

just to be clear...the eVGA or the MSI listed above will work with my mothers MOBO (ATI chipset)?

I'm gonna grab 2g of RAM, a new PSU, and one of the above video cards for her then.
a b U Graphics card
March 21, 2008 10:17:37 PM

Your card will be fine with that chipset
a b U Graphics card
March 21, 2008 10:19:45 PM

Yes, it will work with your chipset. Be sure to disable on board graphics (in BIOS) and uninstall all graphic drivers before installing the new card.
a b U Graphics card
March 21, 2008 10:24:47 PM

^ Yes thats right, it wont hurt it, but it wont use it til you do. Set it to Pci in bios. Youll have to download the new drivers . Even without the drivers, windows drivers will allow you to bootup and go to the nVidia site to download the latest drivers
March 21, 2008 10:40:14 PM

last time I installed a new pci card...I installed the new card...installed all the drivers...disabled the on board graphics in Device Manager...enabled the new card in Device Manager...rebooted...and everything worked. Same procedure?
March 21, 2008 11:29:07 PM

my mom has 2x512gb sticks of RAM in her system now. If I purchase 2x1gb sticks, can I just keep the older ones? Giving her a total of 3gb? Or does all RAM need to be the same size, model, make?
a b U Graphics card
March 21, 2008 11:52:12 PM

Sometimes 4 sticks of ram does funny things. I'd probably just toss the old sticks and use the new stuff unless she really needs 3GB of ram. Oblivion definitely doesn't even with all of the graphics mods I applied.
a c 147 U Graphics card
March 22, 2008 2:59:43 AM

I always like to keep the ram similar. Not mixing 512 and 1GB sticks. For older machines it wasnt an issue but sometimes on newer ones it does funny things. Especially when you get a game that chews up 1GB.

March 22, 2008 2:56:28 PM

cool...I'll just stick with 2gb and put the rest of the money towards a new gpu and psu.
a c 147 U Graphics card
March 23, 2008 5:08:10 PM

2GB with XP is enough to run anything really. Vista you may want more.
March 23, 2008 6:10:20 PM

jay-

ok...so I've convinced my mother to build a new computer but in increments. I'm going to proceed as planned by purchasing a gpu, psu, and RAM for her current puter. However, I want to grab a psu in the 700-750 watt range for future usage. Any suggestions for psu units that will fit into her case?

You recommended this psu
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Can you suggest one that will fit her case but with a little more juice?
a b U Graphics card
March 23, 2008 6:14:41 PM

That psu should handle just about naything youll want to put in her case. Its pushing 41 Amps on the 12 volt rail, thats plenty unless youre going to get the top of the line graphics card
a c 147 U Graphics card
March 24, 2008 12:29:54 PM

jettmorrison said:
jay-
ok...so I've convinced my mother to build a new computer but in increments. I'm going to proceed as planned by purchasing a gpu, psu, and RAM for her current puter. However, I want to grab a psu in the 700-750 watt range for future usage. Any suggestions for psu units that will fit into her case?

You recommended this psu
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Can you suggest one that will fit her case but with a little more juice?

There are 550W PSU's and there are 550W PSU's. There are some misconceptions about wattage and power supplies.
Look at the 2 PSU's in this comparison: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Productcompare.aspx?Submi...
The cheap(eagle) PSU does not have a 6pin PCI-E connector at all, the Corsair has a 6pin and 6+2 pin. The eagle is rated on 2 12v rails totalling 28A, the Corsair has a single 12V rail at 41A. The corsair has more approvals and is a Class B PSU(aka more effiencient). The corsair is also SLI and Crossfire certified.

That Corsair will let you run everything you need unless you get 2+ HIGHEND cards. It will run an SLI setup with normal gaming cards.


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