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Upgrading hp m8307c video card..

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October 9, 2008 11:53:39 PM

People who actually own the hp m8307c and have upgraded the video card and/or power supply please respond!

My sister is wanting to upgrade the nvidia 8400gs in her hp m8307c desktop pc. Her budget is anywhere from $100 to $200 or more, depending on how long she's willing to wait. The power supply in it is 300w. I'll likely need to find a new power supply for her system to handle a larger load so she can install a decent video card.

Thanks!
October 31, 2008 8:26:00 PM

Have you upgraded your system yet?

I have a m8307c and just did this upgrade and can offer some info on the parts I chose and how it worked.

November 1, 2008 11:38:25 AM

To fatmattyd,

Please respond with more detail. I'd also like to know how to upgrade the graphic card.
My plan is to get like a GeForce 9600GT... is it a good choice?

So, I probably need a new power supply and a new graphic card.

What's your upgrade choice and method, please share, thank you.
Related resources
November 1, 2008 1:13:29 PM

I just picked up a m8307c off ebay with the hopes of playing some newer games...
I did a bunch of research on here (Toms) and went with:

Power supply:
They're doing a power supply roundup article now, but Ive had great luck with pc power and cooling products, so went with their 610W supply. It barely fit... and by barely I mean I had to take the case all apart (not too difficult), work it to get it in, and the thing has so many power connections that I ended up having to zip tie all of the extra connectors (most of them!) into little bundles and tuck them into the 2nd 5.25" drive bay. That said, with this power supply choice, I dont think I could use that 2nd drive bay for anything but cables. I think the primary problem is the power supply is so long that the cables end up getting pinched if you try to bend them all down into the main case area. Anyway, it did fit, but I wonder if the 500W version wouldn't be a better choice. The 500W version also has 2 pci-e power connectors, and is SLI rated (so it should have plenty of power for one video card).
The only real hiccup with this choice (in my mind) was that the power plug connector (on the power supply) was a little larger than on the stock unit and didnt quite fit the case. I had to bend about an inch of metal back from the case to get the power supply to slide all the way back. I ended up working this back and forth to break off this little tab... looks kinda crummy, but works. Maybe a different unit would drop right in? It wasn't hard to do, and i'd do it again, but it was a minor hassle.

Video card:
Based on the review on Tom's, I went with the ATI 4850 at first. It looked like a great card (maybe it really is), and the Asus version came with a huge glaciator heat sink which was supposed to be a better cooling solution than some of the other versions. It still took up 2 slots, but didn't block the SATA0 and SATA1 drive connectors.
To make a short story long, the ATI card ran so hot that it kept crashing the system. I think the main problem is that the HP case doesnt really have a great cooling solution (only 1 main system fan) and the whole side of the case is perforated, so there's no real airflow direction. The only way I could get this card to play the game Crysis (medium settings, 1280x1024 which wasn't full screen) without overheating was to leave the case open and run a 12" box fan on high pointed at the card... this didn't seem reasonable.

So... I ended up RMA'ing that card (Newegg's great) and got an EVGA 9800GTX+. I think the specs are a little lower on this card, the cost was the same, and its still got the dual-slot cooling solution. However, this card vents the heat out the back vs. the Asus card just blowing heat around the case. Also, my m8307c came with a TV tuner card (do they all?), and the EVGA nvidia card's fan is farther back in the case, so it has an unobstructed supply of air. The Asus card's fan was pressed right up against the TV tuner card (maybe this was part of the problem? Seems like it should have been fine).
Anyway... the new EVGA card runs cooler at idle (50C?) and under a load (Crysis @ medium settings, full screen 1680x1050 w/ 2x anti-aliasing on) only gets to the mid 60's to 70C. The Asus card would get over 80C quickly.

The card just barely fits the case, however, and does block SATA0 and SATA1 drive connectors on the motherboard.
I moved the drives to SATA2 and SATA3... on reboot Vista said it was updating drivers, but worked fine.
I figure I dont have any more room in the case for more drives... certainly no cd-rom drives, so I didn't need all six SATA connectors anyway.
There's a firewire connector for the front panel that sits right near the TV tuner card... I flattened the wires down on the top of this connector and re-routed the cable to run below the TV tuner card (now that I've got the EVGA card in there, this probably wasn't necessary). In any case, the card fit, but was tight.

Hope that helps...
To answer your question, I think the 9600GT is a fine card. I think it depends on the game's you'll play. I wanted to play Crysis and this game seems like a real resource hog. I think the 9600GT is a much better value and if you're not gaming could even be argued as overkill.
I think i'd still go with a 500W power supply, or at least a 450W from a good brand. I think you'll find that something in the 500W fits a little easier, and maybe doesn't obstruct the 2nd 5.25" drive bay.
It would have been nice to find a power supply that had removable (modular) wiring... but it doesnt seem like pc power and cooling offers this.

I did remove the goofy media drive bay, although it didnt interfere with the card at all. I just thought it would be nice to get rid of the 2 wires running to it. The cage is still there, however, since it holds the hard drive.
Sliding this cage in and out simplified installation of both the video card and the power supply as well... I recommend this highly.

To slide this thing out, pull of both side panels (finger screws on the left side, phillips on the right). Slide them both back and away.
Then you can pull off the front panel (3x plastic clips on each side).
You can slide the top plastic cover off (slides back and up), but this doesnt do much.

Once you get the front face off you can unplug the two wires on the modular drive bay and the two connectors on the hard drive (right beside the modular drive bay, closer to the memory). Pull up on that green tab and slide the entire modular drive bay right out. This opens up the case nicely for routing and plugging in that big ATX 24 pin motherboard connector.

Sorry this is so jumbled... hopefully gives you some info. Let me know if you've got specific questions or would like to see a picture of the final setup.
-Matt
November 1, 2008 1:21:09 PM

Another thought...

There's another thread similar to this one at:
http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/254371-28-m8307c-ipib...

Some of the folks had some good info on cards and power supplies, in particular this power supply:

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

Looks like its got a better layout in the back (power plug doesnt look like it would interfere with the case), its got modular cabling - no obstruction of the 2nd 5.25" drive bay, but still has all the right specs (2x pci-e power plugs, plenty of wattage, etc).

My only question is the height of the unit (there's a tab on the back of the HP case that would interfere with a power supply if it was too tall...) maybe that's standard though?

Anyway, let us know how it turned out!
-Matt
November 1, 2008 5:32:50 PM

wow thanks for the long and detailed reply.
I appreciate it.
December 25, 2008 8:51:30 PM

I just upgraded my daughters HP M8307c to a OZ 600W Stealth Stream power supply and a EVGA GTX260 video card. The power supply fit perfectly as it was the same length as the original PS and has just the right amount of connectors for this box. Important part for these video cards is how many amps are available on the 12v rail. The OZ PS has 72 amps and 580 W available on the 12v rail which is plenty.

The EVGA card is huge and was a tight fit and I had to move the SATA cables to the 04 and 06 set of connectors as they block the end of the card. My daughter has a second drive just for her gamer stuff, so there were 3 sata connections to worry about. Since the motherboard has 6 SATA sockets, no problem. Box came right up and saw everything where it should be just as fatmattyd said.

The card is running super . . . WoW at max everything and other windows and apps open at the same time.

The OZ power supply is totally silent! In fact, the entire box is extremely quiet. Kudos to HP, OZ and EVGA.

Thanks to fatmattyd for answering my question about moving the SATA connectors around! Made it all work.
January 2, 2009 2:43:53 PM

Guys- I have been looking ang looking to confirm if the PCIE slot on the M8307C is a "v1" or "v2"? I can't find that ANYWHERE! I know a v2 card will fit if in fact it is v1, but you lose a lot of performance from the card. Does anyone KNOW for CERTAIN what the PCIE slot is?

Thanks-

DSD
January 2, 2009 7:00:30 PM

I have the same HP M8307C mobo, but I finally got a hold of someone at HP, and they tell me that the mobo DOES NOT support PCIE v2.0. so why would I purchase a newer graphics card when it couldn't get the full performance of it?

This is my chat conversation with HP-



Me : I'm looking that the PCIE x 16 slot (graphic card) and need to know if it is capable of v2.0 or is it only a v1.0?
[An agent will be with you shortly.]
[You are now chatting with Kerwin S .]
Kerwin S : Welcome to HP Total Care. My name is Kerwin S. Please give me a few moments while I review your problem description details.
Me : hi kerwin
Kerwin S : Hello
Me : i am trying to find out about my motherboard so I can upgrade my graphic card
Me : HP M8307C
Me : here is the only decent link I can find:
Me : http://h10025.www1.hp.com/ewfrf/wc [...] ct=3660292
Me : All it says is "One PCI Express x16 graphics (for graphics cards) "
Kerwin S : The PCI Exp X16 graphics card slots are are of v1.0
Me : Since ASUS won't support it, I can't fin actual detailed information about the board
Me : Are you CERTAIN?
Me : Do you have ANY other detailed doc to support that board other than that web page?
Me : Like an actual manual?
Kerwin S : let me check whether ir is available. I will provide you the document if available.
Me : Thanks
Kerwin S : Thank you for being online, I appreciate your patience.
Kerwin S : I regret to inform you that there is no other document document which says about this motherboard.
Me : I believe it.
Me : So are you 100% CERTAIN it is v1.0?
Me : And how?
Kerwin S : I suppose not provide any information without knowing it completely.
Me : hmmm... There's GOTTA be a way... Right? I don't want to invest a couple hundred $US in a graphics card if I can't get the most out of it...
Me : somewhere, someone at HP MUST know about this board
Me : If it has an Intel G33 chipset, I'm thinking it MIGHT support v2.0
Kerwin S : As I informed earlier the PCi xp X 16 slots are of v1.0 and none of the board from HP shipped with v2.0
Kerwin S : NO
Kerwin S : It wil not support v2.0
Me : I understand what you are saying, but it would be NICE if we had some doc to support that.
Me : Thanks anyway...
January 2, 2009 7:25:15 PM

Most boards shipping in packaged systems only support v1.x. Although many of the cards claim to support v2.0, you are not going to notice the difference unless the rest of the system (cpu, memory, motherboard backplane) are at the top end. That means paying Alienware prices, not HP Pavilion prices. The real question is whether or not v1.x will bottleneck a v2.0 card. The answer on your system is that it won't. The CPU is a bigger bottleneck.

Read up on the standard at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PCI_Express. You will notice the important speed step up is PCIE x16 support which the M8307C does have.

The real test is what settings the card will support in your game(s) of choice. In my daughter's system with the newer card she could max the settings on WoW on her 22" screen and it didn't stutter or slow down at all. That is why you would pay $200+ for the card.

While it's true that pcie2.0x8 (x16 effective) or pcie1.0/1x16 will bottleneck newer cards horribly in cf,
http://www.tweaktown.com/articles/ [...] index.html
you have to keep in mind that due to the nature of cf, where the 2 cards use extra bandwidth to communicate with each other, resulting in much higher pcie bus load than in single cards.

Check out some benchmarks that would test the difference, if any. The new gtx280 weren't usually tested using pcie1.x, but considering that the old 9800gx2, which outperforms gtx280,
http://www.anandtech.com/video/sho [...] =3341&p=13
http://www.anandtech.com/video/sho [...] =3341&p=14
http://www.anandtech.com/video/sho [...] =3341&p=15
http://www.anandtech.com/video/sho [...] =3341&p=16
http://www.anandtech.com/video/sho [...] =3341&p=17
http://www.anandtech.com/video/sho [...] =3341&p=18
http://www.anandtech.com/video/sho [...] =3341&p=19
is not bottlenecked by it, it's reasonable to assume gtx280 won't be bottlenecked either. So don't worry, you're good.
January 11, 2009 2:12:33 PM

I just bought an hp pavilion with the same "benicia" board.I want to add a geforce 9800gtx+ car which is a dual slot card.
My concern is the panel connection on motherboard.The plug is right behind the sata connectors.This is a fairly tall connector,don't know if the card will bump into this or not.

I moved the sata connectors over to 04 and 06 to give more room.I'm just not sure how wide the card actually is and again,if it would'nt fit because of this "panel" connector being to tall to fit over it.

Any input would be much appreciated

Thx

January 11, 2009 3:05:39 PM

Rando,
Go up 4 messages and read my first one on this subject. Also read fatmattyd's description which helped me. You should have no problem, it's just a very close fit.
January 11, 2009 4:09:10 PM

DZRhino,

Thanks,i guess i just wanted some reassurance.i would hate to order a card only to find out that it wouldn't fit

I read the posts and thats why i replied.So,does your daughters card sit on top of that panel connector or miss it completely?

BTW I'm also ordering the same power supply,it sounds like a real winner.

Again,thanks for reply...great forum!
January 11, 2009 5:24:19 PM

rando,

There are two cases used by HP, the one for the M8307C like my daughter has is the multi-media one that has the slot for the removable hard drive that no one uses. The other case has a slightly different orientation inside and I don't have one to look at as we have 3 HP desktops all in the same cabinet. I would assume that the layout is probably mostly the same in either case internally.

If by panel connector you mean the main mother board power connectors, those were far enough back to miss the card . . . The end of the card just covered the SATA connectors so moving those connectors to the other sockets made it work.
March 6, 2009 2:21:23 AM

Incredible. This post is EXACTLY what I needed. I am looking at PC Power & Cooling for the PSU too. I think I'm going with the 500w but it looks the same as the 610w. Not sure what you mean when you say it's smaller.

Either way. This post made me feel better about ordering and installing the 9800GTX+ card. Tigerdirect has a sale on the XFX version of this card. I hear XFX is a good company but haven't bought anything in quite awhile. (old pc was a PIII)

Lifetime warranty looks like a good deal from XFX.

Any thoughts?
a b U Graphics card
a b ) Power supply
March 6, 2009 2:43:47 AM

It will fit, the OCZ 600w StealthStream is also a good choice for a power supply on those HPs. A card that exhausts hot air out the back is a better choice then a Zalman type cooler.
March 6, 2009 9:06:02 PM

ed777,

this post also helped me with my upgrade too

i bought an ocz700 and decided to get the evga gtx260 instead of the 9800gtx+ because it's a more capable card and i was thinking long term on this.

the power supply is very quiet and everything fit like a glove.I found "newegg" to be a little better deal for me than "tigerdirect" when i bought.

thanks to DZRHINO and everyone in this post for helping me make my decision on these 2 upgrades


btw,evga and xfx seem to be the best choices for graphics as they both offer lifetime warranties

March 7, 2009 3:35:39 AM

Glad to know XFX is a known and popular choice. I haven't looked at this stuff for about 8 years and don't know a lot of the players (or forgot them).

I had been thinking about the XFX Nvidia 9800GTX+ Black Edition but didn't know the difference. Specs didn't seem like a whole lot more for $30 but I guess if this is your thing then it matters. Does anyone know if the XFX Nvidia 9800GTX+ comes overclocked. I didn't want it to come overclocked out of the box because I heard that shortens the life of the card. I am a casual gamer so want this card to last.

Any thoughts?
!