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Upgarding my current setup

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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April 24, 2009 4:39:42 AM

I don't know if this is the right forum or not, but here goes. I just got a new pc about 3 months ago, it was gift from a friend :D . Its an HP a6530f, he never opened the box, he's got a custom built rig so hes better off. Anyway, long story short I'd like to upgrade my pc to play some heavy duty games, Crysis, fallout 3, dawn of war II, Demigod, battlefield 2142, and some big upcoming MMOs, including Champions and Star Trek Online. I've never done an upgrade before, so as of late I've been doing some research. I'd like to upgrade my Graphics card and PSU, money is (almost) not an option.

:pfff: 
-Current setup-
-4 Gig ddr2
-AMD Phenom 8450 Triple Core Processor 2.10 Ghz
-Windows Vista 64-bit operating system
-Asus M2N68-LA motherboard with integrated graphics using nVidia GeForce 6150SE
-One PCI Express x16 Expansion slot

I was looking at an Nvidia GTX285 series graphics card and a PSU suitiable to run it, however im not sure if A) my box will hold the card, B) if my box will hold the power supply, and c) what kind of cooling the card will need. :sweat: 

Im open to advice, and specific cards and PSUs would be appreciated for ease of purchase.

Thank you all in advance. :hello: 
April 24, 2009 4:46:21 AM

Your cpu is pretty crappy...don't expect to play crysis and gta very well with that thing....your going to want to see if you can overclock it :??: 


Do you know what your monitors resolution is :sarcastic:  you won't need a 285 if you have a low resolution monitor :sarcastic: 
a b U Graphics card
April 24, 2009 4:51:55 AM

His CPU is a triple core, it should be fine if he OCs it. It is by no means crappy, even at stock speed. But if he wants high end gaming, then yes, he needs to OC it.


Try OCing it to 2.4 for starters, and then to 2.6 and 2.8. The best and safest OC would be if you don't have to raise the voltage and there is no significant temperature increae.

Get a good 500-600watt PSU for a GTX285, but as rewind said, if you play at 1680x1050, you don't need that high end GPU. Get a GTX260, 4870, GTX275, or 4890 for 1680x1050 resolution or lower. If you're playing at 1280x1024, a 9800GTX/GTX+/GTS250 or 4850 will be good enough to nearly max out Crysis.
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a b U Graphics card
April 24, 2009 6:08:39 AM

Even if you overclock your CPU, I'm not sure it will get the full benefits of a GTX 260. If your friend will play on a 22" monitor or lower then for sure a GTX 260 will not be needed. It's the equivalent of having a V-16 Ferrari in a 1971 Volkwagon Bettle. The engine is there for power but the car won't let it go to its full capability.

A 9800 GTX is more appropriate and would not need a new power supply.

April 24, 2009 6:16:31 AM

I'm afraid overclocking is probably not an option...the bios is locked on most HP models. So you are looking at making the most of what you got by getting a good low resolution card like the gts250, 9800gtx, or 4850, or upgrading your Cpu to one that won't bottleneck a higher resolution graphics card....I think you are better off enjoying the games you play at lower resolutions and going with one of the mid level cards mentioned...you might not even need to upgrade your psu for those cards, I'm not sure what is stock in the HP model.
a c 164 U Graphics card
April 24, 2009 9:47:25 AM

I couldn't figure out exactly how much the CPU limited your choice in graphics cards. It also depends slightly on the game. Once games support 3-cores fully you'll get better performance (although those games will expect modern high-end CPU's to look their best... as per usual).

After much consideration, I believe this is the best card for you:

ATI HD4850 512MB

I doubt your CPU could handle too much more. It does play a lot of great games. It won't play Crysis at really high graphics (Crysis is very overrated) but it'll do an okay job. This will give you a pretty good overall gaming system. There's lots of current games it'll run great. Half Life 2 will look amazing (okay it's older). Future games like Starcraft 2 and Diablo 3 will run really good on this system.

Just try the demo before buying the game.

Other:
1) Cooling? It's built-in.
2) Your case should hold a regular ATX case. Look inside. I'm pretty certain.
3) Will the card fit? You need the PCIe x16 slot and one below it so that you're using two of the rear expansion slots (the heat exhaust out one). The only other concern is length. So measure it. I know that some graphics boards are shorter than others. Anyway, open up your case and measure the length.

As for your PSU, I have no idea what you have now so I can't say if you need to upgrade. You require sufficent Power and the proper power connectors.
a c 266 U Graphics card
April 24, 2009 5:15:37 PM

xiebelvoule said:
I don't know if this is the right forum or not, but here goes. I just got a new pc about 3 months ago, it was gift from a friend :D . Its an HP a6530f, he never opened the box, he's got a custom built rig so hes better off. Anyway, long story short I'd like to upgrade my pc to play some heavy duty games, Crysis, fallout 3, dawn of war II, Demigod, battlefield 2142, and some big upcoming MMOs, including Champions and Star Trek Online. I've never done an upgrade before, so as of late I've been doing some research. I'd like to upgrade my Graphics card and PSU, money is (almost) not an option.

:pfff: 
-Current setup-
-4 Gig ddr2
-AMD Phenom 8450 Triple Core Processor 2.10 Ghz
-Windows Vista 64-bit operating system
-Asus M2N68-LA motherboard with integrated graphics using nVidia GeForce 6150SE
-One PCI Express x16 Expansion slot

I was looking at an Nvidia GTX285 series graphics card and a PSU suitiable to run it, however im not sure if A) my box will hold the card, B) if my box will hold the power supply, and c) what kind of cooling the card will need. :sweat: 

Im open to advice, and specific cards and PSUs would be appreciated for ease of purchase.

Thank you all in advance. :hello: 


To answer your questions:

A) High end cards will be longer. The GTX285, GTX260, GTX275 are 10.5" long and require an open slot below it to accomodate the dual slot cooler. Some ati cards are even longer. If 10.5" is too long, then there are some lesser cards that are in the 9" range.
B) Check the dimensions of your new psu first, and how much room you have. Some psu's are longer than others.
C) A dual slot cooler which is included on many cards is very effective. They send the hot vga air directly out the back of the case instead of recirculating it. If you have a front intake in the case with a 120mm fan, you should be ok. If needed, you can replace some case fans with higher rpm units at the cost of more noise.

I think I would look at the GTX275 card instead of the GTX285. It is almost as strong, and much cheaper. There is no negative to using a stronger card with a weak cpu, it will still perform better. You just might not get as much of an increase in performance as a strong cpu will allow. The performance in games is mostly dependent on the vga configuration.
Look at the EVGA GTX275 superclocked for $269.99:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
I like EVGA for their good customer support, warranty, and step-up program. XFX is good also.

For a PSU look at the Corsair 550VX for $74.99 after rebate:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
This is a quality unit which should be fine, even for the GTX285.
I think their length is one of the shorter ones.

April 24, 2009 6:57:35 PM

Thanks for all the input guys (and thanks for the links Geo), from what I gather I need a littler lower end card and a decent psu to run it. As far as OCing goes i've never actually overclocked a cpu before but would be interested in doing so as long as it doesn't require too much fiddling around (I'm not very handy :na: ). Also, as far as resolution goes i never go higher than 1024x768 or round about that, not sure why just looks better to me that way. Gonna head online and do some comparision shopping. Man I must have beeen living under a rock, cause this new pc is light years ahead of my old one (prepare to laugh :lol:  )

-Old PC- :pfff: 
-Compaq Persario with windows xp
-PCI slots only
-Intel Celeron (R) 2.66ghs processor
-1 Gb ram
-with Nvidia 8400 GS
April 24, 2009 7:55:50 PM

you only need a 4830 for that res.
!