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Looking for new card/power supply booster

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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August 29, 2009 12:16:18 AM

I currently have a hp m9457c computer, and althought it is a very nice computer (came with a nice 24" monitor =D), the graphics card in it is a bit "meh"

It has one pci 2.0 slot and that is taken by a ati hd3650 graphics card.
I want to upgrade to a newer card that can handle anti aliasing and all of the newer games maxed out, but the power supply that came with the computer is only 350w.

What I want to do is buy a power supply booster like this one:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

and then get a graphics card to go with it and replace my 3650.


I was wondering what power supply booster/graphics card combination would work best for my system. I was only able to find this one power supply booster on newegg, and it looks good, but was wondering whether there are any other ones out there, as they seem to be fairly hard to find.

These are my computer specs:
http://h10025.www1.hp.com/ewfrf/wc/document?docname=c01...


[edit]
I forgot about price range, but I'm looking to keep it under $200, but if there is a good deal or I can really get a lot more performance for a few more dollars, I'm willing to splurge a bit more money.

[edit2] I run games at 1920x1200, if that matters at all.
a b U Graphics card
August 29, 2009 12:35:51 AM

Hmm, I'm not familiar with power supply boosters, but that one guy commented and said it ran his GTX 280 just fine. I would suggest getting that and then maybe a GTX 260. It's a little over $200, but pretty worth it in my opinion. A really nice mail in rebate.

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



August 29, 2009 1:05:14 AM

Now how does the gtx260 compare to, say, an ati 4890 because the prices look pretty similar.
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a b U Graphics card
a b ) Power supply
August 29, 2009 2:13:52 AM

Unless you are sure your power supply has some proprietary connectors, why not replace the psu with a quality 400W-500W model that will handle any graphics card?

Power supply issues constitute the single largest category of problems posed here, and I could only find one less-than-thorough review of this booster.

This psu:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
will handle any vid card you will throw at it for net $15 less. And depending on the vid card you choose, we might go even smaller/cheaper.
August 29, 2009 4:31:37 AM

Twoboxer said:
Unless you are sure your power supply has some proprietary connectors, why not replace the psu with a quality 400W-500W model that will handle any graphics card?

Power supply issues constitute the single largest category of problems posed here, and I could only find one less-than-thorough review of this booster.

This psu:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
will handle any vid card you will throw at it for net $15 less. And depending on the vid card you choose, we might go even smaller/cheaper.

I was considering that, but I wasn't sure how to tell whether hp used a standard power supply type, or whether they used some non-standard power supply to make it harder to upgrade.

If it is a standard, I might just upgrade my power supply, but I'm not sure how to tell =p
a b U Graphics card
a b ) Power supply
August 29, 2009 5:39:40 AM

This March '09 thread on the HP support forum seems to indicate the PSUs in non-slimline cases are standard ATX spec:

http://h30434.www3.hp.com/psg/board/message?board.id=Ha...

From this spec page:
http://h10025.www1.hp.com/ewfrf/wc/document?docname=c01...
this list of onboard connectors doesn't ensure you could change mobos (front panel connectors), but it does show no problem (*) with an ATX psu:

*One 24-pin ATX power connector
*One 4-pin ATX power connector
*Six SATA connectors
One floppy drive connector
Two 12v fan connectors for CPU fan and PC fan
One 9-pin header for power button, reset button, power LED, and HDD LED
Three USB 2.0 headers supporting 6 USB ports or devices
One IEEE 1394a header
One SPDIF audio output header
One 4-pin audio line-input connector (interrupts line input on back panel, Vista capable, requires matching front audio jack module)
One 9-pin audio header for headphone-out and microphone-in (yellow, Vista capable, requires matching front audio jack module)
One Intel high-definition Audio/Modem Link (2x8 HDMI connector)
One jumper for resetting BIOS settings
One jumper to disable BIOS password checking

If you're a belt, suspenders, and a rope kind of guy (as I sometimes am lol), you might call HP tech support, or post your specific model and question in that forum. Be wary of the answers you get lol, as indicated in that thread :) 

A new psu is the ideal approach, and worth the research effort. Most of the hardware issues here turn out to be failing power supplies.
a b U Graphics card
a b ) Power supply
August 29, 2009 11:22:01 AM

I've done several power supply/graphic card updates on that HP series. They use a standard ATX power supply. You have several options, you could use a graphic card like the HD4770 and not have to upgrade your power supply at all, at about $110 that would be your cheapest option.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

You could replace your power supply with a good quality 450w to 550w and and a higher performing, more power hungry card like a HD4870 or HD4890. ($145-$200)

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

This 550w Corsair power supply at $50 after rebate is a great deal right now, short term deal. Any Antec, Corsair, PC Power and Cooling, Seasonic 500w with 2 6 pin PCIe connectors would be fine for the 4890. Be aware that the HP cases have pretty poor cooling, download a hardware monitor and keep an eye on your temperatures. You may have to add a fan if needed. A dual slot graphic card will also block a couple of your SATA ports, if you have to you can get the 90 degree cables that will plug in under the card.

A graphic card hierarchy chart that shows the relative performance of different cards.
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/best-graphics-card,...

You can google different reviews and benchmarks of the cards to show what performance you may expect from each at your resolution.

Here's a review of a couple of supplementary PSUs , neither of them is the one you had listed, but may have some information you could check.
http://www.jonnyguru.com/modules.php?name=NDReviews&op=...
August 29, 2009 4:13:59 PM

dirtmountain said:
I've done several power supply/graphic card updates on that HP series. They use a standard ATX power supply. You have several options, you could use a graphic card like the HD4770 and not have to upgrade your power supply at all, at about $110 that would be your cheapest option.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

You could replace your power supply with a good quality 450w to 550w and and a higher performing, more power hungry card like a HD4870 or HD4890. ($145-$200)

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

This 550w Corsair power supply at $50 after rebate is a great deal right now, short term deal. Any Antec, Corsair, PC Power and Cooling, Seasonic 500w with 2 6 pin PCIe connectors would be fine for the 4890. Be aware that the HP cases have pretty poor cooling, download a hardware monitor and keep an eye on your temperatures. You may have to add a fan if needed. A dual slot graphic card will also block a couple of your SATA ports, if you have to you can get the 90 degree cables that will plug in under the card.

A graphic card hierarchy chart that shows the relative performance of different cards.
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/best-graphics-card,...

You can google different reviews and benchmarks of the cards to show what performance you may expect from each at your resolution.

Here's a review of a couple of supplementary PSUs , neither of them is the one you had listed, but may have some information you could check.
http://www.jonnyguru.com/modules.php?name=NDReviews&op=...

After looking at what you and twoboxer said, I think I'll upgrade my power supply unit. It's nice to know that it's a standard atx power supply, which should make things a lot easier.
I think I can do some looking around and figure out what card I need also without much trouble.


One last question though, and thanks for all the help so far: how much work would upgrading my power supply be? I'm assuming almost anything I buy would have the right connectors and would not be too much of a hassle to install? I've never replaced anything inside my computer before and want to make sure I won't be overwhelmed replacing the power supply =p. I guess I'm just the cautious type.
a b U Graphics card
a b ) Power supply
August 29, 2009 4:44:43 PM

It's pretty easy. To keep track of which connectors go where you might place a small piece of masking or painters tape at each socket and each cable. Just take your time to study your old power supply before you unplug everything and pop it out.
a b U Graphics card
a b ) Power supply
August 29, 2009 6:55:16 PM

dirt's got it right . . . let me expand a little.

1) How much work? It will take between 1 and 2 hours of your time solely because you have never done it before. You will be careful, and everything from opening your case to storing excess wires will be new to you (YES, you will have wires left over lol.)

2) If you have a digital camera, you can put it to good use. I've taken progress photos of many things from taking a large Meade telescope and parts out of its box (so I could get it back in lol) to assembling/disassembling PCs (now mostly for their new owner to see).

3) Take your new psu out of its box and spread the cables. Start with your disk drive and pull the power cable. Does it match one on your new power supply? No, then you pulled the data cable. Put it back, pull the other. Now you have found the match. A few minutes examining in this way and you will now easily pick out which are the power cables, and which are not.

4) When you are ready, pull all the power cables. As you pull each one, trace it back to your old psu to be sure its a power cable, then route it out of the way and continue. Then unscrew and remove the old psu (you can partially remove it earlier to give you more room to work with the cables).

Enough . . . its easy . . . the connectors are all keyed (different shapes) so its really hard to screw up.

Finally, don't hesitate to post your final vid card and psu choices for a check so we can make sure you have all the connectors you need.
August 30, 2009 12:06:12 AM

Twoboxer said:
dirt's got it right . . . let me expand a little.

1) How much work? It will take between 1 and 2 hours of your time solely because you have never done it before. You will be careful, and everything from opening your case to storing excess wires will be new to you (YES, you will have wires left over lol.)

2) If you have a digital camera, you can put it to good use. I've taken progress photos of many things from taking a large Meade telescope and parts out of its box (so I could get it back in lol) to assembling/disassembling PCs (now mostly for their new owner to see).

3) Take your new psu out of its box and spread the cables. Start with your disk drive and pull the power cable. Does it match one on your new power supply? No, then you pulled the data cable. Put it back, pull the other. Now you have found the match. A few minutes examining in this way and you will now easily pick out which are the power cables, and which are not.

4) When you are ready, pull all the power cables. As you pull each one, trace it back to your old psu to be sure its a power cable, then route it out of the way and continue. Then unscrew and remove the old psu (you can partially remove it earlier to give you more room to work with the cables).

Enough . . . its easy . . . the connectors are all keyed (different shapes) so its really hard to screw up.

Finally, don't hesitate to post your final vid card and psu choices for a check so we can make sure you have all the connectors you need.

Alright, thanks for the information.

I'll post it, but I may bump the thread a few days later with my choice. I'm not in any rush to buy these and don't even have the cash saved up so, but I'll update my post when I decide.
a b U Graphics card
a b ) Power supply
August 30, 2009 1:02:53 AM

Don't worry - its your call, and we'll see it if you post.
!