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Best graphics card for Gateway SX2800-03?

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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October 16, 2009 5:34:43 AM

I'm thinking of buying the Gateway SX2800-03 computer to use as a HTPC. I would like to upgrade the graphics card.

The specs are as follows:
Intel Core 2 Quad Q8200
4GB 800MHz DDR3 memory
640GB 7200RPM SATA HDD
220W PSU

The chassis is a small form factor design.
There is 1 PCI-E x16 slot available.

Please see http://www.gateway.com/systems/product/529668271.php for more details.

I was wondering what would be the most powerful small form factor graphics card that would still work for a 220W PSU? Thank you very much for your help!
a b U Graphics card
October 16, 2009 7:30:34 AM

Whatever graphics comes on your motherboard.
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October 16, 2009 7:58:42 AM

Would the HD 4650 or HD 4670 work?
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a c 376 U Graphics card
October 16, 2009 8:00:16 AM

If you are just using it as a HTPC only upgrade if it's not performing adequately. If you want to game some a low profile HD4650 is the best card that will probably work with that PSU.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
That case looks very small however. Depending on how the innards of the computer are arranged you may have problems with the length of the card so opening it up and measuring before hand is probably a wise choice.
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a b U Graphics card
October 16, 2009 6:00:24 PM

+1 jyjjy
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October 19, 2009 5:17:57 AM

Thank you very much!
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a c 376 U Graphics card
October 19, 2009 11:20:24 AM

No, it's not better. An HD4650 isn't nearly powerful enough to make any use of the extra memory.
What WOULD make a difference is if you could find a DDR3 version of the card but sadly those seem almost non-existent these days. The only one I see still available is regular size, AGP, and also rather expensive.
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October 20, 2009 3:49:55 AM

I've placed an order for the Sapphire Radeon HD 4650. Thanks for your help, jyjjy.
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a c 376 U Graphics card
October 20, 2009 10:32:41 AM

No problem. I hope it fits in that thing.
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November 30, 2009 5:44:51 PM

Hi, I'm in the same situation, so I'm curious to know, did the Sapphire card work out? Any problems fitting it in?
Thanks!
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December 1, 2009 1:10:10 AM

I bought this computer for my wife and have now encounted this same issue as she happens to like some video games, like the Sim3, and needs a decent video card to play them. I think the power supply is only 220w so it has to run on low power. I was thinking something like this, but I am not sure if it will work. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... What do you all think? It is DDR3, but am not sure if it will work with this computer's PSU, or if it will fit in the case.
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December 1, 2009 1:15:30 AM

The 4650 card worked for me with no problems.
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December 14, 2009 5:34:39 AM

hcheng said:
The 4650 card worked for me with no problems.


Thinking of replicating your setup with the recent deals on this computer.
Would you mind sharing with me what areas you found lacking with the onboard graphics that the HD4650 helped? Did you install a blu-ray drive?

Thanks for any help you can provide!
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December 15, 2009 4:36:47 AM

I have an SX2800-03, Win7, and after reviewing the Radeon (and lots of other) options, just ordered the SAPPHIRE 100252HDMI Radeon HD 4550 (512MB DDR3) from NewEgg.

According specs, the 4650 has a fan and and can consume up to 50W, whereas the HD4550 that I order runs at less than half the power at <20W (some sites say 25W), passively heated (quiet, no fan). I'm seeing reports (here and elsewhere) that the HD 4650 works find, but with the SX2800's tiny 220W power supply I didn't want to take chance of stressing it too much over the long haul.

I've read some stories about the HD 4550 running very hot in absence of a fan (and very cool in the presence of an external one), but none of these reports were about the SX2800, the case of which has good ventilation, and the PCI Express slot is at the very top. But I will watch for that, and report back and give a review after I've installed and tested it.
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December 17, 2009 9:59:19 PM

That was fast! It was delivered this morning, and is in my system now.

I installed a Sapphire Radeon HD 4550 - 512MB DDR3 (passive cooling, no fan, so silent) in my SX-2800-03 system (Win 7 X64 Home Premium - upgraded from Vista of the same flavor).

It's a very low power card <25W (or <20W depending on who you consult) - very inexpensive ($46.99 with tax and shipping) and highly recommended overall.

Like I said, I wanted to try the low profile HD 4650, which several people here claimed to be using with success, but it, like the 9600, it looks like a power suck (50W under a load?), and I didn't want to take the chance of hassling with a stressed and blown power supply (the SX-2800 supply is only 220W) over time, down the road.

Also, claims that the HD 4550 would get extremely hot if not vented properly did cause me some hesitation. I was worried about it because the card itself can ONLY be installed in the very top slot (with the VGA socket extender bracket below that). The passive cooling fins face upward (as they should, of course), but the top part of the SX-2800 case is plastic, and I worried about it deforming or melting over time, or causing problems with anything I placed on top.

In reality, I can barely sense ANY warmth on the very top of the case above the card's fins. It's actually cool to the touch after running the card under a very heavy load for several hours. So not an issue at all. The side of the case really is extremely well vented, and you can feel some warmth escaping from the side near the top, just in the area above the (LARGE) CPU fan. So circulation/ventilation is MORE than adequate.

The card itself came with alternate brackets (easy to change) and installed without a hitch. A plethora of updated ATI AMD drivers were available, as well as updates to the Catalyst(tm) Control Center and HydraGrid (virtual desktop layout, very cool) configurator, and the card is performing BEAUTIFULLY.

It is not a heavy duty gaming card, but those are NOT an option with this system anyway, given its power supply limitations. It is, however, MORE than respectable, and adequate for my needs (Adobe Premier, Illustrator, Photoshop, etc., and even some older games).

Anyway, it has also has built-in Blue-ray decoders, for what it's worth. So there's a recommendation for you. I would have no problems nominating this card for Best All-around graphics card for the Gateway SX2800-03.
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December 21, 2009 8:52:52 PM

sdlawrence - did you consider this option?

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

I am in same situation as you were.

Can some one suggest if this is a better option to Sapphire Radeon HD 4550 - 512MB DDR3

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



sdlawrence said:
That was fast! It was delivered this morning, and is in my system now.

I installed a Sapphire Radeon HD 4550 - 512MB DDR3 (passive cooling, no fan, so silent) in my SX-2800-03 system (Win 7 X64 Home Premium - upgraded from Vista of the same flavor).

It's a very low power card <25W (or <20W depending on who you consult) - very inexpensive ($46.99 with tax and shipping) and highly recommended overall.

Like I said, I wanted to try the low profile HD 4650, which several people here claimed to be using with success, but it, like the 9600, it looks like a power suck (50W under a load?), and I didn't want to take the chance of hassling with a stressed and blown power supply (the SX-2800 supply is only 220W) over time, down the road.

Also, claims that the HD 4550 would get extremely hot if not vented properly did cause me some hesitation. I was worried about it because the card itself can ONLY be installed in the very top slot (with the VGA socket extender bracket below that). The passive cooling fins face upward (as they should, of course), but the top part of the SX-2800 case is plastic, and I worried about it deforming or melting over time, or causing problems with anything I placed on top.

In reality, I can barely sense ANY warmth on the very top of the case above the card's fins. It's actually cool to the touch after running the card under a very heavy load for several hours. So not an issue at all. The side of the case really is extremely well vented, and you can feel some warmth escaping from the side near the top, just in the area above the (LARGE) CPU fan. So circulation/ventilation is MORE than adequate.

The card itself came with alternate brackets (easy to change) and installed without a hitch. A plethora of updated ATI AMD drivers were available, as well as updates to the Catalyst(tm) Control Center and HydraGrid (virtual desktop layout, very cool) configurator, and the card is performing BEAUTIFULLY.

It is not a heavy duty gaming card, but those are NOT an option with this system anyway, given its power supply limitations. It is, however, MORE than respectable, and adequate for my needs (Adobe Premier, Illustrator, Photoshop, etc., and even some older games).

Anyway, it has also has built-in Blue-ray decoders, for what it's worth. So there's a recommendation for you. I would have no problems nominating this card for Best All-around graphics card for the Gateway SX2800-03.

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December 22, 2009 3:44:22 AM

murthyvs said:
sdlawrence - did you consider this option?

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

I am in same situation as you were.

Can some one suggest if this is a better option to Sapphire Radeon HD 4550 - 512MB DDR3


I did consider that card. I was attracted to it first, and on the surface it sounded best. That extra 512MB of RAM seemed nice (all other things performance-wise supposedly equal between the two), but since I can't do any serious gaming anyway (with any card rated under 50W that is) the chances of that extra RAM (even the 512MB I do have in the Sapphire) ever being used is pretty much nil anyway. It consumes less than 25W under full load (just like the Sapphire), so that's great.

The reason I passed on it: it won't fit into the SX-2800. The heatsink on that thing is ENORMOUS. The amount that it sticks out from the card is nearly as wide again as the card itself. That's actually the number one complaint of that card by reviewers. In their case, it blocked the neighboring card slot. In our case (SX-2800) there is no neighboring card slot. Just case. The Sapphire fit in comfortably, but with only a little room to spare at the top. A card with a fan would have had the smallest sliver of space to spare for ventilation.

Anyway, not sure why you're hesitant about the Sapphire, so far it's been a fantastic card. I think I MIGHT have gotten away with a 4650, but I didn't want the fan noise, and as I said before, at double the power requirement, I didn't want to risk a stressed/blown power supply down the road.
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December 22, 2009 4:59:59 AM

Thanks for your inputs. Now I am much more convinced than ever. Ordered one on Newegg. Would you mind sharing installation instructions?

sdlawrence said:
I did consider that card. I was attracted to it first, and on the surface it sounded best. That extra 512MB of RAM seemed nice (all other things performance-wise supposedly equal between the two), but since I can't do any serious gaming anyway (with any card rated under 50W that is) the chances of that extra RAM (even the 512MB I do have in the Sapphire) ever being used is pretty much nil anyway. It consumes less than 25W under full load (just like the Sapphire), so that's great.

The reason I passed on it: it won't fit into the SX-2800. The heatsink on that thing is ENORMOUS. The amount that it sticks out from the card is nearly as wide again as the card itself. That's actually the number one complaint of that card by reviewers. In their case, it blocked the neighboring card slot. In our case (SX-2800) there is no neighboring card slot. Just case. The Sapphire fit in comfortably, but with only a little room to spare at the top. A card with a fan would have had the smallest sliver of space to spare for ventilation.

Anyway, not sure why you're hesitant about the Sapphire, so far it's been a fantastic card. I think I MIGHT have gotten away with a 4650, but I didn't want the fan noise, and as I said before, at double the power requirement, I didn't want to risk a stressed/blown power supply down the road.

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December 22, 2009 6:38:23 AM

Installation is fairly straightforward. There's a Quick Installation guide, but I'll tell you about the part that it doesn't cover.

If your card comes with the large (regular PC profile) bracket installed, you'll need to remove that and install the smaller brackets. A pair of needlenose or whatever, four retaining screws, and I think just one phillips screw on the card (for grounding - I think the grounding screw is in a different position for the smaller bracket, but it's obvious where it goes and lines up perfectly). The VGA port connector bracket has a cable, with only one place on the card to plug it in.

...uh oh, just remembered something.

There are only two card slots available on the SX-2800-03, and the lower slot comes with a modem card/port installed. Regardless what low profile graphics card you get, if you're going to use the VGA port (like me), and not the HDMI port, then you'll need both of those slots free. That means removing the modem card to make room for the VGA port bracket. If you do need your modem, you'll have to rethink an addon graphics card -- or perhaps find one that has the VGA port hardwired to the card itself (couldn't find one, but don't care). I couldn't care less about the modem, and would never use it anyway, so I just removed the modem card altogether and set it aside. Assuming that's not a problem for you:

1) Power off the computer.
2) Install the card in the top slot and the VGA port bracket in the slot below it. (Don't plug your monitor into the card yet).
3) Power on your computer, but go directly into the BIOS setup (F2, Del, F1? Can't remember) before it has a chance to boot to the disk.
4) Under your BIOS settings, change the default monitor to PCI/e (which will disable the onboard graphics card), then save and exit, and shut down your system.
5) Plug the monitor into your new card and restart your system.

From there, let it boot up, and follow the instructions from the Quick Installation Guide that comes with the card. Pretty straightforward.

Good luck! If you have any problems, post here, and I'll read it and help out if I can.




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January 3, 2010 6:39:54 PM

Doies the Saphire card have a HDMI port, I want to buy this PC for use as a output to my TV?





There are only two card slots available on the SX-2800-03, and the lower slot comes with a modem card/port installed. Regardless what low profile graphics card you get, if you're going to use the VGA port (like me), and not the HDMI port, then you'll need both of those slots free. That means removing the modem card to make room for the VGA port bracket. If you do need your modem, you'll have to rethink
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January 3, 2010 8:05:48 PM

tbirago said:
Doies the Saphire card have a HDMI port, I want to buy this PC for use as a output to my TV?


Yes, it has three ports: 1 HDMI and 1 DVI, which are located on the card itself, and 1 D-SUB (regular VGA port) located on the extender bracket, connected to the card via ribbon cable.

[HDMI] [DVI] – top slot (actual card)
[D-SUB] – second slot (extender bracket)

Still very happy with this card. Lots of bang for the buck. Good luck!
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January 21, 2010 12:36:07 PM

Interesting thread...
I am also an owner of sx2800, I just wondering if is there something like 9600gt suitable video card? I've bought 9800gt from Sparkle, and it doesn't fit ;[

P.S amd 4550 too weak for me
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a b U Graphics card
January 28, 2010 12:22:53 AM

Got the Sapphire Radeon HD 4550 - 512MB DDR3 today from New Egg and installed in my SX2800-01. Bit of a pain to get the card in the top slot as you have to angle it in to get it by the edge of the case but otherwise no problems installing. Also, I had to remove the modem card to use the VGA bracket.

After installing the bios automatically detected the new card and switched to it so I didn't have to change any BIOS settings (video was set to auto detect).

Downloaded new drivers and got resolutions set, everything seemed fine, I checked temp using my hand and didn't notice any apparent problems. Fired up World of Warcraft to see how much better graphics would be and was surprised to get over 60 fps in crowded Darlaran Zone where before fps was less than 20. After playing around for about 10 minutes, i rechecked temp and still seemed fine.

Ran a dungeon and then checked temp with Catalyst (took me a while to find it as I am unfamiliar with program). Temp was near 95C. WOW. I realized i had some papers blocking the air vent and immediately cleared the vent. Temp dropped a bit but I was concerned about damaging the card so i powered down the computer and used a small table fan to ventilate the computer. Restarted about 15 minutes later and temp was 36C at start-up. At least i didn't fry everything.

Tested the temp by running Warcraft again and temp climbed to about 70C without table fan blowing in the computer before I stopped. Decided I better keep fan on while playing and temp remained below 60C, usually between 45 and 50C.

It seems that a moderate load on the graphics can cause the temp to spike in the SX2800-01 using this card. It may be OK under everyday conditions, (email, word processing etc.) but you must keep vents clear. I really like the performance of this card (raised Windows Exp gaming graphics from 4.0 to 5.2) but the temp could be a problem if running any kind of graphics intensive programs, i.e. games.
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February 2, 2010 4:08:49 PM

I am thinking about buying a SX2800-03 but have some worries about its video out capabilities. I need to run multiple monitors and was wondering if anyone has done this and if it is possible to use the OB Video and one of the cards recommended here at the same time? By no means am I am gamer but am thinking about playing some Sega and N64ROMs on my HD TV from this machine. Questions, comments, advice? And I already have a ATI X300 with 64mb would that work (I know its a crap card but I don't play games I just need additional external outputs)?

Thanks in Advance

Jack
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February 5, 2010 1:14:46 AM

Hi all, I have the SX2800-001 and need to install PCI wireless N card (just received the Linksys PCI card today (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?item=N82E168...).

Somehow I can't fit the card into any of the slots. I removed the modem card to try and install, but the connections are not correct (modem slot is short while the top slot appears to be the pci-e size).

Can someone pls help clarify which slot I should try and install my Linksys PCI card.

Much appreciated.
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February 5, 2010 3:27:30 AM

kobebeef said:
Hi all, I have the SX2800-001 and need to install PCI wireless N card (just received the Linksys PCI card today (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?item=N82E168...).

Somehow I can't fit the card into any of the slots. I removed the modem card to try and install, but the connections are not correct (modem slot is short while the top slot appears to be the pci-e size).

Can someone pls help clarify which slot I should try and install my Linksys PCI card.

Much appreciated.



That's not a PCI expansion slot in the SX-2800-01. That's a PCI Express x16 slot, a whole different animal. PCI Express slots are not compatible with PCI or PCI-X expansion cards, and there are no PCI slots on the SX-2800's.

This is the one you want (to take the place of your modem):

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

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February 10, 2010 6:22:16 AM

Lawrence - thanks a bunch for that reply!

I didn't get your advice sooner, so ended up with the D-link PCIe card instead... but it works wonders (didn't know there was a physical difference on PCI cards until now). I am typing this from the new d-link card. Where my Thinkpad can only download at around 2mbps, the D-link is doing around 5mbps at the same location!

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

I noticed the volume is really low, even when I turn it up to full, on both speaker and desktop. Has anyone experienced this? Will a driver from Gateway fix this? I read online that some users experienced this... but haven't found a cure yet.

Lastly, I just ordered the Sapphire HD 4550 from Amazon today on advice from this thread. Can't wait to power up this baby with the new card. Has anyone tried a dual screen setup with this card on the SX2800? I'm assuming this should not be a problem.




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February 16, 2010 6:51:01 AM

I also ordered fanless Sapphire HD 4550, does anybody has problem with it on our SX2800 boxes?
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February 16, 2010 9:50:30 AM

I installed the sapphire hd 4550 over the weekend. so far everything is working flawlessly. and the install was simple.

I'll be getting a second monitor soon, so will try out the dual screen setup (one dvi and one hdmi).

lastly, my windows experience score went from 3.5 to 4.7 from the hd 4550 install alone.

for what i am using this computer for, it is currently more than adequate.
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February 16, 2010 9:53:07 AM

one last update. my download speed went up from 2mbps to around 16mbpc using the d-link pcie wireless n card. although i did use an extended antenna to get this speed. without it, it downloaded about 10mbps. it's a great card to add wireless to your desktop.
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February 18, 2010 6:57:05 PM

I've got my sapphire hd 4550, the installation went pretty smooth, one annoying things is that cabel to analog VGA (d-sub) was too short, so I couldn't install it in place were pcie 1x modem was installed but it is ok for me because I use DVI cabel anyway.


The another thing, I've noticed my box issues some weird noise, I suspect it comes from PSU fan, it's strange my computer only 5 months old...

Do you know what FAN is used in PSU? I want to buy new one and replace the current noisy by myself
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April 9, 2010 5:59:36 PM

sdlawrence said:
I have an SX2800-03, Win7, and after reviewing the Radeon (and lots of other) options, just ordered the SAPPHIRE 100252HDMI Radeon HD 4550 (512MB DDR3) from NewEgg.

According specs, the 4650 has a fan and and can consume up to 50W, whereas the HD4550 that I order runs at less than half the power at <20W (some sites say 25W), passively heated (quiet, no fan). I'm seeing reports (here and elsewhere) that the HD 4650 works find, but with the SX2800's tiny 220W power supply I didn't want to take chance of stressing it too much over the long haul.

I've read some stories about the HD 4550 running very hot in absence of a fan (and very cool in the presence of an external one), but none of these reports were about the SX2800, the case of which has good ventilation, and the PCI Express slot is at the very top. But I will watch for that, and report back and give a review after I've installed and tested it.

i have a SX2800-03 dont now abaut you all but i install nvidia geforce 9500GT and i upgraded the ram to 8gb.have being playing modern war fare 2 for 5 months and no problem. now i upgrade to a msi low profill R5570 1gb DDR3 DirectX 11 the latest one now i throw any game at this thing and it has no problem i love my computer i all ways wanted somthing small and powerfull and this is it.
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April 9, 2010 6:03:14 PM

i have a SX2800-03 dont now abaut you all but i install nvidia geforce 9500GT and i upgraded the ram to 8gb.have being playing modern war fare 2 for 5 months and no problem. now i upgrade to a msi low profill R5570 1gb DDR3 DirectX 11 the latest one now i throw any game at this thing and it has no problem i love my computer i all ways wanted somthing small and powerfull and this is it.
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April 17, 2010 10:30:35 PM

What about my question regarding to FAN?
PSU FAN makes super loudest noise;[
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April 24, 2010 4:31:53 AM

jwishy said:
I am thinking about buying a SX2800-03 but have some worries about its video out capabilities. I need to run multiple monitors and was wondering if anyone has done this and if it is possible to use the OB Video and one of the cards recommended here at the same time? By no means am I am gamer but am thinking about playing some Sega and N64ROMs on my HD TV from this machine. Questions, comments, advice? And I already have a ATI X300 with 64mb would that work (I know its a crap card but I don't play games I just need additional external outputs)?

Thanks in Advance

Jack


Well, I'm about to try it. I am setting up an HDMI capable monitor as well as a VGA monitor. I'm curious to see if I can get multiple monitors working. I'm not looking for gaming, just lots of screen real estate. If anyone has done this (or failed), I'd be curious to know soon. Thanks.

Nat
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April 27, 2010 4:12:30 PM

i have been eyeing the sx2300-01u as it seems like a nice little computer,, just wondering is there room for a bigger power supply in there? or is it some weird dimensions?
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July 14, 2010 4:36:10 PM

I put a 1 GB DDR3 Radeon 5570 in my SX2800-01. Plays all the latest games, and I've had it for 4 months with no problems.

For this reason the Radeon 5570 is undoubtedly the greatest graphics card for the SX2800, until a newer, more powerful and equally low power half-height card comes out.
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a c 271 U Graphics card
January 21, 2011 7:47:25 PM

This topic has been closed by Mousemonkey
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