Help!!! deciding the best pair of CPU's with GPU's on HP

I have a gift certificate to HP, so I need to buy an HP (even if that wouldn't be my first choice).

I need to be able to do advanced graphics (2D Photoshop, 2D satellite imagery analysis, and some casual 3D gaming such as Crysis or Bioshock). But I don't need to worry much about video editing.

I'm considering buying whatever rig I get from HP without a GPU to save some bucks, then purchase one for myself on New Egg.

HP's recently offered some good prices on the following rigs --

AMD Athlon x4 820 quad-core processor 2.8GHz, 2MB L2 + 4MB L3 shared, up to 4000MT/s bus
500GB HD
No Graphics Card (I'd like to buy one myself - possibly an ATI Radeon 1Gig from New Egg)

My other option is an Intel Core 2 Duo processor E7500 (2.93GHz)
640GB HD
No Graphics card (thinking of buying a 1GB NDIVIA GeForce GT 220, or other "under $100" options you might suggest from New Egg)

MAIN QUESTION -- Is there a reason I should pay HP to put in their own versions of the GPU for what seems to be double the price on New Egg? My instinct is to have them ship it without a GPU and install one from New Egg.

Secondly -- For you gamers out there, which combination of CPU w/ GPU would be better? The Intel / NVIDIA or the AMD / ATI? Or does it matter?

Third -- does the DDR2 vs DDR3 RAM make a difference? And would that affect my choice of GPU's?

Finally -- If you think I should install my own GPU, which specific brand and model would you suggest? Or should I just go with what HP is offering for $130? I'm trying to cut that in half (spending no more than $70 on a GPU). Is that unreasonable?

Sorry for all the nooby questions. Just trying to get the best bang for my buck.

8 answers Last reply
More about help deciding pair
  1. A card like 220gt is not powerful enough to utilize 1gb memory, but you are limited by the psu from HP the best bang for the buck at the moment is though HD4670 and it is sort of minimal gaming card recommended here
  2. I don't know anything about the x4 820 so I can't comment on that decision.

    Re: Main Question - Vendors like HP typically do charge and arm and a leg for GPU upgrades and it is often best to get the cheapest option and upgrade yourself. Off course this is an easy lowest cost calculation to make. I was not aware they let you purchase a system with no card - unless the system has onboard graphics. Is that the case here?
    Since the vendors try to control warranty issues, they will sometimes only help if the entire system is their system, even requiring that you rollback graphics cards before they will help. They obviously don't want to assume the cost of fixing an issue that relates to someone else' equipment. If your system has no onboard graphics and they sell it without any card, you should check on how warranty issues are handled.

    You do not need to worry about matching the CPU and GPU vendors. The ATI and nVidia boards work just as well on mobos made by AMD or Intel for one graphics card. If you are going to use two, then you need to know whether that particular board supports Crossfire, SLI, or both - or buy your board accordingly.

    The RAM selected for the mobo - DDR2 or DDR3 - depends only on the requirements of the mobo and has no impact on the choice of GPU. I would generally suggest going with DDR3 to futureproof and because memory costs for it are likely to be cheaper in the future compared to DDR2.

    At this moment ATI is generally offering the better GPUs for the money - but the easiest thing is to buy as fast a card as you can afford off this list:,2464.html

    That said here is a great deal on a 9800 GT for $70 AR

    That card is not ATI and not on the list. But compared to the 9600 GT which is on the list for $80, this card costs less since it is on sale and is about 20% faster.
  3. The 4670 linked above is a good little graphics card and that is a great price on it - about only 65% of the price of the 9800 GT I listed and about the same percentage of performance. It just depends on how much performance you want to buy - as I said before.

    Here is the chart comparing the 4670, 9600 GT, and 9800 GT.,1195.html?prod%5B2450%5D=on&prod%5B2473%5D=on&prod%5B2457%5D=on

    Note if you want to compare any other cards just go to the site that is the parent of that subselection and you can pick whatever cards you like to review or compare.
  4. Thanks rockyjohn,

    I should have qualified that HP is shipping its rigs with a minimal integrated graphics processor (either ATI or NVIDIA depending upon the CPU). They are VGA-only and not capable of performing what I require.

    As I understand, if you install a 3rd party GPU and hook it up to your monitor, this will simply bypass the integrated graphics. Therefore, when I said "No Graphics Card" I really meant "Only an Integrated Graphics Processor" which I would bypass by installing my own GPU (ideally up to 1GB)

    This advice has been wonderful, any and all additional advice is more than welcome. Thanks!!
  5. The only other concern is the PSU that HP ships with their systems. They are good quality but often 300 to 350 Watts. The thing to look out for though is how many Amps they have on the +12volt rail because that is better indication of what GPU they can feed rather than basing it on the wattage.
  6. Excellent Point, rolli59.

    I have heard of folks buying a great GPU, but it was choked by the limit on power. Given the fact that HP does not advertise the power output of their units in the home consumer purchasing area, where should I look to balance the power available from the CPU to a proper GPU?
  7. A 4670 runs off the PCI-E slot power, and is actually very low draw, while giving very good performance for the dollar. It is generally safe to install in a computer with any new PSU rated at 300w or more. The next step up in the bang for the buck category would probably be a 4770, but they start at $110, and may need a better PSU than what is supplied.
  8. I have found answers to questions like that in their question and answer section but as well looked for spare parts(psu) to get the rating.
Ask a new question

Read More

Graphics Cards GPUs Hewlett Packard Graphics Product