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Upgrading our family PC by buying a graphic card, need advise

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  • Graphics Cards
  • Fujitsu Siemens
  • Graphics
  • Product
Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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December 5, 2009 7:08:40 AM

using Belarc Advisor, our PC is a FUJITSU SIEMENS ESPRIMO P3510 with the following specs:

Windows XP Professional
2.53 gigahertz Intel Core2 Duo E7200
Board: FUJITSU SIEMENS D2750-A2 S26361-D2750-A2
1GB DDR2 SDRAM
power:100-127V~6.0V, 200-240V~3.0A, 50/60Hz
Max. output of power supply: 300Watt ( this is from fujitsu.com website)

the fujitsu websaite said that our motherboard has a PCI Express Slot X16, i hope thats true because there is alot of variations of our PC. and belarc didnt tell if it really did.. i am not very sure about this
i looked ito our manual and there is nothing about detailed specifications of our PC.

me and my bro wants to upgrade our family PC to a gaming one by buying a graphic card.. and we have chosen ATI HD4870 1gb card

can we go ahead and buy ATI4870 without further upgrading other components of our PC?
will our 300W power supply support that load or should we upgrade it too?

please justify your answers just to promote our understanding of the topic.

we dont want to destroy our family PC and get killed hehe :D 

THANKS!

More about : upgrading family buying graphic card advise

December 5, 2009 7:10:57 AM

and oh, is 4870 a good choice?if not, what is?

THANKS!
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a b U Graphics card
December 5, 2009 11:16:51 AM

The 4870 good choice, probably a little overkill for your computer, but a good choice.
You will need a power supply, your 300 watt power supply will not run a 4870.
You will need a PSU of at least 550 watts, and has 2 -6 pin PCIe power connectors for the grapchic card.
A 4850 would be a very good GPU for your PC as well, would be a little cheaper, and a little easier on the PSU requirements, but would still require a PSU upgrade.
This should not need futher explaining, the requirements for the cards are listed on the box, or in the specs if you buy on line. Pay attention to them, or the GPU simply will not work.
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a c 1432 U Graphics card
December 5, 2009 11:37:05 AM

Probably the best card that can run on your current psu is HD4670 it is an ok gaming card on lower resolutions like 1280x1024.
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December 5, 2009 12:12:12 PM

jitpublisher said:
The 4870 good choice, probably a little overkill for your computer, but a good choice.
You will need a power supply, your 300 watt power supply will not run a 4870.
You will need a PSU of at least 550 watts, and has 2 -6 pin PCIe power connectors for the grapchic card.
A 4850 would be a very good GPU for your PC as well, would be a little cheaper, and a little easier on the PSU requirements, but would still require a PSU upgrade.
This should not need futher explaining, the requirements for the cards are listed on the box, or in the specs if you buy on line. Pay attention to them, or the GPU simply will not work.


That's nonsense. 550 real watts will run a GTX295 on a Quad 2 Core system smoothly! 300w is plenty for a 4870, as long as it is a good quality PSU. His system is very modest, not exactly a powerplant hog...
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a b U Graphics card
December 5, 2009 2:02:54 PM

there is a reason graphics card companies have a reccomended power supply level and no a gtx295 wont run on a 550 watts



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December 5, 2009 2:37:10 PM

The only reason graphic card companies overstate PSU requirements, is the fact that the vast majority of the average consumers use cheap no-name PSUs with highly overstated wattage and crappy components. Manufacturers knowing this, obviously want to be on the safe side, so they shoot a much higher minimum just to avoid problems, that's the only reason. A good quality 550W PSU (Corsair, Antec or similar) can handle a mid-range system (no overclock) and a GTX 295 just fine, it has been proven many times. Also, it is pertinent to mention that electrical stability and Amps flow are more than important than Watts. Quality trumps power. Fortunatelly to PSU manufacturers, most people are more impressed by big numbers... So it is much easier to sell a crappy 1000Watts PSU than a very high-quality 600Watts with far greater realiability under heavy loads for the same price. Do not trust these internet reviews, go talk to an independant engineer who works in the electrical power industry.
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December 5, 2009 3:02:39 PM

That chart actually shows that 550W is enough?
Here's another one where the whole system was being tested. Max. 420W.
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December 6, 2009 2:18:21 AM

yea, i know that cheap PSU are mislabeled for the sake of selling them..

i still dont know the BRAND of our PSU because i havent opened it yet.

should i go risk it and buy a graphic card first and if the psu fail, then thats the time ill upgrade our PSU? will that be too risky?
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a c 1432 U Graphics card
December 6, 2009 2:21:26 AM

That is to risky since if the psu fails it can take more components with it.
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December 6, 2009 2:39:19 AM

will a 500W psu be fine?
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a c 1432 U Graphics card
December 6, 2009 2:56:49 AM

folded said:
will a 500W psu be fine?

Depends on what brand.
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December 6, 2009 3:15:56 AM

corsair, enermax, antec with 80+ mark
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a b U Graphics card
December 6, 2009 3:32:00 AM

Some Options
1) Big Buck approach. Open you case and verify there is a double wide PCIe slot, 4870 will be double wide. Go with the video card you picked. Add in a new power supply (PSU). Since you need to get a PSU might as well get a good one rated at 80% or better efficiency in the 500-600 watt range. Goggle power supply reviews. Add in another GB of memory for a total of 2 GB (win XP). Add in a case fan, your case is not designed for this much heat, even with the double slot 4870 blowing some hot air out.
2) Middle of the road approach. You can use a card like the HD 4770 or HD5750 with your current power supply. Both will be great (not just good, great) card. Both should work, and your CPU is a power efficient one which will help that 300 watt PSU. You will need a power cable. Check your current PC's power supply and see if it has molex connectors or the PCIe power connector you will need. No big deal if molex, you just need a $3 adapter cable -- order it when you order your card. Ditto if the power cables you have are not long enough -- you'll need an extension.
3) Choose a safer approach if your room tends to be hot (like summer with no A/C). PSUs lose efficiency when they get hot. <EDIT: following is not true> A card like the nvidia 9600GT would do fine and run at even lower power than the 4770. <Edit 4770 is lower power than 9600GT> So would an HD4650 which used to be the strongest video card not to need an external power adapter. Check Tom's "best video card for the money" article last page to see where these cards perform.
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December 6, 2009 4:11:05 AM

oh! a 5770 is available in our local shop. the review said its as good as 4870 or the 4890. got me interested. but will it work on our PC? youve helped me alot! maybe ill choose option number 2 but there is a problem.. i live in the philippines, can my PSU take the heat with added power load?
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a b U Graphics card
December 6, 2009 4:12:37 AM

The HD4870 is not a good option for anyone power concious, and with the fact that that is the lowest end of the Fujitsu P series, I wouldn't give it much faith in being a quality power supply (despite its 85% rating it's passive power correction), so a new PSU is almost a given regardless of what you chose and with there being no power connector for the PSU, the only 'as is' option would be the HD4670 for both of those constraints, although be sure to check, since there are those with and without power connectors.

If you are upgrading the PSU, then your next question becomes what is your target, the HD4870 require TWO 6-pin power connectors the HD4850 require either one 6-pin or one 8-pin power connector, the HD5770 requires just a single 6-pin connector, so you need to take that into account also.

Now the performance level is close for the HD4870 and HD5770 with the HD4850 trailing behind although the differences may be shaved off by the power of the CPU you have.

For power both of the HD48xx series cards use significantly more power than the HD5770 amounting to essentially running a 60W lightbulb whenever your PC is on, even at idle.

http://www.xbitlabs.com/articles/video/display/radeon-h...

The only drawback of the HD5770 is its price in many areas where high demand and low supply have driven the price at or above the HD4870 and even 4890 sometimes.

For a new build though if the price isn't excessive, then the HD5770 makes for a good choice for both power concerns and a forward looking build and it also give you overhead when chosing a PSU.

Ahh, you found the HD5770, I was going to recommend it earlier, but been watching SNL and not quick to reply, a few replies came up in the meantime. Yes it would work in that PC, but you still need a PSU with a 6-pin power connector.
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a b U Graphics card
December 6, 2009 4:17:07 AM

tsnor said:

.. A card like the nvidia 9600GT would do fine and run at even lower power than the 4770...


No, that's incorrect, the GF9600GT actually uses more power than the HD4770, which is very efficient with it's 40nm fab process GPU and use almost as little power as the HD4670.



http://www.xbitlabs.com/articles/video/display/radeon-h...
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December 6, 2009 4:20:23 AM

wow! great! the 5770 is priced even lower than the 4850 maybe because of the demand. so thats a win win for me! now for the PSU.. i really need to upgrade it? but i have no idea what kind of pins our PC needs.. its a lot
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December 6, 2009 4:26:48 AM

so 5770 trumps 4870? now what psu for that?
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a b U Graphics card
December 6, 2009 6:01:08 AM

folded said:
so 5770 trumps 4870? now what psu for that?


Really the HD5770 and HD4870 trade blows for performance with the HD4870 winning more times than not, but are very close and even that may change over time as the HD5770 drivers mature and the games make more of the design, however for features the HD5770 trumps it, and same for power usage. As for a PSU, just get a good quality 500-600W one with one 6+pin connector (or better one 6 pin with 8 pin option) and as long as you're not looking to be the fastest of the fastest then you'll be fine for a long time because especially since the 6+(6+2) option give you alot of flexability for configurations (dual 6 pin for Xfire/SLi of something like the HD5770 etc / dual 6 pin for a higher end single card / 6+8 for an even higher end card like the HD4870x2,GTX295,HD5970 but toward the higher end you want above 600W good quality and above 750W for questionable quality).

Something like this would cover the bases well IMO (despite the st00pid Fatality name tie-in) if you can order from NewEgg;
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Otherwise something like these elsewhere would be good;
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...



You want efficiency above 80% and active PFC, there's a bunch of good quality makers, I like OCZ because they bought PC Power & Cooling which was the best name in the PSU biz and they kept it's quality in their mainstream parts.
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December 6, 2009 8:55:32 AM

wow your awesome! me and my bro just came home with our brand new powercolor HD5770.. there is no other makers except powercolor and damn! it looks good! the cost is acceptable too. roughly180 dollars.. computer stuff cost a lot more here in the philippines because all of them are imported.

there are no other PSU except for a corsair 650W that cost a lot( about 75% the cost of the graphic card) like the one posted.. so we opt to end the day and hunt for a cheaper 500W 80% efficiency, reputable brand of PSU.

still thinking about buying a very expensive psu tho hehe

all thanks to you guys!
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December 6, 2009 9:12:44 AM

err, i need to work on my english
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a c 1432 U Graphics card
December 6, 2009 1:33:11 PM

folded said:
corsair, enermax, antec with 80+ mark

All good choices.
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a b U Graphics card
December 6, 2009 4:32:01 PM

Good luck on the build... and the english. ;) 

Hopefully you can find a solid name brand on sale, just consider your current build first and foremost and then if you get additional features like two 6-pin conectors as well, then that's just Gravy, and something to consider later. If it doesn't come with a second 6 pin, don't fret it, there will always be good graphics options for 6 pin (especially when used with good power at the slot).
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December 6, 2009 11:16:08 PM

thanks!
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!