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Which card is best and which components might I need to buy?

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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December 16, 2009 2:44:24 PM

Hi Community,

Here are my specs:

HP m9500y

Base processor:
Phenom-9750 (A) 2.4 GHz (95W)
3600 MHz HyperTransport 3.0
Socket AM2+
Chipset:
AMD 780G
Motherboard:
Manufacturer: MSI
HP/Compaq motherboard name: Aspen-GL8E
Power supply:
350W
Memory:
Component Attributes
Memory Installed 8 GB
Maximum allowed 16 GB (4 x 4 GB) (64-bit OS)
4 GB* (4 x 1 GB) (32-bit OS)
Hard drive
750 GB SATA 3G (3.0 Gb/sec)
7200 rpm
Wireless
802.11 a/b/g/n PCI Express x1 wireless card
Video Graphics
GeForce 9500 GS
512 MB GDDR2 memory
I/O Ports: HDMI, VGA, dual-link DVI

So I really want to upgrade the graphics card on this computer. I realize that I will most likely need to purchase a PSU with higher watts. I think my biggest question is what graphics card will work in this comp? I noticed that the current card has a small, white 3 pin connector cable from card to mobo. The ATI 4850 and the EVGA GTS 250 require 6 pin connector cables (I believe) and I do not see 6 pin cables in my comp. Are there adapters for that? What should I do without scrapping my entire comp for a new one? HELP! Bottom line: I need suggestions on the best approach to obtaining better graphics for my gaming experience. Much appreciated!!!

More about : card components buy

a c 86 U Graphics card
December 16, 2009 4:06:34 PM

Yep you'll definitely need a bigger psu, one that has those 6 pin (or 8pin) PCI-e power connectors that the new powerful cards need. Some 500W quality unit like corsair, ocz, thermaltake or antec would work fine. for example
CORSAIR CMPSU-550VX 550W
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

The small 3pin connector might be coming from the mobos integrated sound card for sound to be output through the HDMI connection on the craphics card...

You might want to upgrade the cpu as well. Phenom II 945 or something similar will get you a lot further....

as for the card, 4850 can be found quite cheaply while the supplies last, but maybe the newer 5770 would be a better choice.
5770 is some 20% faster and uses less power. (and comes with dx11 if it matters)
http://www.techpowerup.com/reviews/Axle/GeForce_GT_240/...
http://www.techpowerup.com/reviews/Axle/GeForce_GT_240/...
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December 16, 2009 4:50:32 PM

The best videocard currently is the Radeon HD 5970, no contest. Which components do you need now?

- A new PSU (a good quality 550 watts +)
- A faster CPU to prevent bottleneck (quad core recommended, minimum 2.66MHz)
- a bigger LCD or LED monitor (at least 24'').

That'll do.

Cheers.
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Related resources
December 16, 2009 5:55:04 PM

Kari said:
Yep you'll definitely need a bigger psu, one that has those 6 pin (or 8pin) PCI-e power connectors that the new powerful cards need. Some 500W quality unit like corsair, ocz, thermaltake or antec would work fine. for example
CORSAIR CMPSU-550VX 550W
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

The small 3pin connector might be coming from the mobos integrated sound card for sound to be output through the HDMI connection on the craphics card...

You might want to upgrade the cpu as well. Phenom II 945 or something similar will get you a lot further....

as for the card, 4850 can be found quite cheaply while the supplies last, but maybe the newer 5770 would be a better choice.
5770 is some 20% faster and uses less power. (and comes with dx11 if it matters)
http://www.techpowerup.com/reviews/Axle/GeForce_GT_240/...
http://www.techpowerup.com/reviews/Axle/GeForce_GT_240/...


Thanks very much! I really appreciate the info. I didn't realize that the 6 pin connectors would come from the PSU, which is great. This may seem like a dumb question, but can my computer handle a 500-550 watt PSU? I don't know if it has a max or if that is even relevant...but just came to mind. ANyway, thanks very much for your help.
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December 16, 2009 5:58:57 PM

MARSOC_Operator said:
The best videocard currently is the Radeon HD 5970, no contest. Which components do you need now?

- A new PSU (a good quality 550 watts +)
- A faster CPU to prevent bottleneck (quad core recommended, minimum 2.66MHz)
- a bigger LCD or LED monitor (at least 24'').

That'll do.

Cheers.

Hey thanks for the suggestions. :)  I do have a 24" wide screen monitor so I'm good there. And my prcoessor does have a quad core...that's one of the things that interested me when purchasing the Hp m9500y, but yeah it's only 2.4 not 2.66...so that's important to think about. I actually don't know how to install a CPU...I have had experience with A/C unit and graphics cards, but that's it. I wonder how difficult it is to install a CPU; perhaps Youtube has a "how to" video. :)  In any event thanks very much.
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a c 86 U Graphics card
December 16, 2009 6:19:18 PM

bdng09 said:
This may seem like a dumb question, but can my computer handle a 500-550 watt PSU? I don't know if it has a max or if that is even relevant...but just came to mind.

...that's sort of backwards... the real question should be 'can my psu handle the rest of the computer?' ie can it feed the needed power to the other components or not. Your old psu would not handle a new powerfull and power hungry gpu. On the other hand having a psu that is way too big isn't really smart either, because the psu wouldn't be working near the sweetspot of efficiency (around 30-70% of rated maximum) under normal use.

As long as it fits inside the case... HP might have used some funky cases that doesn't have enough space for a typical ATX form factor psu. This goes for the graphics card as well...


about the processor
yep it's quadcore but rather slow one. and it's one of those first phenoms that cant really overclock well either. I dont know where marsoc got that 2.66GHz from but Phenom II 945 at 3GHz would have that covered as well lol (or 965 @3.4... which ever fits your budget)
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a c 232 U Graphics card
December 16, 2009 7:20:18 PM

For the GFX Card answer, pick ya budget and look here:

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/geforce-310-5970,24...

Here's the "winners" from THG's latest (December) GFX Roundup
Best Graphics Cards For The Money: December '09

$50 - HD 4650
$65 - HD 4670 / 9600 GSO
$85 - 9600 GT
$95 - 9600 GT / HD 4830
$110 - GTS 250 512 MB
$120 - GTS 250 1 GB
$155 - HD 5770 / GTX 260
$200 - HD 4890
$240 - 2 x GTS 250
$310 - No winner (HD 5850 Honorable Mention)
$330 - 2 x GTX 260 / 2 x HD 5770
$400 - 2 x HD 4890
$410 - No winner (HD 5870 Honorable Mention)
$465 - No winner (GTX 295 Honorable Mention)
$625 - No winner (HD 5970 Honorable Mention)

For PSU's ....after ya figure out what GFX card you have....use this:

http://www.antec.outervision.com/PSUEngine
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December 17, 2009 10:14:18 AM

Thanks for the comprehensive list Jack...this is awesome :)  Very helpful!
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December 17, 2009 10:15:16 AM

Kari said:
...that's sort of backwards... the real question should be 'can my psu handle the rest of the computer?' ie can it feed the needed power to the other components or not. Your old psu would not handle a new powerfull and power hungry gpu. On the other hand having a psu that is way too big isn't really smart either, because the psu wouldn't be working near the sweetspot of efficiency (around 30-70% of rated maximum) under normal use.

As long as it fits inside the case... HP might have used some funky cases that doesn't have enough space for a typical ATX form factor psu. This goes for the graphics card as well...


about the processor
yep it's quadcore but rather slow one. and it's one of those first phenoms that cant really overclock well either. I dont know where marsoc got that 2.66GHz from but Phenom II 945 at 3GHz would have that covered as well lol (or 965 @3.4... which ever fits your budget)


Again, thank you Kari. This is great information. I feel less overwhelmed and in a better position to make a knowledgeable decision. :)  Muchas Gracias.
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