I would like to put the best graphics card in it I can. I would prefer a fanless silent type card. It has to be a low profile card. The problem is the power supply in this computer is only 220 watts.
I tried several graphics cards from Fry's and none worked. One fanless card had a heat sink that was just about a 1/4 inch too tall. Another card with a fan in it wouldn't let my computer even start (it required a 350 watt PSU - I just thought I'd try it anyway).
I have found a mini-ITX power supply at newegg that is 300 watts - but everyone says it is so noisy that it sounds like a vacuum cleaner!
I don't mind buying a larger watt PSU and a graphics card with a fan if they are both moderately quiet.
My ideal solution would be a somewhat decent graphics card that would work with my existing PSU. I just do graphic design, so gaming performance is not required. I'm running two 26" monitors at 1920 x 1200 resolution on the integrated graphics and I can tell it is straining to keep up. I did bump up my RAM to 8gb. Any ideas?
Oh - and I'd rather not buy a new case and go that route. Thanks in advance for your thoughts everyone!
On the box it says a 300 watt PSU is required - but so far it is working with my OEM 220 watt PSU! Cool!
One problem though: I just re-ran the "Windows Experience Index" test and my "Gaming Graphics" score increased from 3.6 to 5.7. However my "Graphics" score dropped from 4.4 to 3.5. Why? Is the onboard graphics "Integrated Intel® Graphics Media Accelerator X4500" actually better than the 4350 GPU? Just without the dedicated RAM? Remember, even the integrated graphics could use 1 gig of shared RAM - and I have 8 gigs...so there is plenty to go around.
Should I keep this card - or is it actually making my system worse? My Windows Base score actually dropped from 3.6 to 3.5.
its not an issue of having plenty of ram to go around but rather a GPU that is capable of using it and the X4500 is just plain slow, not that the 4350 is a gaming card but you will see a difference in dual monitors
Thanks for that! That chart is now bookmarked! I see that the HD 4350 is 5 tiers above the GMA X4500. So I will keep the card.
I follow your explanation and accept it. I'm just wondering why my "Graphics: Desktop performance for Windows Aero" score dropped so much (from 4.4 to 3.5). Any idea? What does this actually effect?
I do not game or use any 3D software - I mainly use Photoshop, flash and HTML programs all day long. While I appreciate the large jump of the "Gaming graphics: 3D business and gaming graphics performance" score (from 3.6 to 5.7) I'm not sure if it makes much of a difference to me? I guess I'm just asking if the decline in the other score will hinder my day to day activities more than the increase in the Gaming score?
That said: one of my monitors would blink out occasionally with the integrated X4500 GPU - and it is not doing it now. So if this makes my dual monitor setup more stable, I'm all for it!
I don't know why your score dropped but I do know it affects nothing. "graphics" under windows definition is just their Aero (your desktop) but they don't state a formula on how to figure it out. The only thing I can think of it the cache for the X4500 was 1.5GB but I doubt it, plus the chip can barely use 256mb efficiently.
photoshop, flash, and HTML all fall under business & gaming graphics and yes you will see an improvement in all three of those areas plus any other day to day graphics.
I honestly have never paid much attention to the Base Score ...I don't know anyone who really has.
your score dropping bugged me, at first I thought it was because of a 32 bit OS but the web site states you have Win 7 64-bit
then I read this
"This system is equipped with the Intel® Graphics Media Accelerator 4500 series, giving you more than 1GB of dynamic video memory. Hardware based, the Intel GMA 4500 improves graphics performance while saving power." http://www.gateway.com/systems/product/529668311.php
so I assume the chip does have access to more then 1GB of your RAM but like I stated its far too slow to use anywhere near that amount.