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HP Pavilion p6240f Made Into A Gaming Rig?

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March 25, 2010 10:51:46 PM

Hey guys and gals,

I used to be a big computer gamer years ago, but fell out of it due to lack of money and time to keep up with all the ever-changing technology.

That being said, I recently inherited an HP Pavilion p6240f from my father, and I was thinking about upgrading it's graphics card (or rather adding one), so that I could play some of the latest computer games.

I've been researching for a few hours and am utterly confused. Like I said, I've been out of the tech upgrading world for a while now, and don't know what compares to what. I'm running a Dell Studio 1535 laptop, and so this HP Pavilion p6240f seemed like it's got some serious power, but the more reviews I read, it looks like it's pretty boring for a gaming rig.

So if you could all help me out with your expertise: Is it worth spending a few hundred bucks to upgrade the graphics card(and most likely the PSU - LITEON 300W) on this machine for gaming and watching blu-ray(would add) or is this machine really not worth the money and I should go buy a PS3 with games, blu-ray, netflix etc. (probably cheaper)?

Here are the specs:

Intel Core 2 Quad Q8300 (Y) 2.5 GHz (95W)
8 GB Memory
750 GB SATA 3G 7200RPM
Integrated Video Graphics
PCI Express x16 (Available)


Thanks in advance!
a c 1410 U Graphics card
March 25, 2010 10:56:55 PM

That is not a bad system with the right GPU. You probably would get a way with installing HD4650/70 or HD5570/5670 with out changing PSU. If you want more power like HD5770 you would need another PSU
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a c 170 U Graphics card
March 26, 2010 3:09:16 AM

I agree that you'll get a very nice gaming rig if you upgrade the Graphics and PSU.

If you get a DX11 like an HD5850 it will be more expensive than an HD4850 but it will support DX11 features in newer games. The DX11 cards also run quieter and cooler (AMD/ATI's at least; NVidia releases specs tomorrow but it sounds like they will not be competetive.)

There are pros and cons to upgrading your computer versus a PS3. PS3 games are more expensive, won't look quite as good as what you'll be able to support with an upgrade and don't have Keyboard/Mouse gaming which I love (so forget about Diablo 3, Starcraft 2, World of Warcraft etc).

My advice is get an HD5770 or an HD5850.

I like Corsair power supplies but there are other options. A 450W power supply will work (if you get a cheap one it might not have proper current for your graphics card).

I did look up your CPU to see if there would be any potential bottlenecks. You should be just fine.

Gaming tips:
Start a game and run FRAPS to monitor the framerate. Turn on VSYNC. Assuming 60Hz for your monitor you'll want a high framerate for fast games (preferably 60FPS). AA, Shadows, Bloom etc are features you can turn down to boost frame rates.

All games will run very nicely on your system with one of the above cards so long as you tweak to keep frame rates high.
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a b U Graphics card
March 26, 2010 3:12:16 AM

Don't forget to get a blu-ray drive. You will also need blu-ray player software. I like cyberlink 9.1 but they recently released version 10 and you may want to check that out.

What monitor are you using to warrant blu-ray support? If you are using a basic monitor, I would make the blu-ray upgrade a phase II step after you get your video card and power supply taken care of unless you have the funds to do all at once.

I don't recall a budget or monitor description, can you provide that info?...
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