Video card upgrade
I have an IBM ThinkCentre S51 desktop PC that claims to support any PCI-e 1x video card and above - up to PCI-e x16 - that fits into a riser card on the motherboard. Trouble is the Micro-ATX power supply unit that came with this PC is rated to handle only 225 watts, and I cannot find a compatible replacement to handle the extra load. Can anyone recommend a suitable low-powered, low profile PCI-e 1x, or higher, PCI-e video card and/or a better PSU that will work for me without drawing so much power as to cause a meltdown of the video card and/or motherboard? Any valid suggestion will be helpful. Thanks.
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Thank you so much, WR2, for your very timely response. And yes, as uncanny as it seems, your insight was spot on! The symptons that I experienced with my IBM ThinkCentre S51 PC (machine type 8171) were exactly as you described! It is a shame that you would be so ready to help me when IBM Tech Support refused to clarifiy the cryptic explanation given on their website for the weird beep codes that I got after I installed a Zotac 512 MB PCI-e x16 video card on the motherboard. They, IBM, were the ones who explicitly claimed that it would be compatible. And as for the choice of PCI-e 1x video cards that I belatedly find that this PC is limited to I am holding them to task for their false advertisement.
I wanted to connect this PC to my TV to stream movies and music with from the internet, and now I am quite disappointed over the unexpected limitations facing me. I looked at several reviews of the HIS Radeon HD 4350 512 MB PCI-e x1 video card that you recommended but did not like what I saw. Seems like most users find this card to be too noisy for their liking; and I don't think that I, myself, would like to be constantly distracted by the whining, jet-like, noise in the foreground while watching movies, or listening to music. Also, I continue to suspect that the 225-watt power PSU that came installed in this PC will continue to pose another limitation to my aspirations; most PCI-e video cards require a minimum of 300 watts. But I will continue to look for alternatives, nonetheless. Truth be told, however, I'm prepared to ditch this toy soon and custom build a real HTPC without the limitations of an indifferent corporate whimp like IBM telling me what I can and cannot upgrade. Anyway, I certainly appreciate your help. Thanks so much, again, for trying!
There is a passively cooled version of a HD 4350 that's also PCI-e x1 POWERCOLOR AE4350 512MD2-H Radeon HD 4350 $100 but poor customer reviews.
The PCI-e x1 versions are unusually expensive compared the x16 versions MSI R4350-MD512H Radeon HD 4350 $17 after rebate.
HTPC's are a lot more fun to build these days than a few years ago.