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Small Form PC, low psu (220w), low profile video card upgrade

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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July 13, 2010 5:26:17 PM

Hi,
I have read through just about every thread I could find on Gateway SX pc upgrades, and other similar slimline computer upgrades on this site, I have narrowed down the exact things I am looking for for a video card for my PC.

I have a Gateway sx2840, it is relatively small form factor, has 6gb ram, 1tb harddrive, and i3-530 processor, and integrated graphics. There are 2 open pci-e slots, one of which I put in a wireless network card, and now I am looking to use the other for a video card.

I am not interested in changing the case of the computer, and I'm kind of newb, but figured out how to install cards. I'm also not really interested in changing the psu although it is very small (only 220w), if there is a cheap and easy psu, that can be installed with minimal effort (less than 30 minutes of work) I might be open to it, but it would have to cost $50 or less.

I mostly use my ps3 for gaming, but I want to play Starcraft 2 when that comes out, I don't need like 60fps Crysis or whatever, but some graphic power is desired.

So video card needs:
$40-85
HDMI
pci-e
very low profile
very low amount of heat (or psu required)
512md-1gb ddr3 would be nice

What do you guys think?
a c 153 U Graphics card
July 13, 2010 5:32:07 PM

The motherboard has ONE PCI-e and ONE PCI. The network card should be pluged into the PCI slotl, but just make sure...

As for the graphics card....

How about this?

EDIT - Scratch that let me find another hold on.

While I'm looking, its going to be VERY hard to find a GPU that can tackle Starcraft II and be lowprofile. I found a few but they are all 300W recommended.
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July 13, 2010 5:47:39 PM

From what I have read from people on here is that cards rated to a 300w minimum power requirement are pretty conservative estimates and many popular video cards work well with that.

The specs on the gateway site list the expansion slots as

1 - PCI-E x16, 1 - PCI-E x1

I can't remember what the inside looks like anymore, since I installed the network card a while ago. The network card I bought is PCI-E, so am I looking for a PCI-E video card?

Let me know what 300w recommended cards you find, and I will take a chance on something as I probably wont be gaming too hard (less than 2 hours at a time).

I just want to be sure I buy the right piece of hardware that definitely will fit in the computer.
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a c 153 U Graphics card
July 13, 2010 5:53:37 PM

mckeeius said:
From what I have read from people on here is that cards rated to a 300w minimum power requirement are pretty conservative estimates and many popular video cards work well with that.

The specs on the gateway site list the expansion slots as

1 - PCI-E x16, 1 - PCI-E x1

I can't remember what the inside looks like anymore, since I installed the network card a while ago. The network card I bought is PCI-E, so am I looking for a PCI-E video card?

Let me know what 300w recommended cards you find, and I will take a chance on something as I probably wont be gaming too hard (less than 2 hours at a time).

I just want to be sure I buy the right piece of hardware that definitely will fit in the computer.


Just checked, ya I misread the motherboard specifications. Sorry about that. You will be fine with a PCI-e card. Doesn't really change anything though...

I don't think I would take a chance with a 300w GPU on a 220 PSU.

If you take the chance and something goes bad you can ruin your whole system..

However if you are gunho about it don't go too powerful.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

There are better for the 300W minimum but..... getting risky there.
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July 13, 2010 6:02:27 PM

Okay well, how difficult is it to change out the PSU? I find this whole process pretty fun, but I dont want to get over my head. It sounds like with these small form factor PCs, that they are obviously limited in their upgrading capabilities. Does anyone know of a PSU upgrade that would fit this type of computer?

Also, keep the video card recommendations coming as well, I think low-heat, low profile is going to be my need.
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a b U Graphics card
July 13, 2010 6:25:03 PM

I would get a 4650, it should run, as my Core i5 520M + 5650 uses a 90W PSU.
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December 12, 2010 8:31:48 PM

Just to follow up , I wnet with an ATI Radeon HD 5570 and it runs like a champ. Play SC2 all the time and no problems, no over heating. It only got really hot during the campaign mode. This card does not seem to zap the power supply and paired well with the machine.
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