Advice for upgrade(s)

Hey guys and girls, hoping for a little advice here. I own an unmodified HP Pavilion P6130f ( review and good tech info @ ). Hoping to connect to a newer lcd, 1080p, 120hz via hdmi, for which I will need to invest in a graphics card ( plus psu and likely a bluray). Hoping to spend around $300-400 for all of the components with the bulk going towards the graphics card (pcie x16). Computer is used primarily for internet although there is the occasional image edited (15mb plus files) and hopefully some high quality 1080p streaming in the future. Anybody willing to help me out? Joe
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  1. Will you be using the PC to play any games at all? If so, playing games @ 1080p probably means spending $200 to $300 just on the video card. That doesn't leave much room for buying a Blu-Ray player, quality PSU, and a 120hz LCD monitor (which will be spendy).

    A fairly inexpensive 1080p 60hz monitor can be had for about $130. But that's not a high end display panel, let alone 120hz.

    If you're not gaming, you probably can save substantially on the GPU/video card end of things as you don't need anything super powerful for simply playing Blu-Ray movies or editing photos (which is usually done by the CPU).

    Your System Specs per the Review you linked to:
    Processor: 2.4GHz AMD Phenom X4 9750
    Memory: 8GB DDR2
    Storage: 750GB hard drive
    Optical Drive: DVD±RW
    Monitor: None
    Graphics: Integrated Nvidia GeForce 9100 graphics (256MB shared)
    Operating System: Windows Vista Home Premium (64-bit)
  2. Thanks for the quick reply Jerreece. Got a steal of a deal last weekend on a new LG led lit lcd, 1080p 120hz, so the monitor end of things is covered. No gaming and likely none in the future, hdmi is a must though! OS has been upgraded to Win 7. Found an LG blu-ray for $110 at microcenter. Not sure what PSU connectors I will need, figured I would find out what power requirements I would have before worrying about that one. Any particuliar cards work better with the AMD chipset or am I basically looking for a generic card with HDMI? Hoping to have a stable system once setup. Joe
  3. Any fairly modern video card, even under $70, will have HDMI ouput.
    Here's a Radeon 5570 for $60... It's really quite powerful for medium-level gaming, and it has hdmi.

    Of course, if you don't game at all, and don't care about having a fairly powerful card, just something that will do the job, this one is substantially less powerful, but should still be more than you need, for only $25 after rebate.
  4. Going with a video card like jryan388 suggested would mean you may not even have to purchase an upgraded power supply. I'm not sure exactly what PSU you have in your HP (the review didn't mention). But a lower end card like he's suggested (which is probably fine for simply WATCHING Blu-Ray) won't consume much power at all.

    Since you've got the monitor already, have the Blu-Ray drive figured out already also, basically all you need is a video card. And depending on how you go there, you may not need a PSU.

    Couple notes on the monitor: Is this an LG LED LCD monitor, or a TV? HDTV's that advertise 120hz usually aren't. They use an image replication type ability to simulate a 120hz refresh (it reduces 'motion blur'). Also keep in mind however, that Blu-Ray is designed to run at like 24FPS to begin with if I recall correctly. So it probably won't make a major difference anyhow. :)

    Blu-Ray still kicks butt though, especially if you can watch with a True HD 1080p.
  5. Eh... LG trumotion 120hz TV. Bummer! Suppose I can't afford a true 120hz with the size screen we have... ;) 300 watt psu, noisy bugger too. Have considered throwing a bluray drive in and running it through the onboard gpu. Vga works out OK though no audio through a vga. Been itching to get my hands on a good 2.1 system, may consider going that route if the video is to my liking with the onboard. Guess I need to get that drive! Thanks, Joe
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