Noob graphics card question prior to new card purchase

I should easily answer this myself, but I haven't upgraded or played with a new video card since Geforce 4 and the AGP days. With this current PC HP p6267c and PCI express, I am finding myself unsure of what I can get. Especially with PCI express 2.1 etc etc.

Currently running the included card Radeon HD 4350. It works but, I don't want it to just "work". Before I purchase one, I want to be sure I know what I am doing here as far as what I can get. Obviously the card I have in there now is a PCI Express 2.0. However my maximum bus setting says 2.0x16, then while I am shopping I see 2.1 x16 etc. x 16 is the number of pin slots I assume.

So can I run a 2.1 x16 without any issues? Obviously I could just purchase a 2.0, pull out the old and throw in the new, but I would prefer to put more into it if I can. Lastly, my assumption is that the slot my current card is in is a simple PCI express slot, the empty slot down below would be the 2.0 x 16? Or is it the same slot.

Sorry I have never explored or played with PCI express or these slots, I just want to be sure.

According to catalyst control center, system information:

Graphics Bus Capability PCI Express 2.0
Maximum Bus Setting PCI Express 2.0 x16

course that could just be info based on the card, not the PC. Its an X-64 based system running Q 8300. For the life of me I can't find any info on the mother board lol. Exploring DXdiag as well as the catalyst control center with system information, no specific mother board mentioned.

I just want to know what it can run before I shop, don't need help finding what I want, just don't want to spend $300 bucks on a PCI E 2.1 x16 when my PC can only handle PCI E 2.0 ...stupid noob question I know and I assumed it would just tell me somewhere, but it doesn't. Thankyou for the help, I do appreciate it.
14 answers Last reply
More about noob graphics card question prior card purchase
  1. It can be confusing, but 2.1 is fully backwards compatible with 2.0, the same way 2.0 is backwards compatible with 1.0 etc.

    So if you want to get say, a 6870 or whatever (a very new generation card), you'll have absolutely no problem installing it from the PCI-E perspective.
  2. All PCI-E are backwards compatible, except there was some issues between PCI-E 2.1 cards not doing well in PCI-E 1.0 and 1.1. Because you are using PCI-E 2.0 on your MOBO it will take ANY card you want. :D
  3. You only have a 300 watt power supply, so you will need to upgrade that to at least 500 watts for most of the latest video cards. You have a micro-ATX motherboard in a mid-size case, so length of the graphics card will need to fit.
  4. On a 300w PSU you should avoid any card that needs an external power connector which means if you aren't going to replace it the HD5670 is probably the way to go;
  5. That is the PSU I have and I love it. It runs really quite too. It is a great deal for a solid 600w PSU.
  6. He has an HP; I doubt he can just throw in any standard PSU. Generally you're stuck with the maximum card the power supply it came with can run.

    You're most likely screwed; hopefully it can run a 5770.
  7. HP usually uses standard form factor PSUs actually. It's Dells that are often a bitch about that kind of thing though they have gotten better about it(outside the slim cases naturally.)
  8. I'm seeing a standard 24-pin ATX power supply connection on the motherboard. It will support any standard PSU.
  9. ^+1 That's what i see also under specs from HP site.
    Mid -tower ATX.
  10. I stand corrected.

    Might I suggest the Ultra brand from tigerdirect; lifetime warranties with great prices.
  11. Ah yes the power supply issue lol. I seem to have had that follow me around forever. I needed something quick when I got this PC, it was the best I could do at the time. I don't really game that much on it, but that doesn't mean I don't want too. Not looking at going balls out, but I don't want to worry either. If I go to the store to buy any game, I just want it to be satisfactory. My days of keeping up with my PC needs are pretty much done.

    I am probably going to have to do a bit of research here and make that decision. I wasn't going after the best, just something that can easily install and run anything I choose decently. But thanks for all the reply's, I will head over to Tiger Direct and Newegg to see what I can find. Thankyou everyone.
  12. Actually the 5670 looks perfect. For FPS I typically play on the 360. The kids run the Sims 3 on the PC. However for games like WoW, Starcraft II etc (Huge Blizzard fan), it seems to be able to handle my needs. I will make sure it doesn't have a separate power pin and it isn't super "bulky".
  13. The hd5670 doesn't have any 6-pins, and I think it is even single slot.
  14. my wife had a 5670 before we upgraded her to 2xgts450's in sli and it did wow on her machine great. she played with mid-high settings at 1440x900 (just don't expect to play smoothly in ultra)
Ask a new question

Read More

Graphics Cards PCI Express Graphics Product