I recently got an HP p6710f, which only comes with a 250W power supply. I'm looking for advice on whether (and how much) to upgrade the PSU before installing any new components. I am a gamer, but a low-budget one - I tend to stay well back from the bleeding edge and stick to the $20 hits of yesteryear.
But at the very least I want to transplant my old video card to it. The card is an XFX Radeon HD 4650 1GB, which I understand is a low power-requirement card. Can I do this safely with the default power supply, or is this asking for trouble? If the later, how big a power supply do I need? Money is tight, so I don't want to get more than necessary.
I may or may not also want to add a second hard drive down the road, but I don't anticipate increasing the RAM. I figure by the time older games are big enough to need more than 4GB, it'll be time to replace the machine anyway.
You should be able to run the 4650 without any problems for now, however a new power supply would still be a good idea.
HP is not known for using high quality power supplies, and in a sub-$500 PC I am certain they did not. Just for peace of mind, you can pick up a ~400w power supply for ~$30 that will be quieter, cooler, and safer from a quality brand like Seasonic, Antec, or Corsair. 400W is sufficient for any graphic card under $150 as long as you buy from a high quality brand.
Thanks. I ended up getting convinced to invest in a better psu, and combined with your brand advice I got a Corsair GS600. Problem is, it doesn't seem to have all the right connections! I had to put the old one back in.
While I've swapped out components in machines before, this is my first time trying to replace a power supply and it's pretty clear I don't know what I'm doing. So I'm asking for further advice. Is the GS600 supposed to work with this type of machine? If not, what am I looking for?
The connector that plugs into that has 8 holes in an 2*4 plug. It is a 4 & 8 pin compatible plug. Plug that 8 pin plug into the 4 pin connector leaving the other 4 pins free and you should be fine. It might look weird, but it should work.
Ah you beat me too it while I was at work! Its odd that this one only has an 8-pin instead of the typical dual 4-pin that can be used together in an 8-pin slot. Both my corsair and Seasonic have 4 pin plugs. Either way, im sure Corsair wouldn't make something that wasnt universal-- so I think you are totally safe using it the way you have it.