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Have questions about upgrading my OEM HP

Last response: in Components
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September 28, 2011 6:32:16 PM

Hey there guys, I am brand new to the site however I have been a reader for some time now. I hate having my first post be one about asking for help, but I am pretty hardware-stupid so I can't say I'd be too helpful around here xD

Anyways, I made a link on Reddit regarding my current issue with no success. It's a long read but I try to be as descriptive of possible in order to help you help me, so if you want me to "cut to the chase", scroll down to the bottom.

Last winter my parents were nice enough to purchase me a HP OEM for roughly $900 total
[HP Pavilion Elite HPE-410t series]. They were having some solid deals at the time, so here's what I have:

1TB HD
Win-7 64-bit
6 gigs of ram
i5 quad core/ 760 @ 2.80 ghz
GT 440 (ewwww!)
Apparently I have the HP version of an MSI motherboard. No clue what that means.

I'm planning on purchasing BF3 when it releases (currently playing beta, but it isn't pretty), and Diablo 3 down the line, with some other games here and there. So far, I have been able to run the BF3 alpha/beta with my GT 440 on a pretty low resolution (my monitor is 1600x900, but I ran it on 1280x720) and reached a max of 50-55 fps on lowest settings, however it is not so consistent.

From what I understand, my PC build isn't TOO god awful but the GPU is for sure holding it back. My original solution was pretty simple, just get a new graphics card and slap it in. However, the case is quite small, as you can see here:
http://i167.photobucket.com/albums/u124/Maxprules/11-2....

Oh, and my PSU is only 300w. <_<

So essentially, I need a solid graphics card that fits in that space (there's around 9.5 inches available if I'm being safe, as the card is able to go under that bundle of wires there to the left of it). And, I need a PSU that delivers. Now I understand that it'd be pretty much best for me to just build an entirely new computer but I am on a budget and only have enough money for a temporary solution. So I have around $350 to spend, but less would be cool, too.

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

This is pretty much my only hope at this point. Its enough to power a GPU (and later on I can use it for a potential SLI/Xfire situation). I'm not sure if I'd have to use it externally or if I could manage to keep it in the desktop, but either way I don't mind. That there is $77 after mail in, leaving me with roughly $220 bucks for a card. Now I am struggling to find one that fits the current scenario.

TL;DR: I have a small OEM case, and I am wondering if I can use a "FSP Group Booster X5 450W" power thingy to power a graphics card. Also, I am very very very hardware retarded but I have learned a lot in the last few days thanks to reddit/tom's. I am open to the idea of transferring all my OEM things into a new case. However I am pretty nervous and think I might screw something up. Plus a new case would still be part of that $350 budget. If it is possible for me to move all of my things to a new case in order to have room (especially for upgrades down the line), I might do that.

-PS, sorry for the information overload!

Best solution

a b ) Power supply
a b α HP
September 28, 2011 7:09:10 PM

The i5 760 is still a great cpu and is still put in the best cpu for the money article. The only issue is your gpu and case. Don't get that 450w thing, just get a regular atx psu to replace your existing one and also reuse the new one when you build a new computer. For your resolution a 6870 or 560 would be good but your budget can allow up to a 560ti or 6950 with a sli/cf capable psu. But most 6950s are 10.2" while you can find plenty of 9.5" of the other cards.
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September 28, 2011 7:23:51 PM

Being that it is OEM built I'll have have to take measurements of my current PSU. Not even sure how easy it will be for me to take it out / place a new one in but I will certainly try. My only concern is that my current one is a measly 300w and it seems to just fit into the case, and I reckon higher wats = bigger unit. Also, just thinking about rewiring a PSU to power everything in tower makes me nauseous.

I don't think I can SLI with my current mobo (pretty sure its a single slot for gfx, or pci I believe it is called), but I will definitely get a card that is good for it, and purchase a second one later down the line. I hear so much talk about how one card manufacturer is better than the other, that I never know what the best way to go. I think I will just grab a 560ti because Nvidia seems to be supporting BF3 quite a bit.

Many thanks, perhaps I will update the post with some results (hopefully good) :D 
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October 11, 2011 4:51:06 AM

Best answer selected by prules.
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October 11, 2011 1:25:28 PM

Just remeber to plug everything in as you took it out and you'll be safe that way lol
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