Trying to upgrade a HP Pavilion Pre-Built for Gaming

Forgive me if I'm newbish. First time post, beginner level PC builder... I'm going to try and do what the guide told me.

Approximate Purchase Date: Soon. I have some money saved up for a new place, but that fell through so I have some free cash.


Budget Range: Depends on what parts I need. The highest I'm willing to spend would probably be on a GPU, but if I need a new processor or power supply to add to that then I'll consider it. Looking at the 300-350 range for GPU.


System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming, Video editing, work, watching movies


Parts Not Required: Mouse and keyboard I guess. I'm looking to do a serious upgrade.


Preferred Website(s) for Parts: Newegg


Country of Origin: USA


Parts Preferences: by brand or type: Nvidia and Intel


Overclocking: Maybe


SLI or Crossfire: I dunno the difference. If someone could explain off hand, that would be cool.



Additional Comments: I want a build that can play Arma II on max settings. Or at least a build that can run it decent enough within my price range.

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http://www.pacificgeek.com/product.asp?c=220&s=910&ID=847149&P=F

This is my current set up. Its a pre-built.

I'd appreciate any advice. Thanks.
21 answers Last reply
More about trying upgrade pavilion built gaming
  1. SLI and Crossfire basically means "multiple graphics cards".

    SLI would be 2 Nvidia Graphics Cards
    Crossfire would be 2 ATI Cards

    Wikipedia's explanation:
    "Scalable Link Interface (SLI) is a brand name for a multi-GPU solution developed by NVIDIA for linking two or more video cards together to produce a single output. SLI is an application of parallel processing for computer graphics, meant to increase the processing power available for graphics."
  2. AdrianPerry said:
    SLI and Crossfire basically means "multiple graphics cards".

    SLI would be 2 Nvidia Graphics Cards
    Crossfire would be 2 ATI Cards

    Wikipedia's explanation:
    "Scalable Link Interface (SLI) is a brand name for a multi-GPU solution developed by NVIDIA for linking two or more video cards together to produce a single output. SLI is an application of parallel processing for computer graphics, meant to increase the processing power available for graphics."


    Ah, ok thanks. I don't think I wanna run 2 Nvidia cards, unless I can keep my Geforce 9500 GS in there, but if I did I guess it would be SLI.
  3. My suggestion -
    HD 6870
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814102948

    PSU - That case seems to fit a standard ATX PSU, so this one would be good,...
    OCZ 550W - Modular so it would very good for such a small case,...
    $10 off w/ promo code EMCKBKH36, ends 8/8
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817341022

    From the system requirements, the above setup should be able to play at max or near max settings,... But it would be better if you could overclock your CPU(which I doubt you can as the BIOS would be locked because its a pre-assembled PC)
  4. To run SLI/Crossfire, you need 2 of the same cards. So unless you bought another 9500GS (which i really wouldn't recommend because its not a gaming card) your basically looking at just buying one single new card.
  5. gkay09 said:
    My suggestion -
    HD 6870
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814102948

    PSU - That case seems to fit a standard ATX PSU, so this one would be good,...
    OCZ 550W - Modular so it would very good for such a small case,...
    $10 off w/ promo code EMCKBKH36, ends 8/8
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817341022

    From the system requirements, the above setup should be able to play at max or near max settings,... But it would be better if you could overclock your CPU(which I doubt you can as the BIOS would be locked because its a pre-assembled PC)


    Wow, alright thanks! I've never had a AMD card before. Would the transition be a strenuous process if I traded a Nvidia out with a AMD?
  6. AdrianPerry said:
    To run SLI/Crossfire, you need 2 of the same cards. So unless you bought another 9500GS (which i really wouldn't recommend because its not a gaming card) your basically looking at just buying one single new card.


    Alright cool. Thanks for the help guys, any more advice would be fantastic.
  7. ^ In that price range, the HD 6870 is the current best,... Also you get 2 Free games with that card, which makes it icing on the cake,... ;)
    Also the 9500 GS is nowhere near to the performance of the 6870,... The Nvidia counterparts are the new GTX 560s,...
  8. gkay09 said:
    ^ In that price range, the HD 6870 is the current best,... Also you get 2 Free games with that card, which makes it icing on the cake,... ;)
    Also the 9500 GS is nowhere near to the performance of the 6870,... The Nvidia counterparts are the new GTX 560s,...


    Ok cool. Do you think I need a new processor? And is there anyway to get by the BIOS anti-overclocking thing?
  9. ^ I dont think you would need a new CPU,...but you can check for used CPUs like the Q9550 which should be available in plenty in craiglist or ebay and many of them would have upgraded to the newer ones,...
    As for the BIOS unlock, I doubt you can do that,...
  10. Anyone else have some advice?
  11. Ok, so quick update:

    I installed the hardware suggested by gkay, but there's a problem. The card isn't producing video. When I have both power cables plugged it, it sounds like the card is barely running. When 1 is plugged in, the card runs wild. Neither of them boot up to windows...

    So, we wondered if maybe it was the power supply, and put back in my old video card to see if Windows would boot up. It did. So, it has to be the video card.
  12. ^ That is sad,... Try going through this checklist, will surely help in finding the issue,...
    http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/261145-31-perform-steps-posting-boot-video-problems
  13. I tried removing the ram, and that connector has been plugged in since the beginning of installing it.
  14. ^ Which connector ??
  15. The CPU Power Conductor.
  16. ^ So are you able to come to a rough idea what might be causing the trouble ? If possible, check the graphic card with another computer,... Also just asking,.. did you connect power the graphic card after installing ??
  17. Yeah, I put the power supply in first. I didn't want to overheat. We'd have to take the power supply with the card if we changed computers.

    We know its something video card related. We put the nvidia that came with the box back in with the new power supply and it booted up fine.
  18. Ok...

    So the video card is not compatible with my motherboard. That's... Annoying.

    Does anyone know of a high end Nvidia card that is compatible with a IPIBL-LB Motherboard?
  19. That video card works with that motherboard.

    The card itself could be bad. Or your drivers could be bad.

    Make sure both power connectors are installed as you did before.

    Can you get into the BIOS before windows boots? IF yes, then onto drivers.

    IF no BIOS screen, then check the cable connections between the monitor and the video card. Are you using a VGA monitor or DVI ? If VGA are you using the VGA adapter that came with the 6870 instead of the nVidia adapter - they are not the same. Does the monitor do anything when you power up the PC (like come out of power save mode). Can you try the seond DVI output instead of the first? Is there another PC you can use to test the video card (with enough power to make it work)?

    If you can get into BIOS then post. You'll need to clean up drivers in windows.
  20. Turns out the motherboard supports PCI Express 2.0 rather than 2.1...
    HP told me that the mother board only supported the original Geforce 9500 GS. Which is bull, but whatever...

    I'm kinda looking at Nvidia cards now, specifically this one: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814121446&cm_sp=Cat_Video_Cards_%26%2338%3b_Video_Devices-_-Best_Sellers-_-14-121-446
  21. Hi, they are pulling your chain.

    PCIe is backward and forward compatible all the way from 1.0a, 1.1, 2.0, 2.1 and the proposed 3.0

    That nvida card is fine and will work well with your PC, but so will a 6870.
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