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Looking to buy an Asus Essentio cm6850-07 and upgrade the Graphics card and the

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October 11, 2011 4:14:38 AM

Hello, Since I'm not really good with computers and I've never actually owned a particularly good computer, I need some help.

I finally saved up enough money to purchase an Asus Essentio CM6850-07. I've read pretty much every review I could find on it and found that it doesn't perform too well in the graphics department.

So I was wondering, (and mind, I'm not great with computers so this may be a stupid question) if I was looking to upgrade the graphics card and PSU in this, what would give me the most bang for my buck?

Price Range: ~150 for the gfx card. Whatever for the PSU.

I'm looking into some moderate gaming, like diablo 3 and whatever else I stumble upon that looks nice, and I'd like to run them with nice (if not max) settings.

P.S. I heard that this motherboard doesn't support SLI but does support crossfire. So I'd like a card that I can keep up with the games now, and in a few yrs get ANOTHER so I can use crossfire to keep up with the games and whatnot.

And if you'd be willing to explain why you're suggesting certain parts I'd really appreciate it, because I'd like to learn.

Thanks in advance!
a c 189 U Graphics card
October 11, 2011 4:43:04 AM

I can't find it's motherboard type (at least the pic of mobo), anyone has idea/info?
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October 11, 2011 5:07:02 AM

Not sure if it helps but, so far, it's all I can find.

There are quite a few spots free for additional components in the chassis: One optical drive bay, one hard drive bay, a PCI card slot (a second PCI slot is blocked by the graphics card’s heat sink), and a PCIe x16/x4 slot (it’s physically a x16 slot, but wired for x4). all four memory slots are filled. You can use the PCIe x16 slot for an additional graphics card (for additional monitor support or GPU computing help), and the motherboard supports AMD’s CrossFire multi-card setups. The desktop isn’t certified to handle Nvidia’s SLI multi-card setup, so you’ll have to replace the included GeForce GT 530 card with something from AMD if you want more 3D power.

^Found on http://jumpbeat.info/6901/desktop-pc-components/motherb...
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a b U Graphics card
October 11, 2011 5:36:57 AM

What's your budget? Maybe we can find you a system we know more about for the same price. Also, do you have a .edu email address? If so, and you're open to installing Windows, you can save quite a bit of money with a custom system builder.
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October 11, 2011 5:48:16 AM

I really wish I had a .edu email address, in a yr or so maybe. XD Not going to help now I know. But yea, windows price was my issue with a custom build too. The budget I have to work with is ~800 but no more than 900 PREFERABLY. If it's drastically improved I may be up for it though.

Btw, your avatar, what's it from? I used to play the game as a kid and loved it, but I can't for the life of me remember the name. :D 
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a b U Graphics card
October 11, 2011 6:09:56 AM

My Avatar - SkiFree

CPU: i5's play games as well as i7's so you can just save some cash and aim lower

Motherboard: Don't worry about it, I guess...but two PCI-e full length 16x slots offers versatility if you're presented with the option.

RAM: RAM is cheap and any pre-built machine uses cheap stuff. Just get the cheapest you can get and upgrade if you want to later.

HDD: You want a 7200rpm hard drive. After that, it doesn't matter much.

Case: Any OEM will have a case with poor cooling.

PSU: Stick to Antec, Corsair, or XFX. How much you need depends on your build. A Corsair CX430 will be plenty for a graphics card up to a 6870 and an Antec EA650 will handle up to two GTX 560Ti's...but you might want a 750W for that.

Graphics: Spend everything left in your budget here. If you've got $150, get a 6870. If you've got more, get a GTX 560Ti or better.

I like this Vostro with i3-2100 for $319: http://configure.us.dell.com/dellstore/config.aspx?cs=0...
You have to choose the processor in putting it together, but you really can't beat that price unless you build it yourself (and it'd be close then). I have to look into whether you can upgrade these Mini Tower PSUs though.

Check here for good Desktop Sales: http://www.techbargains.com/catsearch.cfm/0_12_0
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October 11, 2011 6:24:04 AM

Oh yeah, I forgot to mention, I'm working on becoming an art student. Which means in the future I'll need photoshop. And from what I've heard is that photoshop really can put a strain on things, so I'm not sure if an i7'll be better in that respect or not.

And thanks much dalauder as to what to look for. I just don't believe I'd want to go as low as $319, as good as that computer may be. Honestly, I'm a little paranoid about buying a computer so I'm going to spend quite a bit now while I have the money so I don't have to upgrade too much when I don't have it. I'll be sure to check the techbargains link however. I really appreciate the help so far!

And btw, does the asus I'd like to get seem like a good deal to you guys? From what I've read is it is really good for the price. And I've all but talked myself into it, I just need to really know what my upgrade options are, unless, like I said, there is something drastically better.
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a b U Graphics card
October 11, 2011 6:37:58 AM

Why spend a lot now when you can spend half as much and just get one that's better than the expensive one with the other half of your money in a year and a half?

As far as art though...yeah, an i5 or maybe i7 would be more useful. I don't know if that motherboard can handle an i5 or if it's limited to 65W i3's.
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a b U Graphics card
October 11, 2011 6:49:55 AM

Careful trying to compare a $800 Windows machine to your friends in art school's $2500 Macs. You may say that your Windows machine is slow...but that's only because it costs 1/3 as much.

Here's a Vostro for $449 with an i5-2400 w/ code VR?HZTDVS8WDVF: http://configure.us.dell.com/dellstore/config.aspx?c=us...
You can pay $190 to upgrade it to an i7 or you can do that in a year or two instead.

Then you can drop in a $35 Antec Neo Eco 620W (on Newegg Shell Shocker right now, will run out soon. If so, get Antec EA650 for $40) and ANY graphics card. And you'll have a high-end gaming system for under $700.

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October 11, 2011 7:18:11 AM

Hmm, I'm liking those options actually, and yeah, though I considered a mac, I didn't like the fact that you can't upgrade or anything. And with being that pricey and all you'd think you'd be able to upgrade, but I guess you end up paying for the logo a bit on that one.

I'll definitely consider your suggestions, but like I said, (and it may be stupid I know, but I'm going to need some thorough convincing to talk me out of it) I kinda talked myself into that Asus. And maybe I've been getting my info from the wrong sources, but the Dell Vostro just doesn't sound as impressive as the Asus. I've just heard really good things about them, and most of the reviews I've read say they're really easily upgraded and that they're a really good choice for the money. So just ending up getting a graphics card and a PSU shouldn't be THAT big of a deal I wouldn't think, and honestly, I'd like to think that it'd suit me well as is anyways.

And another technical question... How do I figure out whether or not a graphics card is compatible with my computer? And how a PSU is compatible? Even a link explaining this'd be helpful honestly. XD (Sorry for all the dumb questions)
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a b U Graphics card
October 11, 2011 7:41:32 AM

Asus builds very good machines. Can you provide the link where you're going to buy it? That's the major reason I've moved away from it. I'd like to see a picture of it personally.

I can see from photos of the Vostro that it's fairly easy to upgrade and open up--much easier than a lot of OEM machines I've owned in the past (I don't do OEM anymore). But I can't guarantee it can top that Asus. I'm not going to read 3 pages of text to see a proper list of parts.

At the end of the day, your performance will hinge 90% on your CPU and your graphics card. The other 10% is 7% RAM and 2.5% HDD. The OEM won't matter as much as the PSU for whether or not it breaks.

A long time ago, a computer chasis standard of ATX was established. I think it was like 1995, but you can find that on Wikipedia. Replacement standards failed so that ATX is still what power supplies are designed to fit. A graphics card is also designed to fit in PCI-e expansion slots in an ATX case. Even non-standard cases almost always allow for expansion slots (although smaller ones only allow low-profile cards).

Pretty much ANY PCI-e graphics card will work. The challenge is making sure you have enough power for it. Poking around on this PSU calculator page may help you understand the requirements: http://extreme.outervision.com/psucalculatorlite.jsp

Wikipedia articles on graphics lines will also tell you their power draw as will NVidia's website. A typical high end card draws 225W under load on top of your system's 150W or so under load. Then you need some breathing room for lots of miscellaneous allowances. A lower end card without power supply connectors can draw as little as 40W. My computer at home uses about 450W under load.
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October 11, 2011 10:24:28 AM

Very helpful last post. Explained alot I've been trying to understand. I'm really glad I decided to get help from here! :D 

Sorry about not giving the link of what I planned on buying, it totally slipped my mind.

Here it is,
http://www.bestbuy.com/site/Asus+-+Essentio+Desktop+/+I...

I looked at everything, did alot of research, and I felt fairly confident that this was the best I could get for my money.

And one more thing, if I were to get a new graphics card, would it be better to get 1 high end Nvidia? Or a Radeon so I can make use of crossfire in the future if need be? I feel like the answer should be Radeon but I like to be sure on these things, because I've heard nothing but good things about Nvidia, and that Radeon are budget. Or is it again like buying something for the name, not the performance?

Thanks again for the speedy replies and all the help!
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October 11, 2011 8:50:56 PM

And I just figured out I do NOT like the new one... They took out the gfx card. WHY? >.>
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a b U Graphics card
October 11, 2011 11:18:03 PM

In my opinion, that machine is pricey without providing much useful. I'll see what I can find...

As far as graphics cards. NVidia GeForce and AMD Radeon are just the competing brands. Is a BMW better than a Mercedes? Maybe, some of the time, but it depends on what you want. Here's a comparison of where their cards rank: http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/gaming-performance-...

You'll be wanting either a GeForce 400 or 500 series card or a Radeon 5000 or 6000 series card. Don't get anything worse than the GTX 460 1GB/6850 level.
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a b U Graphics card
October 11, 2011 11:41:45 PM

Lenovo's got a great reputation. You could try this on Newegg for $799: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
That's an i7-2600, big 1.5TB 7200rpm HDD, 8GB RAM, and a Radeon 6450 graphics card. Just drop in a new PSU and a good graphics card and you're set.

Also, would you be interested in i7-2630QM gaming laptops around this price? If so, this Asus is killer: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

No extra PSU or graphics required.
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October 12, 2011 1:16:31 AM

Thanks much for all the help! But I think I found my baby, so long as i'm not missing something here.
http://www.walmart.com/ip/iBuypower-811121015404/157468...

^Seems to have everything I want and it's a little overbudget sure but i'll get over it I'm thinking.

Unless something's seriously wrong with this build, in which case, could you let me know?
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a b U Graphics card
October 12, 2011 4:31:09 AM

I have absolutely no idea why you would want to buy that over the Lenovo. It has almost the same parts (smaller HDD). The only difference is a no-name bigger power supply (you should buy your own Antec, Corsair, Seasonic, or XFX) and a $120 GTX 460 1GB.

For the $350 more it costs, you could buy two of that graphics card, a PSU, and have $50 left over if you weren't even shopping for that great of deals. Of course, I'd buy a GTX 560Ti on top of the Lenovo and a 650W PSU if I were you.
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October 13, 2011 2:01:33 AM

Best answer selected by d1gg3r101.
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