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Need some help with hardware upgrades.

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December 24, 2011 3:17:31 AM

Hey guys, I'm buying a few computer parts this boxing day for my computer, a new power supply and a video card, aswell as possible a hybrid SSD drive.

HP Pavilion p6320f Desktop PC <-- This is my computer, i cannot post link but if you google it it should come up.

What im wondering is, will i have any heating issues, what else might i need with the power supply and the video card?

My goal is to play Swtor, as well as make my video rendering and general computer use better.

More about : hardware upgrades

a b ) Power supply
a b U Graphics card
December 24, 2011 3:38:08 AM

If buy a video card with better cooling like MSI Hawk , i don't think you will have problem. The best upgrade what you can do is PSU and video card.
December 24, 2011 2:10:42 PM

Yes, ty :] i had posted previously and was told those were the two i should focus on, was just concerned about cooling, after my PSU and video card, what should i be trying to get upgraded next?
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a b ) Power supply
a b U Graphics card
December 24, 2011 10:52:59 PM
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proc = AMD Phenom II X4 820
mem = 8gb
psu = 300W power supply, std atx.

MB: Supports the following processors:

AMD Phenom II X4 9xx/9xxe/8xx Quad-Core (Deneb)
AMD Phenom II X3 7xx/7xxe Triple-Core (Heka)
AMD Phenom II X2 5xx (Callisto)
AMD Athlon II X4 6xx/6xxe (Propus)
AMD Athlon II X3 4xx/4xxe (Rana)
AMD Athlon II X2 2xx/2xxe (Regor)
MB is NVIDIA GeForce 9100 based with 16GB max mem.

Net: Your processor is fine, and you do not want to upgrade processor with this MB. the only thing you need is Video.

For video: You can use a lower power card like the HD6770/HD5770 which pulls 105 watts max and see if you can squeeze under the 300 watts your PSU delivers, or you can install a nice middle power PSU like the this antec earthwatts: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... and slap in any single video card from here that hits your fancy: http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/fastest-graphics-ca...

Next upgrades... Great headphone? better mouse? SSD if you can live with a small C drive (you will generally need to reinstall software to move it to a second, data drive (i.e. the D drive)) External Disk to BACKUP your system ? New monitor ?

EDIT: No problems with cooling unless you plan to buy a 200+ watt video card. No problem in this case with any reasonable card. You will not be overclocking the processor with an HP MB, so processor heat is under control. I use an older (i.e. high wattage) GTX260 in a similar HP case without issues. If you do get excessive with the video (excellent!) then you want to pull more air out the back. A PCI slot fan is simple. Some of the HP cases I've looked at had mounting for a front fan near the bottom front panel. But I'm guessing no need for extra air.
December 25, 2011 12:19:20 AM

tsnor said:
proc = AMD Phenom II X4 820
mem = 8gb
psu = 300W power supply, std atx.

MB: Supports the following processors:

AMD Phenom II X4 9xx/9xxe/8xx Quad-Core (Deneb)
AMD Phenom II X3 7xx/7xxe Triple-Core (Heka)
AMD Phenom II X2 5xx (Callisto)
AMD Athlon II X4 6xx/6xxe (Propus)
AMD Athlon II X3 4xx/4xxe (Rana)
AMD Athlon II X2 2xx/2xxe (Regor)
MB is NVIDIA GeForce 9100 based with 16GB max mem.

Net: Your processor is fine, and you do not want to upgrade processor with this MB. the only thing you need is Video.

For video: You can use a lower power card like the HD6770/HD5770 which pulls 105 watts max and see if you can squeeze under the 300 watts your PSU delivers, or you can install a nice middle power PSU like the this antec earthwatts: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... and slap in any single video card from here that hits your fancy: http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/fastest-graphics-ca...

Next upgrades... Great headphone? better mouse? SSD if you can live with a small C drive (you will generally need to reinstall software to move it to a second, data drive (i.e. the D drive)) External Disk to BACKUP your system ? New monitor ?

EDIT: No problems with cooling unless you plan to buy a 200+ watt video card. No problem in this case with any reasonable card. You will not be overclocking the processor with an HP MB, so processor heat is under control. I use an older (i.e. high wattage) GTX260 in a similar HP case without issues. If you do get excessive with the video (excellent!) then you want to pull more air out the back. A PCI slot fan is simple. Some of the HP cases I've looked at had mounting for a front fan near the bottom front panel. But I'm guessing no need for extra air.


Thank you for all the solid information, so the processor and MB are stuck that way eh, so I really would like to be able to run games on high-ultra settings in 1920x1080. like i said I'm purchasing Swtor tomorrow and i also own skyrim, dead island, rage, and many other games that i am currently having to play on 800x600 because of the onboard chip. so will i be able to play them at their best with just a graphics card update? i was thinking i needed a PSU a new card and was considering a SSD. Although my guess is probably awful, so all recommendations are welcomed.

I did read through everything you said, but I'm still kindof unsure about my MB and processor, and of what they can handle. so.
a b ) Power supply
a b U Graphics card
December 25, 2011 12:47:56 AM

The graphic card upgrade will make a HUGE difference.

To Get "high-ultra" at 1920x1080 can get expensive. Read a few reviews and pick the video card that gets you the frame rates you want. (e.g. http://www.xbitlabs.com/articles/graphics/display/battl...)

Anything weaker than an HD6770 is probably not worth the effort. Anything stronger does need a new power supply. Do read the 'best video card for money' article. http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/fastest-graphics-ca... Decide if you want a card that is 'good' at 1920x1080 or 'great'. Get the PSU it needs. Your Phenom II X4 820 will start to hold you back. But you may be hitting the frame rates and getting the gameplay you want without another upgrade. If you do hit a CPU bottleneck with your current CPU/MB then all the parts you bought (video, PSU) are carried forward to run with your next CPU/MB.

Suggest you unplug your PC, open up the case. Locate the PSU, see the wires coming from it and decide if you are comfortable swapping a PSU. If yes, and you can afford it, then go for a 6870-class video card or better and a good $60 power supply. IF not then use the HD6770 and get a gaming build for you next system from a place like cyberpower.
December 25, 2011 12:41:30 PM

tsnor said:
The graphic card upgrade will make a HUGE difference.

To Get "high-ultra" at 1920x1080 can get expensive. Read a few reviews and pick the video card that gets you the frame rates you want. (e.g. http://www.xbitlabs.com/articles/graphics/display/battl...)

Anything weaker than an HD6770 is probably not worth the effort. Anything stronger does need a new power supply. Do read the 'best video card for money' article. http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/fastest-graphics-ca... Decide if you want a card that is 'good' at 1920x1080 or 'great'. Get the PSU it needs. Your Phenom II X4 820 will start to hold you back. But you may be hitting the frame rates and getting the gameplay you want without another upgrade. If you do hit a CPU bottleneck with your current CPU/MB then all the parts you bought (video, PSU) are carried forward to run with your next CPU/MB.

Suggest you unplug your PC, open up the case. Locate the PSU, see the wires coming from it and decide if you are comfortable swapping a PSU. If yes, and you can afford it, then go for a 6870-class video card or better and a good $60 power supply. IF not then use the HD6770 and get a gaming build for you next system from a place like cyberpower.


Thank you so much for all the valuable information once again tsnor. I read through both articles you posted and I think i know what I'm doing now. If there's a way to +1 you id like to but I don't see it right now and its Christmas morning so, if you do happen to see this let me know, and Ill be sure to do that, and I'll update with what I end up purchasing Today/Tomorrow
a b ) Power supply
a b U Graphics card
December 25, 2011 2:33:22 PM

Hey, good luck. And a nice thank you like you posted beats the heck out of a +1 anywhere. TY.
December 25, 2011 4:07:02 PM

Best answer selected by robasaur.
December 27, 2011 12:56:12 PM

Just wondering in regards to this prebuilt computer. When taking it apart and putting in the card and power supply, is there anything i should know? any tips? I have never modified my computers before, however i have taken apart this one fully and put it back together a few times, i know where the parts go and have taken the proper saftey precautions (That i am aware of, wood floors, no socks, and a bracelet my cousin gave me, he said it would help with grounding, i had also heard about this)
!