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Recommendations for upgrading my graphics card and internal memory?

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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December 4, 2011 1:10:03 AM

Hello, all.

I'm about to purchase a replacement graphics card for my computer as my current one has burned out. I'm also nearly out of memory, so I'm going to go ahead and buy another internal hard drive to expand my computer's capacity. I was wondering if anyone had any specific recommendations on this front? While I'm good with computers, I've never upgraded one before, so this is virgin territory for me.

I would like to get at least another 500MBs of memory, hopefully more, and remain with NVIDIA GeForce cards for this upgrade. I would also like to stay under $150 per component. And while I'm in there, is there anything else I should be upgrading? This was a damned powerful computer when I bought it, but that was three years ago...

And finally, is it possible to get an internal drive that my computer will just treat as an addition to my existing memory capacity, rather than a separate drive? I'd rather not have to command the thing to save to/retrieve from a new location constantly.

I've included my specs below for reference. Thanks in advance! And please let me know if this question is in the wrong place.

:) 

OS Name Microsoft® Windows Vista™ Home Premium
Version 6.0.6002 Service Pack 2 Build 6002
Other OS Description Not Available
OS Manufacturer Microsoft Corporation
System Manufacturer Gateway
System Model FX4710-UB003A
System Type x64-based PC
Processor Intel(R) Core(TM)2 Quad CPU Q9300 @ 2.50GHz, 2498 Mhz, 4 Core(s), 4 Logical Processor(s)
BIOS Version/Date Phoenix Technologies, LTD 841P051G, 7/2/2008
SMBIOS Version 2.5
Windows Directory C:\Windows
System Directory C:\Windows\system32
Boot Device \Device\HarddiskVolume2
Locale United States
Hardware Abstraction Layer Version = "6.0.6002.18005"
Installed Physical Memory (RAM) 6.00 GB
Total Physical Memory 6.00 GB
Available Physical Memory 2.81 GB
Total Virtual Memory 12.2 GB
Available Virtual Memory 9.53 GB
Page File Space 6.29 GB

Drive E:
Description CD-ROM Drive
Media Loaded No
Media Type UNKNOWN
Name Optiarc DVD RW AD-7203S ATA Device
Manufacturer (Standard CD-ROM drives)
Status OK
Transfer Rate -1.00 kbytes/sec
SCSI Target ID 0
PNP Device ID IDE\CDROMOPTIARC_DVD_RW_AD-7203S_________________1-W2____\5&41DC9D5&0&1.0.0

Name Realtek High Definition Audio
Manufacturer Realtek
Status OK
PNP Device ID HDAUDIO\FUNC_01&VEN_10EC&DEV_0888&SUBSYS_1631E037&REV_1000\4&390542DC&0&0201

Name NVIDIA GeForce 9800 GT
PNP Device ID PCI\VEN_10DE&DEV_0614&SUBSYS_C9773842&REV_A2\4&7950F0D&0&0008
Adapter Type GeForce 9800 GT, NVIDIA compatible
Adapter Description NVIDIA GeForce 9800 GT
Adapter RAM 512.00 MB (536,870,912 bytes)
Installed Drivers nvd3dumx.dll,nvwgf2umx.dll,nvwgf2umx.dll,nvd3dum,nvwgf2um,nvwgf2um
Driver Version 8.17.12.8562
INF File oem19.inf (Section004 section)
Color Planes Not Available
Color Table Entries 4294967296
Resolution 1440 x 900 x 74 hertz
Bits/Pixel 32

Drive C:
Description Local Fixed Disk
Compressed No
File System NTFS
Size 580.63 GB (623,443,320,832 bytes)
Free Space 55.38 GB (59,466,346,496 bytes)
Volume Name Partition_1
Volume Serial Number F4A85942
Drive D:
Description Local Fixed Disk
Compressed No
File System NTFS
Size 15.54 GB (16,689,057,792 bytes)
Free Space 8.01 GB (8,600,207,360 bytes)
Volume Name Recovery
Volume Serial Number E49022A5
Drive E:
Description CD-ROM Disc
Drive F:
Description Removable Disk
Drive G:
Description Removable Disk
Drive H:
Description Removable Disk
Drive I:
Description Removable Disk
a c 254 U Graphics card
a b } Memory
December 4, 2011 1:41:16 AM

EVGA 01G-P3-1460-KR GeForce GTX 560 (Fermi) 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support Video Card $184.99 and a $15 rebate for $169.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 HD103SJ 1TB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive $149.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

The video card will be a good upgrade for you but you need to list your power supply watts so I can see if you will be able to power this card. The card requires a 450w power supply.
The hdd is not going to work like you want it to since you cannot add to the drive that you currently have , you have to put in an additional drive and it will be a seperate drive with a drive letter that is currently not being used.

"And finally, is it possible to get an internal drive that my computer will just treat as an addition to my existing memory capacity, rather than a separate drive? I'd rather not have to command the thing to save to/retrieve from a new location constantly". Not possible.
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a c 254 U Graphics card
a b } Memory
December 4, 2011 1:51:08 AM

I just found your computer spec's online and it looks like you have a 400w psu so that limits the video card that you can get so it would be a good idea to upgrade that.

Antec High Current Gamer Series HCG-620 620W ATX12V v2.3 / EPS12V v2.91 SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS BRONZE Certified Active PFC Power Supply $64.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
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a b U Graphics card
December 4, 2011 2:25:53 AM

You could also get an identical hard drive to the one you already have and put it in RAID 0 for double the speed and storage capacity.
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December 4, 2011 8:50:39 PM

inzone said:
I just found your computer spec's online and it looks like you have a 400w psu so that limits the video card that you can get so it would be a good idea to upgrade that.

Antec High Current Gamer Series HCG-620 620W ATX12V v2.3 / EPS12V v2.91 SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS BRONZE Certified Active PFC Power Supply $64.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


Hrm... I'm going over budget on that now... Any cheaper card out there that wouldn't require a power source upgrade? I don't HAVE to go to the best-of-the-best graphics card here. Close to it would be just fine. After all, I could run almost anything on max settings with my old card already!

And thanks so much for the suggestions so far, everyone!
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