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Is it possible to upgrade my graphics card on this computer?

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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January 1, 2012 10:49:14 PM

My computer is a Gateway SX2801-07e
with Windows 7
Intel Pentium processor E5700
Intel GMA X4500 graphics (Intel(R) G45/G43 Express Chipset) and
6GB DDR3 RAM

I'm not sure what kind of video card slot is in this thing; I'm more of a software kinda gal and not too keen on the hardware part.. I opened up the case and couldn't really see anything identifiable as PCI-E or AGP (to me) except a long black slot (but I'm not sure what that's supposed to be), but GPUZ is telling me that its only PCI, which I presume is pretty much outdated?

However, I would like to upgrade the graphics for gaming (Like Portal 2, Left 4 Dead 2, Team Fortress 2, etc.) since the graphics card keeps crashing on launch of Portal 2. Team Fortress 2 works fine on recommended settings (mostly medium and a few lows) with minimal lagging.

I also took pictures of the motherboard to see if anyone else could identify the video card slot,
I also labeled the front and back ends of the case just in case it was relevant:

Full Case:
http://s1225.photobucket.com/albums/ee389/averagedonut/...




Long black slot:
http://s1225.photobucket.com/albums/ee389/averagedonut/...




The power supply, if anyone can tell if I need to upgrade that too for a better video card (I have a feeling its not suitable for a better card):
http://s1225.photobucket.com/albums/ee389/averagedonut/...



If any other info is needed, please let me know!

Thanks for all help in advance! :) 
January 1, 2012 11:31:32 PM

You are no questions going to need a new power supply if you get a new video card. But i cannot find any info on your motherboard is there any other labels.
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January 1, 2012 11:42:37 PM

Ok I just looked at your pics (helped alot) and that certainly looks like a PCI-e slot. It doesn't have the locking tab in the front but the layout is correct for PCI-e and backwards for standard PCI. I also just checked an old system with an AGP slot and it is totally wrong for that as well. The pic you took has to be a PCI-e slot. That is your good news. Now for the not so good.

Just like Demar said your power supply is completely inadequate for a good video card. 220 watts max is REAL low. Also based on the picture of your case you would have one heck of a time finding a video card that would fit into that area that would be worth spending money for.
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January 1, 2012 11:53:12 PM

but there is no way to tell if it is 1x 4x 8x or 16x speed pcie slot if its not 8x or preferably 16x it would be useless to get a new card.
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a b U Graphics card
January 1, 2012 11:58:47 PM

The mobo's upside down relative to a traditional case, I think. That would make it a PCI (non-e) slot, and you can't do a GPU.
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January 2, 2012 12:01:11 AM

upon close inspection any card that goes beyond the pcie slot looks like it would hit where the wires connect to the board behind it.
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a b U Graphics card
January 2, 2012 12:02:10 AM

kajabla said:
The mobo's upside down relative to a traditional case, I think. That would make it a PCI (non-e) slot, and you can't do a GPU.


I don't think so. Look at the expansion slot at the case.
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a b U Graphics card
January 2, 2012 12:03:24 AM

Oh lol the picture's just taken upside down
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January 2, 2012 12:03:37 AM

the motherboard is opposite but it is pcie2.0 it faces the same way as the pcie1.0 dose on it.
Edit lol i just saw ur post right after i noticed that too.
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Anonymous
January 2, 2012 12:05:31 AM

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

You could go with a low profile card that is PCI-E 1X physically and that would defiantly plug into either slot. The back plate can be split in two so its half height and MUCH better than your onboard graphics. Your case looks short, as in a card longer than "6"?" would hit the DVD drive cage. Take some measurements from the back plate to the drive cage, that'll determine what you can physically install.

Also, does your BIOS have the option to select a primary video adapter?
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a b U Graphics card
January 2, 2012 12:06:51 AM

According to Tigerdirect it's "PCI Express X16 Slots (Total): 1"

The PSU is going to be the real issue yours is 220w, the only one I saw(aftermarket/replacement) is 250w, there might be bigger ones but it's not likely.
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January 2, 2012 12:10:23 AM

cliffro said:
According to Tigerdirect it's "PCI Express X16 Slots (Total): 1"

The PSU is going to be the real issue yours is 220w, the only one I saw(aftermarket/replacement) is 250w, there might be bigger ones but it's not likely.

How did you find out what motherboard it is?
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January 2, 2012 12:20:43 AM

i don't know how i missed that he put what comp he had lol i did not even see that until you told me.
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January 2, 2012 12:22:56 AM

The pictures aren't upside down XD The bottom of the picture is relative to the bottom of the case :)  I also thought it was strange for the labels to be upside down like that..



Regarding the width of the case, I know that is around four inches wide, its one of those relatively new 'slim' standard cases. My monitor is taller than it is XD

So will I need to get a new case as well as a better power supply? Any recommendations on either of those?
Or would it be possible to tweak with the current one and somehow get it to take in for watts?..I know some electricians and other people who are good at that kind of thing. Or is that totally out of the question? Like I said, I don't know what I'm doing when it comes to hardware.. :sweat: 
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January 2, 2012 12:25:52 AM

Anonymous said:


Also, does your BIOS have the option to select a primary video adapter?



I have no idea where that option would be located in Windows 7...:sweat: 
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January 2, 2012 12:27:29 AM

you should be fine with a slim card and no don't mess around with the psu it could kill you. there's no way to make it better.
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a b U Graphics card
January 2, 2012 12:28:29 AM

The BIOS comes up before Windows. It's all the old-fashioned looking text that appears when you first start your computer. There should be a note telling you what key to press to enter your BIOS settings, but it may go by quickly. Try delete (not backspace), pressing it repeatedly from power button to windows or until the BIOS comes up.
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January 2, 2012 12:30:21 AM

and the bios is not located in windows 7 nor on your hard drive. you have to strike a key f1,f2 or delete dependent on your motherboard before you see anything related to windows.
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a b U Graphics card
January 2, 2012 12:41:32 AM

I have several friends/relatives with nearly identical systems form factor wise, also all made by Acer(who owns Acer/Gateway/Emachines).

And let me say, these are great so long as you don't want to actually ADD anything to them. The PSU's come with just enough cables for what comes with it. And sometimes aren't even enough to power what is included properly. I measured the Voltages from my stepmom's eMachines and they were all out of spec(Multimeter was used).

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January 2, 2012 3:30:37 PM

Oh I know what the BIOS is! I just only ever referred to it as the boot menu XD;

The one on this computer is different my past computers and I'm not sure where to look for to set the primary video adapter.

Yeah this computer is great for the price I got it at, so I'm not complaining XD But I guess it makes sense for it to be lacking in the graphics department lol
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January 2, 2012 10:48:20 PM

Best answer selected by averagedonut.
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