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Will the gurus here help me upgrade a HP Pavilion P7-1254?

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April 3, 2012 10:08:38 PM

http://h10025.www1.hp.com/ewfrf/wc/document?cc=us&lc=en...

There is the link to the store bought specs. Which is current.

What I want to upgrade: The GPU and I know the PSU will have to be upgraded in order to get an awesome GPU inside.


Now I know the link above shows upgrade information, but I've been told that those are NOT my only options. However, before I sink some money into this. I am curious as to what the community here has to say.

I know the case is small, no cables, hp sucks etc etc. ;) 

I run BF3 great on a mix of low and medium settings. Even on 64 player maps. However, I'm already looking towards the future and would REALLY like to use this prebuilt as a base to build on. Even it looks like a Frankstein.

So to summarize, I would love to keep this "gaming" machine up to date piece by piece. Please Help Me!! :pt1cable: 
April 4, 2012 12:29:40 AM

Hi there, welcome to the forums.

Well, we can do a simple upgrade, like change out the GPU and PSU. There are however too many limiting factors to do big scale upgrades because of the non-flexibility the sparse mobo offers and the low end CPU.
The A6 should stay relevant for a bit but don't expect amazing performance from it. If you want to do anything crazy, you'll need a new case, simply because of airflow.

What's your monitor res? Whats your budget? What are you looking to upgrade to? You can easily spend up to $400+ on just a PSU and GPU. Or you can spend as little as $65 and get a decent upgrade in performance, thanks to hybrid crossfire.

I'll be willing to help you out I just need a bit more information. My first computer project was upgrading an old HP machine so I certainly have sympathy for the challenges that come along with it. I have a few creative tweaks, too.

Get me that basic information and we'll get started.
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April 4, 2012 12:38:14 AM

Well, the PSU is the right dimensions for an ATX supply so that's a good start. Your motherboard will limit you to a single GPU and that means a PSU in the 500W range will suit your needs.

This Corsair CX500 is only 50 and has identifal dimensions to your stock unit.

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

For a GPU you can use anything you'd like after upgrading the power supply. You don't list goals for gaming (resolution, budget, what titles, etc...), so I'll assume your on a moderate budget and want to play at high/ultra settings at 1920x1080. A single nVidia GTX 560 Ti should get you into that sort of performance range, but a Radeon HD 6870 will do a bit better for around the same price ($150-200). The next step up is the GTX 570 or an HD 7850/7870 which run closer to $250-300.

If you can tell us what you'd like to see out of this upgrade or exactly what setting you want to play on and a monitor size we can dial things in a bit more without making assumptions.
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April 5, 2012 2:48:18 AM

Alternative view.

Your PSU is Total wattage: 300W
Your processor power draw is only: TDP: 65W

That gives you about 120 watts for video card without touching the power supply.

This article gives you video cards at different price points and includes the TDP (power) used by the card. http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/gaming-graphics-car...

Tossing a nice $100 video card in this PC w/o touching the power supply will give you a nice gaming rig. I have two pcs running "HD 5770/6770" cards, and like them. (Both are in upgraded HPs with original PSUs) More video $$ = better graphics but your processor will limit your frame rate if you get a much stronger graphics card. (edit: that is, once you hit your CPU's frame rate limit you won't go any faster with a better video card, but you might be able to get prettier graphics). Compared with the graphics in your A6-3620, you will love a $100 card.

edit: There is a technology called 'dual graphics' available with your CPU. It combines both the built in processing of your integrated GPU with a 6-series AMD card. It's not a winner. http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/amd-a8-3850-llano,2... Use the 6770 or 5770 or better card and ignore dual graphics.
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April 5, 2012 12:17:15 PM

Tsnor, unless I'm mistaken, which is certainly possible, I don't see anything saying that his HP machine has a 6-pin PCIe power connector. This would make connecting a 5770/6770 difficult unless his machine has two free 4-pin molex connectors to work from (most cards come with an adapter).

You are technically right though, he could probably hook up a 5770/6770 and have no problem with power. I would however caution that TDP is different and lower than the actual amount of power drawn by the hardware. Actual power drawn is equal to TDP, which is waste energy, plus the useful work done (which we can't measure). So, if the CPU TDP is 65W then it's entirely possible that it could be drawing 90W or so at peak. Same for the GPU, the TDP on those units is 120W which means an actual power draw is higher. I think there's still a good margin of safety there on his 300W PSU, but it could be cutting things a bit close in a high power draw gaming situation.

Also, a 5770/6770 isn't going to get him into high or ultra settings on BF3 at 1080p so it wouldn't be all that much of an upgrade. For $50 more on a GPU and another $50 for a new PSU you can comfortably run on high/ultra at 1080p all day without any worries about PSU meltdowns.
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April 5, 2012 12:34:56 PM

Like Striker said the cheapest option would be to throw a 6670 in there and give hybrid crossfire a try. It's buggy but for the games that it does work on, it gives a nice performance boost.
The 6670 doesn't require any extra power adapter and will work with your current psu.
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April 5, 2012 8:47:38 PM

87ninefiveone said:
Tsnor, unless I'm mistaken, which is certainly possible, I don't see anything saying that his HP machine has a 6-pin PCIe power connector. This would make connecting a 5770/6770 difficult unless his machine has two free 4-pin molex connectors to work from (most cards come with an adapter).

You are technically right though, he could probably hook up a 5770/6770 and have no problem with power. I would however caution that TDP is different and lower than the actual amount of power drawn by the hardware. Actual power drawn is equal to TDP, which is waste energy, plus the useful work done (which we can't measure). So, if the CPU TDP is 65W then it's entirely possible that it could be drawing 90W or so at peak. Same for the GPU, the TDP on those units is 120W which means an actual power draw is higher. I think there's still a good margin of safety there on his 300W PSU, but it could be cutting things a bit close in a high power draw gaming situation.

Also, a 5770/6770 isn't going to get him into high or ultra settings on BF3 at 1080p so it wouldn't be all that much of an upgrade. For $50 more on a GPU and another $50 for a new PSU you can comfortably run on high/ultra at 1080p all day without any worries about PSU meltdowns.


1. I've updated 1/2 dozen HPs like this. Throwing in a graphics card is easy, connecting the external power connector is only a pain because the wires are short. $5 molex to 6-pin Y adapters give both the extra length and covers lack of pcie power connecter (last few HPs I updated did have the required pcie 6pin) but they were 'elite' series).

2. All of the electricity used in an electronics comes out as heat. There is no "Actual power drawn is equal to TDP, which is waste energy, plus the useful work done". There is instead TDP is the max electricity used, some of which is leakage current, some useful work, etc.

3. Double check the A6 CPU's ability to hit the sort of framerate that for example a 6870 can hit. Not sure he has enough CPU to get there. Unless he plans to swap his new A6 system for something with more CPU not sure of the value the extra $100 ($50 psu, $50 video) gives him.

4. "so it wouldn't be all that much of an upgrade." a6 internal graphics to hd5770/6770 ? should be sweet. Even a 6670 would be noticeable.
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April 6, 2012 12:01:19 AM

1. Yes it is easy, you know that I know that and the OP knows that, and I already said that most cards come with one the adapter.
2. Your statement is in direct contradiction to the second law of thermodynamics. If all the energy is going coming in gets turned into heat then no work (as in physics work) can be done. CPU's most certainly do work. Electricity coming into the CPU which does not get turned into heat either does work or passes straight back through to the PSU completing the DC circuit. Again TDP is a measure of the maximum thermal energy able to be generated by a component, this is suggestive, but not entirely reflective of the input power. There's also PSU effiency and age to consider which further reduce the 300W maximum.
3. Your nuts. I know from first hand experience that a HD 5850 isn't bottlenecked by an Intel Core 2 Duo E8500 at anything up to 1080p. His A6 3620 is a faster CPU in most situations and should have zero problems with the 6870 which right about the same as a 5850.
4. If you still can't play on high or ultra then why bother? Low Medium to Medium High is a waste of money, and not many people would call a machine that games on Medium High a "gaming machine" as the OP specified.
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April 6, 2012 2:47:22 AM

Many people think that "if you can't max it why bother" Many people also can't afford to buy the hardware that would allow them to max games. Without more information from the OP it's impossible to make a good suggestion.

This thread is degrading into arguing, the OP hasn't responded. Let's keep that in mind.
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