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Can you upgrade the graphics card of a prebuilt PC?

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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March 4, 2012 2:21:49 PM

The case is big enough, i just want to know if you can/if it is simple to replace the graphics card on a prebuilt computer. Thanks


Anonymous
a b U Graphics card
March 4, 2012 2:24:52 PM

ya just make sure your power supply is sufficient
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March 4, 2012 2:26:02 PM

Yup im buying a new PSU as well, thanks! Just making sure of it :) 
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March 4, 2012 2:34:28 PM

One other thing to consider is heat. I had a Gateway I did this with once. I put a 9600gt and a 550w Corsair PSU in it and it ran fine, but if I ever let it get hot in my office, I would get game crashes from what I'm assuming was heat issues. Make sure your case has more than the usual 1 fan in back. If its one of those, I recommend finding a GPU that doesn't generate a lot of heat.
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a b U Graphics card
March 4, 2012 3:13:46 PM

As long as your case isn't a "slim line" type model you have pretty decent flexibility. Many pre-built PCs have a 300W (or thereabout) power supply and that's sufficient for a card like an HD 7750 which do not require an external power connector. Crack open your case and see what your power supply capacity is (or look over the documentation for your PC model - either online or what came with it). Cards such as that won't greatly affect the thermal output of your PC so additional ventilation isn't an issue.

Another question is the age of the pre-built PC. If its more than a few years old the CPU will most likely be a bottleneck for many graphics cards you might consider - even if you get a better power supply.
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a b U Graphics card
March 4, 2012 4:24:59 PM

As Jeffredo has indicated here -- the first couple answers were premature. Most prebuilt PCs are upgradable, but not all of them. You will have to check and make sure you have a free PCIexpress x16 slot for the card to go in.

Feel free to post your actual specs if you a more firm answer.

p.s. Seasonic, Corsair, and Antec are some of the best PSU suppliers. (Seasonic is the best)
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Anonymous
a b U Graphics card
March 4, 2012 4:46:42 PM

deadlockedworld said:
As Jeffredo has indicated here -- the first couple answers were premature. Most prebuilt PCs are upgradable, but not all of them. You will have to check and make sure you have a free PCIexpress x16 slot for the card to go in.

Feel free to post your actual specs if you a more firm answer.

p.s. Seasonic, Corsair, and Antec are some of the best PSU suppliers. (Seasonic is the best)
Every prebuilt ive ever seen can be upgraded.I should have asked for his specs incase he has an older pc with agp slot,even then it could be upgraded since there are still agp cards to be had
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a b U Graphics card
March 4, 2012 8:59:56 PM

Quote:
Every prebuilt ive ever seen can be upgraded.I should have asked for his specs incase he has an older pc with agp slot,even then it could be upgraded since there are still agp cards to be had


Yes, you should have asked what kind of PC it was before telling him to just go buy a graphic card. And no, not all PCs are ready or capable of handling a new full size graphic card.
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March 4, 2012 9:09:33 PM

it is a new pc from walmart. It is a no name brand, pretty risky, i know. But every single review out of 60 was almost 5 stars. 16 gb ram, intel core i5 2320, 2tb harddrive.
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Anonymous
a b U Graphics card
March 5, 2012 5:42:43 AM

deadlockedworld said:
Yes, you should have asked what kind of PC it was before telling him to just go buy a graphic card. And no, not all PCs are ready or capable of handling a new full size graphic card.


as long as he has the psu and the tower it can handle anything sorry.he already mentioned he had a big tower enough to handle a large gpu.All that was left was the psu in which he said he was buying.I never said they were all ready but they ALL can be upgraded.
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Anonymous
a b U Graphics card
March 5, 2012 5:47:53 AM

aupad said:
it is a new pc from walmart. It is a no name brand, pretty risky, i know. But every single review out of 60 was almost 5 stars. 16 gb ram, intel core i5 2320, 2tb harddrive.
thats a decent cpu your not limited to anything you throw at it gpu wize as long as your power supply can handle it,in which you said you were getting a good one.I would look at psu requirements for whatever graphics card you decide to pickup
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a b U Graphics card
March 5, 2012 9:56:20 PM

aupad said:
it is a new pc from walmart. It is a no name brand, pretty risky, i know. But every single review out of 60 was almost 5 stars. 16 gb ram, intel core i5 2320, 2tb harddrive.


Your overall plan seems good to me. The processor is Intel, so they cant really cut corners there! The power supply is where no-names usually cut corners - and you are replacing that.

You want to purchase your graphic card online -- because graphic card models change so quickly, no stores can really compete with newegg.com on prices and are often left selling older cards at high prices. If you outline your price range we can provide input on the card. You can also scan tom's "best graphics card for the money" articles which are very informative for a new buyer.

When purchasing a power supply don't get caught up focusing on getting the most wattage for the money. Many new buyers do, but it is actually the brand/manufacturer that matters most on this part -- because reliability is the #1 concern. You will notice that the brands I highlighted above typically have better and longer warranties than some other brands -- this is another sign that they take quality seriously. Also, FYI - Most graphic card manufacturers assume you have a lower quality power supply, so they recommend more wattage than is actually necessary in order to insure a large safety margin. A brand-name, high quality 500w power supply can run almost any card with no problem. Higher wattage is intended for overclocking and multiple power supplies.
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