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Looking on upgrading/updating my computer. What else will I need?

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  • Graphics Cards
  • Computer
  • Graphics
Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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April 24, 2012 11:22:35 PM

Hi, I'm looking to update my graphics card to an Nvidia GeForce GT 430. I was going to go for the 520, but further research revealed that it was just an overpriced version of the 430 (PLEASE correct me if i'm wrong). I'm pretty tech savvy, but this is the first time that I'm actually about to tamper with the hardware of my computer. My desktop is an HP p6736f (W7 Home Premium) with an AMD Athlon II 640 Processor (Quad core). I have 8GB of ram and 1TB hard drive. My current graphics card is an ATI Radeon HD 4200. Also, would the new graphics card support 2 displays? Just curious.

So I have a few questions.
1. I'm looking for this card to play strategy games (Age of Empires, Starcraft, etc.) very smoothly on max settings, and other games like GTA San Andreas moderately well or perfect on minimum settings. It really doesn't matter to me as long as the first part is satisfied. Will the GeForce 430 do this for me? I've also seen some variations of the GT 430. What will these do that the website-advertised one won't?

2. My power supply is 250W right now and the GT 430 requires a minimum of 300W. I'm probably just going to upgrade to a 400W, because I might add more things to the computer later. Any recommendations as to a good PSU?

3. My final question: Will i need ANYTHING else to be upgraded on my computer to use the graphics card? I know there's video and audio cards for computers, and I don't want to purchase a graphics card and PSU only to realize that i need to upgrade something else for them to be compatible.


I'd appreciate if all my questions were answered, but if you can only answer one or two, that would still help me tremendously. Thanks in advance for your help.

More about : upgrading updating computer

a b U Graphics card
April 24, 2012 11:31:08 PM

What is your budget? You can get a much better GPU than the GT430.
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April 24, 2012 11:43:29 PM

gary1 said:
What is your budget? You can get a much better GPU than the GT430.


About $120 for now, and i have to buy a new PSU. Could be more in the future though. I'm really just looking to play moderately demanding games smoothly. Not battlefield or crysis or anything. But I certainly want to get the best quality GPU for the best price; the GT430 just caught my eye. Wasn't searching very hard
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a c 254 U Graphics card
April 24, 2012 11:47:46 PM

1. There will always be variations of graphics cards because the gpu makers (AMD and Nvidia) will put out the gpu and the reference design to thier card maker partners to make the cadrs and the reference design will always be the same from all the partners. The card partners also will start making variations of the reference design , such as overclocking the gpu and adding ram and putting different coolers on the cards. But underneath all that is still the gpu from the gpu maker. So you will get a variety of cards and prices so that depending on what you want to spend you can either get the reference card or a souped up one.
2. There are several good power supply brands out there and then there are the less exspensive ones that will always be questionable. Some of the good ones are , SeaSonic , Antec , Corsair and XFX.
3. As long as your not going for a top of the line video card then the components that you have will be fine, The cpu is a quad core and if need be can be clocked a little higher , you have 8gb of ram and a 1tb hdd. Some people like to use a SSD for thier OS hdd but that is a personal choice and not a must have.
Your motherboard will support an upgrade for the cpu if you feel that it's needed.
http://h10025.www1.hp.com/ewfrf/wc/document?cc=us&lc=en...
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April 24, 2012 11:54:12 PM

inzone said:
1. There will always be variations of graphics cards because the gpu makers (AMD and Nvidia) will put out the gpu and the reference design to thier card maker partners to make the cadrs and the reference design will always be the same from all the partners. The card partners also will start making variations of the reference design , such as overclocking the gpu and adding ram and putting different coolers on the cards. But underneath all that is still the gpu from the gpu maker. So you will get a variety of cards and prices so that depending on what you want to spend you can either get the reference card or a souped up one.
2. There are several good power supply brands out there and then there are the less exspensive ones that will always be questionable. Some of the good ones are , SeaSonic , Antec , Corsair and XFX.
3. As long as your not going for a top of the line video card then the components that you have will be fine, The cpu is a quad core and if need be can be clocked a little higher , you have 8gb of ram and a 1tb hdd. Some people like to use a SSD for thier OS hdd but that is a personal choice and not a must have.
Your motherboard will support an upgrade for the cpu if you feel that it's needed.
http://h10025.www1.hp.com/ewfrf/wc/document?cc=us&lc=en...


Alright. I don't plan on doing anything intense on the card, so would 1Gb memory and the reference card fan be fine? Also, could you tell me more about overclocking? I know how it works on a phone, but I have no idea how to do it properly/safely on my cpu. lastly, is the GT430 a good buy for my price range ($120) the cheapest PSU I can find that looks somewhat reliable is $60, and the GT430 is $60, so i'm stretched pretty thin.
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a c 254 U Graphics card
April 25, 2012 12:19:43 AM

1 gb of memory will be fine and so will a reference card. You may not have to overclock at all since you have a quad core cpu , but if need be the AMD cpu's are very easy to overclock so I have heard. I have never owned one so I wouldn't know how they work but the one thing you have to do with any cpu to get the core ghz higher is to increase the core multiplier. As an example I have the Intel 980X cpu with the X meaning that the core multiplier is unlocked so it can be increased. At stock speed(3.33ghz) the clock multiplier is at 25 so if I want to raise the core speed I increase the multiplier from 25 to say 27 and that will increase the speed to around 3.5ghz or 3.6ghz , then if I want to go higher I set it to 29 and the speed increases to 3.8ghz or 3.9ghz. The thing is that to go higher than that I will have to add a voltage increase and this is where it can get tricky because you don't want to overvolt the cpu so it would be a good thing to just start out with a small overclock and get comfortable with adjusting the settings and finding out more info on overclocking. But like I said you may not need to do the overclock.
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April 25, 2012 12:29:15 AM

inzone said:
1 gb of memory will be fine and so will a reference card. You may not have to overclock at all since you have a quad core cpu , but if need be the AMD cpu's are very easy to overclock so I have heard. I have never owned one so I wouldn't know how they work but the one thing you have to do with any cpu to get the core ghz higher is to increase the core multiplier. As an example I have the Intel 980X cpu with the X meaning that the core multiplier is unlocked so it can be increased. At stock speed(3.33ghz) the clock multiplier is at 25 so if I want to raise the core speed I increase the multiplier from 25 to say 27 and that will increase the speed to around 3.5ghz or 3.6ghz , then if I want to go higher I set it to 29 and the speed increases to 3.8ghz or 3.9ghz. The thing is that to go higher than that I will have to add a voltage increase and this is where it can get tricky because you don't want to overvolt the cpu so it would be a good thing to just start out with a small overclock and get comfortable with adjusting the settings and finding out more info on overclocking. But like I said you may not need to do the overclock.


alright. also, is there a way for me to know whether or not it will fit? it looks like theres enough space and i think i have an open pci express x16 slot.
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a c 254 U Graphics card
April 25, 2012 12:38:02 AM

Usually in the details of the video card they give the dimensions of the card and the one dimension that is important is the length. The other is if you have a slim line case you will need a low profile card but I don't think you have a slim line case I think you have a mid tower. You do want an open x16 slot.
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April 25, 2012 12:48:49 AM

inzone said:
Usually in the details of the video card they give the dimensions of the card and the one dimension that is important is the length. The other is if you have a slim line case you will need a low profile card but I don't think you have a slim line case I think you have a mid tower. You do want an open x16 slot.

alright thanks a lot man. really appreciate all the help
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April 25, 2012 12:49:40 AM

Best answer selected by hotwire58.
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a c 254 U Graphics card
April 25, 2012 12:57:54 AM

Thank you , and good luck with your upgrade. If you have any further questions you can always send me a message.
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April 27, 2012 4:33:02 AM

inzone said:
Thank you , and good luck with your upgrade. If you have any further questions you can always send me a message.


Actually, one FINAL question ( I hope.) I'm wondering if i have to remove the graphics card that came with my desktop, the HD 4200 one. If not, do I have to at least disable it, or can it run side-by-side with the new one?
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