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Need Help Upgrading a Weak, Stock Computer

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July 6, 2012 4:03:19 AM

I currently own an eMachines EL1850-01e, and am thinking about putting a few components into it while I wait to build a better computer. I will only be using this computer for 10-man raids in WoW, and do not mind using the lowest possible graphics setting, which is what I use now. The resolution of my monitor is 1280x1024, which I am also fine with. Now onto the meat of the question. I've searched for low profile video cards and RAM upgrades, and have decided on the HD 6450 and 4g of G. Skill Ripjaws. My question to you, TH community, is two-fold: a) Can the 220W PSU on my computer handle those upgrades without destroying the system, and b) Will the addition of those two components be enough to allow me to raid with passable FPS? I will provide links for the computer I am currently using, as well as the hardware I wish to purchase. This is my first post, so if I've broken any rules or placed this in the wrong section, I apologize. In advance, thank you very much for your assistance.

P.S. While this isn't as important, does anyone have any estimates as to what kind of improvements I might see to FPS with these upgrades and a 64-bit Win 7 OS/WoW 64-bit client?

http://www.emachines.com/ec/en/US/content/model/PT.NBK0...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
July 6, 2012 4:19:26 AM

if the computer is not yours you shouldn't be messing with it
July 6, 2012 4:27:48 AM

I have the permission of the owner. They're trusting me, which is why I went here.
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July 6, 2012 4:30:00 AM

I would say your upgrades are pointless . The graphics card is designed mainly for home theater pc's and not gaming . A gaming card would need a better psu
July 6, 2012 4:35:34 AM

A agree, it is certainly a low-end card. But it would still be an upgrade over the integrated graphics I'm using now. And that's the precise reason I'm not getting a higher end card, to avoid a PSU upgrade.
July 6, 2012 4:40:47 AM

Also, keep in mind, we're talking about World of Warcraft. Which is getting ~15 FPS on X4500 integrated graphics in 10-man raids.
July 6, 2012 5:11:45 AM

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... <--- This will work with the PSU, and is two tiers better than the video card you looked at. The 6450 is really a crappy card. A quick search shows its not worth the money for gaming, even light gaming.

Edit: Though looking back, it requires a slightly more powerful PSU... meh. RAM doesn't matter much, and I'm confident the GPU will work, but since its someone else's PC, I would play it safe and just stick with the crappy 6450 XD
July 6, 2012 5:22:26 AM

phyco126 said:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... <--- This will work with the PSU, and is two tiers better than the video card you looked at. The 6450 is really a crappy card. A quick search shows its not worth the money for gaming, even light gaming.

Edit: Though looking back, it requires a slightly more powerful PSU... meh. RAM doesn't matter much, and I'm confident the GPU will work, but since its someone else's PC, I would play it safe and just stick with the crappy 6450 XD


Thanks. This is the type of response I was looking for. Let me ask you this. Even though it is a crappy card, will it yield significantly better frame rates than my current integrated graphics? Just to clarify, I currently have X4500. And as far as the RAM goes, from what I've read, Win 7 uses a lot of it, so much so that with only 2g of it on my computer, I'm leaving very little for WoW to utilize. Does that sound like justification for upgrading from 2g to 4g, which is the max my current mobo supports? Keep in mind, these are both temporary solutions while I save up for a better comp, I'm only getting them so I don't leave my raiding guild hanging, as I'm a tank.
July 6, 2012 5:25:30 AM

Well, during my search for the 6450 benchmarks, someone mentioned only getting 20 FPS in WoW with it. I can't look any further into it as work blocks gaming forums, but its safe to assume while you will see a noticeable increase, the game will hardly be at playable FPS.

The computer will benefit greatly from going to 4GB of RAM. Impact on the PSU is negligible as far as I'm concerned. Whether or not you'll see frames increase, well... that depends on too many factors of the game. But computer response times will certainly be better, everything might even feel snappier.
July 6, 2012 5:28:06 AM

"the 430gt runs off of pcie bus power, it doesnt use external power, so the max it can draw is like 5.5 amps from the 12v supply. The 300w recommendation is just to cover crappy psu's that can't meet their load." This might be useful for you. Taken from this thread: http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/321518-28-n430gt-grap...
July 6, 2012 5:45:40 AM

phyco126 said:
"the 430gt runs off of pcie bus power, it doesnt use external power, so the max it can draw is like 5.5 amps from the 12v supply. The 300w recommendation is just to cover crappy psu's that can't meet their load." This might be useful for you. Taken from this thread: http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/321518-28-n430gt-grap...


That is actually, thank you. The GT 430 is two tiers above the 6450. This is a question that I just thought of, but you will probably know the answer. On my case, there are tabs that block where I feel the interface for the GFX card should stick out of the case, with tiny cross-shaped holes in the middle of them. My friend was telling me I could just pop these out, that they were meant to be removed. Does this sound correct, based on your experience?
July 6, 2012 5:47:58 AM

Well, I've never had to deal with tabs on any small form factor cases. I just pop in the GPU and go. You wouldn't be able to take any close up pictures of them and post them here, would you?
July 6, 2012 5:52:06 AM

On that note, I decided to look up that desktop specs. It doesn't mention any expansion slots anywhere to allow for a dedicated GPU. Have you looked inside the case to ensure that there is, in fact, a PCI-E slot that can be used? I don't want you buying something that won't work. Also, the website listed the PSU at 220 Watts. That might be too little for the 430 GT, I'm afraid. A 240+ watt I would say go for it. So if you do, do so at your own risk.
July 6, 2012 6:03:11 AM

phyco126 said:
On that note, I decided to look up that desktop specs. It doesn't mention any expansion slots anywhere to allow for a dedicated GPU. Have you looked inside the case to ensure that there is, in fact, a PCI-E slot that can be used? I don't want you buying something that won't work. Also, the website listed the PSU at 220 Watts. That might be too little for the 430 GT, I'm afraid. A 240+ watt I would say go for it. So if you do, do so at your own risk.


Yeah, I've looked at the mobo, and there is an expansion slot. As far using it at my own risk, is there a way for me to monitor if things start going wrong? Or will there be obvious warning signs? Related to the tabs, I found a picture of the back of the case. They are the two rectangles at the top, with two cross-shaped holes in each one.


http://t3.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcRsLxHYOn4XMV9r...
July 6, 2012 7:16:11 AM

Ah, I see what you mean. Yeah, those are designed to just pop out (or are supposed to at least).

As far as warning signs. If the PSU does its job, the computer will just shut down when it can't handle the power load. While PSUs are supposed to protect the computer, if its a really cheap/crappy PSU, there is a chance it can damage other components. One the plus side, its a cheap machine...
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