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Buying new GPU, what to do?

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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May 27, 2012 2:48:54 PM

Hi,
First post, so here goes. :sol: 
I'm considering buying a new GPU to replace the one in my new PC. It isn't the best for gaming and its such a shame to have the systems potential wasted on such an awful thing. The specs are as follows:

Acer Aspire X3990
Intel core i7 2600 3.4Ghz
ATI Radeon HD6450 1GB with 2.8GB extra shared VRAM.
6GB DDR3 RAM
1TB HDD

As you can see the system really needs a new GPU. Im not sure if I want to upgrade it because opening it voids the warranty and it has a year on it. The most important part is the case: It's small. The 6450 has had the VGA part removed so its just HDMI and DVI-I. It looks SIMILAR to this on the back(Top is correct, where the VGA socket is there is a plastic cover that says "Don't remove" :/ ): http://static.scan.co.uk/images/products/1732393-d.jpg . So the GPU needs to fit in that.
At the moment I can play GTA IV at about 15-30 FPS, on minimum, depending on what I'm doing. I can play other games like Combat Arms at around 120FPS on max. I play at 1920x1080 or 1024x768.
Before I consider an upgrade, could anybody suggest what kind of upgrade I would need? Like, a 6870 or 230(Examples)? Again the case is small and I definitely don't want to replace that at this stage, because this would be my first job. Also, if anybody knows, what kind of connection is it? I have no idea. Like, I know there is things like PCI-E and PCI x16... but no idea what one.
Thanks loads for any help you can give. :D 

More about : buying gpu

a b U Graphics card
May 27, 2012 2:57:23 PM

Any upgrade depends on what power supply is in it, which you failed to mention.

Likely anything decent will require a new psu and I can't even tell from the picture if that's a standard atx power supply or micro-atx.

That's the problems you run into when you buy a cheap pre-built, they are never meant to be upgraded, they want you to throw it away and buy another one.

May 27, 2012 5:42:05 PM

OK, how do I tell what the PSU is? I intend to replace / remove the old card, so I suppose abything that uses the same or less power will do.
And also: It wasn't one of those awful £300 things, this was £700. So its not all that cheap, because you wouldn't find an i7 in a cheap piece of beep.
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May 27, 2012 7:40:50 PM

The power supply is the important thing here. What he means by "cheap" is that you end up paying more money for less with these pre built computers. The i7 is just a way of making it look like a good computer to people who aren't computer savy. Most people would agree that a 2500 is much better bang for the buck. It costs almost 100 dollars more to get a 2600 and you basically get nothing out of it. Pci-e and pci-e x16 arnt different things. PCI-E is the physical slot your hardware (usually a video card) is put in. x16 just means how much bandwidth is given to that slot. Chances are if you only have one card in your system then you will be running x16. Even if it wasnt x16 it would probably be x8 which would only affect the performance about 5 percent.

IMO you should just get a refund on that computer if it is recent enough or you should simply sell it to someone online or with Craigslist. Then use that money to make a computer from scrath. A pre built computer is always "cheap" and by cheap I mean a PoS. When you build a computer you know exactly what is in it and you save money in the process.
May 27, 2012 8:45:54 PM

I could get a refund but I simply choose not to because I don't have the knowledge and I am simply not confident enough to do so(Build my own). And that way I can't just take it back to the shop and yell at a sales assistant till they give me a new one :p 
Im happy with the PC apart from the graphics card. Im only considering upgrading it and would like to hear you guys opinions. I would really love to keep the PC, and thats all I really want to know.
Sorry if I come across as rude, I don't intend to and I am grateful for your help.
a b U Graphics card
May 27, 2012 9:19:02 PM

You may want to return it for a non slim-tower - that will expand your options. Looks like you have a 220w PSU - if you want to stay with your current computer, you'll need a new PSU to support a stronger graphics card. There are a few decent low-profile graphics cards and mini-ITX PSUs out there... But they'll come at a premium, and your options for a mid-high end PSU/GPU are nil. Are you in the UK?
May 28, 2012 4:58:40 AM

Yeah, I am in the UK. I understand that I will have to pay quite a bit for the new parts, but isn't there a well- performing card that doesn't need a new PSU? Also, is it OK just to buy a power unit that has more power and just... plug it in the back? Wont that fry some parts?
Sorry for my stupidity ;P
a b U Graphics card
May 28, 2012 1:35:32 PM

It seems you skipped my post entirely because your asking the same questions I already answered.


No there isn't a well performing card that doesn't need a new psu.

You can't just buy a regular atx psu and pop it in, because your pre-built isn't standard atx.

Like I said in my first post, it isn't meant to be upgraded.

You can get something like this:

http://www.amazon.com/FSP-Certification-FSP400-60GHS-85...

However I can't guarantee it will hook up to your mobo, it may be proprietary, I don't know, it SHOULD work.

Then you can consider getting something like a HD7750/7770.

http://216.52.208.185/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
a c 291 U Graphics card
May 28, 2012 1:51:39 PM

You should really refund it. I know it sounds scary to build a PC. It was for me. I feared I could do something wrong, that I was not knowledgeable enough, that I would break something. Yet, I got my fears locked away and proceeded to buy the computer parts. I watched 3 videos of how to build a PC during the time the parts were arriving.

When parts arrived - I felt like this is truly gonna be my computer - not made by some chinese manufacturer and in which I cannot fit what I want. I proceeded to build it - took around 1.5 hours. When I completed it, the first beep was glorious - one of the better things I felt in my life. It always looks difficult, but when you proceed to do it - you'll see that there's nothing difficult at all. It's even simpler than puzzles that are given to 5 year olds :) . You save A LOT of money too! And what's best, you get way longer warranty than any shop will give you. You also retain the right to mod it as you want.

Check this out, you'll see how easy it is to build a PC:

Part 1: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lPIXAtNGGCw
Part 2: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d_56kyib-Ls
a b U Graphics card
May 28, 2012 2:12:59 PM

^+1

^^+1 Though I think only a mini-ITX PSU will fit in James's case...

One final option that is kind of a compromise: return your slim-tower and configure your own build on CyberPowerPC
It's not as cheap as building yourself, but they really don't overcharge for putting it together for you. Though I would recommend buying your own video card and adding it yourself.
a b U Graphics card
May 28, 2012 2:49:24 PM

It's kinda pointless to buy a pc with a weak graphics card and psu, and the upgrade it. You paid for the psu and graphics card you have, so it was a waste of money.

You should have just bought something with a decent psu and graphics card to begin with.
May 28, 2012 7:53:44 PM

OK, I get it, I should return it, ect.
But I simply don't want to. The product does its job and I really would just like to know about possible upgrading.
I DONT want to return it.
So, its going to be too difficult? I won't worry then. I can run Mass Effect 3 at 1366x768 and get a stable 40FPS in firefights, just wondering about upgrading. Ill stick with this for now then.
Thanks, and if there is anything you want to add then I would still love to hear it!
May 28, 2012 10:30:09 PM

Sunius said:
You should really refund it. I know it sounds scary to build a PC. It was for me. I feared I could do something wrong, that I was not knowledgeable enough, that I would break something. Yet, I got my fears locked away and proceeded to buy the computer parts. I watched 3 videos of how to build a PC during the time the parts were arriving.

When parts arrived - I felt like this is truly gonna be my computer - not made by some chinese manufacturer and in which I cannot fit what I want. I proceeded to build it - took around 1.5 hours. When I completed it, the first beep was glorious - one of the better things I felt in my life. It always looks difficult, but when you proceed to do it - you'll see that there's nothing difficult at all. It's even simpler than puzzles that are given to 5 year olds :) . You save A LOT of money too! And what's best, you get way longer warranty than any shop will give you. You also retain the right to mod it as you want.

Check this out, you'll see how easy it is to build a PC:

Part 1: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lPIXAtNGGCw
Part 2: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d_56kyib-Ls

This is exactly what I wanted to say. Except when I explain building a computer to people I always compare it to legos. Upgrading your computer would be more difficult/costly/time consuming/risky/pain in the ass than just building it. I'm sorry that I am basically repeating myself and others but Prebuilt PCs are just not made to be upgraded. If you replace one part you need to replace another, and so on and so on, until you basically have over half your components replaced.
a b U Graphics card
May 28, 2012 10:51:39 PM

monkeymonk said:
I'm sorry that I am basically repeating myself and others but Prebuilt PCs are just not made to be upgraded. If you replace one part you need to replace another, and so on and so on, until you basically have over half your components replaced.

Yep. Believe me.

I understand where you're coming from, though. Having a hard time eyeballing a PSU replacement for you, but one of these should fit - either will power a few gaming graphics cards:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Here are two cards that will fit and will give you good performance in games. Of course the more expensive one plays games better.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
May 29, 2012 4:04:53 PM

jessterman21 said:
Yep. Believe me.

I understand where you're coming from, though. Having a hard time eyeballing a PSU replacement for you, but one of these should fit - either will power a few gaming graphics cards:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Here are two cards that will fit and will give you good performance in games. Of course the more expensive one plays games better.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


Thanks, that was exactly what I was asking for. The more expensive GPU won't fit I think- it has VGA and the PSUs look big, but I will consider it. What do you think my chances of success are, and do you think I should bother trying to upgrade it?
a b U Graphics card
May 29, 2012 7:04:59 PM

Jamessuperfun said:
Thanks, that was exactly what I was asking for. The more expensive GPU won't fit I think- it has VGA and the PSUs look big, but I will consider it. What do you think my chances of success are, and do you think I should bother trying to upgrade it?

The HD 6750 will fit - it comes with a low-profile bracket (you can see it in the 4th picture) as well as the full-size you see in the main picture.

You'll probably need to call the store or manufacturer to find out what form-factor the PSU is, so you can order a replacement that fits. You will need a 350w 80+ bronze PSU or better to power the HD 6750.

I'd say the HD 6750 is the better choice because you have a very capable machine, and you're playing games at 1080p. It should have no problem playing medium settings in newer games, and high settings on older games. Just don't expect to install Battlefield 3 or Crysis 2 and play on Ultra settings.

And to answer your earlier question, yes you'll just pop out the old GPU and PSU (paying attention to where things are plugged in) and replace them with the new parts. You will need to plug the HD 6750 directly into the PSU (6-pin connection) if you get that card.
a b U Graphics card
May 29, 2012 7:35:11 PM

This guy is still asking the same questions he's asked 3 or 4 times and have been answered 10 times at least.

I'm done.
May 31, 2012 4:12:55 PM

Geekapproved: OK.Jessterman: Thanks. Thats awesome and I think I will consider it, if not do it, but one very final note: Just to clarify, you are SURE that the new card will go in the same slot, no problemo? Its just I wonder if its really going to be as simple as everyone says when the parts are in front of me and some complication comes up.
If anyone owns the 6750, could you please check how far apart the sockets are (In CM)? Just want to be sure if it fits, thanks.
PS: I mean the DVI/ HDMI sockets. Just a bit nervous, thats all :) 
!