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Trying to get in PC gaming....very new

Approximate Purchase Date: e.g.: 09/2010

Budget Range: $300-400

System Usage from Most to Least Important: gaming, watching movies, surfing the internet

Are you buying a monitor: No

Parts to Upgrade: I think power supply, GPU, and RAM but this is why I am here, to find out.

Here is what I have: HP p6610f
CPU: AMD Athlon II X4 635 Processor 2.90 GHz
GPU: ATI Radeon HD 4200
RAM: 4 GB (3.75 GB usable)
OS: Windows 7 64 bit
Power supply: 250 (I know this is very low)

Do you need to buy OS: No, have Windows 7

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: Amazon and Newegg

Location: Toledo, OH

Parts Preferences: don't really care, looking for quality

Overclocking: I really don't know what this is

SLI or Crossfire: I really don't know what this is

Your Monitor Resolution: 1920 X 1080

Additional Comments: Looking for a rig that will run Skyrim and most new games at reasonable and enjoyable settings, I am upgrading from a xbox 360 so I want to at least have a better system than that.

And Most Importantly, Why Are You Upgrading: Want to play Skyrim without sitting at a loading screen for half of the time and want to play great games like the Witcher Series and Starcraft.
8 answers Last reply Best Answer
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  1. Best answer
    You have a nice start with that system and two major options:

    1. Keep your current power supply (250W) and use a low power video card. This will limit frame rates however it will give you a system that can game at decent resolution (better than any of the AMD Fusion can game without an external video card). To do this just install a 55W HD 7750 video card like one of these: http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=ENE&N=-1&IsNodeId=1&Description=hd7750&bop=And&Order=PRICE&PageSize=100 Your 95W CPU and your 55W video card and the rest of your PC will be happy with the 250W power supply (PSU) you have. Total Cost = $100-$110. Instal = EASY.

    ----------------
    Second option.

    Drop in a good quality low cost power supply with good reviews like this 450W unit from antec. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817371045&Tpk=antec%20vp450 $40

    Then select and install one of the gaming video cards from this list: http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/gaming-graphics-card-review,3107.html With a $400 budget you can build a monster gaming system with your current PC.

    The combination of the $40 power supply and a $170 HD6870 would give you a much better than average gaming system for $200-$250.

    --------------------------------------------------

    Other things you should consider:
    1. you have enough memory (4GB) however memory is cheap. You could go up to 8GB by adding two 2GB dimms.
    2. Get a nice gaming mouse. This is personal preference. Google Razer DeathAdder or goto newegg and search on gaming mice. You want something that moves smoothly. Number of buttons is personal choice
    3. You disk is probably large enough. Eventually you will fill it up. Wait until then to upgrade.
    4. Check into STEAM. It really beats trying to keep track of DVDs for games. http://store.steampowered.com/ And the big combo packs will get a a large selection of somewhat older games cheap.
  2. Cool...thanks. I bought skyrim on steam this morning for $40 even though I can't play it yet lol. Had to get that deal. I also have a 500 GB external hard drive so space isn't an issue. I'll probably buy more RAM. I like the 2nd option you gave. Would this work for the GPU? http://www.amazon.com/SAPPHIRE-Radeon-6870-GDDR5-Graphics/dp/B005C8RTTU/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1342882417&sr=8-1&keywords=6870
  3. Oh yes! the Hd6870 is great and will run in your PC. Just double check the length of the card vs. clearance in your case and make sure you have an empty slot next to your graphic card slot. (I think you do. but didn't double check in HP specs). The Hd6870 needs two 6-pin (pci) power connectors. Make sure your Power supply has them or order an adapter cable ($5, newegg) that converts two molex into one PCIe (6pin). Make sure you have enough cable length from PSU to reach end of video card or order an extension cable or a get a quality PSU with longer cables.

    To replace the power supply you need to pull 4 screws (easy) and then replace every wire that comes from the old PSU with the equivalent wires from the new one. (easy but a pain). Removing one wire at a time from the old PSU and plugging in the equivalent from the new PSU removes a lot of options for fail.

    Good luck.

    edit: Antec vp-450 only has one PCIe 6-pin so you will need to buy the two molex to one 6pin PCie adapter or get a different supply that has two 6-pin connectors like this one: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817151074 SeaSonic S12II 430B 430W
  4. Would this be a good PSU with 2 PCIe 6-pins?
    http://www.amazon.com/Corsair-Certified-Compatible-Platforms-CMPSU-600CXV2/dp/tech-data/B004W2T2UQ/ref=de_a_smtd
    Sorry for all the questions. I barely know anything about this and I'm trying to prevent buying a wrong product.

    Also if I get the HD 6870, the above PSU, add probably 8 GB RAM, wil I need to worry about overheating? What do I need to get to prevent/fix this if it happens? Thanks so much you have been extremely helpful.
  5. toledoray7 said:
    Would this be a good PSU with 2 PCIe 6-pins?
    http://www.amazon.com/Corsair-Certified-Compatible-Platforms-CMPSU-600CXV2/dp/tech-data/B004W2T2UQ/ref=de_a_smtd
    Sorry for all the questions. I barely know anything about this and I'm trying to prevent buying a wrong product.

    Also if I get the HD 6870, the above PSU, add probably 8 GB RAM, wil I need to worry about overheating? What do I need to get to prevent/fix this if it happens? Thanks so much you have been extremely helpful.


    Yes, Corsair Builder Series CX600 is a good power supply. good reviews. good choice.

    Good question re overheating. No, you should be fine. I have an older GTX280 that runs 50W hotter than a 6870 in a similar HP case along with a cpu and chipset that run hotter than yours (i7-920 X58) and there are no temp problems. However you should download a free temp monitor like HWMONITOR from CPUID (the one I use, google it) or some other monitor and check temps periodically. As PCs get older dust builds up and the temps go up. You use a can of compressed air to blow out the dust and temps come down again. And its nice to see the CPU and GPU temps in a good range.
  6. Alright! Thanks for everything. I'm going to place my order on the supplies today and hopefully be up and running by midweek.
  7. Best answer selected by toledoray7.
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