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Upgrading graphics card please help

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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July 26, 2012 1:05:14 PM

hello everyone I am looking for someone to help me.

I have this computer (I bought it from this place):

http://www.simplyacer.com/Acer_Predator_G5900_1081411.h...

I was wondering if i can upgrade this computer? I bought this a while back but now I am starting to play games quite a lot and the gt440 is OK but not that good so I would possibly like to upgrade however I have never upgraded a computer before. I would like to play games on high settings. I have been playing a mod for Arma 2 called DayZ with my friend but the game lags and Arma 2 also gets lowish fps. This computer does not have much power (it definitely has only 300w or 400w i havn't actually opened the computer yet because Ican't find the screwdriver lol) so I think i'll most probably need to buy a new power supply to go with the new graphics card but I don't know.

So to conclude could somebody please tell me if I can actually upgrade this computer and also could somebody please recommend a good graphics card and power supply(if that's needed). My budget would be around £150 but I would like to spend as little as possible. Oh and I have a 22inch monitor and the native resolution is 1920x1080

Thank you to anyone who helps me
July 26, 2012 2:28:52 PM

you really need to know what psu and available connections you have to answer properly, some of those machines come with a "750W" psu, if you have such, and ample connectors you are only really limited by budget, otherwise a 7750 is about the best card you can run from a pci-e slot alone
also, the 7770 is about the best new card in that price range
but better last gen cards can be had for the same price
a b U Graphics card
July 26, 2012 2:43:25 PM

Some good cards around that price at the moment. What make is your PSU and what is it rated for?
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July 26, 2012 11:38:16 PM

Thanks a lot for replying

Well I can't check how good the psu is or the make of it at the moment becuase I don't have a screwdriver but obviously i'll get one asap lol but I get a strong feeling it's not going to be very good. So if it isn't good could I just buy a new power supply along with a graphics card(possibly a nvidia geforce 550 ti??) and hopefully everything would be ok? If possible could someone reccomend any power supply or graphics card to me what will go well together?

Thank you !
a c 291 U Graphics card
July 26, 2012 11:46:12 PM

I would not recommend anything lower than GTX 560 SE/Radeon HD 6850. Otherwise you will not really feel a difference.

Let's assume you'll need to upgrade the power supply unit.

Let's say a combo:
Corsair CX 500 - $59.99 before rebates/$39.99 after rebates
Asus GTX 560 DCII - $169.99 before rebates/$149.99 after rebates.

That brings total to $229.98 before rebates/$189.98 after rebates. Since you never said how much you wanted to spend, that is my recommendation. You'll see a huge improvement in performance :) .
a b U Graphics card
July 27, 2012 12:22:17 PM

Well i was going to suggest a 560ti/7850 as they can be picked up for about £150/160.

If you need a PSU I would recommend you save, a 550ti doesnt have great performance for the price you'll pay.

If you have to wait a bit longer then so be it, the 660's should be released pretty soon and that should drive prices on those cards down too.

a b U Graphics card
July 27, 2012 8:51:00 PM

The PSU is good, I would try and get together the extra money to get the 560ti, its much better.

Arma2/DayZ are pretty intensive youll need as much as you can get. If you really have to go for a 560 se I'd recommend this one:

http://www.scan.co.uk/products/1gb-msi-gtx-560-overcloc...
a c 291 U Graphics card
July 27, 2012 10:24:02 PM

Sorry about the link to newegg, I didn't notice you were from UK :) . That graphics card you linked is a very nice deal. However, I'd stay away from OCZ PSUs because they tend to be of bad quality. I'd suggest sticking with Antec, Corsair, Seasonic, XFX.
July 28, 2012 2:53:55 AM

Ok thanks again guys! What about these then:

http://www.scan.co.uk/products/1gb-msi-gtx-560ti-oc-twi...

http://www.scan.co.uk/products/550w-xfx-pro-series-core...

I took advice from both of you and decided i'm going to get the 560ti with a better power supply.

Some other things are worrying me though. These might be stupid questions but i've never done this before so if someone could possibly answer them i'd really really appreciate it !

Would they both fit in the case ok and would everything fit togehter ok? Here is a picture of inside the case and the full specs of the machine:

http://photos.pcpro.co.uk/images/front_picture_library_...
http://www.pcpro.co.uk/reviews/desktops/369727/acer-pre...

Also are there any other tools other than a screwdriver i'd need when i'm installing these?

Thanks again to anyone who helps me ! :) 
a b U Graphics card
July 28, 2012 5:02:49 AM

The twin frozr II is one of the best 560ti you can get, runs really cool, OC'D with room for a bit more too. Thoroughly recommend.

The XFX is a good power supply. Have to disagree with Sunius on the OCZ, they make decent PSU's. The majority are JonnyGURU recommended and use high quality parts, decent caps etc.

The Corsairs are obviously an option and are priced similarly to the XFX. I would probably recommend them more. Here they are:

http://www.scan.co.uk/products/500w-corsair-builder-ser...

http://www.scan.co.uk/products/500w-corsair-builder-ser...

Edit: Yep screwdriver is all you should need. Possibly a set of side cutters if you have to remove any cable ties.
a c 291 U Graphics card
July 28, 2012 7:43:31 AM

It will fit without any problems. I'd go with that XFX unit you picked yourself, it's better than Corsair CX 500 because it has more amps on 12V rail, and it has higher efficiency certification. They cost almost the same.

It will fit your case without any problems ;) .
July 28, 2012 11:10:11 AM

Thanks guys i really appreciate all this help !

So just to clarify will the graphics card fit well inside the case? I understand that the psu should fit ok

It says on the website that it's ' Interface: PCIe 2.0 (x16) ' and my computer has ' Extension card slot 1 x PCI Express® 2.0 x16 slot ' so it should be ok?

Also on the website for the graphic card it says ' Connectivity:2 x DVI-I 1 x mini HDMI ' so would I still be able to install it ok?

Sorry for the (probably stupid) questions but i've never done this before and i'm a bit worried that somthing won't fit correctly and I end up wasting my money :na: 

Anyway thanks a lot for helping me once again :)  :) 
a c 291 U Graphics card
July 28, 2012 12:34:38 PM

Don't worry, it will fit without problems :) . DVI-I and mini-HDMI are the connectors that will stick out of your case and to which you will connect your monitor.
July 28, 2012 5:19:28 PM

thanks ! I'll order them sometime before monday. Hopefully everything goes ok. Thanks again for all the help :) 
a c 291 U Graphics card
July 29, 2012 9:36:36 AM

Glad I helped ;) .
July 31, 2012 4:19:45 PM

hi guys i've delayed a bit with ordering them but now I am going to order them very soon(most likely today) and I was quickly wondering if the 550w power supply would be enough for my system?
Thanks again once i've got an answer i'll order them :)  :) 
a b U Graphics card
July 31, 2012 5:06:27 PM

100% sure. Enjoy the new card :) 
July 31, 2012 5:21:51 PM

Thanks ! Now all i need to do is install them when they get here :p  I don't think the graphics card will be a problem but the power supply might be. There are wires going all around the computer to different things so it will probably be a bit tricky. I guess i'll just find a guide to follow or a video or something lol

Thanks again!!
August 3, 2012 6:07:01 PM

Hello again guys everything went well with me installing the graphics card and the PSU. I can play games with much better FPS now :)  However I downloaded and installed EVGA Precision X and checked the temperature of the card and when i'm playing DayZ the temperature of the card ranges from 80-100 degrees. I tried Men of war : Vietnam and it was at around 70 degrees which still seems quite high. So I was wondering if this is normal and will it effect anything such as the FPS? Should/Could I do something about this? Thanks for any help! :) 
a c 291 U Graphics card
August 3, 2012 6:21:06 PM

That's too high. It's strange, is the fan spinning at 100%?
a b U Graphics card
August 3, 2012 6:32:14 PM

Yea thats high for a reference card. Twin frozr should be well below that.

Just out of curiosity try downloading msi afterburner, sometimes software doesn't give accurate readings.
August 3, 2012 9:01:02 PM

I opened the case and the fans are both definitely spinning ( Sorry if that's not what you meant. I think you can alter the fan speeds in this MSI afterburner but I don't know. I don't really want to edit anything in case I mes something up lol) .
I downloaded the Msi afterburner and left the case open and went on DayZ and the temperature was hovering around mainly 65 degrees but it can go to 75. I tried Men of war : Vietnam again and the temperature was around 55-60 degrees so things improved when I opened the case. When i'm not in a game the temperature is 50-55 degrees. The fans of the graphics card are facing the bottom of the case so could that be the problem? Anyway I have got a fan aimed at the holes on the side of the case now and i've just tried DayZ and it's temperature is around 65-75 degrees . Also what tmperature should it actually be at? Thanks ! :) 
a b U Graphics card
August 3, 2012 9:11:13 PM

Well those temps are much better well within safe limits, so it must be related to you're airflow, your idle temps seem to confirm this.

How many fans are in your case? and what way are they set up? Intake/exhaust?

Also if you set up a custom fan curve youll shave some degrees off, In afterburner click settings and its on the 2nd tab.

Id still expect the twin frozr to run slightly cooler that that but could just be the case again.
a c 291 U Graphics card
August 3, 2012 9:29:12 PM

If it's at 75° maximum, I would not worry about it at all. It's very normal for a graphics card in a game like that - Witcher 2 pushes my GTX 560 Ti to 74°C during hot days, and I do have a good airflow ;) .
August 3, 2012 9:53:59 PM

hello sorry i'm not sure what you mean by fans but here is a picture of inside the case http://photos.expertreviews.co.uk/images/front_picture_...
The fan speed in msi afterburner is only at 'Max 54' so how much can I put this up to maybe help with things? It did seem as though it was 75 degrees max on DayZ but if the temperature does for some reason go up at what point should i just go off the game, at like 90 degrees? Anyway i'm glad it seems to be going at safer temperatures now that I have this fan pointed at the case lol :)  Thanks guys
a c 291 U Graphics card
August 3, 2012 9:56:03 PM

You may increase fan speed as much as your ears allow you, it will go louder as you increase it. Increasing it will not make it malfunction or anything, it's safe. I would not let temps go above 85°C.
a b U Graphics card
August 3, 2012 10:10:15 PM

The other great thing about the twn frozr is that it is bearly audible so on the graph set it to 80-100% at 75c then just set it as a directly proportional line down to 40c, see how that sounds.

Your case looks like a bit of a hot box, it looks as though there is space for a 80/92mm fan on the back that isnt occupied in that picture. If you dont have a fan there thats definitely the cause of your problems.

Are there any other places on your case that have mounting holes like that?
August 3, 2012 11:27:02 PM

Ok thanks i've done the graph thing. There is no fan in that place so i think i'll need to get one. I opened the case again and it definitely looks as though there is enough space to fit some kind of fan in there. How would I know what type of fan fits ok and works with my system? Should I measure it? Thanks :)  :) 
a c 291 U Graphics card
August 3, 2012 11:29:57 PM

Yea measuring is a good way to fit things. Standard sizes are 80 mm, 90 mm, 120 mm and 200 mm.
a b U Graphics card
August 3, 2012 11:59:49 PM

its 92mm really, not much of a difference but might help when googling for a new 1. I think the larger spaced holes on you case are 92 but yea definitely measure. Is there space for a fan at the front?
August 4, 2012 12:21:57 AM

i measured the 4 screw holes going around the grid thing and they measure 11cm each way so that is 110 mm. If you look at the picture of the case at the bottom right maybe a smaller fan could fit there . There are 4 holes in a square at 7cm each so 70mm. Thx for the help
a b U Graphics card
August 4, 2012 12:30:58 AM

Are you measuring height/width? not diagonally as those sizes seem a little odd.
a b U Graphics card
August 4, 2012 12:33:02 AM

Just measured a 80cm fan diagonally and its 110mm so I assume thats what you did

Edit: 8cm fan :lol: 
a b U Graphics card
August 4, 2012 1:01:14 AM

lol its cool, Those are definitely from the inside to the out.... 80mm, 92mm, 120mm. I would be 99.999% sure of it.

120mm is the length/width of the fans edge, the space between the holes will be slightly less if your rounding down.

So yea I would put a 120mm there exhausting air. As for the front is it the same size as the smallest holes on the back? If it is then put an 80 on there as an intake.

Sorry for dragging this out, I could only see 2 sets of holes in the photo. :lol: 
!