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Basic Graphics and PSU Upgrade

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  • Prebuilt
  • Graphics
  • Systems
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Last response: in Systems
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September 18, 2012 2:06:54 PM

First of all, I'm sorry if this is in the wrong place.

I have a rubbish Acer Aspire AX3950, which I know is totally useless as it is and when trying to replace parts. I've done a bit of research but I don't have the best knowledge of computers.

I've tried looking for the exact specs of my PC but it seems the odd things have changed since I purchased it last June. This is the one they have on the site for the same model however, I have 3GB RAM and Intel HD Graphics: http://www.acer.co.uk/ac/en/GB/content/model/PT.SE6E2.1...

Now, the graphics card I've considered purchasing is this: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Sapphire-6570-Ultimate-Graphics...
I believe it is a low-profile so should fit in the Acer's small case and the Wattage is very low, however I am unsure whether it'll still be too powerful for a 220 Watt on top of the rest of the PC.

I'm also considering to bump my RAM up to maybe 4 or 5GB using these: http://www.offtek.co.uk/ram-specification/acer/acer-des...

On the PSU, I'd have to take a peak at that and gather the measurements as it's smaller than most other PSU's and I'm not sure if there's something else that causes problems replacing it. I'm looking to maybe bump it up to 350/400 watt if it's possible. I'm not sure if anyone knows the specs of the Acer Aspire and could suggest a decent replacement for that, but if you could that would be amazing.

So now I've said all that, is it as easy as installing everything when I have it settled and it'll work or is there more too it than that. Will upgrading certain things like RAM and the PSU require other things to be changed internally?

The reason I'm upgrading is pretty simple, the computer is great for basic jobs but I'd love to play the odd PC game on decent settings. I have checked on sites that this set up would give decent gameplay on medium settings and some even on high. Plus I'd do the odd bits of video editing which goes fine anyway, and I think that would be the processor I'd need to upgrade to improve that. I do realise this is a basically a starter kit but I only have around £150 to spend on upgrading bits. I've figured this could come round to about £120 for the three pieces. I also know there's not much you can do with this PC but I'd like to boost it as much as I can for a reasonable amount.

IF you need any more information, I'll be happy to supply it.

More about : basic graphics psu upgrade

September 18, 2012 2:29:37 PM

Are you using a 32-bit or 64-bit version of Win 7? If 32-bit, having more than 4GB of memory is a waste of money (32-bit versions of Windows can only directly access 3.25GB of memory).

Your best upgrade options are to add a stand alone video card (to recapture your shared memory currently being used by the Intel HD graphics) and your power supply.

The video card you proposed is a good choice. It should work with the power supply you currently have.

Should you need a replacement power supply in the future, one like this one would do the trick (looks like the proper format for your small case):

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
September 18, 2012 2:38:29 PM

Sorry, I run 64-bit.

Thank you for the rest of your advice, I'll definitely look into it!
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September 18, 2012 2:41:14 PM

Spuggz said:
Sorry, I run 64-bit.

Thank you for the rest of your advice, I'll definitely look into it!

This is a good thing! I would suggest you bump up to 8GB of memory then.
September 18, 2012 2:46:58 PM

Okay, thank you!

So you think the graphics card should be okay on the 220 watt? I'll only buy the PSU if it's needed. What would happen if the 220 watt PSU isn't enough, will it just shut down the PC? I don't want to cause any damage by not having a clue what I'm doing.
September 18, 2012 2:54:25 PM

Just don't overclock the video card and you should be fine. If the PSU isn't up to the task, you will start to get random crashes when you are putting the system under a heavy load (like rendering video or gaming). That will be the clue you need to step up in PSU class.
September 18, 2012 3:23:00 PM

Spuggz said:
Okay, thank you!

So you think the graphics card should be okay on the 220 watt? I'll only buy the PSU if it's needed. What would happen if the 220 watt PSU isn't enough, will it just shut down the PC? I don't want to cause any damage by not having a clue what I'm doing.


That graphics card should be fine on the 220W PSU and your system -- you have a 75W TDP i3 CPU so the entire system is fairly low power and the 6570 1gb draws a max of 66W according to the specs - so with those and the rest of the system it should remain within the limits of the PSU you currently have. Is there a reason you are goiing with the Fanless model GPU ? They do tend to put off more heat into the system and with a small format case that may cause the rest of the system to run hotter so iunless noise is a problem I'd probably go with a different model or for even better performance go with a new 7750 ( like this Sapphire Low profile 7750 for $104 - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... ) which is another low power alternative that has better performance for just a small amount more $. According to a review on Neoseeker it shows an i7 system using only 132W under stress testing with the 7750 -so it should also be fine on your `220W PSU. ( http://www.neoseeker.com/Articles/Hardware/Reviews/sapp... )

September 18, 2012 4:02:19 PM

That is a decent GPU (first Sapphire) and is the same one in my wife's desktop rig. Good choice.
September 18, 2012 4:07:40 PM

I was just looking at the reviews. I put it in on game-debate to see what the games would run like and they sound positive but the reviews say most games can run on high with 50+ fps. That would be astonishing for something so cheap, surely! And it sounds like it would work great on a 220 watt PSU.

Are you referring to the one in my first post or last post? I've been put off the heatpipe cooler version. I assume the second is the same card with a fan cooler?
September 18, 2012 4:13:33 PM

I referred to your most recent post. Yes, the 6570 and 6670 GPUs perform surprisingly well.
September 18, 2012 4:14:33 PM

I am not familiar with the VTX brand. I am very confident to recommend Sapphire products, however.
September 18, 2012 4:20:35 PM

Well, I feel I best get my hands on one before they've sold out! Pay day can't come quick enough.
September 18, 2012 4:27:27 PM

If you can get your hands on an HD 6670 that will be the best choice for a low budget GPU. The 6570 won't be much better than your integrated GPU.
September 18, 2012 4:31:01 PM

How do you figure that?

The 6670 has max FPS of 50 on high/ultra settings. Of course, that's very good! But the 6570 has 40+ on medium high. Where as my Intel HD can peak at 15 on most games...
September 18, 2012 4:32:16 PM

The HD6670 shares the same basic "guts" as the HD6570 (processor and memory). It is just clocked higher for the most part.

Both are great values for the money.
September 18, 2012 4:41:58 PM

I think I'll go with the HD 6570 for now. You can play Skyrim on High at 40 FPS according to most places, that game has amazing graphics so to get those results to me, means most other games would run fine on high graphics.

I'd just like the decent graphics for when I fancy a casual game, so as much as the 6670 looks good, I can't justify paying an extra £30 on top just yet.

If in the future I change my mind, I can easy sell the 6570 if it's still in great condition to get a bit of money back. The 6670 does look like it'd be better off running with a 300+ watt PSU aswell which would be more costs on top. I may need to pay that with the 6570 but unfortunately I'm not rolling in the money at the minute to buy everything at once.

If there's a chance the 6570 can run fine on the 220 watt PSU I have, then that's better value at this time.

But thanks to both of you for your input. I wouldn't have a clue what I was doing otherwise.
!