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Whats the difference between a PCI, PCIE or SATA card? And how can I tell which

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
August 1, 2012 6:19:14 AM

Hi im currently looking for a new graphics card and doing it as my first diy upgrade. So my cousin told me I needed to know which type of card I have so that my new one is compatible. Please any help would be deeply and greatly appreciated!!
August 1, 2012 6:22:22 AM

Oops, I got cut off on my title, Im looking to learn how you can tell which type of card you have as well! Sorry, and as you can tell im rather clueless on this subject!
a b Î Nvidia
a b U Graphics card
August 1, 2012 6:25:29 AM

All modern discrete GPU's use the PCI-Express x16 slot found in most, if not all modern desktop computers. It looks like this if you are having trouble. Also, what is the make and brand along with total watts your PSU is? Also what is your budget so that I can help you select the best GPU for your money.

This is a PCI-E slot a GPU uses. Yours can be any color, as long as it's the size of the black one in the picture, the GPU card will fit.

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a b Î Nvidia
a b U Graphics card
August 1, 2012 6:37:26 AM

Since you have a 460W PSU, then does your PSU have a PCI-E power connector?

It looks like this, most commonly, computers like yours will usually have one 6 pin connector pictured on the left. Usually aftermarket PSU's have a 6+2 PCI-E power connector pictured on the right. Either of these connectors are needed to power the more powerful cards.

August 1, 2012 7:20:22 AM

I cannot seem to find those cords in my computer, Im assuming coming from the graphics card. What are my options now?
August 1, 2012 7:21:43 AM

CORRECTION, sorry i did find it coming out of my...power source unit or psu -.- hehe technobabble is my downfall sorry!
a b Î Nvidia
a b U Graphics card
August 1, 2012 8:04:43 AM

I assume you only have 1 PCI-E power connector. For less than $200, I suggest this card, you should be able to play most games on high settings, even a few on ultra settings @ 1080p with AA down and low shadows. This is the fastest HD 6870 out the box if you are not into overclocking. It has free shipping and comes with Dirt 3 the game for free.
August 1, 2012 8:31:11 AM

Thank you so much!! This really helps out, my boyfriend and I can play guildwars 2 together now even if hes at school!!! Thank youuuuu!
a b Î Nvidia
a b U Graphics card
August 1, 2012 8:34:23 AM

You're welcome, you will be able to play that game on ultra settings with this card. ;)