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Wanting to upgrade PC

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October 20, 2012 2:34:32 AM

I've got a fairly new prebuilt PC with an integrated graphics card (terrible, I know). I can run more recent games like Skyrim at Medium to High range, but I'd like to push things a little further. I've got a basic understanding of computer hardware but from what I've read I can install a new graphics card myself.
So my main question is what card should I be looking at? I do have a budget. I'm not looking to spend more than $250 on a card. Will a graphics card update be adequate to get more out of my gaming? Or am I lacking in other areas? For example: I meet all the recommended requirements for Skyrim, minus the graphics. I'm thinking that's all I need?
Are certain CPUS incompatible with certain cards? Things like this I know nothing about.
I'm pretty sure the only thing I should really focus on is a graphics card but if you see anything else that might need an upgrade let me know.
What's the best card for my budget, needs, and if an issue, my system?

Thanks in advance for reading, and any help is much appreciated.

Spoiler
Operating System: Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit (6.1, Build 7601) Service Pack 1 (7601.win7sp1_gdr.120503-2030)
System Manufacturer: Hewlett-Packard
System Model: p7-1234
BIOS: Ver: HOL_723.ROM vHOL7.23
Processor: AMD A6-3650 APU with Radeon(tm) HD Graphics (4 CPUs), ~2.6GHz
Memory: 8192MB RAM
Available OS Memory: 7666MB RAM
Page File: 2599MB used, 12732MB available
Card name: AMD Radeon HD 6530D
Manufacturer: Advanced Micro Devices, Inc
Chip type: AMD Radeon HD 6530D (0x964A)
DAC type: Internal DAC(400MHz)
Device Key: Enum\PCI\VEN_1002&DEV_964A&SUBSYS_2ACF103C&REV_00
Display Memory: 4070 MB
Dedicated Memory: 493 MB
Shared Memory: 3577 MB
Available Expansion Slots 3 PCI Express x1, 1 PCI Express x16


Also if I forgot to list something let me know.
Thanks!

More about : wanting upgrade

a c 127 U Graphics card
October 20, 2012 2:52:59 AM

The HD7850 would slot in quite nicely I think.

Though that does depend on your power situation. What PSU are you running? If its generic and/or under 450W, it will likely need to be replaced before you can throw any powerful cards in there.
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a c 199 U Graphics card
October 20, 2012 3:01:34 AM

^What he said. A lot will depend on your PSU. Prebuilt systems usually come with PSUs only strong enough for the original parts. With a budget of $250, you should be able to pick up a decent PSU (Seasonic, Antec, XFX, FSP, or Enermax/LEPA; skip the Corsair Builder due to information here: http://forums.hardwaresecrets.com/not-so-tough/8805?thr... indicating they use a line of inferior capacitors known to fail miserably); and you should still have enough for a HD7850. A 430W Antec Earthwatts would be sufficient for that card.
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a c 199 U Graphics card
October 20, 2012 3:03:04 AM

Newer Rosewill PSUs (Capstone & Hive) have also received favorable competent technical reviews, and they are relatively inexpensive. Consider the 450W Capstone.
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October 20, 2012 3:21:21 AM

Thanks for the quick responses guys!
I believe my PSU is 300W. So I guess that needs an upgrade.
Is that something I can change out myself? Like I mentioned I have very limited HW knowledge. I'd only be comfortable installing/changing out something that is seemingly fail proof when proper directions are followed, of course. :) 

But the HD7850 does seem to be a good card for what I'm looking for, and fairly priced.
And just to be sure, this is the one?

http://www.bestbuy.com/site/Asus+-+AMD+Radeon+HD+7750+1...

And also, would overheating ever be a concern? I rarely game for long periods of time (because of this fear) and an older computer of mine had a secondary cooling fan installed. Again, not really sure.
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a b U Graphics card
October 20, 2012 3:30:45 AM

pinkempyreal said:
Thanks for the quick responses guys!
I believe my PSU is 300W. So I guess that needs an upgrade.
Is that something I can change out myself? Like I mentioned I have very limited HW knowledge. I'd only be comfortable installing/changing out something that is seemingly fail proof when proper directions are followed, of course. :) 

But the HD7850 does seem to be a good card for what I'm looking for, and fairly priced.
And just to be sure, this is the one?

http://www.bestbuy.com/site/Asus+-+AMD+Radeon+HD+7750+1...

And also, would overheating ever be a concern? I rarely game for long periods of time (because of this fear) and an older computer of mine had a secondary cooling fan installed. Again, not really sure.


That's the HD 7750... not the HD 7850. Well, the HD 7750 will probably work on your 300 watts power supply, because it doesn't need any 6 or 8 pins for extra power. The HD 7850 is probably about 2x faster... Or the GTX 660 is a good choice also.

Well, any decent 450 - 500 watts power supplies would power one of those cards.

Power supply like this one:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

And here's the video cards:

HD 7850:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

GTX 660:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
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a c 127 U Graphics card
October 20, 2012 3:32:06 AM

That's the HD7750, not 7850. Massive difference in performance between the two.

The PSU can be swapped out of the rig like any other component. Its literally a matter of disconnecting the cables, unscrewing it from the case and replacing it.

Depends on your cooling situation. If you have a good case with decent airflow, heat wont be an issue.

EDIT: That PSU is fairly low quality, and absolutely no info is given about it. You want a proper, good quality PSU like this.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
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October 20, 2012 3:34:00 AM

ipwn3r456 said:
That's the HD 7750... not the HD 7850. Well, the HD 7750 will probably work on your 300 watts power supply, because it doesn't need any 6 or 8 pins for extra power. The HD 7850 is probably about 2x faster... Or the GTX 660 is a good choice also.

Well, any decent 450 - 500 watts power supplies would power one of those cards.

Power supply like this one:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

And here's the video cards:

HD 7850:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

GTX 660:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


Whoops! Linked the wrong one.
I'd rather go further up while I've got the little extra spending money. Thanks for the links.
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a c 199 U Graphics card
October 20, 2012 3:37:23 AM

Dynex sells PSU-shaped objects; avoid them. Stick to Seasonic, Antec, XFX, FSP, new Rosewill, or Enermax/LEPA. Like I said above, avoid the V2 version of the Corsair Builder.
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October 20, 2012 3:41:34 AM

manofchalk said:
That's the HD7750, not 7850. Massive difference in performance between the two.

The PSU can be swapped out of the rig like any other component. Its literally a matter of disconnecting the cables, unscrewing it from the case and replacing it.

Depends on your cooling situation. If you have a good case with decent airflow, heat wont be an issue.

EDIT: That PSU is fairly low quality, and absolutely no info is given about it. You want a proper, good quality PSU like this.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


It's standard, I guess. I've never felt the outside of it getting too warm after long running times.
And usually my CPU and Card read under 30C during gaming sessions.

I suppose if I believe I can install a GC, the PSU should be no problem.
The product link you provided is great too.
Thanks!
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a b U Graphics card
October 20, 2012 3:44:10 AM

pinkempyreal said:
Whoops! Linked the wrong one.
I'd rather go further up while I've got the little extra spending money. Thanks for the links.


What did you mean "Linked the wrong one?" I clicked on the links and they are the right items...
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a c 127 U Graphics card
October 20, 2012 3:45:14 AM

Under 30C at load... Do you live in the North Pole? :lol: 
My watercooled CPU idles typically at what room temp is, and can hit 50c under full load. GPU is idling at 40C, with a max of 66C.

What programs do you use to monitor your temps?
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October 20, 2012 3:56:19 AM

ipwn3r456 said:
What did you mean "Linked the wrong one?" I clicked on the links and they are the right items...

Not you. Me. Sorry! :lol: 
manofchalk said:
Under 30C at load... Do you live in the North Pole? :lol: 
My watercooled CPU idles typically at what room temp is, and can hit 50c under full load. GPU is idling at 40C, with a max of 66C.

What programs do you use to monitor your temps?


I live in the desert, actually. But my room is generally pretty cold.
I'm using iObit. I just check over to the temperatures on occasion. I posted in estimate, as I don't monitor my temps too regularly. I've never seen it very high though.

I guess I'll go with this for my graphics
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

and this for power?
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

It'll be more than I was planning on spending, but I didn't realize PSU was a factor when upgrading... :whistle: 
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a c 127 U Graphics card
October 20, 2012 4:12:24 AM

Both of those are good parts, wont be dissatisfied with them.

Such is the way of computers, gradually suck up more and more cash :lol: 
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a c 199 U Graphics card
October 20, 2012 4:19:47 AM

Yes, those two will be fine. You'll see a huge difference.
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October 20, 2012 4:25:17 AM

Alright. Thanks for your help guys!
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