Adding GPU to Friend's Desktop - 300W Power Supply - Worth Upgrading?

Hey all,

So a friend of mine has a HP Pavilion a6614f, specs can be found here:

Trying to make it up to par for today's games (Borderlands 2 etc.) as best we can and hopefully be able to run games in the near future, figure we'll do a new build few years from now since I realize the PC is a few years old as is. I haven't had a chance to look inside his actual PC, but I know it has a free PCI-E slot so the limiting factor is going to be the 300W PSU (which I assume has a single spare 6-pin PCI-E, why include a slot but not the juice for it right?).

I realize the computer is a few years old, and I don't know much about AMD CPU's, but it was a black Friday door-buster deal so I'm assuming its higher end (2.2Ghz quad core, 6GB RAM after all). Can someone please confirm this and recommend how to proceed for an upgrade? Most cards we were looking at had 2x 6-pin connectors on the back of them and / or over 300W when I plugged them into a PSU calculator. Perhaps someone could recommend a GPU that will work with only a 300W power supply? Or if such a thing is not possible / practical in terms of cost and ability to run today's games, then if it's worth going for a new PSU to open up the GPU possibilities for us.

Something in the $100 range with the current PSU would be great, but if such a setup would prove inadequate for today's games then I saw the GTX 560 ti @ newegg for $160 on sale, haven't eyed an appropriate PSU yet but trying to stay sub-$200 if that's at all possible.

Thanks guys and appreciate the help!
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More about adding friend desktop 300w power supply worth upgrading
  1. The 560Ti is beat by the 7850 which is $10-$20 more, and uses only one PCIE 6 pin connector. A 550w-600w is enough for this computer, and if he builds a new one, he can carry it over.
  2. @ Henryz

    Yes I always read those articles before deciding on a GPU :)


    So you are saying I have no choice but to update the PSU, like absolutely no single PCI-E GPU's capable of running on 300W?

    If that's the case then I was already trying to eye out the best PSU / GPU combo based on henryz article and deals I've found online.

    For the PSU I found these (even better deal I think than the ones you linked henryz). Is $10 extra worth it for going from 500W -> 600W?

    And for the GPU I have been very happy with Nvidia videos cards in the past, especially their physx capabilities, so based on the article it's between:

    GTX 560 SE @ $130

    GTX 560 ti @ $160

    Is the $30 worth it between those two?

    Thanks for the input guys! Really appreciate it :)
  3. @obsama

    Hrmm, is the 7850 worth losing physx + $20 extra? If I'm going to be upgrading the PSU to one of the ones I mentioned than I'll have 2x PCI-E 6-pins. Going for that GPU is going to go over $200 which is what I was trying to avoid.
  4. The 7850 is less than $200:

    PhysX is a gimmick, in my opinion. Very few games use it. Only good games that use it: Metro 2033, Batman Arkham City, and Borderlands 2.
  5. Yea I meant when combined with the price of the PSU it's over $200. But I hear ya, I will run it by my friend between those 3 cards and see where he is comfortable price-wise.

    May I ask how much better the 7850 is than the gtx 560 ti or even the gtx 560 se? And is XFX a reliable brand? Never had any experiences with them. Wondering if the upgrade is substantially worth it or if his CPU would start becoming the bottleneck. Thanks!
  6. 2.2 Ghz is pretty slow nowadays. It will probably choke on the CPU so I wouldn't bother getting a real high end GPU unless he plans on carrying it over into his next system.
  7. Hrmm well if he does upgrade I think it will be at least a year if not two so not sure if the GPU will still carry over by then or if its better to save a bit of $$$ now and just apply it to the future build.

    To be honest I think he will be comfortable with any of these cards, but I don't want to overkill it if the CPU is gonna bottleneck. So where would you say the bottleneck lies in terms of CPU? Would be helpful to know in deciding between the 3 cards that were listed. Thanks!
  8. Well I was doing some more research into it and think it will come down between these two:

    EVGA GTX 560 ti @ $160

    XFX Radeon HD 7850 @ $170

    However, I'm having a bit of trouble deciding between the two. On the one hand the EVGA has a lifetime warranty (and nvidia is supposed to have the more developed drivers) but on the other the XFX has only a 2 year warranty but is the stronger card. Can anyone weigh in on if the lifetime warranty / better drivers are worth it and if the 7850 is THAT much of a stronger card to warrant purchasing it?

    Also, random side question but will it be possible to crossfire in a future build since the 7850 only requires 1x PCI-E 6-pin or is 500W-600W far from sufficient?

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