Upgrading a basic desktop, bunch of questions.

Hi, I'll start by saying I've never built a computer before, so any help would be appreciated. I've looked everything up before making this thread, but I want to make sure I understood it all.

I'm getting a new processor, a graphics card, a new PSU and another stick of 4 GB - DIMM 240-pin - DDR3 RAM.

My base computer:

All of the below are to be presents I'll be asking for, and they have specific spending limits, so I can't buy something more expensive.

The graphics card:

The CPU:



I've measured where the card will go and I believe there's enough room for it to fit. The PSU is the same size as my current one. The CPU is one of the one's recommended by HP on the page I linked. I've heard Kingston's ram is good quality.

Are the CPU and GPU a good match to keep the other from bottle-necking?

Newegg's power calculator said that 426 watts would be enough to power this and recommended the PSU, is that right? My current PSU looks like its pretty close to the max size the case will hold, so I not too sure about getting a larger more powerful one, since I don't know the order the dimensions are in.

I've read that a PCI Express 2.0 x16 slot is backward compatible with a PCI Express 1.0 x16 slot, is that right?

When I put it together, should I install a piece at a time, reboot and see if its working or put them in all at once?
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  1. What will the PC be used for? If it's for gaming, throw away the 550 Ti. It'll get you nowhere.

    Kingston imo is okay, but from what I've seen, most of their RAM run @ 1.65v which is just too much imo to that point it will strain the CPU. Not to mention, Intel voids warranties for anything running more than 1.5v.

    Get this instead,

    Corsair CX is a fairly mediocre PSU line, that 430w PSU is only around 380w in reality. I suggest getting at most 500-550w for a single GPU system, but if budget is really tight, get this instead.

    Put them all at once. You can't even start without a PSU, RAM, and CPU inside.
  2. Its going to be for gaming, but I don't expect it to run on max everything. The videos I've seen of it playing the games I want it to look good enough to me.

    I'm upgrading from an onboard chip, any card will be night and day in difference.
  3. Sorry :P I don't mean to be difficult.

    This one looks good, then.

    By put them in all at once or one at a time, I didn't mean trying to start it up with missing parts. I meant like, take out just the old PSU, put in the new one, etc to make sure I either didn't get a faulty unit or didn't hook that specific part up wrong.

    Anything else I should be wary of when putting it together? I'm fairly confident I can do it myself, asking watching/reading some guides, and I have someone I could ask to do it for me if I get it on my table and feel overwhelmed, but I'd prefer to learn it myself.

    Thanks again for the help.
  4. That's the 3rd link I gave. :lol:

    Well, I would be wary of static since it might kill some components, just be sure to discharge yourself after every part.
  5. So it turns out, that despite being listed on HP's support page as a supported CPU for my motherboard, its wattage is too high for the board.

    I feel a bit bullshitted on this, I know I should have probably researched it a bit more, but I assumed that if their page listed it as supported, it would work.

    Can anyone recommend an am3 CPU that is 95 wattage?
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