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Best Graphics Card for HP XW4600 MW Black OPS 2

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
December 5, 2012 6:39:49 PM

HP XW4600
Windows 7 Home 64bit
Motherboard Intel HP 441449-001 ATX 243.84 x 304.8 mm
X38 Express Chipset
Core 2 Duo 3.16GHz
8GB 4pcs 2GB each Elpida 2gb PC2-6400E-666
3 PCI slots (full-height, full-length)
1 PCI Express x8 slot (x4 functionality)
1 PCI Express x1 slot (half length)
2 PCI Express x16 Gen2 slots (one dedicated for graphics)
Power Supply 475 watts wide-ranging, active Power Factor Correction, 85% Efficient
Withstands power surges up to 2000V

I know my system is dated that`s why I`m asking. I dont want to buy a card that is more than my pwer supply or sytem will support. My power supply cables are flat not stacked like on the card. This is a Green Power HD. Do I need to upgrade here also?
I will probably be buying a used card since this is an older PC. I want to hook this computer up to my 55" 1080p TV thru HDMI. I will be watching TV and playing games from this computer. My favorite games are Modern Warfare Black Ops 2 and Madden 13. I would like advise on a TV Tuner Card and a Graphics Card. I was thinking maybe a HD 6870 or HD 5770. Please any advice would be appreciated. Thanks in advance. I am ready to buy now so I will awaiting patiently.
December 5, 2012 6:56:07 PM

The important thing you need to check is how many 6-pin PCI-E power connectors does your PSU have?

The 5770 requires one:

And the 6870 requires two:

For the 6870 they say it requires 500-Watt, but don't worry graphics cards vendors tend to greatly exaggerate these requirements and since you have a quality workstation with a 85% efficient PSU you should be fine.

For Black Ops 2 at 1920 x 1080 I don't know if your CPU or GPU could be a bottleneck, you should be able to play at 1080p but might have to disable AA or other settings.

As for the TV tuner card I'll let someone else give you advise as I have no experience with them.
December 5, 2012 6:58:21 PM

Since I don't know the quality of your power supply. (It could be 475 watts but I don't know the amps on the 12v rail or how efficient the power supply is) I would suggest a 7770 with 2 gigabytes of ram. It only requires one pci-e power connector which if you don't have the connection with your power supply they give you a molex to pci-e connection.

Also here is a article to show you the system requirements for Black Ops 2: Its not a really intense game on graphic cards if you look at the requirements you will be fine with a middle of the road card.

In terms of storage you could get a SSD a small one and that would solve the slow down of your hard drive. You have a green hard drive which is cheaper and normally not as fast. However this really all depends on your budget here because these things start to add up.

In terms of a TV tuner. I would go with a CABLE card solution if you can. I don't know if your cable provider has these but you may want to ask. They are a little expensive at 200 dollars (PCI-E CARD) but what you get it the ability to watch tv on your computer and then if you have a media extender a xbox 360, something from this link,2817,2310803,00.asp you could watch it on a tv in your house. For example this is what I do at home. xbox 360 as the cable box computer with the cable card 3x tv's in the house able to watch tv through the cable card (which normally you rent through the cable company for 20 dollars a month) AND where the cable card is you can use your computer as a DVR without the cost of paying each month for a DVR. Again just something to look into its probably the best solution for watching TV on your computer with the mix of being able to DVR things and watch around the house given that media extenders like the xbox 360 are connected to the tv.

Centon also makes a extender

And here is a video of how it works.
Related resources
December 5, 2012 7:08:14 PM

bigshootr8 said:
Since I don't know the quality of your power supply. (It could be 475 watts but I don't know the amps on the 12v rail or how efficient the power supply is)

It's the workstation class from HP and he said it was 85% efficient so it means it's high quality. I'm not worried about his PSU, the real question is how many PCI-E power connectors does he have. But yes, the 7770 would be a good choice considering his CPU is a Core 2 Duo, if he goes too overkill on the GPU, the CPU could bottleneck it anyways. He said he might be looking for a used card which isn't a bad idea, for instance he could get a 6870 for cheaper than a new 7770 and the 6870 is superior. Here is Tom's Hardware Graphics Cards Hierarchy Chart it might help decide and compare if he has many offers for used cards:
December 5, 2012 7:21:56 PM

I'd just be careful when buying a used graphics card you never know what may be wrong with the item if there is something. I sold 2 560ti's for 260 I think it was and I had a 5 year extended warranty on both cards.

Yea I think the 7770 is a good option I was thinking about CPU bottle-necking when I suggested it.

And I see now the efficiency if it is a workstation system then yea I would agree the power supply is probably good I don't know the internals of the power supply so its a little harder to judge but chances are it will get the job done in most scenarios.
December 5, 2012 7:47:07 PM

bigshootr8 said:
And I see now the efficiency if it is a workstation system then yea I would agree the power supply is probably good I don't know the internals of the power supply so its a little harder to judge but chances are it will get the job done in most scenarios.

HP systems starting with "XW" means it's workstation class so it's designed for professionals with the highest needs in performance and reliability, could be used for AutoCAD, video editing, simulation software, etc... Here are the detailed specs:

For instance, it uses ECC RAM, and at the time it could be ordered with an nvidia Quadro FX4600 which cost $2000 when it was launched if I remember well. So if you can order the system with a $2000 video card don't worry HP won't put a crappy power supply inside.

Some higher end HP workstations (like XW8000 or 9000 series) could even be ordered with Xeon processors which are the same that equip servers.
December 5, 2012 9:14:27 PM

No I gathered that when I looked up the motherboard and the computer I figured out what it was.

And in regards to the power supply I just worry with HP, DELL, GATEWAY they tend to put cheap components in there cases i.e., power supply, and memory, locked bios. I'd hope that the power supplies quality is good for the price :p 
December 5, 2012 9:56:24 PM

WOW you Guys are Great. Much Appreciated!!
The top of the line card this computer could be configured with from HP was the
NVIDIA Quadro FX 4800 1.5GB PCIe Graphics Card.
Which has a Max Power Consumption of 150Watts. If that helps. Ebay price $205
The power supply has 1 again 1 six pin connecter.
The PCIe connector states 75W + 75W.

Should have stated that from the start. I have already learned something. I am still taking in all the replies. So I now need the best Graphics card my system will support for 1 connector.
December 5, 2012 10:04:08 PM

I do have 2 4 pin connectors left over from DVD/CD connections. I see they have a 2 4 pin connectors to 1 six pin connector.
December 5, 2012 10:07:34 PM

Yea you may have to use one of your molex cables the 4 pin connector to turn into a 6+2
December 5, 2012 10:55:26 PM

OK so I have 1 six pin connector and I can turn 2 4 pin connectors into another 6 pin connector. That makes 2 power connectors.
So with my computer what would be the best card I could use without any bottlenecks?

Best solution

December 5, 2012 11:26:15 PM

Still the 7770 more then likely. When you upgrade your core 2 duo you can get a more meaty card.
December 6, 2012 12:20:29 AM

Best answer selected by sctcal44.
December 6, 2012 12:27:50 AM

HD7770 it is what do you think about the MSI model I can get it $99 Factory refubished 90 day warranty. Or should I go a different direction. Thanks
December 6, 2012 1:50:32 AM

msi is a decent company to go with. I would probably go asus or sapphire but to each is own.