Question: Will my current build (specifically, the motherboard) prevent me from making this upgrade? Why or why not (why would or why wouldn't it affect the upgrade)?
My current build is an HP Pavilion Elite m9400f desktop PC (specifications):
Motherboard: Narra3-GL8E Power Supply: 350W -> (upgrading to) -> 520W Continuous (product link) (it's overkill, but I figured it can't hurt and it's not expensive) Processor: AMD Phenom X4 9750 @ 2.4 GHz
I read a few forum posts about the topic, and it seems like upgrading my power supply is the only practical requirement for switching to a GTX 650 Ti, which requires a minimum of 400W. I'm not sure what the role of the motherboard is (how it affects my upgrade). Do I need to upgrade my motherboard? Why or why not?
I've prepared a new-computer build; I'm planning to purchase the individual components over the course of a year so that I can select the best deals (checking SlickDeals every so often). This new 520W continuous power supply and GTX 650 Ti is part of my future build, but I'd like to try using it with my current HP-built desktop PC. My future build will have an H77 motherboard (Z77 is for SLI and overclocking which I don't need and saves $100). So I'm thinking, if I'm advised to upgrade my motherboard, I might as well just wait and build my new PC.
By the way, if there are better graphics card recommendations, I'm definitely open to suggestions. Better is defined as a performance-to-price ratio, within the $110 to $155 price range, higher than the GTX 650 Ti's. Primary use of this graphics card is for gaming; secondary use is for programming (CUDA). I generally wouldn't like to be limited by the games I can play (I'm fine with not being able to run Crysis or Metro 2033 at ultra-high settings and large resolutions). I'm used to running a GeForce 8400 GS, which means I'm forced to run all games at low resolutions and low settings and still experience 15 FPS.
You're good No need for a new motherboard as yours already has a PCIe x16 slot. Also, I agree that the GTX 650 ti is the best card in that price range. You will be very happy as it is quite an upgrade form your 8400GS.