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Graphics card for an eMachines

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December 16, 2012 9:02:24 PM

I have a crappy ET1161-05. It has a 64 bit processor, but had a 32 bit system installed on it. I just recently wiped it and installed Windows 7 64 bit. Before that, I upped the memory to 4 gigs. I presently have an AMD Ahtlon LE-1620 (2.4GHz) processor, but I soon hope to upgrade to an AMD Phenom x4 processor within the next few months.

My motherboard (chipset NVIDIA GeForce 6150SE?) has 1 PCI-E x16, 2 PCI-E x1, and I think 1 regular PCI.

What do you suggest would be the best video card to get that is priced between the $100 and $150 range? Should I spend the money on a PCI 3.0 when my motherboard takes (what I guess is) 1.0? I keep looking at the Radeon HD 7750 in the CompUSA near my home, but I'm thinking I won't get it's full power out of it with my primitive slot. I'm kind of thinking in terms of the future, as my hope is to buy a new computer before the end of 2013 and use this same video card for it.

Any advice?
a b U Graphics card
December 16, 2012 10:35:38 PM

Well, your computer is fairly old, but if it still works well, you can try that HD 7750 on it. Your version of PCi-e on the board is 1.0 as far as I can tell.

There is a SLIGHT chance that your HD 7750 won't work on it, as there are some incompatibilities of the newer PCI-E 3.0 cards when used in very old (1.0) slots.

Just be prepared for that, and while you are at it, you MAY require a PSU upgrade, depending on the quality of your current PSU, and what other components you have installed in the computer.
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a b U Graphics card
December 16, 2012 10:41:26 PM

a 6670 or a 7750 might work.

honestly, id rather rebuild the entire rig if you are financially stable enough for that
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a b U Graphics card
December 16, 2012 10:47:30 PM

That Athlon LE-1620 is a single core CPU and will end up being the bottleneck of many games. You can go for a first gen Phenom, but those are just power hungry and slow. It's just best to retire that system. Consider a used Core 2 Duo, Phenom II or 1st gen Core i5/i7 setup from eBay if you're on a budget.
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December 17, 2012 2:00:00 AM

I forgot to mention that I had just put a 550 Watt PSU in there.

I would hate to have to get a whole new computer when I could swap out parts. Can I replace my motherboard with one that could take an Intel i5-3570K processor? I don't know what that all involves. If I just purchase a new motherboard and CPU--is that possible? If so, what do you suggest? The gift-giving has drained me at this point, but I may be able to grab a new motherboard in the next couple of months. You guys obviously know what you're talking about, so I'd really appreciate your help.

The product specs are at http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16883114066, but take into account my modifications, of course.
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a b U Graphics card
December 17, 2012 6:35:53 AM

If you swap your CPU+board out with pretty much anything more recent, you'll almost guaranteed to have to buy DDR3 (which isn't very expensive). The only way to salvage your DDR2 RAM is to get an AM2+ board with an AM3 Athlon II/Phenom II. AM3 processors support DDR2 and DDR3, but AM3 boards only take DDR3, so you have to use AM2+. You can keep all your other parts like HDD, case, PSU, etc. You can still get decent performance out of your existing components by spending $100-150 more. Obviously if you have the patience and money, go for a new system.
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a b U Graphics card
December 17, 2012 6:47:19 AM

I would wait a few months because to be honest you would need a new PSU (Emachines tend to use very cheap ones), a new mobo, a new CPU and a new GPU.

You also need to consider if your case can handle the thermal load these componentws bring etc.
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a b U Graphics card
December 17, 2012 9:50:39 AM

if you are going to grab a new motherboard, you are definitely going to grab a new CPU. you can go without the GPU for a while if you dont game, otherwise then you would need to get a GPU
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a b U Graphics card
December 17, 2012 1:05:55 PM

mstrainjr said:
I forgot to mention that I had just put a 550 Watt PSU in there.

I would hate to have to get a whole new computer when I could swap out parts. Can I replace my motherboard with one that could take an Intel i5-3570K processor? I don't know what that all involves. If I just purchase a new motherboard and CPU--is that possible? If so, what do you suggest? The gift-giving has drained me at this point, but I may be able to grab a new motherboard in the next couple of months. You guys obviously know what you're talking about, so I'd really appreciate your help.

The product specs are at http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16883114066, but take into account my modifications, of course.


You will most likely be able to replace the mobo instead. The motherboard in the e-machine is small, likely a m-atx format, so you need to keep that in mind while shopping. There MAY be space issues/connectivity/port issues since these machines, like all other brand name machines of its type, are designed to maximized the use of internal space and optimized only for their own m-atx boards.

The best way to know for sure is to open the computer and look at the model of the motherboard (a pic will help too), and post that here or google it to see if it is in fact, a proper m-atx format.

Since you have upgraded the PSU, I would still cautiously say the videocard MAY work. The issue is that the PCI-E 3.0 cards without a power connector (PCI-E power, 6 pin) draws ALL of its power from the PCI-E connector. From the top of my head, older gen (1.0) connectors can only provide 25 watts to POST the card. Some newer PCI-E 3.0 cards may violate this older design principal and attempt to draw more than 25 watts from the board, and thus never POST, even though the card works fine otherwise. Once past the POST stage, my understanding is that the PCI-E connector can then provide up to 75 watts. Some older boards are more forgiving than others, so your mileage may vary.

I would suggest something like a HD7770 instead, since you have a higher powered PSU already, and the HD7770 can draw power from a 6 pin PCI-E power AS WELL as from the PCI-E connector, so your chances of having it work seems higher, not knowing the rest of the variables.

There are other issues that prevented users from being able to use a AMD 7000 series GPU on older PCI-E Gen 1.1 or 1.0 boards, there is a good summary of the INFO you MUST READ before buying a card:

http://www.overclock.net/a/the-final-answer-to-the-controversial-pcie-x16-version-compatibility

Seems your chances a better with a Nvidia card on older gen PCI-E boards.
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a b U Graphics card
December 17, 2012 1:24:30 PM

So to summarize as a recommendation for actions:

1) Find a local store that has a return policy if the item doesn't work with your computer. Double check this in person to make sure.

2) Try the card to see if it works well for you. I'd still recommend the HD 7770, it is sometimes EVEN CHEAPER than the HD 7750 (at least here in the NA). Stick to brands that are known to keep the highest amount of compatibilities. (Try ASUS, for example, no SAPPHIRE or MSI, see the link earlier, confirmed not working on older than 2.0 slots by the vendor). I would guess that MOST if not ALL 7000 series won't operate on gen 1.1 and earlier.

3) If it doesn't work, try a comparable Nvidia model instead.

4) Nothing works (not likely), it will be time to upgrade then.
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December 17, 2012 5:40:13 PM

Here's a link to a picture of my motherboard:
~Picture~

As you can see, the new power source I've added has packed my case with a bunch of unnecessary wires. The clutter hasn't affected cooling, so I suppose it'll be fine.

My motherboard measures roughly 9 x 9.5 in. I do recall seeing a nice LGA 1155 motherboard at CompUSA that was pretty small. Maybe that's what I need to look at in the future.

For now, I guess I'll do like Maxx_Power said and get a video card that would work in there for now. I can then upgrade my motherboard and processor later on. I need something that will work OK for the time being, but will perform top-condition in a few months or so.

The 7770 is currently priced at $135, while the 7750 is $125. Looking at this very website (7770 and 7750 Review), it seems that, to me, the 7750 is the better choice. The 7770 takes up 2 PCI-e slots and doesn't give that much of a performance boost. With the small motherboard I will need, I can't see wasting any slots. I would like to play Assassin's Creed 3, but I'm happy if I could play it on at least the lowest settings. Also, the minimum power supply recommended for a 7750 is 400W, while the 7770 is 500W. Couple that with a 95W processor, and with the 7770 I'll be probably having to buy yet another power supply. Nope, I'm not ready to go all out yet.

So this is my plan:

1. Buy an Asus HD 7750 GPU for around $125
2. In a few months or so, get an LGA 1155 motherboard for around $50
3. Not long after that, buy an i5-2500K, which is presently $210 at CompUSA, and as low as $196 (inc. shipping) on eBay. In a few months, the price MIGHT be a little lower.

Sound good? You guys have been a great help. You don't even know me, but you've taken the time to give me advice. You folks sound like you know what you're talking about, so I guess all I need is a final confirmation. Does my plan check out all right?
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a b U Graphics card
December 17, 2012 6:18:25 PM

mstrainjr said:
Here's a link to a picture of my motherboard:
~Picture~

As you can see, the new power source I've added has packed my case with a bunch of unnecessary wires. The clutter hasn't affected cooling, so I suppose it'll be fine.

My motherboard measures roughly 9 x 9.5 in. I do recall seeing a nice LGA 1155 motherboard at CompUSA that was pretty small. Maybe that's what I need to look at in the future.

For now, I guess I'll do like Maxx_Power said and get a video card that would work in there for now. I can then upgrade my motherboard and processor later on. I need something that will work OK for the time being, but will perform top-condition in a few months or so.

The 7770 is currently priced at $135, while the 7750 is $125. Looking at this very website (7770 and 7750 Review), it seems that, to me, the 7750 is the better choice. The 7770 takes up 2 PCI-e slots and doesn't give that much of a performance boost. With the small motherboard I will need, I can't see wasting any slots. I would like to play Assassin's Creed 3, but I'm happy if I could play it on at least the lowest settings. Also, the minimum power supply recommended for a 7750 is 400W, while the 7770 is 500W. Couple that with a 95W processor, and with the 7770 I'll be probably having to buy yet another power supply. Nope, I'm not ready to go all out yet.

So this is my plan:

1. Buy an Asus HD 7750 GPU for around $125
2. In a few months or so, get an LGA 1155 motherboard for around $50
3. Not long after that, buy an i5-2500K, which is presently $210 at CompUSA, and as low as $196 (inc. shipping) on eBay. In a few months, the price MIGHT be a little lower.

Sound good? You guys have been a great help. You don't even know me, but you've taken the time to give me advice. You folks sound like you know what you're talking about, so I guess all I need is a final confirmation. Does my plan check out all right?


The plan sounds good.

Be aware that just about EVERY 7750 you will be able to buy locally are also dual slots (including the ASUS, MSI, Gigabyte, Sapphire, HIS, etc). Technically the cooler used on the 7770 and 7750 are One and a Half Height and may or may not block the next slot depending on the other card used, but you should/must be leaving plenty of room (>1 inch) under the video card to allow it to breathe. Those are open-air coolers (not squirrel cage ones that dump hot air directly outside), so you MUST give it some semblance of "Openness"...

While you are at it, the i5-2500k is actually more expensive where I am than the 3570k, and there are periodic discounts on the Ivy Bridge chips (3000 series), so you can sometimes snatch up a nice 3570K for 150-170 bucks US (I got one for 169$, but there was some on black friday for 149$, I'm sure boxing day will be cheap on some of these chips somewhere). I would STRONGLY recommend that at this point of time, you should go for an Ivy Bridge based chip if you go Intel.

Do you have a MicroCenter ? If so, check this out, the 3570K is 189.99 (they do frequently discount it to 169.99).

http://www.microcenter.com/product/388577/Core_i5_3570K_34GHz_LGA_1155_Processor
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a b U Graphics card
December 17, 2012 6:20:53 PM

mstrainjr said:
Here's a link to a picture of my motherboard:
~Picture~


That LOOKS like a standard MATX layout. By the way, you should add an exhaust fan while you are at it, and open up a slot or two of PCI-brackets to allow better ventilation when you get your new card, this will lengthen and add reliability to your entire computer. Typically the brand name boxes and older cases have relatively poor ventilation, so any bit helps.
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December 18, 2012 10:20:31 PM

Well today I took my first steps. Went into the TigerDirect store and bought an Asus P8B75-M/CSM, the only LGA-1155 motherboard that was small enough to fit my case and also had PCI-e 3.0. I was going to the get the video card, but the store didn't have and Asus video cards there, only online. A salesman said that the ones they had wouldn't be compatible with my motherboard, so I Went ahead and got the motherboard, which accepts a 3rd gen processot like the i5-3550 or i5-3570K. The way I see it, I could pay $200 for the first, or drop $15 more for the second.

I guess that's really the end of this thread, unless you have advice on which of those 2 CPUs I should get. I'm very satisfied with the answers I got here, and I thank all who responded to my question.

Thanks!

-Mike
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a b U Graphics card
December 18, 2012 11:11:32 PM

mstrainjr said:
Well today I took my first steps. Went into the TigerDirect store and bought an Asus P8B75-M/CSM, the only LGA-1155 motherboard that was small enough to fit my case and also had PCI-e 3.0. I was going to the get the video card, but the store didn't have and Asus video cards there, only online. A salesman said that the ones they had wouldn't be compatible with my motherboard, so I Went ahead and got the motherboard, which accepts a 3rd gen processot like the i5-3550 or i5-3570K. The way I see it, I could pay $200 for the first, or drop $15 more for the second.

I guess that's really the end of this thread, unless you have advice on which of those 2 CPUs I should get. I'm very satisfied with the answers I got here, and I thank all who responded to my question.

Thanks!

-Mike


I hope you know/anticipate that the B75 chipset isn't suitable for overclocking, in case you are going to get a "K" series CPU. This is a pretty good board with a Z77 if you are thinking about it:

http://ca.asus.com/Motherboards/Intel_Socket_1155/P8Z77M/

But if you are not keen on a "K" series CPU or returning to the store, then what you have should work fine!
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December 19, 2012 4:15:08 AM

Well, that's good to know. I guess I won't waste my money on something I can't fully utilize. OMG, I'd be so lost without your help. :) 
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a b U Graphics card
December 19, 2012 9:33:33 AM

you are then to get something like a i5 3450, 3470, or 3330. whichever is cheaper
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a b U Graphics card
December 19, 2012 1:05:13 PM

TheBigTroll said:
you are then to get something like a i5 3450, 3470, or 3330. whichever is cheaper


Yeah, the OP might have good luck on finding heavily discounted i5's that are discontinued, like the 3450 (which was being cleared out here for 149.99 bucks).
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January 27, 2013 1:37:11 AM

Best answer selected by mstrainjr.
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