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Old 04-13-2011, 06:55 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Buying a new graphics card

okay so i have a desktop and here are the specs

Brand
HP

Series
Pavilion

Model
P6320F(AY020AA#ABA)

Type
Home / Home Office

Processor
AMD Phenom II X4 820(2.8GHz)

Processor Main Features
64 bit Quad-Core Processor

Cache Per Processor
4 x 512KB L2 Cache

Memory
8GB DDR3 1333

Hard Drive
1TB SATA

Optical Drive 1
SuperMulti DVD Burner with LightScribe Technology

Graphics
NVIDIA GeForce 9100 Graphics with 256MB integrated shared graphics memory. Up to 3838MB Total Available Graphics Memory as allocated by Windows 7

Audio
High Definition Audio with up to 7.1 surround sound capabilities

Ethernet
10/100Base-T network interface

Wireless Card
Wireless LAN 802.11a/b/g/n

I was wondering if my computer could support a better graphics card and how exactly i would do that. Like it says my geforce 9100 is integrated with the motherboard but i think i there are still extra slots for a graphics card. Also what are some recommendations for cards that are good for gaming. Thanks.
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Old 04-13-2011, 07:44 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Buying a new graphics card

We'll also need to know what power supply the system has - we'll need the wattage and what connections it has. Your power supply might not be powerful enough to support much of an upgrade, and so you may need to upgrade it too.
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Old 04-13-2011, 07:51 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Buying a new graphics card

It only has a 300 watt power supply according to the HP site.

HP Pavilion p6320f Desktop PC Product Specifications HP Pavilion p6320f Desktop PC - HP Customer Care (United States - English)
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Old 04-13-2011, 11:10 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Buying a new graphics card

How much you willing to spend? Its got one slot for a video card, and it doesn't seem like the mobo is SLI/X-fire enabled.

Upgrading the PSU might be a good idea. I dropped a gig gpu in my old clanker (store bought similar to yours) a year back. It had a 300W PSU and went fine... Depends on if you wanna chance it and how much dough you have
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Old 04-14-2011, 11:35 AM   #5 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Buying a new graphics card

I would go ahead and get a new graphics card (anything PCI Express, which is 99% of graphics cards these days, will work). Install it, if the graphics card has PCI Express power connectors (the 6-pin and 8-pin ones) make sure your power supply has those connectors. If it doesn't, make sure to buy a graphics card that is bundled with adapters (they usually have adapters for 4-pin HDD power connectors). Try it out, push the card to its limits by playing some intense games or running Folding@Home. If all works fine, you do not need a new PSU, if it locks up frequently or BSOD's, you should buy a better power supply to power the card.

A long time ago, I bought a then-new Radeon X1600Pro for my HP 734n (Athlon XP, 200W PSU). Everything I read said the card needed 300W or more so I bought a 500W PSU as well. Turns out everything ran fine on the stock 200W PSU and I wasted money on the new unit (though I am now using it in my server and it does a good job). Also now I am running an i7 and 2 5870's on a 650W PSU without issues.
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Old 04-14-2011, 03:38 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Buying a new graphics card

to make everything easy for yourself and to spare the unnecessary return trip to your local pc shop just buy yourself a 500w power supply with whichever mid-ranged gpu card you find most attractive and affordable. as long as the card uses only one 6pin external power connector a 500w psu will be sufficient (high end cards will use two 6pin connectors and will probably require a bigger power supply).
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