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Old 11-01-2011, 06:47 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Upgrading My Budget Desktop

Hey there

I'm looking at upgrading my budget PC that I bought a few months ago, I need a better graphics card and with that a bigger PSU. I've been doing a little research (which in hindsight I should have done before buying the PC ) and was looking at an Asus GeForce GTX550ti (not sure if I would get an overclocked version yet) since my current PSU is only 220W, I need to upgrade. Current graphics card is a NVIDIA GeForce GT 420.

I should probably also mention that I am thinking of adding a further 4 gig of ram whilst upgrading the graphics card and psu.

I'm starting to get a tad confused when it comes to chosing a PSU now though and was wondering if any one could point me in the right direction.

This is the model specs of my current machine
Aspire X3960 | Product Model. Thanks in advance

Keshia

So, while waiting for my question to be moderated I did a little more research... And whilst I feel I am learning something, I am also starting to feel as though I have thrown myself into a pool with no ladders

Am I right in saying that I will need a PSU, with at least 1 6 pin video card power connector? And it wouldn't hurt to add in one or two extra case fans, right?

I should mention that the computer won't be used for anything as intense like Battlefield, it will mainly be used for Sims3 (yes, I know ) and very occasionally WoW.
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Old 11-01-2011, 11:13 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Upgrading My Budget Desktop

Your link to your computer is broken, but I think its this one?
Aspire X3960 | Product Model

You are right, you would need a ~400w PSU with at least 1 6-Pin connector on it for the GTX 550 Ti.
However looking at the inside of your case (here) I'm not really confident about what PSU will fit.
It also doesn't look like you have any room/mounts for extra case fans.

How slow is your computer running? As is it certainly exceeds the system requirements for SIMS3, and is much better than the build I run WoW on.
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Old 11-01-2011, 04:24 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Upgrading My Budget Desktop

That's the thing that I was certainly wondering, whether it would actually 'fit'.

On paper it looks as though it would run the game fine, but it the 420 card just doesn't really cut it. Its not so much 'slow', I run the game fine at the minute on Max Settings, they only problem that I have at the minute is that objects aren't rendering as fast as what they 'typically' should and I am starting to get a very small 'lag'. In the research that I have done, most will say that the 420 card (that I have) will have troubles with the game. I haven't encountered any other than what I just mentioned, but I also just want to be able to have the 'best graphical experience' from my machine that I can possibly get out of it.

So being able to have a look inside it through that link, (thanks for that, I was going mad searching around for something like that!) I am going to be limited as to what I can do with it right?
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Old 11-01-2011, 05:54 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Upgrading My Budget Desktop

Yeah, although the real limitation may not be the PSU.
You can just open your case and measure the current PSU then find a more powerful one with the same dimensions.

The real issue as far as I can tell is that the video card is at the very top of the case, which poses 2 problems.
1) Not sure how much room is up there and the card extends toward the top of the case, meaning you're probably limited to single slot cards.
2) Considering how little room is up there, unless there is an exhaust vent nearby that area will turn into an oven with a more powerful card.

So I'd say open up the case and check to see how much room is between the video card and the top of the case and if there is any place for the hot air to vent out.
And, while you have it open bust out a ruler/measuring tape and get some dimensions on your PSU.

Going to leave these single slot cards here just in case:
XFX HD 6670
PowerColor HD 6770
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Old 11-01-2011, 06:57 PM   #5 (permalink)
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So I got the measurements of my PSU, have detailed it in a picture, I'm not much of an Inches girl (from Aus), but hopefully that's enough information.



And your right, there's not much room up where the video card is, but there is a vent above it.



I
s it worth even trying to upgrade the card? Or better of to stick it out and know that I know a little more look at getting a machine built that is more suited?

So, question now is, if I can't easily get a new PSU, would it be better to get some help in deciding on requirements I need and getting a new build? I would have to get it done by someone else though, adding extra Ram, updating a video card I can handle but I don't think I am ready to start a build from scratch by myself!

This is coming from someone who up until 2 months ago used to bundle up my PC's and take them to a shop for the fans to be cleaned lol!
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Old 11-01-2011, 07:25 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Upgrading My Budget Desktop

I doubt it's gonna be easy (or worth it) to find another more powerful PSU that fits that case down under. You could also buy a cheap case and migrate all the parts over, but you'd have to check for compatibility with the mobo. Can't find any info on it from Roark's link, may or may not be a standard form factor. Also gotta think about cooling, it was probably designed with the case layout in mind. Long story short, could be trouble.

IMO best course of action would be build a new rig, salvaging parts from your current rig. The CPU, Optical drive, memory, and hdd can all be ported across to your new build.
You'd only have to buy a case, mobo, psu, gfx card, and (if you can afford it) a better hdd. Your current one is only a 5400rpm model, pretty horrible for a main drive lol. There's been a massive price hike on hdds recently due to flooding though, so you may want to wait on that and just re-use your current hdd.
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Old 11-01-2011, 07:33 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Upgrading My Budget Desktop

Quote:
Originally Posted by keshialee View Post
So I got the measurements of my PSU, have detailed it in a picture, I'm not much of an Inches girl (from Aus), but hopefully that's enough information.
It looks like you measured the 5.25" drive bay? The power supply is at the bottom I think, it has the yellow sticker on it?
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Old 11-01-2011, 07:35 PM   #8 (permalink)
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So what would I be looking at in terms of the hdd, whats good?. Lets say I have a Max of $1000 to go with for the entire thing (not saying I want to spend that much, but that is what I can afford to spend), with that amount I would surely be able to get a build that would be suitable and relatively good?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Slaymate View Post
It looks like you measured the 5.25" drive bay? The power supply is at the bottom I think, it has the yellow sticker on it?
Haha! Just goes to show how much I know!

Edit: And now that you pointed that out I can see how silly that was!
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Old 11-01-2011, 07:47 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Upgrading My Budget Desktop

For $1000 you could *easily* get a good system. You could get a complete tower for ~$850. With the parts you've already got, it'll be no problem at all.

Where abouts in Aus are you? Check if you're close to an MSY store, they've got pretty good prices: http://msy.com.au/locate.jsp
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Old 11-01-2011, 07:50 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Upgrading My Budget Desktop

@ keshialee, please don't double post, if you have something else to add to the conversation and no one has posted a reply since your last post (within a 24 hr. period), please use the edit button (looks like a pencil) to add it to your previous post.

You might be able to rig up an auxillary power supply but this one fits in a 5.25" bay.

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