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Old 04-29-2005, 09:25 AM   #1 (permalink)
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My first post, so here goes...

I bought a gaming computer about six months ago, having not gamed too much since my youth, and not really knowing what I was doing!!

Here's the specs :

Intel P4 550 3.4Ghz
250 Gb HDD
X300 256MB PCI - express
1024 RAM
800 Mhz FSB

Having spent the last six months gaming my a**e off, I thought it was time I did something with that graphics card.

My questions are :

1. Should I be attempting to change the graphics card myself, or am I gonna fry my computer?

2. Ive read a lot about the eVGA 6800 GT 256mb PCI express card on these forums and that seems the way to go, although I have read comments about needing a decent PSU. How do I find out the rating on my current PSU??

Any help gratefully received
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Old 04-29-2005, 09:27 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Well, what are you going to be using the card for....like what programs you going to run?
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Old 04-29-2005, 09:30 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Mostly games..

Half Life 2, Doom 3, that kind of thing.

I'd like the card to be future proof for the next year or so
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Old 04-29-2005, 10:18 AM   #4 (permalink)
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That was never origionally a gaming computer, seems like a cheap HP or compaq. With a slight upgrade it will still be good, however gamers usually use AMD due to their better peformance in games.

a 6800GT would do you pretty well in that PC, no it's not hard to install and should be very easy.

However after installing this card, you should reload windows. Nvidia cards dont like bieng on PC's that had ATI cards and vice versa, every time I swap cards I reinstall and so does everyone.

You also most likely need a new power supply if your going to run a powerful card, so post what PC it is, and a picture of the power supply side specs.
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Old 04-29-2005, 10:28 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Good guess DJ Chris, its a Compaq 1200 series

Im at work at the moment so I'll have to post the pic later.
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Old 04-29-2005, 11:03 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Fear of shorting out components is pretty much based on you. Meaning, if you are not comfortable putting in a card, dont. however, if feel you are rather comfortable, then good right ahead. ESD is highly overrated, IMO. I have only had one component fry on me due to esd, and that was my own stupid fault. Long story, the way I packaged the item (inside several peices of Laser printer paper, stupid me) but other than that, I have never seen something destroyed. Just make sure to ground yourself when you open the case, just simply touch bare metal. It also helps to lean your arm on the chassis while you are doing the device removal and installation, as to always keeps a constant ground. It is not needed, but it dosent hurt.

As for your PSU, it will be listed right on the side of the actual PSU itself. Open the computer, look at the PSU. It should be on a sticker.

DJ-CHRIS did a bang 'em up job of answering your other questions, so i wont even bother commenting on them.
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Old 04-29-2005, 11:08 AM   #7 (permalink)
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You can also stand on old power supply's

Actually I just keep them on the floor for component testing, old ones that have a switch
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Old 04-29-2005, 11:18 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Cheers for the info chaps. I'm a little bit nervous about the whole thing but I'll let you know how I get on.
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Old 05-19-2005, 06:46 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Hmmmm.. my PSU is a Bestec ATX-300-12v. It has a rating of 300w.

The graphics card I want ( XFX 6800GT 256mb PCI-E ) recommends a PSU of 350w.

Does that mean I definitely HAVE to change the PSU, cos I'd rather not.

Any thoughts gratefully appreciated
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Old 05-19-2005, 07:23 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Yeah your going to have to change out the PSU, just feel happy you didnt buy a dell where you have to change out the PSU and mobo and case all at the same time.

I recomend a thermaltake td-420AD it will quite easily handle that card and it wont burn a hole in your pocket
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