Solved: Can anyone tell me what type of graphics card my computer takes?

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FD87

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Thanks! So that's all I need to know -- PCI-E slot x16? It doesn't matter what brand it is or whatever else? (Sorry, I've never had to replace a graphics card before.)

By the way, is this something you think the average person could install on their own (I've installed RAM and a wireless adapter in the past, but other than that, nothing else), or do think I should go to Best Buy and let Geek Squad do it? And in case I do decide to do it on my own, does the graphics card come with reasonably detailed instructions?
 

FD87

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Why? I've never used them before, by the way.

How much do they charge?

I ask because it's for my uncle's computer, and since I've never installed a graphics card before, I don't know if he'll wanting me tinkering around with his hardware, and he would definitely be too intimidated to do it himself. But if you say it's very easy...

Thanks for the videos. I'll be sure to watch some of those later so that I'll know how much work I have cut out for me.
 

FD87

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Okay, and just to be clear, all I need to know is that the graphics card is PCI-E slot x16? Any brand or whatever else is acceptable as long as it says that it's PCI-E slot x16, right?

Sorry to harp on this, but I've never bought a graphics card before, and I just want to be sure I get the right kind.
 
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Your Compaq only has a 250 watt power supply so the only graphics cards that will run are entry level cards that don't require their own power source. Mid to high end Pci-e cards require alot more power than your power supply can provide.
 

FD87

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Your Compaq only has a 250 watt power supply so the only graphics cards that will run are entry level cards that don't require their own power source. Mid to high end Pci-e cards require alot more power than your power supply can provide.
Good thing I asked then. Do you think you could elaborate a little more on this because again I'm pretty inexperienced when it comes to hardware and I wouldn't know how to pick an entry level card from a mid to high end except by looking at the price?
 

FD87

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< removed spammer quote >

What are you confused by? I was asking if certain brands might be incompatible with my computer. The "whatever else" (assuming this is what's thrown you off) was meant to refer to any other specifications I might need to know about.
 

FD87

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Could anyone elaborate on what Amd_Man was talking about? I don't know how I'm supposed to know what is an entry level card and what isn't.
 
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Your Compaq has a 250 watt power supply. So you can not use a power supply that states it needs a 500w PSU. For your system , to throw out an example, I would suggest an nvidia 8400gs or similar. They ask for a 300w power supply but your 250w PSU should get away with it.

So laymans terms, you can not run a GTX 680, you can only run an old GFX card that does not require much power. Dunno how else it can be said. Don't quote me that the 8400gs will definately work either for that matter
 
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< Deleted Spammer Quote >

I hope you don't build computers for anyone else but yourself because it most certainly does matter. Do you honestly think a 250 watt power supply can power any graphics card out there? To the poster: your computer is an OEM computer and pretty much all OEM manufacturers use low quality power supplies that are just enough to run what they came with. Mid to high end cards require a Pci-e power plug to run them and they are dependant on the volts the +12v rail puts out. Your power supply does not have these connectors. Look at your power supply and check the +12v rail and I'm sure it's going to be low. The only card I would ever recommend you or anyone with your system runs is a lower tier graphics card that gets its power from the Pci-e slot on the motherboard which produces a maximum of 75 watts. What do you plan on doing with an upgraded graphics card?
 

FD87

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Your Compaq has a 250 watt power supply. So you can not use a power supply that states it needs a 500w PSU. For your system , to throw out an example, I would suggest an nvidia 8400gs or similar. They ask for a 300w power supply but your 250w PSU should get away with it.

So laymans terms, you can not run a GTX 680, you can only run an old GFX card that does not require much power. Dunno how else it can be said. Don't quote me that the 8400gs will definately work either for that matter
Thanks for the information.

Will a graphics card say on the box what type of power supply it's compatible with? If that's the case, I guess there shouldn't be any problem finding something, but if not, I still don't quite know what I should be looking for, especially when you say that the type of card you suggest might not even work.
 

FD87

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I hope you don't build computers for anyone else but yourself because it most certainly does matter. Do you honestly think a 250 watt power supply can power any graphics card out there? To the poster: your computer is an OEM computer and pretty much all OEM manufacturers use low quality power supplies that are just enough to run what they came with. Mid to high end cards require a Pci-e power plug to run them and they are dependant on the volts the +12v rail puts out. Your power supply does not have these connectors. Look at your power supply and check the +12v rail and I'm sure it's going to be low. The only card I would ever recommend you or anyone with your system runs is a lower tier graphics card that gets its power from the Pci-e slot on the motherboard which produces a maximum of 75 watts. What do you plan on doing with an upgraded graphics card?
I don't plan on using an upgraded graphics card. I just don't know how I'm supposed to find an appropriate card. Everyone says I'm supposed to look for a low tier one, which I get, but I don't understand how I can designate a particular card as low tier. Will it say on the box what type of power supply it's compatible with, and if so, is that all I need to know?
 
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