Solved: Graphic/Video Card upgrade

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StarwolfJohnson

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Feb 1, 2013
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Hello, I am planning on buying a graphics/video card and I am a tech tard simply put. I am looking for enlightenment and guidance into buying a new graphics card. My purpose of having a new graphics card is mainly so I can play Sims 3 with higher settings on like Advanced Rendering nothing beyond that really. With a little research I have already done on my own I do understand how to put in a new graphics chip in and that the current chip I have is integrated. Any information will be appreciated, thanks ;)!

My Computer Specifications are as follows-

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System Information
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Operating System: Windows Vista™ Home Premium (6.0, Build 6002) Service Pack 2

System Manufacturer: Compaq-Presario
System Model: NC696AA-ABA SR5710Y
BIOS: Phoenix - AwardBIOS v6.00PG
Processor: AMD Athlon(tm) Dual Core Processor 4450e (2 CPUs), ~2.3GHz
Memory: 2942MB RAM


Display Devices
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Card name: NVIDIA GeForce 6150SE nForce 430
Manufacturer: NVIDIA
Chip type: GeForce 6150SE nForce 430
DAC type: Integrated RAMDAC
Display Memory: 1336 MB
Dedicated Memory: 121 MB
Shared Memory: 1215 MB
Current Mode: 1440 x 900 (32 bit) (60Hz)
Monitor: Compaq WF1907 Wide LCD Monitor
 
Joined
Dec 7, 2011
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First things first, we need to know your PSU specs. Open your computer and post the Wattage and amperage on all the rails.
 
Joined
Jan 11, 2013
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226
You would need to have a good PSU to power a decent card. If you open up the case, there should also be a long, thing slot near the bottom of the motherboard. Google PCIe (the e here meaning express) slot and compare it with your motherboard. If you have a PCIe slot then you should be able to upgrade to any graphics card you have, really... as long as you have the room in your case :)
 

Tanis

Shane
Joined
May 29, 2006
Messages
3,969
As ajkane has eluded to ... personally I would recommend getting a new PSU, I wouldn't even bother trying to fit a new graphics card and power it with your existing PSU.

Do you have a budget in mind? A good quality PSU are a bit more expensive but this really is an area you shouldn't cut costs on, especially for a GPU upgrade which is one of the biggest contributors to power consumption in a PC.
 

StarwolfJohnson

Thread Starter
Joined
Feb 1, 2013
Messages
9
Hello once again and thank you for your hasty replies.

If I understand correctly I will need to actually open up my case to find out my wattage, amperage, and also to see what type of slot I have? I apologize but as I state not technologically inclined.

I do have a budget in mind, looking for a graphics card for around fifty dollars. On Geeks.com they do have video cards around that price range. Not looking for a major overhaul or vast improvement due to that fact that I will not need it. I am not trying to turn my computer into a gaming computer. At the current state it runs very well and to me at least is not outdated.

Thank you for your help!
 
Joined
Dec 7, 2011
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Hello once again and thank you for your hasty replies.

If I understand correctly I will need to actually open up my case to find out my wattage, amperage, and also to see what type of slot I have? I apologize but as I state not technologically inclined.

I do have a budget in mind, looking for a graphics card for around fifty dollars. On Geeks.com they do have video cards around that price range. Not looking for a major overhaul or vast improvement due to that fact that I will not need it. I am not trying to turn my computer into a gaming computer. At the current state it runs very well and to me at least is not outdated.

Thank you for your help!
First open the side panel of your computer (you don't need to turn it off or anything). Then look for a metal box either on the top back or the bottom back of your case (the power cable from the wall plugs into this). There should be a label on it. It should say something along the lines of "Maximum Power" and should say something like "300W" or "350W" Then look for the Items "12V" "5V" and "3.3V" Those should have values under those as well like "30A" or "20A" we need to know all of these values in order to assist you. Additionally download cpuz from here and go the "Mainboard" tab and tell us the model number and manufacturer of the motherboard. We can figure out what slots you have as well as some other info from that. Also go back to the CPU tab and tell us the model of your cpu.

EDIT: Instead of going through CPUz and telling us individual things just go the the "Validate" tab and click "Submit" Then post the link it opens in your browser.

EDIT 2: You don't need to put your email in the validation tab.

lolz EDIT 3: Example: http://valid.canardpc.com/2676907
 

StarwolfJohnson

Thread Starter
Joined
Feb 1, 2013
Messages
9
I want to thank you for having the willingness to help me. You are not only aiding me in my query but expanding my knowledge on computers. Before I begin I must say the world inside the chassis is beautiful! I have never opened up a computer case before.

Here is the CPUz report
http://valid.canardpc.com/2677349

The rest of the information is as follows-
Output 250w Max
+12v-14A
+6v-25A
+3.3V-18A
-12V-.8A
+5VSB-2A
+5V and +3.3V 165w Max +5V +12V 218w Max

The above information as not specific but in general what does it mean? Meaning if in the future I was to look at another PSU how would I interrupt it and what information do the numbers provide.

Secondly any suggestions on how one would clean the inside if necessary? It is very dusty and what appears to be a fan separate from the PSU has dust on it thickly.
 
Joined
Sep 11, 2010
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3,992
Those PSU are all junk that you listed. Listen, you need to understand that the PSU is the most important part of your computer. Why would you invest more in other parts and not put in one of the best PSU to run it all? The PSU can take out your whole system. It's like buying a Rolls Royce and powering it with a 36HP VW engine.

Something like this would be a good choice.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817171060

I'm sure others will have more info on these PSU.
 
Joined
Sep 11, 2010
Messages
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Your other question regarding how to clean out the dust in your case is to use a can of compressed air which you can pick up at any computer/Office supply store. Be sure to ground yourself by touching a metal part of your case and to unplug your computer before cleaning.
 

StarwolfJohnson

Thread Starter
Joined
Feb 1, 2013
Messages
9
Those PSU are all junk that you listed. Listen, you need to understand that the PSU is the most important part of your computer. Why would you invest more in other parts and not put in one of the best PSU to run it all? The PSU can take out your whole system. It's like buying a Rolls Royce and powering it with a 36HP VW engine.

Something like this would be a good choice.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817171060

I'm sure others will have more info on these PSU.
As of now I know little in the way of PSU, I would do more research into it once I was ready to make the move to buy one. What you have stated about the PSU is correct but from my stand point it does not apply for the following reasons. My current PSU is terrible and at the bottom rung, if I was to upgrade anything would be an improvement. For my purposes I do not need a stellar PSU, If I was building a computer from the ground up I would readily buy a more expensive PSU like the one you provided a link for. The computer I have runs excellent and has no problems, it is that I want to play the Sims 3 on higher graphics for it looks terrible without settings on like advanced rendering. I originally wanted to just buy a graphics card but it looks like my current PSU probably will not be able to handle anything hence why I am now contemplating getting a PSU.

Thank you for telling me how to clean the inside of a computer ;)!

After looking at reviews and doing some research all the PSUs that geeks.com sell are pieces of junk. :(
 
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