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Want to upgrade graphics card

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by Alex1337, May 7, 2010.

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  1. Alex1337

    Alex1337 Thread Starter

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    Hey I have a HP Media Center PC m1250.uk and I want to upgrade my graphics card from a Radeon X300 SE to a low - mid budget card than can competently play 1080p HD video from YouTube and things like that,

    I'm soon going to upgrade the RAM on my machine from 512mb to 4GB, and I wanted to upgrade the graphics card too,
    I know that I have PCIe slot and I was wondering whether I could put a PCIe 2.0 card into my machine and whether I'd need a new power adaptor or anything like that, I'm quite new to upgrading computers so any help would be grateful and I can also post any extra information you may need, thanks!

    Alex.
     
  2. Alex1337

    Alex1337 Thread Starter

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    Any help?
     
  3. Alex1337

    Alex1337 Thread Starter

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    Anything?
     
  4. Snagglegaster

    Snagglegaster Banned

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    Hello Alex! From my reading of HP's specs, your computer doesn't have a PCI-E 2 slot. You can still use a PCI-E 2 card, but it will only transfer data at the slower PCI-E 1.x speed. Any card better than a Radeon 3800 is capable of delivering 1080p video, but frankly, an Athlon64 3200+ isn't likely to be enough processor for the job.

    Edit: I probably should have been a little more thorough in addressing your processor issue. Generally, to get decent 1080p video you should have a dual core processor on the order of an Athlon64 x2 4200+ or a Core 2 Duo 1.8 GHz or better.
     
  5. Alex1337

    Alex1337 Thread Starter

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    Thanks for the reply :) Okay I understand, would using a PCI-E 2 card be worth buying just for it to be at a slower speed, would there be any benefits? I still may get a new card for the simple fact I can't really afford a new PC and I'm sure I could squeeze some more life out of this machine yet.

    Thanks for the reply, experts advice for free is excellent ;)

    Alex
     
  6. Alex1337

    Alex1337 Thread Starter

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    I just looked up that Athlon64 x2 4200, and it can be gotten pretty cheap, would it be worth upgrading to it in your opinion? Many thanks
     
  7. Snagglegaster

    Snagglegaster Banned

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    Well, it never hurts to have a better graphics card. It will certainly let you play any games you have (or might be buying) at higher resolutions and better quality settings. I like Tom's Hardware's guide to graphics cards as a general reference.

    I'm not sure how upgradeable your motherboard is. You might be able to drop a faster CPU into the machine and it would work just fine... or not. I've never tried it with your model, and I'd rather not give you bad info, but generally, most big name brands don't upgrade well. You might try emailing HP support for advice.
     
  8. Alex1337

    Alex1337 Thread Starter

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    Thanks for the help man, you're a real credit to us computer noobs ;) Yeah I'll probably just get a new graphics card and watch 720p, thanks for your time :)
     
  9. loserOlimbs

    loserOlimbs

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    You would still see most the benefits of the newer cards architecture, might lose some FPS in higher end games,
     
  10. Triple6

    Triple6 Moderator

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    You can definitely use a PCI-e 2.0 card and the actual performance loss is anywhere from minimal to none. There's no reason to buy an older card.

    You will however need a new power supply as the stock HP ones are designed to handle anything but the basic configuration.

    If you are running the standard 32 bit version of Windows XP then you won't see more then approximately 3.25GB of RAM, and little benefit from having that much RAM with XP. 1, 1.5, or 3GB will suffice.

    Your CPU is going to hold back any modern mid range and higher card.

    There's no guarantee that a CPU upgrade will work in an HP system - they are not designed to be upgraded too much. Socket 939 processors are no longer available new, but can be purchased from sites like eBay. But since there's no CPU support list that I could find a faster dual core may not work.
     
  11. Alex1337

    Alex1337 Thread Starter

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    Thanks for the replies, yeah I'm upgrading to 3.5GB and will probably buy a PCIe 2.0 card. Still being a computer noob, how would I go about buying a new power supply, what kind would I need?
     
  12. Triple6

    Triple6 Moderator

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    So you're thinking of adding 3 x 1GB sticks to the existing 512MB stick?

    The Radeon X300 SE should be good enough to play 1080P YouTube video, as that's more of a CPU thing rather then video card, see here for the requirements for 1080P: http://www.adobe.com/products/flashplayer/systemreqs/
    Dual core processors are recommended.

    If you use the beta of Flash player and have an NVidia card it can offload some of the processing onto the video card but I don't know how much difference it will make.

    I think you're going to put more money into this computer then its worth.
     
  13. Alex1337

    Alex1337 Thread Starter

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    Yeah I was going to add 3 x 1GB sticks, 1080p is pretty much unwatchable because of the choppiness and lag, but if this is a cpu issue then I probably won't bother upgrading, and as you said it would probably be putting more money into it than it's worth, thanks for all the help, I think we can say this one is solved. :)

    Alex
     
  14. Alex1337

    Alex1337 Thread Starter

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  15. Triple6

    Triple6 Moderator

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