1. #1

    Advice for upgrading video card/PSU

    Hey all, the other night mid gaming my comp shut down and first reaction was the power supply finally died out so I took it to my local repair store and after checking it out they had found out that my video card and processor I guess overheated my unit and now I am needing to replace them. They gave me recommendations on what to do and of course the only items they suggested were items they stock, so I just think they are trying to get some money out of me. So I come to you all to get some thoughts on good upgrades within reasonable pricing. Currently this is what I am running:

    Windows 2.6.0.6002 (Service Pack 2)
    CPU TYPE:
    AMD Phenom(tm) 9150e Quad-Core Processor
    CPU SPEED:
    1.82 GHz
    SYSTEM MEMORY:
    5 GB
    VIDEO CARD MODEL:
    NVIDIA GeForce 9600 GSO
    VIDEO CARD MEMORY:
    2.98 GB
    DESKTOP RESOLUTION:
    1680x1050
    HARD DISK SIZE:
    583.29 GB

    Toss out and recommendations on upgrades, but to get back up and running I do need to replace the video card and power supply, but I have been considering upgrading my processor as well or maybe even checking into some of these budget builds on the forums (Not looking at spending anymore then $600)

    Thanks in advance for any advice given!

  2. #2
    Immortal Notarget's Avatar
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    PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

    CPU: Intel Core i3-2120 3.3GHz Dual-Core Processor ($117.99 @ NCIX US)
    Motherboard: MSI H77MA-G43 Micro ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($44.98 @ NCIX US)
    Memory: G.Skill Sniper 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($40.99 @ Newegg)
    Hard Drive: Western Digital Caviar Black 500GB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($82.99 @ SuperBiiz)
    Video Card: XFX Radeon HD 6870 1GB Video Card ($149.99 @ Newegg)
    Case: NZXT Source 210 Elite (Black) ATX Mid Tower Case ($49.98 @ Outlet PC)
    Power Supply: SeaSonic 520W ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($51.00 @ Newegg)
    Total: $537.92
    (Prices include shipping and discounts when available.)
    (Generated by PCPartPicker 2012-07-27 17:50 EDT-0400)

    If you can use your current HDD that would save you some money, could find you a cheaper HDD but without an SSD I recommend a WD caviar Black. Not sure if you needed Windows 7 included in the budget or not. Also use your current Optical drive if you need one. Is that something you're looking for?
    CPU: Intel i5-3570k (4.5GHz) MB: ASUS Z77 Sabertooth (uefi 2003)
    GPU: Asus 280X TOP (1080MHz/1700MHz) RAM: Corsair LP/LV white 8GB 1600MHz
    SSD: Samsung 840Pro 256GB + Crucial m4 128GB (040H) PSU: Seasonic 620M CASE: Corsair 500R (White/Black) Monitor: LG 237L-BN IPS
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  3. #3
    currently running windows vista atm, have considered upgrading but its really not a deal breaker for me. As far as Optical drive that would be something I am not familiar with so if I have one I wouldnt know lol.. this last build I had wasnt a full build from scratch and that was my first time replacing different hardware lol, so i guess I am still a little new to all this in that aspect.

    As far as what you did mention the price looks good and Ill definately be looking into it. I remember when i got this current comp i was told the AMD processor was better then intel, you think the one you listed would be a performance upgrade?

    Lil background into what I use it for: Work I take home from the office, gaming obviously (wow, diablo, dayz) and online poker.

    What I have had has worked just fine for gaming, but i definately noticed where I could get better performance as far as FPS and what not goes, and I could always feel my tower getting really hot, not sure if that had to do with the video card or power supply or whatever, hope this helps!

  4. #4
    Immortal Notarget's Avatar
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    Optical drive = DVD drive/burner/reader (well and other drives) but yeah basically you need a DVD drive for OS installation unless you use a USB flash drive for that.

    And yes it'll be an upgrade for you, I'd be pretty mean if I suggested a downgrade In fact it'll be a HUGE boost.

    I normally don't like using Tomshardware as a source but they're not too far off on this one:

    Gaming CPU Hierarchy Chart

    I'll give you a hint, the Phenom X4 9150e is quite low on the list =p the i3-2100 will run laps around this AMD chip.
    CPU: Intel i5-3570k (4.5GHz) MB: ASUS Z77 Sabertooth (uefi 2003)
    GPU: Asus 280X TOP (1080MHz/1700MHz) RAM: Corsair LP/LV white 8GB 1600MHz
    SSD: Samsung 840Pro 256GB + Crucial m4 128GB (040H) PSU: Seasonic 620M CASE: Corsair 500R (White/Black) Monitor: LG 237L-BN IPS
    Current build! ||Old Build || Bitdefender Total Security 2014 || AV-TEST Jan/Feb 2013

  5. #5
    Ok now I feel stupid lol... but yes I do have an optical drive already so I wont be needing to upgrade it.

    And you were right about that hierarchy, the phenom was wayyyyy down the list so I think I will be upgrading to the i3.

    Now as far as the other items you listed on the build, would I really need a new case?

  6. #6
    If you are only gaming, the Pentium G860 is $40 cheaper than the i3 and will have similar (bit lower) gaming performance.

    http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Produ...64.50.49.48.47
    That is the G850, which is slightly less powerful than the 860 (100MHz lower clock speed)
    Last edited by Butler Log; 2012-07-29 at 05:04 PM.
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  7. #7
    Immortal Notarget's Avatar
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    2120 is also 200MHz higher than than the 2100. although it's not huge it's still a difference worth noting. Good point though if you need to really push the budget low.
    CPU: Intel i5-3570k (4.5GHz) MB: ASUS Z77 Sabertooth (uefi 2003)
    GPU: Asus 280X TOP (1080MHz/1700MHz) RAM: Corsair LP/LV white 8GB 1600MHz
    SSD: Samsung 840Pro 256GB + Crucial m4 128GB (040H) PSU: Seasonic 620M CASE: Corsair 500R (White/Black) Monitor: LG 237L-BN IPS
    Current build! ||Old Build || Bitdefender Total Security 2014 || AV-TEST Jan/Feb 2013

  8. #8
    Notarget, I wanna say I appreciate your advice here, and I will be purchasing each of those products more then likely down the road, but at this time now they are out of my budget because the computer repair store here is literally bending me over and running me in circles and as of right now I already have $100 in labor costs. I asked them what the costs would be if I ended up buying the new parts myself and they installed... they gave me the run around and told me that id be looking at over $400 in labor costs alone, which is joke itselfs lol...

    so as of right now Im only going to be buying a video card + power supply, and sadly the video card you recommended wouldnt fit in my tower without running into other things (i believe my memory sticks). They are wanting to sell me stuff they have in stock. The power supply is a 380w antech i believe, and the video card is (cant post links, but search newegg for JATON VIDEO-PX4350-DP Radeon HD 4350)
    and they are charging alot more then it sells for on newegg.. and even looking at it, it looks like complete shit. So what I am thinking is just purchasing their PSU, maybe even grabbing the 500w antech they have on the shelf and taking my tower home with me and shopping around for video cards (i can actually handle installing one myself lol) What I was wondering is, could you point me in the direction of a solid upgrade to my card that will fit?
    they told me at the store that my 9600 GSO barely fit because right below them would be the memory sticks.
    the dimensions for my 9600 GSO are:
    length: 9 inches
    height: single slot
    width: 4.376 inches

    thanks again for your time!

    personally I would prefer getting that new case and grabbing the other video card, but I am just worried about putting everything back together lol

  9. #9
    Don't let them pressure you into clearing their stock for them. If you don't feel confident that they are advising you well or selling you the right components, go some place else. 400 dollars labour is way too much, that would probably work out at around 400 dollars per hour. The 4350 is a pointless buy. It lacks the power for even the lowest settings in games. Honestly, after what you have written I would cut my losses and leave them, and write the 100 dollars I had already spent on labor off as an "education fee".

    Do you know the motherboard's model number?

    If you buy a new PC (motherboard, case and all), then you wouldn't need to worry about graphics card sizes

    Anyway, if you can possibly use your old hard drive and use your windows vista license, you can get away with around 400 dollars for the computer:

    PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

    CPU: Intel Pentium G860 3.0GHz Dual-Core Processor ($82.99 @ eCost)
    Motherboard: MSI H77MA-G43 Micro ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($44.98 @ NCIX US)
    Memory: G.Skill Sniper 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($40.99 @ Newegg)
    Video Card: XFX Radeon HD 6850 1GB Video Card ($134.99 @ Newegg)
    Case: NZXT Source 210 Elite (Black) ATX Mid Tower Case ($40.00 @ Newegg)
    Power Supply: SeaSonic 520W ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($69.64 @ Newegg)
    Total: $413.59
    (Prices include shipping and discounts when available.)
    (Generated by PCPartPicker 2012-07-30 20:24 EDT-0400)
    Last edited by Butler Log; 2012-07-31 at 12:26 AM.
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  10. #10
    High Overlord Ofire's Avatar
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    For a 600$ budget, you could build a fairly nice gaming rig for sure, specially if you already have the extra peripheral hardware. And yeh, that computer store charging 400 for labor is a joke. I wouldnt dare pay them to do anything to my computer charging that outlandish price

  11. #11
    Lol education fee, I like that.

    Well I did some digging, I purchased this PC from tigerdirect about 3.5 years ago, and found my order history. Here is the spec sheet for it:

    Lifestyle Entertainment
    Condition Refurbished
    Operating Systems Windows Vista Home Premium 64-Bit
    Startup Operating System Microsoft® Windows® Vista Home Premium 64-bit SP1
    Colors Black/Silver
    Platform PC
    Orientations Allowed Vertical
    Form Factor Minitower
    Bays 2 - 5.25" Drive Bays
    1 - 3.5" Drive Bays
    Internal Bays 2 - 3.5" Drive Bays
    Available 3.5" Drive Bays 2
    Available 5.25" Drive Bays 1
    PCI Slots (Total) 1
    PCI Slots (Available) 1
    PCI Express X1 Slots (Total) 1
    PCI Express X1 Slots (Available) 1
    PCI Express X16 Slots (Total) 1
    PCI Express X16 Slots (Available) 1
    RAM Memory Specifications
    Memory Type DDR2
    Memory Speed PC2-6400 DDR2
    Total Memory 5.0GB
    Memory Size 1x2GB & 3x1GB
    Memory Slots (Total) 4
    Memory Slots (Available) 0
    Maximum Memory Supported 8.0GB - 64 bit
    Media Ports
    PS/2 Keyboard Connectors 1
    PS/2 Mouse Connectors 1
    Serial Communication Ports N/A
    Parallel Ports N/A
    LAN Ports 1
    USB Ports (Total) 6
    FireWire Ports 2
    eSATA Ports N/A
    Audio Out Jacks 5
    Line In Jacks 1
    Microphone Jacks 2
    VGA Ports 1
    DVI Video N/A
    HDMI Ports N/A
    S-Video Connectors N/A
    S/PDIF Connectors 1
    Processor Specifications
    Processor Brand AMD
    Processor Class Phenom X4
    Processor Number 9150e
    Processor Speed 1.80GHz
    Processor Interface AM2+
    Hard Disk Drive Specifications
    Interface SATA 3G
    Capacity 640GB
    Speed 7,200RPM
    Optical Drive Specifications
    Optical Drive Type SuperMulti DVD±RW Dual Layer LightScribe
    Interface SATA
    Optical Drive Class DVD SuperMulti
    Supplemental Drive
    Capacity 15-in-1
    Media Types MicroDrive
    Secure Digital
    SmartMedia
    Memory Stick
    Multimedia Card
    Memory Stick Duo
    Memory Stick PRO Duo
    Memory Stick PRO
    xD
    Compact Flash II
    miniSD
    Compact Flash I
    Multimedia Card Mobile
    RSMMC
    MMC+
    Audio Specifications
    Audio Description Integrated Audio
    Audio Chipset High Definition
    Channels 8
    Graphics Specifications
    Graphics Description Dedicated Graphics
    GPU/VPU NVIDIA GeForce 6150 SE
    Video Memory 128MB Dedicated/1343MB Total Available
    Video Interface VGA
    Communications
    Communications Description Integrated LAN Support
    Interface Type RJ-45 - Ethernet Connector
    Data Transfer Rate 10/100 LAN
    Power Management
    Power 300 Watt
    Included Additional Software
    Productivity Applications Windows Media Center
    Mouse Specifications
    Mouse Type Optical
    Buttons 3
    Connection Type PS/2
    Keyboard Specifications
    Keyboard Type Multimedia
    Connection Type PS/2
    Dimensions
    Height 15.24"
    Width 6.89"
    Depth 16.28"

    When I got this comp, I replaced the video card and the processor myself, everything else is still there

    hope that helps... I just copy and pasted it all lol (still cant posted links ><)

  12. #12
    Yeah, ok. You can re-use that hard-drive and optical drive. You should be able to use the Windows Vista, it will probably want activating over the phone. However, it might not let you do this, but it would be worth a try anyway.
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  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by Ofire View Post
    For a 600$ budget, you could build a fairly nice gaming rig for sure, specially if you already have the extra peripheral hardware. And yeh, that computer store charging 400 for labor is a joke. I wouldnt dare pay them to do anything to my computer charging that outlandish price
    well i knew the whole game they were playing, they dont want me buying elsewhere cause they dont make anything off of it. And no one else will buy their crap lol. but like Butler said, I may as well pay whatever I owe them for diagnostics and whatever labor they may have actually done and check out.

    ---------- Post added 2012-07-31 at 12:49 AM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by Butler Log View Post
    Yeah, ok. You can re-use that hard-drive and optical drive. You should be able to use the Windows Vista, it will probably want activating over the phone. However, it might not let you do this, but it would be worth a try anyway.
    Thats good news. Now when I got the PC 3 years ago I never received a vista CD, just the license. So I hope there would be a way to retain all my info on the hard drive itself....

    So for now can I just get the case+video card+power supply and upgrade the processor, motherboard and memory at a later date and upgrade to windows 7?

  14. #14
    Thats good news. Now when I got the PC 3 years ago I never received a vista CD, just the license. So I hope there would be a way to retain all my info on the hard drive itself....
    How much data is it? You could ask a friend if you could plug the hard-drive into their computer, copy the data you want to keep off it onto one of their hard-drives just in case the OS re-installation fubars the data.
    So for now can I just get the case+video card+power supply and upgrade the processor, motherboard and memory at a later date and upgrade to windows 7?
    The trouble is, that may not be a standard spec case. Meaning that a new motherboard would not fit inside it. The way you said that the video card would obstruct the RAM and that one a single-slot card would fit makes me think "custom case for the manufacturer".
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  15. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by Butler Log View Post
    How much data is it? You could ask a friend if you could plug the hard-drive into their computer, copy the data you want to keep off it onto one of their hard-drives just in case the OS re-installation fubars the data.

    The trouble is, that may not be a standard spec case. Meaning that a new motherboard would not fit inside it. The way you said that the video card would obstruct the RAM and that one a single-slot card would fit makes me think "custom case for the manufacturer".
    Its just 3 years of old files/pictures etc. The tech at the store said that the comp was able to start up with just the new power supply put in. So I was thinking grab a cheap power supply of theirs and start it up when I get home and copy everything I want onto a thumbdrive or burn to a CD.

    As far as the second thing you said, I mean I buy the case you suggested up above along with the suggested video card and power supply, toss all that in the new case with my current hard drive, motherboard, memory, and optical drive. Then after another paycheck grab the processor, motherboard, and memory you suggested and replace my old stuff from the new case. That make sense/doable?

  16. #16
    So long as you are sure that you can install the motherboard inside the new case (when you open the case, find the location of the screws holding the motherboard to the case, make sure the locations are in the right places for an mATX/ATX standard case) yes it is a good plan
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    Tanking with the Blessing of Kings - The TankSpot Guide to the Protection Paladin - Updated for Patch 5.4!

  17. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by Butler Log View Post
    So long as you are sure that you can install the motherboard inside the new case (when you open the case, find the location of the screws holding the motherboard to the case, make sure the locations are in the right places for an mATX/ATX standard case) yes it is a good plan

    lol glad I am atleast making sense

    so of course there is no way to find that out without actually buying the new case first huh?

  18. #18
    Of course there is



    The circles where the lines meet is what you are looking for.

    Here is the same image, but with the micro ATX screw hole locations marked in red for clarity:



    The measurements are on the left side and at the top (measured from the top-left corner) in inches and millimeters. So to find out if the top left screw matches, see if it is 33mm across from the left edge of the motherboard, and 6mm down from the top. The next screw along the top edge of the board would be at 165mm along and 6mm down, and so on.
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    Tanking with the Blessing of Kings - The TankSpot Guide to the Protection Paladin - Updated for Patch 5.4!

  19. #19
    genious lol.. that blueprint is definately helpful.

    so searching around a bit, I checked up on the comp model through HPs site and found the specs.. here is some info

    Manufacturer's motherboard name: PAsus M2N68-LA
    HP/Compaq name: Narra3-GL8E
    Form factor: Micro-ATX: 24.4 cm (9.6 inches) x 24.4 cm (9.6 inches)

    and this picture:
    tinypic dot com/r/2vlpn60/6

    ---------- Post added 2012-07-31 at 02:35 AM ----------

    searching a bit more I was able to find that since my current motherboard and the motherboard suggested are both micro-atx, its safe to assume that it will fit the case suggested as well?

    ---------- Post added 2012-07-31 at 10:44 PM ----------

    bump.. can anyone confirm my last post for me? please and thank you
    Last edited by coppafeel; 2012-07-31 at 01:55 AM. Reason: cant post links or pics yet ><

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