1. #1

    Suggestions on upgrades please.

    Hi i currently have a acer aspire x3950. it has a core i5 3.2, 4gb ram, 1tb hdd.

    I want to get a graphics card but unfortunatly due to the case being so small im limited to a low profile card.

    My question is am i able to buy a new bigger case and a gfx card and rebuild the pc into the new case? Im guessing ill need a new psu aswell? even 4x2gb memory sticks aswell for the little extra if possible.

    I have around £200 total to spend on the lot unfortunatly im not really clued up on whats decent these days and the best options for me and if i would run into any problems with what i want to do, for example the small motherboard in the pc now will it fit ok in a bigger case? .

    I play world of warcraft some evenings after work it was ok during other expansions running on the built in gfx on low settings but mists of pandaria zones seem to be alot worse for me sometimes down to 5 fps.

    Any help and suggestion would be greatly appreciated.

    thankyou for any help .

    ---------- Post added 2013-01-25 at 11:11 PM ----------

    Nobody?

  2. #2
    You could add a GPU to that motherboard (Correct me if I'm wrong but..)

    This is what you have

    From what I can tell the Acer Aspire x3950 has a slot for a GPU. From what I know while WoW isn't graphically demanding I don't think that PC has a dedicated GPU so it might fix some of your issues.

    Something like This GPU

    I would also check - This here for some good GPUs and Cases within your budget.

    MMO-Champion

    Aveline's amazing work!

  3. #3
    Brewmaster Biernot's Avatar
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    In general, yes you can do that. You could even use the components without a case.

    When you want to transfer the contents of this computer into a "standard" case, there are several things to pay attention to.
    http://images.esellerpro.com/2131/I/755/16/mobo2.jpg should be the motherboard you have in there, so with regards to that, here is the following:

    1) PSU
    The psu in this case is not designed to power stronger graphics cards, so as you already mentioned, you will need a new psu. Also you would not be able to mount the psu in a normal ATX case, because of the size difference.

    2) Cable length
    The cables in this computer are very short and specially designed for the layout. So you will need longer SATA cables and a new PSU (that you would need anyway because of the above point)

    3) Front connectors
    It looks like the front connectors (USB, CardReader, Buttons, LEDs) use the normal layout, so there should be no problems

    4) Mounting holes
    They seems to be normal ITX/µATX/ATX placement, so it shouldn't pose any trouble.

    All in all, the transfer into a new case is doable fairly easy.


    Now for specific parts:

    If you want maximum performance for your money, then one of those cheap cases with already included psu is the way to go:
    CiT Black Ops ATX Case with 500W PSU - £24
    XFX Radeon HD7870 - £178

    If you want your case and PSU to be of a bit better quality, then this should be a decent selection:
    Aerocool VS-4 - £29
    XFX Pro Core 450W - £35
    XFX Radeon HD7850 1GB - £131

    Quote Originally Posted by Valiea View Post
    You could add a GPU to that motherboard (Correct me if I'm wrong but..)

    This is what you have

    From what I can tell the Acer Aspire x3950 has a slot for a GPU. From what I know while WoW isn't graphically demanding I don't think that PC has a dedicated GPU so it might fix some of your issues.

    Something like This GPU
    Not possible because:
    1. The psu is neither powerful enough, nor has it the proper connectors
    2. The case is low profile, the suggested card has standard height
    3. The graphics card may only have single slot width
    4. The cooling for the graphics card in this case is very bad. Anything above low-end cards will overheat.

    P.S.
    Just for completeness: The Aspire X3950 has a dedicated video card: Radeon 5570.

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by Biernot View Post

    Not possible because:
    1. The psu is neither powerful enough, nor has it the proper connectors
    2. The case is low profile, the suggested card has standard height
    3. The graphics card may only have single slot width
    4. The cooling for the graphics card in this case is very bad. Anything above low-end cards will overheat.

    P.S.
    Just for completeness: The Aspire X3950 has a dedicated video card: Radeon 5570.
    I did mention that he should look for some cases within the marest sample builds at the end of my post (which you conveniently left unquoted)

    But yes I did not see anywhere that that PC came with a GPU so glad you could see what it is.

    The sample builds also has PSUs but I did not even see his post (I do now) stating he would need a new PSU.

    Aveline's amazing work!

  5. #5
    many thanks for the suggestions and clearing things up for me, just one final question if i go for the cheaper option of case and psu with the better gfx card would i be alot better off than the other option? i mean as in gameplay at the moment i only play wow, at what settings should these 2 cards run well? medium high ultra etc, and at what framerate? just curiosity more than anything coz either will beat what i have now. thanks

  6. #6
    The Insane DeltrusDisc's Avatar
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    If the motherboard isn't an Acer proprietary motherboard, you could get a full-size ATX case (not full tower, just actual ATX standard size) and then be able to get one of the higher profile graphics cards.

    Trust me, moving to a bigger case usually also helps temperatures immensely.

    I'm still waking up, I now realize this was already suggested! >_< But I back up those posters! :P
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  7. #7
    Brewmaster Biernot's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BULLDOGG View Post
    many thanks for the suggestions and clearing things up for me, just one final question if i go for the cheaper option of case and psu with the better gfx card would i be alot better off than the other option? i mean as in gameplay at the moment i only play wow, at what settings should these 2 cards run well? medium high ultra etc, and at what framerate? just curiosity more than anything coz either will beat what i have now. thanks
    I think for WoW it does not matter that much, which of the two video cards you get, as it is still heavily cpu dependent. Both cards will run wow on ultra (minus shadows) fine (i would expect about 30fps in raids). If you are in an effects-heavy situation, the 7870 might get a little better fps, but the limiting factor would still be the cpu.
    If you plan for other games than wow, the 7870 should have considerable better results (20-30% in most games).


    P.S.:
    Just to clarify, what you are getting yourself into, if you chose the cheap case+psu combo:

    1) The case most likely won't have a very good ventilation. So i would not advice to put a more powerful card in there than the 7870.
    EDIT: After having another look at it, it should be doing fine. But i would suggest to get an additional cheap 120mm fan (replace the 80mm in the back and move it to front). Just make sure to get fans with a molex adapter, as your board has a maximum of 1 usable case fan connector, if even that.

    2) The wattage on the power supply is most likely very "polished", as only a fairly low percentage will be usable as +12V (which is where you need the most of: CPU, GPU and drives). I don't have the exact specifications of that PSU, but i wouldn't expect more than 300W on the +12V rail. (But this is enough for the hardware we are talking about)
    Just for comparison: Good psu's can usually deliver their rated wattage nearly alone on the +12V (e.g. my BeQuiet 480W 80+Gold can put out 456W on the +12V)

    3) Even cheap psu's should be fairly quiet, but be prepared that you might actually hear it (which you shouldn't be able to with a good one).

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Biernot View Post
    I think for WoW it does not matter that much, which of the two video cards you get, as it is still heavily cpu dependent. Both cards will run wow on ultra (minus shadows) fine (i would expect about 30fps in raids). If you are in an effects-heavy situation, the 7870 might get a little better fps, but the limiting factor would still be the cpu.
    If you plan for other games than wow, the 7870 should have considerable better results (20-30% in most games).


    P.S.:
    Just to clarify, what you are getting yourself into, if you chose the cheap case+psu combo:

    1) The case most likely won't have a very good ventilation. So i would not advice to put a more powerful card in there than the 7870.
    EDIT: After having another look at it, it should be doing fine. But i would suggest to get an additional cheap 120mm fan (replace the 80mm in the back and move it to front). Just make sure to get fans with a molex adapter, as your board has a maximum of 1 usable case fan connector, if even that.

    2) The wattage on the power supply is most likely very "polished", as only a fairly low percentage will be usable as +12V (which is where you need the most of: CPU, GPU and drives). I don't have the exact specifications of that PSU, but i wouldn't expect more than 300W on the +12V rail. (But this is enough for the hardware we are talking about)
    Just for comparison: Good psu's can usually deliver their rated wattage nearly alone on the +12V (e.g. my BeQuiet 480W 80+Gold can put out 456W on the +12V)

    3) Even cheap psu's should be fairly quiet, but be prepared that you might actually hear it (which you shouldn't be able to with a good one).
    Thanks very much biernot youve been more than a great help i do think i will be going for the cheaper card with the better case and psu though, just wondering if there is an nvidia card for a similair price of the 7850 radeon? only reason being i for some reason have always used nvidia cards in anything ive build, but i am going back some years now and maybe ati have better cards for the money these days.

    But again thanks loads for the help im looking forward to having reasonable fps when i game now your a star .

  9. #9
    Brewmaster Biernot's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BULLDOGG View Post
    Thanks very much biernot youve been more than a great help i do think i will be going for the cheaper card with the better case and psu though, just wondering if there is an nvidia card for a similair price of the 7850 radeon? only reason being i for some reason have always used nvidia cards in anything ive build, but i am going back some years now and maybe ati have better cards for the money these days.

    But again thanks loads for the help im looking forward to having reasonable fps when i game now your a star .
    The closest card from Nvidia in that price range would be the GTX 650 Ti for £115.
    For WoW and other Nvidia-favored games (e.g. Battlefield 3) it should be about the same performance or a little bit slower, but is also a little bit cheaper. But in games that favor the AMD chips (e.g. Crysis Warhead), the 7850 1GB would be quite a bit ahead. (up to 40% higher fps)

    The next higher card from Nvidia would be the GTX660, which is similar in price and performance to the Radeon 7870.

  10. #10
    thanks again im in the process of buying the parts now but came across a notice saying the gfx requires atleast a 500w psu and you listed a 450w will it be ok or will it really not power it ?

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by BULLDOGG View Post
    thanks again im in the process of buying the parts now but came across a notice saying the gfx requires atleast a 500w psu and you listed a 450w will it be ok or will it really not power it ?
    450W is more than fine.
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  12. #12
    just a quick post saying thankyou for all the help ordered my parts today for delivery tomorrow

  13. #13

  14. #14
    just as i thought something went wrong and the psu ordered is now somehow out of stock they have suggested a replacement of http://www.scan.co.uk/search.aspx?q=LN32165 would this be ok or am i screwed till the 5th of feb when its back in stock?

  15. #15
    Brewmaster Biernot's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BULLDOGG View Post
    just as i thought something went wrong and the psu ordered is now somehow out of stock they have suggested a replacement of http://www.scan.co.uk/search.aspx?q=LN32165 would this be ok or am i screwed till the 5th of feb when its back in stock?
    This psu would be ok, as your system will draw an absolute max of 300W under load (most likely a little bit less). Here are alternatives:

    Silverstone Strider 500W. Same series as your pick, but the 500W model for the same price! Only "drawback" is the bulk package (meaning, it most likely comes in a plain cardboard box, without any extras. But seriously, what extras do you need? )
    Corsair CX 430W
    BeQuiet S6 450W

    Any of those will do fine. They all are 80+ (but no bronze), but the BeQuiet seems to be the most efficient (stating up to 87% at half load on the manufacturer website). If you want good looks, the Corsair should be the most pleasing one. Don't know much about the Silverstone units, but usually their products are good.

  16. #16
    Had to decide this afternoon over the phone when they called to see what i wanted to do they said i could have this http://www.scan.co.uk/products/500w-...an-atx-v23-psu as a replacement at no extra cost i had a quick check and it seems ok for me, hope its good . i know it looks like a cheap bit of crap but thats pretty much what it is and i wont be looking at it anyway.
    Cheers again for the help appreciate it.

  17. #17

  18. #18
    Its all up and running , wont bother with pics coz the psu was ugly as hell with 0 wire casings etc so it looked scruffy.
    Wow on ultra everything maxed inc shadows holds 70fps until i hit panda zones and its not great but ive decided to put most stuff on high and kill shadows etc now its much better, although i cant help thinking something is bottlenecking the card coz the fps can be somewhat erratic at times, i think ill buy a decent ssd sometime soon just for games.

  19. #19
    Moderator chazus's Avatar
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    although i cant help thinking something is bottlenecking the card coz the fps can be somewhat erratic at times
    First, what card?
    Second, knock Anisotropic down to 4x, and also possibly turn down SSAO. Those and Shadows can kick the crap out of even a stellar system, and have little actual effect on the game.

    I'm running 660 (About as good as a 7850), and High ran fine, but Ultra ran about 15fps worse. Changing it to Ultra, and dropping those 3 as stated above fixed it. Everything else is set to Ultra and it runs dandy.

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