GPU upgrade for low-end PSU

By Belvadier ยท 46 replies
Aug 15, 2011
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  1. Memtest maybe? I am unsure.

    Just add some fans, man! Big ones if you can! Hell, I'd start drilling. Gee, aren't computers fun? ...

    EDIT: That PSU is probably a lost cause though, but hey, it's not the end of the world.
  2. Belvadier

    Belvadier TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 28

    I wish I could get this RAM thing sorted out. I mean I took out a stick but it doesn't really SEEM to make any difference.

    And i also wish I could decide what to do about the GPU upgrade. I wish there was just a solution where I could use my current unmodified case and psu but that doesn't look good. I've definitely learned the hard way about buying pre-fab systems...

    Would a 5770 work ok with my setup perhaps? I know it's not a HUGE improvement over my 250 but it would help and it would be cheap and I heard that that card has low power consumption and generates little heat...
  3. hellokitty[hk]

    hellokitty[hk] Hello, nice to meet you! Posts: 3,448   +145

    I don't think it would be easy to notice.
    I'm pretty sure memtest will not tell you what you want.
  4. Belvadier

    Belvadier TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 28

    Right, that's why I wish there was a more definitive way to tell...

    would that be a sensible upgrade. I realize it is an old card but from what I can tell it is a pretty decent improvement over the gts 250 I currently have. Also, I have been in contact with the seller and it actually came out of another HP Elite model of computer with a similar configuration as mine using the identical case and PSU as i have so i'm pretty confident it would work.

    Also, I may be able to get it for cheaper than the $60 price...

  5. What are you planning on doing/playing? I apologize if you mentioned it already. I may have missed it. Seriously though, use the wattage calculator I linked before. I would add some capacitor aging into the mix, maybe 10% for each year you've had the machine. Also, check out the TechSpot review on graphical processing units; it is a good starting point.

    Both of these links should help you on your path to glorious gaming.
  6. Belvadier

    Belvadier TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 28

    I plan on playing SC2, Witcher 2, Diablo 3, Deus Ex Human Revolution, TES: Skyrim...those are my short term plans at least.

    And according to the wattage calculator link you sent me with a gtx 460 1 GB in it the recommended was 441w but I am skeptical of all that because I know this PSU is a piece of garbage. I've actually been in contact with the ebay seller of that card who has an almost identical system to me because he upgraded to a 560 Ti and said he has had no problems. He also upgraded the PSU to support this so I asked him which one he got that fit and worked in his system to maybe get a similar or identical PSU as he did and then just put in a 460 or an HD 6850 instead of the 560 Ti he put in.

    He said he hasn't had any problems with cooling with the 560 Ti and the new PSU he put into the same case as I have but I'm still a bit skeptical.

    But seriously everyone you have been so much help so far and I really appreciate it.
  7. Hmmm, you are right to be suspicious. What, may I ask, is your budget in this scenario?
  8. Belvadier

    Belvadier TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 28

    slim to none. I mean, if there was a card that i could just plop in a be done with it I would spend maybe $150 to $160 but that doesn't seem to be the case.

    That being said, I can also just buy a new PSU myself and ask for the GPU for Christmas or something. Or I could bite the bullet and just buy them both. Bottom line is I'd rather do it right than super cheap but buying a new PC is just out of the question.

    that is the PSU that the guy on ebay got for his PC which is almost the same as what I have (in fact, only the GPU that he got and the HDD size were different). He says it works great and he has no problems running that PSU in his case with a 560 Ti.

    Now, if you all on here think that there's some truth to that I could get that PSU for my computer and either drop in a 460 or a 6850 (which I guess is a better card according to the techspot reviews for budget cards). Each of which are ~$150 or 160.

    Does any of what I just said even have the slightest chance of working?

  9. I find it difficult to believe he doesn't have any heat issues, assuming he didn't install something extra with regard. Other than that, and without overclocking, sure, it seems realistic enough. If I were you, I would add some fans. They are cheap, and do wonders when added properly. Considering the modular PSU, more fan cooling should do a nice trick. Does that case have space and pre-drilled holes for some fans? I would guess YES on the former, and MAYBE on the latter.
  10. Belvadier

    Belvadier TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 28

    I don't really know where the fans would go? Can you see any spots from the pictures of the open case I posted on page 1? I will open it up and poke around a little more directly tomorrow morning but if you have a clue where to look that can only help out.
  11. Damn, the vent holes on that case are dirty. I didn't notice that before. It looks like Mr. Fifi got sucked in there and shredded up into furry bits. Poor kitty.

    I can't see any pre-drilled holes from your images. Obviously you have the PSU fan, and an exhaust fan, but as I believe was pointed out earlier, 80mm isn't exactly impressive.


    We need to insure some decent air flow. You should have a few sets of holes in the lower part of the front panel to accommodate a few sizes for intake, but you may have one set alone. You can see this better from the inside of the case, otherwise remove the front panel and look. I see some vent holes on the right panel (I believe), the higher one may imply that there is a pre-drilled spot for a side intake fan, but I have my doubts. See if there is another set of holes where the exhaust fan goes. Hopefully you can at the least get a 120mm fan in there.

    Drilling is fun too, you know?

    Everyone on this site will likely shun me for saying this, but since you are trying to save money, you COULD POSSIBLY CONSIDER THE NOTION of purchasing a cheap case/PSU combination, insuring a case with more ventilation areas, and getting more wattage under peak. You may kill two birds with one stone and for a bit less that way, leaving room for some fans and a new GPU (though several cases I am looking at come with some or all fans pre-installed).

    The drawback is that the case may not be the greatest and the PSU could almost stink as bad as the one you have, only with a higher provision of power for your build. Here are some combinations. (Hard refresh that link [CTRL + F5] and you may seem some different ones pop up.)

    These combos aren't bad in my opinion, especially when compared to your current CHA and PSU. Now if you really want to rough it, look for something akin to one of these with a power supply already inside. Ugh.

    Do some shopping and read some buyer comments and/or site reviews before making a purchase. I think you could come out in decent shape considering.
  12. Belvadier

    Belvadier TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 28

    Well I opened the case up again to poke around for some fan room. There are definitely holes to support a bigger fan on the back but throughout the rest of the case there are no pre-drilled holes for fans and beyond that there doesn't even seem to be room enough to even put a fan. Everywhere where there is a vent to let air in or out there is just stuff up so close to those holes that I don't think you could ever fit a fan in...

    From the pics I've provided is it likely that all the guts of my PC would fit into a standard ATX case if I wanted to change cases?

    you don't think something like that is a good PSU?

    would those two items bought separately be better than the combo? the price would be close to the same...

    And finally I attached a picture from Everest RAM benchmark to try and sort out my RAM thing. I currently took out the stick that was in the black slot and left the 3 in that were in the blue slots and maybe this can tell me whether it is in triple channel or not but to be honest I'm not 100% sure I know what i'm looking at...

    Attached Files:

  13. hellokitty[hk]

    hellokitty[hk] Hello, nice to meet you! Posts: 3,448   +145

    One, I don't think the wattage calculator means anything.
    Two, IMO you're obsessing over cooling too much.
    Three, what's your budget now, after mulling it over?

    BTW I don't particularly like the Rosewill combo.
  14. Belvadier

    Belvadier TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 28

    budget i'd say is around $300 but if i can spend less i'd like to. I guess i'd spend up to $350 if i needed a new case, card, and PSU
  15. It is showing up in triple channel, there (*points at screen*), toward the bottom of the window in your image. CPU-Z also revealed this earlier, before you removed a stick, and I now know Piriform Speccy does too. They are the same bunch that made CCleaner.

    About your selections I do not see any immediate issues. The more recent reviews are fairly solid as far as I can tell. One Verified Owner stated that the Rosewill case fan(s) were too loud, another complained that the case had poor wire management within the right panel space. Both gave it 3 or 4 out of 5 Eggs and complimented it overall.
    The Rosewill power supply received solid recent reviews. 4-5 of 5 Eggs all around.
    For the price and your budget, I think this combination is fine.

    The Antec case is certainly superior to the Rosewill one. Good recent reviews all in all.
    The Corsair power supply is in the same boat as the Antec case, with all good recent reviews from Verified Owners.

    I trust opinions on here more than on the Newegg comments area, however these people are Verified Owners, and can shed a better light on the product than anyone here who hasn't used it.

    Also note that the warranties on the Antec and Corsair are better than the Rosewill combination. As are the features, but in the computer world things usually get considerably better when you add only a small amount of money. While this isn't always the case, it is most of the time.

    Well, as far as I have used it, it matches up pretty good. It helps add up the components before buying. Obviously the only real way to know is to hook it all up and check it with a meter, such as a Kill-A-Watt, but since he doesn't have the new PSU what else is there besides adding up parts the old fashioned way, and using an online calculator?

    I may be obsessing over cooling (he wasn't all that concerned with it before), but as his current system pretty much lacks it entirely, I think it is worth looking at. The cooler it is, the longer it lives, at least in my experience.

    He mentioned earlier that he was trying to spend no more than 150$ or 160$, stating that his budget was basically "slim to none", which is why I began throwing out budget ideas. To recap (for anyone that wants or needs one): He's looking at getting a new GPU, possibly a GTX 460 or 560 Ti. We all seemed to agree that he needed a better PSU. I believe Leeky was the first to mention cooling issues. I seconded the motion. That was when I saw that, for the price of that splendid PSU he linked earlier, he could actually get another different PSU instead, along with a better case than what he has.
    This is my take on it all.

    I pretty much agree with you on the Rosewill combination, but what else can he do with such a low amount of funds?

    That liberates you a little from before. I think you may be able to get the GTX 560 Ti.

    EDIT: The efficiency of these PSU's you linked is around 80% or higher for both of them (80% of 630 or 650 watts is 504 and 520 watts respectively [peak/load of course]), so bear that in mind as well when calculating power, no matter the means by which you calculate. Generally computers don't use as much as we expect, but it is better to be safe than sorry.
  16. Belvadier

    Belvadier TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 28

    so if money weren't a concern you think getting the antec case and the corsair PSU along with the GPU of my choosing would be the best scenario?

    My motherboard (from what you can tell from the pics, etc) shouldn't have any problems moving to a new case? Do you think all the stupid HP programs that are on here will get mad when they find out so much of the hardware is different? I guess I should just uninstall them anyway since all they do is bother me...

    Also, my change in budget does reflect a longer time frame. I mean, my actual personal budget is around 150 or 160 but that was when I thought i could just get a replacement GPU. Now i would be planning on spending 150 - 160 on a case and PSU and then probably requesting the GPU for christmas =\

    so MY budget is the same but the time period is gonna be longer but like i said i'd rather do things right than quick and cheap.
  17. If money weren't a concern at all, we wouldn't be having this conversation ;). As for you, I don't think it is going to get much better than what we've all been looking at, and don't fret about it too much. I am sure most of it will turn out just fine. In fact, based off of what you have, I think you'll be quite impressed with the changes afterward.

    lol. Nah. You're still using Windows software, and that is all your programs really care about. Standard ATX is what you have, and standard ATX is what those cases fit, so I don't foresee an issue there either. I am guessing that those cases come with all of the jumpers, screws, etc. Every case I have ever bought on Newegg does. Older models, well, that is another story.

    EDIT: Be sure to note of the length measurement of your new GPU before purchase, making certain that it will fit that case. You should take some pics of the new build when it is done and attach them on here. Let us know how it all pans out.
  18. hellokitty[hk]

    hellokitty[hk] Hello, nice to meet you! Posts: 3,448   +145

    Uhm, what.

    Why don't you hold off on buying that power supply until you buy your graphics card?

    No no no, that's only true up until you get into the low-mid price range. It's rather more of a bell shaped curve.

    Easiest way is to stop using wattage as a complete measurement.
  19. It is called USER DATA. I'm not sure how better to word something so simplistic. It is good to compare as many forms of data as possible in order to better make an informed decision.

    Right, something like that. Fair enough.

    I'm not. This is basic help. If you have more information that you feel is pertinent, has merit, and needs saying, stop stagnating and add it already. He has to make the decision himself. No one on here is Morpheus or The Oracle. If it has the three voltage rails, the proper molex connectors, and the necessary wattage ratings, he is on the right path. He will need to analyze his components himself in the end. I am merely trying to point him in the right direction.

    EDIT: This goes for anyone. If you have more knowledge/experience/time/concern/creativity and feel it is vital to helping; s*** or get off the pot. The internet is a vast arena filled with an odd mixture of conjecture and fact. I am certain all of us have had our share of GOOGLE. If a question is asked and you really feel that they haven't tried to search for their own answers already, save your condescension and sarcasm and consider that TechSpot is itself a search result, and can at the very least help someone who is searching. In short, try your best to answer the question, or remain silent.
  20. Leeky

    Leeky TS Evangelist Posts: 3,797   +117

    That is a double edged sword of a comment.

    This is a public forum, and the OP has asked for advice. He or say may not like some of the advice, but everyone is entitled to post with an opinion as long as they adhere to the forum rules.

    Lets not turn this into a debate on the quality of replies, its really not in the interests of the OP and just takes it needlessly offtopic.
  21. Only if the one making the comment chooses to lie upon the blade. I didn't.

    Right. So, if there is something MY advice is lacking, I expect someone to have said corrections/additions prepared. Otherwise, I view it as a form of mindless harassment INTENDED to steer the topic off course. You follow? If we don't adhere to this type of reason, then the OP is f****d, and has no hope of discerning an answer from the rabble.

    I have only had this issue with a couple of specific users. If the quantity were even slightly greater I would assess the problem in a different light, focusing my attention on myself, and never bothering to mention it. This has not been the case, thus my reaction.

    Now I'll try again. OP, I think that the selections you've made with regard to the new case, PSU, and GPU are more than adequate for your budget. I believe cooling is an issue as you lack anything more than a single small fan, which is why I support the replacement of the case with the addition of fans for cooling. I believe the PSU is a good change to make due to the lack of provision from your current one. I believe the GPU is sufficient for playing the games you've mentioned playing. I agree with the other poster about waiting to make these purchases until you have the GPU, as this may dictate further alterations you feel obliged to make.

    If someone has anything to add, they should add it, for example: Igneus is wrong about this BECAUSE... (and then the following logical reasoning behind the proclamation, hopefully along with the correct version of the solution to the original poster's issue). As opposed to: Igneus is wrong because he makes no sense and what he says is not what actually is in reality and he should stop saying that!
  22. Belvadier

    Belvadier TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 28

    I really do appreciate EVERYONE's help. I'm probably gonna go with that antec case and corsair PSU and either an hd 6850 or a 460/560 depending on my future budget. I'm probably gonna look for new egg sales on these items (maybe not the exact ones but at least comparable) and get them in whatever order they go on sale as I don't really intend to finish all these updates until shortly after christmas.

    Thanks so much to everyone. If anyone has any further suggestions I am certainly open to them.

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