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KCrimson
Premium
join:2001-02-25
Brooklyn, NY
kudos:1

Need Help Upgrading Son's Computer

My son has an HP P7-1110, its an inexpensive i3/330 with 6 GB RAM and integrated graphics video. He plays Left4Dead 2, and is interested in upping his "frame rate". His monitor is inexpensive, and he doesn't want/need very high resolution graphics.

He says he's getting 35 FPS currently using the lowest resolution (640X480), and wants to up the resolution to his monitor's maximum (1366 X 768) with 60 to 80 FPS as his goal.

He's done some brief research, and believes that his budget and desires are best met with something like the following items that he's considering purchasing. I'd appreciate any input, recommendations, and advice.

PS - The case and power supply ARE necessary with such a graphics card, no???

NZXT Technologies H2 Classic Silent Midtower Chassis CS-NT-H2-W (White)

Logitech Wireless Combo Mk520 With Keyboard and Laser Mouse (920-002553)

Cooler Master eXtreme Power Plus 500w Power Supply (RS500-PCARD3-US)

Sapphire Radeon HD 7950 3GB DDR5 HDMI/DVI-I/Dual Mini DP PCI-Express Graphics Card Graphics Cards 11196-01-40G

His Amazon shopping cart currently totals $440 for this order.

TIA


FizzyMyNizzy

join:2004-05-29
New York, NY

4 edits
You sure it is a i3-330 ??..

You could double check by going to Control Panel, System, Processor.

HP Pavilion p7-1110 Desktop PC Product Specifications
»h10025.www1.hp.com/ewfrf/wc/docu···622#N379

======================

Not all the front panel stuff would work on the new tower. I dont think it has enough Front Panel plug to the mainboard.
»h10025.www1.hp.com/ewfrf/wc/docu···=en#N580

The new case top shows what I believe it to be 3 x USB 2.0, and 1 x USB 3.0

Looking at the mainboard layout. It only has 2 F_Panel USB 2.0.

========================

That PSU you selected isn't going to work. The problem that it only has 1 pcie 6pin.(1 x 6pin PCI-Express Connectors)

The HD7950 requires 2 x 6pin. »www.amd.com/us/products/desktop/···0.aspx#2


KCrimson
Premium
join:2001-02-25
Brooklyn, NY
kudos:1
The "330" I posted was a poorly typed 3.3 Ghz designation.

If some of the front panel USB connections on the new tower don't work, that's not a deal breaker - or is there something I'm missing/missunderstanding? The real problem seems to be the lack of PCI Express connectors. I'm open to suggestions if you know of an alternate.

BTW - I haven't built a PC in about 5 years. I'm hoping its no more difficult than that ATX build.


FizzyMyNizzy

join:2004-05-29
New York, NY
reply to KCrimson
does it have to be amazon?


KCrimson
Premium
join:2001-02-25
Brooklyn, NY
kudos:1
Not at all - in fact, the price of the video card increased since I posted. It was some kind of special that's now expired. We're back to square one - don't even know which video card to look at now.


FizzyMyNizzy

join:2004-05-29
New York, NY

1 edit
said by KCrimson:

Not at all - in fact, the price of the video card increased since I posted. It was some kind of special that's now expired. We're back to square one - don't even know which video card to look at now.

Good since there have same HD 7950 with faster core speed. AMD up the speed to fight with the Nvidia Video card.

GIGABYTE GV-R795WF3-3GD Radeon HD 7950 3GB 384-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 3.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card
»www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a···14125414

It also comes with:
AMD Gift - 4-in-1 Game Coupon (You do not need to add this to cart. Just add the video card to card and it comes with free gift.)
»www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a···00995140
quote:
Free 4-in-1 Game Coupon
- FarCry3
- HitMan
- Sleeping Dogs
- Medal of Honor WarFighter Limited Edition (20% off digital deluxe)
You could go for an Nvidia card:

EVGA 02G-P4-2670-KR GeForce GTX 670 2GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 3.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support Video Card
$359.99
»www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a···14130782

Why? Because instead of using your cpu to do the physic, you could use Nvidia PhysX to do it instead. But thats ONLY and ONLY IF the software supports it.

Games using havok Engine »www.havok.com/ that own by Intel. I'm pretty sure it doesn't use Nvidia PhysX support.

If you go Nvidia you get PhysX tech. But you also pay more for that.
If you go AMD you will get 1792 Stream Processors vs. Nvidia 1344 Cuda. And you get those free 4 games.

==============

PSU I would pick:
OCZ Fatal1ty 550W Modular Gaming Power Supply compatible with Intel Sandybridge Core i3 i5 i7 and AMD Phenom
»www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a···17341022
»www.ocztechnology.com/ocz-550w-f···ply.html

==============


TOPDAWG
Premium
join:2005-04-27
Midland, ON
kudos:3
reply to KCrimson
god damn a $200 card is a little over kill to run left for dead at max is it not? Far as I know that game is not a killer looking game unless he wants to play other high end games that is really buying more then you need.


Krisnatharok
Caveat Emptor
Premium
join:2009-02-11
Earth Orbit
kudos:12

1 recommendation

reply to KCrimson
Holy hell people. I echo TOPDAWG See Profile's sentiments here. Let's back up.

The kid is playing L4D2, a 3-4 year old game at 768p. There is no reason to spend money on a top-end graphics card.

The computer itself should be fine for adding a GPU--the spec sheet says it supports PCIe and has a 250w PSU. For the lazy:

• Intel dual-core i3-2120 (Sandy Bridge), 3.3 GHz
• 6GB DDR3 1333 mhz RAM
• Supports PCI Express x16 graphics cards
• 1TB 7200rpm SATA II HDD
• DVD-RW ODD
• Card reader
• "Internal ATX" 250W PSU

The TDP of the processor is 65w, so while the PSU is going to limit your options, I believe it is possible you could get by with a modest GPU without swapping your PSU. I would use a voltage monitor to watch the total consumption of your rig both at start-up (where power usage can spike), under load, and at idle.

As far as graphics cards go, I don't believe you would need to get anything more powerful than an Nvidia GeForce GT 640 for $80, which has a max TDP of 65w and idles around 15w. (review here.) I believe this does not even require a power cable from the PSU, as it draws all its power through the PCI bus.

If the power requirement is cutting it a little close, upgrade your PSU (I believe the PSU is a standard ATX, as I have read of other people upgrading theirs), so go for any decently rated Seasonic/Corsair/Rosewill--nothing beyond 450w is necessary.

In order of personal recommendation:

»www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a···17182066
»www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a···17151074
»www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a···17182202
»www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a···17139026 (this is $20 after MIR and instant rebate, which is a steal)

Any of these PSUs will easily power any single GPU you buy. So if you go to the PSU upgrade route, you could easily get a Radeon 7770 or GTX 650 Ti (more money).

But recommending something like a Radeon 7950 is downright wasteful.
--
If we lose this freedom of ours, history will record with the greatest astonishment, those who had the most to lose, did the least to prevent its happening.


TOPDAWG
Premium
join:2005-04-27
Midland, ON
kudos:3
Reviews:
·TekSavvy DSL
reply to KCrimson
»www.newegg.com/Product/ProductLi···20%24100

pretty much any card in this range will run LFD2 no issue. The big issue will that that 250W PSU. That is pretty low to add a card so the cards he can pick will be limited. Here is a card where one person said runs LFD2 maxes at 60+ frames.

quote:
Pros: This card is great for a gamer it can run payday the heist tf2 just cause 2 L4D2 ect. All on high graphics with 60+ frames minimum and at best I've seen 120+ really a great card.
»www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a···14121442

Here is the issue the OP will run into with that low W PSU this is for the card above. I don't see those $250 plus cards running well on that PSU.

quote:
Pros: Awesome card for the price. Had no problem installing the drivers. Calls for a 450 watt PSU but I am running it fine slightly overclocked on a 380 watt PSU. No 6 pin connector required is what really turned me onto this card. Currently running Diablo 3 at almost max settings @ 1680x1020 resolution very smooth. Couldn't be happier with the purchase.


Krisnatharok
Caveat Emptor
Premium
join:2009-02-11
Earth Orbit
kudos:12
There are some really bad GPUs in that first list (you simply offered up $75-100 cards with no regard to age).

That said, the Radeon 6670 is a good alternative to the GT 640--its max TDP is 58w.
--
If we lose this freedom of ours, history will record with the greatest astonishment, those who had the most to lose, did the least to prevent its happening.


TOPDAWG
Premium
join:2005-04-27
Midland, ON
kudos:3
Reviews:
·TekSavvy DSL

2 edits
he wants to run LFD2 at max that game was never a looker and it's old he does not need a powerhouse card for it. He does not need a newer higher end card for that either.I just mean in that range I posted he would be ok and I posted one card that would do the job. No idea if he wanted a range of cards he could pick from and rule out or he just wants a list of 3 cards that will work.

Now if he wants to spend the cash sure go ahead and spend it for future proofing for other games. If they want to game I'd upgrade that PSU myself while I was at it. where do you find how much power they drew?

This is the one card I posted.

»www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a···14121442

Can his PC run it? Bleep me ok looked at the first post again I see he is replacing the PSU. OK then yeah I agree with ya the Radeon 6670 would be good for him that is one I posted too.

n_w95482
Premium
join:2005-08-03
Ukiah, CA
reply to FizzyMyNizzy
said by FizzyMyNizzy:

If you go AMD you will get 1792 Stream Processors vs. Nvidia 1344 Cuda. And you get those free 4 games.

Just FYI, AMD and Nvidia cards are completely different, architecturally. Comparing those two numbers doesn't work.
--
KI6RIT

n_w95482
Premium
join:2005-08-03
Ukiah, CA
reply to Krisnatharok
said by Krisnatharok:

That said, the Radeon 6670 is a good alternative to the GT 640--its max TDP is 58w.

Using this chart as a baseline (and I'd imagine Portal 2 isn't too different from L4D2), it looks like the 640 would be the better choice of the two, and a 7750 even better. Either should work fine though, 1366x768 won't stress them much.
--
KI6RIT


FizzyMyNizzy

join:2004-05-29
New York, NY

2 edits
reply to n_w95482
said by n_w95482:

said by FizzyMyNizzy:

If you go AMD you will get 1792 Stream Processors vs. Nvidia 1344 Cuda. And you get those free 4 games.

Just FYI, AMD and Nvidia cards are completely different, architecturally. Comparing those two numbers doesn't work.

I wasn't using those number for video game wise. I was using it more like if he was to use software that either support Stream Processors or Cuda to render.

And who knows. Maybe his son will become a hacker =D and crack passwords: »www.pcpro.co.uk/blogs/2011/06/01···-second/

=================
I know you guys are recommending him a low-end card for a good reason. I only check the list OP is getting is correct.

quote:
He's done some brief research, and believes that his budget and desires are best met with something like the following items that he's considering purchasing. I'd appreciate any input, recommendations, and advice.
It sounds like to me his son works, and or save up money. A lot of thing could happen to that pc. New cpu, new monitor etc., in the future.


Krisnatharok
Caveat Emptor
Premium
join:2009-02-11
Earth Orbit
kudos:12
reply to n_w95482
said by n_w95482:

said by Krisnatharok:

That said, the Radeon 6670 is a good alternative to the GT 640--its max TDP is 58w.

Using this chart as a baseline (and I'd imagine Portal 2 isn't too different from L4D2), it looks like the 640 would be the better choice of the two, and a 7750 even better. Either should work fine though, 1366x768 won't stress them much.

It is, but L4D2 is less demanding to run than Portal 2, and at a lower resolution, so the headroom may be wasted. That said, the 640 will perform better if he decides to pick up other games as well.

The Radeon 7750's TDP is ~43w (some places say 55w), so he should be good even if he goes with that card as well.
--
If we lose this freedom of ours, history will record with the greatest astonishment, those who had the most to lose, did the least to prevent its happening.


Krisnatharok
Caveat Emptor
Premium
join:2009-02-11
Earth Orbit
kudos:12
reply to FizzyMyNizzy
said by FizzyMyNizzy:

I know you guys are recommending him a low-end card for a good reason. I only check the list OP is getting is correct.

It sounds like to me his son works, and or save up money. A lot of thing could happen to that pc. New cpu, new monitor etc., in the future.

If OP is under the assumption he needs to replace his PSU, and thus his case also, to upgrade to a discrete GPU, he may be mistaken, depending on GPU (and he does NOT need the 7950, son's research aside, based on his given requirements).

I don't know how old his son is, how much money he makes, or how well he knows computers. What I do know is that he is looking to play L4D2 at higher framerates on his current rig.

Based on his given requirements, he would be best served by purchasing a low-end GPU like the Radeon 6670/7750, or GeForce GT 640.

There is no need to upgrade everything about the computer to do this, and definitely no need to go with a GPU like the Radeon 7950. If I may dip into the forbidden realm of analogies for a second, that's like going from a Fiat to a Dodge Challenger or Chevy Camaro when all they really need is a Chevy Cruze. Don't assume the customer knows the relative power of the car they are asking for. ("Hi, I just need a car that gets better than 30 mpg to commute 20 miles round trip every day"--not a prospective Challenger/Camaro owner).

--
If we lose this freedom of ours, history will record with the greatest astonishment, those who had the most to lose, did the least to prevent its happening.


TOPDAWG
Premium
join:2005-04-27
Midland, ON
kudos:3
I agree seems a waste of money to replace all of that. I'd say go with the card you picked and he should be good for LFD and most other games.

Spending whatever the PC cost in the first place plus all the new parts is nuts.


FizzyMyNizzy

join:2004-05-29
New York, NY
reply to Krisnatharok
said by Krisnatharok:

said by FizzyMyNizzy:

I know you guys are recommending him a low-end card for a good reason. I only check the list OP is getting is correct.

It sounds like to me his son works, and or save up money. A lot of thing could happen to that pc. New cpu, new monitor etc., in the future.

If OP is under the assumption he needs to replace his PSU, and thus his case also, to upgrade to a discrete GPU, he may be mistaken, depending on GPU (and he does NOT need the 7950, son's research aside, based on his given requirements).

I don't know how old his son is, how much money he makes, or how well he knows computers. What I do know is that he is looking to play L4D2 at higher framerates on his current rig.

Based on his given requirements, he would be best served by purchasing a low-end GPU like the Radeon 6670/7750, or GeForce GT 640.

There is no need to upgrade everything about the computer to do this, and definitely no need to go with a GPU like the Radeon 7950. If I may dip into the forbidden realm of analogies for a second, that's like going from a Fiat to a Dodge Challenger or Chevy Camaro when all they really need is a Chevy Cruze. Don't assume the customer knows the relative power of the car they are asking for. ("Hi, I just need a car that gets better than 30 mpg to commute 20 miles round trip every day"--not a prospective Challenger/Camaro owner).

Since, we don't know that much from OP. I am hoping he comes back and give us more Info. That's the thing. We DON"T know what they going to do later on in the future.


Krisnatharok
Caveat Emptor
Premium
join:2009-02-11
Earth Orbit
kudos:12
reply to KCrimson
EVGA Geforce GT 640 2GB - $76 after $20 mail-in rebate:
»www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a···14130796

ASUS Radeon 6670 1GB - $80 after $10 mail-in rebate:
»www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a···14121442

Sapphire Radeon 7750 1GB - $85 after $10 mail-in rebate (free Two Worlds II game coupon):
»www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a···14102969

GeForce GT 640 DDR3 vs Radeon HD 7750
Radeon HD 6670 (OEM) 1GB vs Radeon HD 7750

The GT 640 will be the best bang for your buck.
--
If we lose this freedom of ours, history will record with the greatest astonishment, those who had the most to lose, did the least to prevent its happening.


FizzyMyNizzy

join:2004-05-29
New York, NY

2 edits
said by Krisnatharok:

EVGA Geforce GT 640 2GB - $76 after $20 mail-in rebate:
»www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a···14130796

ASUS Radeon 6670 1GB - $80 after $10 mail-in rebate:
»www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a···14121442

Sapphire Radeon 7750 1GB - $85 after $10 mail-in rebate (free Two Worlds II game coupon):
»www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a···14102969

GeForce GT 640 DDR3 vs Radeon HD 7750
Radeon HD 6670 (OEM) 1GB vs Radeon HD 7750

The GT 640 will be the best bang for your buck.

GIGABYTE GV-R667D3-1GI Radeon HD 6670 1GB 128-bit DDR3 PCI Express 2.1 x16 HDCP Ready Video Card
$49.99 after $20.00 rebate card
$6.98 Shipping (restrictions apply)
»www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a···14125403
10Mhz less on the core, but 1600 mem speed. $50 after MIrB.

GIGABYTE GV-N640OC-2GI GeForce GT 640 2GB 128-bit DDR3 PCI Express 3.0 x16 HDCP Ready Video Card
»www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a···14125433
$10 more after the MIrB. But 149Mhz core more, and 18Mhz more on the ram speed.


Krisnatharok
Caveat Emptor
Premium
join:2009-02-11
Earth Orbit
kudos:12
Good find, I think my 6670 search was flawed. The only other trade-off is the DDR3 vs. the DDR5, but I think it might be negligible.

The GT 640 still looks like it has a sweet spot, especially with the higher amount of v-ram.
--
If we lose this freedom of ours, history will record with the greatest astonishment, those who had the most to lose, did the least to prevent its happening.


FizzyMyNizzy

join:2004-05-29
New York, NY
said by Krisnatharok:

Good find, I think my 6670 search was flawed. The only other trade-off is the DDR3 vs. the DDR5, but I think it might be negligible.

The GT 640 still looks like it has a sweet spot, especially with the higher amount of v-ram.

I also edited that post and added a faster GT 640 for $10 more.


Krisnatharok
Caveat Emptor
Premium
join:2009-02-11
Earth Orbit
kudos:12
The only consideration will be higher power consumption on faster/factory OC GPUs. I have no idea how close to the PSU cap he is on his current rig, but I think if he sticks to any one of these three GPUs he should be fine.
--
If we lose this freedom of ours, history will record with the greatest astonishment, those who had the most to lose, did the least to prevent its happening.


KCrimson
Premium
join:2001-02-25
Brooklyn, NY
kudos:1
reply to KCrimson
First, thanks for everyone's replies. I didn't reply earlier because I wasn't sure how my son wanted to proceed from here, as well as my own difficulties securing computer time in our household.

How does one obtain the data regarding how much power he's currently using? Go easy with me here, I'm not a current Windows user - I've been using primarily OSX for the last decade (plus). He's running Win 7 on the computer in question.

He's still disappointed about missing that price on the original card - figuring that with it he'd be able to play OTHER games at good frame rates as well, HOWEVER, I believe he's zeroing in on NOT replacing the PSU and case and going with the best possible GPU that doesn't require PSU replacement. I'm guessing that we're not going to know THAT until we find out what his current system is drawing from the PSU, so again, thanks for your replies to date, and I'm anxious to read further.


Krisnatharok
Caveat Emptor
Premium
join:2009-02-11
Earth Orbit
kudos:12

1 recommendation

You should be fine with any of the cards we are talking about.

I have one of these--plug it in between the wall and your computer: »www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a···82715001
--
If we lose this freedom of ours, history will record with the greatest astonishment, those who had the most to lose, did the least to prevent its happening.


KCrimson
Premium
join:2001-02-25
Brooklyn, NY
kudos:1
I think he's going to try one of those graphics cards. How close to the danger zone are we talking - does he really need to first purchase that power meter?


FizzyMyNizzy

join:2004-05-29
New York, NY
reply to KCrimson
You could open the pc up and look for the model number, and also take a picture of the labels.

This kind of label I really want to know from the PSU you have
Example:


Krisnatharok
Caveat Emptor
Premium
join:2009-02-11
Earth Orbit
kudos:12

1 recommendation

reply to KCrimson
said by KCrimson:

I think he's going to try one of those graphics cards. How close to the danger zone are we talking - does he really need to first purchase that power meter?

I think you're good. The PC has a 250w PSU, and you are likely drawing well under 100w, so adding a GPU with a max TDP of 50-60w is fine.

But as Fizzy suggested, if you want to verify it, open up the computer and post a picture of the label on the PSU.
--
If we lose this freedom of ours, history will record with the greatest astonishment, those who had the most to lose, did the least to prevent its happening.