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Windows 7: Can I install a new video card?

04 Aug 2010   #1

Windows 7
 
 
Can I install a new video card?

I just bought a PC - HP Pavilion p6540d. I know it's not much but I want to upgrade it one item at a time.

For its graphics, my p6540d only came with this: Intel® Graphics Media Accelerator X4500 HD - up to 782 MB total available graphics memory.

I mean, come on... I don't even have a video card. So I reckon getting one is the most important and I'm planning to get ATI RADEON HD4650 1GB DDR2/128bit but I'm not sure if my "system" can handle it. So please let me know.

Below is the PC specs. Am I able to buy a video card for it?

Do I have to upgrade my RAM first before getting a 1GB video card? Is my processor okay? If it is not necessary to upgrade processor, I'd rather not for now as my priority is the graphics because I'm a bit into gaming.

OS: Windows 7 Home Basic 320bit
Processor: Intel® Pentium® processor E6600 3.06 GHz, 1066 MHz FSB
Standard Memory: 2GB DDR3
Memory slots: 2 DIMM sockets
Internal drives: 320 GB SATA Hard Disk Drive (7200 rpm)
Optical drives: SuperMulti SATA Drive and Double Layer supporting Lightscribe Technology

Graphics: Intel® Graphics Media Accelerator X4500 HD up to 782 MB total available graphics memory

Ports: 6 USB 2.0 ports (2 in front), 1 Line-in, 1 Line-out, 2 Microphones (1 in front), 1 Headphone, LAN, VGA Port

Video connectors: NONE SPECIFIED??? WHAT DOES THIS MEAN?!

See it for yourself, mine is the p6540d:

HP Pavilion p6500 Desktop PC series specifications - HP Home & Home Office products


THANKS!!!

My System SpecsSystem Spec
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04 Aug 2010   #2

7 Ultimate x64
 
 

I don't see that you have a pci-express slot; without it, there would be nowhere to place the graphics card.

However, the Intel G41 chipset does indeed have a pci-e lane, so you might be in luck? I guess it all depends on whether HP jacked you or not? Intel® G41 Express chipset - Overview

Can you pop the side panel off and see if you have a pci-e slot?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
04 Aug 2010   #3

 
 

You can update your video card, (if you have the oci-e slot) but your other biggest limiting factor would be the Power Supply.

Considering the rest of the specs, your current one may not be up to the job (they never list the PSU specs - the only proper way is to look at the PSU itself)

For the 4650 a 350-400 Watt + is recommended, but it's not so much the wattage that counts, it's the AMPS on the 12v rail.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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04 Aug 2010   #4

Windows 7
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by smarteyeball View Post
You can update your video card, (if you have the oci-e slot) but your other biggest limiting factor would be the Power Supply.

Considering the rest of the specs, your current one may not be up to the job (they never list the PSU specs - the only proper way is to look at the PSU itself)

For the 4650 a 350-400 Watt + is recommended, but it's not so much the wattage that counts, it's the AMPS on the 12v rail.

thanks! i will check over the weekend and let you know. how about the slot? is there a concern on that? i will call HP, too.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
04 Aug 2010   #5

Windows 7
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Fumz View Post
I don't see that you have a pci-express slot; without it, there would be nowhere to place the graphics card.

However, the Intel G41 chipset does indeed have a pci-e lane, so you might be in luck? I guess it all depends on whether HP jacked you or not? Intel® G41 Express chipset - Overview

Can you pop the side panel off and see if you have a pci-e slot?

Should I be looking for an "empty" PCI-E slot? I don't even know how it looks like.

And if the Intel G41 chipset has a PCI-E lane, does it have to be removed so I can put a new video card in its place? I really sound stupid, don't I? Sorry, I am not techie at all.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
04 Aug 2010   #6

7 Ultimate x64
 
 

Ok, I just found a pic of your board. Looks like it does have a pci-e slot. It's the longer of the 3 black slots shown here: Motherboard Specifications H-I41-uATX (Eton) HP Pavilion p6540d Desktop PC - HP technical support (Finland - English)

Just make sure you actually have this before you buy a card. It's extremely odd that HP does not mention on the page you linked; instead, this very needed feature is hidden deep within their page.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
04 Aug 2010   #7

Windows 7
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Fumz View Post
Ok, I just found a pic of your board. Looks like it does have a pci-e slot. It's the longer of the 3 black slots shown here: Motherboard Specifications H-I41-uATX (Eton) HP Pavilion p6540d Desktop PC - HP technical support (Finland - English)

Just make sure you actually have this before you buy a card. It's extremely odd that HP does not mention on the page you linked; instead, this very needed feature is hidden deep within their page.

Damn, you are talented! Couldn't thank you enough! I will check my board. Thanks! Rep added!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
04 Aug 2010   #8

Windows 7 Pro X64 SP1
 
 

Courtesy of our friends at Google:

HP Pavilion p6540d Desktop PC Product Specifications HP Pavilion p6540d Desktop PC - HP technical support (Belgium - English)

It states that you have a 250W PSU. That's weak.

The p6555d model is sold with a Radeon 5450 graphics card. It, too, is speciifed as having a 250W PSU. However, if we can trust:

eXtreme Power Supply Calculator

the 4650 needs about 35W, while the 5450 only consumes about 9W. The 4650 is supposed to have much better performance than the 5450, so that makes sense.

The calculator above suggests that a 250W PSU is adequate. You may not have much margin, though.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
05 Aug 2010   #9

Windows 7
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by bobkn View Post
Courtesy of our friends at Google:

HP Pavilion p6540d Desktop PC Product Specifications HP Pavilion p6540d Desktop PC - HP technical support (Belgium - English)

It states that you have a 250W PSU. That's weak.

The p6555d model is sold with a Radeon 5450 graphics card. It, too, is speciifed as having a 250W PSU. However, if we can trust:

eXtreme Power Supply Calculator

the 4650 needs about 35W, while the 5450 only consumes about 9W. The 4650 is supposed to have much better performance than the 5450, so that makes sense.

The calculator above suggests that a 250W PSU is adequate. You may not have much margin, though.

Pardon me but I am completely computer illiterate. Why is the power supply important? What will happen if I don't have adequate power supply if after sticking a new graphics card? Thanks.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
05 Aug 2010   #10

7 Ultimate x64
 
 

Modern dedicated graphics cards require a lot of power. They can draw 75 watts from the pci-e slot, and 75 watts from each subsequent 6-pin pci-e connector; 150 watts for an 8-pin.

Don't be overly concerned with overall wattage of the psu you pick; instead, what you want to look for is high +12 volt amperage. The +12 volt rail powers just about everything in a modern computer, so having a large rail is important... whether it's 600 or 800 watts, not so much.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Can I install a new video card?





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