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Upgrading small form factor PC?


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#1 ghunt

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Posted 09 January 2013 - 12:44 PM

I just recently bought an off-lease HP dc5800 computer from TigerDirect. The hardware sounded impressive- Intel Core 2 Duo @ 3.0gHz, 4 GB RAM, 1 TB hard drive, with Windows 7. I didn't realize until after buying it that it was a small form factor computer.

Also, after getting the computer and setting it up, I found out the integrated video card is craptastic at best. It doesn't even run Win 7 smoothly, much less any games.

I want to upgrade my video card to something with 1 GB RAM, but every video card I'm finding requires at least a 300W power supply, some of them 400 or 450W! And, of course, hardly anyone makes upgraded PSU's for SFF computers and if they do, they cost almost as much as I paid for this computer.

What can I do? Is there any way I can swap the components of this computer to something like a microtower that uses a regular size PSU?

I feel like I'm stuck with this nice hardware hindered by a bleepty graphics card in barely-upgradeable case :(

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#2 diggi

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Posted 09 January 2013 - 03:06 PM

You could in theory buy a Micro or midtower case and a decent 430-500 watt psu and install it. But it all depends on the motherboard itself, sometimes manufacturers use custom mobo's that are'nt the standard/micro ATX. I'd suggest find out what type of mother board you have, see how and where it is connected to the case. Compare it to a standard/micro ATx board(look @ pics on Newegg) and see if the screws line up, if they do you should be good to go.

#3 ghunt

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Posted 09 January 2013 - 06:31 PM

I printed out a template of a Micro ATX but I can't really tell. Just looking at the motherboard it doesn't look like it's the same size as a standard Micro ATX. But, HP made a version of this exact model that was in a micro tower (not that that necessarily means anything).

This computer currently has a 240W power supply...do I absolutely have to have 300W to run a card rated that high?

What sucks is that I don't even have a spare 5.25" bay to run a power supply in...sigh

#4 diggi

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Posted 09 January 2013 - 07:39 PM

Try and locate the screw holes and see if they line up It seems as if you might have a BTX mobo does it look like this ?

Look at these My link400 watt BTX Power supplies

This is the Cheapest case I've seen so far it looks like they are rare

You might be able to use it for a card that needs a 300w power supply but I dunno if you can get by if it needs 400w

Edited by diggi, 09 January 2013 - 07:41 PM.


#5 killerx525

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Posted 09 January 2013 - 08:55 PM

Something like this would work as it a very low power consumption and you just have to switch the full slot to a low profile bracket.

>Michael ~ Got my Katy Perry Australian concert ticket :3 
System1: CPU- AMD Phenom II X6 1090T Black Edition, CPU Cooler- Noctua NH-D14, RAM- G.Skill Ripjaws X F3-12800CL9D-8GBXL 8GB Kit(4Gx2) DDR3 1600MHz, SSD/HDD- 2x Intel 520 Series 120GB RAID-0/Western Digital Caviar Black 1TB/Seagate Barracuada 3TB, GPU- 2x Sapphire HD7970 3GB Crossfire , Motherboard- Gigabyte 990FXA-D3, Case- Coolermaster HAF 932, PSU- Corsair CS-750M, Soundcard- Realtek High Definition Audio, OS- Windows 8.1 Pro 64-Bit
Games: APB: Reloaded, Hours played: 2700+  System2: Mid-2010 Macbook Pro 15inch   OFw63FY.png


#6 diggi

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Posted 09 January 2013 - 09:13 PM

Yeah but he still needs a 400 watt psu for that

#7 ghunt

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Posted 09 January 2013 - 10:33 PM

I've looked at a couple that called for 300W PSU's, so I will probably go with one of them.

Diggi, I'm not sure. It looks similar to a BTX.

This is the motherboard:
http://img.tjskl.org.cn/nimg/e0/60/bb999d4c49da191a460ef7f556f7-0x0-1/for_hp_motherboard_461536_001_450667_001_for_hp_compaq_dc5800_sff_intel_socket_lga775_ddr2_desktop_99_new_condition.jpg

The PSU is weird on these ones, it's kind of similar to the a desktop BTX PSU but still a different shape.
http://computerpartdiscounters.com/media/catalog/product/cache/1/image/500x500/9df78eab33525d08d6e5fb8d27136e95/h/p/hpps1_003.jpg

This is the case opened up: http://images.tigerdirect.com/itemdetails/H24-KA421-SB/H24-KA421-SB-out-4-la.jpg

#8 diggi

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Posted 10 January 2013 - 12:54 AM

Looks like you are rocking a BTX most likely you'll need a low profile GPU card any of these should do I don't know your budget
It looks like you'll need a 400watt BTX psu for all of them

#9 killerx525

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Posted 10 January 2013 - 01:32 AM

Do note that the card itself only draws a maximum of 13W and it should work, so there is no need to upgrade the power supply or muck around with it.

>Michael ~ Got my Katy Perry Australian concert ticket :3 
System1: CPU- AMD Phenom II X6 1090T Black Edition, CPU Cooler- Noctua NH-D14, RAM- G.Skill Ripjaws X F3-12800CL9D-8GBXL 8GB Kit(4Gx2) DDR3 1600MHz, SSD/HDD- 2x Intel 520 Series 120GB RAID-0/Western Digital Caviar Black 1TB/Seagate Barracuada 3TB, GPU- 2x Sapphire HD7970 3GB Crossfire , Motherboard- Gigabyte 990FXA-D3, Case- Coolermaster HAF 932, PSU- Corsair CS-750M, Soundcard- Realtek High Definition Audio, OS- Windows 8.1 Pro 64-Bit
Games: APB: Reloaded, Hours played: 2700+  System2: Mid-2010 Macbook Pro 15inch   OFw63FY.png


#10 ghunt

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Posted 10 January 2013 - 01:46 PM

Do you guys recommend one with a fan? I found two I like, both Asus, a Gt 430 (fan) and a gt 610 (heat sink). Which would be better?

#11 diggi

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Posted 10 January 2013 - 02:02 PM

What are their specs? I'd guess the one with a fan'd be better

#12 ghunt

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Posted 10 January 2013 - 02:29 PM

The 610 is rated at 810 MHz core clock with 64 bit RAM, the 430 is 700 MHz with 128 bit RAM. They sound pretty similar. Both are 1 gb DDR3 ram.

Edited by ghunt, 10 January 2013 - 02:30 PM.


#13 rotor123

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Posted 10 January 2013 - 04:53 PM

I'm going to make a different suggestion for that computer. It is what it is. It will never be a good gaming computer due to power supply and size limitations.

It should run Windows 7 just fine. That is not a standard form factor motherboard or power supply. They are special non standard designs from what I can see.
I have large doubts you can find a case for that motherboard.

All you could do is leave the case open and if the color codes on the 24pin and 4 pin wiring match use a standard power supply laying outside the case to get more power.

Good Luck
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#14 ghunt

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Posted 10 January 2013 - 06:04 PM

I'm not trying to turn it into a gaming computer. I just want a video card that will run a few things half decently.

#15 diggi

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Posted 10 January 2013 - 07:53 PM

The 610 is rated at 810 MHz core clock with 64 bit RAM, the 430 is 700 MHz with 128 bit RAM. They sound pretty similar. Both are 1 gb DDR3 ram.


Go with the 430




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