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Looking to upgrade parts on a stock computer.


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#1 Phaseus

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Posted 29 October 2015 - 01:16 AM

First off: Hi, name's Jacob. I recently joined the forum.

 

With Fallout already on the pre-order list of my steam library, I figure now's a good time to beef up my computer a bit. I already passed the minimum system requirements, but I want to play with some decent graphical settings too. Right now I'm trying to figure out what I want to upgrade first, so that's why I'm asking everyone here.

 

 

My computer is a Lenovo K450 and relates closest to this one (Was twice as expensive when I bought it):

http://www.amazon.com/Lenovo-3-0GHz-i5-4440-Nvidia-Desktop/dp/B00MH3FJPO/ref=sr_1_2?s=pc&ie=UTF8&qid=1446097709&sr=1-2&keywords=Lenovo+K450+i5-4440

 

 

Current Rig:

 

OS: Windows 8.1

Processor: i5-4440 @ 3.1GHz Quad Core

RAM: 8GB DDR3

Storage: 1TB HDD

GPU: GeForce GT 645 2GB VRAM

 

Unfortunately I can't get to the internals without unscrewing a lot of things, so I don't know what kind of power supply it's got yet. Considering it's Lenovo, I'm going to assume it's decent. Right now I'm stuck between upgrading the GPU and the processor. The processor itself seems fine, runs quietly and I haven't had any reason to try overclocking.

 

My greatest concern is the outdated video card. It's at least two years old, and most games only run on medium. Older games run at 60 FPS (60 Hz monitor), others usually cap off at 40-ish. Poorly optimized games require low settings, or are just unplayable, period.

 

My price cap right now is about $220 with S&H included, though given a month I could raise it, if I wanted to wait until after Fallout 4 is launched. I was looking around and I thought this-

https://pcpartpicker.com/part/evga-video-card-02gp42966kr

-might work well enough. I just wanted to make sure it was going to be compatible with my system and whether it was a good investment.

 

Any help or advice is graciously accepted, and thanks for spending the time to help me out, guys.



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#2 jonuk76

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Posted 29 October 2015 - 05:29 PM

Hello.  I think the GPU is where you'd want to pay more attention to.  The CPU is fine.

 

The GTX 960 is a decent choice, and a worthwhile upgrade over the one you are using.  It uses slightly less power than the GTX 645 OEM, so should be OK on that score.  The K450 came with anything up to a GTX660 stock, so a GTX960 should work fine.  You might want to double check the maximum length card you can fit before buying, just to be sure it'll fit.


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#3 Phaseus

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Posted 29 October 2015 - 08:55 PM

GTX960 is about 9.5 inches in length, with the 645 being about 8.2 inches. I'll open up my case to double-check, but I think it should be good.

 

 

Thanks for the confirmation, but I've got one more question.

 

Is there anything I should be wary about when changing to a new graphics card? I've never actually upgraded my PC, so I don't have a lot of experience on the hardware end of things. It's just a matter of disconnecting the power and pulling out the old card before inserting the new, correct? Are there any important changes to actual software settings that I need to worry about?



#4 jonuk76

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Posted 29 October 2015 - 11:02 PM

Changing a graphics card is normally straightforward and trouble free.  Essentially yes, it's a case of disconnecting the power cable(s), removing the old card (normally there is a latch on the card slot to release), fitting the new one with any required power cables, and starting it up.  Prior to removing the old card, I'd uninstall the video card drivers, and then install the latest drivers from Nvidia when you fit the new card.  That is pretty much it.


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#5 Phaseus

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Posted 30 October 2015 - 02:26 AM

Alright. Again, thanks for the help. I'll be ordering the card as soon as I make sure my PC can fit the new part.



#6 Highjinks

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Posted 30 October 2015 - 10:27 AM

Another issue may be the power connectors. I don't have time to check right now, but i'm pretty sure the GTX 960 has more/different power connectors than the GTX 660, and the stock power supply from your build may not have them



#7 jonuk76

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Posted 30 October 2015 - 11:38 AM

The Nvidia reference model needs 1 x 6 pin PCIe power connector.  The EVGA card as reviewed here needs an 8 pin PCIe connector.


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#8 Phaseus

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Posted 03 November 2015 - 05:25 AM

Well, seems I'd ordered the part too soon. I hadn't seen the previous two posts until after the order was already in the shipment process. I now have a very expensive paperweight. I don't think I'll be able to use it anytime soon. Thanks for trying, guys.

 

 

The problem was the 6-pin connectors that don't exist on my computer's PSU.



#9 jonuk76

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Posted 03 November 2015 - 09:45 AM

That's surprising really.  Firstly there seem to be different variants of GT 645 and GTX 645.  But either pull more power than can be provided through the slot alone (the PCIe specification imposes a maximum power draw of 75w on x16 slots).  Essentially they shouldn't work without a 6 pin power connector...

 

Secondly as I mentioned already, the Lenovo K450 specification indicates it came with the option to have up to a GTX 660 new - which most certainly requires external power. http://www.lenovo.com/shop/emea/content/pdf/IdeaCentre/KSeries/en/ideaCentre-k450-datasheet.pdf


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#10 Phaseus

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Posted 03 November 2015 - 07:16 PM

Perhaps I have a different model, then? The internals don't seem to match what I thought I'd bought. Everything inside looks like it was made deliberately that way, without room to upgrade much.(Except for a few extra horizontal 4-pin connectors)

 

The new card fits perfectly. So perfectly that the SATA cables fit around it like a loose pouch. Given the 960's cooling capabilities, though, I don't think it'll be a problem. I ordered a new PSU since replacing it is my only option aside from reselling the new card. At least now I've learned how to take parts from a computer safely and without putting everything back incorrectly.

 

The card calls for a PSU rated for 400 watts. I ordered this:

 

http://www.amazon.com/EVGA-Continuous-Warranty-Supply-100-W1-0500-KR/dp/B00H33SFJU/ref=pd_bxgy_147_img_3?ie=UTF8&refRID=0SG0GRVRD6WZ973030FB

 

It should be here by tomorrow night. If I have trouble connecting something up, I'll take pictures and post them here.

 

(My paycheck FINALLY went through my bank. Dunno what the holdup was.)


Edited by Phaseus, 03 November 2015 - 07:17 PM.


#11 jonuk76

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Posted 03 November 2015 - 10:46 PM

Strange indeed.  Well that new PSU should sort out the issue anyway.  If you have any problems fitting, don't hesitate to ask here.


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#12 Phaseus

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Posted 03 November 2015 - 11:30 PM

Watched a quick tutorial last night and I think I have it down. I might need to unscrew a few extra things because the PSU has an internal shell in the top left corner of the case. I don't know if that's common or if I need to be more careful because of it. I don't have a shock strap, though I suspect if I keep my system unplugged for a few minutes it shouldn't be an issue.






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