Replacing a power supply/graphics card

Discussion in 'Computer Games and General Discussion' started by xakota, Dec 8, 2010.

Dec 8, 2010
  1. xakota
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    Member xakota GBAtemp Fan

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    So I bought this computer on Black Friday for $600. It came with a 23" monitor and a wireless printer. I have a few questions about it.
    1.) Was this a good investment? It seems awesome so far but I want to know approximately how long I can expect this to last.
    2.) The graphics card it came with kind of sucks, so I'm thinking about getting a new one. The thing is, apparently it's "Built in" to the motherboard or something. Does this mean I can't get a new one?
    3.) Furthermore, the reviews say something about the power supply and how if you wanted to upgrade the graphics card you'd have to get a new one. I really don't understand what this means. Can someone explain it to me, then maybe point me in the right direction to get one?
     
  2. Rydian

    Member Rydian Resident Furvertâ„¢

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    1 - It'll work for a few years.

    2 - You buy a new one and install it, then it'll use that instead of the onboard.

    3 - PSU is Power Supply Unit. It's the brick-shaped thing in the corner of your computer case the power plug plugs into. It's job is converting the AC power from your home electricity plug, into DC power that the computer parts use. That's not a clean-cut process, however, and power supplies are only rated to do a certain amount of total power, measured in Watts, like 300W for a normal PC supply, to 500W or even 750W or more for a gaming power supply.

    Power supplies can only convert a certain amount of power at once, the more expensive ones can convert more. Desktops not built for gaming come with weak power supplies because that's all they need, they don't have a graphics card needing it's own supply. Going over the rated wattage of your power supply is a very bad idea, as it can cause permanently KILL parts inside your computer, so if you're adding new parts into your computer, make sure your power supply can handle it.

    Depending on where you shop, a new power supply could be $55 or more for a decent one.
     
  3. FireGrey

    Member FireGrey Undercover Admin

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    I have a question, if you can just buy a graphics card when you have an IGP on a PC, can you also do it on a Notebook or is there not enough room?
    I'm talking about 15" Screen Notebook
     
  4. Originality

    Member Originality Chibi-neko

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    Notebooks are different to desktops. In a desktop, you get a fairly big case to fit the motherboard with the heatsink and PCI-e cards (including discreet graphics and sound cards) sticking out of it. They usually have an array of slots for optical and hard disk drives at the front. The point is that you have plenty of space for future upgrades because that's the purpose of desktops. EDIT: Desktops are also cheaper, and cooling them is much easier.

    With notebooks, everything is designed to be small, compact, and portable. The entire system is designed around the motherboard and the screen. A cooling system has to be designed to account for the CPU and the GPU (if it has one - some modern notebooks/laptops just use one built into Core i3/i5 CPUs to save space and power) and this cooling system generally can't be replaced. Because of that, notebooks are generally not designed to be upgraded any further than replacing the RAM, HDD or ODD (and even then, not many people want to replace the ODD except to upgrade to BluRay). They can be (and I have done so with my media laptop) but it's not advised unless you have a lot of confidence with computing. EDIT2: This is mostly because of heat issues with upgraded parts.

    That said, there are ways to supplement the graphics in a notebook, either with an ExpressCard graphics card, an ExpressCard graphics adaptor (to plug in a desktop graphics card), or a USB graphics controller. ExpressCard (iirc) is limited to its PCI-e single lane factor, whilst USB is just too slow to do any real graphical work aside from video capture. That may change with USB3, but USB3 is still young. Generally, these methods cost more than the result is worth, so it's better just to look for a better notebook.
     
  5. Rydian

    Member Rydian Resident Furvertâ„¢

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    tl;dr: No, for more reasons than can be counted on a single hand.
     

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