a6200n Graphics Upgrade

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Sorry if I'm posting this twice. I'm new to this.  I also purchased an
a6200n system.  I added RAM to bring my total to 4 gigs.  I bought
this power supply hoping not to overpower but to have enough power to
provide energy to a graphics card.:


My question is similar to the original.  However, since I have the
power supply what card can I buy that will allow me to play the newer
games maybe even at higher resolutions?  I should mention I read
somewhere that space is limited in the x16 slot. I'm not sure if
that's really true or if it affects what card I can install.  I'd also
like to ask what do I need to do with regards to the onboard graphics
card thats already installed when I go to upgrade to a new card?  Last
question, is there a graphics card that can play games well that also
would let me record and play back content to my TV?

Any other information regarding the upgrade process is appreciated.
Thank you.

Re: a6200n Graphics Upgrade

Axe wrote:
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"similar to the original" ? If you wanted to refer to another post, you
could provide a Google link to it, or do a "Reply" to the original
thread. Otherwise, we won't know for sure, we're looking at the same

corsair vx 450w

+3.3V @ 20A, +5V @ 20A, +12V @ 33A, -12V @ 0.8A, +5VSB @ 2.5A

The other post mentioned 10.1A on the 12V rail, leaving about 23 amps

Some video cards are better than others, at balancing power and
performance. The 8800GT would be an example of a recent card, with
moderately high power. (One of the worst ATI cards used 165W for comparison.)

The 8800GT power is listed here, and varies depending on the card. The reference
8800GT is 78W, while I think the card being reviewed here was an overclocked
and it measured 85.7W. Taking the latter figure, 85.7W/12V = 7.14A

(scroll down)

So 7.14A of 23 amps, isn't using all of it. The supply has enough power.

Other things to consider.

1) Card dimensions. Some cards are 8" or 8.5" long, and on my current
    computer case, the end of such cards would bump into my hard drive
    bay. Find a measurement for the card, so you know in advance, how
    much space it takes. And it cannot be an "exact" fit, because you
    need to wiggle the card a bit, to get it seated in the slot.

2) Card interfering with heatsinks or SATA cables. Inspect your cabling,
    to see where the card will go. Check the chipset heatsink, to see if
    it will interfere.

3) Card thickness. Some of the high end ones are double slot cards,
    and the cooler will overlap with an adjacent slot. If the computer
    came with a tuner or other add-in cards, check if there is room.
    Even if a card is "single thickness", the fan still needs to intake
    air. And the exhaust vent, needs to dump hot air.

4) Find reviews for the card. If the reviews say "this card is noisy",
    you've been warned. Don't expect there is a magic solution, like an
    aftermarket cooler, that is easy to fit, and solves all the problems.
    If you really want a quiet card, or more exotic cooling method,
    then shop for a card that already has it.

As an example, this article mentions the Sparkle 8800GT card, with a
passive cooler on it. The cooling fins are located on the back of the
card, taking up space near the processor. Depending on the cooling
solution used by HP for the processor, there may not be any "spill
air" from the CPU cooler, to help cool the card. So this type of card
would have mechanical and thermal issues, but different issues than
regular 8800GT cards.


A final issue, is the PCI Express 2.0 standard interface on the 8800GT.
Revision 2.0 is backward compatible with the original PCI Express standard.
On most chipsets, an 8800GT auto negotiates link speed, and does the right
thing. On some chipsets (VIA maybe ? not sure), the chipset and the card
don't talk to one another properly. The solution is to reflash the
video card, with a different video BIOS. This is not a very convenient
solution, for the people affected. So you might want to check that
issue, and see if it affects you. You have an Nvidia chipset, and it
probably isn't an issue, but it is one more item on the checklist for
an 8800GT.

Ref: Another thread on A6200N computer.

Before plugging in the new power supply, compare the connector colors
on the old and new supply. This document, has tables of info for
the connectors, near the back. What you're verifying here, is that
the existing HP supply is a standard ATX unit (it should be).


Your computer case will now have to remove an additional 85.7W from
the video card (while gaming), and I hope whatever rear fans are
on the back of the case, spin fast enough to remove the hot air.


Re: a6200n Graphics Upgrade

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Thank you Paul. I'm amazed at how much you know on the subject. I see
many well written posts here.  Sorry about the missing reference.  You
actually found the thread I was referring to.  Here it is again
http://groups.google.ca/group/alt.comp.hardware/browse_frm/thread/7eefc4b3cd =

A couple of follow up questions.  Can I purchase a better fan?  I'd
rather spend a few extra bucks than fry my system because of the
upgrade.  Also, will the addition of a card like the 8800GT allow me
to play games like Crysis, for example, on the highest resolution
settings?  I'm trying to understand what kind of performance to
expect.  Also, do I need to do something to disable the current built
in graphics card or do I just select the card I want to use in
settings (I'm using Vista)?  By the way, as I mentioned I have 4 gigs
of memory in this computer.  Does having the extra gig really do
anything for me?

Thank you

Re: a6200n Graphics Upgrade

Axe wrote:

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http://groups.google.ca/group/alt.comp.hardware/browse_frm/thread/7eefc4b3cd1d5c9a/37136fd9562c94d3 .
Quoted text here. Click to load it

I'm having a bit of trouble finding a picture of the inside of
your computer. It is hard to tell what options are available for
modifying the cooling.

Fans come in a number of standard sizes. 60mm, 80mm, 92mm, 120mm,
would be some examples of 12V DC brushless fans. The fan thickness
might be 25mm (and I have one in my current case that is 37.5mm
thick). As well as all those sizes, fans come in low, medium, high,
and ultra. Those span a range of CFM (cubic feet per minute) and

If you have a choice, you'd generally try to avoid a smaller fan.
The smaller they are, the faster they spin. (I have a 40mm fan
that is rated at around 8000RPM or so. Larger fans may be in
around 1200RPM for some of them.) The 8000 RPM fan whines pretty
bad, and you wouldn't want to sit next to it.

The low and medium fans would be "quiet", with the medium competing
with other noise sources in your computer. The high and ultra can
definitely be heard. I guess the fan I've got, would be close to
an ultra, but I don't feed it full voltage (it is too loud that way).
I use a voltage reducer, and it runs closer to a high as a result.

Your case will have a fixed size area for a fan, with standard
hole spacing for a standard fan. If you were going to replace the
fan, you'd want something with more CFM. If you replaced the fan
with something quieter than your current fan, chances are it would
not cool as well.

Since I don't have a good picture of the inside of the case, I
don't know if the processor has a plastic shroud over it, and
the back fan on the case is part of that assembly. Of whether
you have a more conventional retail AMD cooler on the processor,
and the fan is just a fan, affixed to the back of the case. If
the latter, you may be able to replace it.

In addition to all these details, it is possible your rear fan is
thermally controlled. As the case temp rises, the fan may
automatically speed up to compensate. In which case, if the
fan is not running at full speed, it may do a good job of
keeping the temperature down.

The fan I'm currently using, is more of an accident than a
design. I was at the one good electronics store in town, looking
at their fan collection. I spotted a fan with an aluminum frame,
instead of the usual plastic. The fan was an impulse buy, and later
was added to my current computer.

When I first installed it, it didn't seem too effective. With the
computer running, I could take the side off the case, and I'd
notice that the fan would slow down its RPMs. That is the same
effect you get when you put your hand over the end of a vacuum
cleaner hose. The symptoms mean, my case doesn't have enough
air intake vents. I removed a plastic piece on the front of my
case, to make more room for airflow. That made it easier for
the fan on the back, to pull air through the ocmputer case.
Fixing cooling is more than just changing the fan, it also includes
intake vent planning.

The airflow has to be carefully planned as well. Looking at the
manual for your computer, they show a vent which looks like it is
pretty close to where the back fan is exhausting. If you put
an intake vent, close to the fan, the resulting air flow doesn't
service the entire case. The best way to route the air, is have
it enter the computer via the front of the case, and leave by the
back. The cooling effect then helps components all along the inside
of the computer case. If vents are added too close to the exhaust
fan, then other parts of the case may not receive any cooling.

If the computer had just one exhaust fan, you could use a
formula like this. With your new video card, maybe the power
might be 250W. For a well cooled computer case, you want a
delta_T of about 10F (=7C). The reason for cooling like that,
is to keep the case air temperature down. If the room is 25C,
then the case would be 32C, and the CPU and video card coolers
are using 32C air to keep them cool.

CFM = 3.16 x Watts / Delta_T_degrees_F         [ Formula for case cooling ]

Solving for CFM, we get  3.16 * 250 / 10 = 79CFM

If we have a look here, there are some 120mm fans that deliver
close to that number. Alternates are an 80mm with 39CFM, a 92mm with
50CFM. Using a less capable fan, means the inside of the computer case
gets warmer (work the above equation, to figure out how much
warmer). (I'm using this site, because Newegg is down right now.)


Probably, judging by the sound, the current fan is not producing near
that flow rate. One way to think of the problem, is your new graphics
card increases heat by 30 to 40%, so you need 30 to 40% more fan.

I hope that gives you some idea.

Answers to your other questions:

1) When the new graphics card comes, remove the old graphics driver
    (but keep the installer around, in case you'll need it again).
    Shut down. Install the new graphics card. Install the new graphics
    driver. The built-in graphics should be disabled by the BIOS.
    (There are a limited number of motherboards, where the built-in
    continues to run, and then you could try disabling in Device Manager
    if you want. Alternately, if the BIOS has a shared memory setting, on
    some, setting it to zero may give it a hint to go away.)

2) Nothing runs Crysis well :-) But certainly it'll be miles better
    than the built-in. On games, usually there are well known features
    (which don't necessarily improve game play), that are expensive to
    support performance wise, and turning those off is enough to make
    the game playable. You can still keep textures high, use a bit of
    AA if you want and so on.

3) The new graphics card will have memory on it. The memory on the card,
    uses address space. Like street addresses, all your hardware needs a
    unique address. If you are using a 32 bit OS, you may find that the
    free system memory drops to 3GB, even though you have 4GB installed.
    You should notice a drop of another 256MB or 512MB or so, from whatever
    figure it is currently showing. (2GB should be enough for a lot of games.)
    The 32bit OS/address space issue gets even worse, if you had an SLI system.
    Some users with 512MB cards in SLI, find that free system memory is listed
    as 2.5GB, even though they have 4GB installed. A 64 bit OS and memory
    remapping, can help, but probably won't be needed right now.

There are some comments here on Crysis on an 8800GT. Staying above
30FPS is what you're after.



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