Question Confusion over what to do with GPU

Feb 12, 2019
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Hello all, I'm a total noob when it comes to PC upgrading in general so try to bear with me and my lack of knowledge on any of this. By extension, I'm also new to these forums so my apologies if this isn't the most pertinent place to post this or my formatting is clunky. Preface aside, here's the deal.

Recently I decided to get myself a graphics card in order to play games currently off limits for my lacking PC, and on a whim without any real prior research (stupid I know) I got a 8GB Raedon RX 580. Now here's the immediately obvious problem with that choice, my current PC (an Intel Core i3-7100) has a case that's way too small for this humongous card. No matter which way I turn it there's no way it'll fit, it's clear that even removing the hdd case wouldn't make a difference as whatever part that's underneath is just as wide and would prevent the cards placement.

I do however own an older PC (Intel Pentium g620 for the record) with a case that's significantly larger, and one of the solutions I've mentally toyed with and am wondering if it's possible, is to take the motherboard and transfer it over to the older case (obviously removing the one it currently has) while still retaining the newer PCs usability on top of being able to use the GPU with the newfound clearance it'd give me. Google searches have suggested it to be possible, but I'm really shooting in the dark here on all this and I'd like to know if this is all an exercise in futility.

This brings me to couple other less burdensome albeit more costly solutions I thought of that I'd also like input on. Should I instead just find a card that's compact enough to work with my PC that suits my needs rather than go to all that aforementioned hassle? In case you're curious the only game I have on my radar to play right now is Soul Calibur 6. I want to have it run smoothly when playing online versus others. I'm not looking for anything state of the art on that can handle ultra settings, performance above all else. Lastly, what I also thought of doing is saying screw it and buying a new PC all together with a big enough case as well as just being more cut out for the rig I want. Various threads I looked through on here have given me the impression my PC is lackluster for gaming generally and I'd probably be better off future proofing by getting an i5 as it supposedly is better for reasons not entirely clear to me with regards to the "cores". In any case, input on this would be helpful for my technologically inept self. Thank you.
 

Eximo

Titan
Herald
Your plan to swap the motherboard into a larger case is what you should do.

Depends on the computer you have how feasible that is though. Many OEM computers will have proprietary motherboards, power supplies, etc.

#1 thing you need to consider is the power requirements for an RX580 (185W, typically requiring an 8-pin power connector) If your power supply doesn't have that connector it is likely not powerful enough to run the graphics card.

i3-7100 is a low power processor.

Do you have the exact model of the computer you have? Or if you built it yourself, a complete part list?
 
Reactions: Reckage979
Feb 12, 2019
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Apologies for the delayed response, life and stuff got in the way. Anyways I went ahead and tried putting the motherboard into the new case despite having no idea whether it'd work due to the unknown you brought up of it potentially being proprietary and what not. Unfortunately it was too small to properly align with the case design. I had a hunch this might happen simply from the case size difference alone, although from eyeballing both of the motherboards there didn't appear to be that much of a size disparity.

So instead I've decided I'll just have to return my current card and track down a card that will actually fit my original case. Regardless, I appreciate your help in bringing certain things to my attention. For one thing my PSU if the label is correct is only rated for 180w, which means a replacement is definitely in order. Also, before I forgot to answer your question, this i3-7100 of mine is entirely as it was out of the box. Bearing this in mind if you care at all to still respond, is there any card you can think of that'd work considering the specs and more crucially the case dimensions I'm working with?
 

Eximo

Titan
Herald
Well I don't really have the dimensions to work with. A very common question here is what GPU to plug into pre-builts. If you have the make, model, or even pictures of this computer we can make progress more quickly. CPU only tells we generally what might be present, not exact parts.

An equivalent to an RX580 (roughly) (again model would be helpful they come from many vendors) would be cards like the GTX1060 6GB. These are available in "mini" form factor with a single fan. They are still double slot full height cards though just they are much shorter than the more standard 10.5" cards.

180W is too small for a GTX1060 though. The card alone can use up to 120W, that doesn't leave much for the CPU, motherboard, fans etc.

A card you could drop in without too much worry would be a GTX1050Ti, same size as a GTX1060, but down at a more reasonable 75W, and we would need to confirm the motherboard offers 75W through its PCIe slot, some cheaper computers are limited to 35W. Still a bit questionable long term though. If you planned to game for many hours at a time this would probably cause a premature death for the power supply. (Soul Caliber 6 minimum requirement is a GTX1050 and an i3-4160 which you would then more than meet.)

With zero concern a GT1030 would drop right in. Most are tiny and even come in half height in case of a slim design. Would likely still be a playable experience at lower settings and resolutions.

As for an i3-7100 it is by no means a bad CPU, just bad timing to buy into a CPU right before Intel decided to increase the core count on all their chips (i3-8100 is a quad core). The socket will take anything up to an i7-7700 which is the non-overclocked version of the chip I have. i5-7400 would be a decent improvement as well (though selling the whole computer and getting said i3-8100 or i5-8400 (6 core) isn't a bad idea either)

Really comes down to the power supply and motherboard whether this computer is worth keeping.

Transplanting the motherboard might still be possible depending on the board. Too small is rarely a problem. All standard ATX boards have the same hole pattern, smaller boards just use less of them.Though nothing says the case you attempted to put it in is standard either. Again the models are necessary for forum based help.

Other things OEMs like to do:
No standard I/O backplane so that only boards built for the chassis will work.
Custom CPU sockets that include the backplate for the CPU cooler. (not really an issue if you keep the CPU cooler)
Non standard fan connectors
Non standard power/reset switches
And of course non standard power connectors or arrangements (Many Dells supply only 12V to the motherboard and 3.3V and 5V components get power from the motherboard)
 
Feb 12, 2019
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So, here I am again still alive and kicking, albeit mostly kicking myself for not getting back to you earlier. Also, to add to the kicking even further my pride wound up kicking in and I thought perhaps I had it figured out after a bit of breakthrough with the case and successfully transplanting the motherboard over after removing the outside part of the case preventing the motherboard from lining up over the holes. As you mentioned with ATX boards it was just a matter of having less holes to worry about. I was under the impression before that everything has to line up perfectly and if it doesn't then it isn't going to work. So now that finally eliminates the issue of fitting the card in after being totally convinced it'd never work for a time. However, I'm still left with a host of other problems that have me tearing my hair out in frustration. I'm so discombobulated right now that I'll be lucky to be even semi coherent in explaining everything. So without further ado, here's the saga of insanity of me tinkering on and off over the past few days getting absolutely no where.

After successfully figuring out the aforementioned case problem, first thing I did was of course try the graphics card. Problem is, even though it fits like a glove it plainly overlaps the PSU connector, 4 of them in fact. So initially after discovering this I thought "ok, maybe this isn't the end of the world as the PSU connectors are 20+4 afterall. Perhaps the 20 pin could fit by itself and provide enough power even if some claim that it's ill advised and will be insufficient power wise." But unfortunately the 20 by itself doesn't fit and by a laughably small amount, like half a fucking inch. That graphics card is too much of a behemoth it would seem. Anyways, that aside and having no clue what to do with the card situation besides looking into those you suggested, I was curious to see if I could even get the PC running in the new case along with the new PSU. So I start widdling away at that. I plugged in everything I could into the motherboard and surprise surprise, the PC won't start up. So now I'm left with a profoundly irritating process of elimination sequence to weed out whatever isn't working. In the off chance a brand new PSU would somehow be defunct I did the paperclip test even though I've since learned that it doesn't definitively tell you whether your PSU has enough wattage output to power the PC, only the fan and other miscellaneous things. So although this likely doesn't mean anything, the PSU did indeed pass it as it instantly gets the motherboard fan whirling along with its own fan. Interestingly enough though, the Ethernet only lit up and blinked the first time I had plugged into the motherboard with the PSU on. Evey time since it hasn't shown any activity. I know this is tangential to everything else I'm mainly worried about, but it makes me wonder. In any case, I highly doubt it's the PSU that's the culprit for my PC not starting up even with the paperclip test supposedly being a poor litmus test.

So onto where my current standstill is after ruling out the PSU tentatively, that is the power button for the PC. One glaring problem I see in my case is the fact that the old power button cord/plug from this PC case doesn't match up to anywhere on the motherboard. So I brainstormed and came up with the idea of taking the PC power button plug/cord off the case that this motherboard was originally with and transferring it over to the new case, enabling me to hopefully manually turn on the PC by pressing the power button even if it's hanging loose from the cord. Now here's the deal with that. Obviously, the plug does match up with the motherboard as it went with it originally, however this manual method didn't work which doesn't particularly surprise me as it was pretty harebrained. Guess the takeaway here after all this is that I have no idea what I'm doing and I'm starting to find it quite baffling how anyone enjoys tinkering with computers as a recreational activity. Doesn't mean I'm not grateful that you and all the others on this forum do though, these forums are clearly a godsend for many.

After all is said and done I did manage to take some photos to give you a sense of what you're working with. I dumped them all into imgur and without captions so I'll label them here for the ones I feel need extra info. Apologies btw but I have no clue what motherboard I have or even how I'd identify it beyond the sticker on the front of it, same goes for all the other parts beyond just the basic established fact of the newer computer I'm working with being the Intel i3-7100 and the bigger case being from the older computer that is an Pentium G620. View: https://imgur.com/a/oUbJx50


First and second photo contain the graphics card and demonstrate how it overlaps the PSU connector port.
Third photo is the back of the case after my "breakthrough" giving me extra room for the graphics card to not overlap as much, made no difference obv.
Photo 5 is the graphics card I got in lieu of the 580, same brand but presumably an earlier iteration that is also smaller, not small enough though.

Lastly photo 8 is where the power button is on the older case I'm using, the cord from this green bar there (lol, don't know what else to call it) leads to a plug that isn't compatible with any pins on this motherboard, hence me trying this manual method with what I believe is the newer motherboards power button plug. Apparently it has to be positioned in some specific way because what I'm doing dosent work, to emphasize that point.


And the rest are just random photos I took, none of which will probably be helpful in any way. Glean from them what little you can.
 
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Feb 12, 2019
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Also, photo 7 is the "manual power button" I attempted to use after having had plugged in everything. Honestly though, I'm not entirely sure it is the power button that went to it originally even with its positioning on the PC case it was in originally. It led to where a power button would be but that's all I know.
 
Even if a new case is needed, a Corsair 100R is fine midtower windowed plain black case, but only $50-$54 or so last time I checked....
The RX 580 is a great card....enjoy it! (Alas, if a new PSU is needed, there's another $55 or so....; one big rabbit hole!)
 
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Eximo

Titan
Herald
Well, upgrading an OEM system isn't the typical hobbyist route, though many people start out that way. Aftermarket parts are far more universally compatible with each other. Many people compare contemporary computer building to Lego.

Hmm, that is certainly odd placement for an ATX connector. At least it is standard. Typically it would be nearer the CPU.

450W power supply is more than enough for what you are trying to do. Not the best in the world, but if it works, it is fine. RX560 is the same age as an RX580, just a lot less GPU and RAM on that card. Thus the lower price and smaller size.

Well, simplest solution for the graphics would be to get a PCIe ribbon cable Then you could install the GPU at the very bottom of the case away from the motherboard and leave room for the power:
https://www.amazon.com/10-Inch-PCI-Express-Flexible-Black-Extender/dp/B074V1J1SF/ref=sr_1_6?ie=UTF8&qid=1550600656&sr=8-6&keywords=pcie+x16+ribbon+cable

You might have some interference with the way they built the expansion slots. But that metal is weak and a pair of heavy snips can cut it if the DVI port doesn't want to fit in there.

Power switch an be dealt with with by the following methods, though your solution should work. If you don't mind it.

One: locate the power switch pins coming out of the stock connector from the old chassis. Remove the pins from the new chassis's connector and plug them directly into the corresponding pins. A multi-meter in continuity mode is quite useful for this.

Two: Permanently short the power supplies standby power to ground, this is the paperclip test you tried. This is all the power button actually does. You can see the pinout here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ATX

Three: I didn't find any ready made adapters out there as this computer is relatively new. Not too many people picking them up and turning them into gaming rigs. But they might start showing up.
 
Feb 12, 2019
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Thanks for getting back to me so promptly. To address your kinda amusing observation before I get into it, it would seem I didn't pick the best entry point for PC building if one wants to not harbor bitterness towards all PCs to come, lol. Oh well. Anyways I'm not exactly sure what you mean with regards to certain things with your first and second proposed solutions for the power button respectively. Firstly, (and I'll link a pic of it again on imgur with a close up to show you what I'm referring to) when you talk about power switch pins my immediate thought is that you're talking about pins on a motherboard, as I've encountered in many threads people telling you to "short power pin headers" for an alternative means of powering up the mobo. But rereading what you said and then looking up "power switch pins" and more specifically stock connector I'm getting conflicting info. So, am I right in thinking that when you're talking about power pins coming out of a stock connector you're talking about this? View: https://imgur.com/a/LuiqTpd

Also, when you say "remove pins from the new chassis connector" you're not referring to the plugging in part/end to the cord that led from the front panel where the power button is on the chassis I'm working and and taking pins from that and putting then into the the above "stock connector" (if I'm even right and that's what it is) are you? I know it probably sounds really silly seeing as how there's nothing that obviously protrudes from it like a pin that could be removed from the part I'm talking about and somehow matched up with the stock connector, but I just want to be sure.

Secondly, with solution two and permanently shorting the PSU I honestly thought initially when you said "ground" you were quite literally referring to the ground until I read the pinout diagram on wikipedia. Derpy I know, but it shows my lack of familiarity with all the terminology. So anyways, how would I go about doing this method it came down to that? Sticking a small paperclip in both pins doesn't exactly sound viable and I'm sure not what you had in mind.

If at this point you deem this all a lost cause I'd get it since we're reverting back so far we're pretty much at square one with you giving me a crash course in PC anatomy.
 
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Eximo

Titan
Herald
Showing interest is the first step to learning. I could tell you anecdotes all day about me bumbling around in the 90s without access to the internet.

I'm actually not sure what I am looking at in the picture. Does that clip to the chassis and act as the power/reset switch?

For the very basics of ATX power supplies.

When you plug it into the wall (and turn on the switch if it has one) it is already producing a voltage. Usually 5V+ and maybe others to run itself. It hasn't switched on power to the computer though. 5V+ Standby pin is sitting there getting 5V. When you push the power button, all that does is connect the 5V+ to 0V. When it switches to 0V the power supply attempts to start supplying the higher and lower voltages to the board. A complex POST (Power On Self Test) action happens where sensors report back that nothing is shorted, loads are within normal parameters, etc. (Each PC component has a POST, and any fault can trigger the others to shut back off) This is a dedicated wire (usually green).

If you permanently short this wire to ground, yes, even using a paperclip. The computer will start when power is applied.

The reason for all of this is that in older computers they were more or less wired up this way. The power switch had the high voltage AC from the wall running through it, when you flipped it you were energizing the power supply and all the current was always running through that switch. Far more dangerous to have that constantly being handled than nearly harmless 5V DC. Many PC manufactures recognized this and use long rods (hilariously sometimes made of metal) to activate a switch internally with no direct connection to the circuit.

Almost all modern electronics use the standby mode instead of a true OFF state for safety. European law requires all new devices standby to consume less than one watt. (Some older cable boxes were found to use 40-60W when in standby mode)
 

Eximo

Titan
Herald
In your situation , if you don't want to have the old power switch from the other case in your new build, you can wire up a switch directly to the pins going into the ATX connector on the motherboard. It will serve the same purpose as the "paperclip" test and start the computer.

What you have seen people referring to is that you can also start a PC without the power switch cables plugged in. Simply bridge the two pins with a screw driver and it acts like a button press.

When I say pins, it is a common misnomer, technically what is on the wires for the front I/O, PCIe graphics, EPS, ATX, etc all technically sockets with the pins being on the other components like the motherboard. Basically one male and one female to every pin/socket arrangement. However, it is typical to refer to the ones not hard soldered to something as 'pins' when talking about disassembly. Most are held in with little metal tabs that can be depress with a screw driver or 'pin remover' (basically a hollow metal tube that lets you push tabs that are somewhat hidden from view)

This will let you rearrange wires in connectors so you can make things that aren't compatible out of the box, work.

Probably more than you want to do on your first build though, and it often requires some familiarity with electronic wiring.
 

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