Question Graphics card upgrade for HP Pavilion p6520f Desktop PC with legacy BIOS ?

Jul 18, 2022
37
1
35
0
I have a HP Pavilion p6520f tower (bought in 2010). It is running Windows 10 (latest update).

it has an H-RS880-uATX (Aloe) motherboard, a 1 TB western Digital 7200 RPM Red Label hard drive, 14 Gb ram.

The RAM slots are DDR3 DIMM and supported speed PC3-10600@1333MHz in a 64 bit set-up, but runs at 1066MHz becaue there are 4 RAM slots occupied.

450 watt power supply.

processor is an AMD Phenom II X4 965

directX version 12.

It has (1) PCi express x16 expansion slot version 2.0.

It has a legacy BIOS version 6.09 dated September 2010.

It does not have UEFI capability

The existing graphics processor is an motherboard-based (integrated) ATI Radeon 4200 with 'up to' 256 Mb memory.

I know very little about graphics cards, but would like to maximize the graphics capability for the computer. So here I am asking for some recommendations... Obviously compatibility is the main issue.

Please let me know what you legacy gear/software folks think

Thanks in Advance,

Mark
 

Aeacus

Champion
Ambassador
For that tree trunk, best you could look at, would be either Radeon HD 7770, GeForce GTX 750, GeFroce GT 1030 or similar. Anything better is waste of money and performance in that old rig, since you have PCI-E 2.0 slot and 450W PSU.
Note: the listed 3 GPUs operate at PCI-E 3.0 but are backwards compatible with PCI-E 2.0.

Edit:
Oh, you might also look into cheap (but still good) SSD as an OS drive, for much faster boot-up and loading times. E.g Crucial MX500 (500GB),
amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Crucial-MX500-NAND-SATA-Internal/dp/B0786QNS9B/
Or if you need more space, then 40 bucks more gets you 1TB MX500.

(I have MX500 1TB SSD as a backup drive in my Skylake build, full specs with pics in my sig.)
 
Reactions: MarktheArtist
Jul 18, 2022
37
1
35
0
I'm not looking to game with this old box. I use it mostly with Adobe Creative Suite CS-2 and for basic web surfing. The problem I have is that Photoshop graphic filter application renderings take a long time to process and since parts for this elderly box are inexpensive, I might as well max out it's capabilities.

Since I maxxed out the CPU and pretty much maxxed out the RAM, the only thing left to upgrade is the graphics card. The original graphics card in this set up was a built-in motherboard "integrated" ATI Radeon HD 4200 which has 256 Mb dedicated memory onboard poking along at 500MHz...

Again it has to work with the legacy BIOS - so non-UEFI
Assuming since I have DirectX 12, it has to work with this also
 

Tac 25

Commendable
Jul 25, 2021
877
212
1,290
9
I'm not looking to game with this old box. I use it mostly with Adobe Creative Suite CS-2 and for basic web surfing. The problem I have is that Photoshop graphic filter application renderings take a long time to process and since parts for this elderly box are inexpensive, I might as well max out it's capabilities.

Since I maxxed out the CPU and pretty much maxxed out the RAM, the only thing left to upgrade is the graphics card. The original graphics card in this set up was a built-in motherboard "integrated" ATI Radeon HD 4200 which has 256 Mb dedicated memory onboard poking along at 500MHz...

Again it has to work with the legacy BIOS - so non-UEFI
Assuming since I have DirectX 12, it has to work with this also
have three gpu here at home that I have tested to work with a legacy bios motherboard.

Asus GT 1030 (GDDR5 version)
MSI GTX 1050ti
Asus GTX 1650

for your rig, a 1030 should be enough.

if you're going to get a 1030, be sure to buy the GDDR5 version of it.
this video explains. :)

View: https://youtu.be/a80mtoQklSo
 
Last edited:
Reactions: MarktheArtist

Aeacus

Champion
Ambassador
I'm not looking to game with this old box. I use it mostly with Adobe Creative Suite CS-2 and for basic web surfing.
In this case, look towards Nvidia Quadro K2200. It's 68W GPU, with PCI-E 2.0 interface, perfect for your system. And it does support DirectX12 as well,
unofficial specs: https://www.techpowerup.com/gpu-specs/quadro-k2200.c2601

Quadro GPUs are specifically designed for workstation use, while Radeon RX/GeForce GPUs are designed for gaming use.
 
Reactions: MarktheArtist
Jul 18, 2022
37
1
35
0
Wow, it's fast enough and 4 Gb (!)

But when I checked UEFI vs legacy BIOS, Its a UEFI card with an unverified VGA-BIOS

https://www.techpowerup.com/vgabios/182110/182110

How does that interact with my American Megatrends motherboard BIOs v6.09 (most recent version for motherboard) or do they function independently of each other (which may or may not be the appropriate question

Compatibility is the key.... and determining that seems to be a mystery to many because my rig is ancient compared to whats out there....
 

Aeacus

Champion
Ambassador
But when I checked UEFI vs legacy BIOS, Its a UEFI card with an unverified VGA-BIOS
K2200 is not a UEFI-only GPU. It does support UEFI, yes, but it doesn't mean it will only run in UEFI.
And the latest BIOS listed on TechPowerUp is unconfirmed. Meaning that TechPowerUp haven't tested it yet, to confirm it. They even say so on the site:

Warning: You are viewing an unverified BIOS file.
This upload has not been verified by us in any way (like we do for the entries listed under the 'AMD', 'ATI' and 'NVIDIA' sections).
Please exercise caution when flashing it to your graphics card, and always have a backup.
Heck, for the most of the times, you don't even need to flash GPU BIOS. GPUs will work with what they come with and there is no reason to flash GPU BIOS.

For example; in my old AMD build (full specs in my sig), i have AMD Athlon II x2 250 CPU, ECS A750GM-M MoBo, 4GB DDR3 RAM and Club3D HD 7770 Ghz GPU. Specs wise, my AMD build is from same era, but a bit weaker (CPU wise).

Now, if you were to look my GPU BIOS specs from TechPowerUp,
link: https://www.techpowerup.com/vgabios/146877/146877

You'd also see that my GPU does support UEFI. However, i'm running WinXP Pro SP2 32-bit OS on it, which is as Legacy as it gets.

How does that interact with my American Megatrends motherboard BIOs v6.09 (most recent version for motherboard) or do they function independently of each other (which may or may not be the appropriate question
Same way as any other dedicated GPU. You need to download drivers for it from Nvidia, to utilize it fully. Else-ways, Win uses built-in display drivers when you connect your monitor to your dedicated GPU.

Compatibility is the key.... and determining that seems to be a mystery to many because my rig is ancient compared to whats out there....
Your MoBo has PCI-E 2.0 slot. K2200 operates with PCI-E 2.0. This is as compatible as it gets.

Now, if you were to use PCI-E 3.0 GPU (e.g like my HD 7770), then it still works, since PCI-E 3.0 GPUs are backwards compatible to PCI-E 2.0. But you'd get reduced transfer speeds between GPU and MoBo (since PCI-E 3.0 is much faster than PCI-E 2.0).

Same is when you plug USB 3.0 device into USB 2.0 slot. Device still works fine, but transfer speed is limited to what USB 2.0 slot can provide.
 
Jul 18, 2022
37
1
35
0
Aeacus,

Thanks for being so patient with my questions.

One of the largest issues with trying to upgrade my graphics card from the embedded one has been defining how one determines the compatibility of a given card with a given motherboard. I had figured out that UEFI cards wouldn't work in my rig..

I went ahead and ordered a used one via eBay.. Ive had pretty good luck there. I appreciate your patience with me and wanting to get the purchase right the first time.

I cant tell you how many legacy BIOS threads and purchase of graphics cards I read where the person ended up buying and returning multiple cards before getting it right

Got one more question... can I download the drivers for this card in advance, leave them in my downloads folder and then install the drivers once the card is installed? The motherboard spec for this MB says "Integrated video (built in MB - Integrated ATI Radeon 4200) is not available if a graphics card is installed. " It isnt distinctly stated whether the motherboard tries to install drivers pNp style upon booting the system or you get a black screen....
 

Aeacus

Champion
Ambassador
I cant tell you how many legacy BIOS threads and purchase of graphics cards I read where the person ended up buying and returning multiple cards before getting it right
From what i've seen, i never seen a GPU that doesn't work with MoBo due to the UEFI it has. I think for the cases you describe, the issue has been with something else, rather than this MoBo vs GPU conflict.
GPUs are relatively simple and are compatible with hardware spanning from different eras. This is most evident by the PCI-E 3.0 backwards compatibility with PCI-E 2.0. And same goes to PCI-E 2.0 as well, it too is backwards compatible with PCI-E 1.0. And this backwards compatibility goes into the future as well. Latest PCI-E 4.0 is backwards compatible with PCI-E 3.0.

I've seen many old builds, running AMD FX-4300, FX-8350 CPUs, while GPU in the system is much newer, e.g GTX 1060 or so.

I looked around the net a bit and found several builds, that have the very same CPU as you have, Phenom II X4 965 with modern GPU in it.
List of those builds: https://fr.pcpartpicker.com/builds/by_part/7rjG3C

I see one running RX 480, another is running R9 270X, yet, the MoBo they all have, is the similar old AM3/AM3+ socket MoBo you have. So, the fact that you have old hardware, doesn't instantly mean that you can not run newer GPU on it.

Got one more question... can I download the drivers for this card in advance, leave them in my downloads folder and then install the drivers once the card is installed?
Yes, you can.

The motherboard spec for this MB says "Integrated video (built in MB - Integrated ATI Radeon 4200) is not available if a graphics card is installed. " It isnt distinctly stated whether the motherboard tries to install drivers pNp style upon booting the system or you get a black screen....
This (first sentence) is true. However, when you plug dedicated GPU in the system and hook your monitor to GPU, Windows uses built-in stock display drivers to get the image to display. Now these stock display drivers can be either in Windows itself, or can be included with the GPU as well.

For example: My HD 7770, without GPU drivers, produces an image with max resolution of 640x480 (or was it 800x600, i can't remember exactly). Now, if i wanted to use higher resolutions, e.g 1024x768, i had to install GPU drivers.
 
Reactions: MarktheArtist
Jul 18, 2022
37
1
35
0
Aeacus,

Thanks for your reply. These are the answers I've been looking for; which seemingly were in short supply on other site's pages.

So the card I am looking at has a DVI plug. I have ordered a DVI to VGA adapter (for cheap). Do you anticipate any problems?

If I download the drivers for a card in advance, should I be able to execute the driver install from the downloaded file(s) with no problems?

Based on your recommendation, I ordered this used ('previously owned') graphics card.... https://www.techpowerup.com/gpu-specs/quadro-k2200.c2601

It cost less than $60.00 including shipping. I'm fairly stoked (is this current lingo?) about this upgrade. I'm not sure if I have completely tweaked this set-up out... but feel like it should perform well for my intended uses.

Are there any additional tweaks I should consider?.... I have one slot of memory I can upgrade from 2 Gb to 4 Gb - which will bring total RAM to 16 Gb. The processor is pretty much maxxed out.

I could switch over to an SSD from an HD.... but the HD is basically brand new as it was cloned and error corrected from the original HD and spins nearly twice as fast.

I still have (3) PCI-E x1 slots and (1) PCI-E mini card connector available. Is there any additional ancient hardware which would add some umph to this rig that fits those slots and wont bankrupt my 450 W power supply?
 
Reactions: Aeacus

Aeacus

Champion
Ambassador
So the card I am looking at has a DVI plug. I have ordered a DVI to VGA adapter (for cheap). Do you anticipate any problems?
Only issue with the DVI port is, if it is DVI-I or DVI-D.
Now, on the overall screenshot, it looks to be DVI-I (which has both analog and digital signals) Then again, port may look DVI-I but what matters, are the pins in it.

Overall, there are 3 different DVI ports:
DVI-A supports only analog signal but that port is quite rare.
DVI-D supports only digital signal, meaning that your VGA monitor won't work with it.
DVI-I supports both analog and digital signal, whereby it works with all monitors, be it analog (VGA) or digital (HDMI).

With such an old GPU, i don't think the DVI port is DVI-D. It most likely is DVI-I with support to both analog and digital signals.

If I download the drivers for a card in advance, should I be able to execute the driver install from the downloaded file(s) with no problems?
I see no reason for issues, once you have GPU installed in the system.

It cost less than $60.00 including shipping. I'm fairly stoked (is this current lingo?) about this upgrade. I'm not sure if I have completely tweaked this set-up out... but feel like it should perform well for my intended uses.
I'm too old to use lingo/slang. :sweatsmile: Or at least, i don't use it. But yes, "stoked" = "excited". Though, when to think about :unsure:, current lingo would be "hyped".

60 bucks for it is quite cheap actually. I also looked it up from my preferred sources and i saw it going for 230 bucks. :LOL:

Are there any additional tweaks I should consider?.... I have one slot of memory I can upgrade from 2 Gb to 4 Gb - which will bring total RAM to 16 Gb.
Checked your MoBo specs,
link: http://www.findlaptopdriver.com/specs_h-rs880-uatx/

And you have DDR2 RAM in there. Now, i don't know how forgiving DDR2 RAM is in mixing it, but better to play it safe, since else-ways you can face issues.
Further reading, namely "The odd man out" chapter: https://forums.tomshardware.com/faq/troubleshooting-problems-with-pc-memory-ram-and-xmp-profile-configurations.3398926/

My suggestion would be not to play the RAM lottery, by getting only one stick, crossing your fingers and hoping all of it works together. Instead, i'd go with full set of RAM instead, if more RAM is needed. In your case, it would be 4x 4GB (total 16GB) DDR2 1066 Mhz or 1333 Mhz.

For example; my Haswell build runs DDR3 RAM and rather than playing the RAM lottery (despite having total of 4 slots, where 3 slots were empty), i went with full set, while keeping the old RAM as backup (just in case).
Pic too (left - old RAM/ right - new RAM):



I could switch over to an SSD from an HD.... but the HD is basically brand new as it was cloned and error corrected from the original HD and spins nearly twice as fast.
I guess you had 5400 RPM HDD previously and now you have 7200 RPM HDD? If so, there yes, is speed difference.

In an analogy, 5400 RPM HDD is like steam locomotive, while 7200 RPM HDD is like diesel locomotive (quite a bit faster). Now, SATA SSD would be like mag-lev bullet train, compared to the HDD. :LOL: (And M.2 NVMe SSD is like supersonic Mach5 plane compared to all of that.)

Here is speed comparison video between SATA SSD and HDD. The vid is quite old but comparison still holds true:

View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j84eEjP-RL4


Essentially, SATA SSD is 10x times faster than HDD. And M.2 NVMe SSD is 10x faster than SATA SSD. You can not install M.2 NVMe SSD into your system that easily (with PCI-E adapter card, you could but you'd run into compatibility issues). But you can install 2.5" SATA SSD into your system just fine.

On another aspect, i don't think no-one, old or young, would want time to be wasted, while waiting when HDD finally loads the OS and other software needed. Hence why SATA SSDs were made and at current date, M.2 NVMe SSDs are the norm.

I still have (3) PCI-E x1 slots and (1) PCI-E mini card connector available. Is there any additional ancient hardware which would add some umph to this rig that fits those slots and wont bankrupt my 450 W power supply?
The rest of the PCI-E slots are for utility. None of the add-on cards there are, boost the PC's performance. Though, there are quite a bit of useful add-on cards that can be added into PCI-E slots, e.g: wi-fi card (if you want wireless connection to internet), sound card (for better audio), SATA expansion card (when you ran out of SATA ports on MoBo and need more), RGB lighting control cards (for eyecandy) etc etc. The choice is as wide as with the hardware you can put into external 5.25" bay (the one that holds CD/DVD reader/writer).
 
Reactions: MarktheArtist
Jul 18, 2022
37
1
35
0
Thanks for your reply.

I already have, with this particular rig, a wi-fi antenna connection. It came with the computer as OEM equipment.

I also have an OEM DVD read/write device. Works just fine. There is one additional expansion bay below the Optical read/write device. Can't think of what would be useful for this bay unless it dispensed interesting hot food...

Ive got a 4 TB SSD Seagate backup external to the desktop.... So no need to change that up.

It'd be wonderful if some charity-minded tech guru could go back and solve the hard drive sleep/wake problem that American MegaTrends BIOS ver. 6.09 was supposed to solve... since that is what sent me on this hardware refurb trip... If a neew graphics card solves that problem, that will be revelatory...

Wonder if one could put in some addl graphics memory in those additional slots...

So why is it that folks like me couldn't easily find the low-down skinny (FAQ) on fitting graphics cards to legacy BIOS PC's. I've killed two weeks going back and forth on various discussion boards trying to figure out the compatibility issues for upgrading my graphics card capabilities.... and I just wanted to get it right the first time,,,
 
Jul 18, 2022
37
1
35
0
I might easily be older than you, though it might not be obvious.

I punched cards on an IBM 29 card puncher. There were still punched paper tape input devices at mt University.. All printers were chain-drive.

Most 'online' interaction was accomplished via ?300 baud 'bang-bang typewriter terminals".

Chinese PhD's came to the I/O (which was still a suspended floor (though no longer a serious clean-room) and read their hexidecimal printouts right off the page like it was a newspaper. Their programs as post-docs and professors easily totaled from 5000-10,000 cards.... I/O was a combination of card reader and a pigeon-hole print-out paper like a giant wine rack

Our mainframe was an IBM 360, with an Amdahl 470 add on, which utilized a platter-type stacked 12"(?) disc drive set.

Digital tape files equated to actual reels of magnetic tape. Each tape call had to be physically mounted by a system operator. So operators were in and out of the chair frequently

My roomie at the time was able to 'hack' the mainframe by checking the trash for over-printed 3 character/number account login passwords... This gave him access to the most powerful accounts on the system (assembler language accounts). He was then able to check out the IBM system utilities manuals right there in the I/O center to run detailed inquiries into the most sensitive files on the system which he was free to access.

Network security had developed to the point that when he dumped the most recent university payroll file to the printer in the I/O center, the system operator noted it (because he did it at like 04:00 and was nearly the only user on the system)... and the campus police confiscated his ID and exiled him from the I/O center. Though this still left the terminals in the school of architecture available for use. Unfortunately, those terminals were usually utilized by the black hat hackers in off-hours... My roomie was lucky to graduate vs being expelled for hacking.... But went on to have a successful career in the military/industrial complex.
 

Aeacus

Champion
Ambassador
There is one additional expansion bay below the Optical read/write device. Can't think of what would be useful for this bay unless it dispensed interesting hot food...
I've populated my external 5.25" bays with CD/DVD reader/writer, fan controller and 9in1 card reader.

Another pic:
(from left to right: my main rig [Skylake], missus'es PC [Haswell] and my retro gaming rig [AMD])



There are more hardware that can be put into 5.25" bay. E.g you could fit additional 3.5" drive in there (HDD) or two 2.5" SSDs.

It'd be wonderful if some charity-minded tech guru could go back and solve the hard drive sleep/wake problem that American MegaTrends BIOS ver. 6.09 was supposed to solve... since that is what sent me on this hardware refurb trip... If a neew graphics card solves that problem, that will be revelatory...
This, actually, could be PSU issue. Since older units, for the most part, are incapable of waking up PC from "deep sleep".

Another option is BIOS setting, that can be toggled for proper wake up.

Btw, i rarely put my PC to sleep. When i'm home, i'm usually working with PC and when i'm out or sleeping, i'll do full shut down (power off).

Wonder if one could put in some addl graphics memory in those additional slots...
Like in the good old days? :LOL:

Long are gone the days where you had to plug in additional card, so that your GPU would have it's VRAM.

Best you could do nowadays, is buying 2nd GPU and running dual-GPU system. But that is quite iffy and far more headache to get it properly running than it's worth it.

So why is it that folks like me couldn't easily find the low-down skinny (FAQ) on fitting graphics cards to legacy BIOS PC's. I've killed two weeks going back and forth on various discussion boards trying to figure out the compatibility issues for upgrading my graphics card capabilities.... and I just wanted to get it right the first time,,,
Nowadays, using Google is actual skill, that you can master, in order to find the specific info you need. And Google doesn't display the relevant info right away, unless you know the specific keywords to use. Then again, if Google would give you all the answers right away, there wouldn't be a need for tech oriented forums, like Tom's Hardware. And i'd be out of job. :sweatsmile:

I might easily be older than you, though it might not be obvious.

I punched cards on an IBM 29 card puncher. There were still punched paper tape input devices at mt University.. All printers were chain-drive.

Most 'online' interaction was accomplished via ?300 baud 'bang-bang typewriter terminals".

Chinese PhD's came to the I/O (which was still a suspended floor (though no longer a serious clean-room) and read their hexidecimal printouts right off the page like it was a newspaper. Their programs as post-docs and professors easily totaled from 5000-10,000 cards.... I/O was a combination of card reader and a pigeon-hole print-out paper like a giant wine rack

Our mainframe was an IBM 360, with an Amdahl 470 add on, which utilized a platter-type stacked 12"(?) disc drive set.

Digital tape files equated to actual reels of magnetic tape. Each tape call had to be physically mounted by a system operator. So operators were in and out of the chair frequently

My roomie at the time was able to 'hack' the mainframe by checking the trash for over-printed 3 character/number account login passwords... This gave him access to the most powerful accounts on the system (assembler language accounts). He was then able to check out the IBM system utilities manuals right there in the I/O center to run detailed inquiries into the most sensitive files on the system which he was free to access.

Network security had developed to the point that when he dumped the most recent university payroll file to the printer in the I/O center, the system operator noted it (because he did it at like 04:00 and was nearly the only user on the system)... and the campus police confiscated his ID and exiled him from the I/O center. Though this still left the terminals in the school of architecture available for use. Unfortunately, those terminals were usually utilized by the black hat hackers in off-hours... My roomie was lucky to graduate vs being expelled for hacking.... But went on to have a successful career in the military/industrial complex.
With that experience, you'd be perfect fit in this topic, (y)
link: https://forums.tomshardware.com/threads/vintage-pc-technology-mega-discussion-thread.2817216/

You can find my history in there as well, 19th reply.
And if i'd have to guess, i'd say you're double of my age. :)
 
Reactions: MarktheArtist
Jul 18, 2022
37
1
35
0
I'm pretty good with Google queries... It is a skill and sometimes requires great patience... My search histories started out with Alta Vista and Dogpile... So I guess I am a bit your elder... Nonetheless, I have a great appreciation for your help with my tech questions

My old rig that I am improving already has the multi-card reader. which includes even compact flash... not that there are that many compact flash cards out there... but I have a few. I don't have so much heat in my desktop case that I require fan controls.....

My first digital camera was a 1 mpx model (early adopter)

I also have an extremely early digital movie camera - the same one used in portions of the blair witch project, in a box somewhere... It was a horrible toy which recorded digital imagery on chrome cassette tapes. (early adopter). It was made by a subsidiary of the Quaker Oats Company - Fisher Price...

We cant all be as old as me - though I find more and more that I measure my age by those who are younger than me rather than older then me - its a sign that you may have gained some common sense along with all your tech savvy. I didn't think, with my high adventure sports lifestyle at the time, that I would live to 30; let alone my current age.

But with regards to SSD's, I didnt know that they had solved the heat and deterioration issues with SSD's until recently.... which is why I had my old hard drive error corrected and copied onto another SATA-type hard drive before plugging it back into my old rig. The gentleman who did the cloning of the drive mentioned after the fact that I could have put my hard drive onto a SSD.... Oh Well...

And though I am an artist with a keen interest in color and texture, Ive not seen the artistry in lighting up your hardware - just like I've never thought much of the tuner vehicles with the neon under body lighting - though I am interested in liquid cooled computer systems.... but as a former engineering student, I have to wonder about heat transfer, metal to metal, to liquid to metal again to air... as being more efficient than heat sink to air - 1 step.... with heat transfer efficiency being the critical factor - but totally do-able. But watching liquid circulating in a closed cycle reminds me of my friends who were hot-rodd-ers back in the day

Let me post back when I get the graphics card and get it installed... In the meantime, there's just so many chores to be done... Welcome to home ownership....
 

Aeacus

Champion
Ambassador
But with regards to SSD's, I didnt know that they had solved the heat and deterioration issues with SSD's until recently.... which is why I had my old hard drive error corrected and copied onto another SATA-type hard drive before plugging it back into my old rig. The gentleman who did the cloning of the drive mentioned after the fact that I could have put my hard drive onto a SSD.... Oh Well...
When it comes to SSDs (both SATA and NVMe), the best of them is Samsung. Now, Samsung drives may cost a bit more than competitor's but they also offer the best performance and reliability. Also, Samsung has developed cloning software for their SSDs, Samsung Data Migration Tool, that you can easily clone your entire OS around and make it automatically bootable as well, as long as the target drive is Samsung drive. <- This software makes buying new Samsung SSDs and getting your OS onto it, as easy as it gets.

Though, in SATA SSD market, there are other, good SSDs to choose from. E.g Crucial MX500 series (that i linked above).
Review: https://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/crucial-mx500-ssd-review-nand,5390.html

It is cheaper than Samsung 860 Evo or 870 Evo, with slightly less performance as well. But the biggest downside probably would be, that you can't clone your OS over that easily, since you can not use Samsung Data Migration Tool. Instead, you have to use another cloning software, e.g Acronis True Image. (Kingston prefers to use Acronis True Image with their SSDs.)

Here's Samsung 870 Evo review,
link: https://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/samsung-870-evo-sata-ssd-review-the-best-just-got-better

And comparison too, between 1TB MX500 and 870 Evo,
link: https://ssd.userbenchmark.com/Compare/Crucial-MX500-1TB-vs-Samsung-870-EVO-1TB/m406099vsm1445454

And though I am an artist with a keen interest in color and texture, Ive not seen the artistry in lighting up your hardware - just like I've never thought much of the tuner vehicles with the neon under body lighting
Adding RGB fans/LEDs to your PC is only for eyecandy. Even i've added RGB fans and LED strips to my Skylake and Haswell builds. Not only they provide eyecandy, they also lit up otherwise dark internals of my PCs, so i can better see into my PC. And my LEDs are addressable, giving me plenty of customizing options, based on my mood, weather or even season. :LOL:

We actually also have RGB peripherals in use as well (keyboard, mouse, headset, headset stand and i also have mouse pad as well. Missus has regular mouse pad). And again, RGB peripherals are for eyecandy and able to see keyboard keys in low-light/ dark room.
Day shot of my rig [Skylake]:



Night shot of my rig [Skylake]:



Day shot of missus'es PC [Haswell]:



Night shot of missus'es PC [Haswell]:

Yes, you could look "tuning" the PCs similar to car culture and car tuners. With cars, there are big fancy rims, neon under light, custom paint job, exceptional sound system and the like. While with PCs, there are RGB fans/LED strips, underglow LED strips (which i don't have but have thought about), custom sleeved power cables, anodized aluminum thumbscrews, RGB peripherals and the like. Oh, open water cooling loop as well, with e.g neon color liquid (for show).

Those people who "tune" their PCs, are part of the sub-culture known as Enthusiast Computing.
Further reading: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Enthusiast_computing

To me, enthusiast computing is a lifestyle (as you could already tell) and i love building "fancy" PCs. All desktop PCs i have, i've assembled by myself and enjoyed it very much. :D And i also like helping out others with their hardware, be it hardware parts suggestion on what to buy, or troubleshooting hardware issues. I can troubleshoot software issues as well but i don't like dealing with software issues. All-in-all, i've been at it 20+ years.

though I am interested in liquid cooled computer systems.... but as a former engineering student, I have to wonder about heat transfer, metal to metal, to liquid to metal again to air... as being more efficient than heat sink to air - 1 step.... with heat transfer efficiency being the critical factor - but totally do-able. But watching liquid circulating in a closed cycle reminds me of my friends who were hot-rodd-ers back in the day
Overall, there are 4 types of consumer grade PC cooling. Actually two types, where each type has two branches;

Air
* Passive cooling - only heatsink, without a fan, relying on natural convection. E.g Arctic Alpine 12 Passive
Quite rare cooling method nowadays since modern PC hardware (CPUs, GPUs) output too much heat for passive cooling being effective. But there are some passive cooled PSUs, e.g Seasonic PRIME Fanless TX.
* Active cooling - heatsink with a fan. E.g Arctic Freezer 50
Most common cooling method around. Also the least maintenance with longest lifespan. Cheap too.

Liquid
* AIO (All-In-One) water coolers - pump, tubing, radiator, fans and liquid all come in one sealed package. E.g Arctic Liquid Freezer II 280 A-RGB
2nd most common cooling method nowadays. Same level of maintenance as with active air cooling, but considerably shorter lifespan (2-5 years), with more noise and far more expensive. Often double of what active air cooler would cost.
* Open-loop water cooling - pump, tubing, radiator, fans, fittings, reservoir and liquid all come as separate pieces, where end user has to assemble all of it, according to their needs. E.g EKWB, the go-to shop for all custom loop water cooling parts.
This is the most "fancy" cooling method, since many different water cooling loops can be made, including custom colored liquid. This is very maintenance heavy, whereby every 6 months you should drain the loop and fill it with new liquid and after 1 year, you need to completely drain the loop and take it all apart, to clean the insides. And then putting it all back together, while ensuring that there aren't any leaks (if there are, you can fry your entire PC). It is also the most expensive out of the 4 listed, since with custom water cooling loops, parts are expensive.

--

As far as practical cooling goes, they all are equal, since in the end, they all are cooled by ambient air.
(Only the usage of cryogenic fluids, e.g LN2, doesn't depend on ambient air but those are used only in record breaking.)

Now, when to compare two most common cooling methods, active air cooling (air cooler) and all-in-one water cooler (AIO), it goes like this:

For equal cooling performance between AIOs and air coolers, rad (radiator) needs to be 240mm or 280mm. Smaller rads: 120mm and 140mm are almost always outperformed by mid-sized air coolers. Single slot rads are good in mini-ITX builds where you don't have enough CPU cooler clearance to install mid-sized CPU air cooler.

Here are the positive sides of both (air and AIO) CPU cooling methods;

Pros of air coolers:
less cost
less maintenance
less noise
far longer longevity
no leakage risks
doesn't take up case fan slots
additional cooling for the RAM
CPU cools down faster after heavy heat output

Pros of AIOs:
no RAM clearance issues*
no CPU clearance issues
CPU takes longer time to heat up during heavy heat output (about 30 mins)
* on some cases, top mounted rad can give RAM clearance issues

While how the CPU cooler looks inside the PC depends on a person. Some people prefer to see small AIO pump in the middle of their MoBo with tubing going to the rad while others prefer to see big heatsink with fans in the middle of their MoBo.

Main difference between AIO and air cooler is that with AIO, you'll get more noise at a higher cost while cooling performance remains the same.
Here's also one good article for you to read where king of air coolers (Noctua NH-D15) was put against 5x high-end AIOs, including former king of AIOs (NZXT x61 Kraken),
link: http://www.relaxedtech.com/reviews/noctua/nh-d15-versus-closed-loop-liquid-coolers/1

Personally, i'd go with air coolers every day of the week. With same cooling performance, the pros of air coolers outweigh the pros of AIOs considerably. While, for me, the 3 main pros would be:
1. Less noise.
Since i like my PC to be quiet, i can't stand the loud noise AIO makes. Also, when air gets trapped inside the AIO (some AIOs are more prone to this than others), there's additional noise coming from inside the pump.
2. Longevity.
Cheaper AIOs usually last 2-3 years and high-end ones 4-5 years before you need to replace it. While with air coolers, their life expectancy is basically unlimited. Only thing that can go bad on an air cooler is the fan on it. If the fan dies, your CPU still has cooling in form of a big heatsink. Also, new 120mm or 140mm fan doesn't cost much and it's easy to replace one. While with AIOs, the main thing that usually goes bad is the pump itself. And when that happens, your CPU has no cooling whatsoever. Since you can't replace pump on an AIO, you need to buy whole new AIO to replace the old one out.
3. No leakage risks.
Since there's liquid circling inside the AIO, there is always a risk that your AIO can leak. While it's rare, it has happened. It's well known fact that liquids and electronics don't mix.
 
Jul 18, 2022
37
1
35
0
Aeacus,

thanks for your reply. I will likely make my next drive an SSD - now that the heat and solid state memory sector deterioration issues have been solved

We shall see on the graphics card being shipped this way... should be here in a day or 6.

Liquid cooled systems sure do look snazzy... but I agree with you that efficiency, potential liquid leakage and noise are deal killers

Has anyone ever considered using ducted air cooling versus case grills and random air intake/exhaust? I know that some processors were once set up with a duct opening within the case above the fan to sort of preferentially cool the processor... But what about ducting specific to the item being cooled
 

Aeacus

Champion
Ambassador
Has anyone ever considered using ducted air cooling versus case grills and random air intake/exhaust? I know that some processors were once set up with a duct opening within the case above the fan to sort of preferentially cool the processor... But what about ducting specific to the item being cooled
Only a remnant of this "ducted" cooling remains nowadays. And those are blower-style GPUs.

It's looks and operating method:



Since blower-style GPUs have closed plastic housing, the custom design fan is able to create airflow tunnel over GPU die and exhaust all the hot air directly to the outside of the PC case, via the GPU back I/O shield.

There's 2nd remnant as well, and those are PSUs, IF mounted fan down.



With bottom mounted PSU and PSU fan facing downwards, PSU lives in it's own ecosystem, completely cut off from the rest of the PC's cooling. PSU doesn't take any cool air away nor doesn't provide any hot air either for other components. Due to this, this PSU mounting method is preferred. Else-ways, either with PSU fan facing upwards (if bottom mounted) or when PSU is mounted at the top, PSU acts as an exhaust for the PC.

--

Now, i do get what you're asking with the ducted/tunneled airflow, but the thing is, there are more components within the PC that need cooling, other than CPU or GPU (latter has it's own cooler). To name the few: RAM, MoBo VRM, MoBo chipset.

For the most part, RAM, VRM, chipset and the like, doesn't need active cooling and can live fine with the passive heatsink cooling they have. But in high-end builds, especially with CPU OC (overclock), all components produce more heat and it is better when there's airflow going over them.

At current date, i don't know any modern setup (PC case) that would offer the duct/tunnel cooling solution for CPU. What makes designing and building it complicated, are the rule of thumb in PC airflow, where: front & bottom - intake, top & rear - exhaust.

Since CPU sits at top left corner (when looking the PC from it's side), the duct/tunnel has to be pretty long. Preferably from the front to the CPU and then either to back or top. Now, some cases have 5.25" external bays at the front while other cases have nothing, for a clean look.
Another issue would be ease of CPU installation. If you have (almost) air tight duct/tunnel that has to go to CPU socket, installing CPU would be quite an ordeal.

Did some looking around and someone actually did it,
link: https://www.instructables.com/$3-Computer-CPU-Intake-Fan-Duct/

Now, this requires specific PC case and only top-down CPU cooler can be used. Oh, good DIY (Do It Yourself) skills too.

Biggest issue with this ducted setup is, that the heatsink and fan on the CPU isn't big enough to cool the CPU if you'd have powerhouse CPU (120+W TPD), regardless if you have access to cool air right outside the case or not.
And another problem as well: how to protect the fan and heatsink from dust or even other foreign objects that fit into that duct? Since what i see there, is completely open tunnel, straight to the CPU cooler.
 
Reactions: MarktheArtist
Jul 18, 2022
37
1
35
0
Here's the specs on my rig again... because they might be useful further along...

I have a HP Pavilion p6520f tower (bought in 2010). It is running windows 10 (21H2 - latest update).
it has an H-RS880-uATX (Aloe) motherboard, a 1 TB western Digital 7200 RPM Red Label hard drive, 14 Gb ram.
The RAM slots are DDR3 DIMM and supported speed PC3-10600@1333MHz in a 64 bit set-up, but runs at 1066MHz because there are 4 RAM slots occupied.
450 watt power supply.
processor is an AMD Phenom II X4 965
directX version 12.
It has (1) PCi express x16 expansion slot version 2.0.
It has a legacy BIOS version 6.09 dated September 2010.

Regarding prior discussion about ducted cooling


Interestingly enough, my HP Pavilion p6520f has the power supply mounted on the top rear left when the tower is viewed from the front looking back. It pulls ambient air from the case through a bottom intake and exhausts it from the top left rear.

For processor cooling, my Phenom II processor is currently relying on a down-flow cooling fan drawing air from the cabinet and exhausting it back into the cabinet. And, it's rated at 125 W... not that I have tested it's capabilities or limits to this point

The new graphics card is a ducted cooling fan design (Nvidia Quadro K2200)..... just as mentioned in the recent post showing a naked view of a graphics card cooled by cooling fan in a housing which allows for bi-direction flow

Which brings me to a new twist in the artifact HP Pavilion upgrade....

As I mentioned a while back, I said I'd check in once the card arrived and was installed.... well, it's arrived and been installed... that all went smoothly and I got the DVI - VGA adapter plug the same day... The install went smoothly... just a couple screws and cable ties to keep wiring out of the way...

But, upon turning the little darling back on... we went back to an earlier problem that has not been discussed here... The start-up sequence doesn't move past spinning up the hard drive. This was THE problem which started the whole process of swapping out parts and maxxing out the machine's capabilities. So... the BIOS program(s) isn't running - which kills the rest of the boot process. When you turn on the machine, you usually get the BIOS screen - which then leads to starting the loading of windows 10 21H2... I get no hard drive light flickers and no BIOS screen.

Once upon a time, it was merely a matter of waiting out whatever it is that keeps the BIOS from running... the American MegaTrends BIOS ver. 6.09 update was supposed to solve the problem of the computer hard drive waking up if it had more than 4 Gb of RAM installed. So I installed this BIOS revision during the software and hardware upgrade process

So, the last time it woke up (big delay...more than 24 hours) after a re-start, I got the idea that I needed to make sure that the hard drive never went to hibernation/sleep mode since this seemed to be a possible problem. So I set the hard drive to never sleep... and this worked well after the last reboot prior to installing the new graphics card....

But, I shut the system down after downloading the latest drivers for the new video card - but prior to installing the new graphics card..... and this is because I figured that you likely couldn't do a powered up install of a graphics card without cooking the card.....

So, here I am again, with a rig which won't boot.... likely because there's a problem in the BIOS which won't let it run past a certain point

AEACUS.... got any clues on what the problem might be?

Thinking it was the new graphics card or the amount of RAM, I tried removing the new card and then starting up with 2 Gb of RAM... but this had no effect... tried various permutations of the original embedded graphics processor and RAM sticks with no boot-up...

AAAARRRRGGGGHHHH!
 

Aeacus

Champion
Ambassador
AEACUS.... got any clues on what the problem might be?
My 1st step would be breadboarding the MoBo, since it makes following troubleshooting far easier.

Breadboarding is, when you take MoBo out of the PC case, and place it on top of any solid, non-conductive surface, e.g wooden table, cardboard box etc.

Here's how my, now main rig, was breadboarded, just after purchase, since i needed to make sure it works, prior to installing it into PC case (my old AMD build is in the background):



--

Once you have MoBo out of the PC case, connect to MoBo:
  • 24-pin ATX power and 4/8-pin power EPS
  • monitor to MoBo
  • KB and mouse to MoBo
  • unplug the dedicated GPU
  • unplug all storage drives
  • unplug almost all RAM, leaving only 1 stick in
Note: Do not disconnect the front I/O cables from your MoBo (white thin wires on my image but yours could be black), unless you have MoBo manual and can look from it the pinout of front I/O cables. Instead, try to carefully navigate MoBo out of PC case, while front I/O cables are connected.
If you do have MoBo manual, you can disconnect front I/O cables, take MoBo out and plug them back in afterwards, for easier power on (else ways, short the power + and - pins with screwdriver to power on the PC).

With this, what you should have left on the MoBo, are:
  • CPU + it's cooler
  • RAM
This is the bare minimum needed for PC to run. It won't boot into OS, since none of the drives are connected, but it does POST and should go directly into BIOS.

To turn off this stripped PC, flip the PSU switch at the back of the PSU.

--

Now, if you do not get any life out of the bare minimum, then the issue is either with CPU, RAM or MoBo.
If, on 1st try, you don't get any image, connect OS drive to PC and try again. If it still doesn't work, something is wrong with core components.

Since you have 4 RAM sticks for it, you can try all the RAM sticks individually, in all 4 slots your MoBo has.

e.g power off, DIMM 1 in 1st slot, power on - tests - yes/no for signs of life, power off,
DIMM 1 in 2nd slot, power on - tests - yes/no for signs of life, power off,
DIMM 1 in 3rd slot - tests - yes/no for signs of life,
DIMM 1 in 4th slot - tests - yes/no for signs of life.

After 1st stick is tested, take 2nd one and to the same;
DIMM 2 in 1st slot - tests - yes/no for signs of life,
DIMM 2 in 2nd slot - tests - yes/no for signs of life,
DIMM 2 in 3rd slot - tests - yes/no for signs of life,
DIMM 2 in 4th slot - tests - yes/no for signs of life.

Etc, until you've tested all 4 RAM sticks you have.

While this testing is very tedious, it's only way to confirm RAM issues with MoBo on hardware level.
 
Jul 18, 2022
37
1
35
0
It is not the RAM or the motherboard... It's the BIOS.... Nothing changed except that I turned it off to add the new hardware - i.e. the new graphics card. When it didnt boot, I took the graphics card out and tried to get it to boot.. That didn't work. Then I tried various combinations of RAM without the graphics card - starting with 2 Gb of Ram - all the way up to 14 Gb... I have already replaced the MOBO, power supply and processor in the prior 6 months

The boot sequence isn't even getting to the BIOS screen... and this is with either the new graphics card in or out
 

Aeacus

Champion
Ambassador
It could be that the MoBo was on it's way out and is completely dead now. Then again, you have ancient MoBo in there and it is very rare to see such old MoBos still going on.

While the following may not be to your likening, how about getting new MoBo again? :unsure:
But this time, not the very old AM3 socket HP MoBo, but instead newer, AM3+ socket MoBo, from more reputable brand, e.g Gigabyte, Asus, MSI or AsRock.

All MoBos that have AM3+ socket, will support AM3 socket Phenom II CPU as well.
E.g Gigabyte lineup (7 pages): https://www.gigabyte.com/Motherboard/AMD--CPU-Type-Socket-AM3-Plus
AsRock lineup: https://www.asrock.com/mb/index.us.asp#AM3+

Since you have micro-ATX MoBo, "new" MoBo should be same size (or smaller mini-ITX) as well, if you want to use same PC case.

The rest of the parts you can just transfer over.
 
Jul 18, 2022
37
1
35
0
It's likely its the BIOS - not the MoBo.. I still have the other MoBo. They both worked in the mix. It was the BIOS which wasn't performing. The Version 6.09 BIOS revision was supposed to solve a problem related to waking up the hard drive when more than 4Gb RAM was present (I had the prior version when this all started) and it persisted after flashing the later version onto the MoBo... This is why I set the HD to never sleep mode. every time the HD went to sleep, it would wake up, but this could take hours or longer to happen... And re-boots from a cold start left me sitting where I am now.....
 

ASK THE COMMUNITY

TRENDING THREADS