HP PC+Monitor/ Which G-Card to choose under Power constraints.


Aug 30, 2009
O'right gang.......

I am a super newby when it comes to the specifics of video cards and configurations. So I have a few questions. I am getting a new PC+Monitor from HP cause I don't know yet how to build my own:( . With that said; here is the PC I am looking forward to buy:
HP Pavilion Elite e9180t customizable Desktop PC

Windows Vista Home Premium = SP1 (64-bit)
Intel Core i7-920 processor (2.66GHz, 1MB L2 + 8MB shared L3 cache with QPI Technology
9GB DDR3-1066MHz SDRAM [5 DIMMs]
750GB 7200 rpm SATA 3Gb/s hard drive
HP Offers the following to pick:
1GB ATI Radeon HD 4650 [DVI, HDMI, VGA] +0.00 (Included in Price)
1GB NVIDIA GeForce GT 220 [DVI, HDMI, VGA] +40.00
1GB NVIDIA GeForce GTS 250 [2 DVI, HDMI and VGA adapters] +120.00
1GB ATI Radeon HD 4850 [2 DVI, HDMI and VGA adapters] +140.00
LightScribe 16X max. DVD+/-R/RW SuperMulti drive
Premium Wireless-N LAN card and Bluetooth(R )
15-in-1 memory card reader, 1 USB, 1394, audio
Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi Xtreme Audio Card
HP 2.1 50W stereo speakers with subwoofer and remote control
HP wireless keyboard and HP wireless optical mouse

Now here is a link to their "hardware specifications" page for this model. There is useful information as well as shameful information:


Shameful = 460 Watt Power Supply. CTO - what can I expect!!.. :cry:
Anyways, My question is as follows:

Which Graphics card should I use for this system:
ATI Radeon 4850 vs Nvidia GTX 260 vs ATI Radeon 4870. :ouch:
My pick would be ATI's 4870 but Power Supply is making me insecure... :sweat:

I am asking this question for the following reasons:

1. Power Supply power is limited = 460 Watt ==== 4870 is power hungry!
2. HP Tech support said that based on the PC's Power Supply and Cooling system SLI nor Crossfire could be supported.
3. Third, I don't even know if my motherboard can support SLI or Crossfire (Intel X58 Express) ... so I have to go for the highest-end (single) card that I can fetch under my budget which is around $130-170 range and no further(excluding tax).

Another question.....

The Monitor I am getting is the HP 21.5 Inch FULL HD Widescreen . It runs 1920 x 1080 res.

But I could pick the 20 inch HDCP ready Widescreen Monitor for the sake of performance. 1600 x 900 res.
Final Question... will there be any displaying issues for a 21.5 inch monitor displaying 1920 x 1080 res.....(ex: like not fitting right in the screen - I don't trust HP - :D )

Final Note: I am not going to buy a new Power Supply. Or at least not in plans atm.. have to check on prices... By the way the 4850 seems to have no problem with "Power" since HP recommends you to buy it. GTX 260 and 4870 are the ones in question.

I am a newegg fan.... Any specific advice on which one to get from them would be helpful since there are millions of brands selling the same card.

Anyways, thank you for reading and any advice is truly appreciated.


Nov 11, 2009
Although I can not answer your question, I just wanted to add that I myself purchased this exact same computer a couple of weeks ago, and was pissed to find out that the comp came with only the 460 watt power supply. I figured since HP had the GTX 260 available in the upgrade section of video cards, (as of posting this, I noticed that they no longer include the GTX 260 as an upgrade option which has me worried) that the computer would have had at least a 500 watt power supply. I am still waiting on the shipment of this computer, so, I do not know what will come of this whole GTX 260 I ordered with this system, but I guess I am going to find out shortly.
Considering it's a pre-built PC, the 460W PSU is not bad.

1. Keep the default video and buy the HD 5770 for $175 before it sells out. It performs like the HD 4870, but uses less power and is only $35 more than the HD 4850 option.


2. A 21.5" monitor with 1920 x 1080 means everything will look a bit too tiny (at least for my tastes). A 20" may be the better choice since text will be easier to read. You might want to consider a 22" monitor w/ 1680 x 1050 resolution.

There will not be any issues when using native resolution.