Newbie here.. Upgrade current setup or buy new?

Apr 18, 2018
Hey everyone,

I'm in need of an upgrade to my day trading setup. I currently have 1 desktop and 1 laptop. Ideally I would like 1 CPU to run a minimum 4 monitors, and keep the current laptop setup. The desktop is....

HP 8300 Small Form
Intel Core i5 - 3470 3.2 GHz
Intel HD 2500 Graphics
500GB HD
Windows 10
(4) USB 2.0 - Front
(1) Display port
(1) VGA
(4) USB 3.0
(2) USB 2.0

I also have a Toshiba C55-A, Intel Core i3 laptop.

Would it be cheaper to upgrade this CPU with new graphics card? If so does anyone have any recommendations? If this isn't possible, what would be a relatively inexpensive CPU that would be able to run a quad monitor setup?

I appreciate any info and I apologize in advance if this seems like a stupid question....

Honestly, the CPU does not have much of an impact on how many monitors it can run.

Have you looked into a new monitor? You could keep your current computer and run two ultra wide monitors. Samsung even has a really big 49" ultrawide that may be enough by itself.

Here is a 34" ultra wide that has as much real-estate as 2 27" monitors side by side with no bezel.

Here is the Samsung:
the problem with the case is you need a low profile card and finding one of those that does 4 or more monitors is hard. brand new the cheapest i could find was a ATI - FirePro 2460, Quadro p600, or a GTX 1050 add in a SSD for the OS and it will probably do what you need.

Problem is that the 8300 has a hard 35w limit on the pcie slot. Which means that all those cards would run into trouble.



As noted before, it's a SFF case, so your upgrade options are going to be limited. Some of the options you have available:
-- CPU upgrade: you can always move from the i5-3470 to the i7-3770. It's not so much the very small boost in frequencies, as it gets you from a 4C/4T CPU to a 4C/8T CPU and you'd move from Intel's HD 2500 graphics to the HD 4000 graphics (more execution units & more GFLOPS), which is higher on the tier list (,4388.html).
-- GPU upgrade: Going with a dedicated GPU gives you 2 benefits. First, most dedicated GPUs allow for at least 2 (sometimes 3 or 4) monitors to run off the card. Second, because it offloads work from the physical CPU chip, it helps the CPU run cooler (& frees up system RAM that was otherwise used by the integrated graphics).

Unfortunately, you're going to run into some issues with a graphics upgrade. First, your PSU. Whether it's the standard model or the "performance" model (probably not labeled as such, but from the replacement PSU specs I've seen it probably falls somewhere between 80+ Silver & 80+ Gold in its specs), it not only has power limitations (maxes out at 240W), but it's a special form factor (form factor BTX). And, not only does it not have any PCIe power connectors, it has no Molex connectors; apparently all of the power is routed directly through the motherboard first before it hits any "peripherals" (including hard drives).

Also, I'm not 100% sure if the PCIe x16 slot is limited to 35W or not...but it's interesting to note that all of the listed GPU "upgrades" in the manual are generally at 19-20W TDP (25W tops). Assuming there are no BIOS issues, the best AMD card you might be able to get would be the R5 230 (which is just a rebranded Radeon HD 7450, same as already on the list, although you at least have a 2GB VRAM model available); on nVidia's side, you're looking at probably a GT 710, maybe a GT 730 (GDDR5, or the 64-bit DDR3 version); even a GTX 750TI needs too much power, & a GT 1030 is possibly too much as well. Note that some people were able to get GPUs with 40-45W TDPs to work in their machines (, but even then the 750TI wasn't one of them.

The other issue is size. All of the 8300s (& especially the SFF) require low-profile GPUs. A standard GPU card is too tall, so you need to make sure it's a low-profile. That's going to further restrict the GPUs you have available.

To add on to the 35w limit. There are a couple of 8300 versions out there. Some hard cap at 35w and there are also some out there without the limit. However most stop at about 45w however. (to see if yours is not limited you just have to open the case and look if you see a 35w text somewhere near the pcie slot if not you are good to go).

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