Please could I have some advice on an upgrade


Jun 25, 2009
Hi there

My computer is ageing rapidly now and I cannot play Fallout 3 or Medal of Honour Airborne.

I have a HP computer with a Pentium4 650 (P) HT 3.4 GHz with 1 GB (2 x 512) and a GeForce 6200 64 MB DDR memory with PCI Express x16.

I was holding out until Microsoft launched OS 7 before I bought a new box. However, I was thinking that as these games may not be playable on this platform, I might as well upgrade my graphics card and memory as a computer can fall the price of a budget card in just a month.

As I have the old PCI express slot how will this affect the performance of the cards available now.

I want to keep the cost down, what is everybody’s advice on the graphics card I should get.

I have a 19inch LCD and I am not sure what PSU.

My seach so far came up with these cards

ASUS HD 4650 1GB DDR2 ebuyer £43.95

ASUS GeForce 9600GSO SLI 512MB GDDR2 Novatech for £38.33

Gainward 8400GS 512MB ebuyer £26.71

I understand I need an extra power cable for the Nvidia cards which adds an extra complication to fitting the thing and the GSO is an underpowered version of the GT. However, read bad reports about ATI cards from some US users.

I understand the cheaper cards will cause me to use the lowest settings in the games but as they are going in an old slot type with an old processor will having a better card make any difference to my setup?

Which HP computer? And can you open it up and read the label on the PSU? We need to know the wattage and how many amps on the +12v output.

It may be possible to do a major upgrade for a lot less than you think if you can keep the case and drives.

Do not look for 1Gb of memory, cards in this performance bracket cannot use it, 512Mb is plenty.
The slot, will have no impact on performance, even high powered cards can barely fill the available bandwidth of the 'old' PCI-E X16 slots.
The 8400 GS is a waste of space for gaming.
Just a mo, I'll do a little shopping;)
Get the HD4650 from E-buyer.
Yes, I know what I said about the memory, but the the price difference is in pennies, so you might as well have the extra and get a slightly better gaming experience.
Depending on your PSU the 9600/HD4670(DDR3) are about as high as you want to go but both can draw close to 70Watts which might be too much if your system only has a 250 Watt supply.


Nov 11, 2008


There comes a time when it just isn't worth the upgrades anymore. Though a 4650 might give you the legs to postpone getting a new system for a while it is about as powerful of a gpu you could realistically use with that rig.


Jun 25, 2009
Hi Everybody

Many thanks for the replies - it’s a HP Pavilion Desktop PC. Not sure what the PSU and amps. I will open it up and look in a bit.

I intend to take everybody advice. Don’t see the point of getting a new just at the moment when OS7 is due shortly. This is to get me through the next six months and play Fallout, M of H Airborne etc as they may not run on the next level of technology which is sure to come with OS7.

I know that my PC and card choices are not exciting to most readers of the forum. But my pC has down me proud - best one ever. So I think a new graphics card and 1gb memory is worth it. As a new computer will have fallen far more than that by Christmas.

Do I need to fit an extra power supply cable for the 4650 or for all the cards suggested so far?

Many thanks for all the advice so far. Learning that there was little difference between PCI-E and PCI-E2 was very interesting.


Jun 25, 2009
Many thanks

Taken a peak inside - this what it says on the PSU. Hope it makes more sense to you.

Modal ATX-300-122 REV
input 100-127V-&a
200-240V-4A 60/50hz

Output +12V 300W max
19A -12A
=5 130A -2A
+3.3V 288W Max

The table pointed out by coozie7 shows the 9600GSO 5 ranks above the HD4650 - so depsite the comments about it been hobbled down from the 9600GT - still seems to have a lot of power for the money. From the comments about my rig - it may not take it with cooling and power etc. I will enquire from the sellers.

There a lot of wires in front of my memory cards which makes that task more daunting than the last time I changed them!

Many thanks again for the replies.