[SOLVED] So I just recently got into pc gaming/streaming (steamlink) so I’m upgrading piecemeal and have a question re: compatibility

Nov 30, 2019
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Hey guys, long time listener, first time caller. Forgive typos, i’m using a mini keyboard/trackpad controller on ipad.

I use to use my pc really only for like email, reddit, facebook so my dell inspiron with core i5, 8gb ram (max 16gb,2 slots) and integrated intel hd 4600 graphics which is about equivalent to an nvidia gt710 iirc. I think its the inspiron 3647. I got into console gaming, specifically racing games. I alternate between very realistic sims to like semi-arcade style like forza 4. I even got a wheel, shifter, and pedals.

So long story longer. my pc and my xbox are both in my office and i have the steam link and a handful of raspberry pi’s 3+, zeros and one 4 en route. one will use MS new xbox 0n pc service to play on my pc then I will figure out the best way to stream to the pi hooked up to my tv.

My plan was either buy used prebuilt on ebay, build from scratch, or, what ended happening, upgrading piece by piece until its essentially all new.

i got a full size tower yesterday from my cousin in law. i already have two sticks of 8gb ram coming moving me from 8 to the max of 16gb.

My question is, with graphics cards, is the only limiting factors the size (low profile) and the power supply?

From the research I did the chipset is H81 express? i know h81 but need to figure out if express is related to size or if is different from h81 boards. im about halfway through transferring everything over to the full size case and i want to buy a decent graphics card but my brain can’t quite grasp the whole ddr5 1. 2, 4, 6, and 8gb ram gpus i’ve seen.

TL;DR: I have dell inspiron 3647 that i’m transferring into a full size case. H81 express chipset, 16gb ram max, 2 slots. Once into full size case, can i upgrade to a decent gpu assuming i replace psu too?
 
Motherboards are typically named for their chipset (if that makes sense).

RAM isn't directly swappable, the number suffix is a different generation (as it were) and incompatible with different generations. H81 uses DDR3 I believe.

You can upgrade piecemeal, but only so far. At some point you may want to change CPU which necessitates a new motherboard and supporting RAM.

Generally for the graphics card it should be fine.

Have you confirmed the mounting holes for the motherboard and the case's standoffs all align correctly?
 
Motherboards are typically named for their chipset (if that makes sense).

RAM isn't directly swappable, the number suffix is a different generation (as it were) and incompatible with different generations. H81 uses DDR3 I believe.

You can upgrade piecemeal, but only so far. At some point you may want to change CPU which necessitates a new motherboard and supporting RAM.

Generally for the graphics card it should be fine.

Have you confirmed the mounting holes for the motherboard and the case's standoffs all align correctly?
 
Nov 30, 2019
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Thank you for the response. Yeah most of the first stuff you mentioned I was able to decipher with some googlefu. Model number to motherboard and chipset. Then looked up mother board specs and Almost every site would list like ddr3 1600mhz ram 240 pin and that it was made for H81 Express chipset. My particular model has an i5 I can’t remember the generation, I want to say haswell but I don’t know if that’s even a name they used. They also would say it uses an intel hd 4600 graphics card and a comparison site says it’s equivalent to a GeForce 710 1gb. I know that while in the original case I had to use a low profile card and I also know that my psu isn’t powerful enough to run most of the new GPUs. But nothing about gpu ram limit or speed

Honestly I was going to either spend on raspberry pi stuff or upgrading my computer but I bought a bunch of zero wh pi and a 4, but I did get a second monitor and a two monitor mount. My dad bought my wife and I one of those smart 4K TVs that we’re really popular last year.

Thats kind of the main reason I ask about compatibility because the wife made it pretty clear spending was over for now. So it’ll be a slow upgrade. the tower I was given is pretty nifty because it has the ability to mount mini atx and full size without modification. I did have to do some minor modifications for the psu and to use the towers power button and led instead of dells so I had to find the pin out on their little box connector that runs the power button, drive led, and the power button led.

I wrote an essay again but my point is I don’t want to have to upgrade my graphics card as I “level up” and I’m also not trying to run games at full settings. I’d like to just get to where I need to be able to either use streanlink, the discontinued hardware lol, or whatever Microsoft is coming out with that will let me play my Xbox games in a different room for example.
 
The H81 chipset motherboard will technically be fine as the PCIe standard is effectively forwards and backwards compatible. Graphics cards are the easiest to upgrade, without the main compatibility worries. Unless the motherboard is well over a decade old and uses the old AGP standard.

The Intel HD 4600 graphics is actually the integrated graphics processor of the Intel CPU, and I think it will mean you have a Haswell Intel CPU; the 4000 series if I'm not mistaken. The one thing of note (potentially) is integrated graphics shares its RAM usage with the system RAM; a discrete graphics card will have its own source of RAM.
 

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