Upgrading HP Pavilion 6000 for gaming


Nov 14, 2012
I've played with hardware in the past, so digging around inside the computer is nothing new for me. I've installed CD drives, RAM, ethernet ports, etc. However, this is my first time trying to upgrade graphics, so I was hoping for some advice.

I'm running an HP Pavilion P6000 Series (p6710f) desktop. Completely vanilla, I've never added anything to it. I've probably had it for two years, but I've never had a problem with it. It runs most games I play on low settings with a bit of lag, thus wanting the upgrade.

I'm already looking at upgrading my RAM, but I know how to do that. Mostly what I'm lost on is what type of graphics card would suit my needs. I'm fairly new to PC gaming, save for MMOs, The Sims, Dragon Age: Origins, and Neverwinter Nights. However, I enjoy modding so much, I'd like to branch out and be able to play more PC games.

Doing some research, many people recommended a power supply with a higher wattage, as mine is 250w and I'd like a relatively nice card. I thought 600-700w would be appropriate, so I'm looking at this PSU, as I've heard good things about CORSAIR:


Would there be any issues installing this PSU? Do they all come in standard sizes? Is this the right type for my needs?

And as far as graphics cards go, I'm stumped. There are so many, I'm not really sure where to start. Dragon Age recommends Geforce 8800 GTS or Radeon HD 3850 with 512 MB. Does anyone have thoughts on this? Ideally, I'd like to keep this desktop a while longer and play newer games with it also. If it helps, I have a PCI-E slot.

Again, I'm new to this, so I don't want to drop a ton of money on a card immediately. Under $150 is preferred, unless there is a compelling reason or lifetime warrantee, in which case I'll go to $200+. Is this unreasonable? What can I expect to pay for a decent graphics card?

Graphics cards I've looked at: