# How do i know if i can upgrade my graphics card to X graphics card?

#### David Hennessy

May 2, 2015
22
So i just got this refurbished pc for almost nothing, it's decent enough and it works for what i need but the graphics card doesn't support 3d which is a bummer as one of my hobbies is gaming.

So i wonder if it's possible to upgrade the graphics card and the ram. But i have no idea how to know if a graphics card will be compatible with this. So I thought maybe someone here could tell me how to find out or could tell me the name of a card that can replace the ones it has "Intel(R) Q45/Q43 Express Chipset (Microsoft Corporation - WDDM 1.1)"x2

#### Arouse1973

Dec 18, 2013
5,178
Thats one for @Gryd3

#### Gryd3

Jun 25, 2014
4,098
So i just got this refurbished pc for almost nothing, it's decent enough and it works for what i need but the graphics card doesn't support 3d which is a bummer as one of my hobbies is gaming.

So i wonder if it's possible to upgrade the graphics card and the ram. But i have no idea how to know if a graphics card will be compatible with this. So I thought maybe someone here could tell me how to find out or could tell me the name of a card that can replace the ones it has "Intel(R) Q45/Q43 Express Chipset (Microsoft Corporation - WDDM 1.1)"x2

I'm not as experty as I'd like to be about hardware specifics for this, but I will do what I can.
Can you please run "dxdiag" and post the results of the 'system' tab?
Alternatively, you can remove the cover on the case and inspect the main board for a model # (This is ultimately, what I am after)

From my experiences, the entry level Dell computers are a little too basic to do much with, but it 'should' be more than capable of a memory and graphics card upgrade.
When I can determine the motherboard model# I can confirm the details required.

Can you also fill us in on your goals? What kind of games do you want to play? What kind of budget do you have for the upgrades?

I've been running my games on a cheap $180 video card on my dual-monitor setup for a couple years now, and just recently upgraded for a cost of$300 in order to run a couple more graphic intensive games... I won't provide model numbers, but will say that unless you plan to play the newest games, or crank the graphic quality for the current popular ones to 'max' that you can most likely get away with spending less than $200 on a video card. (Of course, looking online for deals will always help) #### Arouse1973 ##### Adam Dec 18, 2013 5,178 Jerid you know more about this sort of thing than anyone I have met. You will be fine. Its all German to me, sorry Harald Adam #### David Hennessy May 2, 2015 22 Can you please run "dxdiag" and post the results of the 'system' tab? Alternatively, you can remove the cover on the case and inspect the main board for a model # (This is ultimately, what I am after) I ran dxdiag but didn't see any model number so i used cmd and got "G6MCK4J" In case that wasn't what you need here is a screenshot: Can you also fill us in on your goals? What kind of games do you want to play? What kind of budget do you have for the upgrades? As for games I don't know a wide variety of games (open to suggestions ofc), the main game I play is WoW but I can't run it on this pc as the card doesn't support 3D. I tested random games in http://www.systemrequirementslab.com/ and for most my pc would do except for the fact my graphics card doesn't support 3D. I also like to make 3D models of my projects using solidworks which i doubt will be able to run if it can't support 3D. My budget would be somewhere <=$100 (preferably, if it isn't possible i guess i'd have to spend more)
Even if i have to set it on lowest of low graphics I'm fine, i'm just a casual gamer.

#### Gryd3

Jun 25, 2014
4,098
I ran dxdiag but didn't see any model number so i used cmd and got "G6MCK4J"

In case that wasn't what you need here is a screenshot:

As for games I don't know a wide variety of games (open to suggestions ofc), the main game I play is WoW but I can't run it on this pc as the card doesn't support 3D.
I tested random games in http://www.systemrequirementslab.com/ and for most my pc would do except for the fact my graphics card doesn't support 3D.
I also like to make 3D models of my projects using solidworks which i doubt will be able to run if it can't support 3D.
My budget would be somewhere <= \$100 (preferably, if it isn't possible i guess i'd have to spend more)
Even if i have to set it on lowest of low graphics I'm fine, i'm just a casual gamer.
From what I managed to track down... you may have an issue with Video Cards being too long.
The fan and shroud around the CPU causes issues... but if the card does not stick too much further from the slot you should be fine.

As far as video cards are concerned, you can grab pretty much any PCI-express based video card you can get your hands on as long as it's short enough. WOW does not have very high requirements, so my suggestion would be to go to a local online computer parts seller and price out a couple card nearing the end of your budget.
(There is a limit of the 'power' draw a video card can have, but given your budget, I don't think you'll get a card powerful enough to exceed your computer power supply)
My suggestion, would be to find items on sale, and check them on this site : http://www.videocardbenchmark.net/high_end_gpus.html
A benchmark rating of 2000 will be fine for WOW, and more than enough for many other games.
Prior to my recent upgrade, I was running an GeForce GT640 which handled N64 roms, PS1 and PS2 games, WarFrame, and two instances of Eve Online just fine.
I worked alright running Final Fantasy 14, but I wanted to run at a high resolution which prompted my upgrade. This card is rated just over half of the 2000 I am recommending for you. (Additionally, and probably best.. ask around to see if any of your friends have any old video cards they are no longer using and give it a try. Most people let them sit and collect dust, and from the sounds of it, any card in the last 5-6 years will be a big upgrade for you. The GT640 lasted me a good 4 years and spent it's first two running Rhinoceros 3D.)

Memory can be upgraded to 8GB max, although I think you'll do fine for more than a while on 4GB running windows 7.

#### David Hennessy

May 2, 2015
22
Thanks, I checked out some graphics cards on amazon and in a local electronic shop and i found a couple.
Is this the one you mentioned?

There is a lot of cards with the name GeForce GT640 on amazon but the above one is the only one in common with my local shop.

Reviews seem good and some say it worked perfect for them to play wow, although on the website you mentioned it has a benchmark of 1,288

I also found this more expensive card that seems to be better but weirdly has a lower benchmark of 931 and the price the website puts is totally off.
Do different graphics cards have the same name or something?

I think the first one would be great as it more than fits my budget and it seems it will work, but i'd like to hear your opinion on it. (and if it is the same one you mentioned then that's even beter )

Last edited:

#### David Hennessy

May 2, 2015
22
There is a lot of cards with the name GeForce GT640 on amazon but the above one is the only one in common with my local shop.
turns out it wasn't the same, my local shop has the 610 and this one won't ship to Ireland, although i could probably arrange for a friend in the us to send it to me.

I found this one

which does ship here.

May 2, 2015
22

#### Gryd3

Jun 25, 2014
4,098
Thanks, I checked out some graphics cards on amazon and in a local electronic shop and i found a couple.
Is this the one you mentioned?

There is a lot of cards with the name GeForce GT640 on amazon but the above one is the only one in common with my local shop.

Reviews seem good and some say it worked perfect for them to play wow, although on the website you mentioned it has a benchmark of 1,288

I also found this more expensive card that seems to be better but weirdly has a lower benchmark of 931 and the price the website puts is totally off.
Do different graphics cards have the same name or something?

I think the first one would be great as it more than fits my budget and it seems it will work, but i'd like to hear your opinion on it. (and if it is the same one you mentioned then that's even beter )
That website should be taken with a grain of salt for pricing. It's also important to note that there are slight variations on cards. For example, a GT640m compared to a GT640, then of course there is 'GTX' ... so the full name should be considered. The card I 'had' was an "nVidia GeForce GT 640" . The card I have now is an "nVidia GeForce GTX 750".
turns out it wasn't the same, my local shop has the 610 and this one won't ship to Ireland, although i could probably arrange for a friend in the us to send it to me.
I found this one

which does ship here.
A friend gave me a link to this one
MSI GeForce GT 730 2GB V1 - 2GB - PCI-E
I see it is basically the same but this one is slightly bigger, he says MSI is a better brand,
what do you think?
Part numbers for the nVidia line of cards is a little different. A 730 will typically be out performed by a 640 or 650. The hundreds digit... ie 500 600 700 refers to the series of chips that nVidia is producing, and the tens digit can be looked at as a 'tier' , the 10s, and 20s are entry level cards, and the 80s and 90s are the high end performance cards for any given line.
I would recommend that you try to stick with a 40 tier as a minimum. So at least a GT 640 or 740, a 650 or 750 will of course perform much better and won't need to be upgraded quite so soon if you grab a newer game.

As far as length is concerned. If you take a look at the card, there is a small L shaped cut-out at the end of the connector. If the card extends too far past this point, you may run into issues with the card hitting the shroud around the CPU in the computer. (Although, personally, I would explore options of taking the shroud out if I had not other options.)

Hope this helps

#### David Hennessy

May 2, 2015
22
Ok, thank you so much for your help

#### David Hennessy

May 2, 2015
22
And just when i thought i was all set, I ran into another problem my power supply is 255w and all the graphics cards i find are 300w minimum.

To replace the power supply (read some posts online that apparently changing the power supply for my dell optiplex 760 is hard ) What should i look for? how do i know if it will be compatible?

#### Gryd3

Jun 25, 2014
4,098
You 'may' be able to squeeze it in anyway.
The GT640 uses between 50-65 Watts.
The processor in your computer uses 65 Watts, and hard-drives typically consume between 6 and 10 Watts.
Considering the computer is not a performance driven build, the motherboard should be sitting at no more than 50 Watts.
Once you account for the optical drive, a couple sticks or RAM and 2-3 case fans, you are pretty close to your limit.

1) The wattage for a Power Supply is usually under-rated, and is difficult to judge due to the fact that the wattage is split up between the +12, +5, +3.3, -5, and -12 Volt outputs. If the
2) The wattage quoted for the components are at 100% load which would realistically only be seen during extended stress tests of the machine.

Remember that for the machine to actually reach this limit, you would have to be reading/writing to the hard-drive excessively while the CPU is bogged down running at 100% while you are playing a game that is maxing out your Graphics card.

Not all computer power supplies are created equally though either... The harddrives for example rely heavily on the 5V rail on a computer power supply, while video cards rely on both 5V and 12V, with many higher end card requiring an extra 12V connection. So simply adding Watts together will never give you an ideal answer because it's entirely possible to overload the 5V output on the power supply but still have plenty of room on the 12V output when your total wattage is less than the PSU. It's a flawed system, but it's 'easy' for quick simple answers... Unfortunately, you need the details so it becomes a little more complex.

Personally, if I were in your shoes, I would see if my friends had any old PCI-Express cards that I could try/have for free... It's old and they don't need it right?
If that didn't work, I'd research the requirements to swap out the Power supply, then risk running a 640. I would be confident the 640 would not push the power supply over the edge, but it's too close for me to give you that guarantee. I had read that your PC came with a 300W supply, but perhaps that was a recent change.
(And FYI... I've done a swap from an old PSU to a new one for an HP... I hated it because they didn't use a standard header for the PSU...
http://www.amazon.com/Pavilion-Motherboard-5189-0683-M2N61-AR-ACACIA-GL6E/dp/B00GBS3GUQ The little black connector on the left of the board (2 rows of pins) is what HP used... so I had to cut off the connector on the original power supply and solder the wired to a female connector. I now have a handy home-made adaptor that lets me use any power supply with a standard plug on this annoying custom motherboard in the HP. Take pics of yours, and we can see if it can be done.)

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#### David Hennessy

May 2, 2015
22
Yea mine uses the same connector

#### Gryd3

Jun 25, 2014
4,098
Yea mine uses the same connector
haha... man, I dislike that connector...
If I had the gear on hand it would have been easier for me... I cut the wires, stripped and tinned the ends, then soldered them together with heatshrink, then tapped the crap out of it to keep it together.
You can also use butt connectors, or these fancy things : http://www.amazon.com/Shrink-Solder-Sleeve-Crimpless-Connectors/dp/B00IEFOCRK

Luckily for both of us, the pinout and color codes should be identical. Doublecheck first and your good to go.

#### David Hennessy

May 2, 2015
22
I can't find any power supply that will fit
(5.75" x 3.25" x 6.0") (14.605 cm x 8.255 cm x 15.24 cm) (W x H x D)
the only one i found thanks to a really old dell forum post is
http://www.atxpowersupplies.com/630-watt-power-supply.php which is the exact size, but would 630w damage it? I am getting the GT 740 which won't require anywhere near that amount.

And if it doesn't matter if it's 630w what should i choose to connect it?

#### Gryd3

Jun 25, 2014
4,098
Unfortunately, none...
The ATX 20pin is the standard, the P4 ATX on occasion gets added to it to make an ATX 24 pin connector.... You will need to cut that end off and solder on the 24pin connector from the old power supply...
The remaining connectors will be used for harddrives, cd-roms, floppy drives, and larger PCI-Express items. (Like performance video cards)

#### David Hennessy

May 2, 2015
22
haha... man, I dislike that connector
I get why now xD anyway i've done a similar job to make my drone battery universal so i think it should be somewhat easy.

Well i think i'm all set to go now
Huge thanks for all the help

#### Gryd3

Jun 25, 2014
4,098
I get why now xD anyway i've done a similar job to make my drone battery universal so i think it should be somewhat easy.

Well i think i'm all set to go now
Huge thanks for all the help
From the looks of that power supply... it's just a standard ATX supply. You can get those almost anywhere.
I had to purchase a special "Slim" formfactor Power Supply for mine:
http://www.stuartconnections.com/11...tt-Power-Supply-67P3M-PC6038-86010NA00532.jpg

Word of warning, the Graphics card looks a little long... You may need to move or remove the black plastic shroud around the CPU. (I'm not sure exactly how much space you have, but that card looks a little long. You won't know until you try to put it in though.
(The nVidia chipset is used in lots of other cards . By MSI for example, which may be a different length. This is probably the detail I will least be able to help with.)

#### David Hennessy

May 2, 2015
22
There's 19 cm from the shroud to the case, the EVGA Geforce GT 740 is 17.5 cm long.
So i think it should fit, except that the slots where the end of the graphics card goes looks too small.
I remember seeing there were adapters to make the ends smaller what were the name for those?

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