Graphics Card

Ibm thinkcentre / M51
August 1, 2009 at 15:08:52
Specs: Linux
I already have an M51, but want to add a PCIe graphics
card. Can you tell me what my options are to achieve
better results than the on-board intel 915?

See More: Graphics Card

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August 1, 2009 at 15:49:20
Well it has a PCIe X16 slot so your options depend on your requirements and budget. Perhaps jam or one of the other savvy system builders can make a specific recommendation.

Goin' Fishin' (Some day)

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August 1, 2009 at 16:27:52
M51 is a series, not a specific model.

Which specific model do you have? - 8xxx ???
It's probably on a label on the outside of the case.

Just about any decent video card will perform better than onboard video.

However, you may need to replace your power supply as well.

E.g. M51 8141 has only a 310 watt power supply.

Your power supply must have at least the minumum capacity required to support a system with the graphics card you are using installed, or the max graphics card you might install in the future.
(Onboard video - video built into the mboard - IS NOT A CARD!)
You can go to the video card maker's web site and look up the specs for the model - often under system requirements - the minimum PS wattage, and, more important, the minimum amperage the PS must supply at 12v is stated. If you don't find that, any card with the same video chipset including any letters after the model number has very similar minimum PS requirements.
(This was written months ago:)
If you want to cover any possible video card, a minimum 600 ot 650 watt power supply will handle any current high end video card, or even a X2 card (two video chipsets on one card) or two cards in two slots.

You can usually replace it with any decent standard sized standard ATX PS.

Standard (PS/2) power supply size - 86mm high, 150mm wide, 140mm deep, or 3 3/8" h x 5 7/8" w x 5 1/2" d , or very close to that, though the depth can be more or less for some PSs.

Don't buy an el-cheapo PS.
See response 3 in this:

How much are you willing to spend?
Your computer isn't worth a lot.

E.g. M51 8142 Desktop

M51 8??? Tower

If you don't want to have to buy, or get a used, PS with more capacity, you are limited to buying a video card that can be used with a system with your limited original PC capacity.

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August 1, 2009 at 16:41:43
If you have a PCI-e x16 slot, get your hands on a Radeon HD 4670. It's the best gaming card you can get that won't force you to upgrade the power supply:

The HD 4650 is almost as good but it MUST have GDDR3 memory. Do not get a card that uses GDDR2 memory.

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Related Solutions

August 2, 2009 at 03:09:11
Thanks for the quick replys guys.

Hi, sorry for the limited info. The computer is a M51 8141.
Everything is standard, but i've just started to improve
things. I have now changed the hard disc from 80gb to 320,
and the RAM has been increased to 1.75gb from the 1gb it
came with. I don't want to spend loads on a graphics card,
just improve on the onboard intel 915.

So I need something that is compatable with the 310 watt
power supply? Any suggestions?

What's the difference between DDR3 and DDR2 memory?

And are these the only factors I need to consider?

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August 2, 2009 at 08:36:46
Link provided by jam reveals you'll need something less than the 4670....

Manufacturer's info link on that Newegg page

MSI R4670-2D512/D3
No minimum PS spec stated

When the minimum PS specs are not stated, any card with the same chipset has similar requirements.

Similar Sapphire model
SAPPHIRE 100255U Radeon HD 4670 512MB 128-bit GDDR3

Manufacturer's info link on that Newegg page
400 Watt or greater power supply


An example of a card that will work fine without you having to upgrade the PS:

Visiontek Radeon HD 2400 Pro Video Card - 256MB DDR2, PCI Express
270 watt or greater power supply

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August 2, 2009 at 08:44:36
In addition to the informational responses above I would caution you to verify the 320GB hard drive is identified by both the model and the FULL capacity.

The fact you had an 80GB drive indicates your BIOS may not be 48 bit LBA compliant. Using the drive under those conditions will eventually result in data loss or corruption.

If the drive capacity shows in the 127/137GB range then your BIOS in NOT 48 bit compliant.

Either update the BIOS, if an update that will correct the issue is available, or install a 48 bit LBA compliant controller card.

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