Graphics/PSU conundrum

Asus T3-m2nc51pv barebone system
October 29, 2009 at 03:47:06
Specs: Windows XP
Hi all

I have a barebones system as described and was hoping to upgrade via PCI-E from the limited on board graphics (NVIDIA GeForce 6150) thus allowing me to play games such as Left 4 Dead? Anyway, I've been told that the case will only accept a low profile card (204.63 x 108 x 16mm) and that the power supply (300W) will not be up to the job of powering such a card anyway. Bloke in shop also said when I asked about upgrading the PSU that it was a special ASUS made PSU and I'd never find one. I've found conflicting info here, as one forum I read stated that the PSU was standard full size ATX? I asked about removing the motherboard and rehousing in a new case, but he said that wasn't possible either!

Am I stuck, or is there a way out here? Can I find a low power card or beef up the power? It's an aging but still good enough for most purposes PC otherwise?

All help massively appreciated!!

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October 29, 2009 at 05:47:40
I don't know why anyone would even buy such a system, then turn around & have to thrown 100's of dollars into it. Seems to me it would make more sense to just pay more for a decent PC in the 1st place or build entirely from scratch.

It came with a manual, didn't it?

See the bottom of page 2-14:

"The chassis supports PCI Express x 16 cards with 204.63mm x108mm x16mm or smaller dimensions only."

Converting the dimensions to english = 8.05" x 4.25" x 0.63". Those are NOT the dimensions of a low profile card. In other words, the box does NOT require low profile cards but you will need to find a card that fits the above size requirements. Also, the motherboard is a proprietary design so it can not be swapped into a standard case. The power supply *appears* to be standard size but it's hard to tell. Even so, 300W is plenty to be able to run a gaming card like a Radeon HD 4670, IF it will fit in the case. The reason the the HD 4670 is a popular choice for OEM systems is because it has low power requirements & doesn't need the 6-pin PCIe plug-in, therefore a power supply upgrade generally isn't required. Plus it's relatively cheap & gives decent gaming performance.

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October 29, 2009 at 06:00:56
Jam - many thanks for that. I guess it's just a case of finding a HD4670 that will fit then, as you describe. If I can't do that economically, then I'll be looking down the new machine route.

To be honest, the unit itself has served me very well and the SFF was very much needed when purchased because of the small footprint. It's really only recently that I've had to start asking performance questions of it, so I don't feel too bad/foolish for having bought it!

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October 29, 2009 at 06:40:48
"It's really only recently that I've had to start asking performance questions of it, so I don't feel too bad/foolish for having bought it!"

I don't know what you paid but my guess is somewhere around $200 just for the barebones kit. Then you had to buy a CPU, RAM, HDD, optical drive. I see more disadvantages than advantageas by going this route rather than building from scratch, especially since the upgrade paths are so limited & the hardware is proprietary. Just going by the motherboard specs, my guess is you got it over a year ago?

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October 29, 2009 at 07:29:26
You're not too far off, though I'm in the UK so paid £ not $. Was just under 2 years ago from memory. Added a CPU and 2GB RAM but had an HDD and DVD from previous system. Paid about £170 I think. When the next full upgrade happens I will be going back to self build from scratch - forget the footprint!

If anyone happens to find an HD4670 card or similar that will fit my case though, let me know!

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