Video card upgrade

Hewlett-packard Pavilion slimline s3100n...
April 19, 2010 at 09:58:12
Specs: Windows 7
I bought a geforce 210 pci express x16 for my pc. It's the right model and type (windows 7 os) but I don't know how to fit it in slimline s3100n. There doesn't seem to be room for it. Must I look for another card or is there a way to make it work?

See More: Video card upgrade

Report •

April 19, 2010 at 10:38:42
Slimline cases don't accept standard cards, you have to look for
half-height cards - one of the reasons why slimline systems
aren't sold as being very upgradeable.

"I've always been mad, I know I've been mad, like the most of us..."

Report •

April 19, 2010 at 12:25:01
And although the GT 210 is better than integrated graphics, it isn't a gaming card. The following should help you to make a decent choice, but as stated by johnr, you will need a half-height (aka "low profile") video card. And when looking for these types of cards, there are "low profile" & "low profile ready" cards.

Best Graphics Cards For The Money: April 2010

Graphics Card Hierarchy Chart

Report •

April 19, 2010 at 12:44:35
You have another problem.

The capacity of your power supply is only 160 watts:

"geforce 210 pci express x16 "

Minimum recommended power supply capacity for a system with a geforce 210 video chipset is 300 watts .

If you get a low profile geforce 210 pci express x16 card, your power supply will fail in a short time, if the system boots at all with the card installed.

Your power supply is wired standard ATX, but it's an oddball smaller than the usual standard physical size.
In this case, if you search, using something such as Pavilion s3100n power supply upgrade, there are power supplies on the web that will fit in your slimline case, some of which have more capacity.
Upgrade Power supply: 270 Watt

Your power supply must have at least the minimum 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 ! )
If that info is not in the ad for the video 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. Some power supplies have two or more +12v ratings - in that case, add those ratings to determine the total +12v current capacity.

If you're a gamer...
In most if not all cases, the max capacity rating of the PS is an intermittent rating. It's recommended that you do not load your PS to any more that 80% of that rating if you are going to be using something that puts a constant load on it, such as playing a recent game for hours on end. In that case, you multiply the min capacity stated for the system with the particular video chipset on the card by 1.25 to find the min. capacity of the PS you should get.

e.g. with that particular example 270 watt power supply, even if you're not heavily into gaming, it doesn't quite meet the minimum recommended 300 watt capacity for a card with the Geforce 210 chipset.

You would be better off installing a card that a 250 watt, or less, recommended minimum power supply capacity is specified for.

Search using: Geforce low profile minimum 250 watt
Radeon low profile minimum 250 watt
or similar

e.g. Geforce 6200, Radeon X1300 / X1300XT

Report •

Related Solutions

April 19, 2010 at 16:19:25
Thanks for answering. I appreciate your responses. I am going to take it to CompUsa techs tomorrow and have them find and install a new card for me. I wanted to keep Windows 7 but it keeps failing with my current card - Nvidia Geforce 6150 le which when I did compatibility tests was suppose to work or else I would not have bothered. I can only work in safe mode on this computer. And I had no clue about the power supply issue. I also never expected it to be so cramped inside that case. I'm never buying a slimline again but honestly my computer had XP and never disappointed. Actually - one more thing, the default Display driver can work with Aero (I ranned the troubleshooter and it said Nvidia geforce 6150 le Wddm no issue present) and when I update the driver, it has 'issues'. It freezes either way (with 'compatible and non-compatible driver") at the desktop screen, now a little faster - hence why I can only work in safe mode - aeros doesn't load. Do you think that it could be anything besides the video card? I'm still taking it to the techs but I wonder if anyone has had a similar problem. I don't have any antivirus installed just CA basic internet security for spyware etc. And I'm a responsible surfer - no downloads yet. I just got Windows 7 2 weeks ago so I haven't bought one yet. Problems started like from day 3.

Report •

April 20, 2010 at 21:27:27
" current card - Nvidia Geforce 6150 le "

The term CARD is frequently mis-used. If a hardware device is built into the mboard, IT'S NOT A CARD! You have a Geforce 6150 LE video adapter or graphics adapter, or Windows calls it a Display adapter, but it is NOT A CARD unless it's on something that can physically be plugged into, and unplugged from, a slot in the mboard, inside the computer case.
The same goes for your networking adapter, sound adapter, USB controller adapter, etc. etc.

HP lists Vista (32 bit) and Vista 64 bit drivers and software for your s3100n, so there should be no problem at all with the mboard and it's built in graphics adapter working properly with Windows 7. There is no Windows 7 software listed, but Vista software will probably work fine.

Apparently the s3100n's mboard has maximum 2gb of ram that can be installed, so I assume you're using a 32 bit version of Windows 7. In that case you use the Vista (32 bit) software listed on the HP site.
Windows 7 doesn't necessarily have all the drivers needed for your system built into it.

Vista (32 bit) software and drivers

It appears the drivers for your nforce 430 main chipset are built into Vista (and Windows 7), but the graphics drivers probably are NOT. In that case, when Windows 7 Setup has finished, only default VGA drivers are loaded.

"I can only work in safe mode on this computer."
"...the default Display driver can work with Aero (I ranned the troubleshooter and it said Nvidia geforce 6150 le Wddm no issue present) and when I update the driver, it has 'issues'. It freezes either way (with 'compatible and non-compatible driver") at the desktop screen, now a little faster - hence why I can only work in safe mode - aeros doesn't load."

I have idea what Aero or Aeros software, or whatever, is.
Explain specifically what you're referring to.

It sounds like you have loaded the wrong graphics drivers, or something went wrong while installing the right graphics drivers.

Safe mode uses default VGA graphics drivers, not the specific video drivers you have loaded in normal mode. If you have a problem with the video drivers you have loaded, you may not be able to get the computer to boot normally, but it will boot into Safe mode okay.

However, Safe mode also does not load other things that are loaded when you boot normally.

Press F8 repeatedly while booting, don't hold down the key, and when the boot choices menu appears, choose:

Enable low-resolution video.........

That mode loads everything normally, except it uses default VGA graphics drivers, not the specific video drivers you have loaded in normal mode.

If that gets you to the desktop screen, your problem when you attempt to boot normally is caused by there being a problem with the specific video drivers you have loaded in normal mode.

Sometimes you cannot un-install drivers in Safe mode, but you always can in Enable low-resolution mode, if you can get into that mode.

If you DO get to the desktop screen when you choose Enable low-resolution video...

Go to
Control Panel - Classic View - Programs and Features

"....just CA basic internet security for spyware ..."

Anti-malware software often has one or more resident modules - a part or parts that run(s) all the time Windows is running, in the background, checking for suspicious activity.
That (those) resident module(s) are well known to sometimes interfere with software installing properly, and when it does (they do), you usually get no error messages indicating the software did not install properly. It is a very good idea to DISABLE the resident module(s) of anti-malware software from running BEFORE you install software yourself, by choosing to do that in the anti-malware software's configuration (or - to UN-INSTALL the anti-malware software, here, in Programs and Features, BEFORE you install software yourself). It's also a very good idea to do that before you install any major software, even if it's done automatically, e.g. a SP update to the operating system .

In Programs and Features....

Find the nVidia graphics drivers listing(s), and Un-install it (them).

The latest Windows 7 (probably the same as for Vista) 32 bit graphics drivers for 6150 LE:

Download that. Install that.

Boot normally. Your problem should be gone.

You MAY also need to un-install the Aero or Aeros whatever in Programs and Features, and install it again, when the anti-malware software's resident module(s) has (have) been disabled from running .

After you have finished installing the software, enable the resident module(s) in the anti-malware software.

Report •

Ask Question