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Changing graphics card on a compact Acer desktop

by PhilippeLemay / September 17, 2011 7:12 AM PDT
Computer: Acer Aspire AX3400-E3202Operating System: Windows® 7 Home Premium 64-bit
Processor: AMD Athlon™ II X2 dual-core processor
Memory: Dual-channel 1333 MHz DDR3 SDRAM (currently has 7GB)
Hard Disk Drive: 3.5" SATA 3 Gb/s (currently has 500 GB)
Current graphics: NVIDIA® nForce® 9200 Chipset, supporting NVIDIA® GeForce® 9200 Graphics
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Wait a moment.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / September 17, 2011 8:13 AM PDT

Your post leads with "Changing" then gives links to not a card but a notebook chip.

If we are changing, then tell the forum what video card you are removing so we can see if there is a detail we can use to see what size is required.

Let's say you lead with the wrong words and want to "Add" a video card. If so the PCIe x1 and x16 slots are where the new card goes. There is no changing here, just plug in a low profile video card and we are done.

Yes we have to watch out for the Watt usage and we might have to leave the case cover off to keep it cool.

Here's a card -> http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814131338

Remember the PSU is only 220 Watts so no gamer will be happy here but this should not overtax the PSU.
Bob

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Ah yes, sorry about that, I miss-spoke.
by PhilippeLemay / September 17, 2011 10:52 AM PDT
In reply to: Wait a moment.

I should have said add I suppose, I often get confused between GPUs and actual graphics cards. You're correct in your later assumption, I don't have any card at the moment.

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Lots of questions.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / September 17, 2011 11:01 AM PDT

Hope I can find some answers. For low Watt, low profile cards that are few choices. So I know to look for the 5450 and always want the 1GB since this it that first best chance at getting a card that is as best we can do with what we have to work with. In short, BTDT.

As to the cover, it's something you learn to live with. If you are creative you could find a way to mount the cover but leave an inch gap all the way around to let as much air exchange as possible without adding fans.

Most folk will not change the PSU.
Bob

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Alright
by PhilippeLemay / September 17, 2011 11:22 AM PDT
In reply to: Lots of questions.

If you're sure about that card I'm very willing to get it. 35$ is definitely within my budget, but I don't want to buy it, find out it doesn't work/meet my expectations, only to dig some more and find an 80$ low-wattage card that will more likely work. If there is a more expensive option out there that has better chances of success, I'd rather pick that one right out.

I know I'm being difficult and I'm sorry, lol. The smartest thing would be to accept the limitations on my comp and buy a new one, but that IS beyond my budget right now. So I want to work with what I've got until I can save up more money.

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What are your EXPECTATIONS?
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / September 17, 2011 3:26 PM PDT
In reply to: Alright

You can find the test results at Tomshardware.com

This is no high end game card. It's the card that works within the limits.
Bob

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I'm not sure, honestly.
by PhilippeLemay / September 19, 2011 12:35 PM PDT

I suppose that right now I just want to be able to play my games without lag. As I said earlier, Starcraft 2 lags even on the lowest settings. Eventually I hope to raise my expectations to being able to run on full graphics with no lag (for example when I build a whole new computer), but for now, with this little guy, I'm willing to stay at low graphics.

Though I'm sure building a whole new computer will be more a knowledge limitation than a financial one...

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Another thing,
by PhilippeLemay / September 17, 2011 11:00 AM PDT
In reply to: Wait a moment.

I wanted to know, how do you know that card you linked is better than my current GPU? I mean it looks nice and flashy, and it boasts 1GB in memory, but the page I linked has almost no information on the GeForce 9200. My DXDiag offers some info, but it's... confusing.

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Here's an idea...
by PhilippeLemay / September 17, 2011 11:34 AM PDT

I never use the optical drive... I wonder if pulling it out would help with internal air-flow...

Of course I'll have to use it one last time to set up the card (I see it comes with a CD), but yeah... after that I could just leave it out.

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OK, I bought it.
by PhilippeLemay / September 23, 2011 7:40 AM PDT

I just received the graphics card I ordered. http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814161322 Specs-wise it's the same thing as the one you linked, but it was available on the Canadian NewEgg site. In the instructions though it says I should remove my existing graphics drivers in Add/Remove, and reboot the computer. Then cancel when the computer prompts me to install display drivers for new hardware found. He then says I should shut it back down, pop it open, and place the card into the PCI-e slot. Then, after all the wires are connected, he tells me to turn it all back on and install the drivers using the CD it came with.

Ok, first question, if I don't have an actual graphics card at the moment, do I still uninstall whatever drivers I have?

2nd, If something goes wrong and I uninstall my graphics drivers, could it mean permanently screw up my image?

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The advice on this is all over the map.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / September 23, 2011 7:44 AM PDT
In reply to: OK, I bought it.

But let me share I rarely uninstall the old video drivers today. I ignore the manual (heresy!) about the uninstall old drivers and follow the manual about installing the new drivers. 99% of the time it's fine and I can unplug the new card and Windows fails back to the onboard graphics.

YMMV.
Bob

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lolTypo
by PhilippeLemay / September 23, 2011 8:39 AM PDT

<< I can unplug the new card and Windows fails back to the onboard graphics. >>

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I did mean fails. More.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / September 23, 2011 9:02 AM PDT
In reply to: lolTypo

If you install the usual ATI you will usually see failure messages about the apps and drivers not finding the ATI card so it does indeed fail it's way back to working.
Bob

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The worst has happened
by PhilippeLemay / September 24, 2011 2:40 AM PDT

Ok, my greatest fears have been realized. I followed the manual to the letter (aside for deleting my old graphics drivers), shut down my computer, unplugged everything, put in the graphics card, plugged in the HDMI cable, closed it all up, put all the wires back in, and turned it on again. The computer light turns on again, but after a while it starts to blink like when it's in sleep mode. My monitor never shows anything, it also blinks like in sleep mode. After a few minutes of this I forced a shut down, pulled the card out, and put the HDMI back into the old slot. I tried to turn it back on, and... The monitor still doesn't get a signal. I can't even see what's going on! I took the new card out, but it won't go back to normal. Have I broken my computer? How do I reset it to the way it was?

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I think I fixed it with a CMOS reset
by PhilippeLemay / September 24, 2011 6:06 AM PDT
In reply to: The worst has happened

I found on another tech forum a suggesting that reseting the "CMOS" would help, I pulled that little button-battery out of the motherboard and waited for 15 minutes. I put it back in, kept that demonic graphics card well away from my comp, and rebooted. I think it worked... it's turning on. But a lot things were reset, understandably.

I'm still not sure what happened though, or what a "CMOS" is. The clock was reset, all my notification tiles to the right of the taskbar have disappeared, my firewall (MSE) is throwing up warnings for things like hotmail, and all my windows are minimizing and maximizing in super slow-motion. I'll probably make a new thread to try and figure those out. Suffice to say I've abandoned that graphics card.

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