General discussion

Is a video upgrade even possible?

I have a 3+ year old "off the shelf" HP a6120n desktop
http://tinyurl.com/6nkb86 <- link to specs....
running Vista (loathe Windows 7 for many reasons), maxed out at 4 gigs of ddr2 ram and, of course, integrated graphics.
At one point I got the bright idea to upgrade to a newer HP computer and also bought a new, Samsung P2350 monitor with HDMI capability. When the new computer crashed 20+ times in 4 days, I returned it but kept the monitor. Now I have the bright idea to find out if I can upgrade my video capabilities incorporating the HDMI quality of my monitor. Is this even possible? Am I, as the saying goes, trying to "put a silver saddle on a mule"?
My post clearly shows I know enough to get myself into trouble. Happy

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Comments
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New video path

Here are your options:

1) use adapter for vga to HDMI i/f
2) install video card(likely pci type)
3) get a new PC with latest i/f

The ability to add new video card gives the benefit of returning on-board video ram use back to system. Of course, the new card will have its own video ram and should have the ports to accept either VGA or HDMI(verify), one or both. Your HP installed Intel chipset should allow the added video upgrade path. You will need to disable on-board video or follow any install instructions in order to use new video card. Understand if youy get a truly hi-powered video card, that your HP PSU be capable to handle it. Thus, the consideration of yet getting a new hi-wattage PSU maybe required. This will allow and maintain the system uptime for now and later. That's important, should you may buy a new video card and for the time being works great, then later the system seems to not boot or runs some boo-boo all due to weak and faltering PSU.

tada -----Willy Happy

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(NT) A PCI-e slot is available too
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Depending on the expectations

The integrated graphics is capable to support the resolutions for that monitor. See here:
http://www.intel.com/products/chipsets/gma950/index.htm
According to the spec sheet, here: http://h10025.www1.hp.com/ewfrf/wc/document?docname=c01048279&tmp_task=prodinfoCategory&lc=en&dlc=en&cc=us&product=3437575&lang=en
Since there is not a mention of Blu-ray playback or a TV tuner built in, that is not possible unless additional hardware is added. There is no DVI or HDMI out, so the only way to connect is VGA. If better support to connect on either HDMI or DVI is desired, then a video card upgrade is possible in the PCIExpress slot.
Just what are the expectations for a video card upgrade? Is the possiblity of adding additional hardware for Blu-ray playback in the picture?

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Are you sure

the P2350 has HDMI? Specs show only VGA and DVI-D. Since it doesn't have speakers, and no HDMI input, you would not gain much in video quality if your VGA cable length is kept short (<6'). OTOH if you are seeing ghosted images, changing to digital will help. Get a fanless card from this list http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=ENE&N=100007709%20600029795&IsNodeId=1&bop=And&ShowDeactivatedMark=False&Order=PRICE&PageSize=20 making sure you select one with a DVI, and you're good to go. Don't waste money on any higher performance or price card as you'll gain nothing unless you game.

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Nooooo I'm not sure! Expectations of...

Willy, Lacsr, Samkh,
I wrote I know enough to get myself into trouble and, you have noticed, I came out of the gate with my foot firmly in my mouth.
I am not gaming but using my computer for digital image creation/alteration. I'm learning is the point. My hope/anticipation... is to obtain the digital quality the monitor offers. True, no HDMI... I meant DVI-D...
I cruise the new computer advertisements because I've already had to do a complete system recovery on this HP twice. (It's the neophyte solution to not being able to find a solution to issues.) Not willing to go to Mac, learn Linux and loathe windows 7 for all the things they removed (ie, "explore" feature)
Thus my query if I am putting a silver saddle on a mule by adding a new PCI video card upgrade and, it seems, a higher powered power supply unit.
I truly appreciate you all giving me your input. You have the patience of Job.

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Just my take on this;

Vga or dvi, the difference won't be all that much. Save your money. I use to think it was a big deal (digital vs. analog). After I try it, no big deal.

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