How can I install a graphics card into my system, and which to choose?

bigweed

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So I am trying to install a graphics card into my desktop PC. My PC is a HP Prodesk 400 G5 SFF, product 4CZ70ET#ABU:

Intel Core i5-8500 Six Core 3.0GHz
256GB SSD M.2 PCIe NVMe
1 x 16GB DDR4-2666Mhz RAM
Intel UHD Graphics
180 W internal power supply
Win 10 Pro x64
Case dimensions - 27 x 29.6 x 9.5 cm
Optional GPU - (not installed) AMD Radeon™ R7 430 Graphics (2 GB GDDR5 dedicated)

I have read the HP info for it and it says there is a spare 1 PCIe 3 x16 slot. I have taken some photos of the inside of the case:


Can anyone suggest how I can install a graphics card and connect to power supply? I know where the PCIe slot is, but I am not sure how to connect it to the PSU
Also, which card under £100 would be good? I am looking to play some Call of Duty Warzone if possible

Cheers for all help
 

Aegir

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Look for the black connector on the left side of this coming out of your power supply.
Some graphics cards require two. Most will have six wires, with two more off to the side that combine to form 8.

If your PSU doesn't have any, but does have molex, you can use that device below to convert molex into a PCIe Connector.

4pin-molex-to-8pin-pcie-power-adapter-cable.jpg


However, a 180 watt power supply will likely not be enough for even the weakest graphics cards.
Being a prebuilt computer, you might also find it difficult to upgrade, if it uses non-standard size specifications for the PSU.

If you do a lot of research, you might still find an answer.
 

kirbyrj

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Edit: Nevermind...I didn't realize there was a whole photo gallery.

Realistically, you're going to be limited by the single slot and the low profile. Any low profile cards that "might" work for COD are more than 1 slot wide. Your best bet is probably something like a GDDR5 version of the Nvidia GT 1030 (not the DDR3/4 version). I don't know what they go for over there, but I see some at American retailers around $90-120 depending on the brand. I'd also get a maching stick of RAM so you have dual channel. That should help your performance. Just take out the memory stick, and then plug the part number into ebay and you generally find people who upgraded and are selling their single stick.
 
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bigweed

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Edit: Nevermind...I didn't realize there was a whole photo gallery.

Realistically, you're going to be limited by the single slot and the low profile. Any low profile cards that "might" work for COD are more than 1 slot wide. Your best bet is probably something like a GDDR5 version of the Nvidia GT 1030 (not the DDR3/4 version). I don't know what they go for over there, but I see some at American retailers around $90-120 depending on the brand. I'd also get a maching stick of RAM so you have dual channel. That should help your performance. Just take out the memory stick, and then plug the part number into ebay and you generally find people who upgraded and are selling their single stick.
Hi kirbyrj thanks for replying. Should I try to find out how much power the PCIe slot can provide? Or does that not matter? Ive tried to look on HP website but cant find this info anywhere. Also, the optional GPU that can come with this PC, the Radeon R7 430, is a 50w GPU. So does this mean I can definitely get upto a 50w GPU? Im a bit confused by all this
 

bigweed

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Look for the black connector on the left side of this coming out of your power supply.
Some graphics cards require two. Most will have six wires, with two more off to the side that combine to form 8.

If your PSU doesn't have any, but does have molex, you can use that device below to convert molex into a PCIe Connector.

View attachment 247853

However, a 180 watt power supply will likely not be enough for even the weakest graphics cards.
Being a prebuilt computer, you might also find it difficult to upgrade, if it uses non-standard size specifications for the PSU.

If you do a lot of research, you might still find an answer.
Hi Aegir thanks for replying. Inside the PC there is one spare power cable, it is marked SATA PWR - in pics 3 and 4. Also, the DVD drive is unused so I can repurpose those cables somehow - pic 5. Can I use any of these cables to power the graphics card, if the PCIE slot is not enough? Or is it not even worth doing that because the PSU is so low powered? Im definitely not upgrading the PSU as it is firmly attached in, and dont want to risk it
 

kirbyrj

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Hi kirbyrj thanks for replying. Should I try to find out how much power the PCIe slot can provide? Or does that not matter? Ive tried to look on HP website but cant find this info anywhere. Also, the optional GPU that can come with this PC, the Radeon R7 430, is a 50w GPU. So does this mean I can definitely get upto a 50w GPU? Im a bit confused by all this
I don't think it will matter. The slot should be good for up to 75W per the specification for PCIe slots. I wouldn't get that R7 430 card. The 1030 is close to double the performance (GDDR5 version).
 

ryan_975

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The SATA power is coming from the motherboard, and is likely limited to provide just enough power for two hard drives and an optical drives. The optical drive’s power connector is unusable as is since it’s slim SATA and only provides 5v. So any card that actually requires external power would overwhelm the motherboard’s SATA power circuit.

The PCIe spec allows for 75w from the x16 slot, but the position of it would put the cooler of just about any card that would fit there right against the PSU and choke it for air (i.e it would run hot and loud)

Honestly, this machine is meant to sit in an office and run Excel and host Zoom calls. I wouldn’t waste the time and money needed to try making this do something it was never meant to do. Save up some money and buy or build something better suited for your needs.
 

bigweed

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Hi all, I have decided to risk it on a GT1030 (not GTX1030??) But after searching for it there's so many variations from so many manufacturers. How do I pick which one would be best?
 

kirbyrj

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Hi all, I have decided to risk it on a GT1030 (not GTX1030??) But after searching for it there's so many variations from so many manufacturers. How do I pick which one would be best?
You have to narrow your search to a low profile, single slot, GDDR5 card. The DDR3 version is significantly slower.

I would also get that other stick of RAM so you have dual channels.
 

bigweed

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You have to narrow your search to a low profile, single slot, GDDR5 card. The DDR3 version is significantly slower.

I would also get that other stick of RAM so you have dual channels.
Does manufacturer matter? Is one manufacturer better / worse than others?
 

HockeyJon

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Honestly, this machine is meant to sit in an office and run Excel and host Zoom calls. I wouldn’t waste the time and money needed to try making this do something it was never meant to do. Save up some money and buy or build something better suited for your needs.
I’m going to place myself firmly in this camp. That computer is simply not designed to do this. You can build one for relatively cheap from scratch that will give you an upgrade pathway in the future and/or give you parts you can swap out and use for a future build. I personally wouldn’t sink the money and effort into this. The power supply will be pushed to its limit, the case isn’t well suited for upgrading because there is limited room and the card will run hot, and you’ll still need to hunt down a second stick of RAM.

If you want to run COD Warzone, the game calls for a GTX 1650 or an HD7950 video card, so if you do managed to get it to run on a GT 1030, it will run like total ass, and the game says it needs 175 GB HD space, which will take up most of the HD in that machine. I’m not sure what your budget is, but my advice is you’re better off waiting to get the money to buy something you’ll actually enjoy rather than try to make this machine do something that it’s definitely not designed to do.

B550 motherboards are right around the corner. If money is really tight, you can throw together a PC with a B550 motherboard, a Ryzen 3300x (or 3600 if you can stretch it), an RX580 video card, which you can still find for relatively cheap, and a good quality power supply. If you own this HP machine, you can still salvage out the NVME drive for your new build to get you started there so it’s not a total loss, plus reassign it’s windows license to your new machine to save money there. Just my thoughts. I just don’t think it’s personally worth sinking time and effort into something you’ll likely end up being disappointed with and then having to sink more time and effort into having to rebuild a new machine anyway to get the experience you want.
 

atp1916

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Like this, OP:

dcYpN2d.jpg


More seriously: 180w max on the PSU - 65w for the CPU, you're at 115w for the rest of the system - PCIe express can do 75w, leaving 40w for everything else... You're certainly pushing past the 80% load capacity safety margin.

You could, but i honestly would take HockeyJon up on his advice.

Edit: That i5-8500 is going for ~$136 minimum on the US fleabay. If you can save up another 200-300 + some spares, a new machine could be in reach especially if you pick AMD options.
 
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AltTabbins

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I've done builds in similar systems. You run into 2 issues.

1 - You need a low profile card that is also single slot.
2 - You should check to make sure that the PCI-E slot can provide the full 75w of power. I don't know about HP, but some Dell Optiplexes only offer 45-65w of power to the PCI-E slot. People have run into issues running gtx 1050's and 1650's in certain models.

I'd look for a single slot, low profile Nvidia 1030, 1050, or 1650 (if you can find one). The 1650 would be the best choice of all of them.
 

kirbyrj

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I've done builds in similar systems. You run into 2 issues.

1 - You need a low profile card that is also single slot.
2 - You should check to make sure that the PCI-E slot can provide the full 75w of power. I don't know about HP, but some Dell Optiplexes only offer 45-65w of power to the PCI-E slot. People have run into issues running gtx 1050's and 1650's in certain models.

I'd look for a single slot, low profile Nvidia 1030, 1050, or 1650 (if you can find one). The 1650 would be the best choice of all of them.
I agree, but I haven't seen a single slot/LP 1050 or 1650. Most of them have a larger fan that extends past the single slot (which in this case pushes it into the PSU).
 

AltTabbins

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I agree, but I haven't seen a single slot/LP 1050 or 1650. Most of them have a larger fan that extends past the single slot (which in this case pushes it into the PSU).
I've seen articles about both from companies like Zotac, but I have never seen them available for sale anywhere. I don't even know if they ended up releasing either.
 

Skarth

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A Geforce GT 1030 seems to be your best bet. Consumes about 30watts, so safely in power limits for your computer.

https://www.newegg.com/gigabyte-gef...0D5-2GL-_-14-125-972-_-Product&quicklink=true

You want to avoid any version that uses a tall heatsink/fan, or uses ddr4 (which is slower).

There may exist versions of the GTX 1050 or 1650 that are single slot, low profile, but not likely, and they may consume too much power for your power supply to properly handle.
 

Stoly

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you could use a riser cable and install the card externally with a dedicated power supply.

I did that a while ago with a gtx1070 on a core i3 just for kicks :D:D
 
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UltraTaco

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you could a riser cable and install the card externally with a dedicated power supply.

I did that a while ago with a gtx1070 on a core i3 just for kicks :D:D
Do you power it on like they do nuclear silos by turning two keys, in this case, pushing two separate power buttons at the same time?

"Two man rule"
160209-F-BR137-127.jpg


I was actually recommending this to someone when they were short on PSU power some time ago. Had no clue if it would work.
 

Stoly

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Do you power it on like they do nuclear silos by turning two keys, in this case, pushing two separate power buttons at the same time?

"Two man rule"
View attachment 248146


I was actually recommending this to someone when they were short on PSU power some time ago. Had no clue if it would work.
I tried both ways.

bridging the PSUs (basically a jumper cable between gnd/gnd and the power on/power on pins on both PSUs) and powered separately.

I started using a separate PSU for my FX5900 back in the day. I've heard dozens of horror stories with burned PSUs and equipment but I never had a problem.
 

Aegir

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Literal fire shot out of my graphics card when I used a separate PSU to power it.
Baaaaaad idea, seeing as it was expensive. Luckily, AMD upgraded my burned 290x to a Fury X for free. Thanks AMD.
 

UltraTaco

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I'm guessing pcie slot power somehow interfered with separate power source from the power plugs?

Taco wonder if destroying leads on the mobo pcie slot would help prevent issues?
 

E4g1e

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Okay so I decided to risk it on a GT1030 with 2GB DDR5 memory. Hopefully it will work out! Otherwise Im going to have to get a newer PC, which I was trying to avoid as money is pretty tight. I got a low profile version, with no stick out fan:

Gigabyte GT 1030 Low Profile 2G Graphics Card

Hopefully that will do the trick, arrives in a couple of days
At least you got the GDDR5 version. As such, this will tide you over until you save up enough money for an entire new build, and relegate your current PC to media playback duty. I would not have put any more money than that particular upgrade for that office PC.
 

bigweed

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Is there any way I can tell if the Nvidia 1030 is being used, or if it is the Intel graphics bein gused?
 

ryan_975

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I don't even think you'd have to disable the onboard. It should detect the add-on card if you have it plugged in.
You’re right, I was just giving a way to know for sure. Though it’s likely that HP is locked down so tight that there’s no option to disable anything.
 

bigweed

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Ive plugged in the monitor into the Nvidia card. I wasnt sure if I would have to choose which card is used if I run a game?
 

kirbyrj

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Ive plugged in the monitor into the Nvidia card. I wasnt sure if I would have to choose which card is used if I run a game?
No, just install your drivers for the new card and away you go if you have it plugged into the Nvidia card already.
 

E4g1e

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Ive plugged in the monitor into the Nvidia card. I wasnt sure if I would have to choose which card is used if I run a game?
In HP desktops, the integrated Intel graphics is automatically (and semi-permanently) disabled whenever a discrete GPU is installed, and there is absolutely no way at all whatsoever to force-enable the Intel iGPU. Therefore, it's either entirely through the Intel graphics or a discrete GPU, but not both.
 

tom_ozahoski

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In HP desktops, the integrated Intel graphics is automatically (and semi-permanently) disabled whenever a discrete GPU is installed, and there is absolutely no way at all whatsoever to force-enable the Intel iGPU. Therefore, it's either entirely through the Intel graphics or a discrete GPU, but not both.
Funny, I have a dell behind me with a GT 1030 driving the main display and Intel iGPU driving secondary. I had to enable dual display in bios to make it work. Both show up in device manager. I wonder why HP are doing that?
 
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