Need advice on powering a higher end gpu in a hp elitedesk 800 g3 sff


Mar 25, 2004
I recently picked up an hp elitedesk 800 g3 sff. It has an i7-7700, 16gb of DDR4 ram, a 180watt psu (*note the psus in these units are proprietary) and I replaced the smaller ssd that came in it with a new crucial 500gb nvme ssd. I also added an evga gt 1030 gpu (the newer variant with ddr5.)

Honestly overall it's quite impressive for the size and price. However, as I half expected, I am hitting the ceiling of what the gpu can do, and would like to see if it is possible to get a more powerful gpu working in this system.

Now, the reason I picked the gt 1030 is it draws extremely low power (under 30 watts) and can get it all from the pcie slot with no cables from the psu needed. Once you go much higher than a gt 1030, you start to need cable connections to the psu (I believe that will be difficult or impossible to solve) and more power from the pcie slot (I'm not 100% certain about this but I read somewhere on the hp forums that it sounded like they were saying the pcie slot on this mobo only puts out 35 watts.)

Even if the above two factors were somehow mitigated, I think overall the psu just can't possibly have that much spare power left to give, considering it's only 180 watts, and it's some years old now and that i7-7700 alone uses a fair amount (65 watts I believe.)

Here are a few options I'm considering:

-Option 1: Add a second psu, literally just to power a gpu. Is this possible? Could it fit inside? Do they make some kind of very small psu that perhaps could fit in to where the space is for you to add HDDs (which I will never utilize) via an adaptor of some kind or macguyvering? (And even if such a thing exists... am I still going to have an issue with the slot not applying enough power or do gpus that take power cables from a psu draw most of their power through those cables?)

-Option 2: Utilize some kind of creative setup involving a dell power adaptor like etaprime does in some of his videos such as the "We Turned This Tiny Low-Cost HP Office PC Into A Mini Gaming Machine!" Video (screenshot of the adapter he uses attached to this thread.) I feel like this should somehow be workable but he seems to be plugging the dell power device into a nvme to pcie adaptor and I don't need that - my sff has a pcie slot that can accommodate actually a pretty large card - and I don't think I can cram that into the sff.

-Option 3: Do they make some kind of case to literally just hold and power a gpu, that would protect the gpu and... I dunno say plug into a pcie slot on the motherboard via a cable that I could run through one of the available slots on the back of the case?

Any advice greatly appreciated - thanks for reading!


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Supreme [H]ardness
Aug 15, 2005
They make powered external GPU enclosures. Generally, they are meant for thunderbolt. But, if that system has a USB-C port, it should work. Although, performance will be compromised due to the bandwidth constraints. Not sure how much, exactly. And I imagine a USB-C port will suffere a bit more than a Thunderbolt port.