Question about replacing a GPU on a computer.

Will I be able to replace the NVidia GeForce 6150SE integrated chip with a real (and better) GPU on this computer?. As it says, it’s integrated, but that’s just a matter of on/off, correct? Does anyone have any experience with the Emachine linked above? Can it play WoW and EQ comfortably? It’s only $398 and a great way to get up an running quickly. Do I even need to replace the GeForce chip?

Thank You.

Check the BIOS setup screen and see if it lets you disable the on-board video. That would be the sure thing. It’s very likely that if you put a graphics card in it will supersede, especially since you’ll be plugging the monitor into that port instead of the one on the motherboard, but you might have unexpected incompatibilities if you can’t actually turn off the on-board GPU.

To me, it looks like that computer won’t have any full-height expansion slots – far too narrow and compact for that. And it doesn’t even say if it has any slots at all. These days, you need a 16x PCI express slot to be able to install a new graphics card, and it’s very difficult to get anything half-height at a reasonable price.

I don’t know for sure if the integrated 6150se will be good enough for what you want. Googling around, people are saying that it might barely be good enough for WoW. You will probably be able to play, but with every setting turned all the way down, and with very jerky frame rates.

It sounds like you didn’t purchase it yet. I suggest you ask for recommendations for a system that is better suited for what you want, and say what the price limit is you want to set. The above system doesn’t seem like it’s graphics are upgradeable and the system is a low end system. You will say money if the motherboard has what you need on it and you don’t have to by add on cards.

Look at New Egg.

Thanks for the advice. I’ve decided not to be impulsive and will wait to purchase a better PC, somewhere in this realm.

Just be aware that the PC you want to get won’t get you much in the way of gaming potential, if that’s what you are looking for. It too sports an integrated GPU. If you do get it, make sure to buy a discreet solution to go a long with it. I personally would recommend you get something with an cheaper AMD processor and 4-6 gigs of RAM and use the extra money for a separate GPU card.

4 Gig of ram is plenty. Hell, I have 2 GB on my machine at home and it runs all modern games just great…everything else too.

Also remember over 4 GB you need a 64-bit operating system. 32-bit operating systems can only reference up to 4 GB of memory and that is all memory in the system. So, if you have a video card with 1 GB of RAM on it then the computer can only address 3 GB of system RAM (even if you have 4 GB installed).

Mince, if you’re looking at the $800 range, one option might be to to go to some of the “boutique” dealers like CyberPower or iBUYPower. They don’t have the most imaginative business names, but they allow you to fully spec out a computer (often all the way down to the brand of components) for the same price or less than the bigger companies. And you pay realistic upgrade prices should you choose from the huge array of goodies available for a given PC - none of this “pay $50 to upgrade from 250 to 500GB hdd” or “an extra 2GB of RAM costs $75” (I see that the Gateway doesn’t even let you pick upgrades).

Want a quad-core, triple-SLI Core i7 monster? Spec it out (if I had the money, I would). Or maybe a modest-but-fast dual-core with high-end single card solution? Spec it out. Want blue fans and a purple cathode ray, with a black case and silver DVD drive? Spec it out. ETA: Just for giggles I spec’ed out on Cyberpower a PC similar to the Gateway you linked, for around $760.

You wind up with a fully custom easily upgradable PC using standard non-proprietary components, with a vanilla Windows install, and none of the crap the bigger vendors preinstall - you tell them what you want installed during the spec process.

The tradeoff is that you’re dealing with a smaller company (although Cyberpower does about $80m per year, so it’s far from a mom-and-pop outfit) and perhaps less-than-stellar customer support (but usually very good RMA/warranty policies, once you get hold of somebody). And don’t let the stupid-looking PC cases on those sites’ front pages dissuade you - they usually offer around 20 cases to choose from, all the way from very sedate, to utterly ridiculous contraptions out of a Transformers movie.

Oh and by the way, that Gateway you linked ships with Vista 64-bit - you may not want that unless you’re looking at 64-bit specific applications like video editing or music production (and it doesn’t sound like you are). By the way, most of the bespoke PC shops let you pick the exact OS (or no OS if you prefer).

As mentioned previously in the thread, you need a 64-bit OS if you get a computer with more than 3 GiB of RAM or so, unless you don’t mind wasting the extra memory. Even if you don’t get a computer with that much memory, it’s good to have the option to upgrade available, down the line.

Agreed - upgradability is always a plus. However, Vista 64-bit has some significant drawbacks - primarily driver issues and driver-related application incompatibility (read: games).

In fact, I’m surprised an outfit like Gateway is even positioning x64 as the only option on an obviously consumer-oriented desktop. In this case, it seems that Gateway is using x64 simply as a way to tout the (as Gateway puts it) “immense memory” capacity, when in reality, for most 32-bit applications (which will be just about all the applications available outside of professional media production software), the additional memory will likely not make a noticable impact.

Sorry, but that’s just not the case anymore.

I’m a pc gamer and have been using vista and now windows 7 64 bit for a good year now with now driver or compatibility issues.

Not really.

It did, maybe a year and a half ago. Even then, the issues were generally with older hardware - shit like printers that people rarely replace and hang on to for ages. Since we’re talking about buying a new computer here, we’re talking about relatively new hardware. Manufacturers are mostly all on board with vista and x64, this is not particularly cutting edge tech anymore.

I’m not saying there won’t be some issues now and then, but it’s hardly a deal breaker and people really should stop being afraid of 64 bit systems.

I stand corrected then - last time I messed with x64 was (coincidentally) about a year and a half ago, setting up a media center pc, which had no end of problems. Since Vista x64 (at the time, at least) required all drivers to be signed by Microsoft and the video/sound/network drivers apparently **weren’t **signed, I had no end of problems - ethernet topped out at 10Mb, no video acceleration, etc. Researching the issue uncovered many similar complaints specific to x64, so I got the 32-bit version.

Good to know this has changed - so is Microsoft no longer requiring signed drivers? Or are the manufacturers just more on the ball?

Either way, I still would recommend going with a custom pc builder, even if you want x64 - they all offer and support 64-bit OS’s.