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PCnoob808
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Graphics Card Upgrade

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HP Compaq 8200 Elite Convertible Minitower
Microsoft Windows 10 (32-bit)

Hello.  I inherited an older HP Compaq Elite 8200 pc last year with the intention of converting it to a gaming tower.  After using it for a few months, I kept it in the closet and after about 8 months, I turned it on again and now it will not send a signal to my monitor.  It’s hard to troubleshoot as I am not able to see anything in my monitor.

 

I tried a few things:

- reseeded my ram

- tested/checked and tried different cables

- tested and verified that my monitor works

 

I would like to start converting it to a gaming pc anyhow and maybe start with the graphics card?

 

Anyhow, I would like to know, what specs I need to look for when upgrading the following:

- Ram

- storage:  can I install an ssd drive?

- graphics card:  will I be able to install and deploy this without seeing anything in my monitor?

 

My nickname totally describes my understanding of these kinds of tech so pls do not assume I know terms :-). TIA!

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itsmyname
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@PCnoob808 -- is this your computer: HP Compaq 8200 Elite Small Form Factor PC Product Specifications | HP® Customer Support

 

>  what specs I need to look for when upgrading the following.

 

First, when you power-on your computer, if nothing shows up on your monitor, you have to fix this problem.  Maybe, the power-supply has failed. Maybe, the motherboard has failed. Maybe, the CPU has failed.

 

> RAM

 

According to the above web-page, there are 4 slots for RAM. 

As an every-day "appliance" (E-mail, YouTube, web-surfing), 4 GB of RAM is adequate.

As a "gaming" computer, you should put 4 GB into each of the 4 slots, for a total of 16 GB.

 

> storage:  can I install an ssd drive?

 

Absolutely, due to its high speed. The above web-page indicates that adding a SSD was a "factory option".

Also, some games use quite a lot of storage on a disk-drive. 

What size (500 GB? 1000 GB?) can you afford?

 

> PROCESSOR

 

The above web-page indicates that the computer came with either an Intel i3 processor, or even up to an Intel i7 processor.  For "gaming", you want the fastest-possible (and fastest-affordable) processor.

 

> graphics card:  

 

Yes, definitely, you need a "high-end" graphics card.

 

> will I be able to install and deploy this without seeing anything in my monitor?

 

That is EXTREMELY DOUBTFUL. 

Before spending over $100 on a SSD, and over $100 upgrading the processor, and over $200 on a graphics card, you need to get the computer working "as is".

 

It may be more "economic" to buy a "gaming computer", rather than trying to "build" it yourself.

Maybe, get it working "as is", and sell it to somebody wanting an "appliance" computer, and use the proceeds towards a purchase.

 

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itsmyname
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1,997 1,984 75 210
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HP Recommended

@PCnoob808 -- is this your computer: HP Compaq 8200 Elite Small Form Factor PC Product Specifications | HP® Customer Support

 

>  what specs I need to look for when upgrading the following.

 

First, when you power-on your computer, if nothing shows up on your monitor, you have to fix this problem.  Maybe, the power-supply has failed. Maybe, the motherboard has failed. Maybe, the CPU has failed.

 

> RAM

 

According to the above web-page, there are 4 slots for RAM. 

As an every-day "appliance" (E-mail, YouTube, web-surfing), 4 GB of RAM is adequate.

As a "gaming" computer, you should put 4 GB into each of the 4 slots, for a total of 16 GB.

 

> storage:  can I install an ssd drive?

 

Absolutely, due to its high speed. The above web-page indicates that adding a SSD was a "factory option".

Also, some games use quite a lot of storage on a disk-drive. 

What size (500 GB? 1000 GB?) can you afford?

 

> PROCESSOR

 

The above web-page indicates that the computer came with either an Intel i3 processor, or even up to an Intel i7 processor.  For "gaming", you want the fastest-possible (and fastest-affordable) processor.

 

> graphics card:  

 

Yes, definitely, you need a "high-end" graphics card.

 

> will I be able to install and deploy this without seeing anything in my monitor?

 

That is EXTREMELY DOUBTFUL. 

Before spending over $100 on a SSD, and over $100 upgrading the processor, and over $200 on a graphics card, you need to get the computer working "as is".

 

It may be more "economic" to buy a "gaming computer", rather than trying to "build" it yourself.

Maybe, get it working "as is", and sell it to somebody wanting an "appliance" computer, and use the proceeds towards a purchase.

 

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PCnoob808
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Thank your for the advise @Itsmyname.  My pc does have an i7 but like you said, I may just bite the bullet and buy a fully-built gaming pc or laptop.

 

I do want to get it fixed anyhow but mainly because I would like to retrieve data from my hard drive.  This is a long shot but is there a solution that will let me retrieve data without seeing my desktop via my monitor?  Is there a way to plug my pc to another pc or laptop and have it be recognized as an external drive, without being able to log in?  If that won't work, can I just remove the old drive and install it in the new pc that I will eventually buy?

 

Also, if the power-supply or the motherboard or the CPU has failed, how should I go about troubleshooting that?

 

Thanks again for the help.

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