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MMingüer
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Upgrade to SSD and video card (again!)

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HP Pavilion p6540la
Microsoft Windows 7 (64-bit)

Hello guys!

 

It has been the longest time it seems! So let me go ahead and explain what is up.

 

First time I tried to upgrade this baby I failed miserably. Not lacking skills but got super bad luck with video cards.

After almost 4 years I am willing to give this a try again!

 

 

Here is my current motherboard for reference: MS-7613 (Iona-GL8E).

 

As it seems it has this things here. 

 

  • Form factor: microATX - 24.4 cm (9.6 inches) x 24.4 cm (9.6 inches)
  • Chipset: Intel H57 Express
  • Memory sockets: 4 x DDR3 (all taken by 4GB DDR3-1333 modules)
  • Front side bus speeds: 2.5 GT/s DMI
  • Processor socket: LGA1156
    • Expansion Slots:
      • 1 PCI Express x16 slot for graphics card (which I hope still works!)
      • 3 PCI Express x1 slots
      • 1 PCI Express x1 minicard slot

 

It has an Intel Core i3 530 running @ 2.93 GHz with 2 cores. And I have a 2TB backup internal HDD (which is in the process of dying) and had to go back to the 250PSU (I had a Corsair 650W that also died). Writing this it seems like ancient tech now!

 

For the past years I used it only for mid gaming (Windows XP and before era games, SNES and before emulation) and programming (installed Linux and running some scientific image processing software). After failing (and spending some money that I was not willing to spend again) I decided to just leave it like this for the moment.

 

I have been reading wonders about SSD and modern graphic cards. My questions are:

 

  1. Would the SATA version be able to handle an SSD? 
  2. I see these modern graphics cards all (or at least the pretty ones) use PCIe 3.0. Would this cause any major conflicts? Or do you know of any PCIe 2.0 decent graphics cards?
  3. I don't want to go "Full Gamer" mode, just be able to play some recent titles at decent settings (I tried playing StarCraft 2 and everything has to be set up at Low!!!).
  4. Also, I tried upgrading to Win10 when the update was available but it sucks so much on this particular PC, some updates (like the Anniversary update) have not been able to be installed here. Would I be better off going back to Windows 7?
  5. I am backing up all my  data (but my ISP upload speed is a nightmare, I am barely reaching 1 Mbps) to the cloud so to avoid having to spend money on the back up drive again, and streaming is so much easier now that there is no point in saving anything anymore.
  6. What about a BluRay unit? Would it be too much trouble? 
  7. I also have to buy a new PSU, Corsair was goo (while it lasted), are there other brands available that you know work fine with HP products?

I know all these can fit inside the tower, but in any case size is 

 

  • Height: 38.7 cm (15.23 inches)
  • Width: 17.5 cm (6.89 inches)
  • Length: 41.4 cm (16.29 inches)

I am so nostalgic about letting the computer go. It looks so pretty and we have been through a lot together.

 

I would appreciate any insight into this matter!

 

Thanks for taking the time to read this!

 

Common sense is not that common
-------------------------------------
HP Pavilion P6540la
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iomare
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Hi,

Try to answer your questions one at a time:

 

-Using a 3.0 graphics card in a 2.0 slot will have near zero performance loss if in single slot. So you can get whichever graphics card you prefer. You could go with a GTX 750ti or a more modern gtx 1050. It all depends what you are willing to spend. This will probably have the most effect on the games and settings you will be able to use.

 

-The SataII connectors you have on motherboard will probably cause a bottleneck to the SSD which will however still be much faster than mechanical hard drive 

 

-You can easily install Bluray drive to sata connector on motherboard. It should be recognized automatically. I cannot see any problem installing Bluray drive.

 

-Personally I like Corsair PSUs and also use BeQuiet and Silverstone in my builds, I would look online for good offer or maybe sale on one of these brands.

 

 

You say that you are not able to update windows10. Is there a specific reason? Are you getting error codes?

 

 

Hope it helps,

David

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MMingüer
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Thanks for the reply.

 

-As I understand then, since this machine has it's own PCIex16 even if it is a 2.0 will not cause performance issues with a 3.0 card, correct?

 

-How much will the SSD drive performance be affected by the SATA II in this motherboard?

 

-Does the Bluray require a graphics card? Or does it come with the HDMI port? Because this machine does not have an HDMI port.

 

-I was seeing Corsair are maybe the best option I could get my hands on. Thanks!

 

-On the other hand, I did update to Windows 10, but some cumulative updates do not install and machine goes on a reboot loop trying to install them and then uninstall them when it fails. I have seen several people (especially with old machines) having the same problem. Maybe just go back to Win 7?

Common sense is not that common
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iomare
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Hi,

 

-There will be no loss in performance with the 3.0 card in the 2.0 slot.

 

https://www.pugetsystems.com/labs/articles/Impact-of-PCI-E-Speed-on-Gaming-Performance-518/

 

-The sata II ports have max throughput of 3,0 Gb/sec which is about 375 MB/s (real life about 300 MB). Most SSD are faster than this. However we have to consider that the ssd even in Sata III will often be below this speed because a lot of files used in the computer are real small. We also need to consider acess times which are a lot faster in SSD than mechanical drive. So yes the SSD will be a little bottlenecked however will still greatly improve your everyday system performance.

 

-You are most likely going to need one of these outputs to watch HD content

HDMI, DVI, or Display Port

Any video card from the last years will have HDMI on it.

 

-I myself like Windows 10 and have installed on computers a lot older han yours. You could try downloading the media creation tool from Microsoft, running and creating a bootable USB drive with the latest OS (creators update). Try to perform a clean install with this media, it will be automatically activated once installed as long as it is the same edition (home or pro) and let Windows install the drivers.

 

https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/software-download/windows10

 

 

Let me know if you need further help,

David

 

MMingüer
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Very interesting article! I was reading some other stuff on gaming websites but seems like they did not fully test. 

 

I have just one question regarding the media creation tool. This computer's HDD has 3 partitions (1 for Windows 10, 1 for Debian and 1 for the Recovery partition which will take computer to factory defaults), will that tool delete all my partitions?

 

Do you think that running the DISM command could help?

 

I really appreciate all your time!

Common sense is not that common
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HP Pavilion P6540la
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iomare
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The media creation tool will create a bootable pendrive or you can download iso and create bootable DVD. It will be an original copy of Windows 10.

The DISM command will fix any system files on your PC.

 

You could first try running the media creation tool to update the PC, there is this option when launching the tool.

If it does not work try using the downloaded copy of Windows 10 (pendrive or iso) to update the Windows 10 installed at the moment on PC. You can do this by launching the setup from within Windows 10. 

If it fails you can try a clean install in the partition you are using at the moment for Windows 10.

I do not have much experience with Debian dual boot systems, as my Linux is installed on seperate computer. But I guess you have Grub bootloader which should help resolve things.

 

When I perform clean install on my systems I usually delete all partitions and create a clean system. I do not really like recovery partitions, especially since with windows 10 you can create recovery drives, images and download the original OS.

I usually install the OS, wait for all updates to install, install any missing drivers and any applications I use. Uninstall all the unwanted stuff which comes with OS. Then I create an image of system with program such as Macrium to have a "good" start image for future use.

 

Hope it helps,

David

MMingüer
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Will try something different before attempting a Clean install (it scares me, to be honest)

 

But I will think about deleting Linux partition and then starting from scratch.

Common sense is not that common
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HP Pavilion P6540la
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