New monitor, older computer

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by peter124, Sep 3, 2016.

  1. peter124

    peter124 Mu-43 Regular

    My desktop machine is about 4 years old. It has an i7-2600 CPU @ 3.4GHz, with integrated Intel HD-2000 graphics. Right now I'm using a 1920 x 1080 IPS monitor, but would like to upgrade to something larger.

    Problem is, the only video outputs are VGA and single link DVI. Also, I gather that the HD-2000 graphics is limited to 2560 x 1440, and that would in any case require dual link DVI.

    There is enough space inside the case for an external graphics card. Am I right in thinking that this would bypass the integrated graphics completely, so I could upgrade to any size monitor? Or is there some other limitation?

    Obviously one option is a new computer, but I'm reluctant to do that since I'm perfectly happy with the present setup ... apart from the display.
  2. dalto

    dalto Mu-43 Regular

    Jul 6, 2016
    Yes, you should be able to put an additional card in and ignore the on-board graphics. It wouldn't cost you much either if all you want is the ability to increase resolution and not play graphic intensive games.

    Just be careful of going too high in resolution in respect to monitor size. It may seem great to grab that 24" 4K monitor but it makes everything tiny. So you end up scaling everything back with desktop scaling but that makes it look worse than if it had a lower resolution to begin with.
  3. PacNWMike

    PacNWMike Mu-43 All-Pro

    Dec 5, 2014
    Salish Sea
    Real Name:
    Make sure the card you buy will fit in the space and that you have a 16x slot. Some cards are quite large and run hot so need good cooling and space.
  4. JNB

    JNB Mu-43 Regular

    Dec 11, 2014
    Nova Scotia, Canada
    The other thing to pay attention to is the recommended power supply requirements of the card. My 5-year-old Dell had a 350W power supply, but when its video card started to get flaky, some of the options I looked at required a 400W PS. In the end, other things started to go on that machine, so I opted for a brand new PC and monitor.

    Oh, yes. I agree with the comment above about size and resolution. I run 2560 x 1440 on a 27" monitor, but wouldn't want to do it on anything smaller. Nor would I really want to run any higher resolution on this size of monitor. Your vision may vary, of course.
    Last edited: Sep 4, 2016
  5. dalto

    dalto Mu-43 Regular

    Jul 6, 2016
    If you are only trying to get to 1440p(2560x1440) you can get a card for under $50 with passive cooling that won't use much power or generate much heat. If you want multi-monitor, ultra-wide or 4K resolution it will cost you a bit more but should still be workable.
  6. agentlossing

    agentlossing Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jun 26, 2013
    Real Name:
    Andrew Lossing
    I strongly recommend an Nvidia GTX 750 Ti. It's an older graphics card, and as such, is available very cheaply, but it's a very low-power-consumption card that only uses a PCI-e slot, doesn't need a power connector.

    I bought the Asus STRIX version for under $100, it's a small card, overclocked so it beats standard specs for the card, and runs like an absolute champ. It's a no-brainer as an upgrade to integrated graphics.

    oh and um...
    • Like Like x 1
  7. stratokaster

    stratokaster Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jan 4, 2011
    Kyiv, Ukraine
    Real Name:
    I recently upgraded a video card in a friend's PC (of the same vintage and using the same CPU as yours) and ran into an unexpected problem: as it turns out, modern AMD video cards don't like older motherboards. The video card was 100% functional when used with a newer PC and the PC itself worked with a NVIDIA card just fine.
  8. tkbslc

    tkbslc Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Short answer to your question is "YES", as long as you check requirements for slot type and power supply.

    If you give some more details about your computer and the monitor you are planning to upgrade to, then I can recommend some affordable options for you.
  9. peter124

    peter124 Mu-43 Regular

    Thanks to everyone for all your helpful pointers!

    The computer is an ACER Veriton 4618G. As I mentioned in the OP it has an i7-2600 CPU @ 3.4GHz, with integrated HD-2000 graphics. I believe this is the Sandy Bridge generation. Installed RAM is 8GB.

    After reading the responses, I checked the power supply; it's only 220W, which limits the choice of available cards. I was looking at a card based on the AMD Radeon HD5450, which apparently only draws 19W. It is also one of the few cards that will fit in the available space. Display is limited to 2560 x 1440, which would be OK.

    At this point, though, I'm beginning to think I would be better off waiting until when I treat myself to a new computer. Too many compromises trying to find something that will work with what I have right now.
  10. agentlossing

    agentlossing Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jun 26, 2013
    Real Name:
    Andrew Lossing
    As I mentioned, the 750 Ti runs off motherboard only through the PCI-e connector.

    oh and um...
  11. dalto

    dalto Mu-43 Regular

    Jul 6, 2016
    A 220W power supply with a 750Ti would really be pushing it. I probably wouldn't try that combo.
  12. peter124

    peter124 Mu-43 Regular

    Following up on this:

    I bought and installed an ASUS HD6450 card. This has passive cooling, that is, no fan. It just fits in the motherboard's single PCIe16 slot. Computer booted up fine, windows 10 found the card and installed the latest driver automatically. Not surprisingly, it got pretty hot, pretty quickly, so I installed a 40mm fan inside the case, directing air towards both sides of the card. This worked very well, keeping the heatsink temperature to less than 40C, even on the hottest days.

    With my 1920x1080 monitor, I could see no difference between the new card and the internal HD2000 graphics. (I didn't expect to.)

    Since everything seemed to be working, I ordered a Samsung S32D850T 32 in monitor. It arrived this morning, I plugged it in, and everything came up right away. Picture quality seems very good, and even 1440 HD test videos on youtube play smoothly.

    The extra real estate is great for Lightroom editing, although I must say that for normal email and browsing, the screen is almost too big! I suppose I'll get used to it.

    Thanks again to all who responded with comments.
    • Like Like x 3
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  13. Carbonman

    Carbonman Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jul 10, 2014
    Vancouver BC
    Real Name:
    I'm very pleased with my S32D850T; I had to increase font size to make reading easier but everything else was great right out of the box (apart from having to buy a new video card, then a new PC with all the goodies).
  14. kauphymug

    kauphymug Mu-43 Regular

    May 1, 2015
    Cowford, Florida
    Look at monitors with displayport out and get a card for $15-up. Displayport was designed for monitors whereas hdmi was designed for tv type applications, Blu-ray video cameras etc. Hdmi will only handle a single monitor displayport will handle multiple monitors with a hub. My ATX motherboard comes with displayport and doesn't need any additional cooling other than the tower fans and will handle 3840x2160 I run it at 2560 x 1440 which is all the Asus 27" monitor will handle. My Wacom is connected to the dvi and according to the temp monitor everything seems to be operating ok.