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my questionable rig.

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    my questionable rig.

    so, ive been poking around the forums looking for some leads regarding my current machine. i own an hp pavillion a6323w. under the hhod, it's got 64x2 dual core athlon 5200+(2.6 ghz)1meg+1meg l2 cache, pny/nvidia 8500gt 512k, 3 gigs of stock ram,winvistahomepremium 32 bit. the scary thing is that this is on a 250 watt power supply, and i was wondering what dangers/problems this may pose. the gpu requirements state that i should have at least a 300 watt psu, and i was also considering moving up to a 8600 or better, which to the best of my knowledge, can be found without the need for a seperate psu connector, but also calls for at least 350watts(8800). i'm not sure if i can put a larger psu in my case, and i was wondering about possible cpu upgrades and gpu upgrades that i may have options with...
    perhaps with a larger psu and more cooling i keep my gpu, and overclock the whole thing, or i try a slightly beefier gpu, on my current ps. i've kind of thrown out a few questions about this, but have yet to get any opinions...
    o yeah, i have 4 slots for ram, so i can have a max out at 4 if i remain with win 32 bit, or go up to 8 if i go 64 bit.

    sorry if all this makes me look even lamer than i really am, but any input
    is totally appreciated.

    and for the record, i'm hopoing to stick with nvidia.(no good reason, just never had an ati)

    1. You want to make sure you have a PSU that can power everything in your system. Remembering that adding more to your cooling or ocing will add to your load. Don't just look at the wattage. Look at the amperage, and look for one that has all your connectors so you don't have to use adaptors. You should be able to put a bigger PSU in your HP. I have a HP a6030n, and have a Corsair 520HX in it. It fit no problem, and is modular (which helps with airflow).

    2. If you upgrade your CPU you'll need to go with whatever your board supports. Otherwise you'll have to go the route I did and get a new mobo.

    3. Single GPU upgrade should only be limited to PSU requirements, and the cooling in your case.

    4. Case. You'll probably want to get yourself a case at some point that has more room allowing for better cooling.

    In short, don't do any more upgrading until you have a PSU that can comfortably supply power to all your parts. When purchasing make sure you give yourself some head room for purchases/upgrades down the road.

    Hope this helps. Good luck.