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Old 07-04-2018, 03:03 PM   #1
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Default Computer upgrade

I just bought this computer from ebay which only needs a hard drive and OS to be fully functional as is.

Reading the manual for the motherboard I would like to upgrade to 8 gigs of RAM and a quad core processor along with a solid state drive.

I also am upgrading the CPU fan with one that is quieter and blows more air. The other two heatsinks will get the same type fan even though they don't really need it, but will keep the chips cooler with air blowing on the heatsinks.

I plan on using it with a 32" HDTV

My question is this.

What Nvidia PCI-E video cards with HDMI output will fit in this computer without having to modify the card other than maybe modding the metal bracket? I also have a PCI slot that could be used as well if there's a card that will fit there and do what I need.The two cables are adapters to allow the cards it would have come with to fit properly and connect to the motherboard.

The HDMI ports have to fit within one of the existing openings.

The reason I specify Nvidia is that this game I have Driv3r was made for the Nvidia cards and won't display quite right on ATI cards at least not the ATI cards in the two laptops I've used to play the game. Now if a proper AMD video card will display the game properly I'd be interested in that as well.

I use one of these stock with solid state drive and Windows 10 home at church to do sound recording and it works great for that and is fast.

Using a quad core processor and 8 gigs of RAM in the one I got for myself will make it even better.

Also due to a miss wiring of the LCD backlight driver cable that goes from it to the motherboard the backlight brightness cannot be controlled through Windows nor will correcting the wiring work as the control line from the motherboard in its stock configuration was shorted to ground by the miss-wiring so I will have to manually control that line using a variable resistor if I want to have control over the backlight brightness.
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Old 07-04-2018, 06:24 PM   #2
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Default Re: Computer upgrade

The pictures are helpful, but it's important that you tell us what components you have.

If you don't do that, we may end up recommending things that are not compatible with that board.

How can we know what kind of CPU you can buy if we don't know what kind of socket you have?

So, please, tell us:
  • The motherboard you have
  • Each component you want to improve, replace or add
  • What is it that you want to do with the final computer

I know you already mentioned all those things, but it's better if you provide something cleaner, like a couple of lists.
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Old 07-04-2018, 11:20 PM   #3
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Default Re: Computer upgrade

Motherboard is

NEXCOM Embedded Computing (5.25” CPU Board) EBC 550

The manual is here

http://www.nexcom.com/fildata/getpdf...e-3aa226917b2e

I want to upgrade

1. RAM
2. Processor

I'll use the built in display as well along with the external video card.

Now if it isn't possible to fit a video card inside I can still get 1300 X 768 resolution from the stock VGA connector, but I don't know if the on board graphics can display Driv3r properly which is a must as I love that game.

The goal is

1. Audio streaming.
2. Video streaming
3. Audio processing.
4. Some gaming mainly console emulators and older games.
5. Other typical computing tasks.
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Old 07-05-2018, 09:25 AM   #4
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Default Re: Computer upgrade

OK, I don't know what CPU you have know, but the best one you can get is apparently this one: https://ark.intel.com/products/37033...z-1066-MHz-FSB . If I'm not wrong, then this are the only 2 4-core processors you can get: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_o...#Core_2_Quad_2

Source:
Quote:
Originally Posted by https://nexcom.eol.parts/single-board-computers/ebc-550.htm
CPU: Intel® Core™ 2 Quad (Q9100 2.26GHz) (non longevity CPU); Intel® Embedded Processor List (Intel® Longevity CPU): Intel® Core™ 2 Duo (T9400 2.53GHz); Intel® Celeron® 575 2.0GHz
Abou the RAM:
Quote:
Originally Posted by https://nexcom.eol.parts/single-board-computers/ebc-550.htm
Main Memory: 2x 240-pin DDR3 DIMM Socket, up to 8GB non-ECC 1066 MHz DRAM
anything that falls within those specs will be fine. So:
  1. DD3
  2. 240-pin
  3. 2 sticks
  4. 4GB each

2 things I coulnd't find online, maybe you can provide that:
  1. SATA version?
  2. PCIE version?

You probably have 2.0 in both, but it'd be great to know.

EDIT: The Q9100 seems to be your best option: http://cpu.userbenchmark.com/Compare.../m27411vsm3645 .
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Old 07-05-2018, 04:59 PM   #5
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Default Re: Computer upgrade

It has

2 x PCIe GbE
1 x PCIe x16
1 x PCIe x4
1 x PCI

Whatever GbE means.

I'm still used to only PCI and AGP. Those I understand

PCI-E I don't understand yet.

I'm tempted to buy the processor on Ebay as it includes a tube of heatsink grease and the price is lower than what Newegg sells it for.

That said will the current heatsink be enough with the better fan or will it require a better heatsink?

If I need a better heatsink then that might be a deal breaker given how close the processor is to the RAM.

It may be almost a month before I have the money to buy the hard drive, OS, RAM and processor though.

Sure there's way better stuff out there, but at $59.99 for the computer I ain't complaining.
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Old 07-05-2018, 05:01 PM   #6
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Default Re: Computer upgrade

i'd bet you can fit at least a gt 710 or even gt730 in there with that pcie extender. take a measurement from the rear of the case to the big bulky black cables next to the psu, and that'll determine your maximum gpu length. the 710 and 730 are both half height/half length, so they should fit in just fine. you might even be able to use a gt 1030 if the power can support it...
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Old 07-05-2018, 05:39 PM   #7
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Default Re: Computer upgrade

I'll have to take a look at those.

If I selected the right CPU that is what the computer currently has then the quad core one recommended in this topic has a +60% effective speed.

Security Check - UserBenchmark

Here's a photo showing the specs of the power supply.
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Old 07-05-2018, 05:56 PM   #8
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Default Re: Computer upgrade

While I wait for my other post to be posted since it has a link.

Will either of those cards fit the short PCI-E slot or they for the longer PCI-E slot?

The adapters I have are for the standard PCI slot and the short PCI-E slot.

If one of those video cards will fit I'll have to mod the rear of the computer case so all of those connectors on the video card are accessible.

I could then run up to four external monitors if so desired.

I could do two VGA monitors a HDTV then with a DVI to HDMI adapter I could run a second HDTV.

Why would I do that?

Because I can

In all reality though I more than likely will not do that.
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Old 07-05-2018, 09:03 PM   #9
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Default Re: Computer upgrade

I think GBE is related to Newark connectivity. It's not what we care about.

Please check next to the PCIe slots to see if it says anything on the motherboard. It should say something like "PCIe 2.0" or something. Try this if you don't find anything: https://superuser.com/questions/8721...our-system-has

The biggest problem should be your space. As Cortb said, you should try measuring or finding the manufacturer's website and check the maximum size of card that supports. Usually they'll tell you something like "Supports cards up to 280mm x 150mm" or something similar.

Try finding that information and write back. Without that we are just guessing.
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Old 07-05-2018, 11:12 PM   #10
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Default Re: Computer upgrade

According to the motherboard manual the other PCI-E GBE is for the two LAN ports.

Unfortunately there's nothing on the motherboard telling me what version the PCI-E X4 and X16 slots are and the manual doesn't say.
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Old 07-05-2018, 11:47 PM   #11
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Default Re: Computer upgrade

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jmcinvale View Post
According to the motherboard manual the other PCI-E GBE is for the two LAN ports.
Yes. (I just saw the autocorrect changed network to Newark in my last post.)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jmcinvale View Post
Unfortunately there's nothing on the motherboard telling me what version the PCI-E X4 and X16 slots are and the manual doesn't say.
Did you see the link?
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Old 07-05-2018, 11:57 PM   #12
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Default Re: Computer upgrade

Saw that, but can't do it until I get the hard drive and OS installed.

I can get a PCI-E X16 extension like what I have for the PCI and PCI-E X4 slots.

Those two graphics cards listed will work as the specs say they require a minimum 300 watt power supply which is what I have. I might mess around and see if it is possible to install a fan near the supply to force or pull more air through it than what the case fan near it does. That way the power supply is cooler.
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Old 07-06-2018, 12:08 AM   #13
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Default Re: Computer upgrade

As long as the PCIe is 2.0, there is no trouble.

Since the board was released on 2010, I guess it has at least PCIe 2.0.

So as long as the case can take it, you can get anything you want, as long as you have power.

You mentioned a 300W PSU. Is it a good one or something generic?
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Old 07-06-2018, 01:23 AM   #14
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Default Re: Computer upgrade

It's Sparkle Power.

The other PC like this I use at church seems to be holding up well and it has the same power supply. So I figure it is a good supply.

Plus when testing the other PC I didn't notice any RF interference.

Here's the manual for the supply.

http://www.sparklepower.com/pdf/SPI270LE.pdf

Noise Killer (thermal fan speed control function)


Don't like that, but I'm not digging in the supply to wire the fan to direct 12 volts.

Now If one of these will fit.

Welcome to SPI :::PC Power Supply, IPC Power Supply, Open Frame, Adapter, Inverter:::

It may be possible to upgrade the supply to a higher wattage which is what I would prefer to do if at all possible.

Would require modding the supply for the way the stock one is done which has the power jack on the computer chassis.
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Old 07-06-2018, 11:23 AM   #15
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Default Re: Computer upgrade

If you are going to buy a better PSU, focus on quality rather than raw power.

Efficiency is not really a big deal. Every quality unit has over 75%, so the 80+ certifications can be safely ignored.
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Old 07-06-2018, 01:43 PM   #16
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Default Re: Computer upgrade

Agreed.

I'll first try the stock power supply since it seems to work so well for the other computer unless adding two more cores, more RAM and a video card will be too much for the current one.

I won't be able to take those size measurements until later tonight, but soon as I take them I'll post them.

I'm seriously tempted to ditch the Dell Inspiron 1521 laptop I have with 4 gigs RAM, SSD and Windows 10 home once I get this one going, but either earlier this year or late last year I bought a new LCD and the case with hinges the LCD mounts in so I kind of want to keep it going just for that reason alone.

Perhaps I can use the Dell for audio processing or streaming audio and use this PC for everything else.

Would there be any harm in swapping the hard drive from the Dell to this computer or is it a simple matter of reactivation and installing the correct drivers?

Or

would it be best to wait until I've got at least the hard drive and install a fresh copy of Windows 10?
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Old 07-06-2018, 01:45 PM   #17
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You should always reinstall Windows when using a new motherboard. Some features are enabled during activation and cannot be enabled or disabled later. The hardware timer is one of those things.

So yeah, backup, swap the drives/wipe, wipe/swap the drives, reinstall Windows, install drivers.
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Old 07-06-2018, 02:18 PM   #18
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Default Re: Computer upgrade

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jmcinvale View Post
While I wait for my other post to be posted since it has a link.

Will either of those cards fit the short PCI-E slot or they for the longer PCI-E slot?

The adapters I have are for the standard PCI slot and the short PCI-E slot.

If one of those video cards will fit I'll have to mod the rear of the computer case so all of those connectors on the video card are accessible.

I could then run up to four external monitors if so desired.

I could do two VGA monitors a HDTV then with a DVI to HDMI adapter I could run a second HDTV.

Why would I do that?

Because I can

In all reality though I more than likely will not do that.
Might be too late/already answered, but the gpus can be bought in a form factor that will fit the large one or the small one. but if you're motherboard only has pcie 1.0, and NOT 2.0, i'd go with the long pcie port (x16)
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Old 07-06-2018, 04:36 PM   #19
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I'll wait for the new drive and install a fresh copy.

Another poster said that since it came out in 2010 it possibly has PCI-E version 2.0.

Got the new fans in today. Got them installed and in BIOS the CPU temp was 111F, but has dropped to 109F.

The other two heatsinks from my experience with the other one just like this one run a little warm.

With the fans on them they seem to run a bit cooler.

Will it make a performance improvement I don't know, but it will keep the chips cooler.

I will for sure have to slow down the case fans as they are a bit loud.

Am tempted to keep the originals as they use ball bearings, but would it be better to get a fan that blows more air and slow it down like I did the other computer so there's still a bit more air flow than with the original fans slowed down?

In this instance I would use a fixed resistor since I would prefer not to do it like the other PC since I never change the fan speed on the other one. Just have it set to where it is relatively quiet and blows decent air which for the fans I used in it is set so they spin around 2300 RPMs.

I had to use two one to two fan splitter cables to connect all three fans so I disconnected the yellow wire that goes the the plug the one splitter is in so that only the CPU fan registers the RPMs as if the other two fans stop the computer will still run just fine.

And of course the wrong size screws were sent with the fans, but it might be the manufacturer who did it since it was a package. Had four regular size fan screws which fit after enlarging the mounting holes on the metal cover the fan mounts to on the CPU heatsink. For the other two fans I just used whatever screws I had that fit.

CPU fan is at 4687 RPMs and the case fans are at 3629 RPMs.

Motherboard is capable of measuring two temperatures, but only the CPU temp is reading. The sys temp shows N/A.
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Old 07-26-2018, 01:37 PM   #20
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Just bought a PNY 500GB SSD.

Will install it today.

Then I'll put Windows 10 home on it.

Maybe next paycheck I'll have enough to buy the license.

After that it's buying the RAM, processor and video card.

Then I'll need a 32" HDTV.

I'm debating on using the nearly 12 year old SONY LCD monitor I have or buying a smaller HDTV for the third monitor.

I'm thinking thinking either slowing the stock case fans down or buying new case fans that blow more and are quieter then slowing them down some.
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