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sp9239
Paper Tape
Posts: 8
Registered: ‎03-29-2014
Location: Kentucky
Views: 2,598
Message 1 of 4

M78 Video Card Upgrade

Just bought: ThinkCentre: M78  Model: 2111C3S

OS: Windows 8.1 Professional

 

For this PC I would like to know if any video card upgrade is possible.  I would like to use 1GB or 2 GB PCI express card for Dual Monitor support.

Not sure what brand of the video card should be bought.

 

Please reply if anyone has recommendation on which video card is capable for this PC.

 

Thanks!

 

SP9239

 

 

 

 

SeniorGuru
Posts: 2,264
Registered: ‎06-13-2013
Location: US
Views: 2,578
Message 2 of 4

Re: M78 Video Card Upgrade

I believe you have a mid-tower (full-size cards) case, rather than a SFF (small form factor) "thin" case (which would require low-profile cards).  So you can accept a video card that's either (a) full-size, or (b) low-profile with a full-size bracket.  The motherboard shows the usual PCIe x16 graphics card slot available.

 

Also, I'm guessing your power supply is no larger than the standard 280W PSU that Lenovo's been using in most of their machines.  So you want a "low power" video card that does not require any additional PCIe power from a 6-pin connector, since the standard 280W Lenovo PSU doesn't even provide that.

 

You can find the Lenovo Hardware Maintenance Manual here.

 

If you're not a gamer, you can go with a relatively inexpensive entry-level video card like the 1GB ATI HD6450 which is fanless (and thus 100% silent) and has two digital video connections (DVI and HDMI) as well as VGA.  You can get an HDMI->DVI cable if you have two monitors that only accept DVI and not HDMI.  The card is low-profile but the retail item comes with both 1/2-size bracket and full-size brackets, so you can use it in either SFF or mid-tower cases.

 

The HD6450 card provides very modest performance compared to more expensive higher-end cards, but I assume since you have an M78 that your needs are similarly modest.

 

There are also some better cards you can use, which are also "low-power" which is what's important here.  You can probably use this 2GB ATI HD7750 from MSI as well, which is a considerably "stronger" card and is full-size and 2-slots wide.  But you have room for it.  It's more expensive than the HD6450 but is more appropriate if you are a gamer and need better performance.  It also has three digital connectors (DVI, HDMI and DP).

 

Note that there is an even faster GDDR5 version of the HD7750 from Sapphire, which is also double-wide.  It's only 1GB, and it also takes more power... so I'm hesitant to think you could use it problem-free, or at least with the confidence about the slightly slower and less-power-hungry DDR3 version from MSI.

 

Those would be my recommendations.

sp9239
Paper Tape
Posts: 8
Registered: ‎03-29-2014
Location: Kentucky
Views: 2,558
Message 3 of 4

Re: M78 Video Card Upgrade

I really appreciate your response.
I wanted to make sure the power requirement was met.
Also, I am not a gamer and the second set of monitor will be used
as a output to LCD TV.

I also, had trouble finding the right RAM memory for this PC.

One I bought from best buy 8 GB one piece PNY DDR3 PC3-12800 is not booting the OS properly when installed.

Seems the BIOS sees the RAM however, the OS is not able to boot.

Any ideas...

SeniorGuru
Posts: 2,264
Registered: ‎06-13-2013
Location: US
Views: 2,557
Message 4 of 4

Re: M78 Video Card Upgrade


@sp9239 wrote:
I also, had trouble finding the right RAM memory for this PC.
One I bought from best buy 8 GB one piece PNY DDR3 PC3-12800 is not booting the OS properly when installed.

Any ideas...


Don't know what you paid at Best Buy.  But I only buy memory for my machines directly from Crucial mail-order (i.e. Micron, which is the largest memory maker). Been doing it with them forever.

 

They have a "memory finder" that shows you exactly the memory pieces that are compatible with your machine.  Here is what they show for the M78 tower.

 

Normally, I'd suggest buying an "even number" of memory cards (whatever size you want for the pair), so that the machine runs in DUAL memory mode, which is faster than SINGLE mode if you don't fill both slots of a pair.  So if there are four memory DIMM sockets. you should fill two or four of them.  And also fill things with "kits" of matching memory, as the machine will slow things down to conform to the slowest memory you have.  It's therefore disadvantageous to have (a) different speed memory, and (b) un-paired sizes in the two slots of a pair.

 

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