5-year old desktop - what setup to output to 4K TV?


#1

I have a 5-year old HP p6616f with quad-core AMD, upgraded to 16GB memory (for Chrome browser!). All USB ports are 2.0. I’m now running dual monitors off VGA and DVI ports.
I am also now (as I write this) using a new Sceptre 42" 4K-UHD TV (model U43) from the W-store hooked up to my newer ASUS UX305FA-USM1 laptop via HDMI port.

What I’m wondering is how I might adapt my older desktop PC to be able to use (inexpensively!) the Sceptre TV. After being discouraged over the expense and confusion of which graphics card would be necessary, I ran across your UGA-4KHDMI USB 3.0 to HDMI adapter and figured this would likely be the best answer for my productivity (or non-gaming) needs. But I have to get USB 3.0… or do I?

  1. If my productivity apps (Google docs, OCR software, Office apps) aren’t too intense, would USB 2.0 actually work?
  2. If not, can I buy *cheap* USB 3.0 adapter card off eB auction site for < $10 and get by?.. or would I need to buy a name brand card to be safe?

#2

Hi Ron,

Thanks for posting. I’d be happy to help!

If you intent is to drive the Sceptre at the full 4K resolution, I don’t think our adapter will be a good fit for your HP system. Our adapter depends on both the CPU and integrated graphics adapter to work, and based on those specs and the absence of USB 3.0 I don’t think performance will meet you expectations. Even with a USB 3.0 card added I would still be concerned about performance.

To your point of being confused about an add-on graphics card, I did a little digging on your system specifications and the motherboard in your system here:

http://support.hp.com/gb-en/document/…

http://support.hp.com/us-en/product/H…

Your motherboard seems to have a PCI Express x16 2.0 slot and the system has a 250W power supply. You should be able to find an inexpensive card that meets your needs, but you will have to make sure the graphics card does not require more power than your power supply can provide. We can’t make any specific recommendations but a quick search online should yield some results.

Let us know if that information helps and we’ll go from there.

Thank you,

Bob
Plugable Technologies
www.plugable.com/support


#3

Well I’m not disappointed with the quality of information from your company. Phooey! I wanted to buy your product! Oh well…


#4

Oops… pressed Enter too quickly… tripped over emoticon.

Anyway, along with power supply issues, what should I look for in a graphics card… they don’t seem to mention “4K” or UHD, just other specs such as memory, etc.

Also, if I purchase a new desktop, what should I look for… do most of them qualify with “integrated graphics” or not?

I’m almost shocked that a stock laptop drives my 4K TV, whereas it seems such a pain (in the wallet) to get a desktop to do the same thing.

Thanks so much for help so far…


#5

Sorry for such a broken response…
What minimum price range do you think I would have to spend to get a bare bones (non-gaming) “4K” capability in a graphics adapter?


#6

Hi Ron,

Thanks for getting back, and no apologies necessary. While we would like you to buy our product too, we would rather lose a sale than have you experience frustration later on.

When I did a quick search online I was finding cards in the $50-100 range that supported 4K output (they should list maximum resolution). Newegg.com may provide for more detail and a more granular search as you try and narrow it down. Just refer to the HP links I provided earlier if you aren’t sure about what you have in your system.

Thanks,

Bob


#7

Thanks Bob. I’ll try Newegg for “more detail”… hopefully listing the max resolution.

If its not too much trouble, I would still be interested in your thoughts on a *new* desktop and what specs to look for. I usually shop the big box office supply houses which offer desktops for productivity use. I believe most new desktops surely come with USB 3.0 now, but will most integrated graphics work for using your product to get “4K”, at least for non-gaming use? – I still see your product as the best path to get a newer desktop to the (productivity) 4K level… I think. I surely can’t be wrong on this as I see *so many* satisfied customers in Amazon feedback, many for productivity use.


#8

Hi Ron,

I’m hesitant to make a recommendation as there can be so many different variables that can affect a ‘proper’ choice, and we don’t want you to invest substantial funds in something that doesn’t meet your needs (especially since we can’t support another manufacturers products).

I would recommend shopping the large manufacturers like Dell and HP directly as there are often better deals than can be had at retail, especially in terms of warranty coverage. Many new systems also support 4K out of the box so you may not need our adapter if you elect to purchase a new system. Both Dell and HP have online chat to help answer questions about specs as well.

Thank you,

Bob


#9

“I would recommend shopping the large manufacturers like Dell and HP directly…”

I had already done that and had a chat with an agent from one of these “large manufacturers”. It was just as confusing for me. All he could say was:

Agent: "Intel HD graphics will not support 4K resolution. You will need to get at least 1GB of dedicated memory.
Agent: “I am having an issue with my tools due to which I am unable to get the required information for you.”
Agent: “I would recommend you to get the video card as : NVIDIA 1GB or more”
Ron: “GeForce GT 640 shows 1 GB memory… are you saying this supports UHD?”
Ron: "I notice the spec for this says only “2560 x 1600 DP, 1920 x 1200 HDMI, 2560 x 1600 DVI”
Agent: “Go with NVIDIA 960M”

OK, sell me a ~ $200 (mobile) graphics for a desktop that only needs UHD productivity?

But I just now shopped Newegg per your earlier suggestion and their granular searching allowed me to search for “4096 x 2160” and voila! I found graphics cards in the $45 to $50 range that maxed out at UHD (or 4K) resolution. And this is somewhat less cost than your product. Now I need to pay attention to power supply needs as you pointed out – 300W recommended vs. my 250W power supply.

Bob, I’m just sayin’ that this whole field is confusing whereas I thought your product would greatly simplify it. I’m still trying to figure out where the “sweet spot” is for your USB 3.0 to HDMI 4K Graphics Adapter product.


#10

Hi Ron,

Thanks for getting back. Sorry for the frustration with what I am assuming was a Dell rep. I’m glad Newegg is showing better results. You may wish to try HP to see if the experience is a better one.

I do apologize for the confusion in general. In many cases our adapter is a simple solution but due to your system specifications we can’t guarantee the performance of our adapter and we don’t want you to purchase our product only to have it not meet your needs or expectations and cause additional frustration.

Thank you,

Bob


#11