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I am searching for an HP desktop or workstation with an Intel i5 or i7 processor that would support a "large" graphics card like an ATI Radeon 6850, which has two PCIe power inlets and which takes up two slots worth of PCI height (like most higher-powered graphics cards on the market today).

I tried an HP Compaq Elite 8200, which was a double-failure: its processor heatsink interferes with the card, and also its power supply has no PCIe power plugs at all.

No, this is not for gaming--it's for a professional environment where we need to support up to four digital monitors on Linux (basically we know which graphics cards we want, but HP's site does not make it at all easy to find a model which would fit them).

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2 Answers

Not sure if price is an issue...

HP Pavilion HPE h9-1044uk - http://h40059.www4.hp.com/uk/homedesktops/product.php?id=H0C52EA&experience=direct

This machine comes with a 6850 card.

You could give them a call and see if you can get it without the card (i know Dell usually allows modifications like that for business users).

(If you are interested in Dell, then take a look at this - http://www.dell.com/uk/p/xps-8300/pd.aspx?c=uk&cs=ukdhs1&l=en&s=dhs&~ck=mn, it gives you an option of a double height card, so presumably would work)

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I saw the HPE h9 series too, but I cannot find anything that reassures me that it actually has 2x (or even 1x) PCIe power outlets. The service manual shows none. There have been some Radeon cards that only take one power plug, and given that their Elite 8200 PC doesn't use standard power plugs for the motherboard at all, I am hesitant to assume anything anymore. And while it does come with a 6850, the 6850 card I plan to use is slightly different in that it has dual mini-DP and dual DVI (the one HP includes has dual DVI, one HDMI, and one DP, and I doubt it lets you use all four at once). –  John Zwinck Feb 6 '12 at 17:24
    
It would be easier for me to not buy Dell (since I don't have a business relationship with them at this point). –  John Zwinck Feb 6 '12 at 17:25
    
Problem with HP, it doesn't offer you much customisation. So you would need a high end PC (as these would generally have better PSU, that 'could potentially' offer 2 PCIe power plug), then after that, it would most likely already come with a med-range graphic card. Thus you would end up wasting the money... By the sounds of it, a custom PC would probably be ideal, but not a great idea if you want to buy in quantity. –  Cold T Feb 6 '12 at 17:55
    
It looks like the HP Z210 has good graphics card support without forcing you to buy one that comes with. –  John Zwinck Feb 7 '12 at 10:49
    
Don't go for the SFF version, it only comes with a 240W PSU and highly doubt it would contain two x PCIe plugs. But the other version does indeed have good graphics –  Cold T Feb 7 '12 at 10:56
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Instead of looking for a more expandable HP computer, we ended up using a smaller, low-power graphics card: the ATI FirePro 2460. It has four mini-DisplayPort outputs, and works in the HP 8200 machine (though bizarrely, only in the PCIe x4 slot, not in the x16 one that I had a Radeon card working in).

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