PCI Video Cards

Discussion in 'Computers' started by Grady Reid, Oct 31, 2003.

  1. Grady Reid

    Grady Reid Stunt Coordinator

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    I have a Dell 2350 with a Pent 4 1.8ghz and 512MB of RAM. I'm looking into getting a new video card. The one that came with the computer is a 64MB Intel (?) video card. The 2350 doesn't have AGP inputs so I'm looking into getting a PCI card- 128MB perhaps. Is it worth the $100+? Will it really improve gameplay? Will graphics improve? Am I wasting my time? If it is worth it, which ones are best? Thanks!
     
  2. brentl

    brentl Cinematographer

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    I'd say anything is better than an onboard card.

    Try the VISIONTEK XTASY 9200 SE. It may not be cutting edge, but it is worlds above the onboard.

    try pricewatch.com

    Brent
     
  3. Leo_P

    Leo_P Second Unit

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    When building a PC for my nephew from old parts I had laying around, like an idiot, I bought a mobo without an AGP slot.:b
    I ended up buying a PNY GF4 MX440 64mb PCI card for $69 from newegg.com. I was pleasantly surprised at the performance of this card. WAY better than the on-board video. Really, no comparison. Heck, it's almost as good as my ATI Radeon 8500 128mb AGP card.
    You have a decent computer, I think you'll definitely see an improvement if you go with one of the newer PCI cards with 128mb of RAM.
     
  4. Grady Reid

    Grady Reid Stunt Coordinator

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    Thanks for the replys. Now I have another question regarding power requirements. Some PCI cards (such as the VISIONTEK card) need a power supply of 250W or greater, my Dell only had 200W of power. Is this a problem? Am I screwed again?
     
  5. brentl

    brentl Cinematographer

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    I think it's best to email a company and ask directly.

    I'd start with DEll, esp if you're under warranty, then Email Visiotek ETC and ask them!

    B
     
  6. Marko Berg

    Marko Berg Supporting Actor

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    According to many users who post to the user forums at Dell's site, Dell power supplies are rated conservatively. A 200W Dell power supply may be able to power your system without problems even if you add a new video card, depending on your configuration and other added components and/or peripherals. It's likely the manufacturer of the video card you are looking at has played it safe and recommended a 250W power supply based on some average figure of ATX power throughput whereas your Dell power supply may in fact exceed those specifications. Visit the Dell site and do a search on the user forums on this topic.

    Having said that, it's always good to have enough power for the future. If you plan on other upgrades for your computer besides a new video card, you don't want to be limited by the power supply capacity.

    I recently upgraded the power supply in my old Dell Dimension desktop computer (P3 550 MHz manufactured in early 2000) and was surprised to find that some Dell computers won't accept an industry-standard ATX power supply without modification. Using a standard ATX power supply could fry your motherboard and other components.

    For more information do a Google search using the keywords Dell, Power Supply, and Non-Standard. I'd post direct links to some useful sites but I don't have enough posts yet to do that.

    Basically your options are to either order a new power supply from Dell (expensive, and they may only have the original 200W power supply available for your model if it's not very new) or to go with an ATX standard power supply together with a third-party modification. A few etailers such as EndPCNoise.com carry an adapter that you can plug between a standard ATX power supply and your motherboard to prevent your computer from going up in flames. I went with the latter solution and I'm very happy with the results - my Dell is now powered by a 300W super-silent HEC quality power supply.

    I'm not familiar with the particular Dell you mentioned, and your computer may well be modern enough to accept a standard power supply anyway.
     

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