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New videocard: install or rebuild: system ideas

Hey, guys

I had a thread about replacing the video card in my son's computer to allow gaming and with your great help we decided it would be good idea to get XFX Radeon 7750, which just arrived.

Now that I opened his computer, I have serious doubts if I should install this card or build him new system. I do not have a budget to build new computer right now, but it does not feel good to put new card in the old system.

The computer is Intel Core Duo 2.88, E740 32 bit
3 Gb memory (800 Mhz)
AMD Radeon 3450 HD graphics, PCI-e 2.0
The motherboard shown is Dell 0N185P

Just installed Windows 7 Pro.

This is Dell Vostro 420 business computer with 350W PSU

The videocard I bought does not need an additional power, however, in order to install it, I had to disconnect the Wireless card. This card has antenna connected with massive cable permanently attached to the card. To get it out and free 2 PCIE spaces, I need to cut out the cable, which would destroy the wireless card.

The computer was covered with pile of dust inside. Took me an hour to clan it up. It is clean now, but I had to disconnect a fan from CPU, which is not stock fan but looks somewhat different and had no direct connection to processor (so I did not need to apply transmitting solution).

Dell is such a rape of! This computer has 1 fan- the back 88 mm exhaust fan. There is no fan in front and no room to add it.
To install videocard I will have to cut out the Wireless card/antenna and there is no guaranty the system will work with new graphics or improve gaming performance. It uses wired connection but still I don't like to cut it.

What to do? I already disconnected the old videocard, but I can put it back and close everything. At least it got cleaned. (That CPU fan had a ton of dust on it- don't know how it was still working).

I can start nw thread if we decide I need to build new system. The problem is- I can not spand more than ugh... $300? (Already have videocard- 7750).

I know it will not be $300, but I would have to try. So if I go with $300- will I be able to make anything much better than what I have now? The case is open- don't know what to do.

Thanks again.
16 answers Last reply Best Answer
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  1. A pic would help to understand your problem.

    But, I think you can build a much better pc with your budget.
    1. Your Core 2 duo is several generations old. It has a passmark rating of 1751.
    You can replace it with the cheapest Intel G1610 for $50. It has a passmark rating of 2605.
    The graphics card is more important than the cpu for gaming, so the 7750 should serve you well.
    2. You will need a socket 1155 motherboard. Most any will do. Here is a $44 M-atx motherboard:
    3. For gaming, you only need 4gb of ram, but 8gb is the norm if you have a 64 bit os. DDR3 1333 is fine, it will be about $60 for 8gb, or $35 for 4gb.
    Sales abound.
    Reuse your case, psu, hard drive dvd, and os and your extra expense totals about $150.
  2. Here are few pics of the system,

    The problem with the case is that there is no room for the front fan. It has power switch box in front where the fan would be, also there is no other openings for fans. (Surprisingly it got that much dust- it is my living room, not a garage).

    I was wondering about Windows 7 OS, as I only reinstalled it. Was wondering if it would let me to install same license on the new system. It was actually supposed to be upgrade disk, but when I installed- it wiped entire drive. The drive is only 250 Gb- no value in it, I also would need to replace DVD drive as it opens every other time...

    So if I go new system, is there any advantage to get AMD processor? I am intel person. I built 3770k and 4770k systems in the last 6 months (this is why I have no money left- lol) but I would have to research the AMD all over. Was wondering if I could get better deal for the price with AMD, also I don't want AMD. Thank you.
  3. I don't see why you need 3 slots free.
    Two slots should be enough for most cards.

    It should definitely be possible to install without cutting any wires.

    And the poor Core 2 Duo is once again underestimated. It is plenty strong for most games with reasonable framerate.
  4. I totally value Core 2 duo. I used it as a main computer from 2006 till 2 weeks ago, and it was 2.66. This one is 2.88, so it should work. The Celeron was available at the time of Core 2 and it always was entry level- Core 2 was better. But...

    I did not say- I need 3 slots. I need 2 slots, but the Wireless card cable goes through one of 2 slots I need. To unscrew it, I would need special tool kit. It looks like very small star-like screws (not Fillips)- I don't have those. It sure would be cheaper to buy small screwdriver, but it looks almost permanent. Also- no front fan- one 88 mm fan for entire system (excluding CPU fan).
  5. I don't see a problem with installing a 7750.

    And, I still don't know what your problem is. Do you have a pic of the wireless card and the wires?

    You are good on windows. Windows upgrade is considered as retail and can be reinstalled on a different pc. Just so only one pc(aka motherboard) has it installed.

    I would not worry about fans, just so there is at least some air circulation. The 22nm intel chips consume very little power, and create little heat. The graphics card will be the main heat producer.

    A sata dvd burner is cheap, perhaps $20.
  6. Agreed. Need a picture of your exact system to see how to resolve it.
  7. This is the Power button that located on the front of the case where the fan supposed to be. It appears that I would need motherboard that supports such power switch if I was to reuse the case...

    I can not find any information on wireless card. It was add on cad. It looks like square box with cable (like would be power cable- black). Needs star-shaped screwdriver or tool to disconnect.

    Here is manual
  8. Best answer
    The star shaped tool you need is most likely a Torx driver, there are two types available one has a hole in the centre the other doesn't.
  9. Plan A might be to disconnect, cut if necessary what you need to install the graphics card.
    That is likely to work.
    Plan B would be to replace the cpu/motherboard/ram.
    This would net you a stronger pc.
    OEM vendors usually design the front panel connector with a block that has connectors for the usual front panel switches and lights. That makes it easy for assembly. If it matches your motherboard, then wonderful, but don't count on it.
    The only one of real importance is the power button which is a simple momentary switch. That is all you really need to have connected. Nobody really needs/uses the reset button, and the cpu and HDD led lights are for information only. If need be, the block with all the wires can be cut so each of the pins is separate. Then, you can plug the wires in to where they belong. If you get it wrong, no damage, the function just will not work.
    Plan C: buy a new case. You can fine many inexpensive cases for <$50. Here is an Antec for $30:
  10. Cut will ruin the wireless card. I was asking about drivers- which one looks small enough?
  11. Are you absolutely sure you cannot route the wire around the slot?
  12. It goes through the slot, on one side is card and slot cover, on another- long cable and box. The cable is attached to the slot cover, so I can not pull it any way. I also worry that when I unscrew the small screws it will still be not separable. They put it in some how! lol.
  13. Hey, guys!

    Wanted to poet the update and let you know that XFX 7750 installed and works ok. Games playing normally. Nexuiz crashed few times, Greed 2 had "High CPU Usage" message from Norton, but it works. Did not install Crysis yet. Thank you for your help!
  14. How'd you do it?
  15. Used Torx driver to disassemble the wireless card. Thank you.
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