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Best Scenario: Upgrade Dell Vostro 200 or Dell 8200?

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February 17, 2014 8:12:09 AM

Long Version Question:

For Valentine's Day I bought my wife Sims 3. Recently I received a Dell Vostro 200 Slim for free. I had a PCI Wireless Adapter I had purchased for my Dell 8200, so I put the adapter in the Vostro 200 for the simple convenience of having wireless, so I thought. The problem I had was getting the wireless to connect to the internet. After hours of troubleshooting and trying to figure out why the wouldn't stay connected to the internet, I opted to install the adapter back into the Dell 8200 knowing the card worked in this desktop. After installing Sims 3 onto the Dell 8200 and after hours of downloading completed we were told the video card on the Dell 8200 is not compatible with Sims 3!

So my question is would it be better to purchase a Video Card for the Dell 8200 which is slower than a snail or upgrade the Dell Vostro 200 which is also slower than a snail? I don't need both computers but I would like one computer that works efficiently as I do have two boys and would like to have a computer that works without having to swear at it every 5 minutes of use.

Upgrades: The Dell 8200 is maxed out with memory. I purchased extra memory for both extra slots of memory a few years ago.

Short Version Questions:

1) Can I swap components from either the Dell 8200 to the Dell Vostro 200 or vice versa to make a more efficient desktop?

2) Should I focus on the Dell 8200 upgrade or the Dell Vostro 200 upgrade?

3) Can I pull the extra ram from the Dell 8200 and place it in the Dell Vostro 200?

4) What will make either one of these machines work more efficiently?

Again I only need one machine to work. If I can use one for parts I am fine with that. Please help me I'm an idiot when it comes to computer components. I'm a researcher and I am built with common sense so suggestions are valuable to me. I recently salvaged a 50" Hitachi of ours after investigating the guts and finding two swollen capacitors. So I hate throwing things away as well. Does that make me cheap?! :) 
February 17, 2014 8:31:39 AM

Take it you're like me, that like to squeeze every ounce out of everything (i do agree why toss it while it still workes) Now, hate to say it, the only thing you can do with either system is just give it a good cleaning and de-fragment the sytem regularly. If i picked the correctly models, the Vostro run DDR2 (240 pin) Memory with the 8200 Inspiron run DDR (200 pin). So interchanging memory on this won't work. Also the Vostro can only take 4GB Max of memory.

Doing any kind of updgrade on the Vostro won't seriously increase performance on this computer. For example buy a decent video card it would bottleneck (it won't perform well with your CPU), then you would have to upgrade the PSU. A memory upgrade alone would've helped but you're already maxed.

My overall suggestion is (if you're looking to smoothly play that Sim 3 ever) save up for $600 build you own system :) 

Best Luck
(p.s. lets hear your thought on my suggestions)
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February 17, 2014 9:06:19 AM

tachybana said:
Take it you're like me, that like to squeeze every ounce out of everything (i do agree why toss it while it still workes) Now, hate to say it, the only thing you can do with either system is just give it a good cleaning and de-fragment the sytem regularly. If i picked the correctly models, the Vostro run DDR2 (240 pin) Memory with the 8200 Inspiron run DDR (200 pin). So interchanging memory on this won't work. Also the Vostro can only take 4GB Max of memory.

Doing any kind of updgrade on the Vostro won't seriously increase performance on this computer. For example buy a decent video card it would bottleneck (it won't perform well with your CPU), then you would have to upgrade the PSU. A memory upgrade alone would've helped but you're already maxed.

My overall suggestion is (if you're looking to smoothly play that Sim 3 ever) save up for $600 build you own system :) 

Best Luck
(p.s. lets hear your thought on my suggestions)


What about upgrading the power supply and the video card and the CPU? Do you know what CPU I need and what brand of power supply and video card you would look at?
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February 17, 2014 9:22:48 AM

Unfortunately these Dell machines are locked with upgrade to the CPU are limited. Download CPU-Z (which will tell more information with regards to your motherboard) Once you've have details on it (like the model # then i can assist you with a viable card to run Sims 3)

Then we can find a card from the list here ( http://help.ea.com/en/article/minimum-system-requiremen... ) that would suit your budget (it would help if i know what would you be willing to spend at most)
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February 19, 2014 10:56:10 AM

tachybana said:
Unfortunately these Dell machines are locked with upgrade to the CPU are limited. Download CPU-Z (which will tell more information with regards to your motherboard) Once you've have details on it (like the model # then i can assist you with a viable card to run Sims 3)

Then we can find a card from the list here ( http://help.ea.com/en/article/minimum-system-requiremen... ) that would suit your budget (it would help if i know what would you be willing to spend at most)


Well, I was wrong about one thing. I have a Dell 8300 and a Dell Vostro 200.

*****Dell Vostro 200****

Intel Core 2 Duo E4500 @ 2.20 GHZ
Code name: Conroe

Motherboard Model #: 0CU409 (Zeros could be O?)
Chipset: Intel P35/G33/G31

Memory DDR2 2048 MBytes
Slots #2 & #4 are empty
Slots #1 & #3 1024 MBytes

Graphic Card did not show anything on this desktop.


*****Dell 8300****

Intel Pentium 4 @ 2.60 GHZ
Brand ID: 9
Code Name: Northwood

Motherboard Model # 0GO728 (Zero could be O)

Graphic Interface: AGP version 3.0

GE FORCE MX 440 with AGP8X


Let me know if you have any questions or need anymore information. I don't want to spend a lot of money. If I could find a graphic card for either of the two desktops that would be great. I wouldn't mind rebuilding one of them for under a $100. But part of me would rather put the money into a PS4 instead of a computer. We surf the internet and that's about it. The Sims is about the craziest we ever get in terms of PC gaming so I don't need anything real special. Thank you so much for taking a look at this for me. If I ever have PC questions, I know where to seek advice.
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February 19, 2014 12:34:55 PM

OKay. These details are much better. Of the two machine your upgrade is best place on the Vostro. Being is the fastest of the Two (it has a dual core processor, vs the P4 [i owned one of these]). The Vostro also has a PCi-E x16 Slot (for the Graphics Card) it it faster (and cheaper) than the AGP 8x Slot the 8300 has.

You can go two way.

1. A Memory upgrade (you can only take 2GB more) for around $40 2x 1GB DDR2-SDRAM (check your current memory, they should have a sticker as to the model type either DDR2-667 or DDR-533)

2. Check out a GTX 610 (microcenter has an open box for $36 2GB Card (is a steal)

http://www.microcenter.com/product/403083/N610GT-MD2GD3...

Best Luck.

Beyond this i wouldn't suggest spending more than $100 on upgrading either of these machine. They have his their max.

Best Luck
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February 19, 2014 2:14:46 PM

tachybana said:
OKay. These details are much better. Of the two machine your upgrade is best place on the Vostro. Being is the fastest of the Two (it has a dual core processor, vs the P4 [i owned one of these]). The Vostro also has a PCi-E x16 Slot (for the Graphics Card) it it faster (and cheaper) than the AGP 8x Slot the 8300 has.

You can go two way.

1. A Memory upgrade (you can only take 2GB more) for around $40 2x 1GB DDR2-SDRAM (check your current memory, they should have a sticker as to the model type either DDR2-667 or DDR-533)

2. Check out a GTX 610 (microcenter has an open box for $36 2GB Card (is a steal)

http://www.microcenter.com/product/403083/N610GT-MD2GD3...

Best Luck.

Beyond this i wouldn't suggest spending more than $100 on upgrading either of these machine. They have his their max.

Best Luck


The memory says DDR2 2048 MBytes for the Dell Vostro 200. Will the card that you suggested still work?
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February 19, 2014 2:25:59 PM

grungeeddy said:
tachybana said:
OKay. These details are much better. Of the two machine your upgrade is best place on the Vostro. Being is the fastest of the Two (it has a dual core processor, vs the P4 [i owned one of these]). The Vostro also has a PCi-E x16 Slot (for the Graphics Card) it it faster (and cheaper) than the AGP 8x Slot the 8300 has.

You can go two way.

1. A Memory upgrade (you can only take 2GB more) for around $40 2x 1GB DDR2-SDRAM (check your current memory, they should have a sticker as to the model type either DDR2-667 or DDR-533)

2. Check out a GTX 610 (microcenter has an open box for $36 2GB Card (is a steal)

http://www.microcenter.com/product/403083/N610GT-MD2GD3...

Best Luck.

Beyond this i wouldn't suggest spending more than $100 on upgrading either of these machine. They have his their max.

Best Luck


Its the #2 Option. YOu will need to find within your budget a PCIe Card Anything higher that PCIe 2.0 with 1GB or higher. (The GTX 610 i pointed out is a steal and will run your game with no problem. Just not certain if you have a Microcenter in your region)

If you go to www.crucial.com it will allow you to run a scan on the Vostro and identify the Memory Model inside (the details you gave me was the capacity only)

Let me know if you need any more help
The memory says DDR2 2048 MBytes for the Dell Vostro 200. Will the card that you suggested still work?


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February 20, 2014 6:16:05 AM

tachybana said:
grungeeddy said:
tachybana said:
OKay. These details are much better. Of the two machine your upgrade is best place on the Vostro. Being is the fastest of the Two (it has a dual core processor, vs the P4 [i owned one of these]). The Vostro also has a PCi-E x16 Slot (for the Graphics Card) it it faster (and cheaper) than the AGP 8x Slot the 8300 has.

You can go two way.

1. A Memory upgrade (you can only take 2GB more) for around $40 2x 1GB DDR2-SDRAM (check your current memory, they should have a sticker as to the model type either DDR2-667 or DDR-533)

2. Check out a GTX 610 (microcenter has an open box for $36 2GB Card (is a steal)

http://www.microcenter.com/product/403083/N610GT-MD2GD3...

Best Luck.

Beyond this i wouldn't suggest spending more than $100 on upgrading either of these machine. They have his their max.

Best Luck


Its the #2 Option. YOu will need to find within your budget a PCIe Card Anything higher that PCIe 2.0 with 1GB or higher. (The GTX 610 i pointed out is a steal and will run your game with no problem. Just not certain if you have a Microcenter in your region)

If you go to www.crucial.com it will allow you to run a scan on the Vostro and identify the Memory Model inside (the details you gave me was the capacity only)

Let me know if you need any more help
The memory says DDR2 2048 MBytes for the Dell Vostro 200. Will the card that you suggested still work?







So this is what I got after running a Crucial scan.

Memory Type:
DDR2 PC2-5300
DDR2 PC2-6400
(Non-ECC)
Maximum Memory: 4GB

Will this graphic card work? The open box must have sold from the one you suggested...
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B008AJKIN2/ref=wl_it_dp_o_pC_n...
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Best solution

February 20, 2014 8:18:06 AM

Great! Make certain that you purchase the same memory speed (if you get higher speeds, it will just be clocked down to the lowest model, and it would be money wasted per say).

The video card is outstanding for its price. If you would've gotten hold of that open box, it would've been a steal.

Once you've installed the companents let me know how things worked out. YOu will certainly enjoy your new upgrades. The machine surely out to last you a good 3 years (or how i see it $2.77 per month on the investment)

Best Luck
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February 20, 2014 12:09:03 PM

tachybana said:
Great! Make certain that you purchase the same memory speed (if you get higher speeds, it will just be clocked down to the lowest model, and it would be money wasted per say).

The video card is outstanding for its price. If you would've gotten hold of that open box, it would've been a steal.

Once you've installed the companents let me know how things worked out. YOu will certainly enjoy your new upgrades. The machine surely out to last you a good 3 years (or how i see it $2.77 per month on the investment)

Best Luck



I went with this one: http://www.amazon.com/MSI-GeForce-PCI-Express-N610GT-MD...

Thank you for all your help!
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