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Upgrading Old System with a New Card...

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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March 3, 2007 5:33:47 PM

Hey All,

I really could use your help here. I have an older system (I'll list the specs below). I don't have enough money to go out and buy a whole new rig, so I'm looking to upgrade my Graphics Card. The problem is that my budget is limited, and despite peeking around, I haven't found anything really suitable yet.

My Rig:

Dell Dimension 4500
P 2.4
80 G HD
1G PC2100 DDR Ram (My motherboard can't handle more than 1G)
Current Graphics Card: GeForce 4 Ti4200 64 Mb
<250 W Standard Dell Power Supply
Monitor : SyncMaster 730b
Looking to play: Lord of the Rings Online, Counter-Strike:Source

I have about a $100 LIMIT on how much I can spend here without feeling terribly guilty. I've been peeking around at cards like the 7600GS 256, 6600 256 mb... etc.

I don't care if the new card is Nvidia (although I have the drivers for that) or ATI.

Whenever I play games, I'm experiencing some choppiness. Now I know that the card I have isn't great, but will my processor slow down any new card anyway? I have the standard Dell 250W power supply, which is apparently an average, so I think that it can crank out around 300W.

Regardless, could you all help me find something decent to play games on? I don't need anything top of the line or bank breaking. Thanks for the help/input!

More about : upgrading system card

March 3, 2007 6:10:18 PM

youve got a dell system psu, u need a better psu first
March 3, 2007 6:17:00 PM

Quote:
youve got a dell system psu, u need a better psu first


I'm sticking with my power supply, i'm not interested in upgrading that. I'm asking for suggestions that would be compatible with the rig that I currently own.
Related resources
March 3, 2007 6:45:31 PM

To get a better idea of what the PSU is capable of, figure out the amperage rating on your +12 volt rail(s).
March 3, 2007 6:46:57 PM

You're most likely going to have problems then. Is there a label on your PSU that gives your +12V info.

Reason for emphasis on the PSU is that it is more common for graphics cards to require a power connection in addition to what they draw in the agp slot. I just upgraded my card last night and it requires a 4 pin (floppy drive connector) power plug. So you PSU has to be able to handle providing additional power.

I will say that so far I'm very pleased with my new card. It is an ATI x1650 PRO that is going for $120 from newegg. I bought it because I needed a better card to play Caesar IV.
March 3, 2007 7:21:10 PM

This is what my manual says :

Power

DC power supply:

Wattage


250 W

Heat dissipation


850 BTU (fully-loaded computer without monitor)

Voltage (switch-selectable
on back panel)


90 to 135 V at 50/60 Hz; 180 to 265 V at 50/60 Hz; 100 V at 50/60 Hz for Japanese computers

Backup battery


3-V CR2032 coin cell
March 3, 2007 8:24:43 PM

How about opening the case and reading the graph on the side of the PSU? Need a +12 volt rail rating.
March 3, 2007 11:39:46 PM

Quote:
How about opening the case and reading the graph on the side of the PSU? Need a +12 volt rail rating.


Blacken,

I think that this is the information that you were asking about. I wrote down what was on the side of my psu.

Model NPS 250KB REV02

Input 100-120 V ~ /9.0a 50-60 hz
200-240V ~ / 4.5 a

Output +5V == /22.0a -12V = / 1.0a
+12V = = /14.0a +3.3V = /19.0 A

250W Max +5VSB = / 2.0a

Max Combined POwer on +5V and 3.3 V output = 170W
March 4, 2007 12:06:58 AM

+12V = = /14.0a

Your starvin' marvin for power. You may be able to squeeze a 7300GS - Best Buy or Circut City is your best bet. Try it out and take it back if it doesn't work. Best thing you can really do is get a more powerfull power supply. sad to say. Sorry.
March 4, 2007 12:08:33 AM

I think you might be able to get away with running a 7600GS, that might work with your current PSU and is pretty good at running newer games on moderate settings without needing a huge amount of power.

EDIT: If you find you cannot run it after fitting it, they still are not too expensive to enable you to be able to get a better PSU without going much over your $100, maybe.
March 4, 2007 12:14:01 AM

I'll try. A few guys on the boards recommended a GeForce 6600GT, I don't know if they take less power to run or not...
March 4, 2007 12:18:15 AM

Quote:
I'll try. A few guys on the boards recommended a GeForce 6600GT, I don't know if they take less power to run or not...


As far as I know, the 6600GT will use more power than the 7600GS and is older technology, if you are going to upgrade at least you should get something that is reasonably current.
March 4, 2007 12:23:00 AM

Yeah. The mid 6 series (stick upon the GS) may be an option for you. I'd do Best Buy or CiCi if one is near for convenience, unless your in no rush. You'd be able to try it and return it if it's a no-go.
March 4, 2007 1:18:43 PM

I'll look into it. I visited a Circuit City and they are selling the 7600 series for around 150$ though, which I wasn't looking to spend. Even NewEgg's prices are above 100$ :( 
March 4, 2007 1:55:46 PM

Quote:
I'll look into it. I visited a Circuit City and they are selling the 7600 series for around 150$ though, which I wasn't looking to spend. Even NewEgg's prices are above 100$ :( 


For that price I assume you are looking at the GT version, I expected that would be too expensive for what you said you wanted to spend, the GS is selling in Aust for around AU$130.00 so I would expect you should be able to get it in the states for under $100, Newegg had them from $89 upwards when I checked.

EDIT: Sorry, forgot about it needing to be AGP, try this one, it's a little bit more but worth it I expect.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E1681...
March 4, 2007 1:59:31 PM

Quote:
I'll look into it. I visited a Circuit City and they are selling the 7600 series for around 150$ though, which I wasn't looking to spend. Even NewEgg's prices are above 100$ :( 
Not sure where you're located, but I've used these guys in the past, their stuff is OK. They show a 7600gs for 65 stones:

http://www.compuvest.com/Items.jsp?cid=304&sid=6&st=&dt...
March 4, 2007 3:27:41 PM

Quote:
I'll look into it. I visited a Circuit City and they are selling the 7600 series for around 150$ though, which I wasn't looking to spend. Even NewEgg's prices are above 100$ :( 
Not sure where you're located, but I've used these guys in the past, their stuff is OK. They show a 7600gs for 65 stones:

http://www.compuvest.com/Items.jsp?cid=304&sid=6&st=&dt...

They do, but every one of those cards is PCI-Express, and I'm in need of an AGP card, sadly :(  :(  It really sucks that they jack up the prices on the AGP cards.. if anything you'd think that they would be cheaper.
a b U Graphics card
March 4, 2007 8:04:27 PM

Yeah, I also have an AGP X1650 pro (Sapphire GDDR3 version for the high memory clock speeds) and that would get my vote over a 7600GS, BUT not when we talk about his 250W power supply. The 7600GS is kinda in a class of it's own there offering basically X1650 pro performance but using way less power. Check out the power consumption number in this review: http://www.xbitlabs.com/articles/video/display/radeon-x...

To the OP, I say if you are keeping that 250W PSU, go for a 7600GS. Look for one with 700-800MHz memory clock speeds, as some have even slower memory. Just realize that you are paying $120ish for a card that is nowhere near the level of performance of a $130-140 X1650XT or 7600GT AGP.
March 4, 2007 10:24:39 PM

Quote:
Yeah, I also have an AGP X1650 pro (Sapphire GDDR3 version for the high memory clock speeds) and that would get my vote over a 7600GS, BUT not when we talk about his 250W power supply. The 7600GS is kinda in a class of it's own there offering basically X1650 pro performance but using way less power. Check out the power consumption number in this review: http://www.xbitlabs.com/articles/video/display/radeon-x...

To the OP, I say if you are keeping that 250W PSU, go for a 7600GS. Look for one with 700-800MHz memory clock speeds, as some have even slower memory. Just realize that you are paying $120ish for a card that is nowhere near the level of performance of a $130-140 X1650XT or 7600GT AGP.


That's the same one I just got...Sapphire GDDR3. But my PSU is 400w w/18a on the 12v.

OP: This 7600 on newegg is $130 but has a $30 MIR if you can swing that:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E1681...

alternately, may have to look for some slightly older cards or open box cards. even a slightly older card should be better than your 64mb Ti4200.
March 5, 2007 4:52:44 AM

Quote:
Yeah, I also have an AGP X1650 pro (Sapphire GDDR3 version for the high memory clock speeds) and that would get my vote over a 7600GS, BUT not when we talk about his 250W power supply. The 7600GS is kinda in a class of it's own there offering basically X1650 pro performance but using way less power. Check out the power consumption number in this review: http://www.xbitlabs.com/articles/video/display/radeon-x...

To the OP, I say if you are keeping that 250W PSU, go for a 7600GS. Look for one with 700-800MHz memory clock speeds, as some have even slower memory. Just realize that you are paying $120ish for a card that is nowhere near the level of performance of a $130-140 X1650XT or 7600GT AGP.


That's the same one I just got...Sapphire GDDR3. But my PSU is 400w w/18a on the 12v.

OP: This 7600 on newegg is $130 but has a $30 MIR if you can swing that:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E1681...

alternately, may have to look for some slightly older cards or open box cards. even a slightly older card should be better than your 64mb Ti4200.

:(  I'd say pretty much anything at this point is better than my old card.. and the X1650 still goes out of my price range, sadly. It does seem like a nice card though.
March 5, 2007 2:16:31 PM

Quote:


:(  I'd say pretty much anything at this point is better than my old card.. and the X1650 still goes out of my price range, sadly. It does seem like a nice card though.


To some extent you may just have to watch newegg and some of the deals sites for specials. You said your limit is $100...is that before or after MIR's? For example, last week the Sapphire x1650 PRO 256mb GDDR3 was $120 but with a $20 MIR...so my total cost will end up at $100. So identify the couple of cards you are interested in and watch prices for a week. pricegrabber, pricewatch, bensbargains, slick deals, etc. Or figure out which used cards to take a chance with off ebay.

Good luck!
!