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Need help deciding on video card upgrade for dell dimension

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  • Graphics Cards
  • Dell
  • Dimension
  • Graphics
  • Product
Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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April 17, 2007 8:57:32 AM

Ok, I admit it, I screwed up. I bought a Dell Dimension 9200 last year. Forgive me forum gods.

Also, I go fooled into thinking that I would be able to "live with" the 7300SE that came with this system. I have failed, and you may revoke my geek license for not building my own system as I have done in years past (getting older, real life etc etc etc).

Now, I need help rectifying this issue. I'm on the prowl for a good graphics card, ballparking about $200-$250. I want to play Oblivion, WoW, Crysis(when it comes out). The issue is that the power supply with the Dell maxes out at 300W, which SERIOUSLY cuts out my options to upgrade. What can I do to get a decent graphics card at this point?

I'm afraid I won't be able to chuck the dell system. I'm already stretching my goodwill & budget both to allow for a $200 upgrade (it's complicated, but I can have an upgrade, but "not a new box"... ce la vie). Is there even a card in the market that exists for my requirements? 8800s are out due to power reqs I guess. What about 7900GS? Is it powerful enough? What will the power reqs be for the 8600 cards? Should I just rip out the PSU from the Dell and replace it with my own for cost? Is that even recommended for Dell's freaking custom motherboards?

More about : deciding video card upgrade dell dimension

April 17, 2007 9:09:09 AM

Will it be Ok to stick an external power supply into a Dell? I'd probably be voiding my warranty, but I don't care about that as much as not having the Motherboard go up in smoke after I power it up. Have other people replaced Dell PSUs before on this forum? Any experiences?

Oh and thanks for the superfast reply.. and I thought I was the only person awake at 2AM PST =)
April 17, 2007 9:17:46 AM

Ok, so replacing the actual PSU on dell should be OK I guess? (I wasn't thinking of an external PSU, but good to know that I can use something like that in case the need arises). The list in your sig is awesome, thanks for compiling it!

If it was my own box I'd do it in a heartbeat; but I poked around in the Dell and a LOT of it was some custom dell in-bred electronics :p  , so I'm just a little wary of playing with it.
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a b U Graphics card
April 17, 2007 11:12:54 AM

There will be no need to replace the psu in your 9200. Dell is now offering the 8800 GTX as an upgrade, this maybe pushing a little too hard, but for lesser cards up to the 8800GTS there is no problem.
a b U Graphics card
April 17, 2007 12:46:02 PM

Dell doesn't do psu upgrades, they use a pcie Y splitter to connect the single connection from the psu to the two ports on the GTX. The 9200 is the same machine as my 410, just sold by Dell Small Business without the XPS tech support.I have one of them sitting next to me as well.
The so called 375 watt psu provides 30 amps combined on the +12 volt rails so it meets the minimum power recommendations for the GTX but as I said I believe that is pushing to hard.
April 17, 2007 3:29:21 PM

DellUser1, I'm reading your sig. So, you're saying that you stuck

http://evga.com/products/moreinfo.asp?pn=640-P2-N821-AR...

into your Dell and it worked out of the box? Yeah, I got the Dimension 9200 because I knew they'd used basically the same system in their XPS line (and Dell's business line is usually a tad higher in quality than their consumer line). I've got an E6400 though, but I'm still hoping that the new 8600 cards or the 8800 320MB cards or

http://evga.com/products/moreinfo.asp?pn=320-P2-N811-AR...

will run in my system without too many issues.

Note that I'm preferring Nvidia because of the linux driver issues as well (both companies suck at linux support, but ATI is absolutely abysmal from previous experience :) 
a b U Graphics card
April 17, 2007 4:35:00 PM

Yes I have that exact card. The 9200 and the XPS 410 are the exact same machine except for the name plate. I have 1 of each and have bought and sold several others.
If you choose the 8800 I would recommend adding an exhaust fan or 2 to the rear grill to help lower the card temps.
Something like this


The two fans that can be seen thru the window lowered temps by 9 degrees, the third, on the side panel brought temps down another 3.

The card you linked to is very popular and out of stock at a lot of places, here's a link where it is a little less expensive.
http://www.clubit.com/product_detail.cfm?itemno=A960283...
April 27, 2007 8:35:22 AM

Ok, so ATI sucked the big one and delayed again. I'm just going to go ahead and get the 8800GTS 320MB.

Did you use regular fans from newegg? I'm looking to basically replicate your setup since I know it will work for sure with my dell. I'm gonna get the eVGA 8800 from newegg and was hoping that the fans would be available there as well?

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

There's a PNY 8800 available for cheaper at buy.com, but I don't know if I should experiment much considering I'm not sure the 375W psu would work well with it. It's also not a configuration that's been tried before like your dell working with the eVGA card in question.

http://www.buy.com/retail/product.asp?sku=204134658&Sea...

I don't suppose I can convince you to post a picture of the inside of the case as well -- just as a reference for me? Oh and feel free to tell me that I'm a complete n00b and give me some advice -- I've been out of the assembly game for a few years now and I'm out of touch.

Thanks.
April 27, 2007 6:44:38 PM

Any opinions on this? Anyone?
!