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April 30, 2007 1:26:55 PM

Hi. I am new here and a relative 58 year old PC novice. I have a four year old Dell 8200 with a pentium 4 and 1 gb of memory that my kids use to play online video games. Recently they started having problems with slowdown and graphics and the PC started making noises. I finally tracked it down to the video card, a NVIDIA GeForce Ti 4600. The cooling fan on this unit died and evidently caused some damage to the card. In any event, I went to my local Best Buy to find a replacement card. The clerk there recommended a ATI Radeo card, a VTKX1550 which had 256mb of memory as opposed to the 128 that the GeForce card had. Unfortunately, when I put the card in, I got zero display. I checked my power supply and it was pretty meager, so I replaced it with a 430 watt box. Still no luck. Called Dell and Anna (are all their techs named Anna these days?) said my motherboard would not support a 256mb card. This seemed odd to me but nevertheless, I couldn't get the thing to work. When I put my old card in, I did get a display, just a crappy one. I went back to Best Buy and they told me to try another card, thinking that the first one was somehow faulty. Still no luck. Finally I went back and selected a different card, an NVIDIA GeForce FX 5200, still with 256mb. Put it in and it worked. Now my question is, if this motherboard did accept a 256mb card, can anyone suggest a reason that the ATI Radeon didn't work and more importantly, is the card I bought an upgrade from the card I took out as far as improving the gameplay etc of the PC? Thanks in advance for any help you can give me.

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April 30, 2007 1:58:10 PM

imguessing you installed the card correctly? (sorry have to ask)


where there any extra power sockets on the radeon card?
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April 30, 2007 2:13:55 PM

Well they are using this to play Final Fantasy online and it seems to work adequately for that. I just am not familiar with all the "letter" (Ti vs FX)designations NVIDIA employs to know whether this card was much of an upgrade or not. And yes, the Radeon required a power supply which I
had plenty of with the new power source. I am sure the card was installed properly and in fact I could see the fan on the card running when I booted up the PC. Just cannot fathom the reason that it wouldn't give me any display.
April 30, 2007 2:17:00 PM

The info that "Anna" (I bet that isn't even her real name :D  ) gave you is completely bogus. Any motherboard can support a 256mb graphics card, as long as it has an 8x or 4x AGP port.

I have two thoughts on this:

1. Does the motherboard have onboard graphics? If it does, it is possible that they have become enabled, and are being used instead of the new GPU.

2. It is possible that the motherboard does not correctly conform to the AGP standard, and does not supply enough power to the graphics card.

Best of Luck
April 30, 2007 3:26:38 PM

I don't know if the MB has onboard graphics or not but I certainly wouldn't have enabled them as when I purchased this PC it had the GeForce Ti4600 card installed. Plus when I got the last card installed, all I did was go into the BIOS and switch the ACP slot from 128 to 256, which I had also done with the Radeon cards. The original card I bought only required a 280 watt power supply and I installed a 430 watt so that shouldn't have been a problem.

How would I be able to tell what would be the best video card this particular MB chipset wuold support?
April 30, 2007 4:49:19 PM

Sure ur graphics performance would improve...But not by a huge amount!
Your motherboard only supports 4x AGP and not AGP8x as is seen here

http://support.dell.com/support/edocs/systems/dim8200/s...

So most probably the ATI card u got should have been an 8x card. And most importantly u cant get a better graphics card for ur system as u are stuck at AGP4X .
April 30, 2007 6:39:46 PM

So should I surmise that what I have now is pretty much the best it will ever be?
April 30, 2007 11:18:40 PM

Yes , I think so...
April 30, 2007 11:21:08 PM

Yes , I think so... Enjoy it till your next major upgrade...Any further graphics card upgrade hoping that something better is available wouldnt be worth on your motherboard.
May 1, 2007 12:50:12 AM

First of all, that ti4600 wipes the floor with the FX5200. It's not even a close match. The FX5200 is a major downgrade.

Secondly, any 8x AGP card should work in a 4x slot. To the best of my knowledge, there is no 8x only cards. Furthermore, the voltage should not be an issue either. I do not know of any 0.8 volt cards that are not also 1.5 volt compatible.

You should be able to run a 7800GS, or if you want something cheaper, an old Radeon 9800 pro or a 6600GT will both do you well, and completely crush both the FX5200 and the old ti4600.
May 1, 2007 2:29:05 PM

Thanks joe. I have also had someone recommend a FX6200 and a 6800 both of which I have found for what I consider a reasonable price. Are these worth my time? I can still return the FX5200, which actually seems to be working OK for the game my son is playing. But if I can upgrade it now so he can play more challenging games down the road, I would be willing to do that.
May 1, 2007 6:26:51 PM

The 6200 is a better card than the FX5200, but in general, it is in the same "class". Both were the entry level cards of their respective series. The 6800 is the "vanilla" or plain-Jane version of the top of the line card of the 6xxx generation (around 2005 year). It should perform as well or better than a 6600GT. Of all of the cards you've listed, the 6800 would be the best.

Have you looked at possibly buying the card online? Newegg has some deals for you.

Here's an oldy but a goody: ATI Radeon 9600 XT: $45 after rebate, +shipping. Should perform slightly better than the 6200.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Another: Geforce 6200, 128MB, $37 +shipping. Should perform as well as your old ti4600 in older games, and much better in games that require directx9 (most games after 2004).
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Neither of the two are going to be a dramatic improvement over your old ti4600 when it comes to older games. In newer games, these cards have features that the old ti4600 lacked, allowing them to play newer games such as Doom 3, Battlefield 2, and other games that require more modern pixel shaders and directx compatible hardware. However, both of the two cards above are much better than that old FX5200. The 6800 you mentioned would still be the best of the bunch though. I guess it really depends on the price of the 6800 in question. If it's in the $140 + range, there may be something better, such as this 7600GS for $110 +shipping:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
It should perform as well or better than a 6800, and is on Cleeve's recommended list as best AGP card for the money.

If the 6800 you mention is actually a 6800XT, then it is on par with a 6600GT, performing slightly worse than a regular 6800. Still, it's really not that bad of a purchase for the $77 newegg is asking, and should handily beat both the 6200 and the 9600 XT:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Out of all of these, the 7600GS is the best, but each offer roughly the same price:p erformance ratio, so it's more a matter of "how much you want to spend?". Good luck with your decision.
May 1, 2007 8:57:26 PM

Thanks for the reply once again, joe. I can get a XFX GeForce 6800 new for just under $100. I am assuming it will work in my Dell. As I stated in my original post, I tried a ATI Radeon card and couldn't get it to dipslay for some reason. It was running, but for some reason seemed to be incompatible with my system.
May 1, 2007 11:07:45 PM

Yes, the 6800 should work fine in your Dell. I have searched the net and found a few people using the 6800 in a Dimension 8200. Under $100 sounds like a nice price for that 6800 AGP card. Have fun.
May 2, 2007 1:03:39 PM

Thanks again, joe.
May 2, 2007 5:41:15 PM

Just a question but did you clear the Nvidia drivers prior to installing the Radeon card?

Theoretically it should have loaded standard VGA drivers when you put the new(Radeon) card in but VGA is quirky.
May 3, 2007 12:26:57 PM

No, I didn't. When I called Dell about my problems, I specifically asked them if I needed to do that and one of the "Annas" told me it wasn't necessary. I am finding that Dell's phone support is getting worse as time goes by. When I bought this PC, if I had a problem, usually at least 2 of the 3 would be able to to diagnose the issue and offer some useful advice. Now it seems as though they are clueless.
May 3, 2007 1:41:33 PM

Sad isnt it?

ATI and Nvidia dont like each others drivers. Could very well be the cause of the problem you had.
May 3, 2007 1:45:52 PM

Quote:
No, I didn't. When I called Dell about my problems, I specifically asked them if I needed to do that and one of the "Annas" told me it wasn't necessary. I am finding that Dell's phone support is getting worse as time goes by. When I bought this PC, if I had a problem, usually at least 2 of the 3 would be able to to diagnose the issue and offer some useful advice. Now it seems as though they are clueless.


Yea, after the India call center started picking up the dell Home pc account, starting in dec. 2001, the call queues just got huge, and most of the information that was being given was becoming pure crap to get the customer off the phone.
May 3, 2007 2:15:36 PM

I'm running a 6600GT on AGP 4x motherboard with no problems. It needs a power adapter (like the one for the hard disk) to run properly.

The 6800 series is better than the 6600GT.

Also, the setting in BIOS with the AGP aperture isn't related to the amount of RAM on the card. It's about the amount of system RAM that can be used by the graphics card, if needed. I usually set it as low as possible.
May 4, 2007 6:56:36 PM

I've had a dell laptop since 03 and I've noticed a steady decline in the usefulness of their tech support. Thankfully I usually only have to call them when a piece of hardware goes (good thing i got the extended warranty, I've been through 2 displays, a motherboard and a cd drive so far and my battery is completely shot but they refuse to replace it), but it takes about an hour of convincing them the hardware is REALLY broken, holding while they ask their supervisor, repeating myself to them, convincing them the hardware is REALLY broken... after about 3-4 cycles of this and sometimes another phone call, I usually get my new hardware shipped. I don't foresee myself buying a dell again anytime soon.

Still, it sounds like you have enough basic knowledge to get on fine, Shadow. It might be a good idea to consider building your next PC upgrade yourself. Chances are you will save a good bit of money and gain an intimate understanding of your system. Best of all, it should be a fun learning experience for you and your kids. I'm planning my first build for the end of this month and I've learned an incredible amount so far by researching my components. It does involve some time and patience (mostly selecting the components you want) but in my opinion its well worth it and something to consider.

Good luck, and be sure to post here again if you need any more advice.
May 4, 2007 7:19:33 PM

Quote:
I've had a dell laptop since 03 and I've noticed a steady decline in the usefulness of their tech support. Thankfully I usually only have to call them when a piece of hardware goes (good thing i got the extended warranty, I've been through 2 displays, a motherboard and a cd drive so far and my battery is completely shot but they refuse to replace it), but it takes about an hour of convincing them the hardware is REALLY broken, holding while they ask their supervisor, repeating myself to them, convincing them the hardware is REALLY broken... after about 3-4 cycles of this and sometimes another phone call, I usually get my new hardware shipped. I don't foresee myself buying a dell again anytime soon.


Well, when I call any tech support most of the t/s is already done, and I just have to work on managing the techs. Then again it's not as bad as the Canadian call Center that has the techs that tell you that you have a corrupt 386 file and that you need to reinstall it, to make your cable internet work. :roll:
May 4, 2007 7:32:30 PM

Yeah, they don't seem to understand that I wouldn't be calling if trouble shooting had fixed the problem (even though I tell them this several times). Though in their defense, I'm sure they get their share of people who have trouble playing solitare because they forgot to plug the PC in. I guess having automatons running on scripts for $2.50/hr makes for a more efficient and cost-effective solution...
May 4, 2007 7:45:58 PM

Quote:
Yeah, they don't seem to understand that I wouldn't be calling if trouble shooting had fixed the problem (even though I tell them this several times). Though in their defense, I'm sure they get their share of people who have trouble playing solitare because they forgot to plug the PC in. I guess having automatons running on scripts for $2.50/hr makes for a more efficient and cost-effective solution...


Yes, they do. I had a PHD argue with me that her monitor was plugged in because she wouldn't have been that stupid. After begging and pleading with her to check the cord, she finally did. After 15 seconds she came back on the phone apologizing left and right. BTW, The TS support that you call only does hardware, they will go as far as install, and how to use a program to use hardware and that's it. Software you have to pay for support. 8)
a b Î Nvidia
May 4, 2007 9:37:57 PM

Quote:
Yea, after the India call center started picking up the dell Home pc account, starting in dec. 2001, the call queues just got huge, and most of the information that was being given was becoming pure crap to get the customer off the phone.


HAha yeah, I had to assist a Relay call to them as they wanted someone techies to type for the Deaf/Hard of hearing person, and I was on the call for almost 3 hours, due to all the "now reboot your computer and see if that helps".

The Dell service people on the other end were freaking out wanting to have me hang-up and call back and I reinforcing what the customer said, said 'no we'll wait', knowing Dell's stated commitment to the TTY service. The funny thing is, had I not helped (which we are not supposed to do [just suposed to relay as an autonaton]) it would've been a 6+ hour call cause they were getting nowhere and the support people were asking stoopid formulaic questions and the guy on the other end was getting frustrated, man you'd think they'd get better tech just to solve this special call faster, nope. :roll:

Still makes me laugh though, longest single relay call I ever did without a break, and I wasn't even an operator anymore then. :lol: 
May 5, 2007 12:46:06 AM

I had one of those calls, and yes, it's normal to ask to recall. Our call times were like 30 min When I first started, but then they were shortened to 15 min and then finally 7 min . So if the tech anywhere tries to get them to call back, They're just trying to keep there job. :( 

P.S. Most dell techs that worked for the company I did, new there was no way in H*ll that you could solve the customers problem in 30 min, much less 7 min. None of us, felt good about doing things like that, and in our defense more then half my calls were taken up by customers that didn't know what they were doing, and could have figured it out themselves, or couldn't do what they wanted to do on there computer, because it wasn't set up that way. Other wise the call Queues would be short enough to not really need a time limit.

P.P.S. That's a long P.S.
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