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Best AGP card for Dell 8250...please advise...

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January 26, 2008 10:13:45 PM

Hey everyone, I'm new to this board and would really appreciate some help. I've got an old Dell 8250 that was given to me and I really want to make it run the best it possibly can. I can afford adding on a few things, and I've already made some of the purchases.

It has a 2.5ghz Pentium 4 and uses the old RDRAM, so I added a gig to top it off at the 1.5gb pc1066 RDRAM. It's blazing fast now and I want to upgrade the video card but am having some conflicts.

I have one AGP slot available, and I'm pretty sure it is 4x. I don't have any other slots open, so whatever video card I get needs to be a single slot solution. But please, if I had another slot open to be used for a two level video card, which would i get then also? (I might decide to remove my firewire pci card which fills the slot beneath my video card)

I've come across a lot of possibilities, and I was hoping you all could set me straight. Just so you know, I'll be adding a 410watt (450 peak) power supply to replace the 250watt that came with it.

I want the best I can get considering my limitations. Factoring in my ram, processor, and psu, and the fact I have an AGP 4x slot, what is the very best I can get?

Here is what I have narrowed down to, but please, if these are just wrong for me please let me know, and if you have other suggestions, please list them. I need help!!!

This is the power supply I am getting:
http://www.pcpower.com/power-supply/silencer-410-dell-2...

These are the video cards I am considering:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ShowImage.aspx?CurImage=1...

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

http://www.amazon.com/XFX-GeForce-7950GT-550MHz-512MB/d...

http://www.sapphiretech.com/us/products/products_overvi...

Am I on the right track or have I gone too far? Some of these say they are 8x or 4x or 2x AGP, so it should work with my slot, right? (or do all 8x work in 4x?) I know I may have some "bottlenecking" going on, but please feel free to school me on what I need to know given my situation of what I have.

Thanks a lot everyone!!!

By the way, right now all I have is an ATI Radeon 9500 Pro (or maybe it's a 9700???)


January 26, 2008 11:23:10 PM

this will tell you your card http://www.techpowerup.com/gpuz/
GPU-Z Video card GPU Information Utility
what is your OS If you have win 98 you may have driver issues with some newer agp cards
I have yet to see a 8x agp card that won't work on a 4x agp buss
yes you can get some more life out of your dell by upgrading your gpu, but your cpu is going to be a bad bottleneck
Get the 7600 or the 1950pro.
the 7950 is overkill for your cpu



Related resources
January 27, 2008 4:02:59 AM

Thanks for all the input. Is there any reason I should go for a card with one DVI and one VGA instead of the dual DVI?
January 27, 2008 7:26:14 AM

By the way, I'm using a sweet and perfect, XP Pro.
January 27, 2008 12:06:53 PM

codasleuth said:
Hey everyone, I'm new to this board and would really appreciate some help. I've got an old Dell 8250 that was given to me and I really want to make it run the best it possibly can. I can afford adding on a few things, and I've already made some of the purchases.

It has a 2.5ghz Pentium 4 and uses the old RDRAM, so I added a gig to top it off at the 1.5gb pc1066 RDRAM. It's blazing fast now and I want to upgrade the video card but am having some conflicts.

I have one AGP slot available, and I'm pretty sure it is 4x. I don't have any other slots open, so whatever video card I get needs to be a single slot solution. But please, if I had another slot open to be used for a two level video card, which would i get then also? (I might decide to remove my firewire pci card which fills the slot beneath my video card)

I've come across a lot of possibilities, and I was hoping you all could set me straight. Just so you know, I'll be adding a 410watt (450 peak) power supply to replace the 250watt that came with it.

I want the best I can get considering my limitations. Factoring in my ram, processor, and psu, and the fact I have an AGP 4x slot, what is the very best I can get?

Here is what I have narrowed down to, but please, if these are just wrong for me please let me know, and if you have other suggestions, please list them. I need help!!!

This is the power supply I am getting:
http://www.pcpower.com/power-supply/silencer-410-dell-2...

These are the video cards I am considering:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ShowImage.aspx?CurImage=1...

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

http://www.amazon.com/XFX-GeForce-7950GT-550MHz-512MB/d...

http://www.sapphiretech.com/us/products/products_overvi...

Am I on the right track or have I gone too far? Some of these say they are 8x or 4x or 2x AGP, so it should work with my slot, right? (or do all 8x work in 4x?) I know I may have some "bottlenecking" going on, but please feel free to school me on what I need to know given my situation of what I have.

Thanks a lot everyone!!!

By the way, right now all I have is an ATI Radeon 9500 Pro (or maybe it's a 9700???)

Don't buy a dell inthe first place - they work OK as long as u don't want to upgrade with most available options!
January 27, 2008 6:18:40 PM

Bache said:
Don't buy a dell inthe first place - they work OK as long as u don't want to upgrade with most available options!

I guess I'll put mine in the trash then.
January 27, 2008 6:50:56 PM

there was a point when dell was using proprietary plug setup for their rigs and id didnt know that when i was trying to upgrade one and lost the mobo. so be careful when upgrading your PSU because if your mobo is one of those shoddy dell proprietary ones you may lose it and if that happens you are going to be building a completely new rig.
January 27, 2008 8:23:55 PM

frost_fenix said:
there was a point when dell was using proprietary plug setup for their rigs and id didnt know that when i was trying to upgrade one and lost the mobo. so be careful when upgrading your PSU because if your mobo is one of those shoddy dell proprietary ones you may lose it and if that happens you are going to be building a completely new rig.

That was some years ago.
Most now take a standard ATX psu. I use a PC Power and Cooling myself.
The only thing "shoddy" about the mobos is that the bios is locked. Alot are made for Dell by Foxconn.
As long as your careful about what you get there are upgrade options.
January 27, 2008 9:18:16 PM

The PSU I ordered is said to fit the 8250 model by Dell in all ways, so I'm not concerned with that. I'm really focused on getting the very best card for what I am capable of running. I would like to have the dual DVI, but one of the cards recommended to me has one VGA and one DVI...is losing the other DVI no big deal if the car makes up for it in overall power? I don't understand why one of the cards recommended to me has dual DVI, and the other one doesn't.

Please explain.

For example: The Sapphire 2600 has one DVI and one VGA, but the XFX GeForce 7600GT has dual DVI. If the Sapphire 2600 is a better card, why only one DVI? Also, the person who suggested that the XFX GeForce 7950GT was too much for my computer (bottleneck issues), why would someone else suggest the Sapphire 2600 anyways? Won't that kind of have the same issues?

Still confused on which I should get...

It would be nice to have the dual DVI...I plan on running one into my lcd computer monitor and one into my plasma tv. I'm willing to sacrifice one of the DVI outs if it is worth having the better graphical power (if having the VGA instead of second DVI gives me more)



January 27, 2008 10:01:53 PM

Dont the 7950's burn up in a month?

The 2600 is probably the best if you dont mind ati
January 27, 2008 10:27:08 PM

codasleuth said:
Thanks for all the input. Is there any reason I should go for a card with one DVI and one VGA instead of the dual DVI?

Are you going to be running dual (two) monitors with DVI outputs?
The card I linked can run 2 DVI monitors with the supplied adapter.
The card has 1 DVI output and 1 VGA output that can be used with a DVI monitor with the adapter.
That's the difference.
Do you even have 2 monitors or are planning to in the future?
January 29, 2008 12:14:16 AM

I have one monitor with DVI, and I'll be getting a new plasma TV with DVI in here soon, and I want to use my comp as my media center to watch all my stuff (I have 1.5TB of audio and video). That's the reason I want the second DVI.

As for the card with the one DVI and one VGA...I don't understand how it makes sense that the VGA can be turned into DVI using an adapter. I thought you could only do that in reverse (from DVI to VGA)

January 29, 2008 1:25:47 AM

Wow, very cool. Okay, so I guess you all have really narrowed things down for me and focused my vision...but I'm still unsure of which to get out of all the recommendations posted here. Each post has been educational, but each raises new questions.

As for the most recent response, yes, the card is going to be used for video, but man it sure would be great for it to kick decent ass in the gaming area as well. I would have thought the best card for me would just be the best card for me in both areas anyways...

What do you think everyone? Please go over everything you've seen posted here and give me your thoughts on why THE card I should get is THE card I should get. Overall quality, usage for video and gaming, decent/easy/understandable interface for switching my outputs, and taking up a single slot in my AGP 4x based machine. (if I should get a card that takes up another slot for usage of a fan, tell me why)

Kinda sounds like I'm asking the original question again but I'm not. Now that you all have put in your opinions, reread what each other said one more time and give me some kind of unified consensus on which one is THE one for me. I mean, man you guys must really know your stuff...but you are all recommending different cards!!!

I was almost set on a different one but then this most recent post was put up...man this is frustrating!

Thanks again everyone. (and by the way, this is a gift for my wife...she's an avid gamer, and she has no idea I'm doing all this to the computer. She's going to FREAK)
January 29, 2008 2:31:24 AM

chicagosoftplan said:
If it's for videos, etc. you should pick up one of these:

http://gayannrx86.blogspot.com/2008/01/sapphire-announc...

Even lower wattage and heat - HDMI, and HDCP, dual, dual link DVI. ATI AGP HD 3850

On the AGP model, additional power is required via the 8-pin PCI-Express connector fitted, which can be provided from a standard power supply with an adapter cable (supplied).
February 14, 2008 8:32:03 PM

Okay everyone, I have to start this thread again and see what you all think.

Now that the Sapphire HD 3850 has finally been put on the Sapphire website and is available for sale, I was able to look at the specs of it and I'm a little concerned.

The last word on this forum was for me to get this card, but the requirements seem to add up against me in regards to the power supply.

I purchased a
http://www.pcpower.com/power-supply/silencer-410-dell-2...

This is the highest-powered PSU that is made specifically for my motherboard. It seems to fall a little bit short of the power requirements of the GPU. According to Sapphire:

System Requirement:
* AGP based PC is required with one 4X/8X AGP slot available on the motherboard.
* 1GB or greater system memory for better performance.
* 450Watt or greater power supply with 30Amps on 12 volt with 2x4 power connector recommanded.

I have 1.5gb of pc1066 RDRAM in my P4, 2.5ghz machine.
My power supply is now a 410Watt power supply (with a 450Watt peak), and only has 23Amps on the +12V rail.

-Will I still be able to use this card despite being a little underpowered from my PSU?

-How much will this lack of power from the PSU really affect the performance of the card or my machine overall?

-Am I understanding the power info wrong for my power supply?

-Is there a more powerful power supply made for my Dell 8250 motherboard?

Please advise further. Thanks again everyone.
February 14, 2008 9:11:05 PM

the sapphire hd 3850 would be the best pick, 4x agp, also 256bit. dont worry about that bottleneck, unless they come out with bottleneck detecting software, then bottlenecking is just a speculation.
your running some fast rdram w/this your card will preform faster than some ddr and ddr2. check here to see if how much power u will need...
www.extreme.outervision.com
February 15, 2008 5:55:29 AM

Umm...don't really want to pay for some sort of software to tell me all that info...I just need someone to tell me if my having only 23amps on the 12volt rail is enough to power this card when the manufacturer "recommends" a PSU with 30amps on the 12volt rail.

Will I be okay or not?
February 19, 2008 11:25:22 PM

10 to 1 the power supply you bought will work fine. Nonetheless, I would get the video card from a dealer that allows returns just in case. I had a Dell 8200 and ended up with an x800xt. I went through the same questions you ask regarding power supply and its capabilities to power the card. I ended up using the stock power supply and it worked fine. I also run 2 dvd drives, 2 hard drives, a PCI slot fan, a creative 5.1 gamer audio card, a SIIG ethernet/usb/firewire pci card, a belkin USB ethernet adapter, and a 3.5 inch front mount temp gauge. Also upgraded from a 2.53 to a 3.06 hyperthreaded CPU along with the A09 hyperthread bios. Guess I could say, its maxed out. I have never had a problem even though the power supply was not rated to power that load. Your supply would beat mine hands down.
Getting the fastest agp card, even in your machine, will payoff, SOMETIMES and at some resolutions. There are certainly games that are not CPU hogs that will get better framerates in your machine with the 3850 then with some of the others you listed. There are many games that will not be able to fully utilize that card using a 2.53GHz Northwood (FSX for instance). So, I would say that the 3850 will be the best you can do with that CPU but that CPU is really not good enough for the 3850 in many games you may play. You could upgrade the CPU to the 3.06 and it would improve things a bit (again for some games). Decide what you want to play and at what resolution.
I can play FS2004, Half Life 2, Battlefield 2, Need for Speed Carbon at 1280x1024 with my 3.06 and x800xt pretty much maxed out with good frame rates. I cannot play Call of Duty 2, Command and Conquer Generals, Crysis, World at War, or FSX maxed out because my frame rates will dip down well below 10 FPS.
February 19, 2008 11:51:51 PM

I have a Precision 350 with 3.06Ghz HT CPU 1Gb of PC1066 and had the 7950GT till the fan went out and the card self destructed. RMA'd it and they are telling me they don't have anymore!!!, so you won't be able to get one anyway, but my cpu never really seemed to bottle neck that card. If they give me a refund I am getting the HD3850 even though I despise ATI. My computer is the same as an 8250 and it has a standard ATX 20 pin Power supply. from what I have read dell started using standard ATX supplies after 2000.
February 22, 2008 2:32:56 AM

Wow, thanks so much NeedAV8, your post was very informative.

Okay, I did want to venture into updating my processor to the best one possible, but I'm not too good with that sort of thing. Well, the right thing to say is that I've just never tried, so I'm hesitant to mess around with that major part of the computer. I learn well, and can apply what I learn well, but I'm still hesitant cause I don't to fry this thing by doing something wrong.

First of all, what is the maximum processor I can put into my Dell 8250? I'm pretty sure I have the 2.53ghz P4 (I'm on a different computer right now, so I don't remember...now that I think about it I think it is actually a 2.40ghz P4)

-Is the 3.06ghz P4 the highest I can go for my motherboard?
-What about the Intel Core 2 Duo ...can my board support that?
-I know they made a 8250 stock with the 3.06 P4, but I'm not sure if my motherboard is the same as that...is it?
-Can I simply upgrade?
-Where should I buy one from?
-How difficult is it to do myself?
-What do I do about the bios?
-Can I get it done somewhere if I'm paranoid about doing it myself?

Further advice appreciated. Thanks everyone.
a b U Graphics card
February 22, 2008 2:59:53 AM

Don't spend too much on a GPU for that rig. Honestly, the CPU is below minimum spec for many new games. A 3850 would very often be a waste. Forget the 7950GT as a X1950 pro is now outperforming it for less money. But the X1950 pro is too expensive. IMO you will not benefit from more than a $100 card, the best being the HD2600XT. Even that will often be a waste but unless you can find a 7600GT or 7800GS for a good bit cheaper, may as well grab the the faster 2600XT.

Few people hold onto rigs longer than me. But there comes a time when you need to limit what you put into a machine. You already did rdram and a PSU. Now there are talks of a $200 GPU and a processor upgrade. In the end you will have spent how much and end up with a machine slower than any single core Athlon 64.

My vote is the cheapest 7600GT you can find, even used. If it gets over $75, then consider the HD2600XT for $100.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Item is out of stock but was just under $100 shipped. The 512MB one is about $120 and in stock (linked above too).
February 22, 2008 5:04:35 AM

Okay, thanks for that bit of advice, but just to clarify...

This computer, when it just had the 1/2 gig of ram in it, worked just great for what we needed. But, after adding a few internal 500gb hard drives loaded to the brim with media, I found the computer to be a little too slow. After adding the extra gig of pc1066 rdram, it's blazing fast and I'm extremely pleased with it's performance. My wife accesses the 3 hard drives and uses Adobe Photoshop CS3 Expanded, Adobe Lightroom, and Windows Media Player 11 all the time in unison, and adding the ram and power supply has made the most amazing difference.

I was just looking to top it all off with making it so that she can enjoy the games she currently has to the fullest potential she can now enjoy, and maybe make it so she can get a few more with somewhat higher system requirements. It's okay not to be able to play Crysis at full settings and all of that nonsense.

As to building a new computer from scratch with more modern parts, well, we simply don't need a top of the line gaming rig. We use our XBOX 360 for that. I simply want a great video card and processor to make it so we can last another 3 years with fair enjoyment on this machine. With the price of data storage dropping so fast, I'll be needing to upgrade our storage long before our computer. I'm running 1.5tb right now...but at the rate I'm going, and at the rate data storage is dropping, those three internal 500gb seagates will be three internal 2tb seagates. Loaded too, I'm sure.

I figure we could get at least 3 more efficient years out of this system for our everyday and professional lives before our needs warrant a significantly more powerful computer, and when we do it'll be a huge as well as cheap upgrade for us given how prices are dropping on new tech. Considering a new XBOX will surely be close to market by then (or some other upgraded platform), that is what would be purchased for playing any extremely powerful games. The leap the XBOX made from it's first to second inception was huge, and I'm sure the third will be extremely powerful, and most importantly, more affordable than most high-end gaming rigs that will be available when that happens.

So, let's say I can get a $100 CPU to replace the one I have, and then get the HD 3850 for $265 after shipping.

That would bring me to a total of:
$600 put into this computer if I get those last 2 components (which I was not originally thinking of upgrading the CPU, but if I can cheaply, why not?). Is that $600 too much for the end-result machine I will have? Everywhere I turn, people say that the RDRAM based machine I have totally destroys what a lot of people have (affordably) today. I thought it was a good thing to stick with it despite it being outdated.

- So, if this was a $600 dollar computer for sale today in a store, what would it compare with that is out there now?
- Would mine, considering the cost, be the top-end machine for the money put into it?
- If so, by how much?
- What amount of DDR2 ram is equal to my 1.5gb pc1066 rdram?
- What amount of DDR3 is equal to my 1.5gb pc1066?

Remember, I got the original computer for free, and I also got my 21inch, 2048 x 1536 graphics-quality CRT monitor for free also.



February 22, 2008 6:40:43 AM

http://support.dell.com/support/edocs/systems/dim8250/s...
your manual
"-Is the 3.06ghz P4 the highest I can go for my motherboard?"
yes
"-I know they made a 8250 stock with the 3.06 P4, but I'm not sure if my motherboard is the same as that...is it?"
yes
"-Can I simply upgrade?"
yes
"-Where should I buy one from?"
http://www.starmicro.net/detail.aspx?ID=121
best you can do for your cpu, no C2D
"-How difficult is it to do myself?"
read your manual, I've done it with my Dell twice
"-What do I do about the bios?"
make sure you have the latest
http://support.dell.com/support/downloads/driverslist.a...

I would just get the video card and see how much improvement you see but that's up to you.
February 22, 2008 12:38:37 PM

Yeah, start with the GPU before you lay down any money for a CPU. You may find enough performance gains to be happy. As far as which card, I would stick to something around 7600 (Nvidia) or x1650 (ATI) levels, as your CPU is going to limit anything better than those.

If you wanted to upgrade your whole rig for about $600, you would probably be better off.
These are estimates:
CPU: AMD x2 $60-150
Mobo: $40-70
2 Gigs DDR2 Ram: $50
GPU: 8600 GT $80-100
PSU: $50 (Rosewill is a good decently priced brand)
Case: Up to you if you get a new one, but they can be had for as low as $20.
HD: Sata 3.0 $60 for a 160 gig
O/S: I don't know if you need or not. Figure about $100 if you do.

So, a build along these lines would run you anywhere from about $450 and up, depending mainly on things like CPU and video card. Even going with base things like a x2 4000 as your CPU would be faster than what you currently have or the p4 3.06 you could upgrade to.

February 22, 2008 1:44:13 PM

My first recommendation is new rig as basketcase said. For what the OP is going to spend, a new AMD rig can be had. I disagree with the GPU and PSU choices of basketcase, but the general upgrade idea is the best IMHO. If that is totally out of the question, I wouldn't spend any more than a cheap 7600GT.

As a side note, I am glad the OP thinks that old P4 is "blazing fast" but I respectfully disagree. It obviously does what he needs it to, and as long as gaming is not a priority, keep it and don't worry about upgrading the CPU.
February 22, 2008 2:27:21 PM

Yeah, there are better had video cards than the 8600 GT. It was just an idea, to keep the costs down. But, based on the monitor he has, and the resolution he can run, it may be to weak. But, that is what I have in my current PC and it has performed well above my expectations. That being said, my monitor has a max res of 1280x1024 and I have yet to try playing Crysis. But, everything else has run great, Oblivion, Enemy Territory: Quake Wars, Neverwinter Nights 2, Rainbow 6 Vegas, etc... All with max settings and 4xAA/16xAF.

As for the Rosewill PSUs, yes, they are not the most premier brand. But, they do have a very solid product and generally perform up to their specifications. If the OP turns out to want to run an OC'd SLI/CF rig, then I would probably take it up a notch to a better brand. But, for normal purposes, I trust them. I have used many Rosewill PSUs in various computers I have built and never had any issues with them.

But, I understand fear of poor PSUs, so TurdBurglar's view too.
February 22, 2008 3:58:42 PM

basketcase said:
Yeah, there are better had video cards than the 8600 GT. It was just an idea, to keep the costs down. But, based on the monitor he has, and the resolution he can run, it may be to weak. But, that is what I have in my current PC and it has performed well above my expectations. That being said, my monitor has a max res of 1280x1024 and I have yet to try playing Crysis. But, everything else has run great, Oblivion, Enemy Territory: Quake Wars, Neverwinter Nights 2, Rainbow 6 Vegas, etc... All with max settings and 4xAA/16xAF.

As for the Rosewill PSUs, yes, they are not the most premier brand. But, they do have a very solid product and generally perform up to their specifications. If the OP turns out to want to run an OC'd SLI/CF rig, then I would probably take it up a notch to a better brand. But, for normal purposes, I trust them. I have used many Rosewill PSUs in various computers I have built and never had any issues with them.

But, I understand fear of poor PSUs, so TurdBurglar's view too.



I had an 8600GTS and was very disappointed in its performance for its price range. I luckily didn't pay much for it. Prices have come down a great deal for the 86xx series, but I think that there are better choices for the money. Also, Rosewill PSUs have always scared me. Many are prepackaged with cases and from my experience, that is bad news. They are also frighteningly low priced. I prefer to base my systems around a solid, powerful, name brand unit that leaves me room to upgrade and possibly reuse in a later build.
February 22, 2008 5:10:12 PM

Still wondering...

- So, if this was a $600 dollar computer for sale today in a store, what would it compare with that is out there now?
- Would mine, considering the cost, be the top-end machine for the money put into it?
- If so, by how much?
- What amount of DDR2 ram is equal to my 1.5gb pc1066 rdram?
- What amount of DDR3 is equal to my 1.5gb pc1066?
February 22, 2008 5:21:06 PM

PROCESSOR Intel® Core2Quad Proc Q6600
OPERATING SYSTEM Genuine Windows® XP Home Edition
MONITOR Dell 20 inch Widescreen E207WFP
MEMORY 2GB Dual Channel DDR2 SDRAM 800MHz - 2DIMMs
OPTICAL DRIVE Single Drive: 16X (DVD+/-RW) Burner Drive
HARD DRIVE 160GB Serial ATA Hard Drive (7200RPM) w/DataBurst Cache
VIDEO CARD 256MB NVIDIA® GeForce® 8600GT

Price $699 from Dell.com
-destroys your current machine

You could even downgrade to the 8300gs graphics option and put in your own MSI 8800gt for $199.99 after rebate from newegg and have a dell built gaming rig for $850.
February 22, 2008 6:26:30 PM

Wow.

So despite my rdram being great, my processor sucks ass no matter what, plus I'm limited by my agp slot.

Well, seems like I was mis-informed to upgrade this computer in the first place, but that's okay. I'm sure it will do the job we require of it. However, I am disappointed that such a cheap option "destroys" my current machine.

Well, it's all a learning process I suppose, and this was my first time thinking about anything like all of this.

On another note, I do like my hard drives based in the old interface of ATA, not serial ATA. Considering how much data I have on the drives I have, changing over to SATA is something I want to avoid for as long as possible since I've read so much about the SATA drives having a higher failure rate. I choose to not backup my data in any dvd format because I just have too much and I want it all accessible in one place, not in a few hundred dvd's to sit in a box to be carried around forever and all that nonsense. The only way I back up my data is by having it on one or two large external hard-drives and having it/them tucked away in a box in a static-free bag. Over-cautious, maybe, but if anything ever happens to my computer or drives, I have everything backed up, all in one place, nice and safe.

The way I organize things, and the frequency of which I update the backup drive, is so much better than using any normal "automated" data backup system. I trust me, not the "one button" backup drives that are everywhere today.

Am I wrong to fear the SATA drives concerning my data?
February 22, 2008 6:49:44 PM

kpo6969 said:
Along those lines you can check here:
http://outlet.us.dell.com/ARBOnlineSales/topics/global....
Dell Outlet
Lower prices, no monitor included.
Get the cheapest video card and put your own in for less $
Look at the E530's and XPS410's


Are you kidding? I'm not impressed with those prices at all.

Look at these prices on NEW machines with monitors. LOL... I don't know why I'm this caught up in a dell discussion.
February 22, 2008 6:52:02 PM

codasleuth said:
Am I wrong to fear the SATA drives concerning my data?


I don't think Sata has any higher of a chance to fail, though I could be wrong. As far as I know, all that is different is the interface with how it communicates with your PC. Otherwise, it is the same technology.

Don't feel bad about your current PC and attempts to upgrade it. You have just learned a lesson in PCs... they suck to try and keep up with. But, that is part of the fun, for some of us.

February 22, 2008 7:00:03 PM

TurdBurglar said:
I'm not impressed with those prices at all.

Look at these prices on NEW machines with monitors. LOL... I don't know why I'm this caught up in a dell discussion.

"Are you kidding?"
No I'm not Turd

"I don't know why I'm this caught up in a dell discussion."
No one's holding a gun to your head.

I was just showing the OP an option.
I thought we were here to try and help people and not to impress you?




February 22, 2008 7:27:04 PM

kpo6969 said:
"Are you kidding?"
No I'm not Turd

"I don't know why I'm this caught up in a dell discussion."
No one's holding a gun to your head.

I was just showing the OP an option.
I thought we were here to try and help people and not to impress you?



Whoa, whoa, whoa... I think the wrong tone came across there. I was joking around. It was funny that I was involved in a dell discussion on an enthusiasts' forum. I was just showing better options than refurbished dells with no monitors included. Not cutting you down man. Chill.

*edit Oops, I forgot you have a dell yourself. That's why you are taking offense to the dell comment. Or are you still bitter about the 8800gt voltage regulator discussion? hehe
February 22, 2008 7:52:59 PM

No man, it's cool.
At the Outlet though you can get incredible deals (no monitors though). The site get's updated every 15minutes or so. The systems are either scratch+dent, returned and recertified, ordered+built but never shipped, etc. Most are new, it all depends when you check.
February 22, 2008 8:46:51 PM

Not to be a jerk, but those outlet prices don't really seem like that good of a deal. Maybe I didn't look hard enough, but $800 for a P4 2.8 ghz with a x2400 ATI card? Um no...
a b U Graphics card
February 22, 2008 9:25:00 PM

codasleuth said:
Okay, thanks for that bit of advice, but just to clarify....

Thx for the info. Since you use this computer for way more than games, and are happy with it's processing performance, then it's a keeper for sure. And the money into RAM and Storage is well spent for you. I just hate to see you now spend too much trying to turn it into a gaming machine, when it will never be a good one for newer games. You just can't expect a 5-6 year old processor to keep playing games that are 5-6 years newer than it. Shoot, back in that day the radeon 9700 pro was top dog in GPU's. Even a current $60 X1650 pro is many times the gaming card that the once mighty 9700 pro is. So $60 now gives you 200-300% the performance money could buy back when your system was new. That's why I suggest the sub $100 video card for that system as it is a good match and would handle most games very well (and better than the CPU will).

As far as upgrading the CPU, The P4 3.06GHz 533 bus cpu on rdram is about equivelent to a P4 2.8C (800 bus) running dual channel DDR on a i865pe or i875p motherboard. I have a P4 2.6C on an i865pe mobo. And honestly, that is still near minimum spec for many newer games. Once a killer gaming rig, now barely gets by now for new games.

A game like 'test drive unlimited' for example, won't be playable at all on your current cpu no matter what video card you put in it. It would be playable (but not great) on the 3.06 GHz P4 as the game is so CPU limited on the low end. Once you ahve enough CPU it becomes quite GPU ntensive too. I have an Athlon XP 2500+ and tried swapping a few different video cards in and all of them still stayed around 20 fps in that game, at 800x600 and low (th lowest) details. Overclocking the CPU to 2.2GHz (XP3200+ speeds) the game was now playable but still under 30 fps. Anyway, Need for speed carbon is that way at high details....an XP2500+ is not enough at stock speeds. But at least that game has various settings to adjust making it playable on slower systems. But the XP2500+ limites it so that at 800x600 a radeon 9800 pro performs as well as a X1650XT. Now I could run 1920x1200 better on the X1650XT, but the detail levels (in game eye candy settings) are limited by the CPU. Oblivion also runs pretty bad on the XP2500+. Anway, you may not care about these games, but they are just ones I have found run terrible on CPU's about like yours. And I know from experimenting that I can't take advantage of even a X1650XT with that cpu in some of the games I like to play. CPU limited game like flight sims, newer RTS games, etc. you will not benefit from a killer gaming card paired with your CPU...the cpu will limit your max playable settings and framerates. Again, not knocking your system or telling you to scap it by any means. I'm just trying to warn you before you spend too much on a GPU for it and end up dissapointed by the results. Personally I'd be looking at the $50-100 range. X1650 pro < 7600GT < HD2600XT type cards.


BTW, to get an idea of how these 5-6 year old CPU's stacked up to one another in games, have a look here.
http://anandtech.com/showdoc.aspx?i=1810&p=8

And here a little later on, you can see how even a single core A64 2800+ (slowest single core Athlon 64) outgames even a P4 3.2C (800 bus 3.2GHz P4). And by todays standards, the A64 2800+ isn't much of a gaming CPU any more. http://anandtech.com/showdoc.aspx?i=2149&p=7


Alright, I'm done rambling. Just wanted to explain my intenstions and hope some of this makes sense to you.
February 22, 2008 10:53:21 PM

basketcase said:
Not to be a jerk, but those outlet prices don't really seem like that good of a deal. Maybe I didn't look hard enough, but $800 for a P4 2.8 ghz with a x2400 ATI card? Um no...

OK
Not to be a jerk either, but if you take the time to post you should take the time to look. Fair enough?

Inspiron 530
Inspiron Desktop 530 Mini-tower: Intel Core 2 Quad Processor Q6600 (8MB L2 cache,2.4GHz,1066FSB)
Genuine Windows Vista Home Premium

System Price : $559.00

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Operating System
Genuine Windows Vista Home Premium
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Memory
1 GB DDR2 NON-ECC SDRAM 667MHz (2 DIMMs)
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Hard Disk Drive
500 GB SATA II Hard Drive (7200 RPM)
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Video
128MB NVIDIA 8300 GS
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Modem
V.92/56K PCI DataFax Modem
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Media Bay
16X DVD +/- RW w/dbl layer write capability
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Base
Inspiron Desktop 530 Mini-tower: Intel Core 2 Quad Processor Q6600 (8MB L2 cache,2.4GHz,1066FSB)
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Hardware Upgrade
USB Keyboard
No Floppy Drive
Dell Optical USB 2-button Mouse
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Software Upgrade
No Dell DataSafe Installed
Microsoft Works 8.5 with MS Office Trial Version Software
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Previously Ordered New

Add another 1GB ram and a new gpu

I don't post things just for the heck of it and I can back them up
February 22, 2008 11:23:00 PM

Sorry man, I didn't really look at the Inspirions. There are some decent deals there. Especially if you didn't want to build your own PC.
February 23, 2008 5:03:18 AM

I agree with what many have said here in regards to limiting how much you spend on the old rig. I also understand wanting to get the most life out of your old machine. Approaching the $600 mark on upgrades to your Dell is probably going too far. BasketCase's example shows how cheap it can be to make the jump to the newer technology. I know its a hard pill to swallow when you want to keep the old girl running but....


I have two other machines I have built in addition to the Dell I described above. One has a 2.4C Northwood overclocked to 3.3Ghz, along with an X850XT, 2GB of Crucial Ballistics memory, 74GB Raptor, 2 more 250GB drives in Raid 0, etc. The other has an E6750 overclocked to 3.3Ghz, along with an EVGA 8800GTS 640, 150GB Raptor, another 200GB drive, etc. I would be more than happy to run a few benchmarks on these pcs so that you could get an idea of what you can expect from various upgrades.
Also, you can get PATA to SATA adapters so you can use your hard drives with newer motherboards that have only 1 PATA port. They are really cheap.
January 24, 2009 4:30:15 PM

I have an 8250 that I've had for years. I recently built my own system and turned the Dell 8250 into a home server.

When it was my main PC, I ran HL2, BioShock and F.E.A.R, plus many other titles. It's a great system, but there is two changes I would make. Upgrade your processor to 3.06, and the second you are already planning. I ran the 3.06 CPU, 1 gig RDRAM, a PNY NVIDIA 6800GS video card, 1 gig NIC, 2 IDE hard drives, a SATA 250gig drive on a PCI controller card, and 2 DVDs. This is all with the stock power supply.

I bought extra memory, the CPU, and the video card on ebay! Got them at about half the retail price and ended up with a solid system. Good luck with your new PC!
!