I have a Dell 4550 and would like to upgrade my video card. The idea is to get the best graphics card I can at a good price - say $50 - until I replace the entire system in a couple of years. I have found 250MB/8x cards for $20 but the question is can I use an 8x card in my 4x/PCI slot without causing damage to the card or motherboard. Card suggestions and info would be appreciated - Thanks.
I used Everest to get the following system info:
Operating System Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition
OS Service Pack Service Pack 3
DirectX 4.09.00.0904 (DirectX 9.0c)
CPU Type Intel Pentium 4, 2000 MHz (20 x 100)
Motherboard Name Dell Dimension 4550
Motherboard Chipset Intel Brookdale i845PE
System Memory 2048 MB (PC3200 DDR SDRAM)
BIOS Type Phoenix (09/17/02)
Video Adapter 32MB ATI Rage 128 Ultra (32 MB)
3D Accelerator ATI Rage128 Pro AGP 4x
Monitor Dell E151FPp [15" LCD] (6R6442AEC4HD)
IDE Controller Standard Dual Channel PCI IDE Controller
Floppy Drive Floppy disk drive
Disk Drive MAXTOR 6L040J2 (40 GB, 7200 RPM, Ultra-ATA/133)
Disk Drive HP psc 2410 USB Device
Optical Drive HL-DT-ST CD-ROM GCR-8481B (48x CD-ROM)
Optical Drive SAMSUNG CD-R/RW SW-240B (40x/12x/40x CD-RW)
SMART Hard Disks Status OK
You do not have an AGP 3.3V slot. Any AGP card that states it is compatible with AGP 8X/4X and will fit inside your case, should work. You have a rather weak power supply in the system so I don't suggest you get crazy with it.
With all that being said, you don't indicate that you do any gaming (and with an ATI Rage 128 I can see why) so just about any cheap card will do as most of them in your price range will not stress your power supply. You could look far a cheap vanilla nVidia 6600 or possibly a 7600GS series card or perhaps a 9600XT, X1600XT or an X1650 Pro on eBay. They aren't the latest and greatest, but they are available on eBay in your price range, have decent features, and do not use a lot of power.
I am not really looking for a big jump. Just trying to upgrade as much as possible at a good price until I replace the whole system. Thanks for the input.
Thanks for the detailed response - I was hoping that since I have a 4x card now in a 4x/PCI slot that an 8x wouldn't cause a problem - even if it doesn't work at full potential. I noticed in similar discussions that some people have damaged their card/motherboard when they installed the wrong card (due to voltage etc). This is all temporary anyway until I save for a new system. Upgrading to the max 2GB Ram helped a lot and upgrading the card is as far as I want to go on an outdated system. I used the Dell online scanner and it recommended a Radeon 9250 or an X1300 but most of the available ones online are 8x. At least now I know it won't cause any damage. I don't fully trust Dell anyway since they said my system could only handle a max of 1GB ram. The 2GB I have in there now is fully utilized so I figured the forum would set me on the right path. Thanks again.
P.S. - You're right about the gaming. I still play AOM-Titans. I did buy the original Halo recently but if it doesn't work I won't lose any sleep over it.
PC Plan-It has an ATI 4x 128MB for $45. I will check into the ASUS as well. Thanks.