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Video Card Upgrade for Dell Dimension 9100

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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March 15, 2009 6:48:11 PM

I recently vastly upgraded the RAM in my 3+ year old machine, and saw great results and am now looking at a video card upgrade. It has a 128MB X300 PCIe, and I'm thinking of something in the $40-$90 range with 256MB minimum for an upgrade. I don't do much gaming, just some Madden and PGA type sports games, some CAD and photo editing. Oviously this computer can't handle a really high-end card, nor benefit from one. There are a lot of options in this price range..... 9500GT, 4670, 4830. Can anyone make a recommendation for me? I'm especially concerned with the stock 375W PSU, no idea what the rail output current is.

Dell Dimension 9100
Pentium D 2.8 GHz
2GB PC5300 677Mhz RAM
Win XP Pro
375W Stock PSU
PCIe x16 for GPU
Dell 1905FP monitor, max 1280x1024
a b U Graphics card
March 15, 2009 7:03:40 PM

I'd go with the HD 4670. As much GPU power as your rig could make use of and no external power connector needed. Your Dell 375W PS would be fine.
a c 189 U Graphics card
March 15, 2009 7:14:33 PM

+1 jeffredo.
And your PSU really is going to be fine with a HD4670.
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a b U Graphics card
March 15, 2009 8:37:05 PM

The 12v output is upto 30 amps, depending on the 3.3 and 5 volt load.
The 4830 would work.
March 15, 2009 8:43:35 PM

Is the 4830 gonna be worth the extra $30 or so vs. the 4670, especially considering my older machine? I'm worried getting too modern of a card will be money unwisely spent if my MoBo/CPU limit the performance.
March 15, 2009 8:52:59 PM

one more thing....I am considering buying a 22 or 24" HD monitor since the prices are so ridiculously low. Will the 4670 limit my resolution on a monitor that size?
a b U Graphics card
March 15, 2009 8:57:08 PM

I don't think the performance of the 4830 would be limited that badly, wether it's worth it or not is up to you, the games you mentioned aren't that demanding so the 4670 should do well.
March 21, 2009 5:06:37 PM

DellUser....when you say that my PSU should be fine for a 4830, do you mean I'll have to use the PCIe power connector? I have one spare that is not being used by my X300 that came with the PC, but I have no idea the specs on that output. One the ATI 4830 spec page, it says 75W min from a 450W PSU....mine is only 375W.

I'm tempted to get a 4830 now that prices are under $80 for them!!
a b U Graphics card
March 21, 2009 9:54:50 PM

Yes, you'll need to use the pcie power connector.
It provides 75 watts, the slot on the motherboard is also capable of providing upto 75 watts. The 4830 uses around 85 watts, it will be fine as far as power is concerned.
March 21, 2009 10:24:38 PM

Cool...one other thing (and this probably should go in another forum....)

Is it an option to keep my existing Case, PSU, Drives, etc. and put a new MoBo, CPU and that 4670 in there? I have been thinking about an AMD PII x3 720 on a 790x or 780GX board. I guess I would need new RAM too, I have 2BG of PC5300 in the Dell rig. I think that's too slow for the AM2 boards, right?

This way I can work my way up to a new build, eventually upgrading the vid card, case, PSU and HDDs.
a b U Graphics card
March 21, 2009 10:51:44 PM

Nope, an ATX motherboard won't work.
a b U Graphics card
March 21, 2009 11:13:55 PM

^ Cases are cheap. You can get cases for $20-$40, but if you change the mobo you'll need to change that and the CPU fan too since if the 9100 is the typical Dell BTX case, then the CPU fan is attached to the case.
!