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Videocard doesn't fit in slot? Is that even possible?!

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April 2, 2009 10:01:30 PM

I am entirely new to anything regarding hardware, and this is the first time I've tried to upgrade my PC's graphic card. I joined this forum about a week and a half ago, soliciting advice on what card to buy. I ordered one of the cards suggested, and it arrived this morning; but it doesn't seem to fit my computer.

I have Dell Dimension E521, and I purchased a Radeon HD 4670 512MB. When I opened my case, and removed my old card, I noticed that the new card requires more room than the old did, and needs two slots in the case to fit. (One videocard... uh... plug-thingy, but two opening on the back of the case) See for yourself.


Old card:



New card:


Notice the metal cap on the end of the new card is twice as wide as the old card?


Here's where I need to stick it in: (Picture from outside of the case)


(Pictures from inside the case)



It just doesn't fit.




This is the first time I ever tried to install a videocard. Is there some obvious and simple thing I'm supposed to do? Do I just return the card and try a different manufacturer of the same card (a Radeon HD 4670 but not from Sapphire)? Do I get a different card entirely? And if so, which?

I appreciate you taking your time to help me; I can't figure it on my own.

More about : videocard fit slot

April 2, 2009 10:14:29 PM

Looks like you need a card with a single slot bracket. There are a couple 4670s that can fit in there, so return that one.
April 2, 2009 10:27:59 PM

Wow..., typical Dell.
Related resources
April 2, 2009 10:32:08 PM



u should be able to remove the middle slot so that it frees up two slots for the video card
a b U Graphics card
April 2, 2009 10:32:27 PM

As long as the cards fan will clear the Dell heatsink, you could take the bracket off the card and cut the top half of it off. It's actually kind of silly for it to have a dual slot bracket since it doesn't force the air out of the case anyway.
Then add an 80mm fan to the back grill to help keep temps down.
April 2, 2009 10:37:43 PM

lol yea my bad
a b U Graphics card
April 2, 2009 10:44:08 PM

warezme said:
Wow..., typical Dell.

Actually typical Intel, it's how the micro BTX motherboard was designed.
April 2, 2009 10:50:36 PM

This is a frequent problem with upside down interiors. Very little thought is put into the grand scheme.
April 2, 2009 10:52:26 PM

You should've done more research. Dell's BTX motherboards "only" fit single-slot videocards due to the case and the CPU heatsink.

The only solution is to return the card and get a single-slot videocard.
a c 107 U Graphics card
April 2, 2009 11:22:03 PM

Remove the backplate for the card and cut it in half :p 

its not like that card vents out the back anyway.

Or

Take the back plate off, install the card and screw the backplate on the outside(just the little bolt/nut things) to hold the card, that worked to install a low profile video card in my Sonata case.
a b U Graphics card
April 2, 2009 11:26:51 PM

aylafan said:
You should've done more research. Dell's BTX motherboards "only" fit single-slot videocards due to the case and the CPU heatsink.

The only solution is to return the card and get a single-slot videocard.

Not the case with all Dell BTX motherboards onlt the mBTX. And there are other solutions.


Good idea nukemaster ;) 
April 3, 2009 4:01:01 AM

Thanks for the replies!

nukemaster said:
Remove the backplate for the card and cut it in half :p 

its not like that card vents out the back anyway.

delluser1 said:
As long as the cards fan will clear the Dell heatsink, you could take the bracket off the card and cut the top half of it off. It's actually kind of silly for it to have a dual slot bracket since it doesn't force the air out of the case anyway.

Although I'm handy with a pair of tin-snips, and have the tools to do so, I'd prefer not to physically alter the card, as the manufacturer might not give me a refund if I needed to return it.

nukemaster said:
Take the back plate off, install the card and screw the backplate on the outside(just the little bolt/nut things) to hold the card, that worked to install a low profile video card in my Sonata case.

Clever idea! I wouldn't be opposed to that, only, it'd still require me to cut the card slightly, which would make returns more difficult.



I was hoping maybe there was something I wasn't understanding, like maybe I was sticking the card in the wrong slot, or maybe I could've moved around the other card-things in there, and used one of their slots (like the one with the cat cord spot). But I guess not.

aylafan said:
You should've done more research. Dell's BTX motherboards "only" fit single-slot videocards due to the case and the CPU heatsink.

The only solution is to return the card and get a single-slot videocard.

spathotan said:
Looks like you need a card with a single slot bracket. There are a couple 4670s that can fit in there, so return that one.


How do I tell if a card takes one slot or two? I can't see that info on the "Specifications" page at Newegg.
And I can't go by the screenshots either, because the screenshots for the card I just purchased, don't line up with what actually arrived.



Maybe I should just ask Newegg to send me the same model, but make sure it's a single slot card? I think I'll give it a shot. Since their photos show something different, they must have a single-slot version somewhere, otherwise how could they have taken the photo?

But in case that doesn't work, I still need to know how I can find out if a card is a single or double slot, without ordering it, if you guys can tell me how. The manufacturer's website doesn't tell me any more than Newegg does.
April 3, 2009 4:16:21 AM

Reading the reviews on newegg help. Some usually state whether it takes one or two slots.

Go to the comments page and hit ctrl+F and search for something like "slot"
a b U Graphics card
April 3, 2009 8:53:45 AM

ComServant said:

Maybe I should just ask Newegg to send me the same model, but make sure it's a single slot card? I think I'll give it a shot. Since their photos show something different, they must have a single-slot version somewhere, otherwise how could they have taken the photo?

But in case that doesn't work, I still need to know how I can find out if a card is a single or double slot, without ordering it, if you guys can tell me how. The manufacturer's website doesn't tell me any more than Newegg does.


You could try contacting the card manufacture and explaining the problem, they may help you out by sending you a single slot bracket.

As for Newegg pictures , they are kind of slow to post revisions to anything, but thier customer service is excellent so should you have to return the card, it's likely to not cost anything.

April 3, 2009 4:58:28 PM

Alright, thanks guys. I've sent a email to the manufacturer, and to Newegg. If neither of them respond within a week or so, I'll return the card within the 30 days return time, and I'll order a different card.
a c 106 U Graphics card
April 3, 2009 6:54:28 PM

Well, because of the mini BTX design (stupid BTX), the position of the GPU is upside down compared to an ATX case as the motherboard is on the other side of the case. Anyway you could replace the back plate, but it seems you can't use the one on your old card since that one had one VGA and one DVI as opposed to the dual DVI of your new 4670. Just get a single slot card, like this one

SAPPHIRE 100255HDMI Radeon HD 4670 512MB $69.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

instead. I like the idea of the GDDR4 4670, but I think there is little place for it since it costs about as much as a basic 4830, which is faster. Live and learn I guess. I would just use my cutting wheel and cut off the vent slot (after I take the bracket off the video card of course), if I wanted to keep that dell mobo and case anyway ^_^.
a c 107 U Graphics card
April 5, 2009 1:44:30 AM

Ok, my bad...I tried with a full card and can not just swap to the outside. It only works with low profile into full slots, not the other way around.

Guess the best option is a single slot card, but with a dual slot cooler for better temperatures.
April 5, 2009 7:54:50 PM

Well, I've gotten a response from Newegg on friday, but I guess their customer service takes the weekend off, because they haven't responded to my new email yesterday or today. If they don't respond on monday I'll call them, and if that fails, I'll return it within the 30 days, and get a full refund, then just order one myself.
mamw93 said:
Also be sure you have the power to run these cards.

The manufacturer's page for the Dell Dimension E521 says, "305 Watt DC Power Supply" + "Backup battery: 3-V CR2032 lithium coin cell"
How can I find what a specific video card requires?

Looking at this card, is my computer compatible with it?

General Information:
Computer Model: Dimension E521
BIOS Vendor: Dell Inc
BIOS Version: 1.1.11
BIOS Date: 08-02-07
Windows Version: Microsoft® Windows Vista™ Home Premium

Processor:
Manufacturer: AMD Athlon(tm) 64 X2 Dual Core Processor 4600+
Clock Speed: 2.4GHz
L2 Cache Size: 1024

Hardware:
DVD/CD-ROM Drives: TSSTcorp CDRWDVD TS-H493A SCSI CdRom Device
Disk Drives: ST332063 3AS SCSI Disk Device 298.0Gb
Display Adapters: Radeon X1300/X1550 Series 256Mb, Radeon X1300/X1550 Series Secondary
IDE ATA/ATAPI Controllers: NVIDIA nForce Serial ATA Controller, NVIDIA nForce Serial ATA Controller


How do you know it's compatible? How can I know, in the future?


Remember, I know nothing about computer hardware. All I want is to order a new card, take out my old card, insert the new card, and crank up the settings on games I play. Well, I have to install the new drivers too, but my point is, I'm not wanting to order 5 or 6 different pieces of hardware, and basically gut my computer, and install a number of new pieces. I want to install one new piece of hardware (the videocard), any more than that, I feel I'll be out of my league, despite all the kind help you are all giving me (which I really appreciate).

Can someone check for me, and tell me, given the above computer specifications, what videocard I can buy to fit in my computer, that you know(or are reasonably sure) will work? I don't want to get a new fan, or increase whatever power cables run wherever, because I'm just not familiar enough with the insides of computers yet, and despite how easy it would be to all of you, it wouldn't be so simple to me. So whatever videocard you recommend will need to work with my current power, and my current fan.

I'm really interested in computer hardware, and I want to understand it, but I can't currently devote the time (and money) to playing around with the hardware of computers. Currently, I just play with the software, by learning programming. By posting on this forum, and hearing people recommend such and such a card, if I upgrade my x and y, or this card, if I upgrade my z, puts me out of my little bubble of comfort, and thrusts me into a world I just can't devote the months of time to understand. If someone who is already really familiar with computer hardware, could just say, "Here, you idiot, just buy [link]this card[/link]!" it'd do me a great deal of help.

I do appreciate all the time you guys are spending helping me; and I'd hate for it to have been wasted by me just giving up out of confusion. In a year or two, when I'm ready, I'll try to build my own PC, and in doing so, will research how the different pieces work together. But in the meantime, I just want to get a better videocard. Is this too naive? Should I just stick with what I have? I don't like making you guys do my work for me, but when I'm incapable of doing it myself, I can't really avoid it.
April 5, 2009 8:51:16 PM

Yes, that version of the Sapphire HD 4670 will physically fit into your computer, as its a single slot back plate.

Only issue that i would worry about is that Sapphire say it requires a 400watt power supply, and you only have a 305watt power supply.

I would advise you to check what rating the power supply is inside your computer first before spending money.
There will be a label on it detailing what its total wattage output it is, and also important is what the amperage is on 12v rail.
a b U Graphics card
April 5, 2009 9:07:49 PM

He's got plenty of power for a 4670, regardless of the wattage recommendation.
To satisfy your curiousity, it's got a 22amp combined 12v ouput.
April 6, 2009 4:35:09 AM

mangoletsi said:
I would advise you to check what rating the power supply is inside your computer first before spending money.
There will be a label on it detailing what its total wattage output it is, and also important is what the amperage is on 12v rail.

Where can I find that label? If my computer has less than the required output, will the card still work, and work well, just not at the top of it's line?
delluser1 said:
He's got plenty of power for a 4670, regardless of the wattage recommendation.
To satisfy your curiousity, it's got a 22amp combined 12v ouput.

Are you sure my power can handle it?

From the manufacturer's website: (near the bottom)

–PCI Express® based PC is required with one X16 lane graphics slot available on the motherboard
My computer meets this requirement.

–400 Watt or greater power supply (550 Watt for ATI CrossFireX™ technology in dual mode) is recommended
I only have a "305 Watt DC Power Supply" according to Dell. Is this a problem?

–Certified power supplies are recommended. Refer to http://ati.amd.com/certifiedPSU for a list of Certified products
Unknown.

–1GB of system memory recommended
My computer meets this requirement. (It has 2 GB RAM)

–Installation software requires CD-ROM drive
My computer meets this requirement.


Also, so I can do more of the research myself in the future, where'd you find the amperage and voltage of the power supply? I can't even find the name or model of my power supply, looking at Dell's website (but it gives me all the other things).
April 6, 2009 4:45:55 AM

I'd feel comfortable. I ran a HD2600XT on one of those, it was fine. I know a guy who's run a 9600GT on that PSU when they first came out. You'll be fine with anything that doesn't need additional power, methinks.
April 26, 2009 5:50:48 PM

Hey, just a quick update. I sent back my old card, got a refund (although, Newegg slapped a 10% 'restocking fee' on me), and ordered the new card.

The new card arrived 3 days ago, and it easily fit into my computer (less than 2 minutes to stick in), and it works great. My games play at the resolution of my monitor, and run very smoothly.

Thank you for all your help! You guys really made things so easy for me, are were polite and articulate while doing so. Thank you.
October 11, 2009 1:55:19 AM

What would be the ideal way for him to cut the bracket?
October 11, 2009 2:09:28 AM

READ THE POST DATES, THE THREAD IS 6 MONTHS OLD.
October 11, 2009 2:17:42 AM

djcoolmasterx said:
READ THE POST DATES, THE THREAD IS 6 MONTHS OLD.

I knew the thread is about 6 months old. The conversion included a solution by cutting the bracket. I am having a similar problem and I am wondering what the best way is to cut the metal bracket.
a c 107 U Graphics card
October 11, 2009 2:53:42 AM

jjsteelerspro94 said:
What would be the ideal way for him to cut the bracket?

Dremel(careful it cuts fast) or fine tooth hacksaw blade

Try to remove the L part forst and see if it fits like that. Remove it from the card first so you do not damage the card.

I cut all kinds of things with a hacksaw blade :) 
June 6, 2010 11:45:33 PM

ComServant said:
I am entirely new to anything regarding hardware, and this is the first time I've tried to upgrade my PC's graphic card. I joined this forum about a week and a half ago, soliciting advice on what card to buy. I ordered one of the cards suggested, and it arrived this morning; but it doesn't seem to fit my computer.

I have Dell Dimension E521, and I purchased a Radeon HD 4670 512MB. When I opened my case, and removed my old card, I noticed that the new card requires more room than the old did, and needs two slots in the case to fit. (One videocard... uh... plug-thingy, but two opening on the back of the case) See for yourself.


Old card:
]http://img17.imageshack.us/img17/1884/videocard002.th.jpg ]http://img25.imageshack.us/img25/6673/videocard003.th.jpg


New card:
]http://img25.imageshack.us/img25/3466/videocard004.th.jpg ]http://img4.imageshack.us/img4/4985/videocard005.th.jpg

Notice the metal cap on the end of the new card is twice as wide as the old card?


Here's where I need to stick it in: (Picture from outside of the case)
]http://img17.imageshack.us/img17/5659/videocard006.th.jpg

(Pictures from inside the case)
]http://img25.imageshack.us/img25/7039/videocard007.th.jpg ]http://img4.imageshack.us/img4/1640/videocard009.th.jpg


It just doesn't fit.

]http://img4.imageshack.us/img4/1333/videocard008.jpg


This is the first time I ever tried to install a videocard. Is there some obvious and simple thing I'm supposed to do? Do I just return the card and try a different manufacturer of the same card (a Radeon HD 4670 but not from Sapphire)? Do I get a different card entirely? And if so, which?

I appreciate you taking your time to help me; I can't figure it on my own.

it needs to be a pci card i got the same card here and an e521 dell computer
June 6, 2010 11:48:38 PM

lol they lag on video isues
!