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Need help picking a video card

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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May 13, 2009 8:55:03 PM

Hi

Just today i bought the radeon 4770 which was actually suggested to me by somebody on this forum. A great card, I'm sure, but I was very disappointed that it just BARELY did not fit into my system. My case was long and wide enough, but the problem was that the end of the card reached the back of my PC before the PCI E connectors lined up correctly with the PCI E slot. (needed about a half inch more) I was pretty stumped by this, as I thought the length between the PCI E slot and the back of the computer should be standard on all computers.

So, how can I determine if a card will fit? Obviously it doesn't necessarily have to be shorter than the HD 4770...but that might help.

I saw on a consumer review of my PC that somebody upgraded it to a 9800GT, but is there any other way to know if this card will work for sure? I say this because i also saw somebody write that they upgraded the same PC to a 9800GTX, which is quite a bit longer than the 4770...so i have a hard time believing that.

This is my system atm:

Gateway DX 4200 09
Vista 64 bit
AMD Phenom X4 9100e / 1.8 GHz (a bit slow, i know)
4GB ram
ATI Radeon HD 3200 Graphics
550W BFG power supply (upgraded from 330W stock PSU)

Dimensions (System) 16.34" (H) x 7.09" (W) x 17.32" (D) or 415mm (H) x 180mm (W) x 440mm (D)

So if anybody can suggest a good low profile card that will fit, I will greatly appreciate it. Price-wise I am willing to pay up to $150.

Thanks

More about : picking video card

a b U Graphics card
May 13, 2009 9:10:28 PM

You should not need a low profile graphic card for the Gateway DX 4200 09. The HD4770 should have fit. Could it possibly be that you were trying to place it in another slot?
a b U Graphics card
May 13, 2009 9:13:19 PM

Maybe could you post a picture? That might help some. Otherwise, I think that length is standardized.
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a b U Graphics card
May 13, 2009 9:15:23 PM

Oh, and how close was the fit? I once got a defective card where the back plate was bent slightly so it wouldn't fit (once I did get it in, it turned out the card had a short in it anyway, so I guess someone dropped it at the factory).
May 13, 2009 9:16:14 PM

I thought the same too. It is quite a big case.
Here is an image of the inside.




I took out the small 56K modem card, which you can see in the very bottom slot, in order to make room for the fan of the 4770 and it barely fit in that direction. I then tried to put the card in the 2nd slot from the bottom, but it was simply too close to the back of the case. Am i just not seeing something? Is this the correct slot? This is my first time installing a part into my pc (if you dont count the PSu upgarde), so its certainly possible i overlooked something really simple...and i need all the help i can get :o 
May 13, 2009 9:18:56 PM

PS...the fit was about 1/2-1 inch off....so not a lot but not a little either.
a b U Graphics card
May 13, 2009 9:26:01 PM

The black socket at the top is the one you want, not the 2 white ones. The black one has a little toggle at the end to hold your card in.
May 13, 2009 9:27:12 PM

wow. I can't believe i missed that. I thought that was an AGP slot. Thanks for your help, i'll open it up and try again right now!
a b U Graphics card
May 13, 2009 9:35:02 PM

Good luck. The HD4770 also needs a 6 pin PCIe power plug from your power supply to operate, make sure you have it plugged in. If you're using the stock power supply you'll need an adapter of some type. Some card makers are sending a single molex (4 rather large pins) to a 6 pin PCIe adapter.
May 13, 2009 9:57:17 PM

Yep, the BFG PSU i have had a connector which worked. No adapter needed. Thanks so much for the help, it was a perfect fit :D 
!