My son has been using my old Dell Dimension 8300 computer, mostly to play World of Warcraft with my father every week. Yesterday, after weeks of odd pixel problems, the graphics card finally gave up the ghost (we can still get a very garbled screen with misspelled words on it, but nothing else).
I opened the case and didn't see anything obviously fried. The fan still seems to be running so I don't think the card overheated (not sure if that video card was intended to play with modern WoW though). Not 100% sure it was the card but it seems the most logical possibility.
I can't seem to pin down exactly what graphics card is in this machine, so it's a little difficult to go searching for a replacement. Investigating Dell's service tag reveals a "256MB, R360 Dimension, Shock" listed as the graphics card. I'm having a hard time locating this specific type of card for some reason.
Also wondering, based on system specs, what would be the best upgrade I could get to this machine without having to replace anything else? Would it be worth upgrading, say, the power supply in order to get a better graphics card upgrade?
Or, is it just time to put this old box out to pasture and buy my son a new low-end computer so he can do the usual kid stuff and play WoW with his grandfather?
If anyone here would like to do a good deed for the day and give me some advice on this, much thanks in advance!
If there's any more information I can provide that would help, please let me know. At this point I'm tempted to try to just buy the original graphics card, but I'm not even sure what that is and I'm sure an upgrade must be possible even if it's to another card that is also outmoded.
In short, what would work on this system that would let it handle WoW duty for my son? That's the most intense thing it'd be called on to do.
I've done a little research on my own, and found recommendations for the geforce 7600GS 512 MB card (if I have a 300W power supply) and the geforce 7600GT 256 MB card (if I have a 250W power supply). Apparently the Dell Dimension 8300 came with either sort of power supply, and once again I am a bit stumped -- when I crack open the case I can see the power supply but I can't figure out if it is 300W or 250W. I do see a green dot sticker, if that helps. Any advice?
I know I could just buy the 250W card but I'd rather upgrade as much as I can.