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Newby needs help bad!

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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December 30, 2009 7:37:37 PM

We bought a Dell Studio Slim 540s advertised as a "gaming puter. It won't play hardly anything at all and now I found out my chipsset only rates a 3.4 for gaming and memory for gaming at 3.8 or 1300 MB. My support from Dell ran out before I knew I had a problem. Can anyone tell me what video cards would work to play FARCRY 2 and some of the better newer games.

I have 3 Gig Ram with 32 bit operating system saying it is 64 bit capable. It has an Intel G45/G43 Express Chip set now. My windows evaluation says my processor speed/sec, memory, and disk data rate of transfer rates at 5.9. Can anyone help me out?

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a c 192 U Graphics card
a b 4 Gaming
December 30, 2009 7:51:16 PM

What video card, if any, do you have? What PSU do you have? To answer the last question, there should be a label on the side of it. Dell PSUs are better than cheap generics, but they are typically sized for the machine the way it was sold, with minimal or no headroom for upgrades.
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a b U Graphics card
December 30, 2009 8:22:10 PM

riffsrafft said:
We bought a Dell Studio Slim 540s advertised as a "gaming puter.

:o  Dell has never advertised thier SFF machine's as "gamers", they reserve that for thier most expensive machines.
With a 250 watt psu and an SFF case your video card choices are few, some have said that the low profile 9600 GT will work, but it's more card than I would trust the 250 with.
You can upgrade the psu, depending on your location you can get upto a 450 watt TFX unit, here in the US 300 watts is as large as I've seen.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
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December 30, 2009 11:13:29 PM

With your Dell Studio, its using a small computer case so it can't handle standard sized Power supplies. More than likely your smaller power supply is rated around 250 and thats great for office and web browsing but graphics cards are going to need more wattage. Since you are basically screwed to begin with because of your small case, if u want to game, i would just recommend buying a new case that comes with a power supply. on tigerdirect they have some lower priced mid-tower cases starting at around 40bucks. and that comes with a Power supply ( 300w ). then you would have no problem running a low usage Graphics card. for gaming id recommend using around 400 watts so you dont need to think about wattage. heres a link to tigerdirect and it has some lower priced computer cases
http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/category/catego...|c:1843|&Sort=4
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a c 192 U Graphics card
a b 4 Gaming
December 30, 2009 11:38:44 PM

With the exception of Antec (whose cases sometimes include an Earthwatts PSU), the PSUs that come in cases are the cheap, crappy system-killers that are likely not good for more than 75% of their rating.
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December 31, 2009 5:24:24 AM

true, you usually do not want to stick with the PSU that comes with the case. i ditched mine as soon as i bought the case and bought a 850w thermaltake. if you wana take a chance and save money riffsrafft you can stick with the PSU that comes with your case. but gaming isnt cheap and you get what you put into it.
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December 31, 2009 6:03:54 AM

you can buy 5.25 power supply fits in a free hard drive bay slot can use it to power just video card or whole system
http://www.ewiz.com/query.php?categry=0&s=5.25+power+su...
http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=5.25+power+supply&...
Mfr Part Number: EP-450CD UNI Features: 5.25" hard drive bay size power booster Extra 450W power on top of current power supply 3x high speed fans optimize thermal release Support EPS 12V 8pin and 4pin Upto 38A Support PCI-E 8pin and 6pin $ 51 or 58.00 free shipping
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December 31, 2009 7:25:18 AM

a bay slot PSu is a good idea for your needs, i had it in mind but i culdnt remember the name. just make sure the card you buy will fit into your Dell studio. those things are crammed and are a heating disaster waiting to happen if u buy a decent card
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December 31, 2009 8:44:08 AM

I started out earlier this year w/ the exact same dilemma. My base platform was an Acer X1200 multimedia platform (Home Theater). Using budget parts I was able to raise my base score from 3.3 to 5.4 with the CPU being the lowest score.

However, I did have to double the original price of purchase $340...

I ended up w/ a new CPU, Heatsink and Fan, Memory (RAM), Case, and Power Supply.

I very much doubt w/ your current case and power supply your computer is even capable of supporting a video card.

Sorry about your luck, hopefully you can return your computer before it's too late.
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a b U Graphics card
December 31, 2009 10:47:32 AM

marco324 said:
you can buy 5.25 power supply fits in a free hard drive bay slot can use it to power just video card or whole system
http://www.ewiz.com/query.php?categry=0&s=5.25+power+su...
http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=5.25+power+supply&...
Mfr Part Number: EP-450CD UNI Features: 5.25" hard drive bay size power booster Extra 450W power on top of current power supply 3x high speed fans optimize thermal release Support EPS 12V 8pin and 4pin Upto 38A Support PCI-E 8pin and 6pin $ 51 or 58.00 free shipping

Nice idea but his system is a "slim line", it only has a single 5.25" drive bay.
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January 10, 2010 2:21:20 PM

Thank you for taking the time to respond and I truly will regard your advise. Rather than upgrade my Slimline Dell, I have decided to swap puters with my wife and try to upgrade her's to see if it will work before I attempt to build my own from scratch. However I do want to learn enough now to build my own someday soon.

It is a Lenovo 3000 H230 with an Intel Pentium Dual Core Processor E5300 with 4 Gig DDR3, a 320 Gig Sata II drive, the graphics is an intel GMA X4500 (DX10) with Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit.

It only has a 280 watt power system so I need to replace that also.

In one of the forums, someone wrote:

"However, if you are only upgrading your existing video card it becomes important to select the interface based on the interface sported by your motherboard as installation of your new video card becomes impossible without matching interfaces. "
How do I know if a new vidow card matches ok with what is in my machine?
How do I tell what card will work with what I have and what would be the best card to buy for the money say up to $300?

What power system would you replace it with?

I can't thank everyone enough for all their help and advise and I am taking it slow this time so I don't screw up like I did with buying my Dell.

I am seriously trying to read and learn enough to put a total new build together in the near future but want to learn more now to be safe!
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a c 125 U Graphics card
January 10, 2010 2:48:18 PM

Woah riffsrafft you have the common sense to read up and do some research first, Thats rare (or so it seems).

I think that most (if not all) here at Toms would agree that building your own PC is a more cost effective way of getting a PC thats right for you. As long as your willing to put in the time to understand the dangers and whats needed you'll come out with a good quality PC.
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