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Need help on how to install pny geforce 9800 gtx into computer

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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March 24, 2010 4:07:00 AM

Hello everyone,

I need help installing a GeForce 9800 GTX+ into my computer, this is my first time doing this, but I think I can do it as long as I get step by step instructions. I'm not a total beginner, I know enough computer lingo and stuff, but not so much as a tech. I want help because I don't want to mess up my computer and the graphics card just in case I bought the wrong one. My current computer specs are as follows:

-Dell XPS DXPO51 - Dell Dimension XPS 400
-Pentium D Processor 820 with Dual Core Technology (2.80 GHz, 800 FSB)
-Genuine Windows XP Media Center Edition 2005 Service Pack 3
-Memory 2GB Dual Channel DDR2 SDRAM at 533MHz- 2DIMMs
-Monitors 19 inch E196FP Analog Flat Panel
-Video Cards 256MB nVidia GeForce 7300LE TurboCache
-Hard Drives 160GB Serial ATA 3Gb/s Hard Drive (7200RPM) w/ 8MB cache

The minimum requirements for installation of the GeForce 9800 GTX+ are as follows:

I'm pretty sure I meet this requirement - PCI express or PCI express 2.0 compliant motherboard with one dual-width x16 graphics slot
I'm pretty sure I meet this requirement - One 6-pin PCI express supplementary power connector
I'm pretty sure I meet this requirement -100 MB available hard disk space
I'm pretty sure I meet this requirement - 512 MB system memory

NOT SURE - a minimum 450W or greater system power supply (with a minimum 12V current rating of 24A)
NOT SURE - Intel Pentium 4, AMD Athlon XP class processor or higher
NOT SURE - DVI or VGA compatible monitor

Can someone give me step by step instructions on how to install this graphics card into my system? I know how to open the computer case and locating the PCI express slot and stuff... I just want specifics like which parts to connect and things like that. But before that I have a some questions I would like answered so that I don't do anything to harm my computer. My questions are:

1) Does my computer meet the minimum requirements? Is there anything in the minimum requirements that my computer does not meet?
2) Is Pentium D processor 820 with Dual Core Technology better than Intel Pentium 4?
3) How do I know if my monitor is DVI or VGA compatible?
4) In the instructions to install the PNY GeForce graphics card it says,"If you purchased a PNY GeForce PCI graphics card and if you have on-board (built-in) graphics, enter the system's BIOS setup and look for a setting called "Primary Display Adapter" or something similar. Set this to "PCI"." Should I follow these instructions? I really don't want to change any BIOS settings unless it is absolutely necessary and correct.
5) Am I going to need to install an extra fan so that my computer does not overheat and short circuit? The geforce 9800 gtx+ has a fan attached to the graphics card, but I read somewhere that I might need another extra fan installed in the case on top of the one that came with the system. If so, can you recommend which fan exactly with a link to a site that I can purchase the fan.
6) Do I need to remove the old graphics card the 256MB nVidia GeForce 7300LE TurboCache? Do I put the GeForce 9800 into the slot where the 256MB nVidia GeForce 7300LE TurboCache was?

Honestly, I bought this graphics card because I want to play Starcraft 2 Beta, I tried playing with my specs right now and even on the lowest settings, it was too slow and unplayable which made the experience of playing dreadful. So I recently purchased this graphics card because it was on the recommended graphics card hierarchy chart and it wasn't the most expensive but rather reasonably priced one and there were good reviews for it. I also purchased 1GB more RAM which I know how to install since its relatively easy. Are these purchases to upgrade my current system worth it? Will I be able to play Starcraft 2 Beta with higher settings after I correctly install these new components? Any help would be greatly appreciated. Also, when answering the above questions could you please refer to the question you will be answering if you can't help answering it all since this is a long post. Thank you all in advance.
a b U Graphics card
March 24, 2010 5:28:33 AM


DO NOT PLUG IN THE GRAPHICS CARD YET. Look at "1."

1. Your power supply is a 375w one. The recommended PSU is 450w.. Luckily the Dell XPS 400 uses standard ATX power supply. Look at bottom for suggestions on the power supply.

2. A Pentium D= a Pentium 4 dual core. Yes it is better then a single core pentium 4.

3. The dell E196FP has a VGA connector. The blue colored connection in the back.

4. Your bios will do this automatically for you.

5. How many case fans does your computer have? I would recommend at least one 80mm intake (or larger size), and at least one 80mm or 120mm exhaust. Intake fans are often found= front of computer, or on the side panel. Exhaust fans=usually at the top of the case, or the back of the case above your motherboard's connectors in the back)

6. Yes that is where your new graphics card will go. Keep in mind your motherboard uses the older PCI Express slot, so there will be some lowered performance compared to a PCI express 2.0 slot.


Power supply MINIMUM suggestion: $50.99 shipped from Newegg.com
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
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March 24, 2010 5:43:41 AM

Thanks so much for the help. I will buy the new power supply first. I have one intake fan that is over the Pentium D processor in the front and one exhaust fan at the top of the case where the power supply is. Do you know how much of a lowered performance since my motherboard uses the older PCI Express slot? All I really want to know is can I play Starcraft 2 Beta without problems on better than low quality settings after I install the new power supply, GeForce 9800 GTX+ graphics card and Kingston ValueRAM 1GB 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 533 (PC2 4200) Desktop Memory Model KVR533D2N4/1G? Also is this RAM that I bought compatible? Do I just insert this RAM into one of the SD slots? Also if there is a significance in lowered performance, what measures can I take to improve the performance?
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Related resources
March 24, 2010 5:51:32 AM

What about this power supply?

I'm just worried because you said I need 450W and the one you suggested was 400W and there is only like $10 difference so I might as well opt for the 450W... What do you think?

CORSAIR CMPSU-450VX 450W ATX12V V2.2 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC Compatible with Core i7 Power Supply - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
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a b U Graphics card
March 24, 2010 5:40:32 PM

The 400w I recommended is more then fine. Whenever you deal with really high quality power supplies like seasonic, or corsair you can take off 50w+ - (sometimes up to 100w) off the recommended wattage. This is because graphics card manufacturers KNOW people will skimp out on their power supplies, so they purposefully give the recommendation a little boost. Cheap power supplies often do not meet their specifications, so if you were to buy a 450w you may really only be getting 300w~, that is being a bare minimum requirement for a 9800 GTX. And I mean bare minimum.
Whenever you deal with high quality power supplies, you get what you pay for. A high quality 400w power supply performs and outputs 400w of power ( or at least very near) in some cases can outperform the specification. For example the Corsair 400w, could probably do a 420w load for a few weeks before crashing. Something a cheap power supply could do but crash in 1 milisecond and probably cause a fire.
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March 24, 2010 7:20:22 PM

Wow, thanks so much, you are very helpful. I will buy the one you suggested since I didn't know that much about power supplies. Also, thank you again for your quick response. So if I install this power supply and the graphics card, would I be able to play Starcraft 2 Beta without problems on higher than low settings?
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a b U Graphics card
March 24, 2010 7:36:50 PM

The only other thing to worry about is that some models of 9800 are pretty long and may not fit into a smaller case. Have you opened up the computer and checked that there is enough room to plug the card in without hitting a hard drive or the hard drive rails?

The GTS250 is a newer model of the 9800 GTX+ that is smaller and uses less power. You might look at that if the one you have is too long.
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a b U Graphics card
March 24, 2010 9:07:37 PM

notty22 said:
AMD did a promotion to show people installing a video card is 'easy'.
They do it to install confidence in people, and get them to upgrade ! :) 
http://blogs.amd.com/how-to/2010/01/13/how-to-install-a...
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O9x097QRXeA
then there is a comedic video of a monkey installing a card/drivers as well. Its funny.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1DPQW0e9ufM


Those videos crack me up.

dndhatcher said:
The only other thing to worry about is that some models of 9800 are pretty long and may not fit into a smaller case. Have you opened up the computer and checked that there is enough room to plug the card in without hitting a hard drive or the hard drive rails?

The GTS250 is a newer model of the 9800 GTX+ that is smaller and uses less power. You might look at that if the one you have is too long.


It is also slightly more expensive, to a bit more expensive. The 9800 GTX+ is fine for now. He isn't gaming at very high resolutions anyways.
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a b U Graphics card
March 24, 2010 9:10:09 PM

AsAnAtheist said:
It is also slightly more expensive, to a bit more expensive. The 9800 GTX+ is fine for now. He isn't gaming at very high resolutions anyways.
If the 9800 GTX+ is too long to fit, the 250 will give the same performance in a shorter graphics card that should fit. If the 9800 GTX+ fits it will be a fine graphics card. I have one myself and am satisfied with it at 1680x1050 resolution.
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a c 1410 U Graphics card
March 24, 2010 9:16:09 PM

AsAnAtheist said:
DO NOT PLUG IN THE GRAPHICS CARD YET. Look at "1."

1. Your power supply is a 375w one. The recommended PSU is 450w.. Luckily the Dell XPS 400 uses standard ATX power supply. Look at bottom for suggestions on the power supply.

2. A Pentium D= a Pentium 4 dual core. Yes it is better then a single core pentium 4.

3. The dell E196FP has a VGA connector. The blue colored connection in the back.

4. Your bios will do this automatically for you.

5. How many case fans does your computer have? I would recommend at least one 80mm intake (or larger size), and at least one 80mm or 120mm exhaust. Intake fans are often found= front of computer, or on the side panel. Exhaust fans=usually at the top of the case, or the back of the case above your motherboard's connectors in the back)

6. Yes that is where your new graphics card will go. Keep in mind your motherboard uses the older PCI Express slot, so there will be some lowered performance compared to a PCI express 2.0 slot.


Power supply MINIMUM suggestion: $50.99 shipped from Newegg.com
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

The Dell 375watt power supply offered in their XPS computers is an underrated quality PSU equal to many lesser 450watt PSU´s. The top video card sold in those systems with that same PSU was 8800GTX which pulled more power than a 9800GTX+
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a b U Graphics card
March 25, 2010 1:21:16 AM

rolli59 said:
The Dell 375watt power supply offered in their XPS computers is an underrated quality PSU equal to many lesser 450watt PSU´s. The top video card sold in those systems with that same PSU was 8800GTX which pulled more power than a 9800GTX+


That is incredibly incorrect. The XPS 400 never shipped with a 8800GTX. The power supply on that Dell quite frankly an over rated power supply to say the least.
This is the true options available for the XPS 400.
http://www.dell.com/us/en/dfb/desktops/xps_400/pd.aspx?...

Also here's a system that came with a 8800 GTX on a XPS 410 on Tomshardware. It is unclear who installed the 8800 GTX, but it is unlikely that it was dell as a XPS 410 spec sheet does not list the 8800 GTX as an option..
Here's what happened:
http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/53061-2-dell-geforce-...

Also there is enough space on the XPS 400 for long video cards, 10" maybe a bit longer. OP check it out...
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a c 1410 U Graphics card
March 25, 2010 1:41:52 AM

AsAnAtheist said:
That is incredibly incorrect. The XPS 400 never shipped with a 8800GTX. The power supply on that Dell quite frankly an over rated power supply to say the least.
This is the true options available for the XPS 400.
http://www.dell.com/us/en/dfb/desktops/xps_400/pd.aspx?...

Also here's a system that came with a 8800 GTX on a XPS 410 on Tomshardware. It is unclear who installed the 8800 GTX, but it is unlikely that it was dell as a XPS 410 spec sheet does not list the 8800 GTX as an option..
Here's what happened:
http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/53061-2-dell-geforce-...

Also there is enough space on the XPS 400 for long video cards, 10" maybe a bit longer. OP check it out...

I was not referring to the xps400 specifically but xps systems with that same PSU. I did read the post you linked too to the end, did you?
The XPS 410 was offered from Dell with 375watt PSU and 8800GTX.
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a b U Graphics card
March 25, 2010 2:11:22 AM

rolli59 said:
I was not referring to the xps400 specifically but xps systems with that same PSU. I did read the post you linked too to the end, did you?
The XPS 410 was offered from Dell with 375watt PSU and 8800GTX.


Very interesting. Do you mind posting links on reviews of the XPS 410. Everywhere I go except for that particular post I saw on the link states the Dell power supply is insufficient for a 8800 GTX, and Dell had problems with XPS 410 shipped with the 8800 GTX with power supply failures.. I cannot confirm exact cases, articles or links.

In all honesty I doubt it's any good.
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March 25, 2010 2:28:45 AM

Thank you all for your responses, I just ordered the power supply that AsAnAtheist recommended. After I install that and then my graphics card, would I be able to play Starcraft 2 Beta without any problems on higher than the lowest settings?
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a b U Graphics card
March 25, 2010 3:12:06 AM

kikatron said:
Thank you all for your responses, I just ordered the power supply that AsAnAtheist recommended. After I install that and then my graphics card, would I be able to play Starcraft 2 Beta without any problems on higher than the lowest settings?


Yeah definitely will be able to.
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March 25, 2010 3:15:52 AM

Thanks again, your the best.
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a b U Graphics card
March 25, 2010 3:27:16 AM

Actually, if that 9800GTX is new, an option is to return it and get a 5670. Almost the same performance, a bit cheaper, uses less power, runs cooler and you'll easily be able to run it on a 375watt, whether it's underrated, overrated or whatnot...
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a b U Graphics card
March 25, 2010 3:50:06 AM

Bluescreendeath said:
Actually, if that 9800GTX is new, an option is to return it and get a 5670. Almost the same performance, a bit cheaper, uses less power, runs cooler and you'll easily be able to run it on a 375watt, whether it's underrated, overrated or whatnot...


The HD 5670 doesn't perform nearly the same as a 9800 GTX... A HD 5670 is closer to 9800 GT (9800 GT performing better then the HD 5670 most of the times) The HD 5670 doesn't come near the HD 5750 which is a performer of an HD 4850, which is a performer of an 9800 GTX.

9800 GTX> HD 5670 hands down.
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March 26, 2010 10:37:24 PM

If I wanted to buy a case fan, like 2x 80mm ones for exhaust which would you recommend? how do I know if that fan is compatible with my system?
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a b U Graphics card
March 26, 2010 10:52:08 PM

Case fans are pretty much case fans, other than noise and airflow. If you get case fans with 4pin molex connectors they will plug into the 4pin molex power supply cables. Size is the biggest concern as they come in 80mm, 92mm and 120mm standard.
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