Alright, so I've been playing some older games on my pc lately and now I want to see if I can get my computer to play some of the new titles. I know I have an older, base, business computer, but I'm not looking to play the newest Doom with all the bells and whistles on.
Here's what I've got:
-Dell Optiplex 745 Desktop -all stock
-Intel Core 2 duo w/ I believe 1.8ghz
-1 gb of RAM
-stock crap graphics card
My main goal is to see what anybody might recommend as a decent, relatively inexpensive graphics card that would be compatible with my computer. I've done some Googling, and heard that ATI HD2400 Pro works, as well as some others, but I don't want to buy something that doesn't work or fit. I guess the computer wattage is low (250 w?) so this would probably come into play. This thread, http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/267778-33-optiplex-hi..., mentioned a 4770, but I don't think it fits. Its also occured to me that I may need to upgrade the memory, so is this http://cgi.ebay.com/1GB-Dell-OptiPlex-745-Desktop-Memor... my only option, do they have to be Dell brand? Also, is Ebay the best place to find these sorts of products?
I doubt I'll be spending too much $ or upgrading the processor, just want to see if I can maybe play age of empires iii or some similar games. I think Medieval ii T.W. would be out of its reach...
-So, possible video card and ram upgrades and how to go about it (where to get them cheaply)
Thanks for the response. It's the regular desktop, not the mini-tower or small form. So I guess I have to get a low profile card then. Does anybody know of any other good cards, or whether there is a card power limit for my computer (watts.)
And does anybody have any recommendations for RAM upgrades? I'm looking for relatively inexpensive here.
The "desktop" version has a 280W PSU, which isn't too bad. I say get a Radeon 5570. It's low profile and faster than the low profile 4650 (especially the one with DDR2). As for the 2400 Pro you originally mentioned, stay far away from that as it's crap for games. With a 5570 you should be able to run more modern games, though demanding games will have to be run with lower details. I'm guessing you have a Core 2 Duo E6300 or Core 2 Duo E6320. If you upgraded to a good board and CPU cooler you could certainly get a 40-60% overclock out of it, which would be a huge boost. By that time though it may make more sense to build a new system.
Just go with the HD4650 if you only have $50 to spend.
As for the ram your computer uses DDR2 but I have heard Dells can be picky about what exact ram will work. You would probably be better off asking on the Dell message board or something.