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Upgrade video card from 8600 gt

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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September 15, 2010 8:34:27 PM

I have an old (around 2 years old) vostro 400 mini tower I got as a present, and I want to upgrade the video card. I opened it up and I have a GF 8600 GT. I'm not sure about the PSU... recently I upgraded 2GB ram to 4GB. I'm pretty the PC itself didn't cost more than $1000. Besides that I'm not entirely sure, sorry I'm just a beginner when it comes to this.

I have my eyes on the GF 9800 GTX, is it a good choice? I'm not looking for the newest card, just a decent upgrade from to 8600 gt.
a c 1402 U Graphics card
September 15, 2010 8:43:58 PM

9800GT, GTX, GTX+ and GTS250 are all a good upgrade from 8600GT. What you have to make sure is that you have a PSU that has min 24 amps on the combined +12 volt rails
Std PSU in Vostro 400 is 300 amps which is to low for those cards but it will accept a normal ATX PSU like this one http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
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September 15, 2010 8:54:53 PM

I think you need to check if the card will fit just as importantly. Those cases for dells, and hp's etc. can be pretty small and not made to be upgraded. Also, the 9xxx series tends to be longer than the 8xxx series and even those that came after it. I don't recommend you upgrade to one of those cards based on price, either, because the newer cards are out now and the 9xxx hasn't dropped enough imo to justify buying what is already aging technology.

See if a GTX 450 can fit in your case, and I would imagine that it uses less energy than a 9800 (which I have and can tell you it's huge and uses lots of energy).
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a c 1402 U Graphics card
September 15, 2010 8:58:22 PM

It is a ATX Mini Tower and one of the Dell upgrade options was 8800GT=9800GT (with a bigger PSU though)
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September 15, 2010 9:17:54 PM

Thank you very much for the prompt response, I've never seen such speed!

I think the PSU is indeed a 300 Watt DC, but I'll open it up again this night to check for sure. I do think it could be upgraded (at that time) to a 8800 gt, but yeah it's a mini tower so might be a bit on the small size of things. It seems I need to get a new PSU one way or another; any recommendations?

So a GTX 450 is a newer model than the 9800?

Thank you so much for your help guys, I really appreciate it.
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a c 559 U Graphics card
September 15, 2010 9:29:51 PM

If that Dell Vostro 400 mini-tower came with the Quad core (Q6600) CPU that was offered at that time then it would have a 350 Watt power supply installed. The non-Quad core versions came with a 300 Watt power supply.

One of the two hard drive bays might interfere with the graphics card if the graphics card is long.
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a b U Graphics card
September 15, 2010 9:52:52 PM

Gwendolyn said:
Thank you very much for the prompt response, I've never seen such speed!

I think the PSU is indeed a 300 Watt DC, but I'll open it up again this night to check for sure. I do think it could be upgraded (at that time) to a 8800 gt, but yeah it's a mini tower so might be a bit on the small size of things. It seems I need to get a new PSU one way or another; any recommendations?

So a GTX 450 is a newer model than the 9800?

Thank you so much for your help guys, I really appreciate it.



This is a nice PSU and will be plenty for any of the recommended Video cards, and its modular. [:bohleyk:1]

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
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September 16, 2010 3:46:33 PM

Erm so yeah I think I got myself a 9800 gtx on the way. It was from one of my brother's friends, I hope it fits. I'll get a PSU and try it out when everything arrives and keep you guys up to date. Thank you for the help, it's my first time modding my pc, something I wanted to do for a long time.

d1rtyju1c3 said:
This is a nice PSU and will be plenty for any of the recommended Video cards, and its modular. [:bohleyk:1]

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Thank you very much for the recommendation, I didn't see that one ^^
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September 29, 2010 1:22:56 AM

d1rtyju1c3 said:
This is a nice PSU and will be plenty for any of the recommended Video cards, and its modular. [:bohleyk:1]

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


So due to some discrepancies IRL I've finally ordered this PSU. I'm kinda queasy since I don't wanna mess up my pc... I'll check with you guys once I get it going, I hope to receive your help again if I screw up.
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a b U Graphics card
September 29, 2010 1:51:11 AM

Good luck let us know how it goes.
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October 1, 2010 5:45:06 AM

Ok guys I managed to successfully install the PSU :D  (thank you for the recommendations)



but I got another problem now, the video card is too long! this two cables are in the way of the card:



I'm very sad now :(  in the end, should I just get another one in a store and return the GTX9800 to my bro? or is there some miraculous way to work things out so the new video card fits?
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a c 272 U Graphics card
October 1, 2010 5:53:15 AM

Have you tried putting the card in or are you just assuming it won't fit?
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October 1, 2010 5:57:12 AM

I tried, I even tried strategically placing around the video card, but only when I take out those two cables the card fits.
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a c 272 U Graphics card
October 1, 2010 6:01:32 AM

Then move the blue lead to the SATA port below and change the red one for a right angled one.
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October 1, 2010 6:04:43 AM

I tried doing that thing with the blue one, but it's too short D: as for the red one, I think I should buy it since it's the only one I have; yeah tomorrow I'll buy a longer blue one too.
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a b U Graphics card
October 1, 2010 12:45:04 PM

Dont return the 9800. You will be disappointed if you do. Buy what you need it will fit.
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October 1, 2010 6:11:19 PM

d1rtyju1c3 said:
Dont return the 9800. You will be disappointed if you do. Buy what you need it will fit.

So should I just buy some longer right angled cables like mousemonkey suggested? yeah you're right I rather keep it since it was so cheap, I'll try to get those cables today.
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a b U Graphics card
October 1, 2010 6:35:48 PM

Yes get the cables mousemonkey recommended.
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October 2, 2010 1:01:26 AM

Hey guys so I got some mini SATA port cables that solved the size problem, but now I have another one. When I take off my old card and put the new one and turn on the PC, the screen doesn't turn on (it looks like it's disconnected or not recognized) but windows starts up like usual. I tried it a couple of times and uninstalled my old nvidia drivers but nothing is working.
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a b U Graphics card
October 2, 2010 1:05:33 AM

Did you connect the 6-pin power connector to it?
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October 2, 2010 1:09:01 AM

Yeah I tried connecting it to either one (it has two) but it doesn't work. I thought I messed up the cables or sth but everything is working ok with the old card.
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a b U Graphics card
October 2, 2010 1:14:28 AM

You have to use 2 6-pin connectors.
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a c 559 U Graphics card
October 2, 2010 1:16:40 AM

Have you downloaded and installed the latest nVIDIA GeForce driver from nVIDIA's website?
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October 2, 2010 1:16:47 AM

I'm sorry, I don't understand. Are you talking about the cable to connect the monitor to the card, or about a connector inside the PC?
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October 2, 2010 1:17:45 AM

ko888 said:
Have you downloaded and installed the latest nVIDIA GeForce driver from nVIDIA's website?

It was my understanding from the manual that the driver was supposed to get installed after placing the new card, but I could most probably be wrong if it's not that way.
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a b U Graphics card
October 2, 2010 1:22:07 AM

I am talking about the connection on the card there should be 2 6-pin connectors on the side of the card for power the both need to be connected to 2 6-pin connectors from the PSU.
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a b U Graphics card
October 2, 2010 1:22:44 AM

And yes the drivers are installed after the video card is installed.
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a c 559 U Graphics card
October 2, 2010 1:23:01 AM

There is a 6-pin x2 Supplementary Power Connector on the end (where the fan is located) of the video card. That connector needs to be connected to the power supply. There should be a power connector on that new power supply you've had installed.
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October 2, 2010 6:13:39 AM

ko888 said:
There is a 6-pin x2 Supplementary Power Connector on the end (where the fan is located) of the video card. That connector needs to be connected to the power supply. There should be a power connector on that new power supply you've had installed.

I feel stupid since at the beginning I thought I wasn't supposed to do anything with it -_-U So I connected the 6-pin, and everything is working peachy keen now! Thank you so much guys, you've been so helpful and patient with all my incessant questions; I feel a little more confident about modding my PC from now on. Thank you so much, you're all so awesome ^^
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a b U Graphics card
October 2, 2010 6:24:11 AM

No problem. [:bohleyk:1]
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!