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Question about graphics card compatibility

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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October 18, 2010 3:07:00 AM

Hey all, I have a really easy question, at least for people that know computers. I recently acquired this older computer (A dell optiplex gx270 - here are the specs : http://support.dell.com/support/edocs/systems/opgx270/e... )

The computer runs great, and I would love to get a new graphics card for it. I only need a 256 MB card with vertex shading, nothing fancy, but I do not want to buy a card that would be incompatible with my computer. So my question is this: what am I looking for in terms of compatibility issues? I saw something about pins... and something else about power supply... and I really do not want to get a card that wont work.

Thanks everyone for reading, and any help would be appreciated!
a b U Graphics card
October 18, 2010 3:25:08 AM

Your system, according to the Dell site, supports the AGP graphics connection. This is pretty old and outdated to be really honest. But you can still find a couple AGP cards out there.

Realistically, what's left of the AGP type graphics cards will more than likely have 512MB of RAM.

PNY Geforce 9200 512MB RAM AGP ($41)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

I'm not certain as to the power supply your PC has. The Dell site shows it could be 160W, 210W, or 250W depending on which version of the PC it is.
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October 18, 2010 3:54:30 AM

I definitely know that my computer is outdated. My old laptop broke, and I didn't really have the money for a new computer, so I settled for this free one. Seeing as it is outdated, I can only go so far before it just would not be worth it.

I checked the side panel on my computer, and looked around for anything that would tell me what my power supply would be,and I did not really find anything.

In any event, thank you very much for your help. I guess that answers that question; I just was not sure if I needed to watch out for sizes or certain cables, or some other compatibility issue.
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a c 158 U Graphics card
October 18, 2010 4:36:38 AM

You'd need to open the case to see the power supply rating. You also will need to check the case for card size space, if it's a smaller case, you need to make sure some of the longer video cards will fit. And some small cases can't even use a full-size card so you'd need to find a half-hight one.

If you have about a 3gig CPU in there, and can managet to get 2gig of RAM (if you don't have that already) you can run this PC for most tasks for a while.

You won't do any modern gaming, at least not at anything above low settings, and video encoding will be dog slow compared to the new computers, but yours can be a pretty quick machine. The later P4 CPUs had a good amount of cache, and the RAM at 400mhz will run well also.
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October 18, 2010 5:17:45 AM

That makes alot of sense. I found where it says my power supply, and its 250 W. the Dell specifications website tells me that it is a "Mini Tower." The specs say the following:

Height


42.5 cm (16.7 inches)

Width


18.1 cm (7.1 inches)

Depth


44.7 cm (17.6 inches)


But of course, I would have to open it up and look it over. It also runs surprisingly smooth, and loads rather quickly. Looking into a ram upgrade might be a good idea. Thank you for your advice.
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