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Question about graphics card compatibility

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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 : )

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 This is pretty old and outdated to be really honest.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)

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.
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I definitely know that my computer is outdated.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 Seeing as it is outdated, I can only go so far before it just would not be worth it.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.
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:


42.5 cm (16.7 inches)


18.1 cm (7.1 inches)


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.