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Upgrading a Dell Inspiron 545

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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July 20, 2012 12:34:38 AM

Hi there, i have a
INSPIRON 545 MINITOWER WITH BLACK BEZEL
PROCESSOR : INTEL CORE 2 QUAD-CORE Q8300
MEMORY : 6144MB (2X2048 + 2X1024) 800MHZ
HARD DRIVE : 1TB SERIAL ATA (7200RPM)
POWER DVD 8.2
POWER CORD : UK 2M
DISPLAY : 23IN ST2310 UK/IRISH BLACK (FULL HD)
GRAPHICS : 1024 MB NVIDIA GEFORCE GT220

If i play a full screen game, whether it be on low or high settings, the screen goes blank and it says, 'no input from Pc'. i assume this means that it has overheated and i have to restart the computer to use it again.

I'm looking to upgrade the machine and wanted to know what you guys thought i should get so that i can handle games on most high settings (not ultra). Please feel free to post links. I want quality but i dont want to pay horrendous amounts.

Do i need to change the motherboard or can i get away with not? It's a Dell 0N826N - version A11 - max supported link width is x16

thanks alot
July 20, 2012 3:00:09 AM

Power supply would be nice too know too depending on how much power you got depending on upgrade you can have from what i can see its got 300w Dell psu

this would type of power is not enough for gpu from mid to upper market first thing i suggest is a nice PSU upgrade with a decent GPU
July 22, 2012 2:52:37 PM

Hi, thanks for the response. Yeah its a 300W PSU. What sort of PSU output do i need? And do you know any good ones? Will any be compatible with my motherboard? Thanks
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July 22, 2012 10:00:46 PM

if it takes atx power supplys then get a corsair 650w power supply you can check by opening side and look
July 22, 2012 10:10:34 PM

the corsair 650tx is a great psu all though to answer your question correctly i would need more information like your budget, your resolution you are wanting to game at, games you are planning on playing. Also if you want to see if it is overheating or not downloading a hardware monitor program such as cpuid hardware monitor, fanspeed, gpuz or something of that sort.
July 23, 2012 12:47:08 AM

I want to play games at full HD resolution but not ultra high settings. I want to play games like Civilization V and Starcraft II. My budget is around 200 on a PSU and a GPU ideally, but its flexible as I want to buy quality upgrades that will last me at least a couple of years.

The PSU you've mentioned looks about the sort of money i want to spend on a PSU. Is this the one? http://www.amazon.co.uk/Corsair-Series-Supply-Version-C.... Also there's a cheaper V2 version. Are you talking about the V1 or V2?

Also how do i work out if it takes ATX power supplies. I've had a look inside but cant see anything about it. It's a model HP-P3017F3P if that helps.

Also can you recommend any GPU's that will run well with this PSU and will fit the requirements.

Thanks alot.
July 23, 2012 5:37:06 PM

Hi thanks for the response. How do i work out what causing the problem, whether it be graphics card, PSU or both? And if i want this to last for at least 2 years do you reckon its better long term to get a new PSU and a better, if less energy efficient graphics card, and if i did which one should i get. Should i go straight for a 2GB one?

Thanks
July 23, 2012 9:58:36 PM

bEngineering said:
Hi thanks for the response. How do i work out what causing the problem, whether it be graphics card, PSU or both? And if i want this to last for at least 2 years do you reckon its better long term to get a new PSU and a better, if less energy efficient graphics card, and if i did which one should i get. Should i go straight for a 2GB one?

Thanks


Are you having problems when you are running any non-gaming applications like Office or Internet browsers? Do the problems exist when gaming only...new..old? If so, what are the symptoms?

If you suspect that the problem is only with newer games, I would download a demo of an older game that your existing graphics card support for sure and run that. If the old game runs fine, are you trying to run newer games that your graphics card does NOT meet the minimum requirements?

Dave
a b U Graphics card
July 23, 2012 10:06:35 PM

^+1
Troubleshoot, then get an HD 7750.
July 23, 2012 11:12:02 PM

Every game I play full screen doesn't work. Battle for middle earth (2004 I think) doesn't work. Nether does civilisation IV. Even a full screen chrome app game (field runners HD) makes the computer crash. I remember an HD film i watched made it crash once. Its still on but there is no signal to the screen. The screen simply says no input even though the computer is still on. Does that means its the graphics card?
July 23, 2012 11:28:51 PM

bEngineering said:
Every game I play full screen doesn't work. Battle for middle earth (2004 I think) doesn't work. Nether does civilisation IV. Even a full screen chrome app game (field runners HD) makes the computer crash. I remember an HD film i watched made it crash once. Its still on but there is no signal to the screen. The screen simply says no input even though the computer is still on. Does that means its the graphics card?


While surfing the Net or running a productivity program, does the browser/non-gaming app have any issues?

Dave
July 23, 2012 11:38:58 PM

No while using office or simply browsing I've never had problems, even if I have 30 tabs open and am streaming tv aswell.

Ben
July 24, 2012 12:02:45 AM

http://www.guru3d.com/article/geforce-gt-220-review-tes...

Above is a review on a GT 220 with a number of games. I presume that you updated the drivers when you bought it? Did you have problems with games back then?

Still hard to say if it's the graphics card or something else. Since your browser works, the graphics card should be fine. Do you have any info on the 300 watt power supply? The above article suggested a 350 watt power supply. When you compare it with a HD 7750 or HD 6670 or GT 440, they are in the same range in terms of power consumption...all of which should work within most quality 300 watt systems.

Dave
July 24, 2012 12:52:38 AM

It used to work ok, it seems to have slowly deteriorated though, until the point now where games don't work at all for more than a couple of minutes. I see its meant to be able to hack fallout 3 but there's no chance it would work with this. Could it be anything to do with the fact i'm using a 6 socket extension to power the computer, ps3, screen, sound system and homeplug, all effectively running off one socket.

Also is the problem definitely the PSU or GPU. The drivers are definitely updated with the lastest software.

Also does anyone know if there is a big difference between a Sapphire version of for instance the HD 6850 and the Asus version.

thanks alot
July 24, 2012 2:15:43 AM

bEngineering said:
It used to work ok, it seems to have slowly deteriorated though, until the point now where games don't work at all for more than a couple of minutes. I see its meant to be able to hack fallout 3 but there's no chance it would work with this. Could it be anything to do with the fact i'm using a 6 socket extension to power the computer, ps3, screen, sound system and homeplug, all effectively running off one socket.

Also is the problem definitely the PSU or GPU. The drivers are definitely updated with the lastest software.

Also does anyone know if there is a big difference between a Sapphire version of for instance the HD 6850 and the Asus version.

thanks alot


Not a good idea to run a lotof stuff off one socket.

Hard to say whether you need to change out the graphics card and/or PSU....that's why I suggested exchanging components with a friend's computer...to hopefully eliminate it from the problem(s).

Dave
July 25, 2012 10:52:23 PM

I'm looking to upgrade anyway, and eventually buy a new case motherboard and processor, but for now buying a new PSU and GPU sound good. If i buy a corsair 650w what would be a good GPU to buy, if im looking to play nearly all games on medium or high settings.
July 25, 2012 11:16:45 PM

Lotsa choices...varies by budget. In the sub $150 category, HD 6850 (might get a HD 6870 after rebate) or GTX 560 (not the SE model).

If you cannot afford the HD 6850, there is the HD 7770 and GTX 560 SE.

As for the 650 watt PS, there are plenty of good brands including Seasonic, XFX, Antec HCG or True Power New series, PC Power & Cooling, Corsair....keep your options open.

Dave
July 25, 2012 11:35:06 PM

yeah the HD 6850 looks good. I'm planning on transitioning (long-term, right now only thinking about GPU and PSU) my PC to a:

Case: Unknown
CPU: Intel Core i7-2600 Processor 3.4GHz 8 MB Cache Socket LGA1155
Mobo: Unknown
RAM: Unknown
GPU: Asus Radeon HD 6850
PSU: Corsair Enthusiast Series 650-Watt 80 Plus Bronze
HD: Unknown

From what i understand i should do GPU and PSU now, then the motherboard with a new Case and then RAM and CPU?

Could you advise me if the order I think I need to do this is right (and what to upgrade my Motherboard and RAM too if you know anything about that), and if this transition looks good to you.

Also will i need some sort of cooling system?

Thanks for the help.
July 26, 2012 12:32:05 AM

Unless your existing memory is DDR3, you are likely to upgrade the mobo/CPU and memory at the same time. You should post new thread in the NEW BUILD section...just mention that you are reusing some components from the Dell (eg. HDD) and your upcoming purchases (PS and graphics card). Not sure about your OS...it should be 64 bit at least (if you want to use more than 4GB memory). If you have budget, you probably want a SSD for quick boot times, etc.

Stock CPU cooler are typically fine unless you are planning to overclock (will need "K" suffix on the CPU). Most overclockers will use an aftermarket CPU cooler.

There is a minority of users who don't overclock, but will replace the stock CPU cooler with an aftermarket one ($30+)....keeps temps even cooler for long life. This probably occurs if one has a high end CPU.

Dave
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