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Cheap video upgrade for Dell Dimension 3000

Last response: in Computer Brands
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October 24, 2009 5:51:33 PM

First off, I would like to say that my Dell has worked well for me for the past 5/6 years. Now that I have started to play WOW (never got into PC games before) and my wife has started to play other games like Peggle and Bejewled, I can see that an upgrade is going to be needed from the onboard graphics. I have decided to build a new i7 for me and my WOW addiction http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/273256-31-build and pass this Dell down to be her computer (I know, I am greedy). I would like to know what the best PCI graphics card would be for this setup. I do not want to spend $100 on a PCI graphics card for this old Dell but I do want something better than the onboard graphics. This Dell does not have PCI express, only PCI slots. The MOBO has a spot for an AGP socket (I guess the socket cost too much for Dell to solder one in) and the BIOS has an AGP option, Is it worth trying to solder in an AGP socket?

In a nutshell, I am looking for the best PCI (not Express) video card bang for the buck that will work in my old Dell and any other upgrade thoughts to buy me some more time before I need to build another PC.

System:
Dell Dimension 3000
Pentium 4 CPU 3.0GHz, 2.99GHz (Why it's listed twice, I don't know), 1.99 GB of Ram (Would like to OC, but Dell Bios is locked down) :( 
OS - XP Home Version 2002 Service pack 3
Hard drive - WDC WD800BB-75JHA0 IDE(Standard Disc Drives) 75GB for programs and OS (Currently with 23.4GB of free space)
WD External Hdd 1x 2500JB (250GB USB used for DVD video rip ) 1x6400AAV (640GB USB used for Music/iTunes/Pics)
Display adapter - Intel 82865G Graphics Controller
Monitor - Smasung SyncMaster 2343 bwx connected via stock Dell VGA cable (This box only has VGA out)

As a side note, under performance options I have the following selected:
Visual Effects - Adjust for best performance
Advanced - Processor Scheduling - Adjust for best performance of Programs
Advanced - Memory Usage - Adjust for best performance of programs
Advanced - Virtual memory - Total page file size for all drives 2038MB
Data Execution Prevention - Turn on DEP for essential Windows programs

Dell website suggests these as upgrades using my service tag# (I have grouped them by price):

Under $50

Evga
e-GeForce FX 5200 128 MB DDR PCI Graphics Card
http://accessories.us.dell.com/sna/products/Graphics_Ca...

PNY Technologies
GeForce FX 5200 256 MB PCI Graphics Card
http://accessories.us.dell.com/sna/products/Graphics_Ca...

Diamond Multimedia
Stealth Radeon 7000 32 MB DDR PCI Cinematic 2D/3D Graphics Card
http://accessories.us.dell.com/sna/products/Graphics_Ca...

Diamond Multimedia
Stealth S60 32 MB PCI Graphics Card
http://accessories.us.dell.com/sna/products/Graphics_Ca...

VisionTEK
Radeon 7K 64 MB DDR PCI Graphics Card
http://accessories.us.dell.com/sna/products/Graphics_Ca...

VisionTEK
Radeon 7000 64 MB DDR PCI Graphics Card
http://accessories.us.dell.com/sna/products/Graphics_Ca...

Diamond Multimedia
Stealth S60 Radeon 7000 64MB DDR SDRAM PCI Graphics Card
http://accessories.us.dell.com/sna/products/Graphics_Ca...


Under $75

PNY Technologies
Verto GeForce 8400GS 512 MB PCI Graphics Card
http://accessories.us.dell.com/sna/products/Graphics_Ca...

Diamond Multimedia
Stealth Radeon 9250 256 MB DDR PCI Cinematic 2D/3D Graphics Card
http://accessories.us.dell.com/sna/products/Graphics_Ca...

Diamond Multimedia
Stealth ATI Radeon 9250 256 MB DDR PCI Graphics Card
http://accessories.us.dell.com/sna/products/Graphics_Ca...

Diamond Multimedia
Radeon HD 2400 Pro 256 MB GDDR2 PCI Graphics Card
http://accessories.us.dell.com/sna/products/Graphics_Ca...

There are more that are over $100 but I can not justify that for this system.

Newegg has:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... for $29.99 after rebate. (free shipping)

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... for $39.99

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... for $42.99

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... for $39.99 after rebate (free shipping)

What card should I get?

October 24, 2009 11:03:41 PM

I have a 2400 Dell Dimension and recently, ordered this card:

Sparkle GeForce 9400 GT 512MB 128-bit GDDR2 PCI - $67.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814187057

However, something for your wife would probably be more of the PNY Geforce 8400GS

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6814133245 for $39.99 after rebate (free shipping)
(Your listing)

The best PCI card I've seen is the Sparkle GeForce 9500 GT 1GB 128-bit DDR2 PCI - $84.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

However, it would probably be overkill for your system, and a bit too expensive for in my opinion. Your wife might not need that much power.
November 20, 2009 6:14:09 AM

Salsa,

How does the Sparke 9500 GT perform in your 2400?

I got mine few days ago and this card is just too slow! What is your setup anyway (adjustment in bios)? I had a Radeon X1550 and it was even faster than the 9500 GT!

My 2400 specs:

P4 3.06GHz
2 GB RAM
550W power
Window XP SP3
Related resources
November 20, 2009 8:30:09 PM

I have a 9400GT and it preforms okay on older games, but I found this article that made me kinda regret my purchase:

http://www.techspot.com/vb/post784165-2002.html

Basically, the PCI slot only has a 133 MB/s transfer rate, and it can't really use above 256 MB of video ram on the card, so yeah, it's kinda is wasted money once your past the threshold of the slot's bandwidth. Since I couldn't return it, I kept my 9400GT around, but yeah, it's doing loads better than my integrated graphics./ But if you can, try and swap out for a 8400GS.
November 20, 2009 9:18:58 PM

Funny thing is, this 9500gt should be much better than the Radeon X1550. How come it is slower than that?

Did you change anything on the BIOS?
November 20, 2009 10:53:13 PM

No, nothing really, just plugged it in, and it was good to go. However, it's my first video card upgrade on my machine, so from integrated graphics, I'd say it would be better.

Not sure really where your problem is.
November 21, 2009 12:08:07 AM

There must be something that blocks the memory.....
November 21, 2009 1:54:57 AM

Quote:

Memory Sizes, Memory Types and Bus Width:
Since the PCI bus severely bottlenecks video cards, and because most video cards on PCI are rather weak, memory bus width and the amount of memory on the card are not as critical as on more powerul cards on PCI-E. The difference between the 64-bit 8400GS and the 128-bit 8500GT is quite small, for example, when compared to the price difference.

None of the PCI video cards, with the exception of the 8600GT/9500GT, require more than 256Mb of memory, nor will they be able to utilize more than this in most cases. This means that paying extra for a 512Mb video card on PCI is more often than not a waste of money, and paying for 1Gb of memory on a PCI card is a near criminal misuse for funds.
Do not bother with 1Gb PCI video cards, and save your cash. This is one of the most important pieces of advice for a PCI video card buyer.


That's your problem for underusage of ram, which is why I dearly would love to return my 9500GT and see my $20 come back by ordering a 8400GS. However, it is still strange that you're getting more with a X1550 than a 9500GT. Something maybe with your settings in your bios is probably off.
November 23, 2009 5:41:43 PM

Have returned the 9500GT and ordered a HIS HD 4350!

I think my Dell are more friendly with ATI Redeon chips than Nvidia (at least 9500gt).

I tend to watch many 1080p HD so I thik this HD 4350 will be a nice addition for my setup.

If I am not happy with this HD4350, I can still try a EVGA 9400GT.
March 25, 2010 12:09:00 PM

Salsa said:
I have a 2400 Dell Dimension and recently, ordered this card:

Sparkle GeForce 9400 GT 512MB 128-bit GDDR2 PCI - $67.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814187057

However, something for your wife would probably be more of the PNY Geforce 8400GS

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6814133245 for $39.99 after rebate (free shipping)
(Your listing)

The best PCI card I've seen is the Sparkle GeForce 9500 GT 1GB 128-bit DDR2 PCI - $84.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

However, it would probably be overkill for your system, and a bit too expensive for in my opinion. Your wife might not need that much power.


i got a dell 2400 series to i got a dimond 256mb video card i can run halo and stuff doom 3 but its a bit lagg with maxed settings on doom 3 i can play prity much any ps2 /xbox game but i need shader 2 to play alot of games is this video card any better and i got ddr not ddr2 ram would this still work for me i have the same pc
!