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Upgrading Dell graphics ?


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#1
RussellV

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Hi all,

My wife has a Dell Dimension E310, P4 3.0, 1Gb RAM, WinXP, etc. She needs a video card upgrade (currently onboard video). The only upgrade slot is a PCI, doesn't even look like it will fit a PCI-E. I am also concerned with the 1Gb of RAM and she could use a bigger hard drive. She is using an USB drive right now and it is working ok. Her and our teenagers want to be able to play some of the newer games (not hard core gamers) like Overlord, Drakensang, F.E.A.R. and a few others.

Sooooo.....

1) Is there a PCI card capable of running the newer games?

2) Is it worth upgrading the board to fit a PCI-E or APG card? If I upgrade at least the board will Dell's WinXp still work on it? (Something in the PC knows if Dell Windows in installed on a non-Dell machine.

3) Should I just start from scratch and use this one for the kids or pass it onto my sister that doesn't play games?

Thanks for the advice!!
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#2
Ferrari

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Take a look at your System Board Configuration The best slot you have is a PCI-Express X1 Slot, which is the small slot next to the two PCI Slots. The best slots on boards today is the PCI Express X16 2.0 which looks like this slot except much longer. PCI Express allows faster speeds than just PCI or AGP.

With that said, the only card I could find out of the 3 main sites I shop from is on Newegg.com. Click Here to view the card. If you notice, the requirements specifically say that this card works with your computer, which is rare for this site to do. Radeon must have noticed a need for a X1 card for this computer if someone is wanting to do light, not too demanding gaming.

It is not the most impressive card, and if your wife and the girls get more into gaming, you may find yourself looking back saying "what a waste of money" because that card is not going to play demanding games and since games coming out have more and more demands out of your computer, that card would be out dated rather quickly, if it isn't already.

Here are the requirements for the games you mentioned...

Overlord

F.E.A.R.

Drakensang

If you notice, the minimum and recommended requirements are different. For Drakensang, your computer and that card I linked you too do not meet the recommended requirements.

I would suggest that a new computer would give you more of what you want. I can help you decide on what computers would be good for what you want. Have you ever considered building one?

Consider this,

Would an additional computer benefit the family?

Can I afford it?

How serious are they about gaming? Is this a fad?

If I do buy a computer, what should my budget be?

Does that budget match the kind of computer required to play these and new games in the future? Upgradeable?

Etc, etc,

Let me know what you think

EDIT: And if you want to know about upgrading the RAM...

This is a great way to find out the kind of RAM (memory) you have and how much of it your motherboard will support. Upgrading your RAM is the most cost-efficient way to increasing your computers speed and performance.

Go to www.crucial.com. Use their Online System Scanner.

After this, Crucial should have recommended what the maximum amount your computer can handle and the specifications on the kind of RAM you should purchase. Don't know where to buy it? Crucial, Newegg, Geeks.com are the places I look.

Edited by Ferrari, 30 March 2009 - 06:20 PM.

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#3
RussellV

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Thanks for the info, looks like I am going to have to start looking for parts and see what kind of money I want to spend on a new one. I should have built hers instead of buying a Dell, I know upgrading would bit me in the butt eventually.
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#4
Ferrari

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Dells are very hard to upgrade.

Here is a system I put together for someone the other day, maybe this can get you started. The card is excellent, however the board allows you to upgrade all the way to the best if you wanted. Which is the GTX 295. You don't have to go with a fancy case like this one.

This should more than enough and leaves room for upgrading.

2.66ghz Core 2 Quad, 4GB RAM, 640GB Hard Drive, GTX 260 896MB 448bit Video, Vista Ultimate 64bit OS

CPU

Mobo

Case

PSU

Video Card

Ram(memory)

Hard Drive

DVD/CD Burner

OS: Vista

Total comes to about $1200 There are some mail in rebates to drop that price also if you decide to do them.


Things to Consider:

Adding a Blu-Ray Player later...never look at them too much, but around $100
Windows 7 is supposed to be coming out in August, last I heard.
Case is open to debate(the one I picked is a popular gamers case)
OS is open to debate, you need a 64bit OS because you won't be able to have more than 3.5gb of RAM if you don't.
Hard drive big enough???
You would want to add some RAM after the build, save up a bit, or you can just add another 4GB kit on now.
Any questions? Let me know.

Edited by Ferrari, 30 March 2009 - 07:12 PM.

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#5
RussellV

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OS is open to debate, you need a 64bit OS because you won't be able to have more than 3.5gb of RAM if you don't.

That was fixed in a update I think the Service Pack. The one I built for me has 32bit Vista and 4Gb RAM and shows all 4, but the original did not.

I'm ok with finding parts, but I will take a few min and check out your suggestions in the morning. Why does everyone seem to go to newegg? I have never used them I usually use small parts places, preferably local.


Thanks again
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#6
Ferrari

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Newegg has the best selection at the best prices. I have been all over the net, and no one ever consistently beats their prices. Newegg is THE place to buy computer parts.

For example, I bought a 1GB stick of PC 2 3200 for my laptop that was only $11.99 with free shipping. I bought a 4gb flash drive, $7.99. This is all name brand mind you.

In the computer I'm building my self this summer I went to several and I mean several sites comparing prices for ALL the parts for my computer and only 1 site beat one of the prices. That was for my case by $10.

There customer service is supposed to be outstanding too, however, I have never had to use it.

Good Luck with your build.
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#7
cbarnard

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Hey Guys
I shop NEWEGG all the time I have spent thousands there building computers for customers. I have had to utilize their Customer service a couple times. They are very easy to deal with they have excellent shipping times. I love them. I built a computer for a client, I purchased on 1\19 and payed standard shipping and it was on my door the next morning all the parts for the build. I couldn't have felt better. Anyways if you want excellent product at great prices with FAST shipping most of the time NEWEGG is the place.
Good luck, just wanted to say that.
Cbarnard
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#8
RussellV

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Thanks for the info on newegg, I usually shop arround for the cheapest name band I can find but I have had a few instances of "back orders" that I wasn't told about until a week after the order etc. I will give them a try for this one.
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