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Video Card Upgrade Recommendations


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#1
applesauce123

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hey guys

i have an older computer (Dell dimension 3000)... for a video card, i have an nVidia 5500 256MB PCI card...

i wanted to upgrade the card a bit... im not expecting radical changes... nor did i want to spend a lot of money... im just wondering if it's worth it...

i found two options on eBay

the first is an nVIDIA GeForce 6200 256 MB PCI 3D Video Graphic Card

the second is an nVidia GeForce 8400GS 512 MB PCI card... this one is about double the price.

i only have PCI slots in my computer, so PCI-E is out...

is it more fruitful to up the MB of a memory card (i.e. 256MB -> 512MB), or just the model number (i.e. 5500 -> 6200)?

im also thinking of upgrading my RAM from 2x512MB DDR ram to 2x1GB DDR ram... do you think that I would notice a difference? would this be a better investment?

again, i realize that it's an older computer, and am not expecting vast changes... i just wanted a little pick-me-up...

thanks!

colin.
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#2
phillpower2

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Hi applesauce123,
More Ram is good and so is more video card memory but being an older machine the improvement in performance will not be earth shattering, if your budget allows it add 2X1GB of Ram and the nVidia GeForce 8400GS 512 MB PCI card, the additional Ram will free up resources that your CPU can then use which again will slightly improve performance.
If you cannot purchase all the upgrades at once remember it is better to use matching pairs of Ram but you could try a new 1GB stick + 1 of your existing 512MB sticks and the nVidia GeForce 8400GS 512 MB PCI card and see if you are happy with how that goes, let us know what CPU is in your computer before you purchase any upgrades.
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#3
applesauce123

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ok, well ill go ahead and get the 2x1GB ram...

the nVidia card i was looking at (the 8400) is actually pci-express... so it looks like my only option (nVidia-wise) is to upgrade from the 5500 to the 6200 (both @ 256MB)... is there any point to this? it would cost around 50$.

any suggestions would be appreciated!

thanks.
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#4
applesauce123

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sorry double post...

Edited by applesauce123, 03 February 2011 - 09:36 PM.

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#5
applesauce123

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let us know what CPU is in your computer before you purchase any upgrades.


what specifically did you want to know? i have a dell dimension 3000... only PCI slots... 2 DDR RAM slots
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#6
applesauce123

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here's a breakdown of the difference between the 5500 and the 6200...

http://www.gpureview...1=437&card2=439
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#7
phillpower2

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let us know what CPU is in your computer before you purchase any upgrades.


what specifically did you want to know? i have a dell dimension 3000... only PCI slots... 2 DDR RAM slots

The speed of the processor.
If your budget will allow it here is a better GFX card http://www.tigerdire...EWS#ReviewStart
Do you know what the output of your PSU is? This also needs to be taken into account as a card with a minimum PSU requirement of 300W will not work correctly if at all with anything less than 300W.

Edit: Your system specs show 2.8Ghz and above processor which is ok but unless the PSU has ever been upgraded the stock one is a 250W output meaning you must ensure any potential GFX card purchase will function correctly with only 250W.

Edited by phillpower2, 05 February 2011 - 07:38 AM.

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#8
applesauce123

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i checked out some power supplies on ebay... are they all pretty much the same? as long as theyre 300+W?

would any of these work?
http://cgi.ebay.ca/3...=item27b7d4f81f

http://cgi.ebay.ca/T...=item45f8531e77

http://cgi.ebay.ca/S...=item2a0b40a654

thanks!
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#9
stettybet0

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Why are you wanting to upgrade your video card? Trying to play games? Or just trying to speed up the computer in general? Unfortunately, being stuck with only PCI slots, no video card upgrade is going to help much with either.

The RAM upgrade is worthwhile, but the video card upgrade (especially if it also requires you to replace the PSU) is not.
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#10
applesauce123

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i already went ahead and upgraded the ram...

i guess my reason for upgrading was for both: gaming, and speeding up in general...

i realize that i cant expect a miracle... but when i go to "Can You Run It?" (http://www.systemreq...tslab.com/cyri/), the common problems i have are insufficient ram, and too low of a graphics card... yet, the recommendations arent that much higher than what i have... for example, Fallout 3 passes the minimum requirements except for RAM (it wants 2GB, which i have just bought), and memory card (it says I should have a 6600 Geforce, instead of a 5500)... so it's not that far off... starcraft 2 had the same problem/recommendation...

i bought my computer in 2005, so im not expecting a miracle... but it seems like im not that far away from playing some of these games... i figured, if i could buy a graphics card for ~$60, that's worth it...
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