does it make sense to replace my gpu

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JB77

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Jan 16, 2005
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I have a PIV 3.0 ghz with 1 gig ram and a ATI pro 9700 in a agp 4x bus. I dont want to replace my mobo yet so was wondering if a new GPU alone would improve my graphics considerably.
 

Triple6

Rob
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Your question is too lacking. Do you play games and if so which ones? Or do you mean other graphics like in 3D modeling or pictures? How much are you willing to spend?

Considering you have a very fast processor and lots of RAM there's litte reason to replace anything other the video card if you are looking for bettting gaming performance. You can get certain Geforce 6800 and Radeon X800 cards in AGP and they would boost gaming performance considerably.
 

JB77

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recently got battlefield 2 which seems to need a strong graphics card.

I am not sure if the agp 4x bus would allow gpu improvement since the new ones all quote to be running at a agp 8x .
 

Triple6

Rob
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If the motherboard supports a Pentium 4 3Ghz CPU then it amost certainly has an AGP 8X slot. The Radeon 9700 is an AGP 4X card. And even if it was only AGP 4X it would not affect the performance that much anyway, the GPU is more more important then the difference between AGP 4X and AGP 8X in real life performance. Benchmarks with the Radeon 9800 PRO show only a few percent difference in performance running at the two bus speeds. The X800 would be affected more but it would still perform much better then the Radeon 9700. You must realise that these are maximum theoretical transfer speeds and the maximum 2.1GB/s is never hit on the AGP 8X bus with any of the cards that are currently out.

If you post what motherboard you have we can look up its specs.
 

JB77

Thread Starter
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Dont know the specific type of the motherboard but its a dell 8250 from march 2003, details are copied below and it quotes 4x agp specifically. Given your feedback can I take it that upgrading would still give me a lot of performance benefit vs my current card?

Expansion Bus

Bus types
PCI and AGP

Bus speed
PCI: 33 MHz
AGP: 66 MHz

AGP


connector
one

connector size
172 pins

connector data width (maximum)
32 bits

bus protocols
4x/2x modes at 1.5 V

PCI


connectors
four

connector size
120 pins

connector data width (maximum)
32 bits
 
Joined
Mar 16, 2002
Messages
13,404
seeing how its a 2 year old Dell the next problem may be what psu do you have. A new hi-powered gfx card will undoubtebly need a 350watt min psu, 400watt recommended.
 

JB77

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Jan 16, 2005
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copied all my specs below... not good news I guess it says 250 w

_______________________________________
Microprocessor

Microprocessor type
Intel® Pentium® 4 microprocessor that runs at 3.06 GHz internally and 533 MHz externally

L1 cache
8 KB

L2 cache
512-KB pipelined-burst, eight-way set associative, write-back SRAM



Memory

Type
PC800 or PC1066 RDRAM (non-ECC)

Memory connectors
four

Memory capacities
64-, 128-, 256-, and 512-MB non-ECC

Minimum memory
128 MB

Maximum memory
2 GB for PC800
1.5 GB for PC1066

Memory type
PC 1066 (non-ECC) only on computers with a 533-MHz system clock speed


Memory speed


PC1066
32 ns or faster

BIOS address
F8000h



Computer Information

System chip set
Intel 850E

DMA channels
eight

Interrupt levels
15

BIOS chip
4 Mb

NIC
integrated PCI Network Interface with ASF support as defined by DMTF

System clock
100 MHz X 4 for 400 FSB or 133 MHz X 4 for 533 FSB - data rate



Video

Type
AGP 4X, PCI



Audio

Type
Analog Devices AD1981a AC97 Codec1

1 Present only on computers with integrated audio capabilities.



Expansion Bus

Bus types
PCI and AGP

Bus speed
PCI: 33 MHz
AGP: 66 MHz

AGP


connector
one

connector size
172 pins

connector data width (maximum)
32 bits

bus protocols
4x/2x modes at 1.5 V

PCI


connectors
four

connector size
120 pins

connector data width (maximum)
32 bits



Drives

Externally accessible
two 3.5-inch bays
two 5.25-inch bays

Available devices
ATA-66 or ATA-100 Ultra DMA hard drive, CD drive, Zip drive, DVD drive, CD-RW drive, DVD/CD-RW combo drive, and DVD+RW drive

Internally accessible
two bays for 1-inch–high hard drives



Connectors

Externally accessible:


Serial
9-pin connector; 16550C-compatible

Parallel
25-hole connector (bidirectional)

Video
15-hole connector

Network Adapter
RJ45 connector

PS/2 (keyboard and mouse)
6-pin mini-DIN connector

USB
two front-panel and six back-panel
USB 2.0–compliant connectors

Audio2
three connectors for line-in, line-out, and microphone; one front panel connector for headphones

System board connectors:


Primary IDE channel
40-pin connector on PCI local bus

Secondary IDE channel
40-pin connector on PCI local bus

Floppy drive
34-pin connector

Telephony (TAPI)
4-pin connector

Fan
3-pin connector

2 Present only on computers with integrated audio capabilities.



Controls and Lights

Power control
push button

Power light
green light on power button—blinking green in sleep states; solid green for power-on states

Hard-drive access light
green

Link integrity light (on integrated network adapter)
green light for 10-Mb operation; orange light for 100-Mb operation

Diagnostic code lights
four bicolor (amber and green) located on back panel



Power

DC power supply:

Wattage
250 W

Heat dissipation
853 BTU (fully-loaded computer without monitor)

Voltage (see the safety instructions in your Owner's Manual for important voltage setting information)
90 to 135 V at 50/60 Hz; 180 to
265 V at 50/60 Hz; 100 V at 50/60 Hz for Japanese computers

Backup battery
3-V CR2032 lithium coin cell



Physical

Height
42.5cm (16.7 inches)

Width
18.1 cm (7.13 inches)

Depth
44.7 cm (17.6 inches)

Weight
12.7 kg (28 lb)



Environmental

Temperature:

Operating
10º to 35ºC (50º to 95ºF)3

Storage
–40º to 65ºC (–40º to 149ºF)

Relative humidity
20% to 80% (noncondensing)

Maximum vibration:

Operating
0.25 G at 3 to 200 Hz at 1/2 octave/min

Storage
0.5 G at 3 to 200 Hz at 1/2 octave/min

Maximum shock:

Operating
bottom half-sine pulse with a change in velocity of 50.8 cm/sec (20 inches/sec)

Storage
23-G faired-square wave with a velocity change of 508 cm/sec (200 inches/sec)

Altitude:

Operating
–15.2 to 3048 m (–50 to 10,000 ft)3

Storage
–15.2 to 10,670 m (–50 to 35,000 ft)

3 At 35°C (95°F), the maximum operating altitude is 914 m (3000 ft).
 
Joined
Mar 16, 2002
Messages
13,404
yeah 250watt is a problem, so now your new gfx card upgrade will require a $50 plus psu upgrade as well, mo money, mo money. That is a problem with going with a Dell or other "big box" manufacturer, they tend to scrimp on components that will later make upgrading difficult, expensive or down right impossible. I would never recommend one to someone who is a gamer for this very reason, better to go with a DIY, custom made or clone so that upgrades can be made easier.
 

JB77

Thread Starter
Joined
Jan 16, 2005
Messages
54
good lesson for the next one! So what is a psu upgrade and is it easy to do yourself?
 
Joined
Mar 16, 2002
Messages
13,404
JB77 said:
good lesson for the next one! So what is a psu upgrade and is it easy to do yourself?
power supply unit, ususlly very easy upgrade, again that depends on if your Dell has a standard ATX power supply, if so, you pick one out on newegg or your favorite comp store, at least a 400watt, Antec, Enermax, Enlight are some good brands.
 
Joined
Dec 24, 2002
Messages
142
WHOA BOYS!!

Dell used to "customize" or "optimize" their power supplies and mobo power connections. You might need a special adapter or a specialized psu for your Dell mobo. I'd google your specific Dell model number or even contact Dell and ask how you could upgrade your power supply. They might try to sell you one, but I know one of the after market companies also makes a "customized for Dell" psu.

Here, I did some research for you.

http://www.pcpowerandcooling.com/products/power_supplies/selector/dell_index.htm
 
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