Solved: Buying New Video Card

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Cloudx77

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Jun 29, 2007
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hello again everyone i need help with something again. im interested in buying a new video(or as some say it Graphics) Card. problem is, ive been reading around and such and it seems you cant just buy one and plug it in and expect it to work. all this PCI and PCI express and AGP stuff is all confusing. also i know you have to worry about the Power supply (PSU right?) cause if you buy a strong card your current PSU wont be enough. but im interested in purchasing a new card so does anyone which cards i can buy. btw here is my sytem info to further assit you all:

Dell Dimension 8400
Pentium 4 Processor 3.3GHz
2 GB RAM (ill probably upgrade this too but this is easy :p )
and my current Video card is Raedon X300 which i assume is not built in because i googled it and i actually get a picture of it and the back of my computer look like the edge of the pic i found on google)
and i think thats you guys need (unless you need my PSU(power supply) then i dont know where to find that)

Anywho as always your help is greatly appreciated and thanks in advance
 
Joined
Jan 2, 2005
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You need to download and run a little application called Belarc from http://www.belarc.com/free_download.html . It'll tell you everything loaded onto your computer and what type it is including your graphics card and what type it is. I used it to find out about what my computer needed because I'm thinking about putting a tv tuner/video capture or whatever they call it these days in my computer. You'll be able to print out a copy for future reference as well.
 

Cloudx77

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Jun 29, 2007
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i downloaded it, i installed it but where does it say what video card i can upgrade to, it gives me ALOt of info on my computer which some of it is helpful but i still dont know what video card i can upgrade to. btw thanks for your quick reply
 
Joined
Oct 11, 2006
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It can be called Video card, graphics card, GPU, 3D Card = same thing ;)
PCI, AGP and PCIe (PCI express) are 3 different slot interfaces. (They are in order of performance)

I don't use Belarc - but PCWizard (below) and another called SIM are also free and can tell you what slots you have. A Dell 8400 can be configured in many different ways. But you can also type in your TAG number on the Dell site and it'll tell you what comes with your default computers.... most likely - you have a 350watt PSU. We have one left at my office like that. But you should take the cover off and confirm its actual power rating... because it would be a problem if in fact you have a 250watt (which I doubt).

But Looking at the google, its an AGP system. So your selection is very limited. AGP is near dead... there are 1-2 poweful AGP cards left, but that's $100~150 your spending on a dead tech + you'll most likely need to spend more money on a PSU... which is specialized for a Dell and the top cards are PCI Express only which won't do you any good if you replace the PSU. BTW: newegg has about 500 PCIe cards, 46 PCI and 36 AGP cards. The best AGP is the 3850 card... but I don't think your computer will max out the card... and that is where more power is needed.

Look at this 2600, it should be okay: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814161207

But this one is cheaper and no fan to fail - some have said it requires a 300watt PSU... http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814121260

This one has a fan: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814102762

These 3650 cards should hold you for a while and are many times more powerful than the x300.
 
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Hi, firstly Belarc advisor won't tell you what you can upgrade to, just what you currently have. From what i can see the Dell dimension 8400 has an ATI radeon x800xt card installed on a PCI-e x16 bus. So no problems there. As for your PSU, dell are known for putting in stock supplies that are 'just enough' to run what you have. If you take the side panel off there should be a label on the psu telling you what the wattage is. Also if you let us know roughly how much you want to spend, that would help also.
 
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OOPS... my bad. The Dell like that is AGP... and guess I googled off a bit. Sorry.

It should be a PCIe slot afterall. But still Cloudx77 needs to confirm the PSU type... it should still be a 350watt.

So... the PCIe version of the 3650 card will work with that.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814127375
$62 before $20 rebate. A DDR3 version is about $20 more...

Replace the PSU with 500 watts, you can get almost anything you want... a 4670 is about 3x faster than the 3650 - and its only $80.... 450watts or higher recommened.
 

Cloudx77

Thread Starter
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Jun 29, 2007
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156
wow alot of info, thanks guys but yea i just opened it and can confrim its a 350watt but im willing to upgrade as well, also while i was in there i seen 2 empty white slots (if color matters) under my GPU and idk what was connected to the third one cause i never use whatever that is, also would it be easy to upgrade the PSU?
 
Joined
Oct 11, 2006
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You'll need to spend an extra $50 or so for a special PSU or buy a $10~15 adaptor for a standard PSU... Its not so simple.
 

Cloudx77

Thread Starter
Joined
Jun 29, 2007
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156
what do you mean? why do i have to buy a special psu? where would i go about buying a special psu? also is my slot a PCIe slot, i still don't fully understand if it is? and can i still get the 4670 if my slot is a PCIe?

im sorry if i asked too many questions but as always your help is greatly appreciated!
 

Triple6

Rob
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You need a power supply that fits the case correctly, the 8400 only has a small opening for the AC cord to plug into and a regular power supply may have a power switch or the plug may be in a different spot so a standard PSU may not fit. As far as I can tell the wiring for the PSU is standard.

PC Power & Cooling has compatible power supplies in any case and they are among the best made: http://www.pcpower.com/Dell/Dimension/Dimension-8400.html

The PCI-Express Radeon HD 4670 should be compatible with your system.
 

Triple6

Rob
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Its hard to tell what the slot is from that picture, could be either PCI-E or AGP.
But the specs on the Dell website say you have a PCI-Express slot.
 

Cloudx77

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