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upgrading graphics card on dell dimension 4550

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by jonsteadinho, Nov 10, 2007.

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  1. jonsteadinho

    jonsteadinho Thread Starter

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    Hi all. I currently have a dell dimension 4550 which I have upgraded several times (ram, hdd etc.). however, my geforce 4 mx 420 graphics card can no longer support even basic games like fifa08, hospital tycoon etc. i'm thinking of an AGP x1650XT, but my proprietary psu is only 250W -- not enough to support the card.

    any suggestions on a decent gfx card that can run on my dell rig? thanks
     
  2. Bigfella

    Bigfella

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    Hi if you don't own a laptop then you can easily replace your power supply and then you should be able to use the card of your choice but make sure your pci express slot can handle the card and that you have the propor connections on your new power supply. Also a four hundred and fifty wat psu should suffice for any future upgrades if you don't plan on putting heaps and heaps of hard disks and cards inside your computer.

    A little note.
    You can also reduce the noise production of you computer by buying a psu with a one hundred and twenty mil fan and you can further reduce the noise by replacing your cpu heat sink and gpu heat sink. Quiet models are widely available and relatively cheap but make sure you read the reviews on the product, instally carefully and make sure you get the right socket number.
     
  3. jonsteadinho

    jonsteadinho Thread Starter

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    my psu is from dell and there have been accounts of people frying their cpu when they upgraded their psu. my gfx card slot is only agp 4x not pcie.
     
  4. Bigfella

    Bigfella

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    Well that is news to me. Heres what you need to do then. You have two options.

    Option one.
    Buy another psu from dell that has a higher power rating as the psu may not be standard however I doubt it. The mother board will be the device to first fry in that circumstance so it may have been a myth or as the mobo has seven layers they may have damaged it in the inatalation.

    Option two.
    Find the correct power supply voltages for a standard plug online. shouldn't be hard I have done this before. Then use a multi metre to test the voltages on the rails and make sure then match. The voltage may be slightly reduced if the psu is old.
     
  5. DellCA

    DellCA Account Closed

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    jonsteadinho,

    To the best of my knowledge the PSU used in the Dimension 4550 uses industry standard pinouts on the (4-pin and 20-pin) power connections on the motherboard. This means that as long as the PSU you upgrade to is of the right dimensions, it should work fine. You can get the service and user manuals for the system from the Dell support website (http://support.dell.com), which will have more details on the power supply in the specifications section.

    On a side note, the motherboard used in the 4550 is an ELX compatible four layer board, and not a seven layer board. I just happened to find that info while checking on the type of power supply the system uses. :D

    As for purchasing a replacement PSU from Dell, you can definitely do so. The only drawback to that is that I believe the 250W version is the only one we have available for the 4550 chassis. The more recent systems on the same chassis also use a similar sized power supply (the highest I can remember seeing, other than for a high end XPS system, is either 300 or 350W). If you buy a PSU from someone other than Dell, just make sure to verify that it is listed as working with the Dimension 4550 (or at least the 4500-series) systems before you buy it.

    If you have other questions about the system I will be more than happy to answer them.

    Larry
    Dell Customer Advocate
     
  6. Compiler

    Compiler

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    In the end... if you really want to play more modern games, the X1600 AGP simply won't cut it anymore. The XT versions are all PCIe cards. You'll need the PRO versions for AGP at $80~125.

    Coming out from ATI, the HD3850 ($180) is about 8x faster.

    It would be easier to build/buy a new computer (I am Anti-Vista - so build your own is the better choice)... pricing is cheap.

    $75 - dual core AMD cpu
    $70 - Matx mobo with onboard video (disable it)
    $180 - video card
    $70 - 400watt APFC modern PSU for the new system (needed for new mobo/cards)
    $50 - ATX case.
    $120 - Windows XP MCE Edition
    $60 - 2GB of RAM
    ------------------------
    $625... use your old HD and optical drives.

    vs. spending $170~200 to upgrade the Dell... with a PSU that won't quite fit... and have a graphics card that is still 8x slower than the $625 upgrade. A company does make PSU with Dell install slots for about $100+.

    Put in the Original HD - sell your OLD computer for about $200 or so will help pay for your upgrade.
     
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