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XPS 210 Graphics Card & RAM Upgrade

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by aww102, May 16, 2009.

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  1. aww102

    aww102 Thread Starter

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    Hi all,

    First time on the forum as this is my very first attempt at upgrading my PC.

    I'm having serious doubts whether my 2 year old Dell XPS 210 (Core 2 Duo E6600 Processor 2.4GHz 1066Mhz) box will be able to cope with Street Fighter 4. I've been using the URL link (below) to benchmark my computer against minimum specs of some current graphics heavy games (Far Cry 2, Crysis, Left 4 Dead etc.). The funny thing is that it apparently fails minimum specs for games that seem to already run just fine with my current setup.

    Can You Run It?

    Anyway the issues are:
    1. Graphics Card

    Currently I still have the factory fitted 256MB ATI Radeon X1300 Pro (PCI Express x16 interface with DVI output) in place. I'm well aware that because of the space saving case, the Dell XPS 210 is notoriously difficult to upgrade, and I suspect (as a newbie) that this impacts on the graphics cards I can upgrade to. I'm told that the Radeon X1300 is a half-height graphics card and my general search for half height replacements similarly have 256MB.

    • Would I be able to replace my current PCI-Express x16 graphics card with a (half-height) PCI-Express 2.0 card?

    • Are there any more powerful (>256MB) low-profile/half-height graphics card you guys can recommend?
    Hopefully I won't have to start considering about replacing the power supply as well, since I have exactly no knowledge about that what-so-ever.

    2. RAM

    At the moment I have 2GB's (2x1024MB) worth of Dual Channel 533MHz DDR2 memory. I'm pretty sure that the Core 2 Duo CPU will allow me to run RAM with faster speeds (800MHz & 1066MHz). I am also confident is that I shouldn't just add memory chips that have different speeds to the existing 533MHz memory currently in use. Now, given that I've heard that Windows XP does not utilise more than 3GB of RAM, is it worth buying faster RAM (800MHz or 1066MHz?), larger amounts of RAM (4GB?) or both?

    I appreciate any help that comes this way, since there aren't a lot of options for a newbie with a annoying space-saving case. Also I am aware there is a year old closed thread for exactly this problem, but I wanted to check to see if there are more options available a year on.

    Thanks!
     
  2. huffman416

    huffman416

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    Jul 26, 2008
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    graphics cards is my specialty so i hope i will be able to help. anyways i looked up street fighter 4 system requirements and your ram and processor will hold up fine your graphics card leaves something to be desired tho. I would suggest this EVGA card from newegg-http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814130394 . If your willing to spend more you can get an even nicer one. but i check it will run all the games you listed like a charm, you will see enourmous improvement over your old graphics card. Anyways if you have any questions ask me, and let me know what your price range is and maybe you can get a nicer one.
     
  3. huffman416

    huffman416

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    sorry i forgot this, honestly your RAM is ok now but if you really want to spend more 4GB would be even better, but always spend more on your graphics card!
     
  4. huffman416

    huffman416

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    hey btw that graphics card i suggested is exactly small and i missed the part where you mentioned a low profile card sorry i dont read well! haha anyways you may want to check the dimensions on it. if it does not fit then the ideal choice would be this card http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814150353. This is more expensive and not quite as powerful as the other card but it has 1GB of memory instead of 256mb and it will still play all your games well, and it will fit in your case. and it will be compatible with your pci slot good luck and once again if you have any questions dont heasitate to ask!
     
  5. aww102

    aww102 Thread Starter

    Joined:
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    Messages:
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    Thanks huffman416! My price range was $100-200 (set before I found out I had a half-height card - so it hopefully gives my some flexibility), but obviously not a graphics card so suped-up that I need to upgrade the power supply also.

    Can a PCI-Express 2.0 card (your 2nd recommedation) be a compatible replacement for my current PCI-Express x16 card? It's a stupid question I know, but I only figured out there were AGP and PCI type cards a few days ago.

    I thought the first card you suggested looked a little too big for my computer! :p

    As for the RAM, I think I just can't decide whether I should just top-up my 533MHz DDR2 memory to 4GB or replace all the slots with a faster speed (800MHz) RAM.
     
  6. huffman416

    huffman416

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    Jul 26, 2008
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    yes the 2nd card will work and its not a stupid questions compatibility is one of the most confusing parts of working with computers. the answer is yes it will work however the card will simply not make use of the speed of a pci express 2.0 but the difference is not noticeable. Also you wont find more expensive cards that are that small so theres no point in looking at higher end cards.

    Also i didnt see that your ram was 533MHz so i would suggest upgrading ram because your not spending that much on the graphics card. im a cheap kinda guy whos tight on cash so im not use to spending that much but here is a good price for 4GB of ram
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820227364.

    the ram is also from newegg, its a great site and i recommend it for any computer part buying, also make use of the mail in rebate, it may take awhile to come but it will be worth it anyways. good luck with everything and enjoy your upgrades, i would officially dub your pc a gaming rig now after your upgrades so show it off to your friends and enjoy some kickass gaming! haha good luck

    -huffman
     
  7. huffman416

    huffman416

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    Jul 26, 2008
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    and what the name of your pc that your upgrading i would like to check the motherboard specs before giving the ok for you to buy the parts id feel terrible if they didnt work. Im 95% sure they will but i had better double check for you, so please give me the model name of your pc so i can check the motherboard, thanks much

    -huffman
     
  8. aww102

    aww102 Thread Starter

    Joined:
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    I think the motherboard inside my Dell XPS 210 has the model part name of 'Dell Inc. 0WG860'. I'll try and look it up online to look up the specs.

    I appreciate all the help and advice huffman! It's so great to know there are still genuinely kind and helpful people, like yourself, out there who don't go about dishing out knowledge to inflate their egos!
     
  9. huffman416

    huffman416

    Joined:
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    oh nevermind im dumb the name of your computer is in the thread title! hahahaha anyways your motherboard will handle the ram and the card just fine, your good to go and can order those parts whenever you want! once again if you have any questions feel free to ask!

    -huffman
     
  10. aww102

    aww102 Thread Starter

    Joined:
    May 16, 2009
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    Huffman,

    Having finally got round to examining the PSU, I think it's max output power is only 275W. I have a feeling the GeForce 9400GT you recommended may not run on a power supply that meagre.
     
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