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 Post subject: How hard is it to change graphic card?
New postPosted: Mon Feb 07, 2011 6:09 am 

I have ATI Radeon HD 2400 graphics card on my Dell Vostro 4200 desktop

I notice that my score is OK for everything except my graphics card

I am some what of a PC novice and what to know what is involved in changing the graphics card?

is it even worth it? (the PC is 2 years old)

about how much would it cost?

Is it just a matter of buying a better card and simply replacing them?

Thanks for any advice


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 Post subject: Re: How hard is it to change graphic card?
New postPosted: Mon Feb 07, 2011 12:20 pm 

I'm going to need more information to make any recommendations. First, I don't know whether the Vostro 4200 (I couldn't find it online) has a slim case or a regular case - it will make a big difference when choosing a GPU. If you have a slim case, then you need a low-profile card, and your options will be limited to less-powerful cards. Second, I don't know what interface your current card is. Is it PCI, PCIe, PCIe x16, PCI 2.0x16? There are so many different PCI slots your motherboard may have, and I have no idea which ones yours has. Also, the wattage of your power supply would help as well, as full-size powerful GPUs usually require over a 500 watt power supply and I don't know if a cookie cutter Dell desktop supplies that in its models. And then there's questions on what power outputs your power supply has and whether it would match the type of plug a new card requires, whether or not your case has adequate ventilation for a more powerful card, and so on and so on...

But after you have all that information and have picked the right card, the actual swapping of the cards wouldn't take more than 10 minutes. Open the case, unplug the other card, slide it out of the PCI slot, slot the other card, plug in the power supply cable, close case, reboot. Done.



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 Post subject: Re: How hard is it to change graphic card?
New postPosted: Tue Feb 08, 2011 7:34 am 

very sorry, I have a Vostro 410 (don't know what I was thinking? .... shouldn't try to post at work?)
its not a slim case, its huge! (tower)

as for the other stuff? hhmmm? I am not sure either


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 Post subject: Re: How hard is it to change graphic card?
New postPosted: Tue Feb 08, 2011 11:49 am 

Well, I found your PC's manual here: Dell Support and I still have a few questions:
  • Which processor do you have, the dual core or Core 2 Quad?
  • How much RAM do you have?
It seems your current GPU is in a PCIe x16 slot, which kinds of limits your options for a newer card. As well, you won't want to drop a really high-end card in here, as the entire system really isn't that scalable. It only supports 4GB maximum RAM (and the RAM supported by the motherboard is rather slow compared to modern systems). If I were you I would go for a cheaper 1GB memory GPU, possibly an Nvidia 9800GT, one of the newer series that don't use as much power but have around the same clock speed (but aren't as powerful), or whatever the ATI comparison is to that.

I have an 9800GT & onboard graphics combo, running 3 monitors, and they handle everything I throw at them, including streaming and live HD video, moderately graphically intense games (FIFA 10, Modern Warfare 2, Lord of the Rings Online), and everything encompassing Windows Media Center. I think a card of that caliber would suit you well. They can be had for under $100 USD.



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 Post subject: Re: How hard is it to change graphic card?
New postPosted: Tue Feb 08, 2011 8:12 pm 

Thanks Mike for the reply
I have Core 2 Quad with 3Gb RAM.
but after reading your post, maybe I will just put up with it until I buy a new PC in a few years time?


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 Post subject: Re: How hard is it to change graphic card?
New postPosted: Wed Feb 09, 2011 3:07 pm 

my opinion is that you should stick to your current card
your win.exp.index isn't that bad (mine is 3.4 and i'm OK with it)
ofcourse if you're a gamer that's another thing, but for the standasd PC user it's good enough



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 Post subject: Re: How hard is it to change graphic card?
New postPosted: Wed Feb 09, 2011 8:02 pm 

Thanks for that

no, I am not a gamer.


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 Post subject: Re: How hard is it to change graphic card?
New postPosted: Sun Feb 13, 2011 1:11 pm 

Yeah, I'd stick with what you have. The WEI is a great way to push hardware we don't need. Unless you're pushing your current hardware, I'd stick with it. I used to buy a PC or two every year but haven't bought one (for myself) in a while (Desktop is 2 years old and laptop is 2 1/2 years old.) I always want a shiny new PC/piece of hardware, but it's rarely necessary :)



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 Post subject: Re: How hard is it to change graphic card?
New postPosted: Tue Feb 15, 2011 2:11 am 

OK, thanks guys


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