Is the Dell Dimension 8300 a bad gaming computer (?)

Gaming

Gaming
An online group dedicated to connecting gamers of all levels -- especially levels you've beaten. Noobs welcome.

Is the Dell Dimension 8300 a bad gaming computer (?)

  • I am posting a new message since the last one got in-active.

    Is there no other ones out there that also has a Dell Dimension 8300 with a 3.00 GHz processor, 512 MB RAM (or 1 GB Ram) and a ATI Radeon 9800 Pro 128 MB graphic card? I would really want to hear your opinion about the gaming compability of the Dell Dimension 8300.

    Another thing. I am going to upgrade my 512 MB RAM memory with another 512 MB RAM. I've pin-pointed the memory I am going to buy at www.crucial.com but I just need to to know if it is the CL=2,5 or the CL=3,0 I should get?

     

    Best regards, Stars05

  • I do not have the 8300, but with those specs, I couldn't imagine it being a "bad" gaming computer at all.  Six months ago, that was darn near top-of-the-line.

    Since the 8300 has an 800MHz FSB, you should be looking to purchase 400MHz (PC 3200) RAM sticks with the lowest latency possible.  This would be the CL=3.0 from crucial through the memory configurator.

  • I have a 8300, 3 Ghz, ATI 9800 Pro w/1 Gig of RAM (bought in May '03). Am able to run Far Cry at medium to high settings at 4x AA , 8x AF, at 1024 x 768 resolution with only a couple of points in the game (heavy/densely detailed internal structure settings) where the frame rate bogs down some. Call of Duty, Medal of Honor, Pain Killer and MS Flight Sim 2004 to name a few others ran/run great. The only shortfall of the system in my opinion is the 250W power supply in terms of upgrading the graphics card to the ATI AGP X800 Pro for which a 300W power supply is recommended - something I'm reluctant to try even if the card was available......    

    Cosmos S case, Evga 750i FTW Motherboard, PCP&C 860W Power Supply, E8400 OC'd to 3.9 GHz, Zalman 9700 CPU cooler, Dual Evga 260-216 SC, 4 GB RAM, 260 GB HD, Dell U2410 IPS monitor, Windows XP/SP3.

     

  • Okay, thanks for your answers. Since it seems like I am the only 8300 owner with 512 MB RAM i suppose it is the RAM that is the course of trouble. Take for exampel Thief 3: Deadly Shadows or Deus Ex: Invisible War, they run like c*ap on my computer. I have to run them in no higher resolution than 1024 x 768 (still a bit choppy though) with NO AA and NO AF. AA and AF are way out my leauge. At least that is what it seems when switching it on.

    What was that you (Vcraig) said about not being able to use the X800 Pro card on the Dell Dimension 8300? Do you mean that we are unable to buy the X800 Pro graphic card and use it without altering with the powersupply? If that is the case I presume I can just forget about buying Half Life 2 then...

    Catarrhine: Thats odd. When checking the diffrences between CL=2.5 and CL=3 it says that lower is faster (I'd presume that that would be 2.5, since it is a lower number). Please elaborate.

  • The 8300 isnt a bad gaming computer at all.   I have one (see my sig) and i plays my games awesome max eye candy.   Although the most intensive game i have is farcry i am able to put it max details 1280x1024 w/ aa and af off it runs flawlessly seldom dropping below 35 fps.

    If you bought your ati 9800 pro after getting your 8300 and it came with a fx 5200 then you have a 250 watt (345watt) PSU.  When your 8300 is shipped with a 9800 pro, i believe it has a 305 watt PSU (which should really be somewhere around 400).  In the latter case you should be able to get an x800 pro and install it w/ no problems.  With your current card you could run HL 2 just fine.  Maybe not w/ max details but pretty high i would think.

    You are correct that CL 2.5 is better than cl 3, but the dell bios cant handle it.  If you were to install CL 2.5 modules your RAM would slow down to 333mhz or lower.  Crucials a good site its where i got my RAM.

    -_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-
    Dimension 8300
    Pentium 4 HT at 2.6 ghz 800mhz fsb
    1 Gig pc3200 Crucial DDR RAM
    ATI radeon 9800 pro 128 meg (Best Buy)
    40 gig 7200rpm maxtor Hard Drive
    17 inch E171FPB LCD monitor
    PCI 56k modem

    Game types: RTS, FPS

    Message Edited by fish111 on 08-26-2004 02:41 PM

  • "Catarrhine: Thats odd. When checking the diffrences between CL=2.5 and CL=3 it says that lower is faster (I'd presume that that would be 2.5, since it is a lower number). Please elaborate."

    Sure.  The lower latency is faster, as you have determined.  However, the CL=2.5 memory speed is PC 2700 (333MHz) RAM.  Although the PC 3200 (400MHz) memory has higher latency, it is still faster due to frequency (333 vs. 400).  In this case, frequency supercedes latency.

  • Stars05....

    Per the 8300 manual I have, the power supply is, in fact, 250 Watt with a Heat dissipation of 853 BTU fully loaded. If you received the same manual you'll find the power supply specs on page 106, or altenately, look up "Specifications" and the page number in your manual index for your system specs, including the power supply rating.

    With no intention of coming off sounding like some wise a.... , the 250 Watt rating Dell sized/engineered the 8300 for is the RMS (effective) value or 70% of the peak-to-peak rated voltage maximum of the power supply. A 70% full system load draw on a power supply is considered optimum when engineering load vs power supply capacity to prevent overheating effects/damage. And this is where my concern is based. Per ATI the X800 AGP Pro requires a 300 Watt power supply under normal operation. That translates to pushing the 8300 power supply to 90% of it's fully rated capacity and the associated heat increase due to higher current draw. Higher/excessive heating due to the increased load increases the potential for power supply failure. 

    I'm not saying the X800 Pro won't run with a 250 Watt power supply, rather, I personally don't feel the risk of system damage (burned power supply and or MOBO) is worth a 10 or 15 FPS gain. But, again, that's my opinion.

    Message Edited by VCraig on 08-26-2004 05:10 PM

    Cosmos S case, Evga 750i FTW Motherboard, PCP&C 860W Power Supply, E8400 OC'd to 3.9 GHz, Zalman 9700 CPU cooler, Dual Evga 260-216 SC, 4 GB RAM, 260 GB HD, Dell U2410 IPS monitor, Windows XP/SP3.

     

  • I have a 8300 (3 GHZ, 1GB ram, 305watt PS). I'm saving to buy X800xt graphics card. I won't be able to upgrade for years. I'm broke. :(

    But I really like mine.

    I'm guessing that this round of graphics cards will be the Last Gen of AGP cards. So I'm saving to buy the best AGP card (X800 XT) for my system.

     

    Paul 

    Message Edited by pkenyon on 08-27-2004 02:38 AM

  • That's definitly odd. I have a better CPU than you, fish111, but lower RAM memory so I suppose that I SHOULD see a diffrence in gameplay if I upgrade my current 512 MB RAM, isn't that so?

    I thought I, as usuall, were ripped off. Not any game (except quite old ones like System Shock 2 and Deus Ex) are abled to run at such high resolutions as you described. Take for exampel Far Cry. That game beated the heck out my computer when trying resolutions like 1280 x 1024 with an FPS around 15-18 when looking at a small hut with some few textures(!). That is why I have my - not very good opinion - about the Dell Dimension 8300. But if you would ask me I would say that probably everything points at the low memory usage. Oh, by the way, thanks everyone for solving my CL issue. I now know why the CL=3 is a little bit more expensive ;).

    Vcraig: You said that getting the X800 Pro would probably result in system damage (which, to me, doesn't sound very good). But how in the world am I then going to be able to play games with higher resolutions then 1024 x 768? I cannot - for exampel - play Thief III: Deadly Shadows nor Far Cry nor Deus Ex: Invisible War. If I cannot play these games I am surely I will get NOTHING out of Half Life 2. Sadly, but true. Doom III (which were the latest game which has a bit of system requirements to be able to play) ran like cra* and 800 x 600 was the only salvation to avoid choppy gameplay. 800 x 600! You see? Something is definitely wrong here.

    I don't know what to do anymore. Everything seems so pointless. And mostly because the majority of "people" are saying that "another 512 MB RAM to your currently 512 MB RAM wont do much" makes me fell utterly hopeless.

    But thanks guys... I have really appreciated your gain in helping me out this far... At least I know I will not be able to run the X800 Pro on my computer (what about the X800 XT? It's a PCI card right? And the Pro version is a AGP version, right? Will that make a difference?) and that I should get CL=3 memory from crucial.com :)

    Oh by the way! All my icons have dissappeard! My computer, My files, Internet Explorer are all gone! Do any of you know how I can get them back? I've just tried the System Restore function which didn't make any diffrence (except name-changing some of my folders...).

    Thanks in advance! And a big applause to all of you who have been kind enough to waste your time on my stupid problem. Thanks :)

  • Would appreciate if you keept writing in here... :/

    Anyway. I have did some tests with the Futuremark 3D benchmark and can now show you my results: http://service.futuremark.com/compare?2k3=1776089

    Up here is my computer to the left with a score of  5300 (which seems to me being really low). I would like others with a Dell Dimension 8300 to link THIER tests here so that I can compare mine to yours.

    Thank you.

  • Stars05 - I just downloaded the newest 3DMark program but have run it only a couple of times since using no AA and AF to one higher setting. The best I've been able to get so far is a 5950 score (with no AA or AF at 1024 x 786 x 32 bit color and a 85 Hz refresh rate....but I'm still experimenting. For what it's worth the Troll's Lair test really bogged my system down when I raised the AA and AF from none. As I said, I'm still experimenting so will post back later.  

    Cosmos S case, Evga 750i FTW Motherboard, PCP&C 860W Power Supply, E8400 OC'd to 3.9 GHz, Zalman 9700 CPU cooler, Dual Evga 260-216 SC, 4 GB RAM, 260 GB HD, Dell U2410 IPS monitor, Windows XP/SP3.

     

  • Exactly what detail settings/eye candy are you using with far cry?   I max out everything except AF and AA i leave off.  I tried the same settings but with those 2 on and that resulted in extreme lag. 

    I know farcry is a very resource hungry game so the 512 RAm should help since 1 gig is optimum for gaming now.  I doubt your having a faster processor should make a difference thats prolly the least important thing (out of ram vid card and proc).

    -_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-
    Dimension 8300
    Pentium 4 HT at 2.6 ghz 800mhz fsb
    1 Gig pc3200 Crucial DDR RAM
    ATI radeon 9800 pro 128 meg (Best Buy)
    40 gig 7200rpm maxtor Hard Drive
    17 inch E171FPB LCD monitor
    PCI 56k modem

    Game types: RTS, FPS

  • Star05.....

    The best 3DMark test score I've been able to get is 6043 and CPU score of 603 with Fast Write set to OFF, AA & AF set to Application Preference, Texture and MipMap set to High Performance and both Sync and Truform set to OFF. I had the screen resolution at 1024 x 768 @ 32 bit color and a 85 Hz refresh rate. When I compared my score to others with the same system configuration the highest score I found was 6627. This indicates that a 5800 to 6600 3DMark range score is all one can expect with our system configuration. 

    Message Edited by VCraig on 08-29-2004 02:28 AM

    Cosmos S case, Evga 750i FTW Motherboard, PCP&C 860W Power Supply, E8400 OC'd to 3.9 GHz, Zalman 9700 CPU cooler, Dual Evga 260-216 SC, 4 GB RAM, 260 GB HD, Dell U2410 IPS monitor, Windows XP/SP3.

     

  • Thank you everyone for your answers, they are a welcoming gift for sore eyes ;)

    Vcraig: That is still odd. Don't you recon that it must have to do with the memory then? The only thing I lack and that you've got, is another 512 MB RAM memory. I cannot understand how people still refuse the thought of a total of 1 GB RAM should help me boost my gaming performance. Everything is pointing in that direction. Otherwise I cannot understand why you, Vcraig, with the same system specs. (except for the RAM ofcourse) can get 204 points higher then mine.

    There must be the RAM that is staggering my gaming performence, or else there is none other solution. I am ready to buy the extra ram (for nearly 1000 SEK which is about 130 USD!) but have to use my mothers VISA card to attain the memory. I'll ask during the coming weekend.

     

    fish111: I am sure that I tried to run it on 1280 x 1024 with no AA and no AF. This worked very bad since it made it all choppy when getting near the huts in the beginning of the game (you who have played the game know what "huts" I am talking about). I do know that the processor doesn't effect my gaming performance better if I have 3.6 GHz- instead of 3.0 GHz processor.

    If the extra 512 MB RAM memory doesn't do it, probably a new Radeon X800 XT will. I shall buy one when the price drops under 4000 SEK (about 520 USD). Just have to make sure that the X800 XT version works with no hazzel like the Pro version seems to do - if you do not have the right power supply.

  • Stars05 - For what it's worth, the Far Cry recommended system specs call for a Gig of RAM. Beyond that, from reading numerous posts here there seems to be a lot of competition for bragging rights to being able to run this or that game with all in-game eye candy set to the max. As for our 8300 systems with the 9800 Pro, while it is becoming a bit long in tooth so to speak, there isn't a game on the market it won't run at an enjoyable fps at medium to high game settings with a full Gig of RAM. And in your case, the extra $100 for another 512 megs of RAM will benefit as such. On the other hand if you absolutely must be able to run every game at max settings then spending the $$ for the added RAM won't get you there.

    Cosmos S case, Evga 750i FTW Motherboard, PCP&C 860W Power Supply, E8400 OC'd to 3.9 GHz, Zalman 9700 CPU cooler, Dual Evga 260-216 SC, 4 GB RAM, 260 GB HD, Dell U2410 IPS monitor, Windows XP/SP3.