Graphics (Video Card) upgrade for Dimension 4400

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Graphics (Video Card) upgrade for Dimension 4400

  • I realize that this query has been posted in the past but am posting it again 'cause, well, the cards just keep changing.
     
    I plan to upgrade the Video Card on my Dimension 4400 system both for installing Windows Vista and for getting a better (newer) game play.
     
    My system stats:
     
    CPU - P4 1.6ghz
    RAM - 1GB PC2100 DDR
    Video - 32MB AGP NVidia GeForce2 GTS/Pro (upgraded from initial/orginal 16mb...from my old system's vid card)
     
    I was planning on getting ATI Radeon 9550 or X1300 (I think that's the model name). The 1300 is 512mb (and suggested by Dell for my system family) while the 9550 is 256mb. However, while looking around for a deal I ran into reviews that stated that the X1300 doesn't work (well) with Vista.
     
    Don't know much about the newer NVidia cards and that's what I require help for. Any suggestions on a 256/512mb entry/mid level NVidia card for the Dim4400? Also, its' cost. Both the 9550 and X1300 are in the $100-150 Cdn range.
     
    Thanks in advance
  • go here: http://www.microsoft.com/windows/products/windowsvista/buyorupgrade/upgradeadvisor.mspx Also pretty much any card will be a huge upgrade from what you're running! I have an older card by today's standards - an ATI 9800 Pro 128mb, but I can run Call of Duty 2, Battlefield 2142, and Far Cry (of course not at top video settings)... you're problem won't be your GPU but your CPU. From the sounds of the ATI cards you're looking at you should probably focus on a 6-series nvidia card. Maybe a 6600 or 6800. Anything more than that will be overkill unless you plan to upgrade the rest of your system soon... good luck!
  • Thanks for the info. Will check it out. As for the CPU, I plan to upgrade it too and am on the look-out for a 2.4 or 2.6ghz P4 (have heard the 2.8s compatible with my system are quite rare). Other than that, the ram for the Dell 4400 as posted by Dell and Corsair is 1gb, which I already have. Thanks once again.
  • Let me weigh in on this a moment.   I have, as a second computer, the very same 4400 system from Dell, and I would not waste a plug nickel on upgrading a 5 year old system, with only the capability of having 1 gb of ram, in getting Vista.   Vista likes 2 gb of ram, which you can never upgrade to.  Spending even more for a graphics card on top of that Vista upgrade, and you are looking at throwing away good money on an old system, that could break down at anytime, then causing you to get another system anyway. 
     
    Vista works best with a core 2 duo, and you can never upgrade to that cpu for your system
     
    The 9550 is a lousy old card, and the X1300 is so low ended, many hate it, so you might want to do some home work first on anything you might be looking at.  You can get the 7600 GT AGP slot card, as many have done, but make sure you get the molex Y power cable with the card.  Some retail cards have these with the package and others do not.  Only cost about $4.00 or so if not included with the retail package.  The video card cost over $160.00
     
    In addition to all the above, you also have to look at all the old hardware that may have driver issues with a new OS, which means, many headaches.  Why not just let it go, keep XP, which is a very good operating system, and wait until a new system purchase  ? 


    Message Edited by SR45 on 06-21-2007 08:35 AM

    Banchetto 101 Case-Less System

    http://img89.imageshack.us/img89/6640/295gtx.jpg 

     

    eVGA 780i Mobo

    eVGA 295 GTX Video

    8 Gb Corsair Memory

    Thermaltake TRUE Black CPU Cooler

    VelociRaptor 10,000 rpm HD

    Windows 7 RC 7100

  • I agree with the above poster. Go with a new video card if you want but I'd shy away from Vista for the moment. I still think the 7600 is overkill but that's just my opinion.
  • So do you guys think I should go in for the ATIs (9550 or X1300) or the NVidia 6600s. I don't know much about VCs but I'd getting a bigger/heavier card (512mb) would be, well, longer lasting (i.e. into a future/second system).
     
    Besides as I posted, my buget maxes around $150 (+ tax of course). :robotwink:


    Message Edited by pawanvir2 on 06-21-2007 02:07 PM
  • Gaming pawanvir2, stay away from the 9550 or X1300 card.  Get the 7600 GT card.  Your stock 250 watter will work with the AGP version of this card, just don't make the mistake in getting the PCI-Express version instead.

     
    Proper install of a video card found here:

    http://www.hardforum.com/showthread.php?t=965852

    Step One in doing it the right way…

    Download the most current driver for the video card, and have it placed on the desktop for later install. Try not to use the video card driver from the cd that comes with the card, since they are some what out of date. ( If it’s a nVidia card, go to www.nvidia.com . ATI card, than go to www.ati.com for the driver download.

    Going from an ATI card to NVIDIA or vs versa, one should uninstall the old driver first, from Add/Remove program, than use a driver cleaner, to get all the old driver code completely off the system. Use the driver cleaner twice. If you are going from a nVidia card to another nVidia card ( Same for the ATI card ), you may not have to use the driver cleaner, but I do to be on the safe side, but many, including me, have not seen any issues with this procedure. Others may have.


    1. Turn off the system, unplug the power cord, and push in on the systems power button for about 5 seconds to discharge the system further.

    2. Remove the old card, and install the new card, firmly. Attach, if required, any power cable to the card, and to a power connector on your system. ( Some video cards, but not all, may need a power connector or Molex Y power cable connected to the rear of the video card, and the other end to a power source, to get the video card to work, or your systems power supply may have this power four pin or six pin connector )

    http://www.drivercleaner.net/  Driver Cleaner Pro download site. ( Now they are charging $10 for the program, where it was free before. You can try to manually clean out the old driver if you wish, but this is still a good program to have around )



    3. Plug the power cable back in, and reboot the system. You may notice that the monitor screen is larger now. Not to worry if this happens, since you are now using Microsoft’s Generic video driver, prior to installing the one you downloaded.

    4. Now disable your anti virus software, and disconnect the modem at this time

    5. Install the newer video card driver from the desktop, than if necessary, go into the Display Properties to reset the monitor resolution after it reboots. You are almost done. Now restart the anti virus program, and connect the modem. ( It has been noted from time to time, that the anti virus program may cause problems with the install of some drivers, and some games, so it’s best to disable this during the driver install to eliminate that possibility )

    Display Properties.... Right click your mouse on an empty part of the monitor ( desktop ), click on Properties next, than click on Settings on top. Now look at the screen resolution bar on the left side. Move it to the proper resolution to the monitor you have. Click on Apply, than OK. The monitor will go blank for a second of two, than another box will appear in the upper left side asking you if you wish to keep the new settings. Click OK. Do so before the second counter goes down, and you have to start over.... Now you are done

    Banchetto 101 Case-Less System

    http://img89.imageshack.us/img89/6640/295gtx.jpg 

     

    eVGA 780i Mobo

    eVGA 295 GTX Video

    8 Gb Corsair Memory

    Thermaltake TRUE Black CPU Cooler

    VelociRaptor 10,000 rpm HD

    Windows 7 RC 7100

  • Continued......
     
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814150210  7600 GT AGP card with the extra molex Y power cable so you don't have to buy one seperately.   This card has two dvi or digital inputs, so hope your monitor has one dvi input as well.  There should be an adaptor to go from analog to dvi if your monitor is of the old or lower value kind without two inputs, one analog and one dvi
     
     
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814122009  Another 7600 GT card, with both analog and dvi but does not come with the molex Y power cable
     

    Banchetto 101 Case-Less System

    http://img89.imageshack.us/img89/6640/295gtx.jpg 

     

    eVGA 780i Mobo

    eVGA 295 GTX Video

    8 Gb Corsair Memory

    Thermaltake TRUE Black CPU Cooler

    VelociRaptor 10,000 rpm HD

    Windows 7 RC 7100

  • Thanks. I just might go in for the 7600GT (since I am getting it for as much as the ATIs or other NVidias)...but won't the power supply be a problem? NVidia puts a min. requirement of 400v while my Dell is the 250v it came with originally.
     
    I understand Dell used to number its PSUs differently (at least with my previous PC, also a Dell). But it is so different that 250v of Dell will equal 400v?
  • Nope.  Others with the same 250 watt power supply, and that same card are doing fine.  Going higher, than and only then think of a new power supply.   Your 250 watter is the mean average and the peak power is around 345 watts.

    Banchetto 101 Case-Less System

    http://img89.imageshack.us/img89/6640/295gtx.jpg 

     

    eVGA 780i Mobo

    eVGA 295 GTX Video

    8 Gb Corsair Memory

    Thermaltake TRUE Black CPU Cooler

    VelociRaptor 10,000 rpm HD

    Windows 7 RC 7100

  • Well, I couldn't get the 7600 GT (the deal ran out :smileysad: ). Got the GS instead as the next (higher) available was just toooooooo expensive.
     
    However, on the plus side, did get a 512mb AGP GS instead of the 256mb GT I was planning for.
     
    Also, the GS has 350w listed as the minimum req. as against the GT's 400w, and it has a DVI/VGA split as against the GT's dual DVI.
     
    Thanks for all your help in the steps to install the card. It took me all of 10 mins from switching off to having the card up and running (WITH the latest drivers installed).


    Message Edited by pawanvir2 on 06-21-2007 09:45 PM
  • The GPU on the video card determines it's performance much more than the RAM does. For example (none of these example cards exist in these configurations), a 128MB 7600GT would be far faster than a 1GB 7600GS. That being said, the 7600GT would have been alot of overkill for your system anyway. I have the 6800GS and it's being bottlenecked by my 2.8, and since the 7600GT is a bit faster than the 6800, your CPU would had bottlenecked it even more. Since your next system will likely carry PCI Express, just enjoy the new video card, as it'll likely be the last upgrade that system will need, unless you find a real cheap P4 to drop in.
  • GS is one step below GT
    RAM does come into play somewhat. Memory interface. The GS and GT have 128bit interfaces.
    The better cards have 256+bit interfaces. The best have 320 and 384bit interfaces.