Just inherited an old Dimension 4700 from my parents and wanted to upgrade the video card. I have read through some of the forums but many of the suggested cards appear to be out of date. Does anyone have a more recent suggestion on a video card upgrade for this machine. I use it to play WOW right now and it works well on low graphics setting but would like to improve the graphics. Thank you in advance for your help.
What video card do you have now? The best you are going to do with the 305 watt power supply is the ATI HD 5670. It's a good card and I'm sure much better than what you have.
Thank you for your reccomendation, however I don't see any ATI HD 5670 cards that require less than 400 watt power supply on newegg. If I'm missing something let me know. I don't know what video card I have now. I assume it is either integrated graphics or a very very cheap card. Haven't had time to crack the case and look but the window experience rating in windows 7 is around 1.0 due to the graphics.
The HD 5670 does not come close to needing a 400 watt power supply. Many on this forum have used the HD 5670 on their 305 watt power supplies. Just look in your Device Manager under Display Adapters and it will tell you what you have.
Obviously, a WEI score of 1.0 is not very good. It hardly uses any more power than the older HD 4670. They also have the newer HD 6670 out now which doesn't use any more power and gives slightly better performance over the HD 5670. You probably won't get the best out of these cards though on your older system. Therefore, based on what you have now, you could be very happy with the less expensive HD 4670. The HD 4670 would be my minimum pick for any type of gaming though.
Looked in the device manager and found its a Radeon x300/x550/x1050 series. Processor is Pentium 4 CPU 3.2 GHz
Just for giggles, I pulled the Nvidia GeForce 8400 GS out of my Inspiron 530 and put it in the Dimension 4700. The WEI went up to 3.2 overall and 3.2 for graphics from 2.2 and 5.3 for Gaming Graphics from 3.4. Logged into WOW to see if it made any difference in the gaming experience and it did somewhat but the fps was still pretty low around 8-10 which still leaves the game a little laggy. Since I don't know how the GeForce 8400 GS compares to your recommendations maybe you could educate me on any improvements I might gain from upgrading. Also, since you seem to be very knowledgeable about Dell systems do you have a recommendation for an upgraded card for my Inspiron 530. Thank you again for your time.
The 8400 GS is not a very good gaming card, but it is better than the X300 which you probably have as it was a popular card back then. If you were to rank all the video cards, the 8400 GS would come in 126th place and the X300 in 169th place. An HD 5670 would come in 48th place so it is far above the other two. An HD 4670 would be around 56th place.
The Inspiron 530 came with either a 300 watt or 350 watt power supply depending on what CPU you have. If you have a Quad, then they used the 350W unit. The Core 2 Duo's and below used the 300 watt units. Therefore, you are in the same situation except that you have a better CPU in the I530. The power supply is easily upgraded in the 530. I had a 500 watt unit in mine and ran a GTS 250 which play every game I had.
With the 300 watt units, you can look at getting the HD 6670, HD 5670, HD 6570, HD 5570, HD 4670 with ATI. If you have the 350 watt unit, you could go up to the HD 5750 since the power supply has the additional 6-pin PCIe power cable required for the card. Again, I would stay with the older HD 4670 on the 4700.
I just upgraded a couple of D4700 for my kids that i had retired from my office some time ago .
removed on both the x300 128 mb card and one received a Galaxy Nvidia 440gt 1024mb ddr3 ( $80 ) while the other got a Galaxy Nvidia 520gt 1024mb ddr3 ($60) , I wanted to check out both due to the different power consumption on both ( 520 = 29 watts and 440 = 65 ) installation was very easy , disable the old one , remove , install the new one, install the drivers and you are ready to go , get an HD monitor if you can , it really improves the games.
both work great with the original power supply that the 4700 comes with , the 440 comes better equiped ( more cores than the 520 ) but I did not notice any difference while running the same game on both
my kids love it , I think it was a very cheap upgrade for this PC
If you prefer an ATI card , try the Asus Radeon 5450 512mb; it is the lowest power consumption card they have . ( $ 40 )
The GT 440 and HD 5670 really have about the same power consumption. You can forget about the HD 5450 as shown below. It will not be a very good card for playing WOW.
Thank you to both of you for your responses to my questions. I checked out the following two cards on newegg which are the highest rated cards i could find. What do you think? It looks like they are both double wide which I have checked and will work on both machines. If you guys have other suggestions for for cards or what websites to buy from please post a link to the product if you can. Thank you again.
ATI 4670 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814161315
ATI 5670 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814161334&cm_re=ati_5670-_-14-161-334-_-Product
Those are both good choices and Newegg is the best place to get them.
if you are wanting to play WoW the HD 5670 is your best choice ... it out performs the Nvidia cards that were discussed
if you were looking at the 4670 to save a couple bucks over the 5670, the 4670 is still a good card. :)
Both cards will do for this computer , don`t forget it has an old P4 processor and 400mhz ddr ram that will limit performance no matter how good is your graphics card. ( overkill )
I know the 4670 will work fine since it uses the same power as the 440gt I installed .
If you go for the 5670 make shure your power supply can handle it
Thanks again all! I think I will order a 4670 and try it in both machines to see how my performance increases. I understand what you mean about overkill Aristi, the processers in both of these machines are older and there isn't much sense putting a high performance card in which will be limited by the processor. I will let you all know how it works out. Thank you.
Just got the new 4670 video card from newegg yesterday (ordered Thursday, arrived Friday before noon, talk about fast shipping). Tried it in both machines to see if I wanted to order another. Let me just say that the graphics on the Inspiron 530 machine were so much improved on wow that I feel like the term "eye popping" is a great term to describe it. I never thought in a million years that the graphics would improve as much as they did. I thought I would see better performance but not improved picture quality. This little gem of a card dramatically improved all aspects of the game. I am running WOW on ultra settings and getting fps as high as 55 in slow areas of the game and 10-20 in busy areas with very little lag. My WEI went from 3.6 to 6.7 for graphics and 5.3 to 6.7 for gaming graphics. The processor on this machine is at 4.8 on the WEI scale so going higher with a graphics card probably won't help much. The new card in the machine is probably overkill for the processing power of the machine, but it was well worth it. Now I need to bump up the processor in this machine but don't know if it's possible or even cost effective...any thoughts?
My experience in the Dimension 4700 machine with the card was not nearly as "eye popping." While the performance did improve the picture did not. I decided to just put my old Inspiron 530 card into the 4700 machine and live with it. It's an improvement and it works well for the kids.
Thanks again for all your great advice, I couldn't be happier.
The 4670 isn't that fast a card, but if you want a new processor, it's possible to swap in a standard micro-ATX. $125 buys a pretty good mainboard and E5700 dual core CPU.