I've been wanting to buy Age of Empires III, but I tried the trial and honestly the graphics on my computer stink. I just want to know which graphics card (preferably PCI-E) would best improve the graphics of AOE III and the overall perfomance of my computer without breaking the bank (a small bank).
Here's some of my system info.
OS Name: Microsoft Windows XP Home EditionVersion: 5.1.2600 Service Pack 3 Build 2600System Model: Dimension 4700System Type: X86-based PCProcessor: x86 Family 15 Model 3 Stepping 4 GenuineIntel ~2793 MhzBIOS Version/Date: Dell Inc. A10, 1/4/2006SMBIOS Version: 2.3Total Physical Memory: 512.00 MBAvailable Physical Memory: 191.89 MBTotal Virtual Memory: 2.00 GBAvailable Virtual Memory: 1.96 GB
Right now my display driver(integrated graphics card i think) is Intel(R) 82915G/GV/910GL Express Chipset Family.
Thanks for any help.
This is what I got for mine: http://3btech.net/xfxge8651pci.html
You don't have to get that exact one... but if you have a PCI card in you won't be able to physically cram an 8600GTS in... and I think that's the highest level of card the system will take. I believe everything post 8600GTS requires PCI 2.0, which we don't have... although there may be a mid-line hiding in there somewhere. Of course... that's as far as NVIDIA goes. And yes, you are using integrated. I've an EVGA Nvidia 6600GTE I can sell you real cheap though. Paid $200+ when it was new. Good card... lags on some of the effects when playing F.E.A.R. though.
Stats back at ya:
Microsoft Windows Vista Ultimate Edition, 32-bit Service Pack 1, Build 6001
Brand = Intel(R) Pentium(R) 4 CPU 3.00GHz, Family = 15, Model = 3, Stepping = 4
4 GB ram
PS: The 8600GT plays F.E.A.R.'s effects quite beautifully... even when using full widescreen (1680x1050) which is "not optimized" for the game. Haven't tried out all the Half Life games I've collected, but I imagine similar results.
Hi mattcb, How about an 9500GT 512MB for $64.99 HERE, or an 9500GT with 1GB for $69.99 HERE. Though you manual HERE says you have an 305w PSU, manufactors do overstate the power for their cards, and Dell do understate the power for their PSU's.
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AOE III is very graphics and processor intensive. I can run it fine on my OPtiplex 745 (core 2 duo E6600, VISTA with 4gb ram and ATI 3650. I get 30 - 24 fps @ 1280x1024.
I am upgrading my old Dell 2400 with a 4700 motherboard from www.serversupply.com for $62.00. I will let you know how AOE III runs on it this upcoming weekend.
I would highly suggest these upgrades and will post more info when i receive my 4700 mobo.
4GB memory - you should have 4 slots and if you only have 2 filled then you just need another 2gb. If all are filled then buy 4 new sticks for $50
ATI's new cards are as powerful as a 9600GSO and require no external power. They are very efficient and run cool and reasonably quiet.
"The Radeon HD 4670 slaps previous-generation, high-end performance squarely in the jaw of mid-range pricing. With 320 shader processors, this card means business and will offer awesome 1600x1200 gaming. Compared to the 9600 GSO, its main advantage is a low-power requirement—the 4670 doesn’t need an external power cable, which for some upgraders is a really important feature."
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814121274 $80 4670 GDDR3
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814161262 $50 4650 GDDR2
After upgrading your memory and to these cards your only bottleneck will be your processor which would require a new motherboard / computer.
Good luck! Let us know what you purchased.
I have recently upgraded my Dimension 4700 to play games as well. I put in 2 one gig sticks of ram, a Geforce 8400gs, and two fans. My 305 watt power supply handles everything just fine, but the fans are critical. I know you could put in a slightly more powerful card, but this card got very hot the first time I pushed it. After gaming for about an hour, I closed the game and checked the temperature of the card and it was at 85 celsius. Afterwards, I put in a 120mm fan blowing right at the card, and I popped off the lower optical drive case filler and put a 80mm fan there blowing outward. Now I can game for hours and the temperature stays around 55 celsius. The card plays Half Life 2, Civilization 4, Mass Effect and other games just fine.
My advice would be to go with whatever card you want, but be prepared to jurry rig some fans into the case if you want the card to last a few years.
Hi,if you have answer for that, i'd like to know too. thanks.
I've been reading this thread and similar ones - and have noticed they're a few months old. I was wondering if the advice would remain the same - or if there's a newer card someone would recommend.
The one's I've seen most recommended (Dell Dimension 4700) are the Radeon 4670 (Sapphire, MSI or HIS) or the Geforece 8400 GS (ASUS or MSI), both of which are reasonably similarly priced. I'm upping the RAMM to 4GB as well, as I'd like to get a few more years of of this machine (while the kids use the newer ones - of course).
Thanks to anyone with some advice.
The 512MB 4670 has the 512MB 8400GS beat by a mile. You can compare the cards here: http://www.gpureview.com/show_cards.php?card1=529&card2=579
I just bought one (Sapphire) for my Dell 4700 to replace a 256MB Geforce 8600GT which suffered 4 capacitor explosions. So far so good.
Also do not get anything larger than 512MB cards for a 32bit processor. 32 bit processors can only access 4GB worth of I/O addresses. I/O addresses are used for RAM, video RAM, modems, sound cards, ethernet, communication ports, internet cams etc. The maximum amount of RAM that a 32 bit processor can use is typically about 3.25 GB. It can be much less than that if you have lots of peripherals. If you got for instance a 1GB video card then your available RAM starts at 3GB minus the other peripherals. You might have 4GB of RAM installed but end up with 2.4 GB being usable.
In my case, I just checked, I lost 0.25GB of usable RAM by increase the video RAM from 256MB to 512MB. It now says I have 3.0 instead of 3.25 GB. So you can save some money by having a matched set of 1GB RAM and a matched set of 512MB RAM for a total of 3 GB.
I have just upgraded my dimension 4700 with corsair XMS2 (2 x 2 GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM, I left the 2 x 256 boards there but the computer only sees 3062 RAM. I am now thinking of upgrading my graphics card. I presently have the intel (R) 82915g/GV/910GL 128MB. Will the Sapphire radeon HD 4670 ultimate crossFireX 512MB GDDR3 work for me, and is there something that will work just as good for around $50? It is my wife's PC and she is having a hard time playing games on Facebook right now. Thank you for any feedback, much appreciated.
Really your motherboard accepts 2GB sticks? Wow.
32bit systems like ours can only address a memory map equivalent to 32 bits. 2^32 = 4GB. This means every peripheral (mouse, webcam, sound card, PCI controller etc) in your computer, I/O needs a some of the address space for your computer to use them. Therefore, even if you physically have 4GB, these peripherals lock out some of it for other uses. Google 32bit ram limitation. Very happy with the 4670 from Sapphire. Very quiet. BF2, TF2, DoD:S all on high settings.
There aren't many cards that will work in our system without upgrading the 300W PSU as well. The best card is the 5670 but the 4670 is 30-40 dollars cheaper.
Thank you so much for your feedback. To be honest I didn't really see that much improvement when I installed the 2 x 2GB sticks and saw a lot of treads that state the 4700 only takes 1GB sticks, but I did get the info from dell support that they were compatible. So if I do get the 4670 sapphire will I need to upgrade the 300W PSU as well? Besides that, would it be difficult to replace the graphics card? I read I would need to uninstall the drivers of the old graphics first.
Thanks once again.
The reason I picked the 4670 was because it uses only 60 W of power which it can easily get from the mothernoard through the PCIe connector (75W max I believe). At the time it was the best, lowest powered card available for the Dell 4700.The best lowest powered card now would be the 5670 at 61 W. You can compare them here: http://www.gpureview.com/show_cards.php?card1=623&card2=579. The one thing that can be said of the 5670 is that it supports DirectX 11.
Did Dell tell you that you only benefit from 3 of the 4 GB? . I didn't ask myself and found out after the fact. There is something called PAE (Physical Address Extension) that allows some older computers actually use the 4 GB. But the Dell 4700 motherboard can't use it. This also has a consequence for the size of memory of graphics card. Don't get more than 512MB of video ram since it might also lower your available RAM.
Replacing the card is a snap. Power off computer and monitor. Unplug computer. Unplug monitor cable. Unscrew old card. Gently pull out old card. Do this in reverse for the new card. The computer will detect the new card (plug&play) and off to the races.
Thinking about it i did not remove the old drivers (??) and yet I had no problems with the new card. It might be that my old card was a nVidia 8600GT and I replaced with an ATI 4670. But the theory is to remove the old before installing the new.
Funny to think this computer came with a paltry x300 which even in the day was pretty wimpy and yet we can install a card that, according to Tom's Hardware, is 14 levels of performance higher!
Sorry, I might hard worded it incorrectly. What I wanted to say was that dell support showed that the 2GB boards were compatible with the 4700. This is where I found it.
http://accessories.us.dell.com/sna/products/Memory_Upgrades/productdetail.aspx?c=us&l=en&s=dhs&cs=19&sku=A1640627&mfgpid=166539&chassisid=8225. I really appreciate your help, I am not much of a computer expert so your feedback has really helped me. I will search for the best deals on 4670 and see how it goes. I will keep you all posted!
Oh that is really BAD.
BAD BAD BAD DELL. You know FULL well that these older systems can't use the full 4GB of RAM you are selling.
I still have the chance of returning them, do you think I should return them and get 2 1GB instead? I really didnt see that much improvement with them, maybe I will benefit more with the 1GB?