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Old 12-17-2005, 08:40 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Question Simple Questions For Upgrading My Dell

Hi, I know I have made the biggest mistake you could ever make...... buying a computer instead of building one, but anyway if you could answer some of my quesitons to hopefully upgrading my dell I will be happy

Its a Dell Dimension 2350 series and what I want is to upgrade the video card and memory i geuss so my computer can run new games that require high graphics such as Doom 3 and such

What I have:

Intel Pentium 4 Processor at 1.80GHz

256MB DDR SDRAM at 266MHz

Integrated Intel 3D AGP Graphics

40GB Ultra ATA-100 Hard Drive (7200 RPM)

56K PCI Data Fax (Is this my motherboard?)

200 Watt Power Supply

I dont know much about computer parts so tell me if I forgot to list something that is needed to answer my questions

1. I don't think my motherboard has an AGP slot so I geuss I have to get a new motherboard that has one, any recommendations?

2.When I do get a new motherboard do I have to buy windows xp as well and could I put my P4 processor in it?

3. I dont want a video card that can run the new games on high settings plus more because they are very expensive, but instead something that can atleast run it on normal or above average settings, any recommendations?

4. How much RAM should I get because I know 256MB is very low?

5. If you do recommend me a video card please tell me what power wattage I need because I doubt 200 would be enough

Right now im playing Guild Wars and the only place where I dont completely freeze because of my crappy video card is CA arenas, I cant pve,gvg,or do tombs without freezing up every 2 minutes or so (for those who know what im talking about)
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Old 12-17-2005, 09:14 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I'd get atleast 512MB Ram. The more the merrier however. As for the Video Card, what slots do you have? If you have an AGP or PCI-Express, then you don't really have a limit to your Video card. however, if you only have a PCI slot, the highest you can get is a GeForce FX5700 or ATI Radeon 9250.
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Old 12-17-2005, 09:53 PM   #3 (permalink)
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there are decent pre-built machines out there. I despise dell, though, and judging by the specs, I would guess it's at least a few years old?

Look at how many slots you have for memory. I'd agree with getting at least 512mb. Considering the age, I'd guess you have AGP graphics card? unless it's built into the mobo. I'd say get a graphics card that's in the medium range, and save up for a new PC(either built or bought). Though I'd think that even just upgrading the RAM should help your game performance. I'd try that first, as it's probably easier and has more chance of being compatible with your system, I'd think.
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Old 12-17-2005, 10:43 PM   #4 (permalink)
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The motherboard is a dell microboard and doesnt have an AGP slot and the video card is integrated (built in mobo i suppose) and it pulls form my memory cache and has 3 PCI connectors

The dell 2350 cases only support the microatx architexture, so would a microatx mobo have an AGP slot or a slot that can be used for good video cards that can be upgraded and such?

So far I know i need to get 512MB ram or higher, but I am left with 2 decisions, get the microatx mobo (I dont know if the microatx mobo would work without problems) or just get a PCI video card? I wan't to get a new mobo because the stocked ones really suck everything is integrated and pulls form memory cache, but im afraid if I get the new mobo stuff wont work, but if I get a PCI video card can someone recommend one that will run the new games with demanding spec on atleast normal or above average settings? All I could find was the geforce fx 5200 pci video card
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Old 12-17-2005, 10:57 PM   #5 (permalink)
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whats your budget, we can build you a pc that completely owns yours right now and can play latest games fine for 570 USD.

if you really want to upgrade, get 9200 instead of the 5700.
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Old 12-17-2005, 11:08 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Well it would be cheaper if I just buy the power supply and PCI video card or microatx mobo and a video card. SO far I found the 3D Fuzion 3DFR55256P Geforce FX5500 256MB DDR PCI Video Card going for 83 dollars OR should I get this PCI card for 76 dollars3D Fuzion 6200 , which card would run doom 3 and BF2 on normal or above average? I geuss my price range is capped at the 100$ mark for video cards lol, but if needed ill pay more and for the power supply - I know I need a 300 watt or better, but do I need a specific power supply for my PCI only slotted Dell microboard or can i just buy any 300 watt power supply
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Old 12-18-2005, 12:13 AM   #7 (permalink)
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I wouldn't bother with trying to install a new mobo on your dell. That just sounds like a nightmare waiting to happen. Might as well start fresh with new components if you're going to do that. I'm still thinking that you'll see the best improvement for your money with like a 512 stick of ram. I'd try that first. Is around $100 your total budget, or is that just what you want to spend on the video card?

I think power supplies are pretty much standard. I mean, they don't depend on a specific cpu or anything, but look at yours. It's not attatched by anything besides the screws, is it? Assuming it's not, try to pick up something on the cheap side, 300-350w and see what happens.

here's a 380w for $15 from newegg

and I think this is the kind of RAM you have.
look, a 512MB stick for only $30
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Old 12-18-2005, 12:22 AM   #8 (permalink)
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If you wanted to go with a new mobo you could do this. Find the mobo in standard atx form factor, get a cheap case with power supply (xion II are good), get a cheap gpu like the FX5500 or something, then take your ram and the other stick and the rest and put them in the case. By doing this you would only have to buy the case extra and that would knock off having to buy a new psu. When you get enought money you could then upgrade because a new mobo would upgrade alot better than the dell motherboard. Tell us your budget and we could build a system for you if you dont feel up to it. Hope this helps.
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Old 12-18-2005, 12:42 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Allright cool thanks for all the help, im just going to take the easy way and buy a PCI video card lol. Im going to buy ram and a new power supply got those 2 under control so my last question is should I get the 3D Fuzion Geforce FX5500 256MB DDR or the 3d Fuzion 6200 . I thinking maybe the 6200 since its a higher number (6200), but its only 128MB to the 5500 256MB, I have no idea which one would be better
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Old 12-18-2005, 12:44 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Do a search for the card. I dont have any experience with either of those but im sure someone here on TF has posted something regarding them.
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