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A new video card, let's play "you make the call"!

By Zen
Apr 20, 2011
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  1. Greetings folks, well I've been giving this some thought and I think I may need to break down and buy myself a new video card for my old Dell Dimension 5100c computer. Now please mind that my computer was built back in the year 2005, with the cutting edge stuff that was offered back in that year. Now days my system is a dinosaur and probably could not handle all the top of the line video cards models on the open market today.

    For those who might require a complete system listing before being able to render advise, please click the following link, it's the spec's list my computer compliments of Dell.

    http://support.dell.com/support/edocs/SYSTEMS/dim5100C/sm/specs.htm#wp1052631

    Also I will post some more information that my system is showing now, for I've made a slight modification with re-placing the original RAM that was 256MB's to 4 Gig's of Patriot DDR2 RAM.

    Here is the current stuff....

    Intel(R) Graphics Media Accelerator Driver Report

    Report Date: - 04/19/2011
    Report Time[hr:mm:ss]: - 20:36:43
    Driver Version: - 6.14.10.4926
    Operating System: - Windows XP Professional, Service Pack 3
    Default Language: - English
    DirectX Version: - 9.0
    Physical Memory: - 4318 MB
    Minimum Graphics Memory: - 8 MB
    Maximum Graphics Memory: - 224 MB
    Graphics Memory in Use: 13 MB
    Processor: - Intel Pentium 4 (H/T) @ 3000 MHZ
    Processor Speed: - 3002 MHZ
    Vendor ID: - 8086
    Device ID: - 2772
    Device Revision: - 02

    * Accelerator Information *

    Accelerator in Use: - Intel(R) 82945G Express Chipset Family
    Video BIOS: - 1215
    Current Graphics Mode: - 1680 by 1050 True Color (60 Hz)

    As you can tell, by reading the spec's from that hyperlink, is that my system is PCI-e compatible. It says both PCI-e cards at x1 speeds and the type that are x16 speeds are compatible.

    Now here is the trick, my system can only use video cards that are deemed or called (low profile), meaning they have to be the sort that are approx. half the width of a normal card. They can't be to tall, with huge stuff on the top of them or they won't fit into the system.

    Now it's time for you all to play "you make the call", go ahead and fire away and tell me which video card I should run with! Give me the low down on what you feel would be a good card for my system. Also in regards to price I have almost $50.00 to play with here, so all cards would have to be real close or under that budget amount. I'm open to anything, Nvidia, ATI, Radeon and the like.

    Also to get a feel for what I would want to do with a good video card, that would be to play some fairly current to slightly old video game titles. Titles like (Call of Duty 4 "Modern Warfare") and (Unreal Tournament III) and (Never Winter Nights) and so forth! I would need something to play those games and games like them.

    For right now I'm stuck playing games on that 224MB video adapter like Half Life, Quake III Arena, Half Life Blue Shift and Opposing Force, Dues Ex and Unreal Tournament 1999!

    So please folks, any input would be very much appreciated. :)
     
  2. Tmagic650

    Tmagic650 TS Ambassador Posts: 17,244   +234

    Your motherboard has a single PCIe X16 slot that will fit a medium sized PCIe X16 video card. The more on-board video memory the video card has, the better the video will be. 32-bit XP will not see the entire 4GB of system RAM. It will "see" about 3.5GB of RAM total
     
  3. Zen

    Zen TechSpot Paladin Topic Starter Posts: 861   +45

    Picked A Winner!

    Well I just got back home from an after noon of video card shopping at two of my local computer stores. In the end it all just boiled down to reliability and performance. I made up my mind to get out of thinking about going "cheap" in regards to my computers video solution and give it what it needed, no matter how far wide open my wallet had to go.

    So at Best Buy I purchased myself a PNY NVIDIA Low Profile Quadro FX 380 Graphics adapter - 512 MB - GDDR3 SDRAM.

    Basic Spec's...

    GPU - 400MHz
    512MB DDR3 RAM
    Supports Cuda and Purevideo technology
    OpenCL, OpenGL and DirectX 10.1 Support
    Dual monitor support
    2560 x 1600 maximum resolution support
    DVI interface (only) no analog interface
    Full Linux support, Ubuntu 10.10 friendly :) Self loaded the drivers off the web! :)

    Price paid - $113.49

    Also had to break down and purchase a "low profile" styled power supply, to go along with the new video card. Best Buy only had one (1) power supply that would go with my case, so I was left but no choice to buy that to. The power supply swap was totally easy, undo 2 screws push a spring loaded pop out button and it jumps into your hand. Went from the stock 275 Watt Dell power supply to a Corsair 400 Watt, had to upgrade for the new video card wouldn't work, the old supply didn't have enough power, for the new card called for a 300 Watt supply (minimum), 275 just wouldn't cut it!

    So I'm happy, the computer is like way happy and I look forward to see what all of this will bring me in the future.
     
  4. Tmagic650

    Tmagic650 TS Ambassador Posts: 17,244   +234

    Great Zen! Nice work...
     
  5. Zen

    Zen TechSpot Paladin Topic Starter Posts: 861   +45

    Well thank you my friend, it was pretty nice and simple work! Only took me about 15 minutes to get everything done. Didn't have to mess with the 5100c's BIOS it was already set to (automatic) video card detection, Ubuntu 10.10 saw it right off the bat, and I guess it checked in with it's web support data base and loaded all the drivers all by itself, like 3 mouse clicks and entering my Admin password and it was finished.

    Plus I like the fact that most of my computers noises are gone, for the old power supply unit was not breaking down, but rather getting loose in it's old age, made a lot of lossy goosey sounds. Now the computer once again is very stealthy, you almost have to look at the screen just to see if the sucker is even on! :)

    Now it's time to fix something to eat, cut up a green lime, pour myself a cold one and watch a DVD on the new card and see how it compares to the old 228MB adapter.
     

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