TechSpot

Dell Dimension 8300 Graphics Card Upgrade

By jmohsin
Sep 4, 2007
  1. kpo6969

    kpo6969 TS Maniac Posts: 875

    You have to open up your case and look at the psu label. What your looking for is maximium combined wattage on the 12v rails.
    If you have the 305w it should be:
    12VA_18a_+ 12VB_18a_= 264watts on the 12v
    264w__divide by 12_= 22amps

    If it's less you have the 250w
     
  2. tkusanagi1974

    tkusanagi1974 TS Rookie Posts: 16

    Thanks again kpo6969! I opened my box and took out the psu. The label was on the bottom so I wasn't able to check without taking apart the psu. I have a 305w I think. The part number is NPS305BBA. I googled it and it looks like its a 305w. So do you think I would need to upgrade my psu to 410w if I buy a 7950gt? And you mentioned 7900gs is a good deal. The pricing does look very attractive. But how does it match up with the 7950gt? Or it doesn't really matter for my configuration since my cpu will serve as the bottleneck to utilize either of the cards??

    And will installing more ram help on game performances? I currently have 2 dimm of 512mb ram (total of 1GB). Which leaves me 2 more slots. I can buy 2 1GB rams to make my total 3GB. But will that do anything for me? Or I can even buy 4 1GB of ram...but again, is there any reasons to?

    Thanks again for your helping out a 35 year old kid! You and raybay both rock!
     
  3. nickc

    nickc TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,634

    3GB would help u're whole computer experence.
     
  4. tkusanagi1974

    tkusanagi1974 TS Rookie Posts: 16

    Here's what's coming my way:

    - XFX 7950GT AGP card (Amazon)
    - Power and Cooling Silencer 410w (pcpower.com)
    - 2x 1GB Ram (Crucial.com/btw are they any good? maybe I should have asked before my impulsive purchase)

    With all that I am set back just slightly over $500. I will report back on the results once I receive and install everything.

    One last thing...I read I need to uninstall my nvidia drivers first before inserting the 7950GT card because of incompatible issues?? I then would need to download the latest drivers directly from XFX after installing the card? Is this true?

    Thanks again guys! This forum is awesome!
     
  5. tkusanagi1974

    tkusanagi1974 TS Rookie Posts: 16

    Btw, I didn't purchase from newegg.com because of tax and shipping would be more than Amazon. I have free shipping with Amazon.
     
  6. tkusanagi1974

    tkusanagi1974 TS Rookie Posts: 16

    ah crap! forgot to account for the rebates!!! oh well...I thought the rebates is for any XFX purchase. Didn't know the requirement is that you need to purchase it from newegg...
     
  7. tkusanagi1974

    tkusanagi1974 TS Rookie Posts: 16

    Another thing...everywhere I read, the 7950gt runs hot. Do I need an aftermarket cooling? And if yes, what would be a good one for Dell 8300? Thanks again!
     
  8. Rage_3K_Moiz

    Rage_3K_Moiz Sith Lord Posts: 7,286   +24

    Crucial RAM is of top quality, so no problems there. 2GB is more than enough for gaming if you're running XP. For Vista, more is better.
    As for the video card, it doesn't run too hot to require aftermarket cooling. But are you sure it would fit on your motherboard? Make sure before you buy it.
     
  9. tkusanagi1974

    tkusanagi1974 TS Rookie Posts: 16

    The reason I am asking regarding cooling is because with my ASUS N7600GS Silent 256mb AGP card, GPU temp is at 75C idling according to NVIDIA Monitor, and can go up to 87-88C when playing games. So I am worried that with the XFX 7950GT card it must run even hotter.

    I guess the 8300 case is not built for ventilation??? I'm in an aircooled room, so I don't think its the summer heat that is raising the temp.

    So a ZEROtherm GX815 Gamer edition probably will not fit on my motherboard??

    Thanks again for your time.
     
  10. kpo6969

    kpo6969 TS Maniac Posts: 875

    Good job!
    Crucial is very good, got a 2x512mb kit myself and works fine.
    I have a Silencer470 on the way for myself. Getting ready for a 8700GTS when they come out.
     
  11. Rage_3K_Moiz

    Rage_3K_Moiz Sith Lord Posts: 7,286   +24

    @tkusanagi1974, I wasn't talking about the HSF fitting, I was talking about the card itself. And your current card is passive-cooled, which have a tendency to run hotter than active-cooled cards. Most 7950GTs are active-cooled, so don't worry too much.
     
     
  12. tkusanagi1974

    tkusanagi1974 TS Rookie Posts: 16

    kpo6969: glad to hear that you have Crucial as well :)

    What is 8700GTS? Is that PCIe card? Oh well...wish I can get a brand new rig. But wife would probably kill me.

    Rage_3K_Moiz:

    So you mean there's a chance that XFX 7950GT might not fit on my Dell 8300 mobo? Arghh...I certainly hope not...but I never thought that it would be an issue...fingers crossed.

    So if XFX 7950GT was able to fit, do you think I will be needing ZEROtherm GX815 Gamer edition? I just read a lot of horror story on newegg that 7950 getting too hard and warped the active fan and render it useless...

    And thanks for clarifying that my current card is passive-cooled therefore run hotter.

    Man, you guys are so knowledgeable about this stuff! I wish I can be like you guys one day!
     
  13. Rage_3K_Moiz

    Rage_3K_Moiz Sith Lord Posts: 7,286   +24

    Thanks for the kind words, much appreciated mate. As for the cooling, if you do want a third-party HSF, get the Zalman VF-900Cu. It's the best cooling solution for your card IMO.
     
  14. tkusanagi1974

    tkusanagi1974 TS Rookie Posts: 16

    Again, thank you for such a swift reply. Do I have to take out the existing fan that came with 7950gt then add Zalman VF-900Cu? Or is it something that I can tag on to the card and leaving the existing fan in place?

    Thanks again!
     
  15. tkusanagi1974

    tkusanagi1974 TS Rookie Posts: 16

    Hi again, can I give my own post a bump?

    http://www.neoseeker.com/resourcelink.html?rid=140007

    I found an image of a mobo with 7950GT installed. And there appears to be a zalman cooler on the motherboard. Is that something I can do instead of attaching the Zalman VF-900Cu onto the mobo instead of the gpu itself? Thanks in advance for your help!
     
  16. mailpup

    mailpup TS Special Forces Posts: 8,458   +228

    You cannot leave the existing fan in place. The Zalman VF-900Cu is not just a fan but a heatsink AND fan. It replaces the stock heatsink and fan on the graphics card. The Zalman heatsink/fan you saw on the motherboard is attached to the CPU and would do nothing to cool the graphics card. Each one needs its own heatsink/fan.

    BTW, I wouldn't rush out to buy an aftermarket cooler. For one thing, replacing the stock heatsink/fan on a new 7950GT will likely void the factory warranty. You certainly will want to wait to make sure it is in good working condition before trying to modify it.
     
  17. tkusanagi1974

    tkusanagi1974 TS Rookie Posts: 16

    Thanks mailpup. Oops...I've already ordered the Zalman, in fact it was delivered to me this morning before everything else. I guess I'll just hold on to it for now, and if the GPU doesn't seem to need it I'll exercise my 30-day return policy w/ Amazon.

    Thanks again guys!
     
  18. tkusanagi1974

    tkusanagi1974 TS Rookie Posts: 16

    Got everything installed except the extra 2gb ram which will be arriving today. Had a little trouble installing at first. The Driver CD that it came with wasn't able to identify the card so driver couldn't be installed. I had to go to XFX site to download the latest installation software to make it work.

    3D Mark 2006 result is in the 3800s. With the Asus N7600GS Silent 256mb my result was around 2500s. So I guess there is some improvements. But if for those looking for a big jump, I guess the best thing is to save money and invest in a PCIe rig instead like everyone else suggested, which unfortunately wasn't something I was capable of doing due to boss (wife) in the house.

    I doubt the extra 2gb of ram will boost the 3D Mark 2006 results. But in case it does, I'll report back!

    Thanks again for all the help guys! Wasn't able to do any of this without this board or all of your supports!
     
  19. tkusanagi1974

    tkusanagi1974 TS Rookie Posts: 16

    got the new 2gb ram installed to make it total of 3gb for my system.

    Well well....what do you know...scored a whopping 3750 on 3dmark06. approx 100 pts lower than with my original 1gb of ram setup...

    Does that sound right???
     
  20. dubtom

    dubtom TS Rookie

    Sorry for jumping on this post but I'm in the same position. I have an 8300 and recently purchased a 2 gigs of ram and a radeon HD2600. Only on trying to install the card and it not working and then doing some research (I know,my bad) did I realise that my psu wasn't strong enough to run the card and the card would need a plug in power supply (my fx5200 was powered off the mob I think). I've decided to upgrade the psu, the silencer 410 dell-2 seems to be the recommended one, question is will it run the card ok and would it have the proper plug in cable for it. As you can tell I'm a novice where upgrades and what to use are concerned,so any help gratefully appreciated.
     
  21. kpo6969

    kpo6969 TS Maniac Posts: 875

  22. dubtom

    dubtom TS Rookie

    Thanks for the quick responce. I did get a dvi to vga/d sub adapter but not the power cable.I'll have to open up to see what size the psu is.As there is a few cables in there not used,would it be the case that it already has a compatable cable in the pc.So if it's the case that the psu is 305,it's just a matter of pluggig in the card if the proper adapter is in the pc, or getting an adapter?
     
  23. dubtom

    dubtom TS Rookie

    Thanks KPo6969, card is fitted,power supply inside ok.You saved me a few bucks. Only problem now is the drivers won't load
     
  24. kpo6969

    kpo6969 TS Maniac Posts: 875

    The last I heard you still need to use the Omega drivers for the HD2600 series for AGP.
    XP
    http://downloads.guru3d.com/download.php?det=1817
     
  25. Rage_3K_Moiz

    Rage_3K_Moiz Sith Lord Posts: 7,286   +24

    I'd still recommend trying the ATI Catalyst drivers first rather than the Omega ones. Only if the Catalyst drivers don't work should you install the Omega drivers. You didn't specify what drivers you're trying to install but I assume they're from the CD. Try downloading Catalyst 7.12 and see if that works. If it doesn't then go ahead and install the Omega drivers.
     
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