TechSpot

Dell Dimension E310 Series Video Card Upgrade

By Rulerofwax
Jun 1, 2009
Topic Status:
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  1. Ok, this is my first post here, just made an account to post this.

    I want to be able to play Second Life and I need a better graphics card. Here is the system requirements:
    secondlife.com/support/sysreqs.php
    (would have the link, but its my first post)

    I am on an XP, and I would like to get a compatible card from the recommended list.


    I have looked at some other posts, and I am really confused. I understand the basics of computers, but I have no idea about this. I think I may need to upgrade my power supply? I have no idea what to post here, but I will try.
    Here is what I have:
    Intel
    Pentium 4 CPU 2.80 GHz
    2.79 GHz, 1.99 GB of RAM
    Physical Address Extension


    This is from dxdiag:
    Intel 82519G/GV/910GL Express Chipset Family



    My driver is already updated, and it still doesn't work.
  2. larryiam

    larryiam TS Rookie Posts: 577

    Ok you said upgrade your video card?......so what video card do you have in there now?
    Also you will have to either take the panel off your computer and get the brand and watts of your PSU (power supply) or look it up. So far your CPU and RAM look good.
    Just get the other info and i will be able to help further
  3. klepto12

    klepto12 TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,364   +9

    that dell has gma 900 integrated graphics the geforce 6200 pci version would be a good upgrade but i think the fastest pci card is the nvidia 9400.
  4. Rulerofwax

    Rulerofwax TS Rookie Topic Starter

    A little power problem...


    Ok, I talked to someone I sorta know with realitivley good knowladge of computers, and O jsut checked the inside of mine. I don't have an expresse card. I have one open slot in the back of my computer which can fit a video card, but I am not sure if it will fit, but I have no idea. My current video card is: none, just my mother board. I also checked, and it says I have a 230W PSU. Could someone link me to a good quality, good PSU that is about $150 or so. Also, a video card that can fit into that slot, and will work with whatever PSU is linked, also for around $150.

    At this point, I need some simple message, from an honest guy, of what video card and PSU I should buy.
  5. larryiam

    larryiam TS Rookie Posts: 577

    Well your really limited to a pci video card which is slow. But if you really wanna upgrade here is a good video card
    Video Card
    and i would recommend this
    PSU
    That video card isn't on the recommended list but it should play it no problem.
  6. Rulerofwax

    Rulerofwax TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Are you sure...?

    Ok, so that video card will work, even though that guy said it wasn't able to play that modern games?

    Also, the video card will preform at 380W? Is the PSU good?
  7. larryiam

    larryiam TS Rookie Posts: 577

    For what your playin it should work great.
    and that psu that is a wonderful psu. I have one of them in my system now running a o,clocked pentium e2180 3GB ram 2 fans and a pci express 9500gt overclocked without a hitch and that isn't a very demanding video card so it should work fine.

    oh and btw that is the best card you can get for a pci slot
  8. Rulerofwax

    Rulerofwax TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Ok, last question before I hit buy.

    What is Newegg.com's return policy if I have been wrong about using a PCI card. Also, one the face of the card that is exposed, what are those plugs for?
  9. larryiam

    larryiam TS Rookie Posts: 577

    Click Here if you don't believe me :stickout:

    Could you explain yourself just a little more?
  10. Rulerofwax

    Rulerofwax TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Plugs

    Ok, well for the return, if it doesn't work in my computer, or doesn't play a game, that means as long as I ship everything, I will get a refund?

    The plugs: You know the metal part of it, that acn be seen from the outside of the computer, with the circular plug, and the plug next to it, whch looks sorta like a plug for a monitor to go into.


    P.S. Thank you for answering all my questions so far, you have been a great help.
  11. larryiam

    larryiam TS Rookie Posts: 577

    That's right. You might have to pay for shipping back but its not much.
    And OHH the plugs are DVI out. The newer monitors use them for clearer picture. and the circular plug is a s-video so if you want you can hook your computer up to your plasma tv and such. If you have a vga cable from your monitor (it will be blue) then you can buy an adaptor for it. Something like this they are cheap.

    And no problem glad i could help.
    Any more questions? i would be glad to answer anything that i haven't made clear. :D
     
  12. Rulerofwax

    Rulerofwax TS Rookie Topic Starter


    Oh god, now you have me hopped up on another subject! So If I get one of the things in the link, I plug that into my monitor port, or the DVI out plug, in this case, and get a VGA cable, and plug that in, and plug it into my TV and that will turn my TV into my computer monitor?
  13. larryiam

    larryiam TS Rookie Posts: 577

    Haha no that adapter in the link is to make the older monitors work. If you have a older monitor with a vga cable instead of a dvi cable that adapter will make your old monitor work.

    Now the s-video cables that are included.....you can hook them up with your plasma or flat screen and make a computer monitor with that.
    I have never done it so i can't give you details on that. sorry.
  14. Rulerofwax

    Rulerofwax TS Rookie Topic Starter

    OK! I bought it yesterday, and it should arrive on Monday, said Newegg.com. I will post here next on Monday/Tuesday or so, as the earliest, if I have and comments or concerns about the card working. I am not even the surest it will fit into my computer! Thanks!
  15. larryiam

    larryiam TS Rookie Posts: 577

    Ok good luck with is. And yea if you have any problems just give us a shout.

    And it should fit it your pc good. ;)
  16. electromagnetic

    electromagnetic TS Enthusiast Posts: 201

    Where did you buy the card from USA ?

    I got exact same PC as you can you tell me how good it is please.
  17. raybay

    raybay TS Evangelist Posts: 10,716   +6

    That Dell 3100/310E is a very basic budget computer. It has very limited power supply output at 230 watts. The memory should be 2 GB of DDR2 PC5300 and not value ram. You have only one PCI slot that will handle the video graphics card... You will not see big leaps in performance when you upgrade to the fastest card, and it can cost you a lot.
    Maybe it is time to upgrade to a good used computer with more power and a more rugged system board.
    We see large numbers of users of the Dimension 310E and the similar 2700 and 5000 that are destroyed by demanding more of them than they can handle... When you can upgrade for not a great deal more.
  18. electromagnetic

    electromagnetic TS Enthusiast Posts: 201

    So games should not work then, so Team Fortress 2, Doom 3 multiplayer is fine ;), Quake 4, Prey, Half Life 2 Episode 2, Max Payne 1 & 2, Crazy Taxi 3, Deus Ex Invisible War.

    so PCI is bad eh.

    Also Dell underrate there power supplies a Dell Rep said so.
  19. raybay

    raybay TS Evangelist Posts: 10,716   +6

    Well, they won't run well. I have not tried any of them in a long time... PCI stopped being anything by 2002, really, as AGP came out in 1997. The PCI bus was OK for many years in the 90's but it is very old technology for graphics interfaces. By 1997, PCI bus couldn't handle all the information passing between the main processor and the graphics processor. As a result, Intel developed the Accelerated Graphics Port (AGP). AGP is a bus dedicated completely to graphics cards. The bandwidth across the AGP bus isn't shared with any other components. PCI continues to be a bus of choice for most peripherals, AGP took over the market, but it, too, was replaced by the PCI-Express bus in 2004... Your computer uses PCI as a way to provide monitor graphics reliably at low cost, but is not anywhere close to running games well.
    With PCI, you are two generations behind, and nothing important in gaming is designed to work well with PCI.
    Some manufacturers have recognized the need, as there are huge number of computer users who could only afford a minimal, basic computer... so they came out with good graphics cards that would fit in a PCI slot in a simple computer... and they work pretty well.
    But nobody designs any games for the PCI bus any longer... that stopped in 2002 or before...
    You want to do gaming, upgrade at least to an AGP machine. But remember that PCI-EXpress came out in 2004, and has controlled what happened in gaming ever since.
  20. Rulerofwax

    Rulerofwax TS Rookie Topic Starter

    ****

    God F***ing D*** it! It doesn't work. $200 for a PSU, Graphics Card, and warranty! I even had to get computer repair people to help me, which was another $80! I tryed to log into Second Life, but I get a message saying it hasn't been tested but should still work. It doesn't, it won't let me log in. Is there anything I can do to get the game to work without buying any thing more that is physical, I am open to spending a bit more on software I can get online.
  21. electromagnetic

    electromagnetic TS Enthusiast Posts: 201

    1. You didn't need a new power supply.

    2. You got to disable Intel Integrated graphics before you put in the card.

    3. Why did the card not power on.

    Your computer must meet these REQUIREMENTS, or you may not be able to successfully participate in Second Life.
    Get Second Life



    Internet Connection*: Cable or DSL Cable or DSL
    Operating System: XP, or Vista XP or Vista
    Computer Processor: 800 MHz Pentium III or Athlon, or better 1.5 GHz (XP), 2-GHz (Vista) 32-bit (x86) or better
    Computer Memory: 512 MB or more 1 GB or more
    Screen Resolution: 1024x768 pixels 1024x768 pixels or higher
    Graphics Card for XP**:

    * NVIDIA GeForce 6600 or better
    * OR ATI Radeon 8500, 9250 or better
    * OR Intel 945 chipset

    NVIDIA Graphics cards
    6000 Series:

    * 6600, 6700, 6800

    7000 Series:

    * 7600, 7800, 7900

    8000 Series:

    * 8500, 8600, 8800

    GeForce Go Series:

    * 7600, 7800, 7900

    ATI Graphics Cards

    * X800, X900, X1600, X1700, X1800, X1900
    * x2600, x2900
    * x3650, x3850

    Graphics Card for Vista (requires latest drivers)**:

    * NVIDIA GeForce 6600 or better
    * OR ATI Radeon 9500 or better
    * OR Intel 945 chipset

    NVIDIA Graphics cards
    7000 Series:

    * 7600, 7800, 7900

    8000 Series:

    * 8500, 8600, 8800

    GeForce Go Series:

    * 7600, 7800, 7900

    ATI Graphics Cards

    * X1600, X1700, X1800, X1900
    * x2600, x2900
    * x3650, x3850
  22. Rulerofwax

    Rulerofwax TS Rookie Topic Starter


    I have all those requierments! This is a GeFore 9500 GT, which I think is better then a 6600. I needed a new power supply to run the graphics card, and it still isnt of needed power, but it should still work well enough.

    The tech dude also enabled the grpahics card, so it is currently in use, the card is working, just not with that game at least
  23. teklord

    teklord TS Maniac Posts: 524

    Are your drivers installed properly?
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