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HELP! New Video Card for Dimension 3000 and HP W2207?.. Disclaimer: I AM NOT A GAMER!

By chiwhiz
Jun 2, 2007
  1. Thought I'd start a new thread as there may be others with the same dilemma with the new widescreen LCD's..

    Brand new to this forum but I've been scaling over it to help me decide which video card to buy for my Dimension 3000.



    My Dimension 3000 AS IS (before upgrades; see below)

    P4 880 mhz, 1 MB L2 cache
    1 GB RAM
    160 ATA HD
    Onboard Intel Extreme 2 Graphics
    SoundBlaster 24 Live Audio
    Stock 250W PSU
    1 DVD drive
    1 DVD/RW drive
    1 3.5" floppy drive


    Thing is, I AM NOT A GAMER, but am a digital photographer that would like to: increase image handling performance (ability to handle DSLR @ 10MP with multiple images in Photoshop CS/ Elements 5.0 on my new 22" LCD...currently even without the LCD, the system can't handle these in Elements 5.0 without crawling), watch streaming video and DVDs, and do intense surfing and multitasking (++ speed up applications).

    So far I've bought the following upgrades but have yet to install them:

    1. HP W2207 22" LCD - 1680 X 1050 max resolution...THIS is the part I'm most worried about, that some of the gaming video cards may not support b/c of the new 16:10 aspect ratio, and also allow the image to auto-rotate vertically with LCD, without having to manually do it
    2. Two 1GB DDR RAM sticks to max out with 2 GB RAM
    3. Seagate FreeAgent Pro 720 GB eSATA external HD (onboard is full)
    4. esata PCI controller with 7 ports (1 esata, 1 internal sata, the rest USB)

    Now, I'm looking for the perfect video card for ME to run the LCD @ 1680 X 1050 as stated above and also give me greater graphics capacity overall AND give me the ability to have a dual monitor system eventually...

    Note: I'd like to get a video card that doesn't need an extra fan/cooling system (that's a little past my techie-level) or a greater power supply. Between these two upgrades tho, I would replace the PSU if necessary to achieve my main goals for upgrading this little guy... Any suggestions at all would be AHHHH.. A breath of fresh air!

    THANKS in ADVANCE!!!!!!!!
     
  2. Tarkus

    Tarkus TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 621

    Do you have an AGP slot on the motherboard, or just "onboard AGP video"? My friend bought an AGP card for his system and it turned out he only had "onboard AGP video" and no slot for the card.

    pretty much any modern card can support widescreen, it would be best to get a card with DVI out if possible. DVI gives a sharper image over the analog EVGA output.
     
  3. cfitzarl

    cfitzarl TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 1,975   +9

    Hello, and welcome to TechSpot Openboards :wave: ! Check out the thread in my signature and tell us the specs of your PSU (Power Supply Unit).
     
  4. MetalX

    MetalX TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 1,388

    If you like to do a lot of multitasking, it might be worth your while to get a dual-core CPU like Core 2 Duo or a Pentium D at the very least.
     
  5. chiwhiz

    chiwhiz TS Rookie Topic Starter


    I'm not sure about "onboard AGP video"... but I am running the onboard "Intel Graphics Extreme 2" that comes standard with all Dimension 3000s. And I am sure that there are no AGP slots or PCIe slots, which is why I'm left to inquire about the best PCI video card for my needs. Also, yes, I plan to get a card with a DVI out, for it is the main reason I am getting it. As far as the "widescreen" part, yes they may support widescreen, but can you choose this particular resolution, 1680 X 1050, which is "optimal" for th HP w2207 or does this even really matter that much and should I just pick a resolution "close" to that?

    Thanks for your reply!
     
  6. chiwhiz

    chiwhiz TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Hi, forgive my ignorance; I see your signature thread there and looked at the back and yes, it's on top (ATX) but I haven't opened the case and there are no specs on the outside. All I know right now is that is 250W and it is what came with the box. Dell's site doesn't help either. I've actually never opened a CPU before but am about to to install everything (not tonight tho, it's late!)... I'm considering the VisionTek Radeon x1300 256 MB PCI card. Specs seem to match up with my existing PSU and have read reviews from others with the Dimension 3000 that it installed without a hitch and works great (for gaming). I'd like this to be pretty painless so it sounded like a good idea to me. Any thoughts?

    Let me know if you need the other specs on the PSU, and perhaps you can tell me what they mean and why you need them? I'll get a screwdriver in the morning and tool around. BTW, is it easy to check PSU specs if they are not visible from the outside? Are there five screws or twenty? Just wondering how much dis-and re-assembling I'd need to do. Thanks!
     
  7. chiwhiz

    chiwhiz TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Thx for the suggestion. As I stated in my other reply, I've never actually been inside a CPU and although I can be technically oriented and would LIKE to build my own PC one day, I'm not there. I don't know a thing about replacing the chipset either and for now, would like to stay with the Pentium 4, unless, someone convinces me that it's easy and under $150. I'm maxing out my budget with the upgrades I made and the upcoming video card and possible PSU I'm about to purchase. Plus, I've read that with XP, 2 GB of RAM and a video card should be a significant improvement for photoshop. I haven't installed them yet but they are part of my upgrades. How different is Pentium D vs Pentium 4?
     
  8. CMH

    CMH TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,039   +9

    Uhm.... 880mhz P4?

    For a P4 that ancient, you don't need 2gb of RAM. 1gb should be plenty. Doesn't hurt though.

    For graphic processing or image editing, a fast CPU will speed up your work. Getting a new Core2Duo will definately be out of your $150 budget, but it will definately speed up any photoshopping you do, by tons. Might reduce your waiting time to a third that it currently is.

    Is there a reason why you got the external HDD? You will save alot of money if you went with an internal one. The money saved could possibly fund the Core2Duo, which would have more spots for your HDD, assuming you bought the external because you ran out of internals. If this is so, you should return those items immediately.
     
  9. chiwhiz

    chiwhiz TS Rookie Topic Starter

    OOPS.. that was a mistake. It's a Intel Pentium 4 Processor (3GHz) w/HT Technology and 1 MB cache. The system is almost 3 years old.
     
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