Installing a new Video card on my Dell Dimension 5100 need confirmation

By Batmaniac
Jul 13, 2006
  1. Well I plan to buy a "EVGA E-GEFORCE 7600 GT CO 256MB GDDR3 PCI-E" off ebay so I can replace the crappy Radeon 128mb x300 that came with my computer and run Gothic 3 and BioShock!

    Now I'm not sure how Dells are built exactly, but I've heard that there are issues when installing new hardware.

    Now my motherboard supports the follow card slots:

    2 PCI, 1 PCI-E x16, and 1 PCI-E x 1

    The card I am purchasing is a PCI Express x16 so I assume that my motherboard supports it and that there will be no issues with my installation.

    I don't like returning things on e-Bay so I'm just trying to make sure that I won't have to because my the card won't be compatible with my computer.

    Thanks for the putting a simpleton such as myself at ease.

    Also, if you would recommend another card that I could get for about the same price I'd be happy to hear it. I just want to update my graphics card and not spend a fortune doing it.

    Thanks again!
  2. Rage_3K_Moiz

    Rage_3K_Moiz Sith Lord Posts: 5,427   +27

    How much are u paying for it? Chances are it may be cheaper somewhere else. And where exactly are u located? There are alternatives but until you give us the amount of money ur ready to spend on this card we can't tell u if a better card is available for the same price.
    P.S. - To answer ur original question, It will be compatible with ur PC.
  3. Batmaniac

    Batmaniac TS Rookie Topic Starter

  4. i_am_a_newbie

    i_am_a_newbie TS Rookie Posts: 170

  5. Rage_3K_Moiz

    Rage_3K_Moiz Sith Lord Posts: 5,427   +27

  6. i_am_a_newbie

    i_am_a_newbie TS Rookie Posts: 170

  7. Greenmachine

    Greenmachine TS Rookie Posts: 149

    That is a nice card. One consideration though....recommended Power supply for that card is 350W and your comp. comes with a 305W PSU. As long as you have an ATX PSU the replacement/install is very easy to do yourself. A good PSU will cost around $75 US.
  8. Batmaniac

    Batmaniac TS Rookie Topic Starter

    I definitely do not have the money to spend on a new PSU plus the video card.

    What should I do?

    Should I opt for the X850XT instead? I looked around and I think that has a 300w PSU minimum and I'm assuming it will give me about the same performance as the 7600gt for about the same cost.
  9. Rage_3K_Moiz

    Rage_3K_Moiz Sith Lord Posts: 5,427   +27

  10. Batmaniac

    Batmaniac TS Rookie Topic Starter

    With shipping and tax those two products come out to an exact total of $330.50 with a 30$ rebate.


    I really don't want to spend more than 260 initally - rebates. Which is how much the card alone would cost. Damn my power supply =(.
  11. Rage_3K_Moiz

    Rage_3K_Moiz Sith Lord Posts: 5,427   +27

  12. Batmaniac

    Batmaniac TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Alright I think I'm going to suck it up and get the XFX card and the Coolmax V-400 / 400-Watt which comes out to a total of $320.

    But before I make this purchase, is there any chance that the PSU won't work with my computer? Dell has this online manual that is very detailed so I plan to just follow the steps listed here when installing these new parts:

    Hopefully I won't have any trouble and thanks a lot for your help.
  13. Rage_3K_Moiz

    Rage_3K_Moiz Sith Lord Posts: 5,427   +27

    I think if u have an ATX case then it will fit. Good luck with it :grinthumb
  14. Batmaniac

    Batmaniac TS Rookie Topic Starter

    I'm like 75% positive that my case is BTX.
  15. Rage_3K_Moiz

    Rage_3K_Moiz Sith Lord Posts: 5,427   +27

    I think u would need an ATX12 PSU in that case. Those PSUs aren't sold by TigerDirect so you'll have to find a PSU of that specification. Antec, Enermax, Fortron and Thermaltake are some of the good brands that produce this type of PSU. I can't seem to find one on ZipZoomFly since the site doesn't seem to want to open but if u find any of these brand PSU that u like, don't hesitate to buy.
  16. Batmaniac

    Batmaniac TS Rookie Topic Starter

    What about if I bought a 20 - 24 Pin ATX to BTX Power Supply Convertor, not sure what it is but I found some on eBay and it sounds like something I could use.
  17. Batmaniac

    Batmaniac TS Rookie Topic Starter

    I've been reading around and it seems Dell lists the low-end factor of their PSUs. Like a 350w Dell PSU has a high-end factor of 500w and somebody else said that a 250w Dell PSU is overkill for a 350w x1600.

    I will look into this more and if anybody knows anything regarding this I would love to hear it. I'd be estatic if I could get away with not having to purchase a new PSU (especially since ATX12s are expensive and the ATX/BTX connectors apparently do more harm than good).

    Edit: After checking around the dell hardware forums, I've already seen two cases of people with a Dell stock 305w PSU that successfully installed a 7600gt. One was the EVGA OC and the other the XFX.

    I don't plan on overclocking the card or my CPU and I'm starting to think that I should be fine just purchasing the XFX card.
  18. dmill89

    dmill89 TS Guru Posts: 475

    You'll be fine as long as you don't overclock or make too many more upgrades. If you decide to make more upgrades later on you'll probably need a new PSU but for those cards your PSU is fine.

    Update: I looked it up and the geforce 7600 GT only uses 3 more watts than the X300
  19. Rage_3K_Moiz

    Rage_3K_Moiz Sith Lord Posts: 5,427   +27

    Cool. Then I guess ur good to go eh? And u saved urself some money in the process too!
  20. chas0039

    chas0039 TS Rookie

    Dell is notorious for PSU/MBs that are non-standard. The worst will accept a standard plug and then fry. So check with Dell before you plug anything into your motherboard.
  21. dmill89

    dmill89 TS Guru Posts: 475

    His Dell has the standard Hipro PSU but it was good of you to mension this for people with older dells. The 305W PSU made by hipro that is currently shipping with systems and a few of the older P4 (I believe the demension 4700 and newer for mid-end and the 8400 and newer on the high end) have standard PSUs but all P2,P3 Dells and some of the older P4s snd celerond have a pin configuration that looks like and fits a standard ATX connector but the voltages are different. A good PSU will not allow you to fry the system because the protection will kick in(before I knew about dell's non standard PSUs I tried to install an Antec PSU but it refused to start and the alarm in the PSU went off) but cheaper PSUs usually dont have this protection and will fry a dell board with nonstandard connections.
  22. cubecompMTDX

    cubecompMTDX TS Rookie Posts: 48

    Instead of buying the Coolmax V-400 from tigerdirect, save $20+ by buying it from the better trusted newegg.
  23. kpo6969

    kpo6969 TS Maniac Posts: 710

    You do NOT need a new psu to run that card. Your 305w psu has 22amps. I have the same psu in a Dimension E521 and run a 8600GT. Your stock psu is good for up to a 8600GTS or 7900GT. The 7600GT uses 36w, the 7900GT uses 48w, and the 8600GTS uses 47w. Mine uses 43w.
  24. Rage_3K_Moiz

    Rage_3K_Moiz Sith Lord Posts: 5,427   +27

    Batmaniac lives in Ontario, Canada. So there's no chance of him using Newegg.
  25. cubecompMTDX

    cubecompMTDX TS Rookie Posts: 48

    oh, but there's other sites that sell that thing for way less than tigerdirect. I have seen them. Google search coolmax v-400.
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