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Video Card Issues- Is mine outdated-What to get

By cableman
Jan 3, 2014
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  1. I recently bought a Dell Precision T5400 and man it is a workhorse compared to what I have been using. It has two quad core 2.0GHz processors and currently 16MB of RAM (which I intend to upgrade to 32MB). It has two separate 750GB hard drives and is running Windows 7 Ultimate. The only problem is that the display doesn't seem to be anywhere as good as my old computer is and I just bought a cheap $80.00 no name 1GB DDR2 card for it.

    My new Dell has a nvidia quadro fx 3450/4000 SD1 which I think has only 512MB of ram and the only thing it has going for it is that it has dual DVI connections for dual monitors only up to 30". I thought with all the video cards out today that I could find something reasonable to replace this with and still have the option of dual monitors but I would prefer not to be limited to only 30" monitors. I think this video card is just too old but I need advice because anyone at a store would just try to sell me one of the most expensive ones that I cannot really afford. I have plenty of room for video cards and can even run a dual space taking one of either type slot. Please help advise me. You can even look up the specs on my computer from the info above. It has an 850 watt power supply so I know that is not a problem. As a matter of fact I wanted to also look into some more cooling options to keep it cool.

    The case is 17.5" high and 18" deep and 7" wide. It is a monster to me, but that is what I wanted. I wanted one I could upgrade the way I want to. I get mixed up on the card slot names but I know it has 2 of the dual X16 Gen. 2 Graphic Slots ( I think those are the long ones with the little blue catch at the end to help hold the card) and it has about 4 or more other slots. Only one of the X16 is being used by the old card which I plan to replace and the other slots are empty.

    As always, Thanks a million for the advice and help you guys give on here. I hope someone has a decent solution for me. The only reason I didn't want to be limited to a 30" inch monitor is because I watch a lot of streaming video on the internet and I thought I would get one of those large 50" or 60" televisions to use but if I can't it's cool just explain it to me if you can please. Thanks again for any responses.
  2. GhostRyder

    GhostRyder TS Evangelist Posts: 2,206   +518

    The size of a monitor does not matter to a video card, you can hook up a 60inch TV and it wont make a difference in performance to the machine over a similarly specked 30inch. What matters is the resolution, the higher you go (720->1080->1600->etc) the more demanding it is on your video card. Now in your case that Quadro card is Extremely Low end in this day and age which means its probably struggling to do anything even at 720p resolution. Now while this is a workstation machine, im inclined to ask what else you maybe doing besides watching/streaming HD content. If that is all you want to do, my suggestion would be to grab one of these:

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814121800

    Its and AMD R7 250, it has a DVI, HDMI, and a VGA on it so you can hook up 2 monitors (I would suggest 1 HDMI and 1 DVI) and it will keep up with your needs just fine. If you intend to do more with your machine than that or want a video card a little bit higher up for possible other tasks, try grabbing one of these:

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814150688

    Its an AMD R7 260X which is a significant step up for 50 more dollars. But it contains display port and more outputs in general so you can hook up lots of different monitors (Up to 6) on it.

    Just my two cents, if you really want a workstation card like a quadro or firepro, let us know what your using it for so we can find a good one for you instead.
  3. cableman

    cableman TS Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 175

    Well, besides the fact that the card in my computer is ancient and can barely bring my 23" monitor to life and still has glitches. I am looking for a really good video card that will help me with my streaming video issues. I know the card isn't the only part in that role but I want to make sure my card is not going to cause me issues watching videos online. I don't play a lot of games but I would like enough of a graphic card to be there for gaming if I need it. As far as two monitors I only really want to like use one for watching video while working on the other one (e-mail, ebay listings, printing shipping labels). And the other thing I want two monitor for is I am going to learn Dreamweaver and it would be great if I could have the tutorials on the left monitor while doing the work in Dreamweaver on the right side monitor at the same time. Maybe now you know more about what I want to use it for and also, my Dell Precision is dependent upon a video card. It has no integrated one at all.
  4. GhostRyder

    GhostRyder TS Evangelist Posts: 2,206   +518

    Then I would get a R7 260X, it will give you enough for all your needs without breaking the bank. If you think you need more get an R9 270X but I would not go beyond that for your needs.
  5. cableman

    cableman TS Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 175

    Yeah, the card in it now hardly keeps my screen up. I really would like the 2gb R7 but I may have to go with the 1GB to keep my cost under $100.00 It just depends on how much I can spare cause I need one now!! Thanks for all your replies, I will definitely get one of the two R7's
  6. cableman

    cableman TS Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 175

    I am not doing anything else with the intended video card. I am just sick of an antique card that wont stop buffering or freezing when I try to watch a movie. I thought that since I would be buying a card now anyway that I should have one with a little room for performance in case I was to want it. I don't really play pc games but I have never had the option to. I definitely want multiple monitor support because I plan on learning web design and being able to use 2 or 3 screens at once would be an incredible help. I don't have any other motives, I just thought I should get a good card so I don't have to upgrade so soon. I looked at the cards you recommended and the upper grade card would be good if it only had 2GB of ram. I really want 2GB of ram and the AMD APP Acceleration, AMD Stream Technology with at least 896 stream processors, AMD Eyefinity, AMD ZeroCore Technology, and the rest of the additional features. I am currently looking at this card it's just a tad more than I wanted to spend:
    XFX Radeon R7 260X Double Dissipation Video Card - 2GB GDDR5, PCI-Express 3.0 (x16), AMD CrossFireX - R7-260X-CDF4
    Item#: JIE-102301619 | Model#: R7-260X-CDF4


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