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Video card upgrade for Dell Dimension 8300

By mosk
Aug 8, 2008
  1. Hi. I'm looking to upgrade the video card for my aging Dell Dimension 8300 for $150 or less (preferably $50-100). I have a new computer on the way which I'll use for the heavy lifting, but I'd like to be able to use this one as well - for 3D animation/video editing and light duty gaming for my kids.

    I have a Dell Dimension 8300,
    Intel Pentium 4, 2.6 GHz
    3GB DDR RAM
    Socket 478 mPGA
    Chipset i875P
    Graphic interface supports AGP version 3.0; 8x

    I can't open my computer right now to get at the power supply, but the system came with a 305 Watt supply with 1.5 V (as opposed to .8) for the video card.


    I currently have an nVidia GeForce5200 FX with 128 MB RAM, and would like to upgrade if it's economical enough and would boost the performance of this machine as it gimps along.

    Can the Dell 8300 handle a 512 MB card?
    (I've heard it both ways; Dell sales support said yes but I wasn't sure how tech savvy the person was).

    I've seen recommendations for the nVidia GeForce 7600, 8600GT and 7950GT.

    I don't know much about video cards, so any advice would be appreciated.

    Thanks,
    Mosk
     
  2. mosk

    mosk TS Rookie Topic Starter

    An added note - a Dell Tech representative just told me that he doesn't think the Dell 8300 motherboard will let you benefit from anything above a 128MB video card, because the motherboard only allocates 128 MB for Shared Memory.

    Not sure if that's true. I've certainly seen plenty of 256MB cards recommended as upgrades for the Dimension 8300 (and the first sales person there was suggesting a 512MB card)
     
  3. raybay

    raybay TS Evangelist Posts: 10,716   +6

    Any AGP video card, 4X, or 8x, will work. You will not find any useful advantage to a 512 MB card... look for 256 mb... you will likely not see substantial difference from your current 128.
    You will need a new power supply if you go for a 512 MB card, if you can still find one that is AGP. You cannot use any PCI-E or PCI Express video cards and they are where the power is.
    You are limited by the front side bus and the DDR memory of the 8300.
     
  4. mosk

    mosk TS Rookie Topic Starter

    thanks for the quick reply.

    I'd like to know from others if the general consensus is it's not worth upgrading the video card of a Dell Dimension 8300. Again, this will only be my secondary system, but I would like to be able to do some video processing and 3D animation with it.
     
  5. Rage_3K_Moiz

    Rage_3K_Moiz Sith Lord Posts: 7,290   +25

    Since all the tech in your Dell is practically obsolete, there'd be little sense in upgrading it. You'd be better off buying or upgrading a newer system, since this one is basically past its prime. But if you cannot afford a second system for the time being, the 7600GS\GT would a great upgrade and allow you to use the system for 3D animation and the like.

    As for the card itself, any AGP 8x card will work. Memory size or type will not make much difference.
     
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