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Dell Dimension 3000 - Suggestions for Graphics Upgrade

By randyh ยท 120 replies
Jul 20, 2005
  1. Marker

    Marker TS Rookie

    GEForce 6200

    I bought a GEforce 6200 card about 2 months ago for my Dimension 3000 and it seems to work pretty well. However, I actually bought so I could play Oblivion IV and I've actually had a problem with locking up. I play the game for a period of time (anywhere from 10 to 45 minutes) and I suddenly get caught in an infinite loop which causes the blue screen to appear and the computer performs a physical memory dump before shutting down. I can't figure out why it's doing this, though it only happens with Oblivion. I've reduced the graphics to very low (which you can do after upgrading the game) and it still does it. Someone suggested the computer was over heating but my core temp never goes much above 50C (about 110F). I'm not sure why this is happening but anyone has run into a similar problem, could you let me know? I'm frustrated because I love playing the game, when I can, but I'm curious as to whether this is caused by my computer, the card, or the game. Oh yeah, the blue screen tells me its a problem with the file nvid4_disp (or someting like that). I've updated the drivers but no luck.
  2. zdbc13

    zdbc13 TS Rookie


    Who said:

    "The only mod I had to make was the front pannel connectons. I salvaged an old connector from a junk PC and used it in place of the DELL connector for HD led, PWR led, speaker (added), and reset switch. This is very easy to do if you are electronicaly inclined. Please contact me if you have any questions."

    I'm doing the same thing and need to find out the lead pinouts.

  3. tiesont

    tiesont TS Rookie

    Dumb question, I suppose, but did you install the drivers for your new card prior to installing the card? If you don't, your computer might not recognize the card properly...
  4. Greenmachine

    Greenmachine TS Rookie Posts: 149


    Sounds like someone else has a similar problem here.

    You might also check this site out.

    My thoughts:
    - It does sound like a driver issue
    - Out of curiousity how many case fans do you have? (Although I do not think it is from overheating)
    - What brand of vid. card (PNY, 3D fuzion, Jaton, etc.) do you have & model number if possible (not just 6200)?

  5. Billy_b4c

    Billy_b4c TS Rookie

    Hey guys...I'm new here (this is my first post), but I just installed a 3DFuzion 256mb DirectX 9 PCI card (Nvidia geForce chipset) in my Dell 3000, and it works AWESOME. My experience was this:

    First, like everyone AND the directions say, you have to uninstall the drivers for the Intel onboard graphics. What I also found out is that you have to also have to DISABLE it as well. Dunno why, but you do. Uninstall from Add/Remove programs and disable from device manager.
    Power down, install PCI card and plug in your monitor to the new card. Here is the tricky part, when I powered back up, XP installed IT'S drivers to the PCI, and it would not let me install the ones that came with the card off of the cd. (yep, I tried to install the drivers BEFORE installing the PCI, but it wouldn't let me do that either)
    With XP's drivers, the card "worked", but I was not getting NEAR the functions and performance that I was supposed to be getting.
    After a lot of trial and error, I finally went to Nvidia's website and downloaded the latest/greatest drivers for the geForce and they installed correctly.
    I dunno about any other cards, but this 3DFuzion PCI is AWESOME. HUGE, HUGE difference. I had to go in and reconfigure the settings to Halo to make it work, but boy DOES it work now! I highly recomend this upgrade.
  6. cartera

    cartera TS Evangelist Posts: 358   +105

    I know the dell 1100 has a motherboard in it that is a Springdale 865gv, im not sure about others but there specs are almost the same so i would of thought that most of the dell computers except the ones like the dell XPS which is a specialised machine will have a springdale motherboard in it.
  7. cartera

    cartera TS Evangelist Posts: 358   +105


    start with your computer working off the intel graphics again and start it up and enter the setup menu in the bios by pressing i think F2 as your computer starts up. Then go to integrated devices and the should be a title along the lines of Onboard Video. On my Dimension 1100 it is second to the bottom. You should have two options one is Onboard which it should be set too and Auto which should be disabled. Set this to Auto, then go and turn off your intel graphics through control panel > system > Hardware > device manager . You should now be able to work you screen off the graphics card and everything should work properly. If not get back to me n i will try and work with you to sort it out.
  8. tweakboy

    tweakboy TS Guru Posts: 467

    Getting dedicated video card will be a major improvement from onboard video,

    Now your CPU can relax,, and the GPU will do the work,

    it will work out great for you,

    However a fifty gen card is pretty weak and slow motion like on todays games,,
  9. davisunit

    davisunit TS Rookie

    I had trouble getting a PCI card to work instead of the onboard - even following the suggestions here. The proper sequence that finally worked for me was to:

    -confirm the BIOS was set to Auto for onboard graphics
    -disable the Intel graphics in Device Manager
    -shutdown the pc
    -install graphics card
    -boot computer
  10. tweakboy

    tweakboy TS Guru Posts: 467

    Just dont get low end, or budget,,, get the best you can for your box,
  11. 1cbtengr78

    1cbtengr78 TS Rookie

    This is what I pulled from the Dell forum website:

    DIMENSION 3000, 2400
    * Click Start- Control Panel- System
    * Click the Hardware tab and the Device Manager button
    * Open Display Adapters
    * Double-click the Intel listing
    * Under Device Usage, change this to "Do not use this device (disable)"
    * Click OK- Apply and/or OK
    * Close all boxes
    * Click Start- Shutdown- Restart- OK or Click Start- Turn Off Computer- Restart
    * Press F2 at the blue Dell logo screen
    * Down arrow to (Integrated Devices) Primary Video and change this to PCI or AUTO (whatever is listed)
    * Press ESC several times to Exit and Save your changes
    * Power the system off
    * Connect the monitor to the added PCI video card
    * Open the case cover and add the PCI video card
    * Power on your computer
    * Let the computer boot up and load the drivers off of the CD provided with the card

    By the way, has anyone determined what the best PCI card to get for the 3000? I want to add a PCI card to my 3000 so I can play my games, while I build (attempt to) another computer. Thanks.
  12. cartera

    cartera TS Evangelist Posts: 358   +105

    I have posted about this before disabling it in control panel, it doesnt work you must change it in bios when you start up the machine. I had the same problem when i had a dell and all you have to do is edit settings in bios. On starting up the machine go into bios and look for video graphics or something along them lines. (apologie i cant quite remember its a long time since i tweaked a dell) When on the graphics options in bios you need to change the setting from auto to the other option (again my apologies for not being precise, i cant remember exactly). I will see if i can find my post which i made originally it has the full list of detailed precedure for changing your graphics from intergrated to a card.
    Sorry for my memory, lol

    Here i have found it earlier on this forum:
    1. start with your computer working off the intel graphics again and start it up and enter the setup menu in the bios by pressing i think F2 as your computer starts up.
    2. Then go to integrated devices and the should be a title along the lines of Onboard Video.
    3. On my Dimension 1100 it is second to the bottom. You should have two options one is Onboard which it should be set too and Auto which should be disabled. Set this to Auto then go and turn off your intel graphics. You should now be able to work you screen off the graphics card and everything should work properly. Apologies for my original post the graphics should be set to Onbaord originally, you need to set it to Auto which will allow your pc to work from the graphics chip and not the integrated graphics.

    If anybody else has problems with this private message me on techspot and i will get back to as soon as possible, apologies if there is a delay. I should be able to help i went through the whole painstakeing 'let's upgrade a dell for about 5 months' If you are still having problems after trying this, phone dells support line (painstaking i know) and ask for a level two supervisor, they tend to know a little bit about computers unlike the people taking calls. You must however ask specifically for a level two. Don't let them push you too one side, you will get know where!
  13. Clento

    Clento TS Rookie

  14. 1cbtengr78

    1cbtengr78 TS Rookie

    successful upgrade of video card!!

    I have successfully upgraded my low-grade Dell Dimension 3000 for limited computer gaming. Here is what I did (not in order, because I figured it out through trial and error):

    1. disabled the onboard graphics card through system properties (right click My Computer), device manager, and disabling the on board integrated graphics.
    2. updated the chipset through Dell.com
    3. installed the Nvidia 3D Fuzion GeForce 6200 128MB DDR, PCI card
    4. did not download the drivers from the CD, but v. 84.21 (I think this was it, I forgot to write it down when I spoke with their tech support) from their website.
    5. Realized I didn't have enough juice power going to it, so I bought a 400W Coolmax power supply unit from Tiger Direct for about $45.00.
    6. replaced a 256mb RAM stick with a 1GB stick, so now I run 1260mb RAM, or something like that. Basically I have a 1GB in one slot and a 256mb in the other.

    This took a week to figure out, but after installing the RAM today, it has never performed better. I can play Republic Commando, Empire at War (a lot more smooth with way better graphics), same with Commanche 4, Flight Simulator X, and several other games I couldn't before. Total upgrade costs (rounded): $235.00

    3D Fuzion PCI GeForce 6200, 128MB DDR Video Card: $85.00 from amazon.com after s/h
    Coolmax 400W PSU: $45.00 from Tigerdirect.com
    Kingston 1GB RAM stick: $105.00

    This is what worked for MY computer. Good luck.
  15. mattzane227

    mattzane227 TS Rookie

    I have a Dell Dimension 3000 with 2 dvd burners, 1 40 gb hard drive and 1 300 gb hard drive and I just ordered the GeForce 6200. So am I going to need a new power supply?
  16. 1cbtengr78

    1cbtengr78 TS Rookie

    Yeah, you will certainly need one. There is a wattage calculator online (forgot the website) that allows you to plug in what components you have and it cranks out your estimated wattage. I was running a basic Dell Dim 3000, Geforce 6200, and about 7 USB powered items and I was about 275W. More wattage will also help things run a little more efficient, from what I understand. It's only about $45 and easy to install. I did it in very short amount of time, maybe 10 mins, and that's because it was my first time.

    oh yeah, my computer kept freezing up before I added the 400W PSU. Not sure if it had anything to do with it, or the drivers, but it has helped a lot, and will allow me to upgrade with a few more items.
  17. wabbster43

    wabbster43 TS Rookie

    im also wondering if you can use a geforce 7100 256mb video card in the dell demention 3000

    please reply fast
  18. vnf4ultra

    vnf4ultra TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,388

    I doubt a 7100 will work, as all the ones I can find are pci-e, not the pci that your dell has. If someone makes a pci 7100, then it should work though.
  19. cbehre55

    cbehre55 TS Rookie

    Neverwinter Nights 2

    I recently got NWN 2 as a gift and apparently need to upgrade the graphics card on my Dell 3000. The game reqs say I need 128 MB Pixel Shader 2.0. Are there any cards that fit a PCI slot that meet that req? (the suggested cards on the box are either pci-e or agp only).
  20. vnf4ultra

    vnf4ultra TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,388

  21. jives11

    jives11 TS Rookie Posts: 108

    been there, got the shirt

    I'm late to this thread but like most, I guess, I bought a Dimension 2350, in my case as a PC for my son. I have learned a lot in the ensuing 6 years about the dire onboard graphics, PCI and XP in general. There is actually a perverse pleasure to be had trying to extract the last 1% performance out of this humble machine. My Son is now a young teenager and "S.T.A.L.K.E.R : shadows of Chernobyl" is the latest challenge. It actually does work too, though only in basic graphics mode. Half Life 2 is quite reasonable.

    Mine is:

    2.6Ghz P4 Dell 2350 with 1Gb RAM
    FX5500 PCI Graphics card (o/c 290/350 with ram heatsinks and a blower)
    400Watt Sweex PSU
    2 new hard drives (Maxtors 7200)

    I use the passmark Performance tool as a benchmark to see if any changes improve performance as it's easy to convince yourself something has improved.

    A few tips :

    disabled as many services as I could

    I also disabled/removed all unnecessary hardware. In the BIOS I disabled the parallel and serial ports and the floppy driver (never used it). I removed the PCI modem card that came with mine too. I then re jigged the PCI graphics card until it was in a slot with an IRQ shared with the minimum of other devices. At one point it shared an IRQ with the Broadcom onboard network controller and the SoundMAX onboard sound card ! Sharing with just one of the USB controllers was the best I could achieve (top slot for me but may vary for you)

    I keep all my drivers up to date (DirectX,nVidia, broadcom and soundmax) and remove the old drivers first. There is a good tweakguide athttp://www.tweakguides.com/NVFORCE_1.html

    I also cleaned up the old devices that XP thought it had. To do this you have to in cmd :

    set devmgr_show_nonpresent_devices=1

    This launches device manager and you have to set "Show hidden devices"

    I could see each card I'd had, still listed. I think XP remembers every device you ever plugged in, but wanted to be sure it was using only the correct device and driver for my current card.

    I'm tempted by the 6200 PCI. Makes no sense (I know , I should save up for a new MOBO, but ...) on the other hand there is a pretty healthy market for old graphics cards on ebay. I've normally got around 60% of the price of the old card.

    Anyone see much benefit of 5500-> 6200 ? PCI of course
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