Dell Dimension E310 Video Card Upgrade

By Hockeydude · 23 replies
Jul 1, 2009
  1. I have finally decided to upgrade my ram and video card for my PC.

    I own a Dell Dimension E310

    I'm running a 128MB (Total Memory) Video card and would like to upgrade this to either a 512MB or 1GB. I found this one before coming to this forum
    (sorry bout space in link)

    The reason I like that one is because in the first reveiw it is stated it works with my PC model. It also is a 512MB, 64-bit.

    Now when it comes to software and PC work once its turned on, i'm a whiz. But once you get to hardware: I just am simply left in the dark.
    Anyways, I would like to have a 1GB, 128-bit, fanned card.

    I get confused when it comes to ports on my computer. When I searched on Newegg I think I searched for something called PCI? I found this one other than the one that I "know" works with my model:
    (again sorry)

    I will happily upgrade the power supply as I need my computer and if a power supply will lessen a chance of anything happening then I will do it.

    Can someone please inform me whether the 1GB card will work with my model and ports. Thanks.

    On a side note im going from 512mb of ram to 2GB. (There isnt much of a choice for my model).

    Again thank you so much
  2. LinkedKube

    LinkedKube TechSpot Project Baby Posts: 3,485   +45

  3. LinkedKube

    LinkedKube TechSpot Project Baby Posts: 3,485   +45

  4. Hockeydude

    Hockeydude TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 30

    Thank you so much. But just to make sure. You know this will work with my dell? I will read the reviews on how easy it is to install but if you could also give me a run through of that, it would be amazing.

    Thanks again, you don't know how much you helped me.

    EDIT: I was just looking at the one you posted and it has this interface: PCI Express 2.0 x16
    I read something on these forums that my model doesn't have a x16 slot, just PCI and PIC-e or something like that, I will open up my comp and look at the slots now just to check things out.
    I was also looking at the online manual and found this

    Your Dell™ computer provides the following slots for PCI and PCI Express cards:

    * Two PCI card slots

    * One PCI Express x1 card slot
    (Not x16, so I don't think the one you posted will work)

    Would this work?
    britecomputers. com/shop/product_info.php?products_id=503214
  5. Hockeydude

    Hockeydude TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 30

    Please reply, I really need help.
  6. Hockeydude

    Hockeydude TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 30

    OK I already double posted and now I have to triple because I'm being ignored. Can someone please just look at my problem and help me. I look at all these other threads going by and your happy to help and help and help, but I get one response and now nothing? please guys come on. Thanks again
  7. electromagnetic

    electromagnetic TS Booster Posts: 208

  8. Hockeydude

    Hockeydude TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 30

    Now are you sure these will work on my model, I'm really close to asking my parents for a birthday advance. I want to get my comp running at a speed that I like.

    Edit: Again I looked at the inside of my computer and it looks as if the ones you posted will also not fit on my model

    Edit 2: Ok i'm just gonna take a pic of my slots. hold on a few min

    Edit: 3 Finally! now can people please post some that will actually look like they fit in my comp!
    (sorry i couldn't find the spoiler code)
    OK now heres what I don't get, if you look at the first reveiw for this one, its said to work on my computer, but it looks as if it wont fit
  9. electromagnetic

    electromagnetic TS Booster Posts: 208

  10. raybay

    raybay TS Evangelist Posts: 7,241   +10

    You may have forgotten that discriminatory comments are a no-no on any computer forum... and this is one... "...I'm like a 65 year old school teacher being forced to use a computer for the first time to enter my student's grades. (yes i had a teacher liek that this year... it was hilarious)"... There are a lot of us old folks in our 60's, 70's and 80's on this forum... and a lot of teachers. We perhaps led the way for young twerps in the computer world and we do somethings as well as anybody.
    You simply do not know with whom you are discussing a problem...
  11. Hockeydude

    Hockeydude TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 30

    I am truly sorry for posting that, I was just trying to get a point a cross on how illiterate I am with hardware. I shouldn't have used that as an example and I apologize. Thank you very much electromagnet, I will be getting this one very soon. I appreciate ALL your help so much and I will be back here in the future if I need ANYTHING. You guys rock.

    Oh and on a side note, are you sure the power supply will be ok? I trust you with what you said about dell underating their PSU's but I don't want to mess anything up, thanks.

    Are you sure the power supply will be ok? I have a 230W power supply with a 12V = 14A (or somtin like that) and the Video card that im gonna get (one of the ones you posted) requires a

    Minimum 350W or greater system power supply (with a minimum 12V current rating of 18A)
  12. Hockeydude

    Hockeydude TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 30

    Bump... Just this last question lol :p sorry for numping this thread so much.
  13. electromagnetic

    electromagnetic TS Booster Posts: 208

  14. Hockeydude

    Hockeydude TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 30

  15. electromagnetic

    electromagnetic TS Booster Posts: 208

    It will not need a new power supply.

    Sparkle GeForce 9400 GT Video Card - 1GB DDR2, PCI, DVI, VGA in Dell Dimension 3100

    Ive been using this card for an old Dell Dimension E310. 3g of processer, 2g of ram. It cant play streaming movies in fullscreen, it lags and eventually freezes until you minimize and bring back to full screen. Once back in fullscreen, it takes about 3 minutes to freeze again. DvD playback has me stumped as everytime i open any media application, it gives a driver crash (i have the most recent drivers to date) and goes immidately into a blue screen. Mpeg playback is about good as you can expect. Games such as Fallout 3 play like a champ and is pretty impressive. Games such as World of Warcraft is a waste of time, on the lowest settings across the board, i couldnt get more than 8fps no matter how you fiddled with Nvidias control panel (such as going to high performance, turning off all antialiasinig, etc etc) It seemed to have a hard time rendering content in WoW. to sum it up, you can spend better money on a different card.
  16. Hockeydude

    Hockeydude TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 30

  17. vnf4ultra

    vnf4ultra TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,388

    The pci 9400gt should work fine in your system, as long as you have a pretty basic system (not too many additional power drawing devices).

    That said, if I was upgrading an e310 and cared about graphics performance, I'd buy an x1 to x16 slot adapter (like you mentioned above), which allows any x16 low profile card to be installed. My reasoning for this, is that the pci-e x1 slot is going to be about twice as fast as pci. Also, pci-e is a dedicated link, unlike pci, which shares it's bandwidth between the slots. Now running the x16 card in an adapter will naturally reduce the cards performance to pci-e x1 levels, but it would still be better than using a pci card.

    So, for example, you could get this adapter and pair it up with a card like this.

    Just a thought though, as a pci card would be "fine," it's just severely limited in bandwidth to the system.
  18. electromagnetic

    electromagnetic TS Booster Posts: 208

    Explain how it could fit in the bracket at the back and why bother with a pci express x16 to pci express x1.
  19. vnf4ultra

    vnf4ultra TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,388

    Since the adapter acts as a small riser, a low profile card is then used. The adapter is designed to be the proper height so that a low profile card's bracket can be secured in the machine. There will be a small open gap in bracket slot, because the low profile bracket will only cover 2/3 of the slot.

    After looking at your link, it may be that the e310 has issues using the x1 slot for graphics (bios limitation or something), or it could be a case of a defective card. If the e310 really does have issues using any pci-express cards, then obviously pci is the only option.

    The reason why that's what I would do is because pci-e x1 is a faster, bi-directional, dedicated link, so it outperforms pci. I recommend the adapter so that a person can use any low profile x16 card, which opens up a wide variety of cards to use, instead of the like 2 available x1 cards on the market.
  20. electromagnetic

    electromagnetic TS Booster Posts: 208

    It wont be secure, anyone tried that in any PC's. ?

    Look at this, stick with pci express x1 only.


    vnf4ultra how did you mod your pci express x1 slot, post a picture of it with the x16 card if you got one please.
  21. vnf4ultra

    vnf4ultra TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,388

    electromagnetic, as you say, the card will not be as secure as using a full bracket card in the x1 slot, but it wouldn't be so loose that it would fall out. The bent metal tab of the card would still be secured to the case, and the bottom of the card is held in place by the adapter in the slot. Modding the slot by cutting the back out and using an x16 card would be more secure, but is a permanent mod that if done wrong could damage the motherboard.

    I don't have a picture with the card installed, and I'm sure that you saw the picture of the slot already since you mention it. I do have a picture of an x16 card of mine installed in a x4 slot if that is helpful.


    How I modded the slot was to first use a hot soldering iron on it. I melted the end of the slot roughly how I wanted it. I then "cleaned it up" by using a small file and an xacto razor to remove the melted material. I read of one guy supposedly heating up the tip of a flat screwdriver until it was super hot, and then pressing it down on the plastic to melt a notch in the end of the slot.

    If I can find an e310 (or just the mobo) sometime for free/cheap then I could mod the slot and report back, it'd be a fun project :)
  22. electromagnetic

    electromagnetic TS Booster Posts: 208

    That would void your warranty.

    But why bother with modding. Do you make maps in games like hammer editor off topic there.
    Just using a normal pci express x1 graphics card is all you need. Even if you use a pci express x16 to x1 slot adapter, the performance would be lowered.
  23. vnf4ultra

    vnf4ultra TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,388

    Yes, modding the slot definitely voids any warranty, if the system is under warranty. Your "why bother modding" comment makes me smile a bit...almost everything I own I've modified in some way to better suit me, so it's in my nature. Nope, I don't really do maps, I've done a few very simple ones just to see how it works, but nothing that anyone would ever play on.

    Correct, it's lowered to maximum speed that pci-e x1 will support.
  24. godson

    godson TS Rookie Posts: 40

    Sorry for bumping this thread.. but i will be trying that adapter and that pcie x16 card on my e310... hopefully it works :)
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