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Does it matter if you use a DDR3 or DDR2 video card?

By ynotbme ยท 11 replies
Feb 13, 2012
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  1. OK! I am a noob at this!
    I am running XP Pro 32-bit. I want to replace the Video Card. Nothing great or expensive...just a decent one. It for a friend (senior, that is why XP). I just got him a Dell Vostro 200 slim, added a 1TB HD and installed all drivers and XP. Please let me know 3 things:

    1. Does ddr2 or ddr3 matter on the video card..is one better to run on XP
    2. 64-bit or 32-bit. I assume 64 will run on 32-bit XP
    3. Any suggestions on the card or where to buy (PCI Express 2.0X16)
    Thanks! Ynot
  2. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TS Guardian Fighter Posts: 11,037   +4,756

    The only thing you need to know about buying a single graphics card:

    Do I have a large enough power supply for this card?
    Do I have the appropriate card slot for this card?
    If the card is 2 (or 3) card slots wide do I have room in my case?
    What monitor cable connector will I be using?

    Everything else may be important for choosing the card you want but not needed to get the card working.

    1) Graphics card memory type is irrelevant as far as the operating system is concerned.
    2) I'm not sure why you are asking the second question.
    3) We need to know what you will be using the card for. (A slim form factor doesn't give much options)
  3. hitech0101

    hitech0101 TS Guru Posts: 449   +35

    I would suggest ddr5 if you're into gaming.Currently i am running ddr 3 it is sufficient for casual gaming.Depends on your needs & also check psu & other requirements.
  4. slh28

    slh28 TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,703   +171

    You will need a low profile card to fit into the case, and unfortunately that severely limits your choices.
  5. Leeky

    Leeky TS Evangelist Posts: 3,357   +116

    If it is for an older person (I assume you mean older by saying senior) I doubt you need to replace it. Please let us know the intended usage of the computer so we can advise you better.

    As far as the OS, no. However, The number rating reflects the speed of the on-board RAM (in simple terms) on the GPU (graphics processing unit). DDR2 is slower than DDR3, which is slower than GDDR5.

    The 32/64 bit refers to the hardware, and the operating system. 32 bit systems will only run a 32bit OS. 64 bit hardware will run 32 bit and 64 bit operating systems.

    Neither has anything to do with the GPU. That will fit in any system with enough clearance, an available PCI-Express 16x slot, and enough header clearance to physically install it. Drivers will be available for pretty much all GPU's for your particular OS.

    Where you purchase it from depends on where you are happy to buy it, and your budget. However, please let us know the following things:

    1. Your budget
    2. The intended usage of the computer (is it for browsing, HD videos, gaming, office work)
    3. Any particular non gaming applications that should be taken into consideration (e.g. 3D modelling, Photoshop work)
    4. If you intend to game. At what resolution do you want to play at, and what games are you going to play
    5. Crucial: The total wattage AND amperage of your PSU.

    A few points:

    1. Vostro 200 Slim's are probably fitted with a non-standard format PSU. They are also typically low wattage (given the type of usage they are made for) and that needs to be taken into consideration.
    2. Clearance is poor inside a Vostro 200 Slim case. It is unlikely it will offer enough clearance in height, length or width for any current GPU's. If it needs a gaming based GPU you are going to need to switch case and PSU.
  6. ynotbme

    ynotbme TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 25

    Thanks for all the replies!

    By Senior, I did mean older. He just uses it for pictures, slide shows and some video. I think eventually he might want to have a HDMI output to his TV. I really don't need to get some fantastic gaming card. I don't know really if I would get him a card, except for the HDMI. I sure don't want to purchase a new power supply also. Power supply is 250 watts. I think the video is a chipset. I thought I used the PCI Express bus to install a card and that the 16 X 2.0 refered to pins and size. I am so confused. I want something cheap that is not worse that the chipset, but has an HDMI output. Any Suggestion of what or where?

    Copied the specs:


    Intel integrated video


    Realtec ALC888 (7.1 Channel audio)

    Expansion Bus

    Bus type
    PCI 2.3
    PCI Express 1.0A
    SATA 1.0 and 2.0
    USB 2.0

    Bus speed
    PCI: 133 MB/s

    PCI Express:

    x1 slot bidirectional speed - 500 MB/s

    x16 slot bidirectional speed - 8GB/s

    SATA: 1.5 Gbps and 3.0 Gbps
    USB: 480 Mbps high speed, 12 Mbps full speed, 1.2 Mbps low speed



    connector size
    124 pins

    connector data width (maximum)
    32 bits

    PCI Express

    one x1

    connector size
    36 pins

    connector data width (maximum)
    1 PCI Express lane

    PCI Express

    one x16

    connector size
    164 pins

    connector data width (maximum)
    16 PCI Express lanes

    Thanks to all! Ynot
  7. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TS Guardian Fighter Posts: 11,037   +4,756

    Which integrated graphics are you thinking of upgrading from?
  8. ynotbme

    ynotbme TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 25

    What kind of Video Chipset?

    Hi it's Ynot again,

    I believe it is a Nvidia GeForce 8300GS Chipset intergrated...what ever that means. I have a feeling, I should just leave it alone, but I think he wants HDMI.
    Thanks, Ynot
  9. EEatGDL

    EEatGDL TS Evangelist Posts: 627   +310

    If you want a HDMI output and with that slim case and for basic purposes like displaying video and 2D environment [not 3D ~2006+ gaming or mid-heavy CAD] in a HD screen, both NVIDIA GT 520 or AMD HD 5450 should do the job -they fit perfectly in slim cases because several manufacturers give you the choice to use either 1 normal case slot or 2 slim case slots spliting 2 ouputs in one slot and generally the HDMI output in the second slot [connected to the card by a little gray cable bus].
  10. ynotbme

    ynotbme TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 25

    Thanks EEatGDL

    I think he is happy with what he has. But, appreciate the response, straight and to the point. I am curious...is there a minimum PSU needed. Ha! I figured that one out! But what does GPU mean? I am after all a noob.
    Thanks, Ynot
  11. EEatGDL

    EEatGDL TS Evangelist Posts: 627   +310

    GPU means graphics processor unit. And by the PSU you don't really have to take care of it for the low-end cards like the ones I mentioned. They don't need any extra power cable supply and use only little power which is enough with the one provided by the PCI-E slot.
  12. ynotbme

    ynotbme TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 25

    Thanks. I really learned a lot! Ynot

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