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hello2007

video card help

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im going to buy a video card for my desktop. What do i need to look for when buying? such as what does the 64mb 256mb etc mean? obviously higher is better and its room but what for? so im asking how can i understand the spec's on a video card to make the right decision

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You actually need to know what is currently in YOUR computer in order to determine what will work with it.

Do you know the current specifications of your computer and if so please post the details here.

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no problem

pentium dual core e2200 (2.2ghz, 1mb)

2gb ram

dell e198wfp 19 inch wide screen

intel integrated graphics media accelerator x3100

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We need to know what kind of motherboard you have, because it will make a differance if you need an AGP or PCI video card. I noticed you have a Dell monitor is your computer also a Dell. If so you can get the specs for it using your service tag at Dell Support Site

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Download CPU-Z and view the Mainboard tab... It will give you the manufacturer and model of your motherboard.

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Unfortunately I can't find much on this motherboard. What is the exact model of your Dell computer?

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It's PCI-E if it has a video card bus, some of these OEM boards do not. It could also be a slimline which would create other issues. I'll scour Dell for the motherboard part number and I should be able to track down the exact specs and the models it's used in, which matters because of the wattage of the power supply.

What do you need an upgrade for exactly? Trying to play a particular game that doesn't run or doesn't run well or are you doing video editing or trying to watch Blu-ray movies or what? These are all factors when choosing a video card.

edit: no go on the Dell part numbers, I'll look for preconfigured systems containing the parts we do know until you get back with either a model number or service tag number.

edit edit: Is it the Dell Inspiron 530?

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its the dell inspiron 518

i just want a better overall picture. I have two cables to connect to my monitor a vga and a dvi cable. I always wanted to use the dvi cable over the vga cable but never did because i dont have a dvi port so i decided today to get a dvi port but why not just get a brand new video card that has a dvi port instead and more. Im not a gamer i just want a better overall display when watching movies or surfing the net. My current video card is stated above, its crap isn't it? lol. I think it is because my laptop screen looks so much better than my desktop screen and i just got a laptop this past month and just got a desktop this past january, not much time difference.

here are the ones im looking into

ATI Radeon 9200 256 MB AGP 3D Video Card TV-Out VGA DVI

NVIDIA GeForce 6500 256MB PCIe DVI Video Graphics Card

nVidia Geforce FX 5200 FX5200 AGP 128MB DVI Video Card

stealth s60 ATI Radeon 7000

VisionTek ATI Radeon HD2400 Pro

ATI Radeon HD 3450

ATI Radeon HD 4550

some of these might not work with my motherboard since i never knew about it being compatible with your motherboard

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You'll want a PCI Express graphics card, but nothing too beefy. I'd go with the 4550 or a 4350 if you can find a decent price :lol: .

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pci and pci express are two different ones correct. I cant get a pci right?

PCI-E is a longer slot than PCI (It's usually the closest slot to the CPU). PCI-E has a much faster data transfer rate than PCI. You would likely have a hard time finding a new PCI video card as it's been a long time (15 years?) since PCI was the hot thing. Assuming you have an empty PCI-E slot, you need to be careful what you buy for 2 reasons: 1. Video cards can get pretty big. You need to assure there is room on your motherboard and in your case for it (look at width, length, and height). 2. Some video cards require quite a bit of power (some need two power connections from the power supply). That's why exile360 has suggested the specific cards that he has.

You can look at pictures of motherboards on NewEgg.com if you want to see the difference between a PCI-E slot and a PCI slot.

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PCI-E is a longer slot than PCI (It's usually the closest slot to the CPU). PCI-E has a much faster data transfer rate than PCI. You would likely have a hard time finding a new PCI video card as it's been a long time (15 years?) since PCI was the hot thing. Assuming you have an empty PCI-E slot, you need to be careful what you buy for 2 reasons: 1. Video cards can get pretty big. You need to assure there is room on your motherboard and in your case for it (look at width, length, and height). 2. Some video cards require quite a bit of power (some need two power connections from the power supply). That's why exile360 has suggested the specific cards that he has.

You can look at pictures of motherboards on NewEgg.com if you want to see the difference between a PCI-E slot and a PCI slot.

since you mentioned it, i got to ask. When it comes to motherboards there are 2 sizes correct? one for standard size computer towers like mine and one for mini towers correct?. If i wanted to buy one i wouldn't need to look for a particular type for my dell inspiron 518?

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since you mentioned it, i got to ask. When it comes to motherboards there are 2 sizes correct? one for standard size computer towers like mine and one for mini towers correct?. If i wanted to buy one i wouldn't need to look for a particular type for my dell inspiron 518?

It's a good time for Google and Wikipedia: Motherboard sizes. I don't know that buying a new motherboad for your Dell is a great idea. As time passes PC standards change for connections, data transmission types, component compatibility. It's not that you have to buy everything all at once, but you do need to assure that your power supply, case, cpu, memory, and peripherals are compatible with your motherboard.

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oh no i wasnt saying im now looking for a motherboard to buy too. i was asking to know how motherboards work

with motherboards as long as it fits inside your computer tower and you buy/have the right parts to attach it with, your fine right?

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Hi hello2007

I may not be sure about this but the MB for Dell computers may be still a propriety form factor for said model number and case. which you may not just switch out with any MB(Dell mb only). Also your model has only a 300 watt power suppy which may not support the videocard upgrade, you would have to upgrade the psu.

Check the Dell forum for the info needed for uprades.

Motherboard form factors

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Computer_form_factor

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Good information there sho-dan, guess I was a little late for the party but I don't read this forum here as much as the other ones.

The attached file though should work for just about any Dell Computer including Laptops unless it is really old, then it might not work.

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Hello AA

Teamwork produces the best results for solutions given. :)

I use to do frankenstein mods on the older dells way back when, using a drillbit, tap and a T wrench for the heatsink shroud location on the case. what a pita. :)

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when i install the new video card am i suppose to take out the current one>intel integrated graphics media accelerator x3100 because i can't locate it on the pci slots so i don't know where to find it. Any help? the current video card came with the computer

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If you have a tower, the plug to the LCD display, or CRT. Should be plugged into the video card.

EDIT: the current graphics card you can just pull out, grab it by the side corner, its held in by copper flat pins maybe with a plastic back... (I don't have a card laying around right now) as you remove the old one look and see how the new card will go in! and just push the new one in. Avoid touching any resistors, or electronics on the card. push it in by the edge, until its firmly seated... I changed out a Nvidia card for an ATI, 1 2 3...

Need more help than that post back please

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No it's built-in to the motherboard probably. If you look at the connector where the monitor plugs in it should probably go directly to the motherboard.

You may need to setup the BIOS to use the new card by default though.

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