Suggestion on a new video card?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by djearlybird, Nov 23, 2007.

  1. djearlybird macrumors regular

    Jul 3, 2007
    Hey guys,

    Well before you throw me under the bus, I have a noob question, and its not about an Apple product. A co-worker of mine has me upgrading his kid's computer over the holiday break. It is a Dell Dimension 2300. Now I realize this is a Mac forum, and I own all Macs, but I need some help. Question is, how do you know what type of video card will run in a computer. There is so many choices out there, and i'd hate to buy a video card that wont run in the pc. I've upgraded everything else (burner/ram/card reader/sound card)for him so far, but i cant seem to find a good guide on what I should be looking for as far as video cards. Any suggestions?
  2. cuestakid macrumors 68000

    Jun 14, 2006
    San Fran

    based upon that document, I would say that there is no upgrade path for this conmputer as the graphics card is intergraded. You might be able to get it in as a PCI card but I am not completely sure but I am fairly certain.

    To see the video card information open up a run command and type "dxdiag"
  3. suneohair macrumors 68020


    Aug 27, 2006
    You could get a PCI card, you would just need to disable to onboard graphics to ensure it isn't using unnecessary resources. Here are all your choices from newegg (49):

    For future reference you typically need only search the manufacturers website for specifics on upgradability. Graphics progression has gone something like this:


    Essentially the further to the right means that if you have it, you should use that one. In an AGP system you can use PCI video, however, you will not see a PCIe system with an AGP graphics slot (unless it is from the transition, but I doubt it).

    Here is a picture of the two newer slots (images of cards interfaces and PCIe slot):

    Here you can see the difference between PCI and AGP.

    AGP is the brown slot to the left and the white slots are PCI. They generally follow those color standards. You have the white slots on your system.

    Hope that helps.
  4. SmurfBoxMasta macrumors 65816


    Nov 24, 2005
    I'm only really here at night.
    All of the Dell desktops that I have worked on in recent years (6-8) have had at least 1 or 2 pci slots empty, into which I have plugged a wide variety of pci video cards, from the low-end $19.99 16/32mb ones all the way up to the $300 256/512mb models......all of which are WAY, WAY better/faster than the integrated crap they install on the mobo :p

    If by chance there were an extra AGP slot (brown one, DOUBTFUL), then you would just have to be sure to get an AGP card instead of PCI

    the added bonus being that this will free up all of your system ram for the OS & apps (integrated video always steals some system ram), as well as reduce the overhead placed on the frontside bus I/O controller, which will no longer have to shuffle data between the cpu & gpu as well as everything else. This will effectively give your system a free speed boost :p

    Also, everyone of the systems I upgraded this way, the integrated video was automatically disabled as soon as the pci card was detected by the OS (Win2000 & XP), but it doesn't hurt to check the bios settings to make sure.........but as always........ YMMV :D

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