Video card upgrade ? for Dell XPS 400 - limited by PSU

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lakedude

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I'll second the hd2600xt but not the 1950pro. I had a 1950xt and it was very noisy. Looks like the pro in the link is called a "vacuum cleaner" by one reviewer so I suspect it is one loud beast as well. I know Newegg reviews are not the final word but 2 out of 4 people who actually have those cards don't like em. Of course the other 2 love the 1950pro and give it 5 stars. Still, not good odds in my book.


As far as the 7900gs vs the hd2600xt goes it really depends on the game/benchmark, doesn't it?

http://www.hardwarecanucks.com/forum/hardware-canucks-reviews/1778-ati-hd2600xt-performance-preview.html

Or am I crazy and linked to a review that used old ATI drivers? If you have a better link please post it, I'd hate to give bad advice.
 

lakedude

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Notice the one thing a bunch of us agree on is the 3850...........

"The ATI 3850 might be a good spot to start looking as well."

"The 3850 would probably be the sweet spot for your system"

"The HD3850 gets my vote though"
 
I personally don't trust Dell PSUs because.....

1. Had the caps blown up on me more than twice (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Capacitor_plague)
2. Had them overheat on me
3. Died after about ~7-10 months of light use.
 

pauldh

Illustrious

The X1950 pro would get my vote for FSAA. But yeah, the cooler could be an issue. My X1950XT was very silent. (His iceQ Turbo) This one would be quiet, but $25 more. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814131055

Notice the one thing a bunch of us agree on is the 3850...........
That's what matters. :D
 

pilibeen

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OK I think i've decided im going to spend the extra money and get the 3850.

Just one more question....is it still worthwhile if I am using XP? I don't have any plans for getting vista in the near future so I won't be taking advantage of the DX10.
 

lakedude

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Yes absolutely. DX10 will be important in the future but the present belongs to DX9. There are only a few DX10 titles out there and they look pretty much just as good with a DX9 render path, plus they run faster on XP and faster with DX9.

 

siblack8

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What ever happened with this? Did you buy your 3850 and did it fit and work OK for you?

I believe I am in the same boat, only not by choice. Last night I was playing Neverwinter Nights 2 and left it paused for a couple hours. When I came back I noticed weird graphical errors on my screen and the CPU was frozen. On reboot, I noticed the DELL splash screen and "XP loading screen" also were grainy and had weird errors on them - dots in weird patterns. After the XP loading screen I got a blank black screen. I don't think the OS ever fully loads behind the black screen, but it might. I get system bells if I click the Mouse repeatedly and such. Since it appeared to be a Video issue, I went into safe mode and reinstalled updated Nvidia Geforce 6800 graphics card drivers. The machine will boot after that, but with Safe Mode video settings. Any attempt to change the settings to comething reasonable causes a black screen. If I boot in VGA mode it flips out instead of loading and gives me Blue Screen. Trying other stuff I got some Blue Screens and weird crashes all seemingly surrounding video display issues or one was a memory error. I also tried re-seating the graphics card. The Montior itself seems to pass its self test and looks fine.

Soooo....I think it is my video card, Nvidia Geforce 6800. Now I've always been happy with my XPS 400 and my graphics performance. So I don't need a big upgrade, but I might as well get one step up while I buying one. So I will probably get the 3850 or 7900GS.

Any advice, or confirmation that this is really the probelm before I go order it?



 

Blacken

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The operating system not loading all background apps ect. sounds as if your system needs a clean slate and fresh installs. Either that or your hard drive is malfunctioning. Try the first... first.
As for the graphical errors (let alone at start-up), I'd be almost absolute it's your videocard.
 

pilibeen

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Well Siblack, I still havent jumped on buying a card yet....so I can't comment.

I'll probably end up buying one in the next few days (got a couple gift certificates over the holidays which'll ease the pain).

So with the 3850, is the 256mb or the 512 recommended for the ~$180 price range? And will the 256 be more efficient as far as wattage goes? One other thing....I heard some people talking about needing a 6pin psu adapter to hook up their 3850s. I'm guessing my 375watt dell psu doesn't have this. Is there an adapter i'll need to purchase?

Finally, will this thing definitely fit in my case?


thanks


 

mazyarjr

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I have justed put an HD3850 in my Dell Dim9100 which is very similar to your machine and everything (including Crysis) works great. There is no compatibility issue whatsoever. You already have a 6-pin power connector in your dell. Check this out and look for P12:

http://support.dell.com/support/edocs/systems/xps400/sm/techov.htm#wp1053345

(You should be able to find it in the bottom of your case near the hard disk bays.

Best,
Mazy
 

roux

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I dont know much about computer gaming but ever since I watched the trailers for Left 4 Dead and The Witcher I'm determined to play (without having to buy an XBOX 360) but my XPS 400 has that lame Radeon x300 SE card and I've been looking at buying the GeForce 7900GS to replace it. But will it work for L4D? since I want that game more. You can find the system requirements on the GameStop website here:

http://www.gamestop.com/Catalog/ProductDetails.aspx?sku=647022

Thank You!
 

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