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    Helps with New Graphics Card

    Hi People

    After some advice really, last year I bout the following spec PC from Dell Outlet

    Inspiron Desktop 531 - 2.1Ghz - 160.00Gb HD - 2048.00Mb Mem - CD/RW -
    Modem- Inspiron 531 AMD X2 Processor 4000+ (2.10GHz) - - DVD+/-RW, 16 - - 160GB
    7200rpm SATA Hard Drive - - Info: Remanufacturing Order - - Dell Quietkey Black
    Keyboard - - Internal Wireless PCI Card - - Shipping Mod Power Chord - - Mouse
    Dell Wheel USB 2 Button Scroll Black - - Vista OnLine Getting Started Guide (WW
    - - Roxio Vista - Creator / MYDVD 9.0 - - Image Restore - Vista - - Memory Dual
    Channel 2GB (2x1024MB) 667Mhz - - No Modem - - AOL 8, BT + Tiscali ISP
    combo - UK - - English - Microsoft Works 8 - - English Windows Vista Home
    Premium - - English - Vista Home Premium

    Anyway I think I want to add a graphics card so the mrs can play games like the Sims 2 etc. Does anybody know a good one that would be compatible with this machine and are they easy to install? I'm guessing I just have on board graphics so I have no clue where to start looking what one would be compatible.

    Thanks for any help!

    22 Comments

    Banned

    Yeah your prob going to have onboard graphics.
    Search the lines of something like a x1900xt pci-e 256mb/512mb
    These are cracking cards for the little money.
    Or similar models like x1800xt, x1950 etc.

    Need anymore help just ask, i own a computer business.

    Original Poster

    thanks for your help jizzm, this site is great for nuggets of informations, would that card be compatible with my Dell? and is it easy to install for a first time installer of graphics cards? lol

    Original Poster

    I don't really want to spend over £60ish as its only for the missus playing games

    Banned

    It should be.
    You could do with finding out the name of your motherboard though..
    Because to see if their is a pci-e slot on your motherboard.
    If there is(more than likely there will be), however dell can be fussy. It is a simple plug in install drivers away you go.

    Original Poster

    thanks again jizzm, so if I have a PCI slot I can use any graphics card, what do you think to this one
    ebuyer.com/pro…ews

    Original Poster

    I found this about the Inspiron 531 on Wikipedia

    Inspiron 531

    The Inspiron 531 is an AMD Athlon 64 X2 based desktop for low to medium budget brackets. The advanced version (of the same name) is the same in appearance (same case), however it has upgraded features (larger hard drive, better processor, etc).

    The Inspiron 531 uses a ASUS M2N61-AX motherboard that is specifically designed for Dell machines. It uses an nVidia nForce 4 chipset with an on-board video card. It also has on-board sound (Realtek HD or AC-97) and an on-board gigabit NIC. It has one PCIe x16, One PCIe x1, and two PCI card slots. It has four DIMM memory slots, and four SATA connectors. The 531 motherboard does not support PATA or IDE drives without the use of a third-party controller.

    The 531 also comes with a 300 watt ATX power supply, and one 92mm exhaust fan. There is also another fan placed above the CPU heatsink that is 80mm.

    The Inspiron 531 was only available pre-loaded with Windows Vista. Dell also only provides Vista drivers on their support website, however it is possible to find XP drivers by visiting the parts manufacturer's websites.

    Banned

    dave_lunt2;3731422

    thanks again jizzm, so if I have a PCI slot I can use any graphics card, … thanks again jizzm, so if I have a PCI slot I can use any graphics card, what do you think to this one http://www.ebuyer.com/product/119695/show_product_reviews



    if shes just going to be playing sims2, then that will be more than fine.
    If its something that she will probably want Sims3 thats out in 2009, im not so sure.
    But it should be fine.

    Banned

    dave_lunt2;3731437

    I found this about the Inspiron 531 on WikipediaInspiron 531The Inspiron … I found this about the Inspiron 531 on WikipediaInspiron 531The Inspiron 531 is an AMD Athlon 64 X2 based desktop for low to medium budget brackets. The advanced version (of the same name) is the same in appearance (same case), however it has upgraded features (larger hard drive, better processor, etc).The Inspiron 531 uses a ASUS M2N61-AX motherboard that is specifically designed for Dell machines. It uses an nVidia nForce 4 chipset with an on-board video card. It also has on-board sound (Realtek HD or AC-97) and an on-board gigabit NIC. It has one PCIe x16, One PCIe x1, and two PCI card slots. It has four DIMM memory slots, and four SATA connectors. The 531 motherboard does not support PATA or IDE drives without the use of a third-party controller.The 531 also comes with a 300 watt ATX power supply, and one 92mm exhaust fan. There is also another fan placed above the CPU heatsink that is 80mm.The Inspiron 531 was only available pre-loaded with Windows Vista. Dell also only provides Vista drivers on their support website, however it is possible to find XP drivers by visiting the parts manufacturer's websites.



    In bold is what you want
    Youll be fine, grab any card PCI-E of course and your sorted.

    Bad advice, you will not be fine! The Dell cases will not fill all PCI-E graphics cards, and the power supply certainly won't cope with very high end models. The 7600 you have linked to will probably fit and work okay but probably isn't the best card for the money by a long stretch...

    The ]Radeon 4550 is substantially better than the 7600GS and cheaper to boot...

    (See the charts at ]Toms Hardware for a useful quick comparison of cards)

    Original Poster

    thanks for the advices guys, any card you would recommend based on my motherboard jah128?

    Banned

    jah128;3731502

    Bad advice, you will not be fine! The Dell cases will not fill all PCI-E … Bad advice, you will not be fine! The Dell cases will not fill all PCI-E graphics cards, and the power supply certainly won't cope with very high end models. The 7600 you have linked to will probably fit and work okay but probably isn't the best card for the money by a long stretch...



    For his budget he will be fine.
    I said any card within his budget will be okay
    Not wanting to spend £60.
    If your budget is around 7600GS and wanting to play Sims2 which isnt graphically heavy will be enough.
    Plus with Dell you are very limited to what YOU CAN DO.

    Original Poster

    thats again both, I definaletly won't be using it for top spec games. Once I have fitted it and installed the drivers does my monitor go through the graphics card?

    7600GS is more expensive than a 4550 HD though, its 2+ generations old and nowhere near as efficient or powerful! All the cards you suggested (X1900, X1950 etc) are old, out-dated, power-hungry and generally overpriced.

    The problem with the Dell setups is not generally the motherboard, more the room inside the case (some have PSU mounted vertically or drive bays which stop longer PCI-E cards being installed). If you stick with a lower-end card it will likely both fit and not draw excessive current from the PSU.

    dave_lunt2;3731593

    thats again both, I definaletly won't be using it for top spec games. … thats again both, I definaletly won't be using it for top spec games. Once I have fitted it and installed the drivers does my monitor go through the graphics card?



    Yes (it does before you install the drivers!). On most motherboards they will automatically check if a PCI-E graphics card is installed and use that by default; on some you have to enable the graphics card/disable the on-board in BIOS but generally that is not the case.

    Banned

    jah128;3731633

    7600GS is more expensive than a 4550 HD though, its 2+ generations old … 7600GS is more expensive than a 4550 HD though, its 2+ generations old and nowhere near as efficient or powerful! All the cards you suggested (X1900, X1950 etc) are old, out-dated, power-hungry and generally overpriced.The problem with the Dell setups is not generally the motherboard, more the room inside the case (some have PSU mounted vertically or drive bays which stop longer PCI-E cards being installed). If you stick with a lower-end card it will likely both fit and not draw excessive current from the PSU.



    Those cards may be old, i picked one i have in one of my computers up for £30 their not expensive at all.
    And would run the games and generally much better than the 7600 and 4550.

    You think a 300W power supply will be fine for an X1900XT card? Because ATI certainly don't! Bear in mind the PSU probably doesn't have any PCI-E connectors...

    Banned

    jah128;3731502

    Bad advice, you will not be fine! The Dell cases will not fill all PCI-E … Bad advice, you will not be fine! The Dell cases will not fill all PCI-E graphics cards, and the power supply certainly won't cope with very high end models. The 7600 you have linked to will probably fit and work okay but probably isn't the best card for the money by a long stretch...The ]Radeon 4550 is substantially better than the 7600GS and cheaper to boot...(See the charts at ]Toms Hardware for a useful quick comparison of cards)


    not to mention some dells last year were built without a P10 connector so you cannot power the cards!

    Original Poster

    I've repped you all for your helps guys, think I'm going to go for the Radeon 4550 as there will be no issues with power supply and I think I can attempt to fit that myself

    Banned

    jah128;3731703

    You think a 300W power supply will be fine for an X1900XT card? Because … You think a 300W power supply will be fine for an X1900XT card? Because ATI certainly don't! Bear in mind the PSU probably doesn't have any PCI-E connectors...


    Spot on! I have a dell with 350W PSU and it wont work with anything above a 7600gt.

    that card will be fine for sims2 anyway.

    In all honesty you would be probably be best of looking at a ]Radeon 4350 or something of that scale - it will let you play the Sims (and probably the Sims 3 at low resolutions) but will also not stress the power supply too much!

    Original Poster

    jah128;3731773

    In all honesty you would be probably be best of looking at a ]Radeon 4350 … In all honesty you would be probably be best of looking at a ]Radeon 4350 or something of that scale - it will let you play the Sims (and probably the Sims 3 at low resolutions) but will also not stress the power supply too much!



    that would be better and only £30!
    So I slot the graphics card into the motherboard PCI-e slot, plug my monitor into it and then turn the PC on, let windows load up and install CD with drivers? May have to switch onboard graphics off in bios if necessary.

    Yep, thats pretty much it.

    You can get more up to date drivers from the AMD/Ati website if you want, although the ones on the disc should work fine.
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