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Old 09-13-2007, 08:51 PM   #1
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Default Full-size video card in slim case?

Hey all,

Is it possible to put a regular video card into a slim tower? My folks just got a new Dell Inspiron 531 and its a slim tower design. I opted to purchase the extra RAM/video card upgrades from NewEgg for them, but once everything arrived and got out of the box, it hit me that they went for a smaller form factor.

I've not worked with the half-height video cards before and they seem a bit underpowered. I'd still like to put in a 512Mb card that will definitely boost Vista and leave them with a good system for many years.

Is there some way I can get a normal sized video card into the tower? I've search the net and I'm only seeing two real options: a PCIe riser card or a PCIe extender cable. A 90 degree riser card would get the video card into a verticle spot and help out, but I'd have to open up the computer and see how much extension I'm actually getting and if there is room... The PCIe extender cable seems a better option, as I could put the card into a vertical position and make it fit, but I dont know how the performance would be if using a small extension cable.

Any thoughts or advice in this situation?

I can buy a smaller half-height card if needed, but I can get a larger and better card for an equivalent price. I'd rather shell out an extra $20 bucks or so to get some connector piece and put the better graphics card inside.

Thanks for any help!
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Old 09-13-2007, 10:03 PM   #2
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Default Re: Full-size video card in slim case?

well with a cable...the performance would be the same, and i think the riser would be good too. are you afraid to open your computer or something?

one of these?

http://www.bvm-store.com/ProductDeta...dProductId=368

and is this your computer?

http://i.dell.com/resize.aspx/inspndt_530s/200
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Old 09-14-2007, 01:37 AM   #3
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Default Re: Full-size video card in slim case?

Yes, the Dell you linked to is the computer my parents bought. I've got no problems opening the thing up and upgrading it -- I've already popped in 2Gbs or RAM for a fraction of the price Dell wanted to charge in upgrades. I've got no qualms with doing a video card upgrade either, I'm just trying to figure out the best way of fitting a larger card into a smaller case.

I think a riser card may work but I still need to rough out the measurements and see if the card could go vertically without hitting anything else. I think I have the room but I'd then have to figure out how to get the video output cables situated properly.

I was thinking that an extender cable would be best, as I could angle the card slightly if needed, or make some form of custom mounting braket. I could potentially put it in the space where the 2nd HD would go if the cable is long enough. The only down side is the PCIe extension cables seem to run $50+. I haven't found anything from a well known, cheaper distributor yet.
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Old 09-14-2007, 08:03 AM   #4
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Default Re: Full-size video card in slim case?

well what video card are you planning on buying?
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