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Old 04-24-2007, 04:23 AM   #1
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Default Problem Upgrading Video Card

Hi, I was hoping you guys could help me with a problem upgrading my video card.

I have a Dell 2.8 GHz 1024 RAM Optiplex GX270 Small Desktop Computer identical to the one shown here on eBay. (http://cgi.ebay.com.au/ws/eBayISAPI....8691&rd=1&rd=1)

Its system summary is:

OS Name Microsoft Windows XP Professional
Version 5.1.2600 Service Pack 2 Build 2600
OS Manufacturer Microsoft Corporation
System Name USER-54019CA56A
System Manufacturer Dell Computer Corporation
System Model OptiPlex GX270
System Type X86-based PC
Processor x86 Family 15 Model 3 Stepping 4 GenuineIntel ~2793 Mhz
BIOS Version/Date Dell Computer Corporation A04, 5/17/2004
SMBIOS Version 2.3
Windows Directory C:\WINDOWS
System Directory C:\WINDOWS\system32
Boot Device \Device\HarddiskVolume1
Locale United States
Hardware Abstraction Layer Version = "5.1.2600.2180 (xpsp_sp2_rtm.040803-2158)"
User Name USER-54019CA56A\Administrator
Time Zone Cen. Australia Standard Time
Total Physical Memory 512.00 MB
Available Physical Memory 35.79 MB
Total Virtual Memory 2.00 GB
Available Virtual Memory 1.96 GB
Page File Space 2.91 GB
Page File C:\pagefile.sys


I wanted to upgrade its video card so I could play World of Warcraft on it, which has a minimum video card requirement of nVidia GeForce 2 class or higher. So I went out and bought a nVidia GeForce 6200 A-LE 256MB Low-profile AGP card for it as that was the only latest video card I could get that was low-profile and AGP, but I later found out that my particular computer doesnít have a high enough power supply for it. It only has a 210 watt power supply (http://docs.us.dell.com/support/edoc...n/ug/specs.htm) and the particular video card I purchased needs a higher power supply, (not sure how high but Iím guessing 400+ watts).

I looked into getting an upgrade for the power supply (http://www.pcpower.com/products/powe...ector/dell.htm) and this list suggested the Silencer 410 Dell-2 which costs about US $119.

My question is, if I do choose to get the power supply upgrade, will my particular computer/motherboard be able to handle the increased power supply (Iíve heard that these computers are notorious for blown capacitors and I wouldnít want to aggravate this problem), and if it can, would I also need to get some sort of a fan to cool down the video card, as it runs very hot while in my computer and the current fan I have in there doesnít face its direction, or would the only fan that Iíd be able to get, only come as a presold component already attached to the video card in which case Iíd have to buy a new video card altogether?

Also, if I decided to cut my losses and buy the minimum required low profile video card suggested to play World of Warcraft, i.e. GeForce 32 MB-64MB 2-4, would those cards also run too hot for my particular computer system and would I need to purchase one with a fan or purchase a fan for it?

Finally, is it even worth the money to upgrade this particular computer (US$119 for the power supply + any additional fan or perhaps new video card to keep it cooled = US$200+, not including the US$120 sunk cost of the video card Iíve already bought) or should I just sell this one and purchase a new one specifically designed to be good for playing games from somewhere like eBay where they go for US$150-$250 just for the tower or US$400-$500 for a whole package, and thus capable of running the video card Iíve already bought. (The only game Iím really interested in playing is World of Warcraft as Iím a university student and donít have that much free time anyway.)

Sorry about the length and detail of the question. I guess I get a bit neurotic when it comes to costs and such, but I am studying to become an accountant so maybe thatís a good thing , but any help would be greatly appreciated.
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Old 04-24-2007, 04:39 AM   #2
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Default Re: Problem Upgrading Video Card

This is also the EVEREST summary if that helps as well.

Computer:
Operating System Microsoft Windows XP Professional
OS Service Pack Service Pack 2
DirectX 4.09.00.0904 (DirectX 9.0c)
Computer Name USER-54019CA56A
User Name Administrator

Motherboard:
CPU Type Intel Pentium 4, 2800 MHz (14 x 200)
Motherboard Name Dell OptiPlex GX270
Motherboard Chipset Intel Springdale-G i865G
System Memory 512 MB (PC3200 DDR SDRAM)
BIOS Type Phoenix (05/17/04)
Communication Port Communications Port (COM1)
Communication Port ECP Printer Port (LPT1)

Display:
Video Adapter Intel(R) 82865G Graphics Controller (96 MB)
3D Accelerator Intel Extreme Graphics 2
Monitor Dell E171FPb [17" LCD] (7W22436K09XU)

Multimedia:
Audio Adapter Intel 82801EB ICH5 - AC'97 Audio Controller [A-2/A-3]

Storage:
IDE Controller Intel(R) 82801EB Ultra ATA Storage Controllers - 24D1
IDE Controller Intel(R) 82801EB Ultra ATA Storage Controllers - 24DB
Floppy Drive Floppy disk drive
Disk Drive ST340014A (40 GB, 7200 RPM, Ultra-ATA/100)
Optical Drive Lite-On LTN486S 48x Max (48x CD-ROM)
SMART Hard Disks Status OK

Partitions:
C: (NTFS) 38138 MB (20878 MB free)

Input:
Keyboard Standard 101/102-Key or Microsoft Natural PS/2 Keyboard
Mouse PS/2 Compatible Mouse

Network:
Network Adapter D-Link AirPlus G DWL-G510 Wireless PCI Adapter(rev.C) (192.168.2.2)

Peripherals:
USB1 Controller Intel 82801EB ICH5 - USB Controller [A-2/A-3]
USB1 Controller Intel 82801EB ICH5 - USB Controller [A-2/A-3]
USB1 Controller Intel 82801EB ICH5 - USB Controller [A-2/A-3]
USB1 Controller Intel 82801EB ICH5 - USB Controller [A-2/A-3]
USB2 Controller Intel 82801EB ICH5 - Enhanced USB2 Controller [A-2/A-3]

CPU Properties:
CPU Type Intel Pentium 4
CPU Alias Prescott
CPU Stepping D0
Engineering Sample No
CPUID CPU Name Intel(R) Pentium(R) 4 CPU 2.80GHz
CPUID Revision 00000F34h

CPU Speed:
CPU Clock 2793.10 MHz (original: 2800 MHz)
CPU Multiplier 14.0x
CPU FSB 199.51 MHz (original: 200 MHz)
Memory Bus 199.51 MHz

CPU Cache:
L1 Trace Cache 12K Instructions
L1 Data Cache 16 KB
L2 Cache 1 MB (On-Die, ECC, ATC, Full-Speed)

Motherboard Properties:
Motherboard ID <DMI>
Motherboard Name Dell OptiPlex GX270

Chipset Properties:
Motherboard Chipset Intel Springdale-G i865G
Memory Timings 3-3-3-8 (CL-RCD-RP-RAS)
PAT Disabled

SPD Memory Modules:
DIMM2: Nanya NT512D64S8HB1G-5T 512 MB PC3200 DDR SDRAM (3.0-3-3-8 @ 200 MHz) (2.5-3-3-7 @ 166 MHz) (2.0-2-2-6 @ 133 MHz)

BIOS Properties:
System BIOS Date 05/17/04
Video BIOS Date 04/16/20
DMI BIOS Version A04

Graphics Processor Properties:
Video Adapter Intel 82865G Graphics Controller [A-2]
GPU Code Name Springdale-G (Integrated 8086 / 2572, Rev 02)
GPU Clock 266 MHz
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Old 04-24-2007, 07:31 AM   #3
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Default Re: Problem Upgrading Video Card

There shouldn't be any problems with the mobo and the psu. It should be just fine. But the price for the new psu is just well, silly I guess. You can get a decent 400W psu for 50% of that price. But 1st check the main power connector on the mobo. How many pins does it have? If it's 20 or 24 pins then you should be fine with any power supply.

About the vid card, what are the current temps? And you can buy new fans to the vid card, though I'm not sure if it's possible if you have passive cooling on it.
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Old 04-24-2007, 07:55 AM   #4
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Default Re: Problem Upgrading Video Card

I just checked the main power connecter on the motherboard and it has 20 pins. I know that PSU is expensive but I every source I've checked on the internet has suggested buying from them as they specialise in PSU's specifically designed for Dell computers, in particular my OpiPlex GX270(http://www.pcpower.com/products/view...php?show=S41D2) But if I don't need it then I won't get it.

Also I'm not sure how to check the temperatures of the vid card. Is there some sort of diagnostic tool I can use while the computers running to find out? If I had to describe it I would say that it doesn't run hot enough to burn you or hot enough that you couldn't hold it, but it does run hotter then everything else around it does and everything around it is rather warm like say the same temperature as a mug of warm coffee.

Also, what is passive cooling, is that when the card comes without a fan?
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Old 04-24-2007, 07:57 AM   #5
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Default Re: Problem Upgrading Video Card

Also I was speaking with a friend earlier and he said that video cards are meant to run hot and I shouldn't worry about it as thats what its designed for, is he right, or would I need to get a fan for it or possiby an upgrade to the fan currently in my computer to handle the added video card?
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Old 04-24-2007, 08:56 AM   #6
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Default Re: Problem Upgrading Video Card

Well yes, that power supply should work too. But you are paying way too much for something like that. Since it's a 20pin connector you can use almost any psu you want. Though, I just looked at the picture of the ebay link and I'm not sure if you can fit a normal atx psu in that.
If you can fit normal atx then have a look at these:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16817103928
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16817152028
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16817104954

but if you have a small case like that then I'd check the psu dimensions to see of a normal psu will fit. The dell one looked normal sized too, but it's better to be sure. Also check that the cpu power connector is a normal one, you never know what manufacturers put in their pc's to prevent people from upgrading on their own.

As for the vid card.
Yes, passive cooling means there is no fan.
You can check the temperatures from the nvidia program you have on your computer. But as your friend said vid cards do usually run quite hot, so there probably isn't anything to worry about. But check them anyway if you are worried about it. And I wouldn't use the new vid card before you get a decent power supply, the 200W psu won't be able to give it all the power it needs.
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Old 04-24-2007, 01:20 PM   #7
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Default Re: Problem Upgrading Video Card

Awesome, thanks for your help. I checked the dimensions of the PSU on my computer and I don't think a normal one would fit so I'll probably email the staff at (http://www.pcpower.com/products/powe...ector/dell.htm) to specify the dimensions of their PSU and if it will fit into a Dell small desktop computer which is what the Dell website officially describes my GX270 as. I've taken a look at the FAQ on their site and it also says something about normal PSU's not being compatible with Dell computers and that they need to be custom-built for specific Dell models. (http://www.pcpower.com/support/faqs.htm)
Again thanks for your help, it has been much appreciated
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Old 04-24-2007, 01:59 PM   #8
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Default Re: Problem Upgrading Video Card

no problem. If you have any more questions just ask, we are here to help.
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Old 04-26-2007, 02:23 AM   #9
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Default Re: Problem Upgrading Video Card

Bad news , I got an email back from the staff at (http://www.pcpower.com/products/powe...ector/dell.htm) saying that they don't have any PSU that will fit my small desktop computer.

So does anyone know if there are any PSU's out there to upgrade my small desktop computer from its 210 watt PSU to something say 400 watts that would enable me to run my new nVidia GeForce 6200 A-LE 256MB Low-profile AGP video card?

I've looked around on the internet and I have found none so far that would fit into this specific model of the GX270 series as is shown on the dell website (http://supportapj.dell.com/support/e...EN/pwrsply.htm) where my model is listed as the Small Destop Computer. This is perhaps a better example of what my PSU looks like in real life.(http://cgi.ebay.com.au/P4-DELL-OptiP...QQcmdZViewItem)

So does anyone know of a PSU out there that I can upgrade to or am I stuck with my 210 watt PSU in which I would be better off buying a new computer console if I wish to play games on it like World of Warcraft that has a minimum video card requirement of nVidia GeForce 2 class or higher?

Also, If I can't upgrade my PSU, is there perhaps a lower class video card I could go for that would be good enough to run World of Warcraft and that my 210 watt PSU would be able to handle?
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