Hi all, this is my first post and I really need some of you guys' expert help 🙂 My son has a Dell Dimension 5000 PC Pentium 4 2992Mhz, 2gb RAM (feel free to ask for whatever info you need), currently running an ATI Radeon X300 SE series card. While we both consider ourselves able to use a computer, we're completely stumped right now. He wants a better card so that he can play newer games on it, which he can't do with his current card as it isn't capable of supporting them. We aren't very confident about picking a new one as we don't know whether it would be compatible or fully compatible with the PC. So he's looked thorugh a few cards and found NVIDIA GeForce 8400GS, which apparently requires a minimum 300w PSU but recommended 400w. Now he believes his PSU is defined as 305w, so would this card be advisable or should it be avoided due to possible partial incompatibility? Basically, could you guys find us a card that would run on his Dimension 5000 with no trouble but will run all his silly games? Thanks 🙂
P.S. We're not looking for some super-powerful card that costs £200 🙂 Something up to around £50 would be nice 🙂
Don't get the 8400 GS. That is not a good card for gaming. It is better than the x300, but not worth it for any newer games. I always recommend the ATI HD 4670 for a system like this and they are relatively inexpensive. The manufacturer overstates the power requirements as the HD 4670 in reality will only use around 160 - 170 watts under load such as gaming for the entire system. Your 305W power supply should be plenty.
Hmm... Seems to hover around £60 but looks great considering. He also looked at an ATI Radeon HD 4350 a while back, which is a bit cheaper but feared buying that because it was 'low profile' or something and thus wouldn't fit in the PC because it's too small. The 4350 is stated as minimum 300w and the 4670 is minimum 400w; I know you said that the power requirments are overstated but might the 4350 be safer? Please advise 🙂
JMichael is absolutely right - the power rating on those cards is way overblown. I have an Inspiron with a 305 W power supply and have been running both the 4350 (earlier) and 4670 (now) cards in it, and both run just fine. The 4670 is a significantly better card (from a gaming standpoint) than the 4350, but either one would be much faster than an X300.
For the minimal price differential, I'd go with the 4670. But, if you're nervous about the power supply thing then you can can't go wrong with the 4350. As with all computer products, the manufacturer does matter. I've had great luck with Sapphire.
Best of luck.
Just wondering how you got on with installing the ATI HD 4670 on your Dell Dimension 5000?
I have the same Dell 5000, but have been trying to install the NVIDIA GeForce 8400GS (as mentioned in the first post) - having big problems trying to install the drivers - it just doesn't like it!? (This was to replace the old gfx card due to fan failure - not too bothered about games)
If you'll look around the forums you'll see that JMICHAEL & I usually agree on the graphics card to get. However, I'm a little more cautious about the power ratings.
So get that 4670 (or 4350 if you desire) but I always recommend upgrading the PSU if the graphics card's recommended demand is listed higher than your PSU. I've just seen a few blown PSUs cause of PSUs that had too much demand on them.
Take the chance or don't! I always advise caution is all I'm saying.
Tell your son to enjoy your 4670! He's gonna love it compared to the X300.