GPU Upgrade Compatability?

  Milukaz 22:49 23 Oct 2006

I have a dell 4550 PC that is nearly 4 Yrs old but has survived this period surprisingly well due to my vigilant upgrades and reformats when neccessary.

However it is beginning to lag quite badly when playing some new games, i had to Run HL2 on a low settings to get a decen framerate.

I have upgraded to 1024mb of PC3200 RAM and would like to upgrade the included NVIDIA Geforce 4 MX420 64MB graphics card to something with a little more beef.

From surfing the web, i have got my sights set on the Sapphire Radeon X1600PRO 256MB(click here), it got great reviews and is within my desired price range, however i am unsure as to whether it will be compatible with my obviously dated board, chipset ETC.

I know that i have the required AGP slot as that is where the current card sits, and i have an Intel 845PE chipset.

Can anyone tell me if this will be compatible, and if not suggest a similar card that perhaps would be.

Many thanks,

Theres a chance that a system as old as yours will only have an AGP 4X slot. If this is the case, then the card will still work however there will be some reduction in performance although I don't think its a massive drop.

Some cards also need their own power supply although I don't see that mentioned for this particular card. It may be worth your while checking your PSU too.

If you download this, this will tell you everything you want to know about your system click here

  Totally-braindead 00:38 24 Oct 2006

Presumming your processor is reasonably fast then there is no reason for you not to buy and install the card, the only possible problem I can forsee is perhaps the power supply.
Many newer graphics card need a seperate power connector as well as the power they get from the slot. So you will have to connect the card up to one of the same power connectors as you use for the hard drive, a molex connector. The ones I have bought have all come with a splitter in case you don't have one spare. And if it doesn't then you can easily get one.
Now to the possible problem. Branded PCs tend to come with power supplies that are perfect for what is installed but they don't fit higher wattage ones as standard I presume for cost reasons.
What I mean is, if your PC on its original spec needs say 260 watts they'll probably fit a 300 watt supply. If you add extra components then they will use more power and eventually you'll overload the supply and it'll not work properly. This is not a major problem, but if you do buy the graphics card and it doesn't appear to be working properly then the first thing I would check would be the rating on the power supply.
If necessary then buy a new one, they aren't differcult to fit. You'll only discover if it is a problem once you try it.
Its not a disaster or anything its just something that you might have to do if the power supply has trouble supplying enough power.
I would try to find out the minimum recommended power supply rating before purchase and look at whats in your PC. If its not high enough then buy a new power supply as well.

  Milukaz 13:11 31 Oct 2006

Thanks for your help!

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