DELL: graphics upgrade - is it possible ?

  WataiN 08:36 20 Jul 2007


new to the forum and would greatly appreciate some advice.
i have a Dell Dimension 3100 Pentium IV 3.0GHz 1GB ram which i've had for about 2.5 years or so.
i'm ok with using computers but technically i really dont have a clue and am really just trying to grasp the basics.
up until now i have been more than happy with my system - i use it as a base for my home studio and running applications such as Reason & Cubase its great.
but recently i thought i'd have a go at some games so i bought Call of Duty 2, and this will come as no suprise to any of you, but it won't run.
so i've spent ages trawling the internet trying to find out why - and have learnt a hell of a lot that i had no idea about with regards to graphics cards and stuff.

so i've found out that my system just has some crappy integrated graphics chip, and the only expansion slots provided are 2 PCI slots and a PCI-E x1 slot.

now, i cannot find a single PCI-E x1 card anywhere on the net.

i've found a couple of PCI ones - PNY TECHNOLOGIES Verto GeForce 6 6200/PCI 256MB DD, and XFX Geforce 5200 PCI 256MB DDR TV OUT Retail.
(both on

would i be able to play games such as Cod2, Halo or FEAR with either of these cards in my system?

sorry to ramble on... but this is all confusing the hell out of me.

many thanks in advance.


  WataiN 08:47 20 Jul 2007

sorry, dont know if this makes any difference but forgot to say i have XP Media Centre Edition running.


  robbiepaul79 10:40 20 Jul 2007

PCI-E x1 maybe means there is ONE slot of this type.

  Diemmess 10:53 20 Jul 2007

I don't use my comp for games so I'm a poor one to talk, but surely there is something on this site for you.
click here
If you give their tech support or pre-sales customer support number they will give good advice.

  WataiN 10:58 20 Jul 2007

cheers for the replies.

robbie > naah - thats what i originally thought, and i happily decided on a PCI-E card to get, then i luckily decided to double check my Dell manual and the PCI-E x1 slot is some weird slot that is only really narrow and will not accept PCIe x16 cards! something to do with the number of pins or somethin'?

  Starfox 12:18 20 Jul 2007

If you have a PCI-E ( PCI-Express) slot then you should be able to fit a decent PCI-E Graphics card, which by the way, just happen to be the latest type.

You can forget PCI cards as these are too slow and old technology.

Just as an idea something like this would be o.k

click here

The only problem may be that Dell pc's were not easily upgradeable as some of the components were unique to dell, I don't know if this still applies.

  spuds 22:24 20 Jul 2007

As Starfox rightly states, some Dell's are not easily upgradeable due to Dell's marketing policy of using 'their own' components. Best to make certain before you start spending money, on something that may not fit or work.

The same rules applies to their (Dell) printers, mostly re-badged Lexmark with cartridge holder mods.

  Totally-braindead 22:49 20 Jul 2007

I think you will find the PCI x 1 slot is just that, its meant to be for some sorts of cards that can use this facility (what these things are I don't know as I've never even seeon one advertised), anyway a PCIE x 1 slot is completely different to a PCIE x 16 slot. So you cannot get a PCIE graphics card, you don't have AGP so you can't get one of them either.
You can as you have already worked out fit a PCI graphics card and that would improve things, bit of a boost over the onboard and it "should" play COD2 but a 6200 which I think is about the best you can get should play it but is below the recommended requirements and therefore you would have to reduce the settings, how much I'm not sure.

So thats your choice I'm afraid, buy a PCI 6200 and try it or leave it as it is. Even if there was a faster PCI card out there I doubt you could use it without replacing the power supply as well.

  [email protected] 01:47 21 Jul 2007

my new motherboard has a pci-e x1 slot it's tiny, havnt got the faintest idea what goes in it. pci-e x16 is about 4 times bigger usually with a clip on the end. all top advice from totally-braindead.
the blue slot in the middle of the board is pci-e x16 the little white one next to it is the pci-e x1
click here

  Sapins 09:19 22 Jul 2007

You should have an online manual on your PC which tells you exactly how to open the case and upgrade the components, I do not think it states you must use Dell components. If you can't find the manual you can download it from Dell's site.

  crosstrainer 11:26 22 Jul 2007

is for a dedicated wireless card.

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