Help for my dad please

  YEKNAL 21:30 06 Dec 2006

My dad has just come into the computer age and owns his first pc. He's excited about it at the age of 55 but there is a problem. He has a Dell Dimension 3100 which is basically ok for his needs but the graphics card is an "integrated intel media accelerator 900". He is having trouble playing games like 'flight simulator' and 'need for speed carbon'. He has 512mb of RAM but the system shows only 504mb. 2 questions please: 1) why does the system show a lower ram than is installed and 2) I think the intel card is in a 'pci slot' so can I just unplug it and install a better graphics card assuming of course I can find a pci one?

Many thanks in anticipation from me and my dad.

  woodchip 21:40 06 Dec 2006

The onboard Graphics is using System Memory, Hence 504mb. It cannot be "integrated intel media accelerator 900" and in a PCI slot. Its one or the other. "integrated intel media accelerator 900" Means it is part of the motherboard. Any other PCI cards are not Graphics. Unless another as been fitted

  Technotiger 21:43 06 Dec 2006

Hi, welcome to your Dad - but, games like Flight Sims need a pretty powerfull pc to run on.
512Mb ram is not considered very much these days - also the system never shows the Full ammount of ram because some of it is always in use. Also these games work much better with Graphics cards in either PCI or AGP slots, AGP being better, plus the Graphics cards usually carry their own additional dedicated RAM too.


  Technotiger 21:46 06 Dec 2006

PS - tell your Dad I didn't get my first pc until I was 65Yrs Young.

  YEKNAL 21:56 06 Dec 2006

Thanks for your comments. I think I will upgrade the ram and see what happens. Re the graphics, the spec sheet from Dell says "Graphics card integrated intel media accelerator 900 VGA without TV output". When I took the side off the pc and had a look inside there appeared to be something that looked like a graphics card plugged in (to the amateur eye I stress!). I was following some instructions on changing a graphics card I'd printed off the web. I had a new card to put in but I'd bought a pci-express and it has a pci slot so it wouldn't fit. Do I have any options re improving the graphics?

  Stuartli 22:03 06 Dec 2006

A family friend acquired her first computer at the age of 82...:-)

Took to it like a duck to water.

  Technotiger 22:12 06 Dec 2006

If the graphics card you have is new, you should take it back to the shop, I expect they would be happy to change it for a non-Express PCI one - if the pc is not so modern, it might not have a AGP slot.

Stuartli ... Hi, I recently taught two of my friends, both ex WWII pilots, now in their mid 80's to use PC's/Skype/emails etc - they are both loving it. No doubt there are even more Mature younguns out there too.

  citadel 22:15 06 Dec 2006

if it has no pci express slot it will be no good as as gaming pc. there are pci graphics cards but they are not very good.

  Technotiger 22:17 06 Dec 2006

Me again - try to find out what the card that you saw in the pc, is - it might be a Sound card or even a Modem. Important to find out before touching anything.

  Technotiger 22:19 06 Dec 2006

Also, is your Dad's pc able to connect to the Internet? If it is, we could easily find out exactly what the pc contains in the way of Hardware, and also what Software it has installed.

  woodchip 22:20 06 Dec 2006

As reguards the PCI card, does the monitor cable connect to it at the back? you need to look and make sure, if it going to the card or to the Motherboard. I suspect what you see is a Internal Dial-up Modem

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