Help me upgrade the video on my Dell Dimension 2400.
July 27, 2006 9:19 AM   Subscribe

Help me upgrade the video on my (PCI-only) Dell Dimension 2400.

I'm trying to get a new video card for my Dell Dimension 2400, which has video (64mb Intel) pre-integrated into the motherboard.

Now, the kicker is that the Dimension 2400 only has PCI ports. Being not too computer-innards knowledgable, I bought a 256mb PCI-E card that didn't fit into my motherboard at all.

Are there any decent PCI video cards out there that can offer good performance in conjunction with plenty of RAM or is it time to get a new computer for doing graphics-intensive work?
posted by huskerdont to Computers & Internet (10 answers total)
What kind of graphics work are you doing? Where are you noticing performance issues with your existing video arrangement? I kind of doubt PCI is going to be better than integrated video for much of anything. If you are doing 3D work then there might be some PCI cards that offer you a step up.
posted by Good Brain at 9:31 AM on July 27, 2006

If your machine is plain PCI (not PCI Express or PCI-X (note that the two upgrades to PCI have different slots)) your only card option is probably used. I'm partial to the Matrox G series and I think you could get up to the G400 model in PCI.

How old is your machine? AGP became popular a good 5 years ago but I know a lot of the Dell stuff is pretty stripped down. You might want to check with Dell and make sure that even if you insert a PCI Video card that you can override the onboard stuff.
posted by Mitheral at 9:32 AM on July 27, 2006

It all depends on what you consider good performance, but most likely it is time for a new system. Since PCI, there has been AGP (2x, 4x, and 8x) and now PCI-E is the king of the hill. Your onboard video is probably some flavor of AGP, and you might be able to upgrade the RAM for it - but it is a long shot - you will probably need to contact Dell about this. In the future you should stay away from integrated video chipsets for this reason.
posted by internal at 9:34 AM on July 27, 2006

Best answer: You can get this ATI 9250 or a geforce 5700. Expect to play new games at low settings (if that), but games that arent graphics intensive like strategy games with nice graphics will work fine. If youre diong 3D graphic work only you know what is good enough. If you don't, try to buy one of these cards from a retailer with a generous return policy.
posted by the ghost of Ken Lay at 9:43 AM on July 27, 2006 [1 favorite]

doing graphics-intensive work?

If you mean Photoshop and Illustrator and that kind of thing, the graphics card makes very little difference to performance, since they make little use of the graphics card's processing features. What you need is more RAM and a faster hard disk.

Otherwise, the Radeon 9250 linked above is about as good as it gets for ordinary PCI.
posted by cillit bang at 10:05 AM on July 27, 2006

umm, almost all motherboards come with integrated graphics cards on the motherboard. The computer should automatically detect the more advanced graphics card, and will default to that.

Any PCI card will work fine. You should definitely be able to find something that'll work, and the dell 2400's have 4 PCI slots, so you can just stick it in anyone and it should work.

With computers being so cheap, however, I would just suck it up and buy a new system.
posted by unexpected at 10:13 AM on July 27, 2006

Ditto on the 9250 PCI version. I've installed about two dozen of these. We run the Apple Cinema Display at native resolution on the DVI port. (shared Mac/PC with KVM setup)
posted by Gungho at 10:41 AM on July 27, 2006

Response by poster: I just ordered the 9250. Thanks everyone!
posted by huskerdont at 11:25 AM on July 27, 2006

dealnews linked to this GeForce 6200 PCI a few days ago. A bit more recent than the Radeon 92xx chips (which are basically Radeon 8500's). Specifically, the 6200 supports DirectX9, while the 92xx doesn't.
posted by unmake at 11:32 AM on July 28, 2006

ugh. scratch that. bad link :(
posted by unmake at 11:34 AM on July 28, 2006

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