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Graphics card upgrade - Intel Extreme Graphics 2 vs Nvidia Geforce FX 5500 Watch

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    Ok, well I have a Dell Dimension 3000 and I am considering a low budget upgrade of the graphics card.

    Specs:
    2.8Ghz Intel Pentium 4
    1 GB RAM
    Intel Extreme Graphics 2
    Windows XP Professional Service Pack 3
    No AGP slot, only PCI slots available for upgrade

    First of all, I am wondering whether the FX5500 actually gives a better performance than Intel Extreme Graphics 2.

    Secondly, I want to know if the FX5500 can support widescreen (16:9) resolutions, as the Intel integrated graphics cannot. My monitor has a native resolution of 1600x900. Currently I'm using this monitor at a resolution of 1024x768, where I have 2 black stripes down either side of the screen

    Thirdly, I've heard it's an absolute pain to get a dedicated graphics card to work properly when there is an integrated graphics chip already on the motherboard - if I simply disable to integrated graphics through device manager, is that not sufficient?

    Oh, and one last issue. Will the 250W PSU be able to handle the extra power that's drawn by this new graphics card?

    EDIT: After feedback from everyone, it seems to me that the Nvidia fx5500 is not such a good idea, and the Radeon HD 5450 (on a PCI interface) sounds better. I am also wondering whether there are also any other good options.
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    Maybe try to get one of these instead-it has the advantages of being very low power and guaranteed to work with modern displays/resolutions (even has HDMI).
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    getting a discrete gfx card to work should not be too much trouble. if you want, you can go into BIOS and disable your onboard video, but just stick the card in and connect your monitor to the gfx cards output and windows should automatically install drivers. then its a good idea to go to update your drivers to the latest version.

    this should help answer your psu question. bear your psu may not actually be providing 250w (its probably not) so be pessimistic
    http://extreme.outervision.com/psucalculatorlite.jsp

    i agree with the above suggestion about which card though. scan.co.uk is where i buy my stuff
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    Hmm that card does sound brilliant, but according to the article, it does not seem to be available in the UK just yet. But no problem, I can wait a bit longer . And by the looks of it, I'm gonna have to upgrade the PSU to 275W according to the calculator on the website you mentioned above. Thanks for the info.

    EDIT: Just checked on the website of the manufacturer of the graphics card, and they recommend a minimum of 400W power supply for the Radeon 5450. :|

    http://www.hisdigital.com/un/product2-580.shtml
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    bear in mind that reccomendation is given to all potential buyers, so you would think their requirement would be on the safe side. is 275w including the gfx card?
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    275W including the graphics card and a second WD800JB 7200rpm hard drive which I had added previously.
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    Isn't the Gefore FX 5500 an ancient card that can be picked up for about £0.99 on eBay?
    I can remember Nvidia advertising those around the time I bought my Radeon X850XT to play Unreal II and Half-Life 2!
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    In one of the previous posts, someone posted a link to a new Radeon HD 5450 card that's available on a PCI interface, so now I'm considering that instead of the Nvidia Fx5500. The Radeon 5450 sounds like a worthwhile upgade for around £30.
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    given your psu issue, i wouldnt buy the 5450. i doubt the nvidia fx5500 will be much an upgrade from what you already have, so maybe search for an ati 4xxx or even 3xxxx series (check scan.co.uk and use the search filters to single out pci cards to help you find a card - would do this myself to help you out, but need to revise...)
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    The graphics card only draws about 20W, so it would probably be fine. You'll have the same issue whichever card you go for though- most will use more than that. With old equipment (and especially OEM power supplies) it's often a bit of a gamble, so if you're worried you could get a new PSU (AFAIK the Dell uses a standard sized one). The issue isn't so much that the thing won't run (although it might become unstable under load) but that some PSUs like to go out in a blaze of glory when overloaded and end up taking out the motherboard too. Although it seems a bit silly to spend lots on such an old computer, a good power supply would last for ages so could be transferred to a new computer in the future.
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    (Original post by king02020202)
    Ok, well I have a Dell Dimension 3000 and I am considering a low budget upgrade of the graphics card.

    Specs:
    2.8Ghz Intel Pentium 4
    1 GB RAM
    Intel Extreme Graphics 2
    Windows XP Professional Service Pack 3
    No AGP slot, only PCI slots available for upgrade

    First of all, I am wondering whether the FX5500 actually gives a better performance than Intel Extreme Graphics 2.

    Secondly, I want to know if the FX5500 can support widescreen (16:9) resolutions, as the Intel integrated graphics cannot. My monitor has a native resolution of 1600x900. Currently I'm using this monitor at a resolution of 1024x768, where I have 2 black stripes down either side of the screen

    Thirdly, I've heard it's an absolute pain to get a dedicated graphics card to work properly when there is an integrated graphics chip already on the motherboard - if I simply disable to integrated graphics through device manager, is that not sufficient?

    Oh, and one last issue. Will the 250W PSU be able to handle the extra power that's drawn by this new graphics card?

    I'm just wondering what you are planning on upgrading it for?

    It wont run any games. It has few pixel processors (4~6 vs the 515 of the most recent nvidia card @x2+ the speed) and doesnt support dx9.c
    Driver support was dropped about 3 years ago.

    The FX5500 doesnt support on-board video decoding. So by upgrading you effectively gain nothing. I highly reccomend buying a new pc over upgrading in your case, save your money for later, you will only be disappointed.

    I dont mean this in a trolly way but your pc simply doesnt support any of the newer standards and will be bottlenecked by certain components should you choose to upgrade. Any upgrades you purchase now will be wasted money should you choose to buy something later as they will be incompatible with anything semi-new.
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    The main reason why I want the upgrade is that my current onboard graphics can only handle resolutions with a 4:3 aspect ratio, and can't handle 16:9. I recently bought a widescreen monitor, and I am having 2 big black bars down the sides as the onboard graphics only gives me a 4:3 ratio. If I get a graphics card which can handle 16:9, then I can make full use of the monitor!

    I was actually intending to use this PC until Microsoft phases out support for Windows XP. But it seems like technology is pushing me to switch to Windows 7...
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    (Original post by king02020202)
    The main reason why I want the upgrade is that my current onboard graphics can only handle resolutions with a 4:3 aspect ratio, and can't handle 16:9. I recently bought a widescreen monitor, and I am having 2 big black bars down the sides as the onboard graphics only gives me a 4:3 ratio. If I get a graphics card which can handle 16:9, then I can make full use of the monitor!

    I was actually intending to use this PC until Microsoft phases out support for Windows XP. But it seems like technology is pushing me to switch to Windows 7...
    Aah fair enough, i dunno how i missed that bit.

    THe FX5500 has 400mhz RAMDACS that means it can run up to 1680x1050~, so it should do what you want it to.
    Geforce 2 is @ 350mhz for referance.
 
 
 
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