Possibly another stupid video card question.

I am thinking about buying this card (because it is the best reviewed 128mb card), but I don’t know if it will fit into my computer.

I opened up my computer and I am fairly sure that my current card uses a PCI slot. If I buy the new one, would that mean I would have to install it in a different slot and it would still fit? More importantly, how do I find out if I have a AGP slot?

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

If you bought your system from Dell, Gateway, et al then you can go to thier website, type in your serial number, and find out (usually) the specs of your system.

If you bought your PC from a local dealer, you can probably call and ask them. If they don’t know, look for your board model when your system boots, and look it up online. Alternatively, you can hit DEL or F1 or F2 (depending on manufaturer) and browse through your BIOS looking for settings for your AGP slot. If the settings exist, you have and AGP slot.

If you’ve got more information, I can probably help you a little more.

An AGP slot looks a lot like a PCI slot except that it’s brown. It will be parallel to, and above (i.e. closer to the CPU on the mother board), the white PCI slots.

Um, wouldn’t the card go in the same spot as the existing card?

It would if it was a PCI, :smack:


I have a Dell Dimension 4600c. It is smaller than the usual desktop and I am worried that the card won’t fit in the case or something like that.

Looking at the review section of the link you provided reveals that the sole AGP slot and sole PCI slot only accept half-height cards.

quote: “the 4600C is too narrow to accommodate full-size cards”

The Graphics Card in the OP is a full-size card unfortunately.

This is what I was worried about, I did not even know their was such a thing as half-size cards. Where would I find them?

That’s nature’s way of saying “Don’t even bother trying to upgrade this one”

Half-height AGP cards are pretty rare, and typically low-performance. I couild only find one on the open market (as opposed to OEM items) that had more than 16 meg of RAM, actually.

I have here in my hands a half-height Sapphire Radeon 9200SE card with 128 MB of DDR RAM. It cost about $40 Canadian.

There are a good number of ATI-based half-height AGP cards with 64-128 MB of RAM.

Where did you get it? They don’t appear on Newegg sadly. :frowning:

Actually, I spoke too soon. It appears that they do sell them at Newegg, that is if low profile is the same thing as half size.

Another thing to watch out for is the power required to run the video card.

Many Dell Dimension 4xxx machines have a limited power supply, and the newer video cards often need a large amount of power, more than the original power supply can provide.

Yes, but they should be able to run on low power also.

Nope. The card will attempt to draw the power it needs. If the computer’s power supply can’t provide the juice, the PC will either simply shut off or the power supply will overheat and ultimately fail.

Some of the high-performance cards now suck so much power that you need at least a 350-watt power supply in the PC. Some even call for 450 watts.

To add to the consensus view, yes, you probably need a new power supply if you’re going to run a modern video card. My current card has its own Molex connector so that it can draw power straight onto the card (instead of through the AGP slot).

Newegg’s listing of low profile cards seems to indicate that the top-of-the-line cards aren’t available as low profile cards just yet. I can’t vouch for any of the Radeon designs, but the GeForce 5xxx series looked like the best bang-per-buck cards you can get that will fit.

I have decided to go with this card.

It is a lot better than what I have now, and it should last me another year or so until I decide to buy a new computer.

Thanks for all the help. ;j

My new card does as well. It only calls for a 300 watt power supply, but I still might wind up upgrading my 380 watt supply if I get any more PCI cards or drives. Especially drives.

Check to make sure that the power supply isn’t proprietary. Dell pulled that one on me several years ago with a Dimension 8100 (total failure just out of warranty, and it was nearly two weeks before I could get one of the proprietary ones for four times as much as a standard power supply would cost.) That was, gee, over three years ago and I’m still pissed at them about it.

While I have no problems with the description of the location, I’m not so sure about the color, unless my motherboard doesn’t meet some set standard. The PCI slots on mine are white but the AGP slot is green. Another indicator of the AGP slot is generally that it is set a little bit further back from the edge of the motherboard to accomodate the longer AGP card.

Just out of curiosity, what does a PCI-Express slot look like?

Provided the card doesn’t require an external power source (unlikely to be available in a low-profile Dell, and unreasonably expensive to aquire through getting a new power supply), I’d say heat is the big problem. I have a small form factor Dell Optiplex GX150 that I was running a passively cooled PCI GeForce MX440 in until it started developing more and more bad pixels and eventually died, my guess from heat in the confined space. (It was a slow card anyhow, and not OEM).

I don’t use it often, but it gets ok gaming performance now with a… 16M TNT2? :confused: What the… ok, here it is over here, a 128M GeForce FX 5200.

You might want to make sure about that card; matching my card against the picture in your link, the front half seems “low profile”, but not the back bit. My 5200 looks much more like this, which you can see is uniformly lower in height (though if your PC is just smaller in general, it could fit just fine).

If it is not too late, I would reccomend a Geforce 6200 - this card is both cheaper and should give you better performance.