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Possible Graphics Card Problem - Need Help Finding A New Card


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#1 PCKat

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Posted 08 July 2009 - 06:23 PM

I am very hardware inept, so please don't hurt me!

2 days ago, I was doing my normal surfing of the net, and I got bored and decided to watch a movie. I tried to play it, but got an error, which says to me I was missing a codec. Too lazy to find the right codec, I closed it out. Then my monitor went into sleep mode, for no reason. I tried to get out of sleep mode and couldn't, so I did a hard restart. Restarting the PC effectively did nothing, so I hard restarted it again, went into safe mode, and the graphics were extremely weird.

I had black and white boxes and lines across my screen. I thought maybe it was my monitor, which I just upgraded from an old 17 inch CRT to a 20 inch flat screen. (Yes, I am still living in ancient times :thumbsup:) I hooked it up to the old monitor and the same thing happened. I tried starting up windows regularly, and it would still go into sleep mode. I went back to safe mode and ran all my virus software, and nothing was found. I thought maybe it was a driver error, but I couldn't even get drivers on my PC cause I can't start it up outside of safe mode. (Other times, I've gotten flashing red and pink bars, sometimes just letters are "etched" out...it's completely random everytime)

I turned it on today, and I got the weird graphics in regular mode, but I was busy and didn't have time to play around with it. So that's my problem.

Everyone I've talked to says I need a new graphics card. However, as previously stated, I am hardware inept. I don't know the difference between AGP, PCI, or whatever else is out there. My friend told me I need an AGP. But I was hoping to get more information. Here are my PC specs that I remember off the top of my head:

Manufacturer: Dell
Model: Dimension 8300 Series
Processor: Intel Pentium IV (I believe 3.0 GHz)
RAM: 2.5GBs (originally 512 MBs, but upgraded)
Graphics Card: ATI Radeon 9800 Pro (I believe its 128mb but I could be wrong)

I have a limited budget, but I'm basically looking for something on par with this graphics card. I don't need the fancy bells and whistles. I do game on this PC, but they are mostly older games. I've gone to newegg and Tiger Direct and I'm just so confused. Something that's DirectX 10 compatible would be nice, however, not completely necessary.

Thanks in advance for all the help. I hope I provided enough information.

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#2 DeathStalker

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Posted 08 July 2009 - 09:12 PM

I did a quick google on the 8300 and I couldn't tell if it came with a PCI slot on the motherboard or not. ANyway, here is a selection of AGP cards to choose from.

#3 fairjoeblue

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Posted 08 July 2009 - 10:27 PM

According to Dell it has a AGP slot,

http://support.dell.com/support/edocs/syst...hov.htm#1102833

[Click on Placement of Dell-installed cards]

There is a little more to selecting a video card then just the slot type though.

After the slot type most people think about the amount of memory.
Obviously , the more the better.
Ypu have to be careful though !
Some cards by ATI & nVidia use some on card memory & some system memory for the total.
An example is the nVidia 6200 series,
Avoid cards that use "shared" memory !
How much memory you need drpends on what you are going to use the computer for.
General web surfing & office type work doesn't require much video memory so a 64MB card would do.
For watching movies & light caming a 128MB card .
For medimum gaming, movies 256MB
For the higher end games at least 512MB

Another thing to consider is the memoriy interface, AKA "bus" usually refered to in "bits"
slower cards will have a 64 bit bus
You could have a 512MB card but if it has a 64 bit bus it's not going to be very fast & certainly not very good for gaming.
a decent card for all around general pupose use needs at least a 126 bit bus
high performance cards will usually have a 256 nit [or up] bus.

There is a LOT more that could be discussed but if you want a card that is decent for light to middle gaming, movies/video & good all aroung performance I suggest at least a 128MB ,128 bit card.
Better choice would be more memory & a 256 bit bus.

From the link to newegg if I were going to buy a AGP video card it would be the
Sapphire X1650 Pro

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx...N82E16814102073

I have owned & used one.
It was great !

Edited by fairjoeblue, 08 July 2009 - 10:28 PM.

OCZ StealthXstream 700W,Gigabyte GA-EP45-UD3R , E8500, Arctic Freezer Pro 7, 3GB G.Skill PC8500,Gigabyte Radeon HD 4850 OC [1GB ], Seagate 250GB SATA II X2 in RAID 0, Samsung SATA DVD burner.

#4 PCKat

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Posted 09 July 2009 - 06:24 AM

Thanks for the quick replies.

I did some further researching. How would this one compare to the Sapphire one in the previous post?

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx...82E16814131070R

I realize it's a lower quality, but I'm just wondering how big the difference would be.

How would that card fare, and would my current power supply be adequate enough to handle it?

(Sorry for all the questions, I just really don't know what I'm doing. Gotta learn somehow I suppose.)

#5 hamluis

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Posted 09 July 2009 - 09:42 AM

<<I am very hardware inept, so please don't hurt me!>>

LOL...darn, we never get to let those lions loose on unsuspecting posters :thumbsup:.

But...I know what you mean. I still frequent a forum that...for the first year that I was a routine visitor...I had to mentally prepare as if I was getting ready to go into combat...to deal with some of the posters/regulars. It was interesting :huh:.

We actually try to help at this website.

Louis

#6 fairjoeblue

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Posted 09 July 2009 - 10:37 AM

It's basically the same video card, just a different brand.
The only concern I would have is it is "open box" which is a polite way of saying somebodyelses return.
"Open box" make it a gamble.
You don't know what whoever had it did to it or why it was returned.
If it is bad you will end up paying return shipping.
I personally never buy "open Box" .

On the power supply thing.
I can't find any specific power supply recommendation from Power Cp;pr but since the card has a regular molex 4 pin connector I wouldn't think it would require any great amount of "extra" power.
From what I can find the Dell Dimension 8300 has a 300 Watt power supply.
Unless you have a bunch of extra hard drives using up power it should run the card.
Of course since I can't find any requirements beyond "a 4 pin connector" I can't guarantee anything but I would assume it will work.
OCZ StealthXstream 700W,Gigabyte GA-EP45-UD3R , E8500, Arctic Freezer Pro 7, 3GB G.Skill PC8500,Gigabyte Radeon HD 4850 OC [1GB ], Seagate 250GB SATA II X2 in RAID 0, Samsung SATA DVD burner.

#7 PCKat

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Posted 10 July 2009 - 05:04 AM

I only have an external harddrive, which has its own power cord.

I didn't realize what "open box" meant. Thanks for clarifying. I definitely won't be buying that one then.




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