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upgrading the graphics on a computer

nightslicer

FPCH Member
Joined
Jan 3, 2012
Messages
95
PC Experience
Beginner
#1
hi, i just got a computer from my dad, a Dell Dimension 5100 that runs on windows xp. i would like to upgrade its graphics for some newer games i just bought. i opened it up and saw a few unplugged wires dangling about and was thinking what was missing. i would like to know how i could upgrade it and some other components (that would increase the performance of my pc). thanks
 

KenB

Administrator
Joined
Oct 19, 2008
Messages
9,077
Location
Wirral UK
#2
Hi and welcome to FpcH

Dell Dimension 5100
Your motherboard supports up to 4GB RAM.
If you want to increase performance this is where to start.
How much RAM do you have at the moment?
Start > Right click on My Computer > Properties

[h=2]Upgrading Graphics[/h]Your motherboard has 1 PCIe slot available.
This is what you need for a decent Video Card.
click here

Problems
Your system only has a 300Watt Power Supply.
Most decent cards will require more than this, so it may be necessary to upgrade your PSU too.

All of this is done at a cost. You have to ask yourself ......is it worth it on an old system ?
 

nightslicer

FPCH Member
Joined
Jan 3, 2012
Messages
95
PC Experience
Beginner
#3
i cant really afford a better system at the moment so i guess this is the only way. how much power would i need if i got a Radeon HD 5670? and would it be compatible with my pc? and i have 504 mb of RAM. is that okay? and thank you very much for the help :)
 

KenB

Administrator
Joined
Oct 19, 2008
Messages
9,077
Location
Wirral UK
#4
Hi again

The system specs for your chosen Video card are:

  • PCI Express® based PC is required with one X16 lane graphics slot available on the motherboard
  • 400 Watt or greater power supply recommended (500 Watt for ATI CrossFireX™ technology in dual mode)
  • Certified power supplies are recommended. Refer tohttp://support.amd.com/us/certified/power-supplies/Pages/listing.aspx
    for a list of Certified products
  • Minimum 1GB of system memory
  • Installation software requires CD-ROM drive
  • DVD playback requires DVD drive
  • Blu-ray™ playback requires Blu-ray drive
  • For an ATI CrossFireX™ system, a second ATI Radeon™ HD 5670 graphics card, an ATI CrossFireX Ready motherboard and one ATI CrossFireX Bridge Interconnect cable per graphics card (included) are required
The important specs are in bold.
400Watt or better PSU
At least 1GB RAM

This answers your question relating to 504MB RAM. ( the module will be 512MB - 0.5GB )
 

Trippy

FPCH Member
Joined
Oct 8, 2009
Messages
38
Location
Hampshire UK
PC Experience
#6
Nightslicer, I've been fiddling with and upgrading old stuff for years! Sometimes it works but you have to know what you want to do with the end result!

If you are after a machine that will run games at a reasonable speed and resolution then (IMHO) KenB is absolutely right. An old nail boosted is not for you.

If you want a word processor/spreadsheet and browser, plus something that will run some older games, then with a few tweaks and a new OS it will probably suit for several years.

I just bought my younger son a desktop far in excess of his college needs just so he can game and use flight simulators. I 'inherited' his old (Dell) desktop and am about to use it to replace a Dell unit from 2002 (flippin' heck that's ten years old!) that I have upgraded several times to it's max.

That's all I need. Horses for courses etc.

Trippy
 

nightslicer

FPCH Member
Joined
Jan 3, 2012
Messages
95
PC Experience
Beginner
#7
i want to upgrade my pc so that it could run maybe a couple year old games, do you think that is possible? and can you recommend what i should do please, thanks
 

KenB

Administrator
Joined
Oct 19, 2008
Messages
9,077
Location
Wirral UK
#8
Google the game and search for system specs.

You can then compare the game's system minimum requirements with what you have. (or will have )

Many games and Video Cards ( I am not a gamer by the way ) specify DirectX 10 or 11.
I am sure that XP is not compatible with DirectX 11
 

nightslicer

FPCH Member
Joined
Jan 3, 2012
Messages
95
PC Experience
Beginner
#9
you have really helped me, i didnt know i needed a bigger power supply to support the graphics cards. thanks :)
 

Plastic Nev

Deceased - sadly missed
Joined
Oct 19, 2008
Messages
5,442
Location
Lancashire
#10
In all seriousness, the money needed to be spent in order to upgrade that computer to do what you are asking, would be better spent on a new machine more up to date. Windows XP is now very seriously out of date to start off with, the mother board and processor will also be well behind technologically, save yourself time and money, be more patient and save up for a new computer. It is the best way forwards in the end.

Nev.