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  1. #1
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    Want a better Graphics card for Windows 7

    I just picked up this Vista computer and want to update it to Windows 7 Home Premium 32-bit
    --- I plan on doing the upgrade vs. the custom procedure and from what I’ve read that should go just fine
    --- I have run the Windows 7 Upgrade Advisor and all reports have green arrows
    Dell Dimension E521 desktop Vista Home Premium SP2
    CPU: 1.90 gigahertz AMD Athlon 64 X2 Dual Core

    The computer has on board NVIDIA GeForce 6150 LE Dell graphics
    Belarc reports NVIDIA GeForce 6150 LE Dell [Display adapter]
    Speccy reports 64MB 512MB NVIDIA GeForce 6150 LE (Dell)
    --- GPU: C51PVG Device ID: 10DE-0241 Rev: A3 Release date: 2006
    --- Physical Memory: 64 MB Virtual memory: 288 MB
    CPU-Z reports NVIDIA GeForce 6150 LE Code name: C51 Rev: A2 Size: 64 Mbytes

    I do not like the 64MB
    --- I have tried to find at least a 128MB PCI card, preferably 256 MB PCI card replacement without any luck
    --- I have seen references to GeForce 6200’s but don’t have a clue to know how anyone one of them could be a reasonable replacement

    So my question is:
    --- How can I find a graphics card that will give better performance than a 64MB on board graphics system?

  2. #2
    Super Moderator CLiNT's Avatar
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    How much are you willing to spend?

    I found this: Maximum Upgrades on a Dimension E521 - project, on the DELL forums.

    See if there is anything in there that can point you in the right direction.
    Last edited by CLiNT; 2014-03-14 at 19:30.
    DRIVE IMAGING
    Invest a little time and energy in a well thought out BACKUP regimen and you will have minimal down time, and headache.

    Windows 8.1, 64 bit
    Motherboard: DX58SO2*Chipset: X58 Express/Intel ICH10*BIOS: SOX5820J.86A.0888.2012.0129.2203*Processor: Intel Core i7 CPU X 990
    GPU: Nvidia GTX 580*Memory: Corsair 12 GB, 4x3@1600*PSU: Corsair HX1000*Hard drives: REVO X2 160GB*OCZ VERT X3 120GB*5 mechanical storage drives (12 TB) total.

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  4. #3
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    Do you have room for a double wide card (two bays wide even though only the PCIe16 slot is used)? Very high end for such a system, GTX750 or Radeon HD 7750 ($100-125 range). If you just want a decent utilitarian card, no old but good games, plenty of discrete memory, anything from the Radeon HD 5450 to HD 6670 or so ($30-80 as you go up the line and the 6670 will play those good old games pretty well) will be more than adequate for 2D.
    That other forum is pretty old unless it gets more recent further on and it doesn't look like it makes a good distinction between lower power and higher power requirement video cards. You probably do not have a big power plant so you would want to avoid any cards that require the extra 6-pin power connector, and if you don't have a lot of room, maybe shy away from the double wides (the GTX 750 just has a double wide heat sink/fan) and even consider a low profile card for better air flow inside the case. Some of those bigger cards can essentially break a system into two separate internal compartments.

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  6. #4
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    I will be checking all recommendations. I already see some that look like they will be just fine
    I do not need a powerful graphics some thing much better than what's in there now
    I also didn't realize the possibility of so many wide open choices but that's fine with me

  7. #5
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    I have started checking out the above mentioned graphics cards and a couple of them look good
    However, since the computer uses DDR2 memory, I imagine I need to select DDR2 for the graphics card also
    --- Is that correct?

    Then there's the power supply
    --- From checking out some of the specs, it appears that a 400W power supply is required
    --- Unfortunately the computer only has a 300W power supply
    --- I think I'd like to consider at least a 450W if power supply
    ------ Is that a good idea ?

  8. #6
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    Graphics memory is on the video card (discrete) so it's independent from RAM. Original PCIe slots have a very generous bandwidth, able to run a high speed graphics card and a USB 3 add on card without crowding the bus most of the time...one of the few places to still be able to "juice" an old system, so if you find an inexpensive PCIe 2.0 card with DDR3, go for it.

    400W is assuming a baseline of other power draws at the time of startup (when the most is needed). I have installed HD 5450's thru HD 6750 low profile cards on half a dozen systems or so with measly 280W power plants and they all work fine. However the limitation there is ONE hard drive, two if one of them is a low power SSD, and one optic drive. Also the CPUs in these systems are 65W, not 125. Maybe a 95W would still be ok, I'm not sure (seems like it would with about 200W draw without the card, though it may be more borderline and require a PS that's really putting out what it's rated at).
    If you are at or below those levels for power draw, a good 300W PS will suffice. Otherwise yeah a good 450-550W power supply would cover more drives and even a 6pin supplemental power video card.

    I just went to the Extreme PS calculator page and entered data for my systems...with video card and SSD, 210W required...I guess that's why they work fine.
    Last edited by F.U.N. downtown; 2014-03-16 at 22:31.

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  10. #7
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    That's great news; I actually understood the explanation and I will proceed with what I have to do
    --- I do not need a powerful graphics card but I want something better than the NVIDIA GeForce 6150 LE that's in the computer now since I will be upgrading to Windows 7

  11. #8
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    Sometimes I wonder if it makes sense to double-check mother specifications also when possible for graphics capabilities
    --- The reason is because even though I wouldn’t mind buying a graphics card up to $150.00 but it’s potential is more than what the motherboard can handle I could confidently know that an $80.00 model with motherboard equivalent specs is the right one to get
    --- Does all of that makes sense?

    That won’t matter in my case because the only motherboard info I can find is:

    Belarc main circuit board info: Dell Inc Bus Clock: 1000 megahertz BIOS: Dell Inc 1.1.8 04/18/2007

    Speccy motherboard info: Manufacturer: Dell Inc Chipset Vendor: NVIDIA
    Chipset Model: GeForce 6150 Chipset Revision: A2
    Southbridge Vendor: NVIDIA Southbridge Model:nForce 410/430 MCP
    Southbridge Revision: A3

    CPU-Z reports the same as Speccy

    But that’s ok

    However, as I help the volunteers I work with, it wouldn’t surprise me if knowing motherboard specs will be worth investigating in some cases

  12. #9
    Super Moderator CLiNT's Avatar
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    Eyeball the board prior to doing anything.

    Your board might not have a power connection specifically for a Graphics card.
    This will only be an issue if you're considering a potent card that requires it's own power source.

    You should have an X16 slot available, PCIe 1.0A with a Bus speed of 8GB/s (SLOT 1)
    DRIVE IMAGING
    Invest a little time and energy in a well thought out BACKUP regimen and you will have minimal down time, and headache.

    Windows 8.1, 64 bit
    Motherboard: DX58SO2*Chipset: X58 Express/Intel ICH10*BIOS: SOX5820J.86A.0888.2012.0129.2203*Processor: Intel Core i7 CPU X 990
    GPU: Nvidia GTX 580*Memory: Corsair 12 GB, 4x3@1600*PSU: Corsair HX1000*Hard drives: REVO X2 160GB*OCZ VERT X3 120GB*5 mechanical storage drives (12 TB) total.

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  14. #10
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    I just checked out the board and there is one PCie x16 slot
    --- I'll go into Dell's website for this computer to see if it's 1.0A with a Bus speed of 8GB/s

    Added per Clints note "You should have an X16 slot available, PCIe 1.0A with a Bus speed of 8GB/s (SLOT 1)"
    --- Per Dell's Service Manual, it matches up exactly
    Last edited by cmptrgy; 2014-03-17 at 17:21.

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