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Upgrading Video Card

by thevoiceofzeke / August 10, 2008 1:54 PM PDT

Hey again, folks.

First I want to thank you guys for helping me out with my RAM situation. I upgraded to 3gigs, got the RAM from, and it was quick and easy.

Now I need to upgrade my video card. I currently have a GeForce7300LE, and I want to upgrade to one supported by Warhammer Online (see below). My questions are: (1) Which card would you recommend based on price and performance?, (2) Will I need to replace my power supply?, (3) How hard is it/would you recommend replacing the card myself or paying for professional service?, and (4) Which cards are compatible with my Dell Dimension E521?

Here are my system specs, current:

Dell Dimension DIME521

AMD Athlon 64 X2 Dual Core Processor 4000+

2.10GHz, 3.00 GB of RAM

Information specifically pertaining to my video card:

NVIDIA GeForce 7300 LE (PCI Slot 6)

PCI Express: Connector - one x16, 164 pins, 16 lanes (this means I can use PCI-E x16 cards, right?)

Poer Supply: 306W

Lastly, the compatible video cards for Warhammer Online:

ATI Radeon(TM) series

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by ramarc / August 11, 2008 12:08 AM PDT
In reply to: Upgrading Video Card

if you don't want to upgrade your power supply, this is your best choice: 9500gt, $78 before $10 rebate,

if you're willing to add this $40 power supply: antec basiq,
then this 9600gt would be a good choice for $105:

cards are easy to replace... 10 minutes or so. the power supply is a bit more work since it plugs into everything (2-3 connections on the mobo, a connection to each drive, etc.).

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by thevoiceofzeke / August 11, 2008 11:15 PM PDT
In reply to: suggestions

How come that card is so much cheaper than, say, this 8800GT:

The things you posted sound awesome because they're so inexpensive, but are they going to be reliable? There are no customer reviews on that card.

Also, someone recommended this psu (way pricier than the one you posted):

Are you sure the things you posted will work with my Dell E521 and won't be cheap pieces of junk? =/.

If you are, then this problem is pretty much resolved. =D

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i never suggest junk
by ramarc / August 12, 2008 3:15 AM PDT
In reply to: Hmm

low prices, but not junk.

video card prices are falling quickly. here's a pny 8800gt/512mb for $119 (with a game):
and the same card for $109 (w/o game):

as long as the manufacturer sticks with the reference design (meaning they buy the cards from nvidia's manufacturing partner and stick their own label on it) and doesn't factory-overclock, there's no difference in quality between brands. factory-overlclocked cards, cards with faster memory, and cards with upgraded cooling cost more than the reference design.

as for the power supply, some dells use proprietary power connections and won't work with a standard atx power supply. fortunately, the e521 sticks to the standard.
you can confirm this yourself by reviewing dell's power connection documentation here:
and the atx v2.2 standard here:

so, your e521 can accomodate any standard atx power supply. antec is a good brand and the basiq is their entry-level no frills power supply. here's a review.
of course you could spend more for a higher end power supply, but the basiq will handle your pc and an 8800gt/9600gt without problem.

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case closed
by thevoiceofzeke / August 12, 2008 5:42 AM PDT
In reply to: i never suggest junk

Great, thanks a ton for all the information. You guys haven't failed me yet!


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