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PostPosted: Wed Oct 10, 2007 2:04 pm 
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Ok i just found out my cpu is PCI instead of agp sorry bout that..
http://www.pcstats.com/articleimages/20 ... pspcon.jpg thats the PC i have so if this helps anyway to..

Here are some of my system specs:

System: Microsoft Windows XP
Home Edition
Version 2002
Service pack 2

Dell Dimension DIM2400
Intel(R)
Celeron(R) CPU 2.40GHz
2.39 GHz, 504 MB of ram
Intel(R) 82845G/GL/GE/PE/GV Graphics Controller (my so called graphics card thing lol) and like i said it its PCI.. im gonna probably end up getting a new cpu anytime soon but i'd still like to get the fullest out of this cpu for now.. btw i downloaded Direct X 9.0 and it did nothing so i dunno what else i can do..

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 10, 2007 5:54 pm 
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i think every computer has an AGP slot doesnt it?

Anyways you got what is called a cheap computer, the cheapest processor, with the cheapest chipset on the cheapest operating system with the cheapest brand name (Dell)

To upgrade, you would have to change a lot. Probably better off just buying a high end computer (even if its old) that has performance components.

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 11, 2007 3:17 am 
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Warning, this will be a long post as I want to try to explain this for you so you can make an informed decision - I was in your situation many years ago, these are just things that you learn. If it seems too much, just skip to the end of my post.

Kasey9fan wrote:
Dell Dimension DIM2400

Okay, with the model name I was able to search for information on this computer. Unfortunately, if that is your computer I think you're a little out of luck. There should be something you can do with it, but relatively speaking it won't be a great deal.

Slayer is right, it is a cheap computer built on pretty minimal specs. This kind of computer is really targeted for users who only use email, browse the internet and do word processing kind of tasks. It's not very capable for intensive tasks like gaming, or video editing and encoding. To be honest, the choice of 2.40GHz Celeron for the CPU was obsolete before you opened the box (according to this review/opinion), however don't let that bother you if the computer is adequate for what you use it for.

In cases where you are assessing the upgrade potential of a computer it is ESSENTIAL to have the manual for the motherboard. This contains all the technical information which you need to know what you're dealing with and what you can do with it. You should have one or more books which came with the computer that have this information. If you don't have them, I found Dell has the manuals on their website:

http://support.dell.com/support/edocs/s ... /index.htm

Since the motherboard determines what other components you can use with your computer, it is quite right to think of the motherboard as the defining part of the computer itself. You can change components, like the CPU or the graphics, fairly cheaply and easily to give the computer a boost without changing its "identity". But changing the motherboard itself is a major operation and essentially changes everything about the computer. So usually you either work with the motherboard you've got, or buy an entirely new computer.

Now for the bad news. Here is a diagram of your motherboard:

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http://support.dell.com/support/edocs/s ... techov.htm

This shows you have three PCI slots (lower right of the diagram). PCI slots are general expansion slots that you can plug expansion cards into, like a modem or a sound card (or, yes, a graphics card - but see below).

Unfortunately, you have NO dedicated slot (AGP or PCI-Express) on this motherboard for a graphics card which we would hope to see. These are slots that are designed specifically for graphics cards. They are similar in appearance to a PCI slot, but have a slightly different shape (generally longer) and are usually a different colour to help differentiate - and they are designed to work much faster than PCI to provide ultra-fast graphics. AGP (Advanced Graphics Port) is what was widely used about 5-10 years go. It was superceded a few years ago by PCI-Express (also called PCIe) Note although PCI-Express sounds similar to PCI, they are NOT the same.

Now, your motherboard has an integrated or onboard graphics controller (that's your Intel(R) 82845G), which means it has a little chip called a GPU (Graphics Processing Unit) built-in on the motherboard that handles the graphics. When you buy a graphics card, essentially what you are getting is another GPU (little chip), but it is fitted to its own circuit board which slots into an AGP or PCI-Express expansion slot, hence why it is called a 'card'. A GPU for integrated graphics is generally far less powerful than a GPU you get on a graphics card. Integrated graphics is usually the cheapest solution for (eg.) businesses that only do word processing etc and don't require 3D graphics, hence they are generally designed just to do basic 2D graphics. If you want powerful 3D graphics for gaming, you buy and install a plug-in graphics card. Graphics technology advances and changes very quickly, so a plug-in card gives the best flexibility - you can't change the little chip that is soldered to the motherboard, but you can change one that is plugged into an expansion slot by simply swapping the card.

To get a serious graphics solution, you would have needed either a PCI-Express slot or the older AGP slot. These are the slots that high-end 3D graphics cards for gaming are (in the case of PCIe) or were (in the case of AGP) designed for, as these give the best performance.

HOWEVER, you CAN get graphics cards to plug into plain PCI slots as well - though you won't get anything near the same performance. That said, at the moment you are running without 3D acceleration entirely, so whatever 3D graphics hardware you can add is going to help. PCI graphics cards aren't very popular, so you will have to look harder to find them (and you'll have to be careful all the way not to get mixed up with a PCI-Express card, which won't plug in to your computer). However I did a quick search and found an example that would probably be suitable here (maybe someone else can suggest a store that is closer to your location).

Looking at the other components of your computer:

You currently have an Intel Celeron 2.40GHz for your CPU (Central Processing Unit). The CPU is the 'brain' of the computer, and it does most the work. The Celeron was the basic (cheap) model based on the Intel Pentium processor. You could get an improvement in performance by getting a genuine Pentium 4 processor, and you could potentially get one that clocks along faster (up to 3.40GHz), however in the real world these don't make a spectacular difference to the performance of your computer as the numbers suggest: you might get a 10-20% speed improvement (and it won't improve your graphics). But it is difficult and unless you can get it very cheap (this will be a few years old technology now, and you might be able to get it second-hand) I would tend to think this not worthwhile.

You currently have 512MB of RAM. This is good; this is the recommended amount for running Windows XP. Apparently, some Dimension 2400s were built with only 256MB or even just 128MB initially - XP needs 256MB just for itself which is why 512MB is recommended. (The reason you only see 504MB reported is because your integrated graphics 'steals' some for your graphics.) So you're okay here.



In summary: If you want to improve the graphics, you need a PCI (not PCIe or PCI-Express) graphics card. It probably won't be easy to hunt one down, and then you will have to weigh up whether it is worth the cost (but you shouldn't have to spend more than $100 I would think). If the computer is too slow, you can consider upgrading the CPU as well but you'll need to be very cautious about doing this. Nothing you do to this computer will allow you to be able to play the latest and greatest games, but adding a graphics card you should at be able to catch up to the games of circa 2003 (but really no more). You'll have to decide for yourself if this is what you want, you can sink a lot of money into these things for hardly any gain and sometimes its better to just walk away.

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 15, 2007 12:12 pm 
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pretty good, on a PCI card id hav eto say you'll get up to 2000, not to 2003, in 2003 AGP 4x was the requirement for low end to middle end gaming. I've tried using Riva to turn down my video to PCI just to experiment (and gain video lag advantage on the cube :p) and it cut into my performance big time, even simple game sliek Rakion which is pretty old, couldn't be played very well. You could get framerate, but every memory action would stutter so much. in an RTS game, everytime i made a new "Unit" the game froze for about 10 seconds while it loaded it.

also, Xp home requires 256 megs of RAM, and XP Pro requires 128 megs of RAM, but just liek it's predecessors, you only actually need 32 megs of RAM to run XP. (Win 9x was 4-8 megs FYI). the rest will be dumped into swap file, you just need enough for your kernel.
It has no relevance, but I don't want shifty information going around.

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 16, 2007 12:03 am 
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Slayer wrote:
I've tried using Riva to turn down my video to PCI just to experiment ... and it cut into my performance big time, even simple game sliek Rakion which is pretty old, couldn't be played very well.

Got no idea myself what the performance on a PCI graphics card would be. ATI has an Upgrade Advisor on their website that you can plug in the type of computer and get recommendations of cards from their current range. If you select PCI for the bus it comes back with Radeon X1300 and Radeon X1550 as the options in PCI format, those are from the previous generation of GPUs (granted, at the low end) and still part of the current range. I wonder how those would work out, you got a recent (should be decently fast) GPU, versus the limited bandwidth of PCI...

Slayer wrote:
you only actually need 32 megs of RAM to run XP... the rest will be dumped into swap file, you just need enough for your kernel.

True enough... but it could hardly be anyone's idea of a good time. RAM is fast. Accessing the swap file on a hard disk is slooow.

My recollection might have been a little off, I think I meant to say Windows XP needs 128MB for itself. I think the numbers are 128MB for WinXP, 256MB if you actually want it to run well and run any applications with it, and at least 512MB if you want to really be set.

It's easier just to recommend 512+MB and be done with it.

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 16, 2007 12:00 pm 
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true, but for the record, XP uses less momory if you have less memory lol, not sure how that works but.... if you have a 256, it will use only half of it, I think the threashold is 650 megs or so, so if you have over a gig of RAM, xp will use 650 megs of it.
also, I have tried it, XP runs really smooth on 300 mhz CPU's.
Opening your email... that could take awhile.

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PostPosted: Sun Apr 26, 2009 3:26 am 
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I know this is the biggest bump-up ever, but when I updated to DirectX 10 earlier today for DiRT on PC, I tried connecting to a game with DirectX 10 to no available, reinstalled back to DirectX 9 and it worked fine.

Now most probably know this by now, but if you want to connect to MTM2 games, I suggest using DirectX 9 and NOT DirectX 10.

-Auz

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