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Thread: card for a Dell 500 mhz?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2002


    I have a Dell Dimension xps T 500 and would like a new video card to boost up my games a bit. Can anyone recommend some cards, give me some links, Internet resources or anything else that might help me make a good choice.

    Thanks, Marc

    Here are my system specs;
    System profile:
    Computer Model
    BIOS Vendor Intel Corp.
    BIOS Version
    BIOS Date 06/28/2000
    Case Type Unknown
    Windows Version 98
    Explorer Version 6.0.2600.0000


    Central Processor
    Manufacturer Intel Corporation
    Product Name Pentium III processor
    Version Intel Pentium(R) III Processor
    External Clock Speed 100 Hz
    Maximum Clock Speed 1200 Hz
    Current Clock Speed 500 Hz


    System memory with 3 slots - Placement: System board or motherboard
    DIMM: 128 Mb DRAM
    DIMM: 128 Mb DRAM
    DIMM: empty

    Windows Memory/Resources
    Total Memory 261652 Kb
    Available Memory 944 Kb
    Page File Size 1835496 Kb
    Available Page File 1653336 Kb
    Virtual Memory 2093056 Kb
    Available Virtual Memory 1900864 Kb

    Hardware (Built Into System)
    Type Description Enabled
    Video AGP Yes
    Sound AUDIO Yes
    Sound AUDIO Yes
    Sound AUDIO Yes

    Hardware (Added On To System)
    Type Description Manufacturer

    Drive Type Drive Size Total
    Space User
    A:\ removable
    C:\ fixed 38168 Mb 32670 Mb 32670 Mb
    D:\ CD ROM 286 Mb 0 Mb 0 Mb

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Ohio, USA


    Boy, what a trip trying to get hardware info on your box at Dell's site. As a Dell owner, maybe you can log in and get more info than I could find. I am guessing that you might have a mobo with Intel's awful 810 chipset. If so, you can't disable the onboard video in order to upgrade. If you can get more info on the mobo, maybe I could be more specific.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2002


    Thanks Bigjackusa,
    I have read that some Dells share videomem with the mother board and that you can't change cards.
    I think I got the stuff from Dell, had to shake them around a bit but I got it. I think my chipset is: System chip set Intel 440BX AGPset.
    Thanks for your help;

    Here are all the specs from that page;

    Specifications: Dell™ Dimension™ XPS Txxx and Txxxr Systems Reference
    General • System Information • Expansion Bus • Memory • Drives • Ports • Video • Audio • Power • Physical • Environmental • Regulatory Notices • IRQ Assignments • Default Dell-Installed Expansion Card Placements • DMA Assignments


    Microprocessor type Intel® Pentium® III microprocessor that runs at 100 MHz externally
    Microprocessor speeds 450 MHz internal/100 MHz external
    500 MHz internal/100 MHz external
    550 MHz internal/100 MHz external
    600 MHz internal/100 MHz external
    650 MHz internal/100 MHz external
    700 MHz internal/100 MHz external
    750 MHz internal/100 MHz external
    800 MHz internal/100 MHz external
    850 MHz internal/100 MHz external
    L1 cache 32 KB SRAM (16-KB data cache; 16-KB instruction cache)
    L2 cache
    Dimension XPS Txxx
    512-KB pipelined write-back SRAM on a separate chip on the processor card. The L2 cache runs at half the processor's internal clock speed.
    Dimension XPS Txxxr
    256-KB Advanced Transfer Cache that resides in the processor's core. The L2 cache runs at the processor's internal clock speed.
    Microprocessor mounting SECC2 package connected to the system board contains microprocessor and cache circuitry
    Math coprocessor internal to microprocessor


    System Information
    System chip set Intel 440BX AGPset
    Data bus width 64 bits
    Address bus width 32 bits
    DMA channels seven
    Interrupt levels 15
    System BIOS chip 4 Mb (512 KB)
    System clock 100 MHz (matches external processor speed)
    Diskette/communications ports 48 MHz from the system clock


    Expansion Bus
    Bus types PCI (version 2.1), ISA, and AGP (version 1.0)
    Bus speed AGP: 66 or 133 MHz
    PCI: 33 MHz
    ISA: 8.33 MHz
    AGP expansion-card connectors one
    AGP expansion-card connector size 124 pins
    AGP expansion-card connector data width (maximum) 32 bits
    PCI expansion-card connectors four
    Shared PCI/ISA expansion-card connector one
    PCI expansion-card connector size 120 pins
    PCI expansion-card connector data width (maximum) 32 bits
    ISA expansion-card connectors one (shares a card-slot opening with a PCI connector)
    ISA expansion-card connector size 98 pins
    ISA expansion-card connector data width (maximum) 16 bits


    Architecture ECC or non-ECC SDRAM modules
    DIMM sockets three; gold contacts
    DIMM capacities 32, 64, 128, and 256 MB
    Minimum RAM 64 MB (non-ECC)
    Maximum RAM 768 MB
    Frequency 100 MHz
    Clock cycle 10 ns (supports 4 clocks only)
    CAS latency three
    SPD revision 1.2A
    Buffering unbuffered
    Voltage 3.3 V
    Data bus width 8 bits
    BIOS address E8000h - FFFFFFh
    NOTE: Only 100-MHz DIMMs are supported. The system can include both ECC and non-ECC memory; however, to support ECC, all installed DIMMs must be ECC-capable. ECC DIMMs have an odd number of memory chips on the module and non-ECC DIMMs have an even number of chips.


    Mini tower chassis:
    Externally accessible bays
    five total: two 5.25-inch bays for diskette, tape, or CD-ROM drives; three 3.5-inch bays for diskette or tape drives
    Internally accessible bays
    two bays for 1-inch-high EIDE or SCSI hard-disk drives
    Desktop chassis (available only in certain locations):
    Externally accessible bays
    four total: two 5.25-inch for diskette, tape, or CD-ROM drives; two 3.5-inch bays for diskette or tape drives
    Internally accessible bays
    two bays for 1-inch-high EIDE or SCSI hard-disk drives


    Externally accessible:
    Serial (DTE)
    9-pin connector; 16550C-compatible
    25-hole connector (bidirectional)
    PS/2-style keyboard
    6-pin mini-DIN connector
    PS/2-compatible mouse
    6-pin mini-DIN connector
    15-pin connector
    15-hole connector on an AGP video card
    three miniature jacks for LINE IN, LINE OUT, and MIC IN
    two USB-compliant connectors
    Internally accessible:
    Primary EIDE
    40-pin connector
    Secondary EIDE
    40-pin connector
    Diskette drive
    34-pin connector
    * Available in integrated audio systems only


    Video 2X AGP video card (see manufacturer's specifications for information about the card and any utilities and drivers included)


    Audio type Integrated Yamaha XG 64 Voice Wavetable Sound
    Audio chip set Yamaha 724 DS-1 chip set


    DC power supply:
    200 W
    Voltage (switch selectable on back panel)
    90 to 135 V at 60 Hz;
    180 to 265 V at 50 Hz;
    100 V at 50 to 60 Hz for Japanese systems
    Heat dissipation
    778 BTU (fully loaded system without monitor)
    Battery 3-V CR2032 coin cell


    Mini tower chassis:
    43.69 cm (17.2 inches)
    Width (with base)
    20.32 cm (8 inches)
    44.45 cm (17.5 inches)
    11.3 to 13.6 kg (25.0 to 30.0 lb)
    Desktop chassis:
    16.00 cm (6.3 inches)
    42.42 cm (16.7 inches)
    44.45 cm (17.5 inches)
    11.3 to 13.6 kg (25.0 to 30.0 lb)


    10° to 35°C* (50° to 95°F)
    –40° to 65°C (–40° to 149°F)
    Relative humidity 20% to 80% (noncondensing)
    Maximum vibration:
    0.25 G at 3 to 200 Hz at 1/2 octave/min
    0.5 G at 3 to 200 Hz at 1/2 octave/min
    Maximum shock:
    left side (for mini tower orientation) and bottom half-sine pulse with a change in velocity of 50.8 cm (20 inches)/sec
    23-G faired-square wave with a velocity change of 508.0 cm (200 inches)/sec
    –16 to 3048 m* (–50 to 10,000 ft)
    –16 to 10,600 m (–50 to 35,000 ft)
    * At 35°C (95°F), the maximum operating altitude is 914 m (3000 ft).


    Regulatory Notices
    FCC (U.S. only) Class B
    IC Notice (Canada only) Class B
    CE Notice Class B
    VCCI Notice (Japan only) Class B
    NOM O24 Information (Mexico only)


    IRQ Assignments
    IRQ Line System Resource IRQ Line System Resource
    IRQ0 System timer IRQ8 RTC
    IRQ1 Keyboard buffer IRQ9 Available2
    IRQ2 Enables IRQ8 through IRQ15 IRQ10 Available
    IRQ3 Available1 IRQ11 Default PCI IRQ3
    IRQ4 Serial port IRQ12 Mouse port
    IRQ5 Available IRQ13 Math coprocessor
    IRQ6 Diskette/tape drive controller IRQ14 Primary EIDE channel
    IRQ7 Parallel port IRQ15 Secondary EIDE channel
    1IRQ3 is available provided that no other device in the computer (such as a modem) is using COM2 or COM4.
    2IRQ9 is available to PCI cards only.
    3The PCI IRQ is assigned to an available IRQ line after an ISA expansion card has been configured. If an ISA expansion card is configured for IRQ11, the PCI IRQ is assigned to another available IRQ line.


    Default Dell-Installed Expansion Card Placement
    Table 1 provides the default Dell-installed expansion card placements if a system is ordered with a TV tuner card. Table 2 provides the default Dell-installed expansion card placements if a system is ordered without a TV tuner card.

    Table 1. Default Dell-Installed Expansion Card Placements for Systems with Optional TV Tuner Card or SwapBox

    Expansion-Card Slot Expansion Card
    AGP Port AGP video
    PCI Slot 1 NIC
    PCI Slot 2 DVD
    PCI Slot 3 Audio
    PCI Slot 4 PCI modem
    PCI Slot 5/ISA Slot 1 TV Tuner

    Table 2. Default Dell-Installed Expansion Card Placements for Systems with SCSI (for either SwapBox or TV Tuner Card)

    Expansion-Card Slot Expansion Card
    AGP Port AGP video
    PCI Slot 1 NIC
    PCI Slot 2 Audio
    PCI Slot 3 SCSI
    PCI Slot 4 PCI modem
    PCI Slot 5/ISA Slot 1 SwapBox


    DMA Channel Assignments
    DREQ Line Used By/Available
    DREQ0 Default audio DMA channel assignment
    DREQ1 Default audio DMA channel assignment
    DREQ2 Generated by I/O controller to enable DMA cycle for attached diskette drive
    DREQ3 Parallel port (ECP)
    DREQ4 Reserved
    DREQ5 Available
    DREQ6 Available
    DREQ7 Available


  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Ohio, USA


    Well, its not as bad as it might have been for you. The good news it that you have an AGP slot, so you can upgrade the video. The bad news is that the 2X slot won't support the latest and greatest in video cards. Your cpu is also a bottleneck for the fastest cards. One of the current budget cards will probably give you a significant boost though.Some of the now recently outdated cards might work well for a real bargin price. I have recently seen an Ati Radeon, 32mb DDR sell for $37us. I can't guess how any of the currently available cards will perform at AGP 2X, but most of what I have read suggests that the biggest performance boosts come from the card itself, rather than the AGP bus Capabilities. I would say to just shop for a deal, then verify on the manufacture's site that the part is fully compatabile with AGP 2X. Have fun gaming.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2002


    You will be able to put a GeForce 3 or 4 in that system, but it will be running at about 1/4th of its capability which means you will be wasting money. To be honest, there is no point upgrading video in that system, and slotting an AGP video card into a dell/gateway or any other extremely low quality integrated board (basically any OEM board) often causes problems. If you really feel you need a video card though, i would recommend a GeForce 2 MX400, or ATI radeon 7200. Anything over that and you are basically just throwing your money away, because that CPU/motherboard/Ram combination is a serious bottelneck, you would only be getting %25 performance out of any decent video card.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2001


    If I was in your shoes, with that setup, I would put the money towards a new motherboard. You wouldn't even need the latest and greatest to significantly increase your options. Good Luck!
    Have you hugged a Midget today?

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    USA, Upstate NY


    Hey there.

    I own a Dell XPS T 450 (upgraded to a PIII 600) and I was recently wondering the same question. I wanted to put something in my system aside from the TNT2 I was using. So, I went looking around, and it was hard to find a new card that was compatable with my 2x AGP slot. (it has to deal with the voltage and whatnot). I ended up going with the Raedon 8500 from I know that my comp cant use all its power, but I wanted something that wouldnt be a bottleneck to my system (basically anything over a GF2)

    I am quite happy with my choice, minus some problems with the drivers from ATI and their 2D performance (they seem to be fine after the latest revision of them) You can find a cheaper version (maybe an LE) and get some good results with it. I like my 8500 quite a bit. If you have any ?'s about it, feel free to write.


  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2002


    I have been using G4 Ti4200 on old BX board with agpx2 slot with great success.(P3-870Mhz ,G4Ti4200 64Mb gives 6592 points in 3D Mark 2001SE, Best score on its class regardless of agp speed!)

    Also it seems that you can upgrade the cpu of your Dell as well.
    Slot 1 processors are rare and expensive but you might be able to use slot 1 adapter and Celeron as well.( like )
    Only problem that I see is that your Dell's original PSU might not be powerfull enough.

    Does the upgrading make sense? Thats for you to decide.


    edit: link corrected

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