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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
After buying my Dell Dimension 3000, and trying to play "Black and White 2" i found that i cant play it because my graphics card doesnt have a pixel shader or something. Iv been looking into buying a new graphics card but i have no idea where to begin. Im not entirely sure but i think my computer doesnt have agp, is this a problem?. Is there a strong market for PCI graphics cards.I checked on dabs.comand found a few but i dont know where to look for the pixel shader requirments. If someone could point me in the direction to get the correct card for my system.
DAvid
 

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You'll then your kind of stuck. Still think the Dell was a great deal?

The best you can do for PCI is a Radeon 9550 or a Geforce 5500/5700 if you can find either card unless somethign new has hit the market. PCI is a much slower bus then AGP or the new PCi-Express buses, there is no point in making high-end graphics cards for PCI becuase it will be extremely bottleneck by very slow transfer speed of PCI.

Newegg.com has this PCI 256MB FX5500 with 256MB or memory and Direct 9.0 support: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16814143032
 

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According to their website:

Black&White 2 requires a 64MB video card with 1.1 Pixel Shader support. Supported video cards: NVIDIA GeForce4 Ti series, GeForce FX series, GeForce 6200 or greater; ATI Radeon 8500 or greater

I didnt see anything on specs about shader, but appears either the FX or the Radeon listed by Triple6 and I should work.
 

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Triple6 said:
You'll then your kind of stuck. Still think the Dell was a great deal?

The best you can do for PCI is a Radeon 9550 or a Geforce 5500/5700 if you can find either card unless somethign new has hit the market. PCI is a much slower bus then AGP or the new PCi-Express buses, there is no point in making high-end graphics cards for PCI becuase it will be extremely bottleneck by very slow transfer speed of PCI.

Newegg.com has this PCI 256MB FX5500 with 256MB or memory and Direct 9.0 support: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16814143032
Youre Grinching it up over here too:D your heart is 2 sizes too small;)
 

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The game only requires Pixel Shader 1.1 support, they're on version 3 now. Intel, and Dell's love for Intel, mean you don't even any pixel shader support unless you buy a newer chipset(new motherboard).

The FX5500 supports DX9.0, the Radeon 9250 only supports DX8.0. The FX5500 has Pixel Shader 2.0 support while the Radeon only has version 1.4. That means the FX5500 should give you better performance and quality.
 

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Oh man not another Dell 3000, we should put a banner up on tsg "Dont Buy a Dell 3000 for a Gaming PC" this has got to be like the 20th post I've seen like this in the last 6 months.
 

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128 bit(or 64 or 256 bit) is the width of the interface. The bigger the number the more data can be moved at once over the bus. Think of it as a highway. 128 lanes versus 64 lanes - with the speed limit the same you can have double the cars driving at once.

128MB(or 64 or 256MB) is the amount of memory on the video card. The more memory on the video card the more frames and the greater detail the video card can render and store on the card for display.

Then you have the core/GPU speed which is how fast the processor on the video card runs. It just lie the Intel CPU in your Dell but it only does work for displaying images on your screen. The faster the GPU the more work it can do. You also have the Memory speed, thats how fast the memory on the video card operates at, the faster it runs the faster you can read and write scenes/frames/objects to and from it.
 

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crazydavid said:
whats the difference between a 128-bit and a 128 mb??? this dont make sense at all. Does higher ram built in make for better gameplay?
bits are bandwidth speed and mb is amount of ram, higher ram can mean better game play but so does higher bandwidth speed, you need both ideally.
 

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crazydavid said:
does the pci interface limit either of these? or can i go all out and get 256 bit/mb graphics card
yes thats the problem pci slot is like a bottleneck, a 128bit, 256mb vram card with pci interface cannot hope to keep up with the same card in a agp8x or pcie16x interface. thats why if you knew this pc was going to be for gaming you should have made sure it had at least an agp slot, pci video card will be slow not matter what you do.
 

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PCI 2.2 = 133mb/sec
AGP 1.0 = 266mb/sec
AGP 2x = 533 mb/sec
AGP 4x = 1.06gb/sec
AGP 8x = 2.1 gb/sec

just to give you a data/rate speed comparison

Now its funny doing googles on this subject I found some tests that were made back in 2001 when agp was a new technology, there was very little difference in performance between a pci card and an agp, that is misleading of course because that was before game developers started taking advantage of the agp slot speed increase, if you ran that same test today with current games no doubt your conclusions would be much differnet. I read similar articles with agp vs pcie16x, saying not much difference etc., however again as game developers put more and more into their games, more and more data has to travel through that slot, so no doubt now pcie16x slots are starting to show their advantage.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
is there some sort of an adapter that would let me attach a pci-express slot onto my motherboard? or perhaps i should be looking to changing my current motherboard with a new one??
 

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short answer, maybe, adapters will do nothing the pci slot is the pci slot, there is no way to boost speeds up to agp levels, new mb, maybe, that would depend on how hardware savy you want to get, you will have to learn everything about your current system, what kind of mb, what kind of ram, type of cpu, what type of power supply, is all your current stuff standard or are they proprietary, ie, is your power supply a atx 20pin type, you will have to look at a wiring diagram to verify or hope someone here has the answer. Ive always built my own or bought prebuilt custom systems, they were always clones, or generic parts only so upgrading was never a problem. Download Everest home form majorgeeks site this should tell you a lot of info about your current system, model of mobo, type of ram etc., but you are going to have to crack that puppy and get your hands dirty. Changing a mobo is not that hard in a generic case/system, with a Dell3000? who knows.
 

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PS another thing with a new mobo is your current XP disk will probably not work with a new mobo, it is probably made to recognise the bios on the Dell board and will not load on a new one
 

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http://compreviews.about.com/od/budgetdesk/gr/DellDimens3000.htm

here is the info cheese was refering to, if you read that last part of review it says it all, graphics are a big sore point with this system, I can also say the with 256mb of shared ram youre not going too far either, so youre looking at new mobo, more ram, new gfx card and possibly a new power supply and a retail copy of XP operating system, thats some bucks, thats why Dell was cheap. I agree that Dell sites are very misleading, they alsways say upgradable and make it sound likeall their systems are gaming monsters, well guess what,they lie, spin, mislead, whatever you want to call it, computers are one thing you dont want to buy unless you really know what youre looking at, its too easy to get screwed. thats one of the great values of this site, when you are ready to buy, you come here first and get an expert opinion, post your budget and what you plan on using this beast for and then let us blather at you for a while until we nail it down, this way you learn something, and come away with a system that you arent disappointed in.
 

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wholey spam the thread Batman!!



(hey, there`s an 'edit' button! ;) )
 
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