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gregger

**~~Calling all smart computer people :-P~~**

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Hi thereI've just orderd a Radeon 9700. At the minute i am using a Geforce 3 , 64mb card.Ive been told that the Radeon 9700 really eats up the power from the computer and this can be a bad thing. I dont really understand how the "power can be lost" from the system so i am asking you, have i done a really stupid thing and wasted $300+ on a graphics card thats not even going to work right with my system ?System Spec as follows:Dell Dimension 4100930Mhz30GB512mb RamPlease help me out here because 1) i really need to know if i have to cancel this order 2) i really need a new graphics cardThanks for your time, i Appreciate it!!!

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Although this thread would be better placed in the H/W forum, I'll try a quick answer.Given the speed of your system, I do not see you gaining a huge benefit from the ATI card. The GeF 3 is also power hungry, perhaps not as much as the ATI--that you've been running it (I assume with no issues) probably means you'll be alright with the ATI. But as I first noted, that's a lot of graphics hardware to throw at a sub 1GHZ system. Hopefully others will pick up on my concern, and note whether they saw improvement or not (given a similar system).-John

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I'm not exactly what you'd call "smart" when it comes to computers, but I think that to get a good answer to your question, you need to advise what power source you have, i. e. 300 watts or higher? You may not even know -- I'm not sure about MINE. But if your card requires a certain amount of power (some of them do) and you don't have that power, the card won't work well for you, or possibly won't work at all.Good luck.-Lindy :-wave

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Hi there,to quote from the 9700 Pro manual, "A 300W power supply or greater is recommended to ensure normal operation". Having said that, when I first got mine, I ran it on a 160W power supply and it worked (although it appeared to be running a bit hot). As far as I could make out, the Dell 4100 has a 200W power supply, which is a bit low, but so is the cost of replacing it with a more powerful one :). Although I've heard that Dell power supplies are not compatible with standard ATX ones, it looks quite normal to me (http://support.jp.dell.com/docs/systems/dzuul/techovu.htm#power), but it's best to check first before you go out and buy a new one.Cheers,Gosta.http://hifi.avsim.net/activesky/images/wxrebeta.jpg

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I also forgot to add in my post, that the demand on the power supply makes a difference as well. A system equipped with a DVD, CD-RW, dual HD's, etc.... isn't going to get as far on a 300W power supply as something with fewer periphs... I've been running a GeF 2 on a 250W supply. The requirments for the GeF 3 also suggest a 300W supply, and that's been running well in his system, I guess....

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I tried adding the 9700 to my Dell 4100 last fall. Wouldn't boot so I figured it was an inadequate power supply, so bought a bigger ATX one, installed it, and then the machine wouldn't even turn on.At windows-help forums I learned that Dell power supplies since 1998 are wired to the plugs differently. If I'd succeeded in getting the machine to turn on, I'd have cooked the power supply and the motherboard. There are other vendors that will sell a power supply wired for Dell and there are jumper cables that will do the same thing to a regular power supply.I finally opted to get a new 8100 Dell with the 9700 already installed. That got me 2.4GHz and 768MB RAM and other improvements. FS2K is better than I'd ever hoped now.You should also check the forums at dell4me.com/support/community forums... link provided below:http://forums.us.dell.com/supportforums/

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HI there, thanks for the infromative post, im still abit stumped really but let me update you with the situation as of now.The company i orderd from (crucial.com) cant proccess the order anyway becauase i have an error in the address or something so it has been cancelled.Does anyone know what sort of graphics card i would be best going for here ? (money is no draw back). Im not really going to be updating the computer much more for a year now other than getting a new graphics card so thats all i want to know about.I was told the 9700 was an excellent card, the best on the market at the minute but i was also told about the power supply thingie. I havent a clue what power supply i have but from what Gosta has said, it must be a 200W supply. Im running very little periphals on my system, just the HD and the CD drive really, no floppy drive because my nephew stuffed it with coins...:-boom so would i be "OK" with the 9700 or am i best sticking with something else ?To summarise----------*200W power supply*Looking for the best graphics card for my system (930mhz 30GB HD, 512 Ram*money no objectHelp me out hereTHANKS! and btw, i do really appreciate this helP!!!

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I think that you are confusing power usage and game preformance. Will the ATI make a differnece over you GF3? Sure. Maybe not a huge jump in FS2002 because FS2002 is CPU hungry and this is the number one thing to boost FPS in FS. But it will have a LARGE impact in other games. Power supplies are rarely rated correctly unless you buy a well know brand. Don't let this simple issue prevent you from purchasing a newer and better video card. Chances are that you can run the card with what you have going on. Some folks have two hard drives and two CDROM/BURNERS and run on a 250w power supply fine. Now if you were changing your CPU, this sometimes will effect your cheaper power supply. If money is not an issue my friend, then purchase a new power supply (400w) and the video card. Easy you see.[h5]Best Wishes,Randy J. SmithSan Jose Ca[/h5][h3]" A little learning is a dangerous thing"[/h3]AMD [pink]XP[/pink] 2200 |MUNCHKIN 512 DDR RAM |ECS[/b ][i] K7S5A MB[/i] |GF3 64 MEG @ 215/545|WIN XP PRO |MITSUBISHI DIAMOND PLUS 91 19"

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I guess the question would be--how stable was your system with the GeF 3? The GeF 3 and '9700 apparently have the same power supply requirements. So if you got by with 200W before, you might slide by again. OTH, given your system's age, the Nvidia card may have been more tolerant of your MB. Most MB's of that generation were not up to AGP 2.0 spec--I know mine isn't. I went with the GeF a year ago anyway, after I found the one post from the one person who had my type of MB who said their upgrade worked.It may be a gamble on whether the Dell MB can handle the ATI. I saw Randy's post, and it is sound advice on anything other than a Dell or similar "proprietary" computer. One of the reasons I started making and maintaining my own systems was the random success on upgrading another proprietary brand--the HP.Randy also raised another point. If your intent is mostly to run FS2002 (I run two entertainment apps--FS2002 and Nolimits), you may not see a worthwhile gain in performance if the card does run. But take the example I mention above--Nolimits. When I switched from a Voodoo 3 to a GeF 2, performance in Nolimits (a coaster sim) went up by an order of seven. Coasters which barely pulled 7-8 fps were getting around 50. Lord knows what a Radeon would do for Nolimits, but I suspect it would perform even better.So I hope this helps... If it were me, I'd save my money for an ATX case, MB, and a new CPU, and cannibalize the Dell for parts, including the HD. For the money you'd spend on the '9700, you could easily double your CPU speed if you shopped around.

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Hi there,as you just want to upgrade your graphics card, I think the best you can do is to just try it out. Considering the age of your system, you could run into problems with any of the newer cards - but then again you may not. The 9700 Pro is definitely the best out there at the moment, so I'd make sure the vendor has a good return policy and order one :). As far as the power supply goes, it would appear that Dell are shipping 9700-equipped computers with 250W power supplies, so it could well be that their computers are more power efficient...Cheers,Gosta.http://hifi.avsim.net/activesky/images/wxrebeta.jpg

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You are right on when it comes to mother boards John. The Gateways and Dells mostly use cheap, mass produced MBs. A friend of mine had bought a Gateway with a P4 2.53 CPU. I had a home built AMD 1600+ with an ECS board that cost me half as much as his new puter and even though we had the same video card, mine out preformed his greatly in FS 2002. Well the main reason for this was the mother board that Gateway had used for the CPU. If fact it was holding back the CPU from it's total power. Well long story short, We built a new computer and swapped out the good parts like ram, CPU and drives. I have built my own computers since the pent 166 days and have never looked back. [h5]Best Wishes,Randy J. SmithSan Jose Ca[/h5][h3]" A little learning is a dangerous thing"[/h3]AMD [pink]XP[/pink] 2200 |MUNCHKIN 512 DDR RAM |ECS[/b ][i] K7S5A MB[/i] |GF3 64 MEG @ 215/545|WIN XP PRO |MITSUBISHI DIAMOND PLUS 91 19"

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