dell dimension 4500s video card upgrade

April 7, 2011 at 06:18:06
Specs: Windows XP, P4 1.8 CPU 1gig ram
I have an old Dell Dimension 4500S and would like to put a better PCI video card in. I tried a Sparkle card with 512 and the PC will not find it in windows XP. I suspect that this is because of a compatablilty issue because I have tried 2 of them. I figure that I need at least a 128, perhaps a 256 card but my options are limited and Dell is no help without paying for support. I just want to go full screen with video on my 37" TV with a VGA input but the machine locks up every time with the onboard graphics controller.

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April 7, 2011 at 10:23:16
As you stated, your system is old & outdated. And if the "S" in the model number means "SLIM", you need to get a low profile video card. The amount or type of memory on the card means nothing as far as compatibility is concerned.

The card should work immediately. Simply install it in the PCI slot, connect the monitor cable to it, then boot the system. The Dell spalsh screen should appear, but you may not be able to get a windows display until you change the BIOS settings.

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April 7, 2011 at 10:44:34
Thanks for the advice but I have tried BIOS settings and there is no option that I can find to disable the onboard graphics controler. There is only (trying from memory here) an option to change it to auto select and manual but the manual setting does not take you anywere and that btw is the defalt setting.

As for the profile this machine has a very strange low profile but offset single slot that as far as I can tell does not allow for anything I have ever seen. It is a PCI config on the pins but the base plate for the card shows up on the right side of the socket instead of the left. There is a bay that will accept two other cards and I have even successfully put an old 8mb card in there it worked fine. But the 512 Sparkle is no good.

Nice try though. You said all of the things that I would have told somebody.

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