|"A year or two ago the graphics card burned out. "|
Are you certain it's "burnt out" ?
You getting no video doesn't necessarily indicate there's anything wrong with your video adapter. Usually when you get no video something else is wrong.
You could try a different monitor, or try it's monitor with another computer, but usually there's nothing wrong with the monitor.
Getting video while booting before the operating system loads from the hard drive, then getting no video after that, is usually an easily fixable problem.
Failing power supplies are much more common than "burnt out" video adapters.
They often partially work, fans and hard drives may spin, leds may come on, yet you may get no video and the mboard will not boot all the way.
Installing ram that is not compatible with using it in the mboard can cause no video and the mboard won't boot all the way (no mboard beeps) .
Installing ram that IS compatible with using it in the mboard but has a poor connection the ram slot(s) can cause no video (usually you hear an abnormal mboard beep or pattern of mboard beeps) .
If your hard drive led is not blinking like it normally should while booting - it will stop blinking shortly after the point where it gets to to where you would normally see the Windows Logon screen if you normally had to choose a user or enter a password - then your video adapter is probably not damaged - something else is wrong.
If your mboard does not beep once while booting, the same as it did when it worked fine, then it's not booting normally. Usually there's nothing wrong with the mboard, or the cpu.
You have a Dell Optiplex GX150, DHM sub model
Dell™ OptiPlex™ GX150 System User's Guide
Scroll down the page - Models DHS, DHP, and DHM
Under Technical Specifications:
Graphics accelerator Embedded Intel Dynamic Video Memory Technology (DVMT) with optional 4-MB Graphics Performance Accelerator (GPA), or a 4X AGP card can be supported (low profile cards for small form-factor and small desktop systems; full-height cards [up to 22.9 cm or 9 inches] for the small mini-tower system)
The term CARD is frequently mis-used. If a video or other adapter device is built into the mboard, IT IS NOT A CARD ! It's a CARD ONLY if the adapter is on a physical board that plugs into the mboard inside the case, and that card can be removed.
Your mboard has a built in video adapter, and it also has a 4X AGP video slot.
Is the video adapter that "burnt out" built into the mboard, or is it an actual video CARD in the AGP slot, or a video card in a PCI slot ?
If the video adapter that "burnt out" is built into the mboard, installing a video card in the AGP slot, or a PCI slot, may or may not work, but usually it does, if the mboard was not otherwise damaged - your mboard bios will automatically disable the onboard video when you install a video card compatible with the AGP slot in the AGP slot on the mboard, but it often will NOT disable the onboard video if you install only a PCI video card in a PCI slot. If the mboard was otherwise damaged when the onboard video "burnt out", or even if it was just that that "burnt out", then that auto disable feature may not work properly, especially if you're trying to use a PCI video card.
If it was an actual video adapter on a CARD installed in an AGP or PCI slot that "burnt out",
then the onboard video port should produce video when there is no video CARD in a mboard slot.
- if you are installing an AGP card, it must be compatible with using it in the AGP slot.
- a PCI video card should work in a PCI slot, but installing only a PCI video card may NOT disable the onboard video
- the power supply supply must have at least the minimum capacity to support using the video chipset on the card on your computer. On brand name computers, the PS's capacity is often minimal and that can be a problem.
The AGP card you install must be compatible with using it in the AGP slot.
Your AGP slot is rated to support 4X AGP mode.
It may or may not also support 2X AGP mode at 3.3 volts.
If it supports 2X mode, it also supports 1X AGP mode.
Video chipsets that support 8X AGP mode also support 4X AGP mode.
However, if your AGP slot DOES NOT support 2X AGP mode, and cards that use 3.3 volts, then in some cases, installing a video card that DOES support 2X AGP mode will DAMAGE the video card you install, and the AGP slot circuits, and possibly the mboard otherwise.
If your AGP slot or mboard WOULD be damaged if you installed a video card that supports 2X mode, there is usually a WARNING, in the mboard model's manual, or in the brand name manual or the brand info about you model on the brand name's web site.
AGP video cards are often advertised using only the highest AGP mode spec - e.g. 8X.
8X AGP rated cards always also support 4X AGP mode.
Depending on when the video chipset was first released, older 8X or 4X capable video chipsets often also support 2X and 1X mode at 3.3v.
Go here, scroll down to see which ATI video chipsets support 2X mode and which don't:
A video chipset that supports ONLY 4X or 8X / 4X AGP mode will work in your AGP slot, but one of those that ALSO supports 2X and 1X mode (3.3 volts) may NOT !
If you are trying to install a new or used AGP or PCI video card, tell us the make and model.
If you trying to install an AGP card or a PCI video card with a new or fairly recent video chipset, if the card has a power socket or a power header with pins like the one for a floppy drive, then you probably must connect a wiring connector from the PS to that socket or header in order to get video.
Some video chipsets may require more power than your present power supply can handle.
Your power supply must have at least the minimum capacity required to support a system with the graphics card you are using installed, or the max graphics card you might install in the future.
(Onboard video - video built into the mboard - IS NOT A CARD ! )
If that info is not in the ad for the video card, you can go to the video card maker's web site and look up the specs for the model - often under system requirements - the minimum PS wattage, and, more important, the minimum amperage the PS must supply at 12v is stated. If you don't find that, any card with the same video chipset including any letters after the model number has very similar minimum PS requirements. Some power supplies have two or more +12v ratings - in that case, add those ratings to determine the total +12v current capacity.
If you're a gamer...
In most if not all cases, the max capacity rating of the PS is an intermittent rating. It's recommended that you do not load your PS to any more that 80% of that rating if you are going to be using something that puts a constant load on it, such as playing a recent game for hours on end. In that case, you multiply the min capacity stated for the system with the particular video chipset on the card by 1.25 to find the min. capacity of the PS you should get.