Video Card-Optiplex 280

Dell / GX280
January 18, 2009 at 13:10:19
Specs: Windows XP, 2.8 MHZ
I'm trying to find a video card for this computer, a Dell Optiplex 280. I'm wanting the best card I can find but I need one that will work with a power supply of 250w. I need a pci express card.

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January 18, 2009 at 14:35:05
Can't answer you yet. Dell made a crapload of different GX280's ranging from SFF's to Towers.

What is the amperage rating of your +12v power supply rail? Or, the "Service Tag Number" might lead us to the information we need.

A relatively modern video card like the ATI HD4670 "may" work; then again, the original 250w psu you have could simply be too weak.

Count down 5 posts and read the responses from jam.


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January 18, 2009 at 15:45:25
It's a refurbished computer, could not be sure the PSU is 250W but I'm figuring it is due to processor speed. Cannot see on PSU as the tag is on side and not visable. It's got 3 PCI slots.

I tried to use a PCI card (PNY FX5200) but XP boot screen showed and then nothing, then machine shut down. I figured it would not work but had hoped to use the card somehow.

I had a Pavilion 9870 1.3 512 RAMBUS 250W PSU and never had problems with cards. I know the machine is not a gaming machine but I would at least figure a card can be found. All the cards I've seen require a 350W PSU. I have a geforce 1 and 2 and 3 cards but all older cards with PCI only and not PCI express.

Here is the link to the manual on the computer, it's not the SFF or Desktop but the tower machine. Thanks for the help. I need to make sure before spending for a video card. I want to play Q3, UT2003 and older games as such with this machine.

Perhaps upgrading the PSU is a option but never did this and do not know how hard it would be or how much. I don't think this computer is worth spending much on and I have to upgrade memory and hard drive already. I have a GX260 "desktop" coming for a spare machine running W2K and 2 PCI slots and could consider using this machine for playing games but I would like to use this computer as I can add a second hard drive, etc. However, if correct, the GX260 comes with a 160W PSU and again I would run into problems with my older cards and PSU.

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January 18, 2009 at 20:47:38
According to the following Dell brochure, the power supplies used in the Optiplex 280 are:

"Small Form Factor 160W Small Desktop 210W, Small Mini-Tower 250W & 305W"

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Related Solutions

January 19, 2009 at 01:28:26
Correct, would disabling the onboard video and adding a PCI card work? I can't seem to find any card except a low budget ATI card with only one video out adapter. It's a card that almost sounds as if under spec of some of my older cards. I fear trying this in case I cannot boot up aftwerwards. (No Recovery disk, etc)

The problem seems to be that on the 280 model and with the PCI-E, it cuts me short from at least normal PCI slots and having a computer better than my older ones, which is what I hoped for.

I did however find a website that has a 400 W power supply for $50.00 but I estimate with shiping and total, I could buy a GX260 Tower for around a $100.00 and achieve what I wanted. Still, I'd have this computer and it's faster in proccesor speed. "better"

The GX260 has (it seems) the specs I need, however, the only problem is it's a desktop model. I picked one up for $50.00 and waiting on it. Cannot add a second hard drive, lower PSU than 250W.

I guess I just didn't think of PSU when buying them. If you know of any card that would perform on a 250W PSU, I'd appreciate the information and I will look further today on the PSU in this system but it does appear that even with a 300W PSU, I'd be limited. Cards I've looked at all ask for 350W PSU's.

My AMD X64 (which was built for gaming for newer games) had a video card installed and PCI-E and it caused the power supply and the motherboard to fry. I bought it and thankfully it was covered under warrenty, I have to pay a low fee for repairs but I certainly do not want something like this to happen again. My goal is to have 2 computers in which one can play newer games and another which can play older games. a Quad core processor will eventually be a upgrade for my AMD box but for now and with cost and games I only enjoy playing, it will be just fine.

So, it seems I made a mistake and purchased the GX280 Tower when in fact I should of purchased the GX260 Tower model instead. I could of perhaps used older cards and etc and been happy. Now, it's a matter of finding a good card for the GX280 to avoid further expense and another computer. For $100.00 or even $130.00 for the GX260, I wonder if not the best route but I do beleive with running a second drive, etc, my PSU of 250W would still be pushed.

I started playing Xbox and PS3 games due to the cost and etc with PC games and hardware upgrades but stil, I enjoy computer gaming more. Certainly there is a card for this GX280 which ofers 2 video out connectors and such as my FX5200 but is PCI-E rather than PCI? I'd consider a AGP card but I beleive the PCI-E would be the way to go if a card could be found.

Thanks Jam, any suggestions? Appreciate your time and help.

Thanks for the advice Jam.

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January 19, 2009 at 06:47:54
Since you have a PCI-e x16 slot available, why would you wanna use a PCI card?

The PCI-e slot is capable of supplying up to 75W power. Most PCI-e gaming cards require more than that so they require a 6-pin PCI-e from the PSU. That can supply up to another 75W. Obviously running a 150W video card with a 250W PSU wouldn't be a good thing.

Skip gave the best answer to your question in response #1....the Radeon HD 4670.

From Tom's Hardware:

"With a maximum power draw of only 55 W, the HD 4670 draws less power than many modern CPUs, which explains why no auxiliary power connectors are needed for this device..."

"In fact, as a way to inject new life and capability into a PC that’s more than a year old, the HD 4670 qualifies as a "best technology buy" for such systems"

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January 19, 2009 at 09:19:18
ok, I do agree. The Radeon HD 4670 is the card I will get. I guess if somehow it didn't work, the only thing would be to change the PSU.

The only card I was considering before was the ATI Radeon X600 SE for price and compatibility.

I did check and have a 250W power supply and I did manually try 3 different PCI cards and the Optiplex computer I have running XP would do nothing past the welcome screen.

Thanks Skip and Jam! My first time posting here and I'm glad I did. I hope the Radeon HD 4670 will work and allow for some gaming on this computer soon.

Take care.

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