Motherboard or Processor or both?

Dell / VOSTRO 200
February 2, 2010 at 05:36:52
Specs: Microsoft Windows Vista Home Basic, 1.6 GHz / 2045 MB
Hi. I'm a noob so please be gentle.

I want to a new graphics card but my CPU is fairly poor so I want to upgrade.

How do I know if I need to upgrade my motherboard as well as my processor?

I'm not looking for topend performance here, just something that will make Oblivion and Mass Effect(1) look good :}

Cheers
Dave


See More: Motherboard or Processor or both?

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#1
February 2, 2010 at 06:03:53
You don't need to upgrade either. You probably need a newer video card, and possibly a power supply. Can you post back with what you have now.

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#2
February 2, 2010 at 06:07:12
Dell vostro 200 slim line or mini tower? It appears the mobo has pci-e x16 but u need low profile graphic card. What cpu do u have?

edit.. Http://m.newegg.com/product/product...


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#3
February 2, 2010 at 06:13:00
You currently have a Dell, which uses a version of Vista that is keyed to the motherboard. So, upgrading the motherboard and CPU would most likely render your Vista unusable.

Better to leave that computer intact and either buy or build a completely new machine. You can reuse monitor, keyboard and mouse if you wish.

I am not a gamer so I can't help too much with selecting a new rig.

Building a custom computer is usually more costly. Primarily due to the cost of the operating system (Windows). OEM manufacturers pay only a fraction of what us end users have to pay. However, full versions of Windows have more flexibility to migrate to new hardware. The full retail versions have the most. You can migrate them to any computer that will run them. The rule is one computer per license.

Many times people will purchase an OEM pre-built computer based on the price. Then turn around and upgrade the graphics to a high end gaming card. This in turn requires them to replace the power supply, which was sized for the marginal hardware that came from the factory.

Another pitfall are these computers with smaller or slimmer cases. These require different hardware when upgrading and sometimes upgrading isn't even an option.

Hope I have provided some incite on the pros and cons of what to buy.

You need to set a realistic budget for whatever you intend to do and then others can help with selections.

If you decide to stay with an OEM then order the unit the way you want it to be in the end. That way, if a more powerful power supply is required it will be in there to start.

Most of the OEMs have direct buying sites where you can customize one of their base models to get exactly what you want.


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Related Solutions

#4
February 2, 2010 at 06:20:33
If you're asking about a Dell Vostro 200, we'd need to know whether it's a Mini Tower or a Slim Tower. The Slim Towers aren't as upgradeable due to size restrictions.

The Mini has a PCI-e x16 slot & a 300W power supply, so your best choice will be a Radeon HD 4670.

http://www.dell.com/us/en/dfb/deskt...

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produ...

The Slim Tower also has a PCI-e x16 slot but only a 250W power supply. And because of the case design, the card MUST be low profile with a low profile mounting bracket. The power supply isn't easily upgradeable due to the non-standard size, so I'd recommend a low profile Radeon HD 4650.

http://www.dell.com/us/en/dfb/deskt...

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produ...


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#5
February 2, 2010 at 07:04:03
With hd 4650 xpect to play mass effect 1 @ medium settings
http://www.tomshardware.com/charts/...

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#6
February 2, 2010 at 08:14:21
First off, thanks you all for the replies.

I have a mini tower

The card installed is ATi x1300\x1500 series

I'm not entirely sure what my CPU is. does this help? I ran a dxdiag(see! i'm learning)
Genuine Intel(R) CPU 2140 @ 1.60GHz (2 CPUs), ~1.6GHz

So the HD 4650\4670 are suitable for my machine as is? They're not too 'strong'

Once again,
Many thanks to all of you once again. If you ever need help with getting a calf out of a cow, just holler at me. Thats my field of expertise as it were ;)
Dave


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#7
February 2, 2010 at 09:29:36
How are you at getting feet out of mouths :)))

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#8
February 2, 2010 at 10:12:20
at the risk of you all wetting yourselves, are graphics cards bought from the US compatible with a European machine?

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#9
February 2, 2010 at 12:42:00
Yes, the power supply adjusts the voltage as needed.

So then you are on the other side of the pond?

The caveat is what jam mentioned above about low profile cards. There is a bracket on the end of all add in cards. It is standardized for length so that the cards work in all cases. Some cases are not standard and require a different bracket. Plus some cards are actually too tall to fit in a slim case anyway.


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#10
February 2, 2010 at 13:30:06
Ireland

Ok guys I'm nearly there. I think I'll get the hd4670.

One last question however. If I was to buy a processor, can I get the 'strongest' available or am I limited because of the motherboard


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#11
February 2, 2010 at 13:51:59
Go to the link below and enter the Dell service tag to find out exactly how your computer is currently configured. Post the results back here.

http://support.dell.com/support/top...


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#12
February 2, 2010 at 14:16:08
See the blue message to "change service tag"? Click on that and then enter the number off of your case. Should be on the side or back somewhere.

http://support.dell.com/support/top...


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#13
February 2, 2010 at 14:24:05
Ok. How about this

Service Tag 21FQ23J
Express Service Code 4440440863
Computer Model Vostro 200
BIOS Vendor Dell Inc.
BIOS Version 1.0.3
BIOS Date 07-12-07
Windows Version Microsoft® Windows Vista™ Home Basic

Processor
Manufacturer Genuine Intel(R) CPU 2140 @ 1.60GHz
Clock Speed 1.6GHz
L2 Cache Size 1024

Memory
Available Memory 66.99 %
Page File Size 2296.7Mb
Available Page File 77.63 %
Virtual Memory 4342.1Mb
Available Virtual Memory 70.03 %
Memory Slot 1 [DIMM1] 1024Mb
Memory Slot 2 [DIMM3] 1024Mb

Network Card
Adapters Intel(R) 82562V-2 10/100 Network Connection

Hardware
Type Description
DVD/CD-ROM Drives TSSTcorp DVD+-RW TS-H653A ATA Device
Disk Drives ST3160812AS ATA Device 149.0Gb
ST3160812AS ATA Device 149.0Gb
SAMSUNG HD502HI USB Device 465.7Gb
TEAC USB HS-CF Card USB Device
TEAC USB HS-MS Card USB Device
TEAC USB HS-SD Card USB Device
TEAC USB HS-xD/SM USB Device
Display Adapters Radeon X1300/X1550 Series 256Mb
Radeon X1300/X1550 Series Secondary
IDE ATA/ATAPI Controllers Standard Dual Channel PCI IDE Controller
IDE Channel
IDE Channel
Standard Dual Channel PCI IDE Controller
IDE Channel
IDE Channel
Keyboards USB Human Interface Device
Mice and Other Pointing Devices USB Human Interface Device
Monitors Generic PnP Monitor - (Standard monitor types)
Default Monitor -
Sound Devices High Definition Audio Device
USB Controllers Intel(R) ICH9 Family USB Universal Host Controller - 2937
Intel(R) ICH9 Family USB Universal Host Controller - 2938
Intel(R) ICH9 Family USB Universal Host Controller - 2939
Intel(R) ICH9 Family USB2 Enhanced Host Controller - 293C
Intel(R) ICH9 Family USB Universal Host Controller - 2934
Intel(R) ICH9 Family USB Universal Host Controller - 2935
Intel(R) ICH9 Family USB Universal Host Controller - 2936
Intel(R) ICH9 Family USB2 Enhanced Host Controller - 293A


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#14
February 2, 2010 at 15:08:26
Well, as I stated at the beginning I am not a gamer. Others have recommended a card to you. The only question is if you have a slimline case or not and that doesn't seem to be part of the specs above. Look at the link below and confirm that is your model. If so, that is a mini tower. Refer to response #4 to determine the correct graphics card to buy. I recommend you buy a card and use the computer as is. Games use the graphics more than the CPU and you have 2GB of RAM too.

http://www.pcworld.com/reviews/prod...


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#15
February 3, 2010 at 01:43:06
Thanks for yor time

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