Upgrading a Dell

  waydekirrane 14:20 09 Feb 05

I recenlty acquired a Dell Optiplex computer. i have a couple a questions regarding upgrading this system. any help gratefully appreciated:

1. the current sound and graphic cards are integrated in the motherboard? will this cause a problem if i were to buy a sound video pci card? will it just override the current hardware?

2. i have half size pci slot. it's the same length as a normal pci slot, but only half the width. where would i find a half width pci slot like this?

3. can anyone recommend a good video card (with DVI output) and good sound card (not sure what spec i'm looking for, i'd just like to get better sound. also how much difference does the card make in comparison the difference the speaker makes? i assume i will have to upgrade my cheap speakers to get the full effect of the sound card

  dan11 14:31 09 Feb 05

Do you have the model number of the Optiplex?

Gx/Sx or L series?

  TomJerry 14:32 09 Feb 05

(1) it is possible, both on-board and PCI sound card will work together, to avoid any potential problem, uninstall on-board sound card software and also get into "bios" (press del when computer starts) to disable on-board sound

(2) you may need to look half height PCI card specificly, no big problem for sound card, but graphics card could be a problem, check to make sure you have AGP slot (some dell models do not have). If you do not have AGP slot, you can only get PCI graphics cards which are low spec, the best one you can get is ATI9200 and it is relatively expensive

(3) really doubt sound card will make any big different, speakers will be main deciding factors. Your on-board sound should have 2.1, if you only have 2.1 speaker, no point of upgrade. Some on-board sound have 5.1 which requires you have 5.1 speaker.

If your on-board sound has 5.1, then no point to fit sound card unless you want to pay big money to get 7.1 sound card and 7.1 speakers.

  waydekirrane 14:50 09 Feb 05

ok great thanks. i will look to see what model my pc is when i get home.

as for the other specs...where do i find out:

1. if i have an AGP slot?
2. what sound i am getting on my board? 2.1, 5.1 or 7.1? what do these no.s refer to?

  TomJerry 15:20 09 Feb 05

2.1: one subwoofer and two satellites

5.1 one subwoofer and two satellites (6 speakers in total)

as for AGP slot, check manual to find out, if no manual, open the case, it is the "odd one out"

  dan11 18:57 09 Feb 05

" 2. i have half size pci slot. it's the same length as a normal pci slot, but only half the width. where would i find a half width pci slot like this? "

It could be either a ACR,AMR or CNR riser slot.
click here
If it is, these take cut down software cards that rely on the computers cpu for the work.

Dell optiplex upgrade forum click here

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