dell c521 graphics card?

hi, ive had my dell for about a year, and regardless of people telling me dell is crap and so is windows vista, i personally haven’t had any problems at all, i would however like to upgrade the graphics card, i realise that i will need to get a Low Profile/ Half Height card (from reading up i’m under the impression they are the same thing. i currently have a 256mb ATI X1300pro, i’m having trouble finding up to date reviews on low profile graphics cards, any links or card recomendations would be great


  1. Sue de Nimme says:

    You have now encountered one of the reasons why many people do not rate Dell.

    There is no low profile upgrade from the X1300Pro.

    The link provided by an earlier responder is useful, in that it shows what is available. In addition to buying a low profile card, you would need also to buy a low profile bracket (or two) which you would fit yourself (easy).

    But there is no point. The cards listed:
    FX5200; 6200; 7100; 7200; 7300; 8400GS; 9550; 2400Pro
    are none of them better than your existing card.
    The X1550 is essentially a rebadged X1300 Pro anyway…

    There may be sites which show that some of these cards will give you12fps where you get only 10 at the moment – that’s still unplayable!
    The X1300 is a match for any of the cards listed where playable frame rates can be achieved.

    It may be possible to get a riser card from Dell, which lifts the slot (about a inch) and turns it through 90 degrees, so that a full height graphics card can be fitted "lying down" above the case’s existing connectors. You will still be constrained on the length of card which can be fitted, and you will need to consider power requirements of any new card…

    You have to wonder why Dell don’t avoid all the bad publicity by warning of these constraints at point of sale!

    [Edit]: definitely not available from Dell, but see link below…
    Given the cost, plus the fact that you would have to take a hacksaw to your case – I think that the best course of action would be to start again.
    Another Dell would be fine – but avoid the slimline case!

    I’ve just noticed, Vista. Then you might be tempted by one of the DX10 cards – the 8400GS or the HD2400Pro…
    Don’t do it! These cards are not capable of producing more than a slide show in DX10…, and the X1300 is at least their equal in DX9 – take a look at Tom’s…

  2. bestonnet_00 says:

    Low profile video cards are very hard to find so you might have trouble there (Low profile and half height in expansion cards are the same thing).

    You also need to be careful that you actually are getting a half height card as a lot of cards that are listed as being low profile actually have a full height backplane which won’t fit (but a circuit board that would fit into a slimline case if it weren’t for the backplane) and which will usually also have the second monitor connector on it (you can see some good examples of that in the (otherwise useless) link tgtips provided and should be able to figure out why one needs to be careful when trying to get low profile stuff (and also why you should get a full sized case for your next computer)). If you cut the backplane off and just cut off the second connector you might be able to use such a card in your computer (though you won’t get multi-monitor support if you reduce to one connector) although if you decide to do that it’ll be at your own risk (and you won’t be getting a warranty return if something goes wrong even if it isn’t your fault), I doubt that removing the second connector off would ruin the card but if it does you’d be on your own.

    Running the computer with the lid off would allow you to fit a full height card into it so that might be the cheapest and easiest solution for you even if a bit unsightly.

    The only source of actual half height video cards (i.e. cards that have a half height backplane) that I know of are the Low Profile cards made by Matrox although they tend to be expensive and also tend to be aimed more at those doing multi-monitor stuff so you might find it hard finding one that is better for games than what you’ve got for a reasonable price (and given that any 3D stuff your average Matrox customer uses would be OpenGL there’s not really much reason for Matrox to bother with Direct3D speed). There might be others who make actual low profile cards but there doesn’t seem to be that much of a market for half height video cards (Dell’s would’ve been a special order).

    If Dell or another company offered faster cards in slimline computers you might be able to get one of them from somewhere but I wouldn’t count on it. The kind of people that would typically be buying parts sourced in that manner wouldn’t have a slimline case to put such a thing into in the first place.

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