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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have an older computer, a Dell Dimension 4400. It's no where near great, but given that right now buying a new computer isn't in our budget I wanted to make a few upgrades to it.

I started off buying 512 MB of RAM. It was perfect, a nice boost in performance for a good price. I got to looking around a little more for any more improvements I could make and decided on a new video card. Nothing fancy, but something better than the GeForce2 MX 400 we had.

I purchased a ATI Radeon x1300 AGP card. Although I was sent the wrong power supply cables at first they were replaced and set-up was fine. The card says it requires 300W PSU, but our Dell 4400 only has a generic 250W PSU. Which after doing some reading on PSUs is probably putting out less Watts than that. I wasn't too sure how this would work, but everything has been fine for about two weeks now.

My problem is that after upgrading to this Radeon card from a puny 64 MB video card theres very, very little performance increase. Is this normal? I'm not trying to run Doom 3 or anything on my system, I just play a few small online games that really don't require too much power, but with this new video card theres hardly any noticeable difference to my game play. I still have system lag when other people are on screen running around and such. I expected the new video card would help quite a lot with this because it isn't a very flashy game or anything, but no dice.

Is this because of my PSU? Could it be related to another problem? I was hoping this would be a nice band aid until we could afford a new computer in a few months, but right now I'm really quite disappointed. I don't want to go buy a new PSU and have the exact same problems too. Any recommendations would be great.

System specs:
Dell Dimension 4400
Intel D845PT
Pentium 4 1.6Ghz
512MB DDR-SDRAM
ATI Radeon x1300 AGP
Windows XP Home
Cable Internet
 

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The CPU is a very limiting part of that system. It's an early generation of the P4 series and missed out on the optimizations of future models. Without the 300w PSU the card can't perform at its fullest potential. It's just like buying a game. The minimum specifications indicate the LEAST you can have and have the game run correctly. If you don't follow those recommendations you can't expect it to work correctly, right? You'll first want to try and upgrade that PSU and work up from there. It's been said many times here on the forums how the PSU is the heart of the system and the most ignored. That's truth. If you need help figuring out what's in there and what you can put in feel free to write back.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Yes, sorry I didn't search before posting this. I honestly had no idea what to search for, I'm not very experienced with quite a lot of this.

I would like to know what I could further upgrade, I'm just hoping it doesn't cost an arm and a leg as like I said it's just not able to be done right now. I have been browsing around a little for PSUs and now processors, but I really don't know what I need specifically that will get the job done.

Any further help would be greatly appreciated.
Thanks.
 

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I agree 100%, a 1.6 GHz P4 won't get you much, and that is your bottleneck right there. You might be able to get a faster P4, maybe a 2.0 or 2.4 GHz P4 if you are lucky. You will have to research and see if you can find what the fastest processor is that your motherboard supports.
 

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his p4 is most likely a williamette, in which case he is sol, as the fastest processor he can get is 2ghz, which is not a worthwhile upgrade. at the least a new mobo, cpu, psu and case are required if any performance increase is to be seen. the new case is needed cause any mobo he can get will most likely not fit in the dell case, same goes for psu unless its bought from dell.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
So in other words just wait until I can get a new computer.
Thats alright, it's a pretty old computer so it's basically a much needed upgrade and will happen in a few months.

Thanks for the help.
 
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