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· Registered
3 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·

I'm new to computer hardware, and I have very old computer (specs below). I'm motivated to change my video card so I can play new games like fallout 3, which I installed only to see the game crash upon start up :4-zap:. The only thing that falls below its minimum system requirements is the video card. I was wondering - Is any video card compatible with any PC? Could you guys please recommend one that would work good with my PC?

Here are my pc specs:

Microsoft Windows XP Professional (5.1.2600 Service Pack 2 Build 2600)
Dell Dimension 8400
Intel Pentium 4 CPU 3.20GHz
2046MB RAM
Current Video Card: ATI Radeon X300 SE 128MB

Dell 0CH776
Chipset: Intel i925X Rev.B1
Southbridge: Intel 82801FB (ICH6)

Graphic Interface:
Link Width: x16 Max. Supported: x16

*Please let me know if you need more specs*

Thanks a lot guys!


Here is a list of video cards that are compatible with fallout 3:
at least 512MB

* NVIDIA GeForce 200 series
* NVIDIA GeForce 9800 series
* NVIDIA GeForce 9600 series
* NVIDIA GeForce 8800 series
* NVIDIA GeForce 8600 series
* NVIDIA GeForce 8500 series
* NVIDIA GeForce 8400 series
* NVIDIA GeForce 7900 series
* NVIDIA GeForce 7800 series
* NVIDIA GeForce 7600 series
* NVIDIA GeForce 7300 series
* NVIDIA GeForce 6800 series
* ATI HD 4800 series
* ATI HD 4600 series
* ATI HD 3800 series
* ATI HD 3600 series
* ATI HD 3400 series
* ATI HD 2900 series
* ATI HD 2600 series
* ATI HD 2400 series
* ATI X1900 series
* ATI X1800 series
* ATI X1600 series
* ATI X1300 series
* ATI X850 series

· TSF Emeritus
26,674 Posts
Hi, welcome to TSF

To play modern games like Fallout 3 which are graphically very demanding, you need something in the range of a GeForce 8800 or Radeon HD4850 as a starting point, higher if you plan on keeping the card for a year or two before upgrading again. These are considered mid-range PCIE cards and are reasonably priced.

As your current graphics card is an X300, your PSU is probably not going to be suitable for an upgrade. You will need a 650W PSU with a minimum of 28A on the +12V line (good quality 650W units have over 50A/+12V). This will add another $70-100US to your budget if it's needed.

btw, I see you're still using XP SP2. Some games require SP3 to be installed, so this could be contributing to your problem, although I don't think Fallout 3 is affected by this. GTA4 definitely needs SP3.

· Premium Member
12,695 Posts
The stock power supply in the 8400 will not be able to support larger cards on it own. Dell usually packs their computers with the lowest cost power supplies it can. Not only that but since you are infact using a single pentium 4 anything in the 3800 series will just be held back. I also wouldn't trust pci-e 2.0 cards to properly work on that machine.

I would say for under 120$ try to find an old 2600 pro or xt and a decent power supply to power it. You'll ideally need 550w or higher with 26 amps on the 12v rail and for it to be 80%+ efficient. If you budget doesn't permit this The only two cheaper power supplies I'll recommend are the corsair 450w and the Pc Power and Cooling 420w.|65:15|39:1|240:1318|301:0|293:1|294:50
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