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Trying to upgrade video graphics card to use 2 monitors

I have a Dell E521 computer AMD athlon 64 x 2 dual core prc. 4000+ 2.10 ghz 1.93 gb of ram. I have a built in video card , the nvidia geforce 6150le, and thus have only 1 port to plug a monitor into. I have just acquired my 2nd samsung syncmaster 941 bw(19in) and want to run both of them off my comp. but am not sure what is a good upgrade in video cards and not sure what the different specs mean for my comp. What I have guessed at this point something like the nvidia 8600 gt or 8800 series is what I am looking for but not sure what size mb to get I am seeing 256, 512, 1gb. I am not a gamer but want to use both screens as one big desktop and do everyday office stuff and video and photo editing . Am I on the right track with the video cards and how do I know what is compatible with my system?

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In regards to what video card to get most of your current computers have a PCIE x16 slot for the video card. You may want to check this link. There is a picture of what the card should look like.

So if you have a PCIE x16 slot you should beable to put a Geforce 8 series card in the system fine. However if you are not sure I would call Dell to confirm the specs on the system.

Also you will need to pay attention the power specs on the card that you get. Because it may need more power then the current powersupply in the system has currently to spare. If you under power there system you can damage components. In regards to a computer powersupply there is never a worry on going to high on the wattage. I want to stress this part because I have seen a lot of systems come to me where the user had upgraded a part without taken in minde if they would need more power. The end result is damaging alot of the system.

In regards to the memory size the thing to keep in mind is that if you are running 2 monitors there memory is split between them. So if you have a card with 512 of memory then each monitor will get 256 of the memory. So with that in mind I would go no less than 512. The reason is most of your graphic programs recommend this. Also if you have Vista or are thinking about getting it this is also the recommended video memory for Vista as well.

Hope this answers your questions.

Let me know if you have any more problems or questions.


Posted on Oct 02, 2008

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