My brother has a Dell 8300 that he needs to do some serious 3D work but it's a little lacking in grunt at the moment.
I got the service tag and put into the Dell site and got the output below, can anyone recomend what goodies would be usefull to up the horsepower?
I'm guessing more RAM for a start (think there's 512 in there at the moment), but what about video cards etc...?
1 0X891 LABEL FASCIA INTEL-INSIDE PENTIUM 4 HEIGHT
1 23503 LABEL BARCODE TRACK SYSTEM BOARD GENERIC
1 2X585 ASSEMBLY SHROUD PLASTIC TRANSFORMER SKY DIVE MINITOWER 2
1 6X609 LABEL REGULATORY SIDE UNIVERSAL BLANK RAMJET
1 9Y692 ASSEMBLY HEATSINK 2.8GHZ GREASE
1 9Y856 PROCESSOR 80532 2.6G 512 800FSB SOCKET N
1 U0944 LABEL INTEL PENTIUM4 HEIGHT CARTON
1 Y1537 ASSEMBLY CHASSIS TRANSFORMER SKY DIVE MINITOWER POWER FACTOR CORRECTION Serial ATA PWA INTEGRATED
1 5N292 KEYBOARD 105 UNITED KINGDOM NMB LOW COST MIDNIGHT GRAY
1 4W500 DIGITAL VIDEO DISK DRIVE 680M 16 I 5.25" FORM FACTOR SD616T REVISION CHASSIS 2001
1 01NRV CORD POWER 220V 2MTR DISPLAY IRE/UK
1 1M978 DISPLAY CATHODE-RAY TUBE 17 DUAL M782P MIDNIGHT GRAY EUROPE MIDDLE EAST & AFRICA
1 6D906 CARD (CIRCUIT) CONTROLLER 1394A PC INTERFACE LOOP TI/SCI
1 F0502 KIT DOCUMENTATON ON FLOPPY DISK SOFTWARE DOMESTIC
1 7T281 FLOPPY DRIVE 1.44M 3.5" FORM FACTOR 3MD NO BEZEL TEAC V4 CHASSIS 2001
1 6U220 KIT MOUSE PERSONAL SYSTEM 2 S69 LOGITECH
1 2D780 KIT CABLE ADAPTER 4 PIN PHONE CONNECTOR HANDSET SUPPORT PC HEALTH SPAIN/SPANISH
1 4W471 MODEM V.92 DATA FAX INTERNAL TUNGSTEN REST OF WORLD
1 N2923 KIT COMPACT DISKETTE MODEM DATA FAX EUROPE MIDDLE EAST & AFRICA
1 5D481 LABEL CERTIFICATE OF AUTHENTICITY WINDOWS XP HOME 32 BITS PRINT ON DEMAND
1 6W678 KIT SOFTWARE OVERPACK WXPHSP1 COMPACT DISKETTE W/DOCUMENTATION ENGLAND/ENGLISH
1 5W449 KIT SOFTWARE WKS7.0 ORIGINAL EQUIPMENT MFGR. ENGLAND/ENGLISH
1 5U607 PAD MOUSE DELL AMERICAS ORGANIZATION X-LOB
1 D0828 KIT DOCUMENTATON ON FLOPPY DISK SOFTWARE DIGITAL VIDEO DISK DRIVE CYBERLINK 4.13
1 9Y452 CARD (CIRCUIT) GRAPHICS 128MB NV34 DIMENSION
1 16583 CORD POWER 2 METERS IRE/UK
1 23501 LABEL BARCODE SYS BOX GENERIC
1 2G688 KIT COMPACT DISKETTE EUROTOOLS DIMENSION EUROPE MIDDLE EAST & AFRICA
1 4T309 SHIPPING MATERIAL BOX OPTION DIMENSION TRANSFORMER SKY DIVE MINITOWER EUROPE MIDDLE EAST & AFRICA
1 6N342 SHIPPING MATERIAL CUSHION DIMENSION TRANSFORMER SKY DIVE MINITOWER 1.5
1 9T732 SHIPPING MATERIAL BOX SYSTEM BOARD DIM-TSMT EUROPE MIDDLE EAST & AFRICA
1 F0272 PLACEMAT GETTING STARTED DIM8300 EUROPE MIDDLE EAST & AFRICA
1 G0391 GUIDE OWNER DIM8300 ENGLAND/ENGLISH EUROPE MIDDLE EAST & AFRICA
1 N0804 HARD DRIVE 80GB I 7.2K 80G/P SEAGATE-ALPINE
2 J0201 DUAL IN-LINE MEMORY MODULE 256 400M 32X64 8K 184
Why post all that crap? Most of that is irrelevent.
Post the spec of the machine and the app hes working with and the type of 3D hes doing. 3D solid modeling is difference to game modelling, is different to CAD work.
It'll be mainly 3D modeling using 3D Studio Max. He's looking to getting into a fair level of detail with it. Gaming is pretty low on the list.
I put this crap here because I'm not sure of the spec of the machine (neither is he). I got him to read out the service tag and then looked it up on dell.ie, but the output was less than readable The above is a trimmed down version of what I got, some of it makes no sense to me but maybe it might to someone else.
Think he has 512 RAM and "1 9Y452 CARD (CIRCUIT) GRAPHICS 128MB NV34 DIMENSION" may relate to a Geforce FX 5500 (128Mb), but I'm not sure.
As far as I can see, NV34 = GeForce FX 5200. If you run "dxdiag" it should tell you what graphics card you have. If it's that, it's not a particularly modern or good card.
This recommends 1GB RAM and a graphics card with 256MB RAM.
I'd recommend looking here for some more RAM (Dell themselves will charge you over the odds for some lame generic junk - all you need is some PC3200 DDR RAM - it doesn't matter what brand or whatever).
I dunno about the graphics card - it really depends on how much money you have to spend on one. Professionals use the high-end stuff like ATI's FireGL and Nvidia's Quadro ranges for this kind of stuff - but they cost *A LOT* of money!
Probably the best normal AGP graphics card around now is the ATI Radeon X850 XT PE, and that's €380 on Komplett. You could still get a 256MB card a lot cheaper - say a Radeon 9600XT for around €100, but it's about 25-40% the power of the X850. So with graphics cards, price can be quite equally proportional to power. A 9600XT will still be a damn sight better than what you have now, though - probably around twice the power, at least.
I'd also recommend getting a better monitor (assuming the one listed above is the one being used) - a 17" like that will get pretty blurry/flickery at higher resolutions, and your brother will probably be wanting to use 1280x1024. You can get decent used 19" CRTs for as cheap as chips these days - I got one for free! I'd recommend some 19" Sony Trinitron (also sold under Dell, Gateway and IBM brands), or a NEC/Mitsubishi Diamondtron (some Iiyamas used the same tubes too).
Probably better in this case to consider nVidia graphics cards, many of them can be softmodded to a Quadro making them much better for stuff like 3D Studio. Look for the rivatuner forum on guru3d.com for more details on doing this.
Regarding the X850 XT PE is that not a PCI express card?? i have the 8300 myself with a 9800XT 256mb and was thinking of upgrading my graphics card to pci express one but i THINK i've to change my motherboard
You can get an X850 in agp but itll cost.
You'll also need a fair whack of power to run it and possibly a power connector that your PSU doesnt have.
He's best off building a new PC - upgrading dells is always messy and a half assed job.
Upgrade the ram and go to a used 9800pro would be a good idea.
www.shop4memory.com is good for the mem and ebay is good for the card
Thanks for the replies, don't think he has the cash for a rebuild.
So I'll get him to start with the RAM and then see what he's got left after that.
That graphics card is pathetic - he'd want to upgrade that too if he's doing alot of modelling.