Jump to content

Are Nvidia 6800 Cards Compatible With My Mobo?

Recommended Posts

Okay everyone, I'm hoping you can help me out here please.

Right, I've never gone inside my PC before except to add a RAM card once before - please bear this, and my lack of knowledge, in mind when offering your advice.


I wish to upgrade my crappy nVidia GeForce 4 MX420 to a better card - probably a 6600 series, although my question applies to any new graphics card (I was horrified to discover that Brothers in Arms specifically does not support my card).


Anyway, does it matter what motherboard I have? Will a new card work with an older mobo? I have included some information about my system in case it is relevant. It is taken directly from the shopping basket description I printed out when I bought the PC 2.5 years ago:


"Intel 845PE chipset with support for 266MHz DDR RAM and 333MHz DDR RAM.

Support for Intel Pentium 4 processors with 533 MHz system bus.

4 PCI slots and AGP 4x slot "


This has been edited to provide you with what I think is relevant information. A full test results can be found here



Please have a look and tell me if I also need to upgrade my motherboard too. I hope to get an AGP card as I don't have a PCI-Express slot. My friend recently upgraded card and had to buy a new mobo - I hope I don't have to.

Many thanks comrades.

Edited by treeh0rn
Link to post
Share on other sites

all the newer agp vid cards are backwards compatible to 4x agp

plus i dont think there is any software that requires an 8x slot yet that i've seen


but yeah, now is somewhat of a bad time for upgrading(expensive)

with so many formfactors changing,agp to pci-e,ddr1 to ddr2

pci-e boards only support amd 939's and the latest intels

some ppl are looking at an entirely new pc if they want the newest


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for the reply. I have been looking at Ebuyer.com and have wittled down my choice to either the ATI 9800 Radeon Pro (cheaper at £116) or the 6600 GT (big difference I know at about £150).


So is my mobo okay with either of these cards? If it isn't, that will affect my ability to buy the more expensive one, if I have to upgrade my mobo (or God forbid, my whole system!)

Link to post
Share on other sites

he might be able to get away with that psu

if he's got 1 hd,cd rom,maybe a dvd-rom


i had a hp pavilion micro tower that had a 250W psu

and i ran 3 ata-100 hd's,cd-rom,dvd-rom and a 5700U

i don't think he'll have a prob unless he gets the dual gpu :bad:

Link to post
Share on other sites

Sorry I was typing my last reply as you guys made new posts. I shall update:

I have a DVD drive, a CD drive and 1 80Gb 7200RPM hard drive.


A customer review on Ebuyer states that he managed to get the card to work with a 250 PSU, even though the card maker suggests 350W. Even if it didn't work, it would be no problem getting a new PSU - my main concern is mobo incompatibility.

Do you have enough information to confirm that the more powerful card needs a new mobo? Where can I find out? From Dell? Would their customer care line know what I'm talking about? I don't think they can speak English sometimes - or even understand me in the past.


Sorry, was getting worked up about Dell again. Anyway, just to reiterate, how do I know if I need a new mobo or not?

Thanks for your attention guys/gals. :beer:

Link to post
Share on other sites

You guys are the best!

My excitement is reaching a climax!

New card here I come!

Sorry if I sound like an unbeliever, Allen, so you're absolutely sure (as much as possible anyway) that my existing mobo is okay? I got an automated reply from Dell online about a minute after submitting my request, which went on about distinguishing between integrated and AGP graphics. It implied that this was the only thing I had to worry about. I know definitely that I have an AGP slot, so this means I'm in the clear, right? (PSU issues notwithstanding)


(Brothers in Arms here I come!!! )

Link to post
Share on other sites

A customer review on Ebuyer states that he managed to get the card to work with a 250 PSU, even though the card maker suggests 350W. Even if it didn't work, it would be no problem getting a new PSU - my main concern is mobo incompatibility.



well if the card does work with the board, but the psu is not able to handle it.....then the compatibility problem may be with a new psu!!


.....not sure about your model, but many dell's use proprietary parts (including psu) and can only be swapped out with an actual dell power supply (costing mucho $$$).


like i said, that may not be the case with yours....but i do remember seeing that in the past. :shrug:

Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for pointer. I hope I don't need one but it'll be less of a headache for me to replace a PSU, even if it costs me more to do so. I'm going to check up on that - in the meantime, if anyone thinks that I DO need a new mobo please let me know ASAP.

I am on the verge of ordering the card, but my logical reasoning cortex is telling me to just double check that I'm not about to make a huge mistake.


Yours Sincerely,


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hey tree, why not check with Dell. They should have no problem advising you if the card will work. They sell cards too. You can get their opinion and then buy your card from where ever you want. Ah, I'm not blowing you off but that would be what I would do. The powersupply is one thing but it's got to fit also.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes, I have sent an online query and am awaiting a human response, rather than the automated one I detailed earlier. That will surely confirm for me. If they don't reply, I'll phone them and hope the operator understands English (it's a long story......call centres abroad) :P

Link to post
Share on other sites

Just to go back on JackeL's point about the Dell PSU - I have checked Dell's site and cannot find anything related to upgrading my PSU. I'm getting worried.

Does anyone know if I can use a generic PSU for my Dimension 4550? Will an external PSU get around my problem?

Link to post
Share on other sites

nah no externals


i dont think you will have any issue with a new psu

just dont get one thats physically larger if the case is crammed

ultra's 400W model was physically larger from what i

remembered when i replaced my 250W(about 1" longer from switch to

cable grommet) but fit no prob with plenty of room to spare

(the vast supply of psu's are a standard physical size)i actually think the 250W

was not standard size(smaller)

i'm pretty sure it will wind up being standard fit

you could always pull it and match it to a friends junker

or take it to the local bestbuy and have them match one up

for you(quite easily)while you buy it :D

Edited by lec666
Link to post
Share on other sites

I've just spoken to someone from Dell and he told me that an AGP 8x card will fit into my AGP 4x slot but that it won't work.


First question (sorry for the rehash)

I've always understood that 8x is backwards compatible to 4x, but he said that was NOT the case. What's going on? I'm not a tech-head so this new information has me in a spin.


Second question

Also, regarding the PSU, a Dell-appointed 3rd party salesman told me that any other non-Dell PSU would "blow my computer up" (his words).

Okay, so a non-Dell PSU might not work, but is this really the case or is he doing his sales talk on me? I was looking at these PSUs from ebuyer.com. Providing they are internal ones and the right size, can I use one of these?




Sorry if I'm proving annoying, but I have no other info source available to me that I can trust.




Edited by treeh0rn
Link to post
Share on other sites

While talking to Dell or any tech support (pretty much), it is always important to remember that THEY LIE most of the time to get you to buy their extremely expensive parts.

Any normal part will work in your computer. The only thing that is specific is the case, because of the way the motherboard fits and also the front connectors. Everything else is the same as a custom built computer (the power supply may be slightly different, but i doubt it).

I used an AGP 4x card in my 8x slot, my computer still works fine. I also used an 8x card in a 2x slot, and a 4x slot, both worked fine. AGP 4x slots are usually universal (they can take any AGP card), so you should be fine. Most 8x cards are also universal, meaning they will work in any AGP slot. The newer ones only work in 4x/8x slots though.


The connectors on the power supply (ONLY TO THE MOTHERBOARD) may be different, but everything else is universal (the same).

Link to post
Share on other sites

Don't worry, Dell has HORRIBLE support. We all know more than they do, even myself. :P




The card will work fine, and if it doesn't, buy from a place with a money back deal.

Link to post
Share on other sites

your not being annoying by any means.thats why we all come

here to help each other out


but yeah don't listen to dell they're pulling your chain

there isn't a single 8x agp card that isn't backward

compatible on the market today.....how else would they

make sales to ppl with older hardware such as yourself ?


as for the psu any p4 ready psu will be compatible

actually i dont think you can buy one thats not(retail anyway)

but dell doesn't make computer components

they only resell them.every MB maker follows a market

standard format....so all P4 MB's have the same psu connections

going to it,there are only 2 connectors-cpu 4pin/atx 20pin

and they will only mount one way so you can't connect it wrong

the only possible difference is the plugs may be in different

locations on the MB.


blow up the pc now thats funny stuff :rofl3:

Edited by lec666
Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks to everyone for your continued advice and words. This site saves me from insanity time and again.....



I've decided that an AGP 8x will fit in my 4x slot so that Dell guy can go for a walk (somewhere dark and lonely).

I have checked the Dell forums which have a lot on this very subject (did a more specific search). Although it is US based, the information should be comparable. There are many Dell users with a 250W PSU, some of whom have problems with a 6600GT card and some who don't. It seems as though it's a gamble if you get one of these cards with a standard Dell PSU.


New problems

My PC has now restarted twice by itself, both times when I've just switched it on. I don't have any spyware on my system, so I think it's an overloaded PSU! I have just installed a program called CDSpace, which makes CD images on my HD. This may be the culprit, as Belarc Advisor tells me that it is a SCSI host adaptor and according to a power wattage calculator I used, this consumes 25W of power.

I may be wrong about this, but here is the link to the calculator, you may find it interesting:





I don't think ebuyer.com would take back a good card, just because my system can't handle it. They might say they will, but change their mind. I don't want to risk overloading my PSU with such an expensive card - it may work fine for a while, then suddenly decide to play up. I have decided not to bother upgrading my video card. I shall resign myself to saving for a PCI-express system, which will be better in the long run.

Thanks once again for your advice. I shall be back in the future to pick the collective brain. :beer:

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Create New...