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PCI Express card that won't fit!

Posted on 2006-07-02
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Last Modified: 2010-04-25
I've just got a new graphics card - a BFG Tech Nvidia GeForce 7300 GS OC (http://www.bfgtech.com/7300GS_256_PCIX.html) - and I want to install it in my Dell Dimension 3100/E310 (http://support.euro.dell.com/support/edocs/systems/dim3100/en/sm/specs0.htm#wp1052310).
But it doesn't seem to fit.
Am I being stupid?  Or is there something different about one of these that means they aren't compatible?

Please help!

Thanks
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Question by:grinaldi
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by:Lee W, MVP
ID: 17027159
Your computer has a single x1 PCI Express slot.  That graphics card is an x16.  You can't put an x16 in an x1.

Have a look over the Wikipedia entry on PCI Express for more information:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pci_express
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Nerdx earned 25 total points
ID: 17027620
>> Am I being stupid?

Absolutely not... It is quite a common mistake and you shouldn't put yourself down for it. Most people buy it because they think that it is just the speed of the card with the PCI-E bus.

>> Or is there something different about one of these that means they aren't compatible?

Yes, as leew has explained, that gfx card is unfortunately a 16x one and your motherboard only supports PCI-E x1 graphics. You can still get some pretty decent/cheap graphics cards for this one from pretty much EVERYWHERE. Try searching for a normal 128mb PCI graphics card, bloody nightmare! So expensive and not as good...

Hope this helps - GL

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by:Nerdx
ID: 17027625
P.S: This should be in the 'Hardware' TA, not 'Hardware -> Desktops' :) Keep this in mind, as you will find much more people with the right knowledge in separate TA's.

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by:garycase
garycase earned 25 total points
ID: 17027806
Your system has - as noted above - a PCI Express x1 slot ==> NOT a x16 slot.   They are physically different (so your x16 card won't fit).

You can use either a PCI Express x1 card or a PCI card -- you'll get better performance with PCI Express, but the cards are more difficult to find.  Here are a couple of PCI Express x1 cards:

Matrox:  http://www.ewiz.com/detail.php?p=MA-550PCIE&c=fr&pid=118b95cd267e914ccc6957853c21c0904de1d8fe26d5e1ea2851f33e37ea52ab

NVidia:  http://www.buy.com/retail/product.asp?sku=202367508&SearchEngine=Froogle&SearchTerm=202367508&Type=PE&Category=Comp&dcaid=17379

... as for standard PCI video cards, there are a LOT of options.   Any of these would work:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.asp?Submit=ENE&N=2010380048+1069609642&Subcategory=48&description=&srchInDesc=&minPrice=&maxPrice=
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by:Nerdx
ID: 17033694
I believe leew should have received some points, as my answer was, kind of, based on his.

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by:Lee W, MVP
ID: 17033716
Thanks for the support Nerdx - any reason I wasn't included in the split?
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by:garycase
ID: 17033919
Nerdx -- just for grins, I'm curious about your statements "... your motherboard only supports PCI-E x1 graphics. You can still get some pretty decent/cheap graphics cards for this one from pretty much EVERYWHERE ..." ==>   I've only found 2 or 3 PCI Express x1 cards (2 of which I linked to in my post), and would hardly say they're common.

Where is the "EVERYWHERE" that you find so many x1 cards ??
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by:Nerdx
ID: 17036448
Well, I just did a quick Froogle search and found quite a bit, didn't mean EVERYWHERE as in everywhere sorry - just to be sympathetic a bit :( I've seen them, they don't look too powerful - but still beats PCI.

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by:garycase
ID: 17037355
Who makes them besides the two cards I listed above and the HIS Radeon 1300 here (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16814161017) ??   (that's a total of 3 cards I know about)  Links please !!
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by:Nerdx
ID: 17037585
Here are a few, garcase.

The best ones were the ones that you have already provided - seeing as they are 128MB.

Matrox Millennium G550 32MB PCI-E Dual DVI Graphics Card:
http://www.memory-express.co.uk/index.aspx?pageid=17&id=558546

I guess I didn't look properly, as the names of the product was different but were the same.

Yeh, you caught me out... Well done :( Was just a lack of concentration tbh.

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by:Nerdx
ID: 17037589
lol, I see you have already shown that card aswell :D
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