Video Card upgrade for Old DELL Precision 470

Hi, i have a very old DELL PRECISION 470 from 2005, with Dual Xeon Nocona 3.0G processors, 4 GB ram, and Nvidia Quadro FX 540, XP Pro x64. It is not my main computer, but i need to use it.

I run 3ds Max 2012 on it, and graphics performance is way to poor...Almost unusable while on 3ds max.  Alotugh i use it, it is not like i will work much on it, but at least when i do, for opening and checking ouyt some files, i need it to respond well. I will use it more also as a Rendering NODE, for long rendering tasks.

Then as soon as i buy some new Rendering PCs (Dec 2013), i will use this computer for simple Music production and internet...

I want to upgrade its video Card (GPU), and i want it to be a significant improvement, BUT i dont want it to generate too much heat or too much Energy consumption...This because since it is an old computer and it has Dual XEONS it already consumes lots of energy...

Budget: Less than $80 (or i will go up to $100 if is really worth it.

The Dell Specs Manual says that these Quadro models are compatible:

- Quadro FX 540   = 35 watts   _ 128MB    _ CoreClock: 300MHz _ $20 used
- Quadro FX 3450 = 83 watts   _ 256MB    _ CoreClock: 425MHz _ $20!!!new/140new / $37used
- Quadro FX 4500 = 109 watts _ 512MB    _ CoreClock: 470MHz _ $145 new / $80used

Note: The used Quadro FX 4500 is very tempting but i think it has too much Power consumption..or am i wrong?

On the other hand, those Dell recommended models are way too old, so i was thinking that perhaps a NEWER Entry/Medium Level Geforce GPU will work ok and outperform those old Quadros, and with less energy consumption... Do you think i am right making this assumption? and also most importantly: will a NEW GPU model be COMPATIBLE with my DELL precision 470?

These are the models i have found on Amazon and Ebay for the budget, BUT i am not sure if they will work, also they mention they are PCIe 2.0, and i know that the Precision 470 is PCI 1.0 ..(does this mind at all or not?) Will the work with Windows XP Pro x64 bit?:

- Geforce 610        = 29 watts   _ 1024MB  _ CoreClock: 810MHz (PCIe 2.0) _ $50 new
- Geforce 620        = 30/49 w    _ 1GB/2GB_ CoreClock: 810MHz (PCIe 2.0) _ $60 new
- Geforce 630        = 50 watts   _ 2GB         _ CoreClock: 875MHz (PCIe 2.0) _ $65 new
- Geforce 8400GS  = 25 watts   _ 512/1GB _ CoreClock: 567MHz (PCIe 2.0) _ $30 new

Could you give me your opinion on which Video card will definetely work and be the best upgrade for this computer within the budget?

EDIT: By the way, i only want to use NVIDIA cards, presonal preference and works well with 3ds Max...
Who is Participating?
I wear a lot of hats...

"The solutions and answers provided on Experts Exchange have been extremely helpful to me over the last few years. I wear a lot of hats - Developer, Database Administrator, Help Desk, etc., so I know a lot of things but not a lot about one thing. Experts Exchange gives me answers from people who do know a lot about one thing, in a easy to use platform." -Todd S.

unrinoceronteAuthor Commented:
Check out this other follow up question...

Use Video Card without FAN?
Scott CSenior EngineerCommented:
I would go with the Geforce 630        = 50 watts   _ 2GB         _ CoreClock: 875MHz (PCIe 2.0) _ $65 one.

PCI 2.0 will drop back to 1.0.  

And, yes, I looked on GeForce's website and there are drivers for Windows XP 64-bit.
Scott CSenior EngineerCommented:
The Ultimate Tool Kit for Technolgy Solution Provi

Broken down into practical pointers and step-by-step instructions, the IT Service Excellence Tool Kit delivers expert advice for technology solution providers. Get your free copy for valuable how-to assets including sample agreements, checklists, flowcharts, and more!

unrinoceronteAuthor Commented:
Thanks to both and for the list of cards.


A) Do you believe the GeForce 630 will perform better than the Quadro FX 3450? (regardless of price)... In Specs it definetely looks better, but i remember that in the 3D forums, it is ALWAYS mentioned that the QUADRO outperforms the Geforce in VIEWPORT manipulation... Of Course that assumption is made comparing cards from similar years, but this has a big gap... The Viewport manipulation is my main concern (i do not play games nor watch videos, nor gpu rendering...)

B) What are the "parameters" or specs that one has to look for in order to be sure that a Video Card will be compatible with my computer motherboard?

Is it safe to assume that any PCIe express 16 will be compatible with my mobo? I dont think this is possible, but anyways i don´t know anything about this... What else should i look for?
Scott CSenior EngineerCommented:
A)  The Geforce 630 has a faster clock speed and twice as much memory so it should blow all of the others away.

B)  As long as it's PCIe 16 you should be fine.  I wouldn't try a version 3 though.  It should still be backwards compatible but that might be a stretch.

Just for a test I put a PCIe 3.0 in my computer which has a PCIe 2.0 slot.  The machine booted up and the card worked perfectly so it was backwards compatible.

You should see the same thing with a 2.0 card (and quite possibly a 3.0) card in your 1.0 slot.

You might want to be careful on power consumption.  If you got crazy and put a very powerful card (which I know you're not) into your comptuer you would need to upgrade your power supply.

Experts Exchange Solution brought to you by

Your issues matter to us.

Facing a tech roadblock? Get the help and guidance you need from experienced professionals who care. Ask your question anytime, anywhere, with no hassle.

Start your 7-day free trial
unrinoceronteAuthor Commented:
Thanks Scottcha, is good to know that as you say " As long as it's PCIe 16 you should be fine ". I have done a lots of comparisons, and a guy that has lots of experience on 3Ds Max and GPU benchmarks is going to sell me his old Quadro 600 for a very good price, so is almost 99% sure that i will go with that option.

The Quadro 600 is Pcie 2.0 so it will work as you mentioned, and its been known to beat those Geforces and Ati for the price range... At least on 3ds Max Viewport, which is my main concern.

If something happens, then i will go with the Geforce 630.

Thanks for your good help and advice.
It's more than this solution.Get answers and train to solve all your tech problems - anytime, anywhere.Try it for free Edge Out The Competitionfor your dream job with proven skills and certifications.Get started today Stand Outas the employee with proven skills.Start learning today for free Move Your Career Forwardwith certification training in the latest technologies.Start your trial today

From novice to tech pro — start learning today.