What Video Card Connection Is Available Inside a Dell Optiplex GX260?

What Video Card Connection Is Available Inside a Dell Optiplex GX260? thumbnail
Dell PCs, new and old, are found in many homes and offices.

Dell shipped the OptiPlex GX260 desktop computer in 2002 with motherboard-integrated graphics that draw upon a maximum of 48MB of system memory. Considering that many modern, discrete graphics cards are equipped with 1GB or more of video memory, you may wish to upgrade the GX260 via its video card expansion slot. The latest video cards aren't compatible with the video card connection on the GX260's motherboard, but even lesser models can greatly improve the computer's graphics performance.

  1. Video Card Connection Type

    • The video card connection on the GX260 is an Accelerated Graphics Port 2.0, supporting 4x data transfer speeds of 1 GB/sec. If you choose an 8x AGP card, which are the most widely available, confirm its compatibility first. Typically, however, an 8x AGP video card will operate in a 4x slot, although at the lower data transfer speed. AGP display adapter slots have long since been replaced by the PCI-Express interface on computer motherboards. Be sure not to select a PCI-E video card, as it will not work in the GX260.

    OptiPlex GX260 Configurations

    • A key factor in choosing a video card for the GX260 is its form factor, or case type. Dell produced the GX260 in three case sizes: small form factor, small desktop and the largest size, small mini-tower. The tight quarters of the small-form-factor model support only "low-profile" video cards, measuring a maximum of 2.5 inches in height and 6.6 inches in length. The small-desktop models support "half-length" cards of up to 4.2 inches in height and 6.95 inches in length. Owners of the mini-tower have the largest choice of video cards since this model supports widely available standard AGP cards of up to 9 inches in length.

    Power Supply

    • The biggest challenge in upgrading the video card on a GX260 is ensuring the computer has an adequate power supply to operate an AGP display adapter. The power supplies on the GX260 varied by case form factor, with small-form-factor models receiving a 160-watt power supply, the small desktop, a 180-watt power supply, and the mini-tower, 250 watts. A 250-watt power supply may be barely adequate to support an AGP card; a 350-watt unit would be better. Check the video card manufacturer's system requirements to confirm the card's power needs. Replacement computer power supplies are generally not difficult to install.

    Best Options

    • For best performance, seek an AGP video card with 512MB of video memory. You're unlikely to find an AGP card with more than that amount since PCI-E cards now dominate the market. Even a 256MB card will provide significantly better performance than the computer's on-board graphics. Keep in mind that processor speed and RAM also affect video performance. Some GX260 models are equipped with a Pentium 4 processor and others with slower Celeron CPUs. It's worth the effort to install the maximum amount of RAM -- 2GB -- supported on the PC.

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