Page 1 of 1

Caesar IV freezes up a few minutes in

Posted: Fri Jan 07, 2011 12:19 am
by Notorious P.A.T.
Lowering all graphics and interface settings to maximize performance helped, so that now it takes 10 minutes to lock up instead of one or two. Any advice would be appreciated. Thanks!

Posted: Fri Jan 07, 2011 1:24 am
by Keith
You have a ATI Radeon X300 video card. These have no cooling fans of their own and they get hot and freeze up while playing extensive 3D games like Caesar IV.

A quick fix is to get a fan and blow it into the system through the grille in the lower corner of the left side of the computer. Or, open the case by sliding off the left side panel and blow the fan into the system focusing on the video card.

The best option is to get a new video card that has its own cooling fan.

Dell tech manuals say that the computer came in two versions, one with internal graphics and one with PCI express slots. Since you have a video card, or I hope you do, you should be able to guy a newer more powerful version graphics card. Get something that has it's own onboard cooling fan. Some lower end models have just heatsinks, stay away from those.

You may want to call Dell tech support just to see if they can confirm what type of graphics system you have. If it is the internal graphics system, you are out of luck and won't be able to do anything. If it has a video card you can upgrade to a ATI 4000 or 5000 series video card. The 6000 cards might be a bit expensive for a computer as old as yours, but that's up to you.

The ATI Radeon™ HD 5550 or ATI Radeon™ HD 5570 might be a good upgrade choice. There other more powerful and more expensive models in the 5000 series you can consider too. Both of the above have fans, and they only draw 39W of electrical power from your computer's power supply.

The Dimension 4700 power supply has a maximum rating of 305W total.

Posted: Fri Jan 07, 2011 5:16 am
by Notorious P.A.T.
You know, my computer does tend to get pretty darn hot. I'll try blowing a fan into it (ah 21st century technology!) and see if that works. Thanks for your help!

Posted: Fri Jan 07, 2011 9:33 am
by Keith
Good luck!

I'd be curious to hear back how it all goes and what you decide to do.

Posted: Mon Jan 10, 2011 4:43 am
by Notorious P.A.T.
Cooling down my machine definitely helped, but I think it's time for a new video card. I'm looking into the ones you recommended.

Posted: Mon Jan 10, 2011 5:26 am
by Keith
Well, good luck. You may want to also check out some comparable nVidia video cards as well.

If you have questions about a video card you are interested in, feel free to ask here.

Posted: Tue Jan 11, 2011 6:10 pm
by Notorious P.A.T.
Alright, thanks a lot. A relative says that my computer doesn't have enough power--250 watts--for either of those cards. How do I find out how much power it has?

Posted: Tue Jan 11, 2011 7:03 pm
by Keith
The Dell technical manual that you can find online says that the Dell Dimension 4700 has a 305W power supply.

Click on the technical specifications in the left column then page down the next page to the POWER section.

The two cards that I mentioned above only draw 39W each as per the tech spech info on the ATI website info on each card.

Posted: Tue Jan 11, 2011 10:31 pm
by Notorious P.A.T.
Aha, so we're misinterpreting the power requirement.

How much better than what I have are those two cards? Thanks again :)

Edit: Oops I see you addressed the power situation to begin with. D'oh!

Posted: Wed Jan 12, 2011 12:38 am
by Keith
It's hard to make a direct comparison. Your X300 is at least 4-5 years old if not older and it was the bottom of the line in the "X" series.

I just took another look at those two cards above again. In another section under the recommendations they recommend that you have at least af 400W power supply so the 5000 series is a bit much for your system.

I just learned that we have one other consderation to make. The older system like yours probably has what is called a "generation 1.0" PCIe slot (if it has that type of slot at all. Many of the lastest video cards in the ATI line may require a "generation 2.0" PCIe slot.

You should talk to Dell first and find out for sure what type of video slot you have.

Then you have to talk with a knowledgable salesperson that can determine what cards will work on a system with your type of PCIe slot and power supply.

On the ATI site, for a PCIe 1.0 system, they have the X series cards and the Radeon HD 2400 Pro card listed. The problem is that I don't believe that the X series card are still available, and it may be the same for the HD 2400 Pro. A 2400 would probably be a best cast upgrade if it didn't require too big of a power supply and one can be found.

I'd talk it over with a AMD/ATI tech person, but you need that info from Dell....slot type (PCIe slot type? PCe 1x, PCIe 16x and and if it is generation 1.0, 1.1 or 2.0? Power supply (to confirm) wattage? Be sure to tell them that it has to have a onboard fan!!!!

A quick look at, recommended by one of the TM staffers, turned up a VistionTek HD 2600 Pro. The info says a 300W power supply is required in the system requirement info.