recent hardware upgrades to the Vista box

So, as you may remember from previous postings, I was using the integrated graphics in this Dell Dimension 4700 box, and while they passed all the non-WDDM (IOW, hardware) specs for Aero (Pixel Shader 2.0, DirectX 9.0, 128MB, 32bpp, etc. etc.), no WDDM driver existed so no Aero for me. 

I was actually fine with that up until Windows Movie Maker wouldn’t run because if it.  Now, I could have gone a different route (use XP in a VPC, use Jessica’s XP machine, use something on the linux box, use a different app on the Vista box, etc.) but since I had a long-term goal of getting dual-monitor on the dell anyway, it gave me an excuse and outlet for some christmas gift cards.

Since I’m still pretty cheap, though, I picked up the Sapphire (ATI) Radeon X1300 card for $47 (newegg) and the second monitor was a Samsung 931B 19″ LCD for $230 (bestbuy.com with free shipping… that’s where my gift card was and it’s an easier return than a web-only shop :).  Oh, and since the Samsung didn’t come with it, a $15 DVI cable from Amazon (I had a Dr. Seuss book I needed to order anyway, so it was free shipping).  Since the card does dual-monitor via 1 analog and 1 digital connection (same as my setup at work), I needed the DVI cable since the Dell E193FP I already had is analog-only.

The only downside is I didn’t expect that the on-board fan for this card would be quite as loud as it is.  It’s not horrific, but the machine’s now definitely louder than it was before this card 🙂

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