• This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn more.

Dell Dimension 3100


Geeky

New Member
Posts
40
#1
As my wife's PC was recently attacked by a virus, I decided to upgrade it from the OEM XP to retail Win 8 Pro and then 8.1 Pro. To avoid any risks with viral remnants, I purchased a new 500GB hard drive with the aim of doing a clean install - all essential data being backed up on an external HD.
The Win 8 retail pack contains both 32-bit and 64-bit versions so I started by installing the 64-bit version. This worked perfectly until it came to the online upgrade to 8.1, which was refused. A bit of research showed that the Dimension 3100 does work fine with the 64-bit version of Win 8 but not 8.1. However, the 32-bit version is upgradable and that is what I did next.
So, I now have the 32-bit version of Win 8.1 Pro working perfectly, apart from one-thing - the sleep option is missing from the shutdown selection. A bit more research and I discover that the display driver provided in 8.1 is the MS Basic Display Adapter (Adaptor) and that this driver does not include the sleep option. On the other hand, the hibernate function seems to work in the same way as the sleep function on my other 8.1 system.
My question, therefore, is - am I likely to encounter any other display limitations? The display tests that I have run (dxdiag ad DirectX 9) all pass perfectly and the overall performance of the system is excellent.
I suppose a new graphics card would be an option if difficulties occur at a later date but this is a basic browsing machine with no games requirements or other intense graphics demands.
 
Last edited:

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Win 8.1
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    System Manufacturer/Model
    Asus ACPI x64
    CPU
    Pentium E5200 @ 3.25Ghz
    Motherboard
    ASUS P5KPL-CM
    Memory
    4GB
    Graphics Card(s)
    NVIDIA
    Browser
    Firefox 31.0
    Antivirus
    Avast Free

fireberd

Beach Observer
VIP Member
Pro User
Inverness, FL

Posts
1,811
#2
The "Old" Dimension 3100 is a poor candidate for Windows 8 and I'm surprised it works as well as it does for you. Dell only supports XP and Vista 32 bit, for drivers on this model. I suspect whatever you have now is best you can do.
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Win 10
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    System Manufacturer/Model
    Home Built
    CPU
    i7 6700K
    Motherboard
    ASUS ROG Maximus VIII Hero
    Memory
    16 Gb G Skill TridentZ DDR4 3400
    Graphics Card(s)
    Intel (i7 CPU)
    Sound Card
    RealTek Integrated
    Monitor(s) Displays
    27" Dell SE2717HR
    Screen Resolution
    1920X1080
    Hard Drives
    500GB Samsung 850 SSD, 3TB for backups
    PSU
    EVGA Supernova 750 G2
    Case
    BeQuiet Silent Base 600
    Cooling
    Deepcool Captain 120EX
    Keyboard
    Microsoft Wireless
    Mouse
    Logitech wireless
    Internet Speed
    Cable - 100MB Downlink
    Browser
    Edge/Firefox
    Antivirus
    Microsoft
    Other Info
    Sonar Platinum 64 bit recording studio software with MOTU 896Mk3 Hybrid recording interface unit.

Geeky

New Member
Posts
40
#3
The "Old" Dimension 3100 is a poor candidate for Windows 8 and I'm surprised it works as well as it does for you. Dell only supports XP and Vista 32 bit, for drivers on this model. I suspect whatever you have now is best you can do.
Thanks for your comments. Only a few days so far but it is a fantastic improvement over XP Pro in terms of speed and has shown no signs of any problems, graphics or otherwise. I was just concerned to know if there might be some issue that I've overlooked. Soldier on, I suppose, with my fingers crossed.
We're still using an old 4:3 monitor and I would like to upgrade that to a widescreen unit. Maybe that will put more demands on the display adapter.
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Win 8.1
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    System Manufacturer/Model
    Asus ACPI x64
    CPU
    Pentium E5200 @ 3.25Ghz
    Motherboard
    ASUS P5KPL-CM
    Memory
    4GB
    Graphics Card(s)
    NVIDIA
    Browser
    Firefox 31.0
    Antivirus
    Avast Free

popeye

New Member
VIP Member
Guru
United States

Posts
3,090
#4

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 8.1 Pro 64-bit
    Computer type
    Laptop
    System Manufacturer/Model
    Acer V3 771G-6443
    CPU
    i5-3230m
    Motherboard
    Acer VA70_HC (U3E1)
    Memory
    8GB DDR3 PC3-12800 (800 MHz)
    Graphics Card(s)
    HD4000 + GeForce GT 730M
    Sound Card
    Realtek High Definition Audio
    Monitor(s) Displays
    17" Generic PnP Display on Intel HD Graphics 4000
    Screen Resolution
    1600x900 pixels
    Hard Drives
    Samsung SSD 850 EVO 250 GB
    ADATA SSD SP900 128GB
    PSU
    90 watt brick
    Mouse
    Bluetooth
    Antivirus
    Comodo
    Other Info
    Asus RT-AC56R dual-band WRT router (Merlin firmware). Intel 7260.HMWWB.R dual-band ac wireless adapter.

Geeky

New Member
Posts
40
#5

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Win 8.1
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    System Manufacturer/Model
    Asus ACPI x64
    CPU
    Pentium E5200 @ 3.25Ghz
    Motherboard
    ASUS P5KPL-CM
    Memory
    4GB
    Graphics Card(s)
    NVIDIA
    Browser
    Firefox 31.0
    Antivirus
    Avast Free

popeye

New Member
VIP Member
Guru
United States

Posts
3,090
#6
If it were me and I wanted to keep it going for a few more years, I'd buy a cheap dedicated graphics card that's 8.1 compatible.

Be sure it is something that won't draw too much power from the 230w PSU.
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 8.1 Pro 64-bit
    Computer type
    Laptop
    System Manufacturer/Model
    Acer V3 771G-6443
    CPU
    i5-3230m
    Motherboard
    Acer VA70_HC (U3E1)
    Memory
    8GB DDR3 PC3-12800 (800 MHz)
    Graphics Card(s)
    HD4000 + GeForce GT 730M
    Sound Card
    Realtek High Definition Audio
    Monitor(s) Displays
    17" Generic PnP Display on Intel HD Graphics 4000
    Screen Resolution
    1600x900 pixels
    Hard Drives
    Samsung SSD 850 EVO 250 GB
    ADATA SSD SP900 128GB
    PSU
    90 watt brick
    Mouse
    Bluetooth
    Antivirus
    Comodo
    Other Info
    Asus RT-AC56R dual-band WRT router (Merlin firmware). Intel 7260.HMWWB.R dual-band ac wireless adapter.

Geeky

New Member
Posts
40
#7
If it were me and I wanted to keep it going for a few more years, I'd buy a cheap dedicated graphics card that's 8.1 compatible.

Be sure it is something that won't draw too much power from the 230w PSU.
I haven't yet seen any deficiencies in graphics functionality so there's no reason to spend more money on a graphics card. The only 'problem' is the lack of the 'sleep' function but 'hibernate' seems to do the same thing so there's no real difficulty up to now. Probably no-one wants to put effort into developing an 8.1 driver for such an old PC so I guess we'll soldier on until such time as further upgrades make it unusable.
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Win 8.1
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    System Manufacturer/Model
    Asus ACPI x64
    CPU
    Pentium E5200 @ 3.25Ghz
    Motherboard
    ASUS P5KPL-CM
    Memory
    4GB
    Graphics Card(s)
    NVIDIA
    Browser
    Firefox 31.0
    Antivirus
    Avast Free

Geeky

New Member
Posts
40
#8
I just came across this old thread and thought it worthy of updating. My wife is still using this PC daily and I have upgraded it further to Windows 10 Pro (32-bit). This is a great improvement over 8.1 Pro and now provides full functionality, including the 'Sleep' option.
We recently decided to purchase a widescreen monitor (LG 22MP57) and that has a beautiful clear picture quality. However, as previously observed, the onboard graphics chipset does not have a driver upgrade path for widescreen. Consequently, the best compromise we can achieve is an image that is stretched horizontally (1024x768).
I have now entered into the tangled jungle of video card selection. Firstly, we have the big question as to which (if any) graphics cards that fit PCIe x1 or PCI x1 slots also offer 1920x1080 resolution? Among new PCIe cards that would fit, one that seems a possibility (on paper) is the GeForce GT730 LP. That has a PCIe x2 interface, which is supposedly backwards compatible with x1. To avoid wasting my money purchasing one of these, it would first be useful to know if anyone else has tried this card in the Dimension 3100. Alternatively, has anyone found a satisfactory way to get 1920x1080 resolution on a Dimension 3100?
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Win 8.1
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    System Manufacturer/Model
    Asus ACPI x64
    CPU
    Pentium E5200 @ 3.25Ghz
    Motherboard
    ASUS P5KPL-CM
    Memory
    4GB
    Graphics Card(s)
    NVIDIA
    Browser
    Firefox 31.0
    Antivirus
    Avast Free

Geeky

New Member
Posts
40
#9
Well, talking to myself as usual. I decided to splash out on the GT 730 but it was a mistake to think it would be plain sailing. The card was recognised by the system and delivered VGA output but still with the same small selection of 4:3 resolutions. I had a lot of difficulty trying to download the driver from the Zotac web site. Then Windows Update announced that it was automatically downloading an NVIDIA driver. After installation, a reboot was required and that's where the trouble started. The boot sequence reached the blue Windows logo screen, with the rotating dots but, after a few rotations, the dots stopped. I left it for an hour but nothing more happened. I tried several reboots and managed to get into Safe Mode, where I disabled the NVIDIA driver in Device Manager. The system booted and I then tried an HDMi cable and found that it now worked and delivered a very sharp picture in 1920x1080 resolution. Uhh? Without the driver? Further investigation showed that, with the NVIDIA driver disabled, Windows 10 reverts to the MS Basic Display Adapter but interfacing to the GT 730 graphics card. Consequently, the card ia acting as a VGA to HDMi adapter and delivers a full selection of resolutions. It therefore does all that my wife needs, producing a nice proportional, excellent quality image.
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Win 8.1
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    System Manufacturer/Model
    Asus ACPI x64
    CPU
    Pentium E5200 @ 3.25Ghz
    Motherboard
    ASUS P5KPL-CM
    Memory
    4GB
    Graphics Card(s)
    NVIDIA
    Browser
    Firefox 31.0
    Antivirus
    Avast Free

Users Who Are Viewing This Thread (Users: 0, Guests: 1)