The Dell Dimension L500r is a desktop computer with an Intel Pentium III processor running at a clock speed between 500 MHz and 1.1 GHz. The Dimension L500r has an Intel motherboard with the Intel 810e chipset, which includes an integrated video adapter. The video adapter offers only modest performance for 3-D games. However, you can replace it with a discrete video card.
The Intel 810e integrated video adapter supports Microsoft DirectX 9 if the latest device driver is installed, giving it the ability to run many relatively modern games. It also has hardware-assisted MPEG-2 decoding, allowing the Dimension L500r to play DVD movies smoothly. While most integrated video adapters share the main system RAM, the Intel 810e video adapter has 4MB of dedicated memory.
The Dimension L500r has a known issue that can cause video problems in Windows due to incorrect system memory usage. Dell resolved this with the A11 system BIOS on April 9, 2001. You can download the update from the Dell support website. As of the date of publication, the most recent Dimension L500r system BIOS is version A14, released on October 15, 2001.
Device Driver Updates
Dell released 19 video driver updates for the Dimension L500r between 1999 and 2001. If you’ve never checked for updated drivers since purchasing the computer, downloading the latest driver may improve its performance. Some of the enhancements in the driver updates include compatibility improvements for 3DWinBench99, “Quake II” and “Riven” and fixes for AVI video playback and OpenGL screen savers.
The default configuration of the Dimension L500r leaves you with one expansion card slot that you can use for a video card. Unfortunately, your upgrade options are limited; the Dimension L500r has only conventional PCI slots and doesn’t support the faster AGP and PCI Express standards. Two video upgrade options for the L500r are the PNY GeForce 6200 and the VisionTek Radeon X1550. The GeForce 6200 supports Windows 98 and later, while the Radeon X1550 requires Windows 2000 or later. In addition to improving 3-D game performance, a discrete video card gives the L500r the ability to run multiple monitors simultaneously. After installing a new video card, you must enter the system setup utility and change the “Primary Video Adapter” setting from “Onboard” to “PCI.”