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need help with upgrade

Discussion in 'System Builder's Advice' started by DocJay35, Oct 2, 2008.

  1. DocJay35 Guest

    hi every one i have a

    Dell inspiron 531
    AMD Athlon 64 *2 Dual-core 5600+
    2GB dual Channel DDR2 SDRAM AT 667MHZ @ DIMMs
    NVIDIA GFORCE 8600gt 256MB-DDR3
    300 watt power supply
    windows vista 32 bit

    Would like to upgrade all this stuff or some

    cpu to a AMD 6000 OR 6400
    Video Card to 8800 GT 512 OR higher if i can
    power supply

    Dell rep told me i could not upgrade at all

    any suggestion please help me
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 2, 2008
  2. ShiBDiB

    ShiBDiB

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    upgradeing will void ur warranty with dell. And have u been able to remove the parts u want to upgrade? dell might have gone all nazi and made it so they are very difficult to remove to prevent upgrades. *problly not, the rep problly said that as he would rather have u buy a new more expensive overpriced peice of crap from dell*

    I personally say u make that into an internet browsing pc and build ur own and get the safety of being able to RMA ur parts.
  3. BarbaricSoul

    BarbaricSoul

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    you can upgrade your dell, worse that will happen is you'll void your warranty.
    Crunching for Team TPU
  4. DocJay35 Guest

    OK warranty is up dose not matter :) any suggestion on any parts that mite help me cuss as of right i have no video card it went out on just as soon as the warranty i called them about it but thay told me no warranty we cant do any thing for you so i want to do what i can to get it back up and running. asap. i have a 300 watt power supply in it. please help me . i have a need to kill some one in bf2 project reality. thanks
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 2, 2008
  5. BarbaricSoul

    BarbaricSoul

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    a inexpensive nvidia 9600gt or ATI 4850 will handle BF2 with no problems.

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814130393

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814261027

    The ATI card is the stronger of the 2

    Also, I suggest you get a stronger PSU for either of those cards, atleast 400 watts and I highly recommend Corsair. My recommendation is this-

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817139003

    Very good inexpensive PSU that won't have a problem with the 9600gt or 4850 plus whatever else you might have hooked up drawing power.
    Crunching for Team TPU
  6. Shempy

    Shempy New Member

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    firstly i would change the PSU to a 500 watter. 300 is hardly enough juice for the system your running atm. a ATi 4850 is a great card for its price. it can run BF 2 on high with no problems at all.
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2008
  7. BarbaricSoul

    BarbaricSoul

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    When it comes to the CPU, I recommend getting a new motherboard at the same time. The reason being that Dell motherboard bios are locked, no or very little OC'ing is possible. A new motherboard would have new bio's that would allow you to OC your CPU thus giving you better performance.
    Crunching for Team TPU
  8. AsRock

    AsRock TPU addict

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    Yeah check PC & Power for one
    http://www.pcpower.com/products/power_supplies/dell/
  9. DocJay35 Guest

    what is the maximum video card length that i can put in the inspiron tower
  10. Homeless

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    You'd have to measure how much space is actually in the case as there's no way we can know that amount. Also as others have suggested, I HIGHLY recommend upgrading that psu if you intend to do upgrades to your system
  11. DocJay35 Guest

    plan on that. just want to know cuss the 8800GT 512 i want to get is 4.37-by-9 inches (HxL). this is the card i want to get EVGA 512-P3-N802-AR e-GeForce 8800 GT 512 MB DDR3 Superclocked Edition PCI-Express Graphics Card
  12. ChromeDome

    ChromeDome New Member

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    you're in luck because i upgraded a friend of mines ispiron 530 not too far back. i know the damn thing top to bottom side to front and back again. plus by chance you have the same processor as i do. so i can help you out just fine

    upgrading the machine is easy and straight forward. very simple. the ispiron case is a small mid tower, however. its very tight. but anything will fit inside you like. with some limitations

    first off upgrading the power supply is a must. it simply doesn't have enough connectors to accommodate a 6 pin pci graphics card. i mean it can, but until i upgraded said ispiron it had to have one drive disconnected and had to make use of sata to molex adapters to get the job done. not the most stable set up

    i would like to recommend THIS psu to you. it is already $10 off and you get an additional $15 until 10/6. free shipping. that is most likely the best $65 psu you will find anywhere. its most likely all you will ever need for the ispiron. and it has 6 sata connectors. which are great to have for future upgrades because the dell uses sata for everything. this is a top quality psu for $65. which is pretty amazing even for a 500 watter. and the cables are nice and sleeved. which could be important because you may have lots of loose wires to deal with in a tight case. so the neater the better

    the important thing to remember here is if you want to do this upgrade you WILL be changing your psu FIRST. so that is why i am taking my time here.

    i put THIS in my friends ispiron. thats a good psu at a good price right now with plenty of cables and connections. if you want something stronger. its cables aren't sleeved, so you will have to tie them up neatly and tuck them away. i had some problem in this regard with the upgrade. it just took more time and i found myself struggling to find places for all the cables. so sleeves would be nice. but its a small inconvenience for a pretty good psu.

    so something like that is sort of the "budget power" choice. Antec had a nice neopower 650w on sale a day or two ago for the same price. its "modular." which means the cables unplug so you only have to use what you need. which is good for tight cases. but its back up to $119. so i'm not going to recommend any modular psu's unless you say you want to spend a little more for a good one. or one goes on sale that isn't the somewhat poorly reviewed Antec neopower 500w

    anyway, 500w should be all you'll ever need for your set up and a higher end video card. you can't overclock on the mobo so that isn't an issue. and you are limited to two HD's and two dvd drives. and the 5600+ will only take you so far with vid cards, anyway. if you feel you might need more get some thing like the 650w Earthwatts. i can also recommend a whole slew of 600w psu's.

    but again for your system that 500w PC Power & Cooling Silencer is a perfect deal for your set up. you can pay a bit less for something else if you want. just let us know here. lots of choices. but those are some good solid examples

    often times Antec drops the price of the Earthwatts EA500 500w to around $50 or $60, too. thats my psu. its a steal at that price and i'd recommend it on sale. thats when i bought mine

    ok on to the next thing

    you can put whatever vid card you want in the case so long as you don't have the slot below it taken. its the piceX1 slot. so if thats empty you can put a dual slot card. if its taken you have to go single slot. but once you have a power supply in ANY card will fit

    however, if you have two hard drives the one on the bottom may be in the way of a long card with a dual slot cooler. so you'll want to check that. otherwise a long single slot card fits fine with two hard drive in. its tight, but it fits

    also, you may have to order longer sata cables. for the connections from the dvd drives to the mobo. the bigger video card sort of crosses in the path of these cables, and they have to sort of be rerouted around the card. i'm not sure if the cables my friend had were original, but they barely made it

    forget about changing your processor. the 6000+ or 6400+ will show you little ot no advantage over the 5600+. the 6000+ is 5% faster, the 6400+ 6% more. so...its just not worth the cost or risk to your Dell

    you will be AMAZED at the change from doing the vid card alone. get some more RAM maybe, and a better case fan because the Dell fan blows like crap.

    you'll be in business :pimp:

    but you're not doing ANYTHING until you change the psu. period. unless you want to rig it like my friend had it. i wouldn't advise it, but it was working
    MKmods says thanks.
  13. Urbklr

    Urbklr

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    As for the videocard length, you can buy 4850's that are shorter than 9"...they are non-reference. Look for the Sapphire one, it is cheap, and much shorter.
  14. ChromeDome

    ChromeDome New Member

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    yup this is really a simple psu, vid card, ram upgrade. will make a BIG difference. the case is tight, however. and not really upgrade friendly so far as space. but it all will fit
  15. Urbklr

    Urbklr

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    You should have seen the case I threw an HD4850 in a little while ago, this one should be fine:p
  16. ChromeDome

    ChromeDome New Member

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    lol yeah where there is a will there is a way

    which brings to mind the thing about the sata cables

    for TS, if the card is especially long (longer then a standard 8800GT) or perhaps even deep with a dual slot cooler, the sata cables which connect your dvd drive(s) to the mobo WILL be an issue.

    i would have to ask my friend if they are all original because one was longer then the other. but i know he replaced a drive. anyway basically the longer card runs across the cables. so the cables have one of two choices. they can go under the card or around it. and they can't go under it because they will prevent the card from seating properly. so they have to go around it

    if the card is too long (or the cables too short) they won't be able to make it around to plug into the mobo. so that is a problem, as you kind of need your dvd drives

    so that i remember. the length of the cables barely make it around an 8800GT. but cables are kinda cheap so maybe you can get some longer ones just in case
  17. DocJay35 Guest

    OK just ordered the 500 watt power supply you suggested from NewEgg. any suggestion on a memory 4 G package deal? thanks for the info helped me alot. :) :laugh:
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 3, 2008
  18. Urbklr

    Urbklr

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    I would recommend some G-Skill Pi's or, for less money, some of the more "plain" G-Skill kits.
  19. ChromeDome

    ChromeDome New Member

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    well for ram i wouldn't do anything fancy. again, your dell is a good unit. but you won't be overclocking or anything. also i believe it comes with ddr2@667mhz. we'll bump it up to the more standard 800mhz if you are replacing all four. this is a good deal and should be compatible:

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820148160

    back in stock on the 7th

    however, i must say in your system an entire RAM "upgrade" really isn't necessary. and yes you can mix RAM brands. so long as compatible. i've been doing it for some time

    the 800MHZ RAM will basically show you negligible performance increase in your Dell. so if you don't want to swap them all out (and assuming you have only 2 sticks using just two of the four RAM slots) you can simply dump two more gigs of compatible RAM in. this is guaranteed compatible with what you are already using:

    http://www.crucial.com/store/mpartspecs.aspx?mtbpoid=E0E3C4B8A5CA7304

    buy 2 of those and you'd be great. buy 4 and you'd sort of be wasting your money. i would give the newegg link, but they are charging $3 more + shipping. so if you can order direct from crucial, great. if not, look for it on newegg

    but that is really all you need. its good quality and for your purposes will work as well as any "gamer" RAM or w/e. lets put it this way, you'll never slap yourself on the forehead and say 'man i should have gotten that fancy RAM with yellow heat spreaders that cost twice as much!'

    it just won't happen. you're good to go with the above. the BIG improvement, the one you want to see, will come from the video card

    good job picking up that psu, however. if you need any help or have any questions about installing it or w/e come back and ask. i post everyday here, basically. might take several hours sometimes between posts. but i will check in. we also have a pm system here you can use to ask people stuff :)
    Last edited: Oct 4, 2008
  20. ChromeDome

    ChromeDome New Member

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    before i go to bed i would also like to point out this:


    if you see that or someone mentions it elsewhere, think nothing of it. its just marketing for nubs. its the EXACT SAME unit as the one you ordered. exact same tech specs, connectors, and power ratings. if their is a difference its in the size by a very small margin. and that is why some Dell owners have said its "too small" or "doesn't fit right" in some cases. so it fits right in some other oddball Dell cases

    Dell used to use "proprietary" stuff in its builds. not so much now. the power supply coming out of your 531 is nothing special. its a 300w OEM you can find in any pile for $30. the fact PC Power and Cooling sells a specific "Dell" model otherwise like the one you are getting is mostly hype to make sales. and if in fact its a little smaller to fit some Dell set ups better

    but its nearly $40 more and the exact same thing. your mobo was made by Asus. nothing special about it. its a non descript generic OEM mobo. regular connections and power needs, power management, etc. this is the power supply Dell puts in your computer (made by Bestec)

    http://www.censuspc.com/Bestec-300W-ATX-Power-Supply-Bulk-SKU-ATX-300D5WB-pr-7482.html

    nothing special about it. nothing at all. and the one you're getting is much better. so go forward with your upgrade with confidence


    also, since we're talking power, the cheapo way of doing this would be to use these:

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16812263002

    you can read the reviews and see how people are using them with Dell's. i can't recommend that to you, but it does work. the problem is you lose the ability to add an additional dvd and hard drive. or lose the use of two if you already have two of each . so your unit can only ever use one dvd drive and one hard drive. + if you want to upgrade again, forget it. 8800GT kind of cards are the psu's limit. you'd be putting yourself in another upgrade situation, basically. so its a definite case of "sooner or later." and its usually sooner

    but more so the unit i upgraded had the same set up. it ran fine apparently, but when i checked it out the psu was very warm at idle and under load it made the outer top edge of the case hot. and i mean HOT. which means the psu was hot

    now they do get warm. and some things inside them will get hot. but they shouldn't be able to make any part of your case feel like a warm clothes iron. they are supposed to help keep things cool with their fan

    so yeah it works, but i could never say 'hey just do this!'
    Last edited: Oct 4, 2008
  21. DocJay35 Guest

    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 4, 2008
  22. DocJay35 Guest

    just wondering if i need to think about cases fans cooling or memory cooling or cpu cooling. any suggestions. just trying to get all the info i can. just worried about over heating. thats all.
  23. ChromeDome

    ChromeDome New Member

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    well i want to help you the best i can so i had the dude who's upgrade i did send me some quick pics. i circled important parts as necessary. these are really BIG so i'm linking them. so this is YOUR DELL exactly. save these for future reference

    the first one shows two circled areas to the right



    pay attention to the red and orange FLAT cables in the blue circle. ignore the others. those are the cables i'm talking about that are in the way of the video card. so they must be routed around


    circled in red in this next pic shows the cards length. as you can see ANY length card will fit so long as those SATA cables are long enough to go around it




    ok i wanted to make sure of the dual slot issue specifically. and you may run into some trouble here. which means it may be trouble for the card you want. look at the red line in this next pic. its drawn on top of a pci card. right above the pci card you can see a flat silver box to the left. that is another pcieX1 card taking up a slot. you just can't tell from the pic. and this is where YOUR dual slot card would find room if YOUR slot is empty. above that you can see the single slot 8800GT



    now if you look to the right of the photo where the red line ends you will see some flat blue and red cables. THIS is the problem area

    in the next photo clrcled in yellow, that is the BOTTOM of the installed vid card. or the top, however you prefer to see it. its the heatsink and cover, since vid cards hang upside down. anyway, you can see its reflecting stuff from the flash, so that is the 8800GT. the encircled blue is where the dual slot cooler would fit....encircled in red....is the trouble :(



    the red and orange cables you see in the circle are SATA cables from the dvd drives. the blue is the HD cable. as you can see, a dual slot cooler would impose on these cables somewhat. now, the card doesn't seat all the way down on the mobo, though. i thought it seated lower, but there is space between the card and the mobo

    so, in my opinion, the only way to get that 8800 Ultra in this unit (or any other dual slot card with a large heatsink) would be to replace these cables with longer ones, plug them in BEFORE you install the card, and install the card on top of them, as you position them to stay out of the way. so the SATA cables would have to be long enough to flex, bend, and comply so as no to interfere with the dual slot cover and vice versa. in this instance they would run UNDER the card rather then around

    however, look at the pic again. this unit has two dvd drives, and it looks like he has taken out an HD since i worked on it. so it has just one HD. look at the pic again. you see the red and blue cables? one is an HD and one is a dvd drive. if you have just one HD and one dvd drive you can run them both from these plugs on the mobo, leaving the two up top empty. this way yes, the heatsink of the 8800 Ultra should fit without doubt. because nothing would be in the way. just run the SATA cables around the card like normal. and as said, the pics don't show that the vid card clears these plugs on the mobo. its raised above them. if just barely

    so imo a single slot solution is most convenient. but a dual slot is not out of the question with some effort. also, not all dual slot cards have full covers/heatsinks. as you know some just have large dual slot fans with no cover. so those would also be an option. but anything like the 8800 Ultra will offer you some extra challenges



    this next one is just FYI




    see the wire circled in orange. thats just from that case fan. i'd recommend you do this. case fans are cheap, try to get a quiet one because the Dell's is quiet. so if you want to keep your computer quiet get something you can live with. however the Dell fan is quiet because its hooked to the mobo and doesn't move enough air imo. its maximum rpm is something like 1200. the one on this case moves at 2400rpm constant. so you just take one out and put another in and plug the other right into the psu, not the mobo. so make sure it has a molex connector or an adapter. so far as memory cooling or cpu cooling, nah, you're ok. but if you want to make changes....one thing at a time. but no. especially on the memory side

    oh, and that stuff circled in blue is the HD and the area below is where another would go in your case. which may or may not be hindered to fit by a dual slot cooler. but i would doubt it

    hope the pics helped. anymore questions feel free to ask
    Last edited: Oct 16, 2008
  24. ChromeDome

    ChromeDome New Member

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  25. Urbklr

    Urbklr

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    That card is I think 10.5" long, so...it would be a tight fit. If you have open space in front of the mobo, like, 2 inches of open space, you will have room.

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