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Dell Workstation Owners Club

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Location
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System Name “Frankenstein” Dell T5500 (installed in T3500 case)
Processor Xeon X5675
Motherboard Dell T5500
Cooling Dell Air cooler 0U016F
Memory 24 GB ECC Registered. DDR3 (4GB x 6)
Video Card(s) Sapphire R9 380X Nitro 4GB
Storage SATA SSD and WD HD
Display(s) Dell 24” LCD
Case Dell T3500 (donor)
Audio Device(s) Intel 2.0 HD audio on board
Power Supply Dell T5500 875 watt job. Nice beefy PS, but ugly power harness.
Mouse Um...generic?
Keyboard Dell basic keyboard
Software Windows 10 Pro 64 and PC Linux OS Mate 64
Benchmark Scores Coming!
#51
I have heard one place to go for “bargains” is a weird computer repair shop in town. Near a tattoo parlor and pawn shop. They have some piles of Dells and HPs apparently. I doubt I will find a T3500 or T5500 laying around, but I may stop by there at lunch and see what’s shaking.

For anyone who might want to play around with T3500/T5500 motherboard instead of a whole system, if you get a bare front I/O Panel and cable (Dell,PN JN454 and X389H), it will make life much easier. You will have the diagnostic LEDs to help with troubleshooting and you won’t get BIOS errors every time you boot. I got those two,parts on eBay for $14 shipped and well worth it to avoid having to rig up something. I found some help on reddit (posted earlier) if you really want to roll your own, but it wasn’t worth the hassle for me.

There is also the issue of having the two fans plugged in. For now, I am using the stock fans plugged in (Dell PN HW856 and CP232). I bought those for $15 shipped. You can cut and splice you own 4-pin PWM fans to the connectors or I understand there are Dell 5 pin to 4 pin fan adapters.


Just throwing out some hints that made it possible for me to boot and test this MB with minimum hassle.

Here is some more info. on RAM configurations for the X5600 series Xeons. Not quite as strict as the X5500 series. They tolerate 2 modules per channel OK. But unbalanced configurations are shown.
https://www.siliconmechanics.com/files/OriginalWestmereInfo.pdf
That link is very helpful. I am new to the whole Xeon world, as a builder that is, so still on the learning curve.

After reading that, I asked myself “Where are the W36xx series in that discussion?”

Popping over to the Intel site and doing some compares on the X56xx and W36xx, I can finally get a better handle on why the E56 and X56 series are “server chips” and the W36 series are “workstation chips”.

For one thing, the W chips only support 24GB RAM. The E and X can go much higher, in server configs. But I am assuming the highest end W chips have better potential single thread performance? Maybe that’s assuming too much, but experience shows they are highest overclockers on this Dell platform.
 
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#52
Hello,
My new computer is a ten years old Precision T5500 bought on ebay a month ago. Unfortunately, the BIOS version is A02. I plan to install GTX card, may be a 750ti to give it a try.
Did some of you upgrade the BIOS with success? What would be the minimal BIOS version to support a GTX (750, 960, ...) ? Thanks
I update to the most recent.
I went for the X5687 4 core 3.6Ghz, and maybe double down on that.
If all they're doing or the main focus is gaming, that would be an excellent option as most games still don't really need more than four cores and higher ghz will be more useful.
you won’t get BIOS errors every time you boot.
You're going to need Dell brand fans as the connector is unique and the bios will also get errors if they are not found.
 
Joined
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Messages
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Location
Southeast USA
System Name “Frankenstein” Dell T5500 (installed in T3500 case)
Processor Xeon X5675
Motherboard Dell T5500
Cooling Dell Air cooler 0U016F
Memory 24 GB ECC Registered. DDR3 (4GB x 6)
Video Card(s) Sapphire R9 380X Nitro 4GB
Storage SATA SSD and WD HD
Display(s) Dell 24” LCD
Case Dell T3500 (donor)
Audio Device(s) Intel 2.0 HD audio on board
Power Supply Dell T5500 875 watt job. Nice beefy PS, but ugly power harness.
Mouse Um...generic?
Keyboard Dell basic keyboard
Software Windows 10 Pro 64 and PC Linux OS Mate 64
Benchmark Scores Coming!
#53
...
You're going to need Dell brand fans as the connector is unique and the bios will also get errors if they are not found.
I got the T5500 fan assembly $15 shipped and it works fine. I had seen posts that some folks were able to splice a four pin PWM fan into the Dell fan connector. For testing I didnt bother, I just bought the Dell fans and have them blowing on the CPU cooler and RAM.

And one more thing you might run into if running a bare T5500 motherboard - the intrusion detection switch. That error you can disable in the BIOS. No need to buy that for basic testing unless you plan to hook up an intrusion switch and want to make sure it works.

All the USB ports on my bare board are working, audio, etc. Haven't test all the RAM slots, but DIMM 1-3 are fine. I need to test the network port. So far its checking out OK.
 
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#54
I had seen posts that some folks were able to splice a four pin PWM fan into the Dell fan connector.
It's tricky and not all PMW fans work. Weird stuff. Has to do with the way the fan controller expects to get signaling from the fan circuitry.
And one more thing you might run into if running a bare T5500 motherboard - the intrusion detection switch. That error you can disable in the BIOS.
Yup, I always disable for home use scenarios as it's really only useful in professional environments.
 
Joined
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Messages
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Location
Southeast USA
System Name “Frankenstein” Dell T5500 (installed in T3500 case)
Processor Xeon X5675
Motherboard Dell T5500
Cooling Dell Air cooler 0U016F
Memory 24 GB ECC Registered. DDR3 (4GB x 6)
Video Card(s) Sapphire R9 380X Nitro 4GB
Storage SATA SSD and WD HD
Display(s) Dell 24” LCD
Case Dell T3500 (donor)
Audio Device(s) Intel 2.0 HD audio on board
Power Supply Dell T5500 875 watt job. Nice beefy PS, but ugly power harness.
Mouse Um...generic?
Keyboard Dell basic keyboard
Software Windows 10 Pro 64 and PC Linux OS Mate 64
Benchmark Scores Coming!
#55
So I was able to upgrade my T5500 BIOS to A016 with no problems today.

Now waiting for my new X5675 Westmere CPU to arrive. I expect it to work but will report back for those who might be considering an upgrade.
 
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#56
So I was able to upgrade my T5500 BIOS to A016 with no problems today. Now waiting for my new X5675 Westmere CPU to arrive. I expect it to work but will report back for those who might be considering an upgrade.
Well nice!
 
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System Name Dell T3500
Processor Xeon X5687
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Cooling Dell U016F
Memory 12gb ECC 1333
Video Card(s) MSI rx480 gaming X
Storage 1tb WD blue
Case Dell T3500
#57
Good to see some more new faces here :cool:

Been lurking from the sidelines because I had nothing new to add. And was waiting until I could share results with three 8gb RDIMMs in the T5500 board.

However, I have been dealt a major snag. The board acts dead now. Not even any beep codes. Only get the solid Amber light with #1 and #2 flashing four times before complete shut down. Which indicates a System board Regulator Failure.
t5500. failure.1a.jpg

Changed back to a T3500 board with everything else the same. Boots up no problem. Put the T5500 board back in. Same again as described above. Cleared CMOS. No go. Even tried the Nehalem CPU again just in case something happened with updated BIOS. Still no go.

The board was working perfectly in every way a couple weeks ago. Did unplug the power strip before going on vacation. And now this. Seems like odd timing.

Never did get to try the shiny new RDIMMs. So looking at T5500 boards on eBay now. Unless someone here knows something else I can try.
 
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Joined
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Location
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System Name “Frankenstein” Dell T5500 (installed in T3500 case)
Processor Xeon X5675
Motherboard Dell T5500
Cooling Dell Air cooler 0U016F
Memory 24 GB ECC Registered. DDR3 (4GB x 6)
Video Card(s) Sapphire R9 380X Nitro 4GB
Storage SATA SSD and WD HD
Display(s) Dell 24” LCD
Case Dell T3500 (donor)
Audio Device(s) Intel 2.0 HD audio on board
Power Supply Dell T5500 875 watt job. Nice beefy PS, but ugly power harness.
Mouse Um...generic?
Keyboard Dell basic keyboard
Software Windows 10 Pro 64 and PC Linux OS Mate 64
Benchmark Scores Coming!
#58
Susquehannock, if you are using the same PS, I guess nothing changed there. Might double check your power cables to ensure they are good and snug. I did read on the Dell forum that somebody had a similar error when the added a riser card and second CPU. Turns out they had to upgrade to a bigger PS and then it booted.
 
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#59
Susquehannock, if you are using the same PS, I guess nothing changed there. Might double check your power cables to ensure they are good and snug. I did read on the Dell forum that somebody had a similar error when the added a riser card and second CPU. Turns out they had to upgrade to a bigger PS and then it booted.
Um, what's with the larger font & all bold?

@Susquehannock TechyTed likely has a good point. If the system was booting before the second CPU was installed but now doesn't it's likely the power supply borked and needs an upgraded replacement. The T5500 came with an 1100w PSU from Dell but the bare minimum is a 750w if you're not planning a high wattage video card(less than 150w). I'd go with the 1100w though because why go with the minimums? All of that presumes Dell branded PSU's and the matching wiring harness'. Dell cases do generally accept standard PSU's in which case a 900-950w PSU would be good. The Dell PSU's are of high quality and worthy of first consideration.
 
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System Name Dell T3500
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Storage 1tb WD blue
Case Dell T3500
#60
Yeah. The big bold text startled me - lol

The T5500 came with 875w PSU actually. The 1,100 units are for the larger T7500 and would take some modifications to fit in T3500/5500 case. Needing more power for the CPU riser makes perfect sense, and second EPS connector is required. Been considering a 875w unit as I may decide to go second CPU later on. They seem to average around $40.

Strange thing here is only difference from when the T5500 board in T3500 case was running, and then refused to post, is about 2-3 weeks time. Duration of which the entire set up was not connected to power in any way. Just coincidence I guess. No big loss since the board was a freebie and originally destined for the trash.

Considering one of the part #D883F boards since it has an active heatsink on both chipsets. Hopefully the eBay seller accepts my offer.
 
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#61
Needing more power for the CPU riser makes perfect sense, and second EPS connector is required. Been considering a 875w unit as I may decide to go second CPU later on.
Oh, thinking I misunderstood. You didn't have a second CPU for it?

The T5500 came with a 875w PSU actually. The 1,100 unit is for the larger T7500
There were some T5500's that came with a 1100w PSU because of the higher-end workstation GPU's being packaged with the systems.
 
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System Name Dell T3500
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Video Card(s) MSI rx480 gaming X
Storage 1tb WD blue
Case Dell T3500
#62
Oh, thinking I misunderstood. You didn't have a second CPU for it?
There were some T5500's that came with a 1100w PSU because of the higher-end workstation GPU's being packaged with the systems.
Same single CPU set up as before.

Interesting. Did not know that about the 1,100w. They are about 2 inches longer. Upon measuring it should be possible to squeeze one in there. Comparing specs looks like the only difference is the 1,100 unit has an extra +12v rail. Doubtful I would need that much power. Nice to have options.
 
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Location
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System Name “Frankenstein” Dell T5500 (installed in T3500 case)
Processor Xeon X5675
Motherboard Dell T5500
Cooling Dell Air cooler 0U016F
Memory 24 GB ECC Registered. DDR3 (4GB x 6)
Video Card(s) Sapphire R9 380X Nitro 4GB
Storage SATA SSD and WD HD
Display(s) Dell 24” LCD
Case Dell T3500 (donor)
Audio Device(s) Intel 2.0 HD audio on board
Power Supply Dell T5500 875 watt job. Nice beefy PS, but ugly power harness.
Mouse Um...generic?
Keyboard Dell basic keyboard
Software Windows 10 Pro 64 and PC Linux OS Mate 64
Benchmark Scores Coming!
#63
Sorry about the big font, didnt mean to startle you. :)

I was cutting and pasting your name on my phone and it automatocally switched to the big font.

....Considering one of the part #D883F boards since it has an active heatsink on both chipsets. Hopefully the eBay seller accepts my offer.
Thats the board model that I got off eBay for $36 shipped, including E5520 cpu. Its got two fans on the chips, plus heatsink on the VRMs. I deliberately picked a board with s CPU because I was hoping that would reduce the chance of bent socket pins in shipping.

Speaking of socket pins, did you give them a good look when swapping CPUs? One or two bent socket pins can cause weird boot up or RAM problems.

Anyone who is considering a T5500 or T7500, there is some good technical information on them from Dell at this link:

http://i.dell.com/sites/content/bus...nts/Precision-T7500-T5500-Technical-Guide.pdf

I notice the latest CPU listed is "Intel® Xeon® Processor X5580 3.20GHz, 6.4GT/s, 130 watts, 8MB L3 cache "

Hopefully with the A016 BIOS update, the X56xx series will be supported as well.
 
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Joined
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Messages
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Location
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System Name “Frankenstein” Dell T5500 (installed in T3500 case)
Processor Xeon X5675
Motherboard Dell T5500
Cooling Dell Air cooler 0U016F
Memory 24 GB ECC Registered. DDR3 (4GB x 6)
Video Card(s) Sapphire R9 380X Nitro 4GB
Storage SATA SSD and WD HD
Display(s) Dell 24” LCD
Case Dell T3500 (donor)
Audio Device(s) Intel 2.0 HD audio on board
Power Supply Dell T5500 875 watt job. Nice beefy PS, but ugly power harness.
Mouse Um...generic?
Keyboard Dell basic keyboard
Software Windows 10 Pro 64 and PC Linux OS Mate 64
Benchmark Scores Coming!
#64
Well tracking info says my X5675 is somewhere near the local PO.

Maybe at my house soon?

(Tapping my fingers waiting)
 
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Video Card(s) MSI rx480 gaming X
Storage 1tb WD blue
Case Dell T3500
#65
Speaking of socket pins, did you give them a good look when swapping CPUs? One or two bent socket pins can cause weird boot up or RAM problems.
Good thinking. I did track down a random RAM error to a couple bent pins in a T3500 before I passed it along to a friend as a gaming rig. Think that one got a 960ti.

Went over the socket in this T5500 board with a jeweler's loupe a few times several months back when I could not get it to boot. Tracked the issue down to the older BIOS not being Westmere compatible. Here is the post:
https://www.techpowerup.com/forums/threads/throttlestop-overclocking-desktop-pcs.235975/post-3828971

This time it shows a completely different error. Will look the socket over again. Never know. I may have bent some changing CPU so often.

[edit]
Just found out the eBay seller accepted my $24 offer on that #D883F board. So will have that to play with soon.
 
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jeanpat

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System Name Dell Precision T5500
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Video Card(s) ASUS GTX 960, 4Gb
Storage 128 ssd
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#66
Hello,

The optical reader (dvd) fails to read cd/dvd (under ubuntu), the LED light on when a cdrom is inserted, then nothing.
Could it be a software issue or the optical reader died?
 

dorsetknob

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Dorset where else eh? >>> Thats ENGLAND<<<
#67
I may have bent some changing CPU so often.
Think i read somewhere that the LGA Socket is Rated for 25 removal/replacment's ( carefully done of course)

[PDF]LGA1150 Socket — Application Guide - Intel
https://www.intel.com/content/dam/www/.../4th-gen-core-lga1150-socket-guide.pdf
This chapter describes a surface mount, LGA (Land Grid Array) socket ... The housing material is thermoplastic or equivalent with UL 94 V-0 flame rating ... The socket must withstand 20 cycles of processor insertion and removal. ..... Page 25
 
Joined
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Messages
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Location
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System Name “Frankenstein” Dell T5500 (installed in T3500 case)
Processor Xeon X5675
Motherboard Dell T5500
Cooling Dell Air cooler 0U016F
Memory 24 GB ECC Registered. DDR3 (4GB x 6)
Video Card(s) Sapphire R9 380X Nitro 4GB
Storage SATA SSD and WD HD
Display(s) Dell 24” LCD
Case Dell T3500 (donor)
Audio Device(s) Intel 2.0 HD audio on board
Power Supply Dell T5500 875 watt job. Nice beefy PS, but ugly power harness.
Mouse Um...generic?
Keyboard Dell basic keyboard
Software Windows 10 Pro 64 and PC Linux OS Mate 64
Benchmark Scores Coming!
#68
....

This time it shows a completely different error. Will look the socket over again. Never know. I may have bent some changing CPU so often.

...
That was just a guess on my part. I know all the LGA sockets are prone to weird behavior when just one or two pins get bent or something interferes with making good contact.

Also if one of the SMT components on the CPU itself get damaged, that can cause a problem. The CPU might or might not work.

But I think you said you tried different CPUs in that same MB and it wouldn't boot any of them? That would seem to point to socket issue first in my mind.

If thats OK, next I would swap RAM chips to see if that matters. Then maybe back down to a lower video card, and try different PCIe slots. Guess the last thing would be a PS swap. If all that fails, it almost has to be a flaky MB. But that has rarely been the main problem, based on my past experience.

YMMV

Ok, in case anyone was wondering, the X5675 works fine in my T5500 motherboard (D883F)

Flashed the MB to the last Dell BIOS using the original E5520 (Nehalem) CPU.
Got a used X5675 CPU off eBay for $40 shipped.
Carefully installed it tonight. Booted to BIOS on first try.
Ran CINEBENCH and the CPU score is nearly double. E5520 = 348. X5675 = 738.
Not bad for $40 .....it benchmarks about as well as an i7 third gen.

My understanding is in overclockable X58 MBs these can typically run up to 4.2 or 4.3ghz on air coooling and bench about 900-1000 on CINEBENCH. So I am 75% there on this non overclockable T5500.
 
Last edited:
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System Name “Frankenstein” Dell T5500 (installed in T3500 case)
Processor Xeon X5675
Motherboard Dell T5500
Cooling Dell Air cooler 0U016F
Memory 24 GB ECC Registered. DDR3 (4GB x 6)
Video Card(s) Sapphire R9 380X Nitro 4GB
Storage SATA SSD and WD HD
Display(s) Dell 24” LCD
Case Dell T3500 (donor)
Audio Device(s) Intel 2.0 HD audio on board
Power Supply Dell T5500 875 watt job. Nice beefy PS, but ugly power harness.
Mouse Um...generic?
Keyboard Dell basic keyboard
Software Windows 10 Pro 64 and PC Linux OS Mate 64
Benchmark Scores Coming!
#69
Hello,

The optical reader (dvd) fails to read cd/dvd (under ubuntu), the LED light on when a cdrom is inserted, then nothing.
Could it be a software issue or the optical reader died?
Was it working and then sudddenly quit?

Have you tested it in Windows too?


I dont run Ubuntu, but I do run Linux at times. Depending on how things are configured, the auto mount for removeable media can get turned off. Might check with Ubuntu support and see how to make sure its on.
 

jeanpat

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System Name Dell Precision T5500
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Motherboard 0D883F
Memory 3x4 = 12 Gb samsung 10600R
Video Card(s) ASUS GTX 960, 4Gb
Storage 128 ssd
Display(s) Medion 24' - hdmi
Audio Device(s) from hdmi monitor
Power Supply Dell 865 W
Mouse wireless logitech
Keyboard logitech
Software Ubuntu 16.04
Benchmark Scores GPU Blender benchmark total_render_time: bmw27: 414.258s Classroom:1137.3s
#70
Was it working and then sudddenly quit?

Have you tested it in Windows too?


I dont run Ubuntu, but I do run Linux at times. Depending on how things are configured, the auto mount for removeable media can get turned off. Might check with Ubuntu support and see how to make sure its on.
This was the first time I tried the optical reader since reception from ebay. I didn't test under windows (none available). I had a look in the bios of an optiplex, the dvd reader is visible in the device list, whereas mine is not ...
I have to check the connection(s) to the mobo.
In the case of a dead dvd reader, would it be possible to install the optical reader from a laptop?

Hi,
Would you trust in a graphic card from AliExpress? On ebay the auctions for a GTX 750, 950, 960 are as or more expensive than these cards on Aliexpress:

Zotac 950 2Gb : 93€
Zotac 960 2Gb : 110€
Zotac 960 4 Gb : 145 €
Zotac 750 Ti two fans : ~ 50-60€

Why Zotac? According to this video the zotac don't seem too touchy with the BIOS whereas some only accept UEFI.
 
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Processor Xeon X5675
Motherboard Dell T5500
Cooling Dell Air cooler 0U016F
Memory 24 GB ECC Registered. DDR3 (4GB x 6)
Video Card(s) Sapphire R9 380X Nitro 4GB
Storage SATA SSD and WD HD
Display(s) Dell 24” LCD
Case Dell T3500 (donor)
Audio Device(s) Intel 2.0 HD audio on board
Power Supply Dell T5500 875 watt job. Nice beefy PS, but ugly power harness.
Mouse Um...generic?
Keyboard Dell basic keyboard
Software Windows 10 Pro 64 and PC Linux OS Mate 64
Benchmark Scores Coming!
#72
This was the first time I tried the optical reader since reception from ebay. I didn't test under windows (none available). I had a look in the bios of an optiplex, the dvd reader is visible in the device list, whereas mine is not ...
I have to check the connection(s) to the mobo.
In the case of a dead dvd reader, would it be possible to install the optical reader from a laptop?
Yes you should be able to see the drive in BIOS.

Do you have the SATA port for the drive enabled?


There is a checkbox for each SATA port that should be visible when you select DRIVES in the BIOS menu.


That has to be turned on (checkmark) for the drive to be enabled.
 
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System Name Terminator T3500
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#73
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System Name “Frankenstein” Dell T5500 (installed in T3500 case)
Processor Xeon X5675
Motherboard Dell T5500
Cooling Dell Air cooler 0U016F
Memory 24 GB ECC Registered. DDR3 (4GB x 6)
Video Card(s) Sapphire R9 380X Nitro 4GB
Storage SATA SSD and WD HD
Display(s) Dell 24” LCD
Case Dell T3500 (donor)
Audio Device(s) Intel 2.0 HD audio on board
Power Supply Dell T5500 875 watt job. Nice beefy PS, but ugly power harness.
Mouse Um...generic?
Keyboard Dell basic keyboard
Software Windows 10 Pro 64 and PC Linux OS Mate 64
Benchmark Scores Coming!
#74
This was the first time I tried the optical reader since reception from ebay. I didn't test under windows (none available). I had a look in the bios of an optiplex, the dvd reader is visible in the device list, whereas mine is not ...
I have to check the connection(s) to the mobo.
In the case of a dead dvd reader, would it be possible to install the optical reader from a laptop?

Hi,
Would you trust in a graphic card from AliExpress? On ebay the auctions for a GTX 750, 950, 960 are as or more expensive than these cards on Aliexpress:

Zotac 950 2Gb : 93€
Zotac 960 2Gb : 110€
Zotac 960 4 Gb : 145 €
Zotac 750 Ti two fans : ~ 50-60€

Why Zotac? According to this video the zotac don't seem too touchy with the BIOS whereas some only accept UEFI.
1) I have never ordered from Aliexpress, but I know people who do order from it. For the most part, it seems to be reliable, but shipping from China to US can be very slow....it can take 3-4 weeks to arrive.

2) Zotac is a good brand. To me the same quality as Asus, Gigabyte, MSI, etc. I am not aware of BIOS issues and the Dell, but I don’t have a lot experience with newer video cards either. Retro who posts on here said he had some newer AMD models that would not boot properly, but Nvidia seemed to work fine.
 

jeanpat

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Location
France
System Name Dell Precision T5500
Processor Xeon E5520 2.27Mhz
Motherboard 0D883F
Memory 3x4 = 12 Gb samsung 10600R
Video Card(s) ASUS GTX 960, 4Gb
Storage 128 ssd
Display(s) Medion 24' - hdmi
Audio Device(s) from hdmi monitor
Power Supply Dell 865 W
Mouse wireless logitech
Keyboard logitech
Software Ubuntu 16.04
Benchmark Scores GPU Blender benchmark total_render_time: bmw27: 414.258s Classroom:1137.3s
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