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Build Advice Finding out EXACTLY what hardware I have for upgrade

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by ModMonkey, 13 Nov 2008.

  1. ModMonkey

    ModMonkey Size 11 Carbon footprint

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    OK. Sounds like a complete noob question, which I'm really not. Honest!

    I want to take my Stock Dell POS and upgrade parts of it. Notably the RAM and Dual Core CPU.

    Are there any easy ways to find out exactly what will be compatible? I want to take it to a quad core, and since Vista seems to think my RAM is not all that great, I assume that upgrading it to a decent pair will help a bit.

    I think that main issue with the rig is that dell use cheap parts.
     
  2. mm vr

    mm vr The cheesecake is a lie

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    Usually, it'll be cheaper to change an old computer completely. Or not maybe cheaper, but you'll get a superb performance jump for just a little more money. IMO save up some more money and buy a completely new rig.
     
  3. klutch4891

    klutch4891 What's a Dremel?

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    But if your completely against getting a new one then you can use CPU-Z and it'll tell you the processor type, RAM type, and motherboard. Then if you need more help you can let us know.
     
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  4. ModMonkey

    ModMonkey Size 11 Carbon footprint

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    Thats cool. I don't really want to replace the whole unit since its fairly new (was given to me) and its guts seem fairly ok.

    I'll have a look at this CPU-Z program and see what I can do.
     
  5. Xtrafresh

    Xtrafresh It never hurts to help

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    Another tip would be to open the unit up and look for a serial on the mobo, then google for that. That's usually the fastest way to get your hands on reliable datasheets. Calling Dell and hoping you are actually answered by a capable operator is another way.
    If you wanna upgrade the processor, there's two things you should look for in regards to compatability: TDP and 45nm support. When upgrading the memory, look for the bus speed that the mobo supports.

    TDP could possibly be problem when you go for the q6600, especially if you OC it like everyone else seems to be doing.

    e5300, e8x00 and q9xxx processors are 45nm. Boards that do not explicitly list support for this will probably not work, so be careful

    As for the bus speed: just get some ddr2-800, there's hardly any board out there that will not take it, and performance gains for -1066 are not that fantastic

    Good luck!
     
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  6. klutch4891

    klutch4891 What's a Dremel?

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    Also, what type of Dell is it/how old is it?
     
  7. ModMinded

    ModMinded Are you throwing that away?

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    you can look at the dell support site, enter your service tag, and it will tell you the configuration as sold. you can then look at what they offer as upgrades.
     
  8. cpemma

    cpemma Ecky thump

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    Dell (along with most other OEMs) tend to use "just * enough" parts, so PSU is just big enough to run the stock system, memory just fast enough for stock, etc. They don't use rubbish parts because they don't want returns, but they don't usually allow for overclocking - BIOS may be locked. :duh:
     
  9. ModMonkey

    ModMonkey Size 11 Carbon footprint

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    Its a DELL Optiplex 755. About 6 months old I guess.

    Basics are:

    Dual Core2 3ghz
    4gb RAM
    256mb ATI 2400 PRO (could be XT... having a brain meltdown)

    Essentially I want to run it as an HTPC with 1080p h.264 playback capability. I'm thinking of sticking a more powerful external psu on so will probably get ris of the stock one.
     
  10. mm vr

    mm vr The cheesecake is a lie

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    You must mean a single Core 2 don't you. :p

    Seriously, a 3.0GHz Core 2 is superb. No need to upgrade that.

    So is 4GB RAM. (unless it's very slow stuff)

    Maybe the graphics card should be, a Radeon 2400 is slowish.

    If you want to spend your money, get a new case (if necessary to fit a normal ATX mobo and PSU), a new quality PSU and a new mobo allowing overclocking.
     
  11. ModMonkey

    ModMonkey Size 11 Carbon footprint

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    OK, Heres the more exact spec, using the software recommended above!!

    CPU: Intel Core2 Duo E6850 @ 3.00Ghz, 1333Mhz FSB, 65nm LGA771
    MEM: 2 x 2048 667Mhz
    MOBO: Dell 0PU052. Not ATX... that would be far too simple!

    I can't find a section on what FSB the board will accept for the memory.

    EDIT - I can only find XEON quads in that socket... poo
     
    Last edited: 14 Nov 2008
  12. klutch4891

    klutch4891 What's a Dremel?

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    The E6850 is a socket 775, so any Core 2 Duo or Quad will fit. If you are set on a quad core then I would say get a q6600, because I doubt your motherboard has 45nm support.

    As for the RAM, 4 gigs is great, but maybe get 2 or 4 gigs of DDR2-800 with relatively low latency?

    I would definitely recommend a new graphics card, and that depends on how much you game.

    To top it all off, perhaps buy a new PSU because I doubt the stock dell one will support a q6600 and a good graphics card, plus it probably doesn't have a 6 pin cable for the graphics card.
     
  13. chrisb2e9

    chrisb2e9 Dont do that...

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    I dont think you need a quad in that.
    Quads aren't being used in games, just certian apps. And even then, you still have a good dual core. I have to overclock my q6600 just to get it to run at that speed. Acutally if you want I will trade you cpu's.
    And dont forget that with the dell bios you most likely cant overclock anything.

    the biggest thing that will give you a performance increase is a new video card.
     
  14. ModMonkey

    ModMonkey Size 11 Carbon footprint

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    not sure that a new gfx card is going to do that much for me though. I've not come across a successful attempt at hardware acceleration on h.264 media (I'm talking MKV's here)

    Maybe it'll be ok. A fresh OS install and some nifty codec configs might beall it needs.

    Cheers guys. Helpful as ever!! :)
     
  15. steelblade

    steelblade What's a Dremel?

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    Bare in mind that dell mess around with some of their components - Its been stated on here several times that they change wires around on power connectors or some thing ??? so if certain components are changed without them doing the work ya cud fry it.

    I dont know all the ins and outs but Im sure someone will clarify it for ya.
     
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  16. mclintox

    mclintox Eat cheese!

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    Dell

    I've had a few Dells where the PSU has been swapped out for an over the counter ATX one and they killed the board in one and the board/cpu in another.You have to be carefull with Mr Dells offerings,more often than not the pin assignments are different to what we are used to.Personally,i would sell the lot off and start from scratch with a new build,may turn out to be the best idea in the long run plus you get the satisfaction of knowing you built it,and to the spec you wanted.Good luck anyway,i'm sure it'll turn out ok.
     
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  17. cpemma

    cpemma Ecky thump

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    You and Steelblade are correct,
    though in 2002 Dell stated they had returned to the standard
    That's not to say they still adhere to standards, but I can't find any recent cases. Still, take care... :worried:
     
  18. Gremlin

    Gremlin What's a Dremel?

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    I'd upgrade your ram to some low latency ddr2 800mhz mate you should notice a bit of a difference to be honest things should be a bit faster and overall make the system much more snappy during use

    and for sure nuke that oem install with all its bloat and go for a clean install then tweak vista, you will notice huge differences if you do, or at least i did by tweaking it and turning off services i don't need!

    Your processor is fine and if you want a new video card with hardware decoding and aren't sure if your power supply can handle a card that needs its own power connector grab an ati 4670 its a decent card in general and great htpc card and doesnt need external power its powered by the slots power
     
  19. steelblade

    steelblade What's a Dremel?

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    dito on the GFX card - if you are concerned about dell doing the non standard connectors etc - then a 4670 wud avoid that problem.
     

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