I've often referred here for questions, but they were always answered so I never needed to ask my own. But here we are:
I've found an XPS 8100 in the garbage. The GPU, Optical drives, and PSU were missing, but the mobo (DH57M01), CPU (i7-870), 8 GB (4x2GB) ram, and heatsink were all there. When I plugged it in to a 500W PSU I had hanging around, and plugged a monitor into the HDMI out on the mobo, I got 6 beeps, pause, repeat and no video signal.
Looking it up, this is most likely a video card error. A little more reading reveals that this CPU has no onboard graphics. Is this true? Can I not even boot to bios without a dedicated GPU?
I'd like to use this as a dedicated HTPC / Emulation (Dolphin / PCSX2 and below) box. Can I make that swing with a low end GPU (maybe a fanless 6450), or should I sell the CPU and get something like an i5 650 (or any other 1156 socket CPU) with on board graphics?
I already have a custom rig with an i7 3770K and a 570 for 3D modelling and gaming, so I don't need it to do anything GPU intensive, and I hear emulation is CPU dependent.
I have utilized several HTPC's with onboard graphis - the DELL XPS 8100 has the video disabled, so you will need a video card. I have utilized the ASUS GeForce 210 Silent (it works well, however, there are issues with the 29/59 refresh rates), so there is a comparable AMD chipset:
If you can get it to work, then i'd suggest selling it and getting a lower power CPU for your HTPC. i7-870 is a 125W part (I think) which is pretty power hungry and hot for HTPC purposes.
Nice find though!!!
You can under-volt and under-clock it. You don't need a ton of power for media playback, and even HD capture/encoding doesn't need a lot of power to capture 1080p in real-time with a good codec like MJPEG, HUFFYUV Multithreaded x64, or Lagarith.
Free is free and if it works, is stable/undamaged, cool. Here's to hoping the motherboard is bad but the chip is good.
Threw a crappy old GPU I got out of another throwaway in there, put a harddrive in and it booted right up to BIOS. Installed 7 on it and now I have a fairly slamming computer from 3 years ago. Pretty nice considering the best computer I'd rescued up til then had an E7700 in it. Still not entirely sure what to do with it though.