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Does the Dell Dimension E310's motherboard support SSDs?

I'm not sure if all motherboards support SSDs, especially ones as dated as this one (Dell Dimension E310). I assume it would as it just uses a standard drive cable, but, I'd like to be sure... they seem a bit pricey to mess around with...

Furthermore, here's why; the system can only support up to like 2.99GB of RAM (Dell says 2GB, but people have put more in). I'm afraid that running Windows 7 on it (it's currently on XP, thought upgrading would be a good idea as it's losing security support in a couple of weeks!) would be a little taxing for a Pentium 4, so I thought an SSD would be a good option, given that it doesn't need much drive space to work with (only 100GB or so, if that).

Off topic, but, why wouldn't it let me select SSD as a tag when writing this post? That's kinda strange!

Thanks,
Gavin
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  1. Best answer
    I suspect that your 3 GB RAM limit is because you are running a 32-bit OS version. Egads, that's an eight-year-old model. What CPU do you have? I suspect that it may not support a 64-bit OS.

    You can plug an SSD into any motherboard with SATA support, but it has to have AHCI-mode support for the SSD to be used properly.

    Lessee. http://reviews.cnet.com/desktops/dell-dimension-e310-pentium/4507-3118_7-31594474.html?tag=mncolBtm says it has 64-bit support. And supports SATA. I'm not finding anything on AHCI mode, yea or nay. Can you go into the BIOS, find the setup for the SATA controller, and see if it supports AHCI mode?

    I've gotta admit, that's kind of an old machine to be upgrading with an SSD. A less-expensive new machine isn't in the budget?

    EDIT: Here's a link to what may or may not be a BIOS update that will give you AHCI mode: http://en.community.dell.com/support-forums/disk-drives/f/3534/p/18304831/18428045.aspx
  2. I'm not sure I'd put any money into that system. SSD and new OS = $200 min. For what is really a small gain in overall performance.
    Yes, the SSD will be much faster than the existing HDD. But the rest of the system is still old and dirt slow.
  3. WyomingKnott said:
    I suspect that your 3 GB RAM limit is because you are running a 32-bit OS version. Egads, that's an eight-year-old model. What CPU do you have? I suspect that it may not support a 64-bit OS.

    You can plug an SSD into any motherboard with SATA support, but it has to have AHCI-mode support for the SSD to be used properly.

    Lessee. http://reviews.cnet.com/desktops/dell-dimension-e310-pentium/4507-3118_7-31594474.html?tag=mncolBtm says it has 64-bit support. And supports SATA. I'm not finding anything on AHCI mode, yea or nay. Can you go into the BIOS, find the setup for the SATA controller, and see if it supports AHCI mode?

    I've gotta admit, that's kind of an old machine to be upgrading with an SSD. A less-expensive new machine isn't in the budget?

    EDIT: Here's a link to what may or may not be a BIOS update that will give you AHCI mode: http://en.community.dell.com/support-forums/disk-drives/f/3534/p/18304831/18428045.aspx


    It's a Pentium 4, for the CPU. The thing is, I can't check about the AHCI at the moment, because it's a family member's computer (my grandmother's) - Facebook, point and click games, emails, and shady coupon programs are about all it sees, so a new machine really isn't worth it if a OS reinstall can get it back up to speed.

    I was just simply curious about the SSD; if I found one on the really cheap side then it'd probably speed it up. My grandfather has some old HDDs lying around from his old computers, they should work provided the speed is high enough. He was going to buy her a totally new machine, but we looked into upgrading it instead. I run a Vista machine with a similar Pentium 4 that runs servers and stuff (Minecraft, Just Cause 2 Multiplayer, TeamSpeak), so I told him that a simple reinstall of the OS should help it a lot, not just in speed but because the Windows XP operating system it runs will stop getting support next month.

    But, the processor's still nice. I GAME on an Alienware laptop that has a 3840QM i7 processor that runs at 2.7GHz without turbo boost (which I have off because it helps the temperatures); this Pentium's 2.8GHz! I know the processor still may not be as good, but if the frequency rivals my 2012 gaming laptop, it's gotta be worth it, right?

    So, like I said, I can't check for AHCI support at the moment, but I'll look as soon as I can get over there. Thanks for the BIOS update link as well, I'll look into that.

    Thanks,
    Gavin
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