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Need advice on upgrading a Dell 755 Mini Tower

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April 17, 2014 8:23:51 PM

Hello,

My name is James, and I'm defiantly new. Well my old Vista machine had a motherboard failure and I needed a cheap computer quick. I ended up ordering a Joy Systems refurbished Dell 755 MT through Wal-mart. My wife runs a store, and with our discount I ended up getting it for about $200. If I have any issues, know i won't have any trouble with the return.

The system specs are
windows 7 pro 64 bit,
intel core 2 2.66ghz
4 GB of RAM 600mhz
1 TB harddrive
305 watt power supply

I teach part time at a local community college, as this thing sits it should be fine for doing that type of stuff. However I have always wanted to build a PC from scratch, but right now it's not in my budget. As a hobby I like to shoot pictures, primarily birds. I think with a little bit of money I can make this machine run Adobe Lightroom and Elements smoothly.

I have done a little research, I have found some solved questions, but those were from years back and those suggested parts are unavailable. So sorry to kind of dig up old questions.

I do know the mother board supports 8gb of ram at 800mhz, Joy sytems installed 4 1 gb cards. What will be the best way to get to the 8 max? 2 4gb cards or 4 2gb cards. Will i see a difference in going from 600mhz to 800mhz, should i just buy what is cheaper?

I wanted to put the old SATA hard drive out of my old machine in, but the hard drive cage is far away from the SAtA ports on the mother board. So I guess I will need to buy a longer cable. I have about 4-5 ports, will the current psu handle as many as three maybe? I was thinking of making a laptop hard drive fit in the 3.5 floppy expansion. Any reason why I couldn't do that?

picture below is the expansion configuration


I have read that windows and adobe like to use virtual memory? The more hard drives the better. I plan on buying some solid state drives but not right away. I figure i might be able to use these in a future machine.

I was also think I might need a graphics card. I'm not going to game, but the integrated graphics is quite lacking. I honestly don't have a clue here. Do certain cards get along better with adobe? I also think I might have a space problem. This machine has a very large heat sink and cooling system for the cpu.



As you can see the caps are really close to the slot also, and what are the other slots for?



With I need to upgrade the PSU also? the cable system seem limited, and I'm not sure if 305 watts will be enough with any graphics card installed.

And last but not least what is this ribbon cable for? as far as I can tell it connects to nothing, But it will be in the way of a graphics card.



Thanks for taking the time to read all of this. I hope I haven't beat a dead topic up, I know this is an older build.

Thanks,
James

a c 1195 ) Power supply
a c 221 V Motherboard
a c 560 U Graphics card
April 17, 2014 10:35:41 PM

The Dell OptiPlex 755 is based on the old obsolete BTX form factor that was discontinued/cancelled back in 2006.

Maximum DIMM capacity is 2GB. To get the 8GB you want you'll need to buy four 2GB DDR2 Non-ECC SDRAM DIMMs.

Get two of these 4GB dual channel kits for a total of 8GB:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

The ribbon cable in your picture looks like the floppy diskette drive data ribbon cable. If it's not connected to any floppy diskette drives then it can be removed.

The 305 Watt power supply in that system has a maximum combined +12 Volt continuous current rating of 22 Amps. That would be enough to support an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 750 Ti graphics card like the following:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
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Best solution

a b ) Power supply
a b V Motherboard
a b U Graphics card
April 18, 2014 12:21:10 AM

ko888 said:
The Dell OptiPlex 755 is based on the old obsolete BTX form factor that was discontinued/cancelled back in 2006.

Maximum DIMM capacity is 2GB. To get the 8GB you want you'll need to buy four 2GB DDR2 Non-ECC SDRAM DIMMs.

Get two of these 4GB dual channel kits for a total of 8GB:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

The ribbon cable in your picture looks like the floppy diskette drive data ribbon cable. If it's not connected to any floppy diskette drives then it can be removed.

The 305 Watt power supply in that system has a maximum combined +12 Volt continuous current rating of 22 Amps. That would be enough to support an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 750 Ti graphics card like the following:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


I think I have to step in since not so many users know the limitations of Optiplex Mini Tower cases - this is not your typical small ATX case, it is BTX case, and not all video cards can fit, so I will provide you all with small guide into Optiplex MT GPU upgrading.

THIS POST APPLICABLE TO MT (MINI TOWER) FORM FACTOR ONLY.

Unfortunately no card that is more than 7.5 inches long or 2 slots wide will PHYSICALLY FIT inside the case - it was found that only single bracket video card can fit due to BTX MOBO, where card internals facing upward towards PC internals, not ATX, where dual card design is blocking another PCI slot by facing downward.
If you prefer the card with beefier fan, then the length of the card must not exceed 7.5 inches, otherwise only "skinny" single bracket, single slot cards can physically fit.

Pictures below will prove my point.

View shows no room for dual bracket



Single bracket only, or you have to cut dual bracket in half



This is the other way to show my point



Here you can clearly see only single place for the bracket



Visual explanation



7.5 inches explained, also shown "obstacles"



This is the picture of actual "skinny" single slot video card (not sure which model)- perfect, "glove" fit.



Also, I would not use anything but Crucial and Corsair and maybe Kingstone with older Dell PCs due to compatibility issues.
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April 18, 2014 4:45:32 AM

I guess I should have made this a discussion. Of course I have more questions.

You confused me a little bit here. the slots will only read 2 gb max? It looks like your recommended 4gb cards. Sorry if I'm confused
ko888 said:
The Dell OptiPlex 755 is based on the old obsolete BTX form factor that was discontinued/cancelled back in 2006.

Maximum DIMM capacity is 2GB. To get the 8GB you want you'll need to buy four 2GB DDR2 Non-ECC SDRAM DIMMs.

Get two of these 4GB dual channel kits for a total of 8GB:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

The ribbon cable in your picture looks like the floppy diskette drive data ribbon cable. If it's not connected to any floppy diskette drives then it can be removed.

The 305 Watt power supply in that system has a maximum combined +12 Volt continuous current rating of 22 Amps. That would be enough to support an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 750 Ti graphics card like the following:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


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April 18, 2014 4:47:18 AM

The brands you mentioned, are those for a video card? I recognize those names, but generally for low end economy memory SD cards.
Kisianik said:
ko888 said:
The Dell OptiPlex 755 is based on the old obsolete BTX form factor that was discontinued/cancelled back in 2006.

Maximum DIMM capacity is 2GB. To get the 8GB you want you'll need to buy four 2GB DDR2 Non-ECC SDRAM DIMMs.

Get two of these 4GB dual channel kits for a total of 8GB:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

The ribbon cable in your picture looks like the floppy diskette drive data ribbon cable. If it's not connected to any floppy diskette drives then it can be removed.

The 305 Watt power supply in that system has a maximum combined +12 Volt continuous current rating of 22 Amps. That would be enough to support an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 750 Ti graphics card like the following:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


I think I have to step in since not so many users know the limitations of Optiplex Mini Tower cases - this is not your typical small ATX case, it is BTX case, and not all video cards can fit, so I will provide you all with small guide into Optiplex MT GPU upgrading.

THIS POST APPLICABLE TO MT (MINI TOWER) FORM FACTOR ONLY.

Unfortunately no card that is more than 7.5 inches long or 2 slots wide will PHYSICALLY FIT inside the case - it was found that only single bracket video card can fit due to BTX MOBO, where card internals facing upward towards PC internals, not ATX, where dual card design is blocking another PCI slot by facing downward.
If you prefer the card with beefier fan, then the length of the card must not exceed 7.5 inches, otherwise only "skinny" single bracket, single slot cards can physically fit.

Pictures below will prove my point.

View shows no room for dual bracket

[

Single bracket only, or you have to cut dual bracket in half


This is the other way to show my point


Here you can clearly see only single place for the bracket



Visual explanation



7.5 inches explained, also shown "obstacles"



This is the picture of actual "skinny" single slot video card (not sure which model)- perfect, "glove" fit.



Also, I would not use anything but Crucial and Corsair and maybe Kingstone with older Dell PCs due to compatibility issues.


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a c 1195 ) Power supply
a c 221 V Motherboard
a c 560 U Graphics card
April 18, 2014 9:49:14 AM

jimmythekid1 said:
I guess I should have made this a discussion. Of course I have more questions.

You confused me a little bit here. the slots will only read 2 gb max? It looks like your recommended 4gb cards. Sorry if I'm confused


Each 4GB kit includes two 2GB SDRAM DIMMs and would occupy two of the four memory slots on the motherboard. You would need two kits to get 8GB to fill all four memory slots on the motherboard.
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a b ) Power supply
a b V Motherboard
a b U Graphics card
April 18, 2014 1:17:50 PM

Actually you can increase RAM to 16 GB, each slot supports up to 4 GB of 5-5-5-15, 1.8 V, I have confirmation of G SKILL 16 GB supported. However, 8 GB is more than enough for general use.

Recommended Memory Configurations

* A memory module installed in connector CHA_DIMM
or
* A pair of matched memory modules installed in connectors CHA_DIMM and CHB_DIMM



Anything else I can help you with?
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