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Upgrading a Dell Dimension XPS T700 Please Help

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July 30, 2005 4:39:33 PM

I would like to put in a new motherboard with a faster CPU and up to 2 gig RAM. What would you recommend?

I currently have Intel 700MHz, 768 Meg RAM, NVIDIA GeForce4 MX420 display card, 160 Gig hard drive.

Budget up to $400.

Thanks for your help!

Regards,

Rafael
July 30, 2005 4:50:09 PM

Is the video card PCI or AGP?
July 30, 2005 5:10:44 PM

It is an AGP card. I could switch to PCI (buy a different card) if there are advantages.
The power supply is 200 W, heat dissipation 778 BTU.

Thanks!

Regards,

Rafael
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a c 435 V Motherboard
July 30, 2005 6:49:38 PM

If you can wait for the new uli 1695 boards, you can reuse your old video card for awhile. $400 will get you a new board with venice athlon 64 3000, 512 megs of memory, and a new case, which you might as well get just for the power supply. Anand also reviewed a new saphire a9rx480 board with radeon x300 chipset and onboard video which might interest you. It may be at venders sooner than the uli boards. If you want one of these boards, I would put in a request at newegg. Sometimes they will tell you if the item is on order.
a b V Motherboard
July 30, 2005 8:53:54 PM

Man the Dell website really sucks I was trying to find some info on your computer and got more from Google than the company that marketed the computer.

First of all if you're planning on using the Dell case thats not a good idea it may limit you as to what you can do and as old as your system is any M/B changing is going to be a major improvement. So your first really important info you haven't supplied is Micro ATX, ATX full, ??? What size form factor motherboard is in the computer because if its a Micro ATX and you're going to use the existing case you have to get a Micro ATX M/B to go back in it.

Do you want to stay Intel?

I saw somewhere you had a 200W power supply in the machine, Is that correct?

If it is, thats not too good, most descent upgrades will require a minimum 350W power supply.

Also something that needs to be taken into consideration is if your Dell Dimension has a Restore disk or Independent OEM full OP/SYS Installation disks, that may or may not work if you change the M/B and the restore disk is BIOS oriented the OP/SYS will not install.

I'm not trying to discourage you just make you aware of some of the things you may or may not be facing, and may or may not have considered, its better to be aware of these things from the beginning than for them to sneak up on you and bite you in your pocketbook, when you think you've covered all aspects and find out you're wrong in your estimating. Anyone thats reccommending things to you and not exploring what you have and what you're planning to do is not helping you.

You may or may not be able to use your old case depending on how much upgrading you want to do, you're probably going to need a minimum 350W power supply, possibly replace your Optical Drives and HDD [Your HDD is probably a 5400rpm ATA66] which is way behind the times as also your Optical drives are [Unless you've replaced and already upgraded them], even though they will be slow they can still be used. There is a large possibility that a new OP/SYS will be needed if you are using a dedicated restore disk.

Still want to upgrade???






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July 31, 2005 12:14:10 AM

4ryan6:

Thank you very much for looking into this. I am not sure whether the current M/B is Micro ATX or full ATX. The case is a tower style case. Can you please tell me how I could find out?

I upgraded the original OP/SYS from W98 to W2K, I have the installation disks.

The HDD is "Ultra 66". Not sure about the rpm.

I just want the system to run a bit faster than it does now; I understand that to get a significant improvement I should build/buy a new system altogether, and I may do that eventually. For now, I just want a bit more speed. I do not run very demanding applications (Photoshop is probably the most demanding) and I am not looking for blazing speeds. I would like to be able to use the components I have - I can live with their performance for now.

My main objective is to avoid having to upgrade the OP/SYS (and therefore having to re-install all the software I have in the current system, which would be a pain in the rear...)

I don't neet to stay with Intel, or even with the Dell case - the main thing for me is to continue to use my OP/SYS, software, and HDD.

I hope this helps...

Regards,

Rafael
July 31, 2005 12:15:06 AM

Thanks!



Regards,

Rafael
a b V Motherboard
July 31, 2005 4:23:43 AM

Quote:
My main objective is to avoid having to upgrade the OP/SYS (and therefore having to re-install all the software I have in the current system, which would be a pain in the rear...)


Rafael, its a rare thing to change out a M/B to a completely different one and get the existing OP/SYS Win2K to run without reinstalling the OP/SYS from scratch to get everything to work right, unless you're replacing the M/B with an exact replacement.

All your OP/SYS info is stored on the harddrive but it also has all the old drivers for the chipset of the old M/B on it, if you are not extremely skilled in exactly what to do to resolve the arising issues, Win2K can just lockup and do nothing, 2K is a good OP/SYS but its tempermental too and doesn't like multiple changes.

I'm not saying its impossible to do, just almost impossible to do not sitting in front of the computer, theres only a few here that could possibly walk you through it, and I'm not one of them.

Reloading an OP/SYS and all your software is a pain in the rear, but most of us here have done that on a regular basis for ourselves and others, and its no big deal just time consuming, but just going with a brand new M/B could cause you to have to do that, so that needs to be in your possible planning for the upgrade.


Quote:
I am not sure whether the current M/B is Micro ATX or full ATX. The case is a tower style case. Can you please tell me how I could find out?


You need to look inside the case and see if you can find a manufacturers name and model number of the motherboard.









<A HREF="http://forums.btvillarin.com/index.php?act=ST&f=41&t=25..." target="_new">My Puter</A>
July 31, 2005 6:30:38 PM

4ryan6:

Thank you very much for the advise. What you say makes a lot of sense - I think my expectations were a bit high. I guess I'll bite the bullet and get a new system altogether.

I really appreciate your help and the help of the other people who replied to my question.

Regards,

Rafael
a b V Motherboard
August 2, 2005 9:21:18 AM

Dell uses that weird power supply on models that old. A standard board will fit, and be fried in 0.24 seconds.

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a b V Motherboard
August 2, 2005 9:25:40 AM

First of all, your system has a nonstandard power supply, the same size and with the same connectors as an ATX power supply, so if you changed boards you'd have to change the power supply. Then, because you have a custom front panel connector, you'd have to rewire that for a different board. On top of that, the port opening in your case is too small for most newer boards, and a standard backplate won't fit. Old boards will, however.

Your only option is to either build a completely new system, or upgrade that one. You try to find a 1.4GHz upgrade kit at Powerleap, OR you can add a 1.0GHz Coppermine core PIII. Coppermine core PIII 1.0GHz have 1.65v, 1.70v, or 1.75v cores, Tualatins require an adapter and have 1.475v cores (or thereabouts).

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a b V Motherboard
August 2, 2005 11:38:22 AM

Good catch Crash I'd forgotten about that, thats the ones the M/B connector is wired differently isn't it, do you by any chance have a list of the models these type P/Ss were put in?

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a b V Motherboard
August 2, 2005 6:38:24 PM

No, I just know they used them in both ATX and Micro ATX cases, as well as Dell's proprietary clamshell cases, from Pentium to Pentium III. They had an earlier style, without the 3.3v line, on earlier Pentiums. They didn't convert to standard wiring until the P4.

All P4 Dells either have standard wiring, or use completely different connectors, making the frying of parts on P4 Dells by connecting the wrong power supply nearly impossible. It's the P3's and before you have to watch out for.

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August 2, 2005 11:04:46 PM

Cashman,

Thank you very much for the advise. I will work on getting myself a new system altogether. I'll search this forum to get an idea of what I should get - I'm pretty good at putting things together, but I haven't kept up with the market in terms of M/Bs, cases, HDDs, etc.

Regards,

Rafael

Regards,

Rafael
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