Motherboard upgrade on Dell Optiplex system?

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.chips (More info?)

Is it possible to replace the motherboard in a Dell Optiplex system,
specifically the GX150 minitower form (manufactured in 2001), with a
"standard size" non-Dell motherboard? Has anyone done this?

I looked inside the case and noticed two potential hardware problems
(of course there may be more problems that I didn't see). (1) The
motherboard is in two pieces with a "bridge" (connecting the
circuitry) between the large piece and the small piece. The small
piece appears to hold primarily slots for adding system memory. (2)
Their is a plastic "ventilation duct" going from the CPU cooling fan
to a point on the system case. It isn't obvious how to remove this
plastic duct without breaking it, and even if the duct could be
removed in one piece, it wouldn't fit on the new motherboard unless
the CPU cooling fan position and size were exactly the same.

Thanks for any help; I only plan to pursue the motherboard replacement
idea if it turns out that others have done it successfully.
3 answers Last reply
More about motherboard upgrade dell optiplex system
  1. Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.chips (More info?)

    Lawrence,

    I suggest studying the documentation at support.dell.com. You don't need a
    service tag to see the documents, and you don't need to register. You may
    get there directly by going to:

    http://support.dell.com/support/edocs/systems/opgx150/en/ug/index.htm

    There is information there on all sorts of details, including removing the
    CPU cooling duct.

    I can't claim to be highly knowledgeable about such matters, but it's clear
    that the mainboard is nothing like an industry-standard ATX board. It might
    be possible to install a third-party mainboard in the system, but I doubt
    that it's practical. (The power supply, for example, puts out 200W. That's a
    bit low by present standards, and P4 systems require a separate 12V
    connection, which I expect is not present.)

    Your best bet might be to dispose of the GX150 as a whole, rather than
    trying to re-use components. The SDRAM wouldn't be of use in an up-to-date
    P4 system, which usually wants DDR (DDR2 for the latest Socket T systems).
    The optical drives (CD-RW, etc.) are quite cheap these days - even good DVD
    burners can be had for less than $100US. (Good DVD burners also burn CDs at
    rates not much less than the fastest CD-only burners.) Your best choice may
    be to build or buy an entirely new system.

    I have nothing against the GX150; I've had one on my desk at work for three
    years. I much prefer it to the GX240 machines on some of my neighbor's
    desks - those are slow P4 machines, much worse for my purposes than a fast
    PIII system.

    Bob Knowlden

    Address may be scrambled. Replace nkbob with bobkn.

    "Lawrence H. Robins" <lawrence.robins@nist.gov> wrote in message
    news:4985940.0410060639.24983b3e@posting.google.com...
    > Is it possible to replace the motherboard in a Dell Optiplex system,
    > specifically the GX150 minitower form (manufactured in 2001), with a
    > "standard size" non-Dell motherboard? Has anyone done this?
    >
    > I looked inside the case and noticed two potential hardware problems
    > (of course there may be more problems that I didn't see). (1) The
    > motherboard is in two pieces with a "bridge" (connecting the
    > circuitry) between the large piece and the small piece. The small
    > piece appears to hold primarily slots for adding system memory. (2)
    > Their is a plastic "ventilation duct" going from the CPU cooling fan
    > to a point on the system case. It isn't obvious how to remove this
    > plastic duct without breaking it, and even if the duct could be
    > removed in one piece, it wouldn't fit on the new motherboard unless
    > the CPU cooling fan position and size were exactly the same.
    >
    > Thanks for any help; I only plan to pursue the motherboard replacement
    > idea if it turns out that others have done it successfully.
  2. Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.chips (More info?)

    On 6 Oct 2004 07:39:37 -0700, lawrence.robins@nist.gov (Lawrence H.
    Robins) wrote:
    >
    >Is it possible to replace the motherboard in a Dell Optiplex system,
    >specifically the GX150 minitower form (manufactured in 2001), with a
    >"standard size" non-Dell motherboard? Has anyone done this?

    Generally speaking no, this is not possible. At the very least you'll
    need a replacement power supply anyway, which basically negates any
    cost savings you might get by doing so. Dell does not use standard
    ATX power supplies, even though their power plugs will sometimes fit
    into a standard ATX motherboard. Trying to power a board with their
    system will almost certainly fry the board, even if you could manage
    to shoe-horn the thing into place.

    >Thanks for any help; I only plan to pursue the motherboard replacement
    >idea if it turns out that others have done it successfully.

    Don't bother. A good quality new case will cost you ~$60 and will
    come with a power supply. Buying a new, decent quality power supply
    on it's own will be $40, so you'd only save $20 and cause yourself no
    end of hassles trying to jam a standard motherboard into a case that
    just was not designed for such. Taking a hacksaw to try and cut up an
    old case so that a new motherboard will fit is generally not a very
    good idea anyway.

    -------------
    Tony Hill
    hilla <underscore> 20 <at> yahoo <dot> ca
  3. Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.chips (More info?)

    On 6 Oct 2004 07:39:37 -0700, lawrence.robins@nist.gov (Lawrence H.
    Robins) wrote:

    >Is it possible to replace the motherboard in a Dell Optiplex system,
    >specifically the GX150 minitower form (manufactured in 2001), with a
    >"standard size" non-Dell motherboard? Has anyone done this?
    >
    >I looked inside the case and noticed two potential hardware problems
    >(of course there may be more problems that I didn't see). (1) The
    >motherboard is in two pieces with a "bridge" (connecting the
    >circuitry) between the large piece and the small piece. The small
    >piece appears to hold primarily slots for adding system memory. (2)
    >Their is a plastic "ventilation duct" going from the CPU cooling fan
    >to a point on the system case. It isn't obvious how to remove this
    >plastic duct without breaking it, and even if the duct could be
    >removed in one piece, it wouldn't fit on the new motherboard unless
    >the CPU cooling fan position and size were exactly the same.
    >
    >Thanks for any help; I only plan to pursue the motherboard replacement
    >idea if it turns out that others have done it successfully.

    Chuck it. Or donate to some charity, school, etc. Definitely not
    worth your time, since no industry-standard ATX board would fit the
    case. Even if you manage to cram a board into the case, the existing
    power supply would not be able to sustain even a Duron, let alone the
    latest P4 that doubles as a space heater.
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