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Dell case+D 805+250 watt psu=Goodness

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July 6, 2006 7:20:44 PM

Here is the follow up on my last thread. The building and tweaking took a few days, but the results are nothing short of spectacular. The 805 runs at its stock 2.66 GHz, but is undervolted to 1.125 volts (figured out how to "pinmod" socket 775. It's actually easier than socket 478!). Idle temp in windows is 35C cpu, mobo temp is 32C. Temp in the bios after 45 min is 38C cpu, 32C mobo. Max cpu temp with two instances of Prime running, after 4 hours: 42C cpu, 34C mobo. The only cooling used is the stock hsf and Dell's stock rear fan, with the shroud removed. The 250 watt power supply is enough to power this system, despite what others thought.
July 6, 2006 8:34:12 PM

That's quite interesting.
July 6, 2006 8:59:42 PM

thats pretty kool :wink:
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July 6, 2006 9:06:54 PM

Undervolting... Nice! 8)
July 6, 2006 11:09:06 PM

Here's how it was done:

First obstacle is to get the mobo into the case. Luckily the Dell Dimension 4500 uses a standard mATX format. Nonetheless, I still had to prep the mobo tray to accept its new master. First to go were the standoffs used to hold down the Dell cpu bracket.



The mobo tray also had some small tabs bent up (at the ends of the scissors). Those will have to go.



The last part is to cut off the I/O panel from the system tray. Here it is.



Here's the finished product. Ready to accept a new mATX board. What's really nice about this, is that I can remove the motherboard without ever having to loosen a screw. The tray just slides in and locks in place.



Up next is the fan mod I thought up. The case is cramped, and wires will be right next to the cpu fan. Without a shroud around that fan, there's a serious risk for the wiring to get caught in the fan. Besides, fans are more efficient with a shroud around them. All I needed was to find some sort of material that would make for a good shroud. Bingo:



I'm not a big fan of those things, but my wife likes 'em. Here's the finished product:



Here's the temps. Before that mod, the cpu temp was 38C, with the case open. The only change was the shroud. A drop of 3C is very nice to see.



Here's a couple shots of the mobo and cpu sitting in their new home:




Alright. Now all that's left is to figure out how to hook up the front panel wiring. This Dell Dimension 4500 uses a way too complicated system for running the front audio and USB ports, not to mention the power button and LEDs. Here's the front power switch and LED board I have to work with:



It's nice to see that each thing was clearly marked on the front. This made identification easier:



Simple solution was to just solder some wire on the back of the circuit board. It's a bad pick, but it give you an idea.



The other end that connects to the motherboard uses the plug and wiring from a USB header:



As for the front USB and audio ports, I decided to completely do away with Dell's convoluted system, and instead used a front USB/audio/Mic circuit board that I scavenged off a cheap case someone had thrown away some time ago. I little bit of Dremeling and a butt load of hot glue (black of course) later, and I have my front USB and audio ports using conventional mobo connectors.



Here's a crappy pic showing how it looks from the front:



Up and running pic. Yes, that VCR is hooked up the computer.



Now I just have to finish hooking up all the peripherals and their drivers. I should be done by tonight.

Cheers!
July 7, 2006 12:03:43 AM

Awesome! I wonder what you would be able to reach at that voltage... maybe 3GHz???
July 7, 2006 12:31:29 AM

I can't find any pictures??? Did you post the pictures????? or put links to them???
July 7, 2006 12:46:48 AM
July 7, 2006 12:49:25 AM

I can see them just fine (btw, some of them are kinda out of focus :wink: ).
July 7, 2006 12:56:47 AM

Ya, sorry about the focus. "Kodak easyshare" also means "Kodak stupid focus algorithm". Works fine on people, large objects, and landscapes, but sucks on up close stuff, even with the upclose "flower" setting. :?
July 7, 2006 1:03:21 AM

Quote:
Awesome! I wonder what you would be able to reach at that voltage... maybe 3GHz???
That's something that will remain a mystery. :(  If I were to guess though, I think it would only reach 2.8 GHz before it folds up camp. I'm using pc2100 ram, so 2.66 GHz is 1:1, and it's okay enough for me. Once I need more speed, I'll upgrade the power supply (and probably get a new case) and then clock it up. Right now though, it's better than the 2.4B I was using.
July 8, 2006 12:30:47 AM

Thank you!!! for some reason, there is only blank spaces as if you just posted paragraphs??? maybe it's my pc (which happens to be a dell 4550)

I was just curious as to what you did to modify your dell.

do you know what your current psu is? and what is your new system using??

Quote:
Right now though, it's better than the 2.4B I was using.


That's what I got......

Was it easy modifying the case to fit these components?
July 8, 2006 7:19:26 AM

What I did to modify the computer is listed in that post. It covers all the things that were necessary to mod in order to fit the mobo into the case. My tools and parts used would be a Dremel tool or equivalent, hot glue gun, soldering iron and wire, wires with the connectors necessary to hook up to the mobo (USB, audio), an empty "potato sticks" canister, electrical tape, invisible tape (for the pinmod), and some brush-on electrical tape for the circuit board. Overall I did not think this to be a hard to do mod, just took a bit of time fitting and thinking. I've done the hard part. If you can solder and you don't mind using a Dremel, you should be fine. Just refer to this guide if you get stuck.

The computer is still using its stock 250 watt power supply that came with the Dell. I like the fact that it is a near silent psu. Your 4550 is exactly the same computer as mine case and mobo-wise, with the exception that the 4500 has onboard sound while the 4550's mobo does not. That's the only difference between a 4550 and a 4500 that I know of, so this mod guide should apply directly to you. If you plan to use a decent graphics card, you absolutely, positively have replace that stock psu for a more powerful aftermarket unit. It's standard size, so any aftermarket power supply should do the trick.

Here's everything in the computer, all of which was carried over with the exception of the new mobo and cpu:

Asrock 775i65G
Pentium D 805 with stock hsf
two 256MB pc2100 DDR ram modules
GeForce3 Ti200
Seagate PATA 80GB 7200 rpm hard drive
Seagate PATA 200GB 7200 rpm hard drive
Original Dell DVDrom drive (12x?)
AOpen Dual layer DVDRW drive
Winfast TV2000 XP Expert capture card
Original 3 1/2" floppy drive
Oringal Dell rear fan with green shrould removed
Original Dell 250 watt psu
Windows MCE 2005

I modded the case more or less for two reasons: first and formost is because I really like the case, and I knew I could. The second reason was because people said it couldn't be done. Purchasing a new case and power supply would have been easier, but this was cheaper and ended up much better looking than an aftermarket case.
July 8, 2006 4:22:38 PM

Quote:
It's standard size, so any aftermarket power supply should do the trick.


Yes it is, but the case only has the hole for the little red switch and powercable (at least it is on mine) and therefore a normal psu won't fit unless the case is to be cut to fit the new psu in place.

There is, however, one website that has a 410 watt psu that is made specifically to fit the 4500 and 4550 models due to the lack of a power switch.

I don't know if this will help you, but it is something to consider if you are going to upgrade your psu later on.

If you want, I can give you the website.
July 10, 2006 2:29:19 AM

If you're refering to PC Power and Cooling, I am well aware of their products. The fact that you may have to enlarge/open the back of the case to fit the aftermarket power supply shouldn't bother you if you are already considering Dremeling the front of the case. If you are bothered by that, then perhaps it would be better to buy a psu from PC power and Cooling.
July 11, 2006 12:52:09 AM

Ok.. I was just trying to help.

I don't know if I should upgrade my psu either due to the fact that I think my psu is running at max power. But I am gonna wait until it dies to buy one! :roll: :twisted:

Thanks
!