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old school Math Teacher need your help

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May 25, 2007 12:41:43 AM

Hi every body,

I have a Dell Dimension 9100 (W8400 PROCESSOR, 80547, PENTIUM 4 PRESCOTT DT, 630, SKT-T, MALE) and I would like to upgrade to a core dou 2 E6600. Is it okay for me to upgrade the mobo/cpu without upgrading the PSU or the case? I used to be into computers, but after the Pentium 4, teaching took most of my time, so please explain your response like you're talking to a non-techie individual. =)


Thanks,
Andy

More about : school math teacher

May 25, 2007 1:50:10 AM

Welcome to the forums.
It would help if you knew exactly the specs of your system. From what i found in Dell's site and the processor that i see in your message i can only say that you will probably need a new case and psu. That is because your case follows the BTX architecture, a "standard" not at all popular among mobo manufacturers. In other words you will have trouble finding a new mobo that could fit in your case. Same about your psu. Probably it would not fit in your new case. Please check out your system, any documentation you may still have to confirm that you have a BTX system. Until then...
May 25, 2007 2:49:43 AM

Quote:
Hi every body,

I have a Dell Dimension 9100 (W8400 PROCESSOR, 80547, PENTIUM 4 PRESCOTT DT, 630, SKT-T, MALE) and I would like to upgrade to a core dou 2 E6600. Is it okay for me to upgrade the mobo/cpu without upgrading the PSU or the case? I used to be into computers, but after the Pentium 4, teaching took most of my time, so please explain your response like you're talking to a non-techie individual. =)


Thanks,
Andy


Not such a good idea... dont skimp.

You could always get a good cheap case and psu:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=E...

the Dell case might be BTX, which is a completely differenct mobo/case standard from ATX. BTX is used pretty much only by Dell/HP/Gateway.


Are you planning to overclock? What kind of graphics card do you have? Please list your entire rig so we knnow how much power it needs.

I would NOT recommend trying to upgrade on a Dell PSU. I had a pretty BAD experience with that several mos ago.


Once you answer these questions we can get right to work.
Related resources
May 25, 2007 2:53:50 AM

Just so you know, Dell uses highly proprietary (sp?) materials and engineering. Unfortunately , in your case, this severely limits the amount of upgrading you can do with their systems. You'd be better off buildiing your own system from scratch, and maybe re-use some of the parts (like dvd/cd-drives, sound card, etc.). Don't forget, you can re-use you mouse keyboard, speakers, and monitor with almost any system.

At the very least, you will need a new case, motherboard (sckt 775), processor, PSU, and a newer PCIe video card (they don't use AGP anymore). I would also recommend a newer SATA HDD for your primary, and you can use your 'old' HDD for a secondary if you wish to.

Don't forget, you'll need a new XP or Vista edition, as the combo of mobo/CPU upgrade will void out your OEM XP edition.
May 25, 2007 4:20:21 AM

thanks for the great replies everyone...

my Dell Dimension 9100 currently have:

P4 Prescott 3.0ghz
24" Dell Widescreen using DVI
3GB of PC-4200 DDR RAM
ATi 256MB X600 pci-express
2 SATA HDD

I would like to change the CPU to something more efficient and quicker as I am looking forward to playing Starcraft II and Team Fortress II. I was just thinking of a ~$300 upgrade since I've seen the E6600 w/ ECS mobo for like $200 at Fry's (store in CA). Back in the days, Nvidia was doing a real good job with the nForce as their chipset, I don't know if there's something new that's better, but please recommend some well built mobo; because if I remember currectly, motherboard can also effect performance greatly.

BTW,
I appreciate all your help :lol: 
May 25, 2007 4:24:19 AM

prescott aint that bad (540)

Getting a 6600 with an ECS mobo means you wont be able to OC. Getting an e4300 with a Gigabyte GA965PDS3 would be around 250 and would be faster at 3ghz.

You really should get a new case, I dont think that your current case will work.

If you want to play vid games better get a new video card. It will increase your performance much more than a new cpu.

that said here are some great deals: http://forumz.tomshardware.com/hardware/modules.php?nam...
May 25, 2007 4:56:02 AM

um guys lets not forget the ram. DDR will not work.
James
May 25, 2007 5:19:14 AM

Quote:
um guys lets not forget the ram. DDR will not work.
James


As far as I know his PC is ddr2 and pciexpress ready....

yep i checked back at poppa dell, and his PC is very similar to mine (dell dimension xps gen 3). They both support PCI Express and DDR2 533 (pc2 4200)

i would definitely get a new psu and case though. Ill ask again: are you planning to OC or not? If yes, get an e4300 and DS3, if no, get an e6600 and any decent mobo.

Keep your ram, it should work fine, and 3gigs is great.
a c 158 ) Power supply
May 25, 2007 5:36:48 AM

The best bang for the buck to be able to play a new game is to upgrade the video card - not the CPU.
May 25, 2007 5:43:57 AM

Quote:
The best bang for the buck to be able to play a new game is to upgrade the video card - not the CPU.


said it....


then again, I wouldnt trust his PSU for a new GPU.... i tried to upgrade my dell xps gen 3, and well it was dead for 4 mos... 8O

since the psu is probably proprietary (mine is a slab that takes up a second casing under the case 8O ) you wont be able to run a decent (at least 7600gt) gpu off of it. You COULD get a 5.25" PSU, but that adds the cost of $55.

The best bang for the buck is: http://forumz.tomshardware.com/hardware/modules.php?nam...

I would say the BFG 7900GS for $100 after MIR and:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Thermaltake 250w GPU PSU $55

Total: $155 .... good $hit
May 25, 2007 5:49:42 AM

Quote:
um guys lets not forget the ram. DDR will not work.
James

i would definitely get a new psu and case though. Ill ask again: are you planning to OC or not? If yes, get an e4300 and DS3, if no, get an e6600 and any decent mobo.

Keep your ram, it should work fine, and 3gigs is great.

Yeah i have DDR and PCIe already, I'm not planning to overclock because I think I will mess it up, and I really don't like loud fans or the water cooled method. I'm not looking to spend a lot, I just figured it's time to upgrade to something more efficient. BTW, my service tag is FPNDG81 so if would like to look up my complete specs, it's up on Dell's website.


Also, Rugger said just upgrade the CPU and I should be fine for today's games, are we all agree that it's a good idea? I'm not up to date with today's gaming specs/requirements, so I don't know what to shoot for.


Thanks for your help.
May 25, 2007 5:55:17 AM

Your XPS Gen 3 and his 9100 are almost completely different. the 9xxx series, as you know, is BTX, but uses a standard ATX style PSU. It can be replaced by any number of aftermarket PSUs, but there really shouldn't be any need for that; the 305 watt unit should have enough headroom left for a fairly significant GPU upgrade.

To the OP: if you want a core2 duo CPU, the easiest route would be to buy a 9200 mobo off ebay. Your 9100 mobo won't support Core 2, however, the 9200 mobo will. As the cases are identical between the 9100 and 9200, it should be a very simple swap. The factory Dell XP OS will not need to be reinstalled either. This is, by far, the simplest solution.
May 25, 2007 5:56:56 AM

Quote:
um guys lets not forget the ram. DDR will not work.
James

i would definitely get a new psu and case though. Ill ask again: are you planning to OC or not? If yes, get an e4300 and DS3, if no, get an e6600 and any decent mobo.

Keep your ram, it should work fine, and 3gigs is great.

Yeah i have DDR and PCIe already, I'm not planning to overclock because I think I will mess it up, and I really don't like loud fans or the water cooled method. I'm not looking to spend a lot, I just figured it's time to upgrade to something more efficient. BTW, my service tag is FPNDG81 so if would like to look up my complete specs, it's up on Dell's website.


Also, Rugger said just upgrade the CPU and I should be fine for today's games, are we all agree that it's a good idea? I'm not up to date with today's gaming specs/requirements, so I don't know what to shoot for.


Thanks for your help.

i think that all will agree that to make your pc better at gaming is NOT to upgrade the cpu (pentium 4/Core 2 Duo e6600), but to upgrade the gpu (Graphics Card/video Card/ATI X600/ Nvidia7900GS). Your CPU is fine for gaming, I have a similar one. Earlier this week I upgraded my graphics card to a 7600GT and saw excellent increases in performance. My PSU (Power Supply) though, like yours is pretty weak and cannot power high end graphics cards.



Quote:
Your XPS Gen 3 and his 9100 are almost completely different. the 9xxx series, as you know, is BTX, but uses a standard ATX style PSU. It can be replaced by any number of aftermarket PSUs, but there really shouldn't be any need for that; the 305 watt unit should have enough headroom left for a fairly significant GPU upgrade.


Pics??? I need pics showing a dell 9100 with a standard ATX psu. I havent seen anything remotely standard in a dell... ever. My PSU is painfully proprietary like my mobo which has no integrated video, or sound, and has 6?? expansion slots.

I would NOT upgrade the GPU on that psu. I tried upgrading to a 7900gs on my 460w dual 17a PSU and my pc died. im now using a GF7600gt which relies on the PCI Express Slot for power.
May 25, 2007 6:05:19 AM

You need pics? Google the Dell user forum. Come on now billdcat4, do you really need me to put the title of "Resident Dell Expert" back into my signature for you and others to recognize that I'm an authoritative source of Dell knowledge? :lol: 
a c 158 ) Power supply
May 25, 2007 6:12:06 AM

Video card upgrade is the better option - not the CPU. Do us a favor...open up the side of you case, look at the PSU, and give us the following info:
1. Model number for the PSU
2. Amperage ratings for the 3.3V, 5V, and 12V rails. If there are multiple 12V rails, then give us both. If there is a statement of max 12V wattage, then let us know that, too.

It might be easier to take a picture so we can take a look at what you've got. It should be 375W PSU, but the important factor in a PSU when doing a GPU (video card) upgrade is the amperage on the 12V rails.

BTW, Dell typically uses PC Power and Cooling as an OEM for their desktop computers. In case you don't know PCP&C is one of the best, if not the best, PSU mfrs.
May 25, 2007 6:18:08 AM

The 9100/9200s came with a 375 watt PSU with 18A per 12V rail, 30A combined max sustained 12V output.

The 305 watts I mentioned earlier is actually for the e5xx series of BTX Dells, all the 9xxx and the XPS 410 use the 375 watt varient.
a c 158 ) Power supply
May 25, 2007 7:29:59 AM

Roger on 12V rails.
May 26, 2007 10:14:34 PM

Quote:
Video card upgrade is the better option - not the CPU. Do us a favor...open up the side of you case, look at the PSU, and give us the following info:
1. Model number for the PSU
2. Amperage ratings for the 3.3V, 5V, and 12V rails. If there are multiple 12V rails, then give us both. If there is a statement of max 12V wattage, then let us know that, too.

It might be easier to take a picture so we can take a look at what you've got. It should be 375W PSU, but the important factor in a PSU when doing a GPU (video card) upgrade is the amperage on the 12V rails.

BTW, Dell typically uses PC Power and Cooling as an OEM for their desktop computers. In case you don't know PCP&C is one of the best, if not the best, PSU mfrs.









CPU Heatsink
May 26, 2007 10:35:20 PM

I recently upgraded a Dell E510 with a 7950GT and a HIPER 580 PSU.

You can get a BFG GeForce 7950GT for $149 after rebate and a COOLMAX 500W PSU for $60. This will leave you with enough left over to get a ZALMAN VF900 fan for the 7950GT, which you will need in that poorly vented Dell case. You can also use the video card, fan and PSU in a later mobo/processor upgrade.
May 26, 2007 10:35:37 PM

You should be able to put a C2D in there without a mobo or PSU upgrade. Socket T = Socket LGA775 (they're the exact same socket, just has two names). You may need a BIOS update to use the new CPU, you can download that from Dell.

For a new video card....then you may need a new PSU. PCPower & Cooling makes new PSUs made to fit Dell machines, you should give them a look-see. Depending on the video card, of course. PCP & C are the best units in the business, one of those will be plenty for anything you can fit in a Dell mid-tower case.
a c 158 ) Power supply
May 27, 2007 3:26:34 AM

What is the primary game(s) that you are concerned with playing? What video card do you have in your PC right now?
May 27, 2007 8:50:52 AM

Quote:
What is the primary game(s) that you are concerned with playing? What video card do you have in your PC right now?


my Dell Dimension 9100 currently have:

P4 Prescott 3.0ghz
24" Dell Widescreen using DVI
3GB of PC-4200 DDR RAM
ATi 256MB X600 pci-express
2 SATA HDD

Starcraft II and Team Fortress II
a c 158 ) Power supply
May 27, 2007 9:24:40 AM

Isn't Starcraft II still be pre-alpha phase of development? If yes, then it's too early to start buying for a SCII. Don't know about the hardware requirements for good playability on Team Fortress II. YOu should make your purchase decisions base don current usage. There's no telling what game developers will throw into the mix by the time the game is released. For SCII, if it 1-2 yrs from release, then you may have a new PC before the game is ever even released.

What games are you currently playing that need a boost in performance? I could see you being able to upgrade to a X1950Pro with that PSU. 66W of power consumption and most of the performance of the X1800XT.
May 27, 2007 6:24:38 PM

I think it would probably be better for me just to wait for Starcraft II and just buy a new computer. It's probably will save me a lot of head aches and trouble. Dell is always giving out deals and promotions. Sounds good to you guys? Just get a new comp and not worry about PSU and all that power requirements for graphics card?
a c 158 ) Power supply
May 28, 2007 3:03:04 AM

If there are games that you currently play which have poor performance, then it would be worth it to do the upgrade to a card like the X1950Pro. It has great bang/buck for your situation. If your computer performs well while running all the programs/games you need it to run, then there is no reason to upgrade. Only you can make the decision if your computer needs an upgrade. If it doesn't, then enjoy using your computer. When it needs to be upgraded, then enjoy getting another one. You should really think about building your own PC next time around. You'll get a lot more bang for your buck and satisfaction from doing the build yourself. :wink:
May 28, 2007 10:14:45 PM

Quote:
You should be able to put a C2D in there without a mobo or PSU upgrade. Socket T = Socket LGA775 (they're the exact same socket, just has two names). You may need a BIOS update to use the new CPU, you can download that from Dell.

For a new video card....then you may need a new PSU. PCPower & Cooling makes new PSUs made to fit Dell machines, you should give them a look-see. Depending on the video card, of course. PCP & C are the best units in the business, one of those will be plenty for anything you can fit in a Dell mid-tower case.



You're wrong about the 9100 being C2D compatible. It lacks VRM11. The 9200 mobo is C2D capable, and is the only easy way to make that Dell case run with a Core 2 CPU.

As for the PSU, it has be shown that the 375 watt unit can adequately handle an 8800GTS. The stock PSU should be able to handle any 7xxx Nvidia or X1xxx ATI series GPU easily.
July 16, 2009 4:50:23 AM

6 MONTHS ago, to bad, but anyway-- Put a 3.4 P4 in it, get a nice 550-600 watt power supply, one with a 5 year replacement and multifunctional, 2 sticks of 2gig GAMING ddr2 and a 128 ddr3 pcie graphics card(mine is ati aiw on a 40 inch hdtv and 36 inch lcd) and a pci esata card for your sata hard drive, its way faster than onboard sata.
This is exactly what I have in my dell 5150 and it's sick fast, even crappy old xp can't slow it down. It doesn't run hot and nothing had to be modified. It's fantastic for a 4 year old computer and much faster than my friends 4000.00 crap gaming computer.
I have a newer hp core 2 duo 3.0 with about the same as above except it's nvidia and it doesn't touch my 4 year old P4 dell, it's a pain in the as*. The family uses it to surf. I think this newer stuff is lacking. The last of the P4's, 3.4-3.8 with the ddr2, dual pcie slots was the muscle cars of the computer age.
My 71 500hp every day driven car will your viper now and 250,000 miles later will beat whatever 100,000 car they come out with. It's what they call"When the rubber meets the road"
Besides that, the faster they make the computer the more they will slow it down with a bunch crap that you can't get rid of that is designed for them to use and not you. Learn to make your computer do what you want because presently they do what they want.99% of computers I work on are invested with crap(like toolbars and search aids and active programs etc.., Kill them all.
July 16, 2009 4:54:28 AM

TWO GOD DAMN YEARS!!!! TWO GOD DAMN YEARS!!!
a c 164 ) Power supply
July 16, 2009 1:23:54 PM

The_Blood_Raven said:
TWO GOD DAMN YEARS!!!! TWO GOD DAMN YEARS!!!


:lol: 
a c 243 ) Power supply
July 16, 2009 1:34:14 PM

Wow !

I've got a couple of P4's that were ripped out of 4 and 5 year old Dells, think they're worth anything ?
July 16, 2009 2:03:22 PM

delluser1 said:
Wow !

I've got a couple of P4's that were ripped out of 4 and 5 year old Dells, think they're worth anything ?



Use a carbide tipped bit and make some cool keychains, maybe?
a c 164 ) Power supply
July 16, 2009 2:15:17 PM

sell them on ebay.

look at what AGP cards go for on ebay....they go for more now then they ever did when they where the latest & greatest
July 16, 2009 2:33:36 PM

Not a bad idea... People have to get their replacement parts somewhere, yah?
a c 243 ) Power supply
July 16, 2009 7:07:23 PM

ct1615 said:
sell them on ebay.

look at what AGP cards go for on ebay....they go for more now then they ever did when they where the latest & greatest

I've got a couple of those laying around as well, got to keep them for the people who refuse to step into modern times.

Scotteq,
Nice avatar, 9mm ?
July 16, 2009 7:13:58 PM

delluser1 said:
I've got a couple of those laying around as well, got to keep them for the people who refuse to step into modern times.

Scotteq,
Nice avatar, 9mm ?



.223


bonus points if you can identify the processor :lol: 
a c 243 ) Power supply
July 17, 2009 12:34:22 AM

Not a clue on the processor :( 

Distance for the group ?
!