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Switching Motherboards/Components (Dell XPS 420 to ATX Motherboard)

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  • Motherboards
  • Dell Studio Xps
  • Graphics Cards
Last response: in Motherboards
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August 4, 2008 8:05:08 AM

I purchased the Dell XPS 420 for only $850 at Walmart. Decent machine for a decent price. I have since overclocked the Q6600 from 2.4GHz to 3.0GHz using a hardware hack. I have also added the Geforce GTX 280 OC to the mix for its single card power. Long story short, I think the added overclock to the CPU and power hungry graphics card has made the tower to hot to truly game.

When I play Crysis, World in Conflict or any other graphic intense game, the graphics card will shut down and I have to reboot the computer. I think my current hardware has bested this sucky Dell motherboard. I wonder if any one can suggest a great ATX motherboard and ATX case that will be compatible with the current hardware or at least the important stuff (like HD, CPU, Memory, Graphics Card). My total budget for a new motherboard, case and PSU is $500 to $600. For the motherboard, I want at least 2 SLI support (eventually I want to couple two of these bad boys together! Note: I don't need a very powerful PSU, since I'm not going SLI right away). The case should support the option for additional cooling (more fans!).

The current setup is as follows: Intel C2Q Q6600 OC'ed to 3.0GHz, BFG Tech Geforce GTX 280 OC, 3GB of DDR2 Ram, PC Power & Cooling (Dell compatible) Silencer 500W PSU Plus a ePower Technology 350W Juice Box (dedicated graphics card PSU).

I know I could have built a better gaming rig, but for $850 (after taxes!), it was too good to let go. I thank you in advance for your advice, wisdom and help.

Polarwolf

P.S. I searched the forums and got the following tread (below), but it didn't give me an answer for a great motherboard that features SLI.


http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/247780-30-dell-mother...

More about : switching motherboards components dell xps 420 atx motherboard

August 4, 2008 1:27:05 PM

I'll put my vote in for the Gigabyte GA-EX38-DQ6. It supports FSB to 1600, great overclocking options in the BIOS, and supports DDR3. It's usually around $200, so not sure if that's more than you are looking to spend, but you might find it cheaper if you shop it around.
August 5, 2008 5:25:45 AM

You could call it a "newb" mistake, but it was mainly a lack of research. I avoided Dell like the plague for my entire tech career. I even hate fixing them for my clients, since you have to go through dell sometimes for computer parts. I thought the XPS line was unlike the other "fixed hardware" Dell computer lines, but clearly I thought wrong.

It isn't a true waste since I going back to building my own computer rig with the parts from the Dell.

Rahvyn, that's a great choice but I'm unsure if I can use it for SLI. I'm still a big fan of Nvidia, since the 9800 Pro from ATI, I never looked back. I know ATI AMD have made great gains with their new cards, but Nvidia still has me and I don't want to spend even more money for new graphic cards when I have a GTX 280 that's quite capable. I'm going to do more research on that mobo though and it if possible to use SLI on it, I'll get it.

Thank you both for your advice and help,

Polarwolf
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August 5, 2008 3:15:39 PM

Polar - Be advised - Your existing hard drive has the drivers associated with the old mobo, and these are NOT easily gotten rid of. I highly recommend purchasing another hard drive. Install your OS to that - Nice And Clean - Then once you have your OS, Drivers, and Apps all installed and running well, re-attach the old HDD to an unused port and recover your data. Once you're sure you're done, wipe the old drive and use it to store music, or whatever.
August 5, 2008 6:47:17 PM

Since this computer is fairly new and I still have most of my business related applications installed on my older rig (which still has XP Pro), I am probably going to do a format to it as soon as I get the new mobo/case/psu. Although an addition of a 500GB HD will be nice to have.

Now I only need a great case and PSU, then I can start the switch.

Thank you all for your help!

Polarwolf

September 30, 2009 2:06:07 AM

In responce to the first thread from quite a while ago, I've got a Dell 420 Q6600 3.0 mod that runs flawlessly. 9800 GTX+, 8G XMS 6400 5-5-5-18, Win7, on a stock 425W PS for now. Plays Crysis at 38 fps at My original search is regarding running SAS in place of SATA for more access speed. Was wondering if I need a PCI controller board or not. Also does SAS have to run in Raid, currently I'm not. Running XP drive secondary under Win7 drive both with raid off. Found adapters for SAS to SATA but not sure what I need for the mother board.
September 30, 2009 2:36:06 AM

In responce to the first thread from quite a while ago, I've got a Dell 420 Q6600 3.0 mod that runs flawlessly.(FYI: There are 3 different way's to make that mod and have tested all of them.) Running 9800 GTX+ OC, 8G XMS2 6400 CL5, Win7 64x, on a stock 425W PS and MOBO for now. Plays Crysis at 38 fps at VHigh 1024X768. My original search is regarding running SAS in place of SATA for more access speed. Raptor doesn't really appeal to me as cost effective. Was wondering if I need a PCI controller board or not for SAS on the XPS 420. Also does SAS HAVE to run in Raid, currently I'm not. Running XP drive secondary under Win7 drive both with raid off. Initially XP wouldn't install if Raid was on that's why I turned it off. Found adapters for SAS to SATA connections but not sure what I need for the mother board hardware if any. Any constructive comments would be appreciated.
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