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Upgrading Dell Dimension

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August 3, 2008 10:49:42 AM

Hi All,

I'm looking for some advice on upgrading a Dell machine for my younger brother. Specs:
- Pentium D 2.80GHz (Presler)
- Dell 82945G, Intel AGTL+ motherboard
- NVidia 7900 PCI-e
- 2Gb PC-5300 RAM (533MHz)

- Can I put a faster processor in it?
Currently a Pentium D 2.80GHz running on LGA775, FSB 800MHz. Sisoft Sandra suggest the max bus available is 1.07GHz. Does this mean that if I were to buy a Q6600 + new heat sink it would work? Also would I get away with this on the stock power-supply? Given the choice what processor should I use - he does lots of work on web design and image editing programs.

- HDD issues. Couple of issues.
1. At startup especially there is lots of hard disk thrashing going on, very noisy.
2. When writing to the HDD (installing program) there are problems reading from the disk (playing music).

Thanks
Jeremy
a c 113 B Homebuilt system
August 3, 2008 12:26:03 PM

Your Dell dimension should have a model number? Like 5100... need more specifics.

You probably can put a faster processor in, if you can find one. Need more info yet.


- defrag the HD?
- You can't install a program and play music at the same time? I find nothing too unusual about that. You probably should not do that anyway. Many installation programs want all your computer's attention while installing.

You should back up your important files right away in case the HD is going out.
August 3, 2008 1:16:32 PM

Jeremy about the hard drive being noisy at startup. My wife's Dell Dimension 3000 has some hard drive options in the Bios.

I cant remember the exact wording but if you have Fast Boot enabled, change it too Quiet Boot. You wont notice a difference in startup speed, but it will be much, much quieter! Hope that helps.

While your in the Bios write down what version number it is.

Your gonna need that info to see what processors your motherboards Bios supports, and whether or not you will need to update the Bios for your upgrade.
Related resources
August 3, 2008 2:02:57 PM

according to what you have posted, you have hte 945 chipset, which unfortunately, does not solve the problem. The original ones didn't but the revised versions did. Thus it may be best just to call up dell and ask. They should know.
August 3, 2008 2:13:35 PM

The system is a Dimension 9150. On startup press F2 to enter setup (dell's name for bios?). Under system information:

Bios version A 05. System is labled as Dell DXP 051. (This was the best I could do for bios info).

Looking that the processor tab it appears Dell have locked it so that it is not possible to change the core CPU speeds. Currently speed-step is not enabled either.

Edit: Having wandered around the Dell forums it appears that people are suggesting it is not possible to go to Core 2Duo from Pentium D, however no-one has produced a good reason as to why not. The socket is correct, the chipset is compatiable, unless there is a problem with the bios?

Thanks for the help
Jeremy
a b B Homebuilt system
August 3, 2008 2:18:03 PM

jpdykes said:


- Dell 82945G, Intel AGTL+ motherboard

1. At startup especially there is lots of hard disk thrashing going on, very noisy.


The motherboard won't support Core2Duo, something to do with the VRM.
Back up the hard drive while you still can, it's on the way out.
a c 90 B Homebuilt system
August 3, 2008 2:19:20 PM

Have you check the Dell support forums yet? They talk about this kind of thing all the time.
August 3, 2008 2:26:14 PM

Edit from before:

Having wandered around the Dell forums it appears that people are suggesting it is not possible to go to Core 2Duo from Pentium D, however no-one has produced a good reason as to why not. The socket is correct, the chipset is compatiable, unless there is a problem with the bios?

Thanks
Jeremy
a b B Homebuilt system
August 3, 2008 2:41:43 PM

The Voltage Regulation Module on the motherboard is what prevents the use of Core2Duo. It was attempted by a couple of people and either worked for a day before frying the chip or didn't work at all.
August 3, 2008 4:51:19 PM

Ok so the answer here is that you can't put a faster chip onto that board.

In that case what do we know about the upgradability of the motherboard? Are they Dell specific, will a different model fit into that case?

Edit: Can I take the RAM across as well?

Thanks
Jeremy
August 3, 2008 5:11:39 PM

From my experiences...
not possible. i have a dell as well, and noticed something strange. Dell builds all cases kinda wrong. like... mirorred. the VGA cooler is on the upper side. and the proc. is in the mid. also, their build quality is awfull (ill explain that later). where they can save money they will. i suggest u either be happy with what u have, or build a new one. Dual slot VGA's don't fit.

also, things that aren't promoted, are crap. with mine i thought, wow 2 GB memory for that price (???). and now i understand why. the memory speed is only 200Mhz (*2=400 Mhz total)

their cases and motherboards have their own dell layout. it's not ATX. i can't replace my MOBO without changing my CASE. and cant change my VGA till i replace my mobo (longer cards also don't fit). and even more rediculus is i can't replace the CPU cooler cuz it aint there... there isn't even a mounting mech. for a new one. it's just a all. block.

one thing is sure, NEVER BUY DELL
August 3, 2008 5:16:58 PM

can't edit so i'll just post PICTURE here

August 3, 2008 6:29:09 PM

Hmm, I see what you mean royaldutchtweaker, doesn't look like others I've built or delt with.

Looks like it is a case of whole new system. But with a new quad based build at £350 not the end of the world.

Jeremy
a b B Homebuilt system
August 3, 2008 7:21:36 PM

royaldutchtweaker said:
From my experiences...
not possible. i have a dell as well, and noticed something strange. Dell builds all cases kinda wrong. like... mirorred. the VGA cooler is on the upper side. and the proc. is in the mid. also, their build quality is awfull (ill explain that later). where they can save money they will. i suggest u either be happy with what u have, or build a new one. Dual slot VGA's don't fit.

also, things that aren't promoted, are crap. with mine i thought, wow 2 GB memory for that price (???). and now i understand why. the memory speed is only 200Mhz (*2=400 Mhz total)

their cases and motherboards have their own dell layout. it's not ATX. i can't replace my MOBO without changing my CASE. and cant change my VGA till i replace my mobo (longer cards also don't fit). and even more rediculus is i can't replace the CPU cooler cuz it aint there... there isn't even a mounting mech. for a new one. it's just a all. block.

one thing is sure, NEVER BUY DELL


"Kinda wrong" also known as BTX, Google it ( I like the idea of the case being on my left so I built my custom in a reverse ATX box, not quite the same but I can still see the top of my video card when I look thru the window )
The memory is pretty much the same as any other value memory on the market.
Nope can't change the heatsink, but it does as well as many of the expensive aftermarket coolers so why bother ?
When I tore apart my Dell to use some of the parts for my custom, I found that the Dell heatsink had kept my E6600 running 4 degree's cooler than the Zalman 9500 that I thought would be better.

It's not like you can't do anything at all with the newer model Dell's, my XPS410 still has life left in it after being rebuilt, I run it with the cpu overclocked using Clockgen software, and the 375 watt psu has no problem running the machine with an 8800GTS 640 overclocked as far as it will go.
http://contrvlr.no-ip.org:12300/ussdirect/cb/IMG_0509.J...

Chances are I'll never buy another Dell desktop, but know this, they have changed somewhat and a couple of the machines are fully upgradeable ATX based units.

August 4, 2008 6:25:15 PM

Thanks again DellUser1,

Correct me if I am wrong, but the conclusion seems to be that:

- I cannot fit a new Core 2 Duo processor to a Dell 9150,
- The internals are not reusable given poor quality in some parts and unusual fixtures in others,
- The case is not reusable unless I spec a BTX form factor motherboard,
- I probably cannot add a new graphics card as there is limited space.

Jeremy
a b B Homebuilt system
August 4, 2008 7:26:53 PM

jpdykes said:
Thanks again DellUser1,

Correct me if I am wrong, but the conclusion seems to be that:

- I cannot fit a new Core 2 Duo processor to a Dell 9150,
- The internals are not reusable given poor quality in some parts and unusual fixtures in others,
- The case is not reusable unless I spec a BTX form factor motherboard,
- I probably cannot add a new graphics card as there is limited space.

Jeremy

You're Welcome
No Core2 Duo, sorry.
You can use any part (other than the mb) in another case, power supply included if it will fit.
The case is not reusable, even the board from my machine was tried in your case and didn't work right due to different sensors.
If you look at the link I provided, our Dell cases are the same, I wouldn't put anything more powerful than a dual slot 8800GT in your's.
August 4, 2008 8:22:30 PM

Thanks for the effort DellUser1. Greatly appreciated.

Looks like I'm going to be building afresh for him!

Just out of interest would a X1950 Pro GPU fit in this case?
210mmx100mm. Single slot cooler.

Thanks again
Jeremy
a b B Homebuilt system
August 5, 2008 11:29:08 AM

jpdykes said:


Just out of interest would a X1950 Pro GPU fit in this case?
210mmx100mm. Single slot cooler.

Yes, and bigger, more powerful cards would also.
October 2, 2008 11:29:55 PM

hmm i was thinking the exact same thing with my system,
Its slightly the same but i have a better processor, mine is pentium 4 HT though i dno whether it will work for me, but the great thing about this computer it has a huge heatsink and fan and i was wondering whether quad core could work on this pc well taking it off the limits reli lol but i dno whether it will work or not, write back :p 
October 3, 2008 8:11:58 AM

yea your kinda in a sink hole with that system cuz of the processor, it prolly wont make alota sense to try to upgrade anything other than the gfx card, even that would likely be limited by your CPU.

on the bright side you can find some good deals on newegg and get a par system for roughly 400, that would be upgradeable/OC able. or spend an extra 100-200 and get a better system than possible with your current dell setup.

Theres plenty of support here on the forums if you need help picking parts and putting it together if your new to the homebuilt pc realm.
December 26, 2008 8:36:32 PM

Well I just thought I would give everyone who reads this post a look at what ive upgraded with my 9150. The first thing I upgraded a couple years ago was the vid card...from the stock Geforce 7300LE. That one was good for the first few games I bought, but as usual with computers, they get better and games require more. I upgraded the vid to the ATI Radeon X1650Pro and it bettered the quality of games I was playing...I had that for quite a long time. Even though the recommended was to keep with Nvidia, ATI still worked fine...
So, time passed...games were played, beaten or stopped playing due to boredom(I hate that...waist of money :lol: ) and I decided it was time to upgrade the vid card once again. My choice? I went back to Nvidia with the Geforce 9800GT.
I was a bit skeptical at first, mainly cuz I had to upgrade the Power Supply to handle the new graphics card. The stock PSU was 375W and the 9800 required a 400W. SO close :na: . Anyways, To make this story shorter, I bought a 700W PSU (WITH blue underglow :D ).
It took me 3 hours to change the power supply...BUT, I did it. It was actually pretty fun, a few times I worried cuz something wouldn't work but looking at it long enough I figured things out, plus I was eating pizza and crazybread(good combo eh? haha) SO, I hooked everything back up, pressed the power button and beeeep, it powerd up. I love the underglow specially in the dark. Here are some pics of my upgrading progress. Enjoy! There are more, to get at all of them that I took check out my facebook gallery. Link at bottom..














and NOW, the new PSU










Facebook Images here: http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=72848&id=517548199 ENJOY!!!!! :hello: 
!