Sign-in / Sign-up
Your question

Finished: My Dell Dimension 4600 Rebuild project, Pictures

Tags:
  • New Build
  • Dimension
  • Dell
  • Systems
  • Product
Last response: in Systems
May 8, 2009 8:02:20 PM

So for those of you who haven't been following this, I got an old dead Dell Dimension 4600 from my father in law. I took out all the internals except for the Optical Drives and rebuilt it just for fun, I was bored.

I purchased the following:
Gigabyte GA-G31M-ES2L motherboard
Intel E5200 CPU
WD3200AAKS Western Digital 320GB Caviar Blue
XFX 9600GSO 1GB (came with two free games that I wanted, only reason I bought this card, otherwise would have been a 4670)
CoolerMaster GeminII S Low Profile CPU and Chipset Cooler
Corsair XMS2 PC2-6400 4GB
Corsair 400CX PSU
Round IDE Cable
Mascool 80mm Case fan
Reused: DVD+/-RW Drive
Reused: CD+/-RW Drive
Reused: Dell Dimension 4600 Case
Reused: 110mm Case exhaust fan
Reused: Windows XP Home License
Reused: SoundBlaster Live! Sound Card
Total Cost: $430.40 After shipping/RMA, and before my $35 in rebates get here, if they ever do.

The first MB that I received was unfortunately DOA, so I had to send it back which postponed this project for a week and a half or so.

Pictures of the final product:








I overclocked the CPU to 3.5ghz using 1.3v Vcore, FSB 334x10.5. Ram running at 891mhz, 1.9v 5-5-5-18 2T. The OC was stable for 36 hours in Prime95 (I really wanted to make sure since I will sell this thing on craigslist probably and don't want to have to deal with people calling me about issues). I was able to boot into Windows at 4.2ghz, but it wouldn't stabilize under 1.42v vcore so I backed it down to something more reasonable. The MB BIOS isn't the greatest for overclocking, it took me awhile to figure out how to access the "advanced" features which normally come standard in most BIOS's. But it was $52 so I can't complain too much (well I guess it was $62 after I had to RMA the first one). I am pleased with the Coolermaster GeminII S cooler too, its a nice LP cooler that also cools the chipset, which is helpful since the G31 NB gets hot. Its also really quiet and kept temps under 59C the whole time in Prime95. The GPU unfortunately is kinda loud, but it was a good deal with the games I got with it so w/e. All-in-all it was fun tinkering with, and a fun little project, and it certainly packs a punch now, don't let its ugly little Dell logo fool you!

More about : finished dell dimension 4600 rebuild project pictures

May 9, 2009 8:18:15 PM

Bump and who can tell me how to make those pictures work here? I thought I knew how but apparently I don't...
May 9, 2009 8:20:31 PM

they don't come up when you click on the link either.
Related resources
May 9, 2009 8:23:51 PM

Yeah I moved them to a new album which is why. They should work now, but still not showing up in the forum..
May 9, 2009 9:08:14 PM

Cool rebuild idea - thanks for sharing.

How much do you think you'll get for it?
May 9, 2009 9:26:09 PM

You think the 4600 is old? My current pc is a stock Dimension 1100, and it sucks ass.
May 9, 2009 9:31:32 PM

nerrawg said:
Cool rebuild idea - thanks for sharing.

How much do you think you'll get for it?

I got a couple people asking me to come see it for $500 on craigslist. Which is fine, it will fund my next cheapo project :D 
May 9, 2009 9:33:34 PM

not moose said:
You think the 4600 is old? My current pc is a stock Dimension 1100, and it sucks ass.

:lol:  I'm sorry to hear that. You will appreciate your new PC that you are building all the more!
May 9, 2009 9:36:31 PM

Yeah I just ordered my CM690 today. I have big plans for it, I'm thinking white and red.. But I'm not sure yet still drawing plans out.
May 9, 2009 9:38:48 PM

not moose said:
Yeah I just ordered my CM690 today. I have big plans for it, I'm thinking white and red.. But I'm not sure yet still drawing plans out.

Cool! Make sure you post some pictures of it when its all finished!
May 9, 2009 9:40:44 PM

I'll make a full log, if I can find my camera. Good job on your 4600 though.
May 9, 2009 9:50:46 PM

Nice job KID !
May 9, 2009 10:14:34 PM

Some notes and ideas for people who are interested in doing something similar:

MB: GA-G31M-ES2L
-Good for a $52 board, its pretty basic. It seems like I was unlucky with my first one since almost all newegg reviews gave it 5 eggs. Overclocking on it was pretty easy, once you find out how to access the advanced BIOS features (have to press CTRL+F1 in main menu). Don't expect to get a FSB much higher than 1500 or so stable though, even though Gigabyte claims it can reach 1600. Overvolting the FSB makes for a lot of heat and the G31 chipset gets hot as is, so I wouldn't go for anything that requires a bump in the FSB voltage unless you have a fan or plan on buying an aftermarket heatsink for it. The Ram multipliers are disapointing, the lowest you can select is 2.66 so if you don't have good ram this may cause ram limitations. Make sure you get DDR2-800 1.8v ram or DDR2-1066. Cannot select command rate for the ram in the BIOS, even with advanced features.

CPU: E5200
-Good cheap processor, the best choice IMO for a budget builder who plans on overclocking. At stock its kinda sluggish so I definitely recommend overclocking it. It uses the 45nm Wolfdale cores that you find in the High end Core 2 Duos, don't let the Pentium dual-core name fool you. This CPU overclocks great, especially if you get the newest stepping (I have the M0 stepping, which isn't as good).

HDD: WD3200AAKS
-Also very good. It uses a 320GB platter which is fast and really quiet, I can hardly hear it. Boots Windows XP in about 7-10 seconds from POST.

GPU: XFX 9600 GSO 1GB
-Overpriced, but came with games I was planning on buying so that is why I got it, its also a single slot which is nice in the mATX form factor. The fan is loud. Performs well though and moves lots of air, COD 4 & 5 are smooth at 1440x900 res. I would recommend going with the HIS IceQ4 4670 though instead, its quieter and performs similarly, and cheaper. My EVGA GTX 260 core 216 is much quieter. I haven't messed with slowing down the fan, but since I am selling this thing I'm not worried about it. It stays at 47C idle, not sure at load.

Ram: Corsair XMS2 4GB PC2-6400
-Good ram if you find it at a reasonable price. Corsair validated my rebate so when that comes in a few weeks it will only end up costing me $20. Overclocks well, its at 891v 5-5-5-18- 2T 1.9v. At 889mhz it was fine at 1.8v.

PSU: Corsair 400CX 400W
-Great. Its quiet, high quality, doesn't get too hot, and hasn't failed on me. 30A on the +12v rail is excellent for a 400w PSU, other companies probably would have rated it at 500w.

Cooler: CoolerMaster GeminII S
-Pretty good. It was between this and the Zalman CNPS 8700 LED, which was much more expensive, I found the CM for $20 locally. It cools the NB heatsink too which is nice, since it gets pretty hot. Quiet and cools decently. In this case (which doesn't have the greatest airflow) the CPU get to about 59C under full load in Prime95, my apartment is about 23C.
May 9, 2009 11:31:35 PM

Real nice rebuild, I also sadly still own a Dell B1100 with stock lol. It should be ATX so I'll probably do another rebuild too lol.
May 10, 2009 6:43:19 PM

If anyone else is looking to do something similar hopefully those notes are helpful, if you have any questions let me know and I will be happy to answer them. I feel that a thread like this might be pretty helpful to a lot of people out there, since a lot of people have old Dells that they are tired of lol.
May 25, 2009 2:05:53 PM

I see you re-used the Turtle beach sound card to have the front audio jacks work. That's pretty much the only way to do it, and the only major road block with building using that case. If you can find one, try a clamshell dell case (the Dimension 4500, 4550 and others). They're quite a bit tougher, but the cases are much nicer. For real fun, try one of these old HP Pavilion cases:



It's a standard mATX board design, but uses a mATX PSU and the SFF requires careful motherboard selection to make it work. Here's mine using a Sempron LE-1100 and a Jetway M26GT3-SVP board:



The reason why they are so difficult is the fact that the CD drive limits how high the memory slots can be on the motherboard. Too close to the top of the board and they hit the CD drive. Right now, there's probably only one or two boards on newegg that would fit into one of these cases. Here's a pic of m26GT3-SVP. Note how low the ram slots are:

The Lite-On drive comes right up to that green coil on the top of the motherboard after the two capacitors. It is one of the shortest drives on the market. Any longer and it would have hit the coil and not fit.
The floppy drive prevents tall heatsinks. Had to cut the factory heatsink in half to fit, and there's less than a centimeter clearance between the fan and the floppy drive.
I've also built an Intel system using the same style HP Pavilion case. I used a Celeron 420 and a Biostar GF7050V-M7 board:

With that board I had to remove the top right factory push pin on the Intel heatsink and replace it with nuts and a bolt as the push pin collided with the CD drive. Also had to remove the plastic base around the CPU fan header on the mobo, and modify the CPU fan connector a little to be able to plug in the CPU fan. Otherwise the Celeron heatsink fit fine. Both builds required the use of 90 degree or very short sata connectors for the hard drive, a regular sized sata connector was too tall to put the cover back on the case.

The Sempron rig is now my HTPC, housing a hauppauge pvr-250 and windows MCE 2005. The Celeron rig is my daily computer, overclocked the Celeron to 2.66GHz/1333fsb. With C1E it idles at 2.00GHz/1.1Vcore, and consumes 48 watts for the entire rig, with 65 watts under load. The factory internals in these cases (old i810 boards with Celerons) had power consumption figures around 35-40 watts.
May 26, 2009 7:26:05 AM

^ I don't like how they stuck the PSU in front of all the components. Makes upgrading a pain......:lol: 
May 28, 2009 3:22:49 AM

^Fortunately, the back panel swings out, allowing for full access to the motherboard. It's something you'd have to see in person to really get how it works. Overall it's not much of a pain to build in the case. I've built with worse. Not as easy as a full size atx, but it's a small price to pay for the small form factor.
May 28, 2009 5:43:45 AM

Nice, did you overclock the Sempron CPU too? Or is it enough for your home theater needs?
May 28, 2009 4:28:54 PM

That HP case looks like it would a pain to work with. Can't fit a good CPU cooler in there either with the placement of the PSU...I think The Dell case that I used is much easier. I actually found it to be fairly roomy for an mATX case and was quite pleased with it.
May 28, 2009 10:12:12 PM

I have to agree. I want to rebuild my Dell B1100 just like your 4600 project but there is a downside. First in my case their is only room for 2 optical drives. Second is that there is only room for 1 HDD. I don't think in my Dell case there is good airflow, I'll probably have to mod it and stick a fan off the side. Anyways do you think this case will fit ATX motherboards? How is overclocking on m-ATX boards? I see that you've ran two instances of Prime95, is it not optimized for dual/triple/quad cores?
May 28, 2009 11:45:14 PM

AKM880 said:
I don't think in my Dell case there is good airflow, I'll probably have to mod it and stick a fan off the side. Anyways do you think this case will fit ATX motherboards? How is overclocking on m-ATX boards? I see that you've ran two instances of Prime95, is it not optimized for dual/triple/quad cores?

I stuck another fan under the front cover of the Dell to increase airflow, it normally only comes with one rear exhaust fan. With that extra fan in the front it ran pretty well and didn't get too hot at all. Got up to 64C once on a pretty hot day while I was running Prime95, which is a very managable temp and would have some longevity for the chip.

I couldn't find anything on Dell B1100...is that the same thing as a Dell Dimension 1100? If it is, it looks like it uses the exact same case that the Dimension 4600 uses, and no, it will not fit a full sized ATX board in it, you will have to use mATX. Overclocking can be good on mATX boards, it just depends on which one you get. The DFI LP Jr P45 board is supposed to have excellent OC'ing. The SBM this month used a ASRock G41 MB that oc'd to 4ghz with an E5200. The particular board I got wasn't particularly impressive, but it overclocked alright, as long as the IGP was disabled. If you were to get a Phenom II processor, Biostar makes a mATX 790GX board which overclocks well, as does DFI.

Prime95 only ran 2 threads in my build because I used a dual core CPU, but if I used an i7 then it would have run 8 threads if HT was enabled. Prime95 only runs as many test cores as your CPU has.
May 29, 2009 2:31:25 AM

@OP: Are you using the Dell OEM XP copy or not? Usually the Dell OEM copy don't let you activate on non Dell hardware.
May 29, 2009 5:24:28 AM

Shadow703793 said:
@OP: Are you using the Dell OEM XP copy or not? Usually the Dell OEM copy don't let you activate on non Dell hardware.

Yep I used the Dell OEM license, don't ask me how. I just tried reactivating over the phone and the tech just activated the copy, without asking for a license or product key. I didn't complain. I figured when I tried it that it was worth a shot, worse they would tell me was sorry it couldn't be done. Apparently it can be, although I was under the impression that those licenses couldn't transfer either.
May 29, 2009 7:21:15 PM

Quote:
I was under the impression that those licenses couldn't transfer either.

Same here, hence why I asked. Guess some people are lucky ;) .
May 29, 2009 11:20:20 PM

xthekidx said:
I stuck another fan under the front cover of the Dell to increase airflow, it normally only comes with one rear exhaust fan. With that extra fan in the front it ran pretty well and didn't get too hot at all. Got up to 64C once on a pretty hot day while I was running Prime95, which is a very managable temp and would have some longevity for the chip.

I couldn't find anything on Dell B1100...is that the same thing as a Dell Dimension 1100? If it is, it looks like it uses the exact same case that the Dimension 4600 uses, and no, it will not fit a full sized ATX board in it, you will have to use mATX. Overclocking can be good on mATX boards, it just depends on which one you get. The DFI LP Jr P45 board is supposed to have excellent OC'ing. The SBM this month used a ASRock G41 MB that oc'd to 4ghz with an E5200. The particular board I got wasn't particularly impressive, but it overclocked alright, as long as the IGP was disabled. If you were to get a Phenom II processor, Biostar makes a mATX 790GX board which overclocks well, as does DFI.

Prime95 only ran 2 threads in my build because I used a dual core CPU, but if I used an i7 then it would have run 8 threads if HT was enabled. Prime95 only runs as many test cores as your CPU has.



Thanks for the reply, yes it is the 1100 desktop with a m-ATX motherboard. Yeah I only need something like a Celeron Dual Core for this build since its like a web browsing, video sufing build. How far do you think a chip like the E2200 will go? I also heard a stress test program called OCCT has support for multicore CPUs. But however I still think that Prime95 is the best all around stress test.
May 29, 2009 11:26:51 PM

The E5200 is $3 more at newegg...why wouldn't you just get that? I have no idea how well an E2200 can OC, but I know that the E5200 can OC like crazy.
May 29, 2009 11:50:42 PM

Haha, sweet. But I can't order online anyways. Looks like the local retailer carries the E1400 and the E5200. Theres a $27 diff. CAD between the two. Which one would you get?
May 29, 2009 11:55:31 PM

E5200. Its newer, overclocks better, and uses less energy because its the 45nm wolfdale core instead of the 65nm allendale core. It also has 4x the L2 cache, which makes a considerable difference IMO.
May 30, 2009 1:19:25 AM

E5200 vs E2xxx, E5200 can OC MUCH better with less voltage. You can easily get 3.2-3.6Ghz on the E5200 with a good board.
May 30, 2009 1:33:24 AM

Thanks, I'll probably don't even need to overclock for what my computer is used for, but I have a question. If I O/C it to 3-3.2GHz can it be comparable to a Core 2 Duo at same speeds or no because of the architechure and technology?
May 30, 2009 2:23:50 AM

AKM880 said:
Nice, did you overclock the Sempron CPU too? Or is it enough for your home theater needs?

It's very mildly overclocked to 2.0GHz (originally 1.9GHz). That's more because of the ability to run the ram at rated speed than the 100MHz increase in speed. It also makes 4x multiplier just a bit more effective, as now the base clock speed is 850MHz. Surprising what 50MHz can do when the cpu is running that slow already. My HTPC is SD only, so the Sempron rig works well. The capture cards are hardware encoders, so the CPU is not important for encoding. It's really only used during playback of video and when watching DVDs, the majority of which can be performed even when the CPU is at base 850MHz speeds. Works well.

Quote:
That HP case looks like it would a pain to work with. Can't fit a good CPU cooler in there either with the placement of the PSU...I think The Dell case that I used is much easier. I actually found it to be fairly roomy for an mATX case and was quite pleased with it.

Ah....no sense of adventure. It is a smaller case though, about 2 inches shorter and 4 inches smaller in depth. Besides, CPU choice is the biggest factor in CPU cooler needs. The E5200 you chose would work well in a case like that, do to it very low power consumption. I agree with the roominess of the 4600 style case. It's pretty much your basic form factor mATX case, with pretty good cooling characteristics.
May 30, 2009 3:08:59 AM

Yeah I can't wait for my parts to come in....:lol: 
May 30, 2009 3:53:03 AM

AKM880 said:
Thanks, I'll probably don't even need to overclock for what my computer is used for, but I have a question. If I O/C it to 3-3.2GHz can it be comparable to a Core 2 Duo at same speeds or no because of the architechure and technology?

Well its a crippled core 2 duo, since it only has 2mb L2 cache instead of 4 or 6, but it will otherwise be very similar in performance.
May 30, 2009 3:55:57 AM

wow really cool... and nice OC, i hope you can make a good buck or two on it!!
May 30, 2009 4:21:32 AM

$500 on craigslist. Enough to fund my next project. I probably could have gotten more for it, people seemed pretty interested, but I wanted to move it so I could get the money for my next build. I just kinda do it for fun, and the profit I make will just allow for me to build a slightly better build the next time I do it. Its much more fun to build higher end PC's than the budget ones, so hopefully I can work my way up to building some nice systems.
May 31, 2009 7:35:42 AM

Well I'm deciding to go with a G31 chipset board :lol: , since my budget is fairly small. The local retailer carries two major brands MSI and Asus which one would you pick?
May 31, 2009 9:45:53 AM

Asus I think. If its the P5KL board that one is supposed to be pretty good.
May 31, 2009 10:49:16 AM

Wow Kid!

Thanks for the inspiration....i may just end up selling my secondary gaming rig i pieced together for 30$...might make a little profit :D 
May 31, 2009 4:05:50 PM

AKM880 said:
Thanks, I'll probably don't even need to overclock for what my computer is used for, but I have a question. If I O/C it to 3-3.2GHz can it be comparable to a Core 2 Duo at same speeds or no because of the architechure and technology?

A E2180 OCed to 3.2Ghz is the same performance as a E8400 in 90-95% of the benchmarks.
May 31, 2009 5:35:16 PM

Shadow703793 said:
A E2180 OCed to 3.2Ghz is the same performance as a E8400 in 90-95% of the benchmarks.

Yeah you can kinda make up for the fact that the older chips don't have much cache by pushing them to slightly higher clock speeds, although sometimes that extra cache can't really be replaced.
June 1, 2009 5:01:16 AM

Thanks Shadow, sounds like a good idea but I'm thinking I'll go with a E5200. How's the overclocking capability on G31 motherboards?
June 1, 2009 5:18:09 AM

AKM880 said:
Thanks Shadow, sounds like a good idea but I'm thinking I'll go with a E5200. How's the overclocking capability on G31 motherboards?

Not great, but you should be able to achieve something decent, it should be enough for what you need it sounds like. I think that the E5200 will probably top out at FSB 1350 or so though, its not known for having a high FSB. But with a 12.5 multiplier you should be able to get up there pretty high.
June 1, 2009 6:51:38 AM

Sorry for the questions (noob) :lol: , but does O/Cing overclock the RAM too? And is it as simple as just raising the FSB? (because the multi is locked)
June 1, 2009 6:52:32 AM

^ Might seem a bit awkward since in my sig, my CPU is O/Ced but that is with software so......I dunno about doing it in the BIOS :p 
June 1, 2009 7:03:43 AM

Yeah to overclock a Locked multiplier CPU you have to change the FSB. The ram speed is also determined by the FSBxRam multiplier, however most ram multipliers go down to a 2x multiplier, so you don't have to overclock the ram if you don't want to since you can just select a lower multiplier to adjust for the higher FSB. Typically though, you will end up with overclocked ram as well since it usually doesn't work out so nicely that you end up with a 400FSB, and DDR2-800...usually its like DDR2 883 or something like that.
      • 1 / 2
      • 2
      • Newest