[General Homebuilt] Where does the little guy go from here?

Hey there guys, just a few quick questions. To start, I am a massive amatuer in upgrading computers. The main purpose for my machine is CSS and Warcraft.

I purchased a Dell e520 (32b Vista) 2 years ago and it served its purpose. From there, I have replaced the CPU with a Q6600 which is great, and added 4GB of the 'best' RAM. Also whacked a couple of 60mm Zalman fans on the back for air flow.

I have also installed an Inno3D 8800GT, which seems to run fine.

What I havent done is replaced the PSU from the stock 305W unit. Please advise whether or not this is an issue.

The question is, where do I go from here.

The Dell wasnt outstanding value, and I have read the DIY building section on the site, but I'm not sure whether or not I would be confident in putting a machine together.

This is an issue because, the fan on the 8800GT card is starting to make strange noises, as if its about to kark it - can you buy replacement fans easily?

Any advice or direction would be greatly appreciated! Also, I understand I'm a freakin' nublet on this, so please no flamez. Cheers lads.
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  1. If you check out newegg you will can get replacement coolers for your 8800GT. Better do it soon before the fan locks up and your card dies. Anyway if you can use a screw driver, then you too can learn how to build your own computer. You're already upgrading your current one so you're on your way :D.
  2. First try pulling the video card and blowing out the fan with a can of duster. It may just be dirty.

    Yes. The PSU is an issue. When upgrading the video card, you should always look at the PSU and if it can push the card. The video card is the biggest drain on the PSU. You should pay good attention to the 12v rail(s) and how many amps are on them. The wattage doesn't matter as much as the manufacturer.

    With the money you've invested, if it hasn't crashed, keep with it. You could get a new case and mobo, and possibly RAM, while keeping your video card and cpu. Though I don't think you'd see much improvement.

    It's hard to know without complete specs. But you're dealing in older hardware. The cost/benefit to a partial upgrade isn't very good on older hardware.
  3. I sheeee...

    Will take the card out and give it a clean today.

    Re; the newegg coolers-are they replacements or aftermarket improvements?

    Re; the PSU - the dell PSU is slightly smaller than usual, and after doing some reading I believe it is common knowledge among dell users. Is there anyone in the same position that may have some insight on a decent PSU to use.

    Also, is it possible that the card isnt performing to 100% best if its underpowered? - there hasnt been a single crash or problem so far with it in 6 months.

    Thanks for the quick responses...you guys are extremely helpful
  4. I think a normal ATX PSU will fit..I've seen some upgraded in a E521. The GPU heatsinks are aftermarket improvements I think.
  5. The newegg coolers can be considered as both - Replacements / Aftermarket improvements...

    And I have seen in forums people saying that the Dell PSUs are underrated - which means they can give out more power than what is specified on paper...But maybe the load of the 65NM Quad CPU and the 8800GT can be pushing it...

    Yes the card might not perform 100% if it is underpowered...But it would result in crashing and BSODs...But seeing from what you are saying, I doubt its underpowered...

    And there are Dell replacement PSUs with higher wattage if a PSU change is required...
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