Should I upgrade my Dell XPS 420 with bigger CPU or New MB and CPU??


I have a Dell XPS 420 with a Dual 2 Quad Q6600 2.40 GHZ 2.39, Vista, 4 gigs of ram and a Nvidia 8600GTS. It has 375 watt power supply.

Should I find a higher clocked Q6600 and replace the stock one?
Should I put a different processor on it?
Or should I buy a new motherboard and process and just change out the entire guts?

The systems is going to be used for gaming.

Can I upgrade the power supply to a bigger one, say about 500 or 600 watt?

Is the machine big enough for that?

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  1. Dell XPS 420 machine is a Intel X38 Express chipset board based(witch is great,still!!), u have a Q6600 and a low level VGA card. Forget that PSU. It must be changed.
    If u go for heavy gaming look at the newest video cards on the market.It may bee a good choice also any Ati 48xx. Choose one for your needs and budget. Then u choose a PSU that fits the need of that new system,with a minimum of 100 W extra over the minimum requirements. And this because u will overclock that CPU at a minimum 3Ghz. With an aftermarket cooler like this u will be fine. Is a bit hot and old that CPU but is still a power lifter. Try first with that dell cooler but put an extra exhaust rear fan on that case.

    For the new video card choice u better look at the case dimension also for compatibility fit problems.
    For the RAM section... 4Gb of what RAM? 667 or 800?
    Consider this advice. X38 chipset is still a good performer at this days and with these new things u will be good for 1 year at minimum.Then u will have some mature P55 platforms to upgrade with, and u will be able to use this new PSU ,CPU cooler and videocard that u will buy now. U will do maybe just a mobo+CPU+RAM upgrade.
  2. Another point to ponder, and all you people with prebuilds like Dell or HP or what ever need to take note, if you change the motherboard, and you are using the OEM OS that came with the computer, your OEM OS will no longer work.
  3. I seem to forget.Didn't Dell use a proprietary Power supply that only works with Dell Motherboards in the past few years (wired differently).If so one would have to get a Dell brand Power supply of higher capacity rating.Not sure but if you tried to use a power supply designed for a custom PC it could likely fry the Dell motherboard.
    Anyway take heed unless I am corrected on this.Dell I think used ordinary power supplies in the 1990's though.
    Can someone correct me on this or am I correct?
  4. I have an XPS 420 same setup as you. I would NOT recommend upgrading the PSU and Video alone as this will leave you in a situation where your bottle neck is the CPU in hardware intensive games. Your next step then will be sinking more money into a better CPU, money will be better spent on a new i7 system.

    If you're a casual gamer just go to an ATI 5770 and be done with it.

    If you're a hard core gamer build a newer gaming system.
  5. @jj463rd

    You can use an off the shelf PSU in a Dell XPS however you have to make sure the fans on the PSU are not mesh covered as there is already a mesh covering on back of the case.
  6. Thanks for updating me ginzero on the Dell power supply situation.
    Glad that they abandoned their proprietary power supplies in their computers.
  7. My vote is for the 5770 and a new PSU. If its a good brand like corsair, pc power and cooling, or antec you probably only need 450-550w. Err on the high side(550-650w) if you are going to overclock.

    You should be able to get that for about $200... then just save for complete replacement in 1-2 years. This way if you decide you need to go for a mobo replacement sooner rather than later you can reuse the 5770 in an xfire setup.
  8. I just ordered an XFX HD-577X-ZNFC to replace an 8800GT in my XPS420 (using stock 375w PSU). Will try to post a performance compare on a new thread..

  9. Check the numbers on the Dell power supply,it may suprise you. I have a studio 540 bought last year and the psu has a lower rated wattage then you expexct but the 12v amps was rated high enough to power my 8800 GTS 640mb card just fine with the C2Quad cpu and 2 hd's in raid and everything else.

    Another point to ponder, and all you people with prebuilds like Dell or HP or what ever need to take note, if you change the motherboard, and you are using the OEM OS that came with the computer, your OEM OS will no longer work.

    This is not true. If the system needs parts changed and it wont activate automatically or if you rebuild system (like if you change mboard)then you need to type in the code on the os sticker on the case to activate it. The dell version of windows will activate without entering the key until changes are made and then you need to hit the button/tab that gives you the (enter new product key) option if/after it wont activate on its own
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