Worth upgrading a Dell Optiplex GX620 to SSD?

I just inherited a Dell GX620 from work. It's a bit better than my old PC (a Dell Dimension 2400, also a recycled work PC). I had some ram and a video card & added those bits.
Current specs:
Dell Optiplex GX620 (full tower version)
Pentium 4 2.8GHZ
2.5GB ram
Win XP 32 bit
Nvidia Geforce 6200 video card
Maxtor 7L250 250GB HDD

primary uses: email, netflix-- media PC, music, database work (MS Access, mostly) occasional non-serious gaming

Financial considerations preclude the building of a new PC (in the planning stages for several months now). I'm kind of stuck with this thing, plus about $250 in PC-upgrade money.

I hope that's enough background-- here's my question. Ultimately, I intend to build a PC, within the next year or two. Would it be worth my while to install an SSD (thinking Crucial M4 128GB SATA3 or similar) to juice up this relic, and then swap over to a new build? I've also read that a Pentium D 9XX processor will run on my current mobo, which is pretty cheap ($44 at newegg) but not really an SSD question. Though at $44 + thermal paste & possibly a fan/heatsink upgrade, I'd also consider doing that swap if it'd net me some noticeable speed.

With Dell having so much proprietary #@$!! on them, I have reservations about whether an SSD will even cooperate with this system. It would be great if I could get a boost to nurse this PC along (retaining the 250GB HDD for music and so forth), and then get to use my SSD investment in a sparkling new i5 (or i7, since they'll be old tech in a year or so!) build later.

Your opinions and insights are, as always, much appreciated!
Jim B.
5 answers Last reply
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  1. Restart your pc. Immediately access the system BIOS. Take a look an see if there is a setting for AHCI mode. If the setting is there, then you might be able to install an ssd.

    You are right about Dell and their proprietary stuff. Definitely irritating. One thing you can try is contact Dell through their web site and ask about purchasing an ssd for your system. They'll probably ask a few questions about your system and provide you with an answer. It's just a cutomer inquiry and you are under no obligation to purchase from them.
  2. Hmph. It looks grim. I restarted & F2ed, the available options don't include AHCI. I also checked Dell (didn't chat, just checked upgrade options) and SSD was not one of them. Well, maybe I ought to look at a Pentium dual core in the meantime. The sad thing is, going from the old Dimension to the much newer Optiplex isn't much faster... really, the primary difference is going from IDE to SATA. The Dimension also had a P4 cpu.
    Any notions for nudging the performance of this thing would be very well appreciated.
    Thanks for your help!
  3. I have two GX620s, both USFF, and I gave away a full tower. I upgraded all three to Pentium D 3.4 CPUs and put in 4 gigs of memory. I'm still using one as my main office computer. It is now running Windows 7 on a new WD hard drive. Great computer for VERY little money!
  4. Yes it can run an SSD and yes its a great computer for the money.
    Pentium D CPU can be found for $10 for a dual core that is a good deal.

    I was in the process of copying some data off of an ssd onto a drive on a gx620 and saw this thread so i switched the sata connectors and it booted right up from the ssd.

    Must be a sata two controller because it was getting over 220 MB/s on hdtune using OCZ Solid 480GB SSD
    4k IOPS was 5734


    AHCI is not needed to run an SSD
    It just improves performance.
  5. I upgraded a GX620 SFF with an SSD, 4gb G.SKILL PC6400 memory, 6570 video card and Windows 8 Professional 64-bit.

    The SSD is operating at SATA 2 speeds. Overall, this machine runs rings around its old self.

    The GX620 has a proprietary mainboard, but it's quite amenable to off-the-shelf parts and updates.
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