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Newbie - Need advice to utilize new GPU in Dell Studio Slim

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February 24, 2010 3:06:14 AM

I apologize in advance for my lack of knowledge regarding home built systems. I bought a Dell system about a year ago and just decided I'd like to utilize dual 24'' inch monitors. I ended up buying a new graphics card to accommodate my new monitor. I ended up buying the SAPPHIRE 100283L Radeon HD 5770 (Juniper XT) 1GB 128-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card to replace my old graphics card.

I probably should have done more research as the graphics card is very large for my tower. I'm fine with leaving the side panel off, but it was still even a stretch to get the thing in there. Being the dummy that I am, I didn't even think about the fact that my power supply wouldn't be able to handle the new card (nor does it even have the connectors to hook it up).

Is there a power supply that I can buy that's REALLY small that would still be able to fit and power my system?

Here are the rest of my specs....

Studio Slim-Tower, Intel Core 2 Quad Processor Q9400 (2.66GHz, 1333MHz FSB), w/ 6MBcache

6GB DDR2 SDRAM

Dell S2409W 24 inch WidescreenFlat Panel Monitor

750GB Serial ATA 2 Hard Drive 7200RPM
February 24, 2010 4:02:10 AM

How hard would it be to move everything out of my slim case into a mid size case?
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a b U Graphics card
February 24, 2010 4:29:20 AM

Not that hard to be honest.. just undo some screws and put it into the new case. Also not your 5770 barely fits in your current case is probably because of the slim tower design, meaning it really only supports low profile cards

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a b B Homebuilt system
a b U Graphics card
February 24, 2010 2:39:00 PM
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Your best option is definitely to move into a new tower. Its not that difficult, all you will have to do is remove some screws and be gentle with the parts as you transition.

You will not find a high-quality PSU that will fit in a low-profile case, and you probably do not really want to keep your case open and vulnerable to bumps, spills, etc for a long time.

There are many case/PSU options, but this would be a good value:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...
a b B Homebuilt system
a b U Graphics card
February 24, 2010 2:41:23 PM

If you start shopping for other cases/power supplies be aware that the most reputable power supply manufacturers are Corsair, Antec, OCZ, and Seasonic.

Getting a cheap case wont really hurt anything if you want to skimp there, but it would be helpful to find one with decent airflow.

Also, dont buy a case that comes with a powersupply installed--they always put crappy PSUs in those.
February 24, 2010 2:47:03 PM

Thanks for the help guys. After thinking about it some more and reading your responses, I have decided to move into a new case. I'm not ready to replace all my components, but I do want to be able use my new card.

Here is a new case and power supply that I found on newegg...

Case

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Power Supply

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Will I have any issues connecting my video card to my power supply? I'm not very knowledgeable about the connections, but my video card has a 6 pin (2 rows X 3) connector that connects from the video card and needs to connect to a 3 prong connection for the power supply.

Do you guys think that case would adequately supply my current setup? I probably won't ever need to run dual video cards (I'm just upgrading for Starcraft 2 and for dual monitors)...

And while I'm thinking about it, do you guys have any suggestions for a RAM upgrade? I don't think I should have any issues upgrading that with my current motherboard.

One more stupid question. I can do the "quick edit" but I don't see how to save or submit my message if I use the "edit message" feature. What am I missing?
a b B Homebuilt system
a b U Graphics card
February 24, 2010 2:57:44 PM

I'm pretty sure whatever motherboard came in a studio slim wont support multiple graphic cards-- so you are stuck there anyway.

I would suggest this Corsair power supply instead. I only picked higher wattage on the other because it was a deal with the case-- this power supply has slightly lower wattage, but is higher efficiency with a better 5 year warranty. It still provides a comfortable safety margin for your setup. I have a corsair--it runs almost silently and is very cool.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
a b B Homebuilt system
a b U Graphics card
February 24, 2010 3:05:00 PM

All the fans and stuff in the case are probably overkill, but I dont see any reason not to get it. (it has a very good shipping cost) A big case and quality power supply like this are a great investment because you will be able to reuse them if you decide to build your next computer.

February 24, 2010 3:08:39 PM

I think you sold me on that Corsair PSU :) 

Do you think I'll run into any issues connecting my video card to the power supply? (connections)
a b B Homebuilt system
a b U Graphics card
February 24, 2010 3:14:58 PM

Yea, Corsair has an excellent reputation. As long as the case is ATX the power supply will fit and thats all that really matters.

If you are near a microcenter you could go look at cases in person. That might be more useful than online photos. Overall though, I think any case would work as long as its big enough. (I'm using a $20 one with only 1 fan and it works fine)

The only potential complication would be if dell has chosen to use any non-standard connections on the motherboard. This most likely isn't the case, but you should probably look at the power supply-to- motherboard plug to make certain its ATX, and also look to see where your front power button/usb plug connects to the motherboard.
February 24, 2010 3:21:42 PM

I remember the power supply to motherboard connection. It's a 2x2 connection. Looks like a small square. Is that an ATX connection?
a b B Homebuilt system
a b U Graphics card
February 24, 2010 3:39:57 PM

You should have a slot on the motherboard like this? The 4 pin on the end comes off to make either a 20, or 24 pin connector.

February 24, 2010 3:44:15 PM

I'm pretty sure I saw that one as well along the side of the MOBO towards the front of the computer. The 4 pin was towards the back of the MOBO.
a b B Homebuilt system
a b U Graphics card
February 24, 2010 3:47:57 PM

Yea then you are fine. The 4-pin you are talking about powers the CPU fan I think. The power supply has that, along with enough connectors for a LOT of accessories/drives.

Oh, and I forgot to say earlier that yes, the PSU has a 6-pin connector--you can see it in very nice pictures on newegg.
a b B Homebuilt system
a b U Graphics card
February 24, 2010 3:51:06 PM

Also--make certain to discharge any static electricity before doing anything to the inside of your computer. Shocks are really the most dangerous part of the whole process.
February 24, 2010 3:53:53 PM

The 6 pin connector connects to the vid card. Does it also have a 3 pin connector that would connect to the other end (to power supply)?

Sorry for all the questions... :) 

Yeah guess I should buy one of those wrist straps :) 
a b B Homebuilt system
a b U Graphics card
February 24, 2010 4:02:36 PM

I dont really know what you are talking about-- you mean the plug?

It has
1 x Main connector (20+4Pin) -- Motherboard
1 x 12V(4+4Pin) --CPU/Fan
6 x peripheral --4 pins in a row "Molex" for older drives
6 x SATA --newer drives
2 x Floppy
1 x PCI-E -graphic card
February 24, 2010 4:51:04 PM

Let me see if I can describe myself better. In the video card packaging, there is a sticker that says "Stop. Connect video card to power supply" and it comes with a cable. On one side of the cable, there is a 6 pin connector (2x3) that connects to the video card. I was assuming the other side connects to the power supply after reading the instructions. It's a 3 pin connector. Where does it go?
a b B Homebuilt system
a b U Graphics card
February 24, 2010 4:57:24 PM

Ah-- that is an adapter for people that don't have 6-pin connectors, because you will have a good power supply it will be redundant.
February 24, 2010 5:49:13 PM

Ah ha! So you're saying I'll be able to connect using a 6 pin connector that comes from the power supply and connect it directly to the video card?
a b B Homebuilt system
a b U Graphics card
February 24, 2010 6:04:39 PM

Yep.
February 24, 2010 6:58:03 PM

Thanks so much man! You've been very helpful :) 
February 24, 2010 7:05:30 PM

Best answer selected by LiLNipsFatal.
a b B Homebuilt system
a b U Graphics card
February 24, 2010 7:10:42 PM

No problem
!