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Can it be done and is it worth it ?

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November 21, 2010 6:13:57 PM

I have a Dell XPS 410 with all of this in it:

BIOS: Phoenix ROM BIOS PLUS Version 1.10 2.5.3
Processor: Intel(R) Core(TM)2 CPU 6600 @ 2.40GHz (2 CPUs)
Memory: 3070MB RAM DDR2-SDRAM 667MHz
Card name: ATI Radeon HD 4800 Series
Manufacturer: ATI Technologies Inc.
Chip type: ATI Radeon Graphics Processor (0x9442)
Model: SAMSUNG SP2504C

Drive: D:
Model: TSSTcorp DVD+-RW TS-H553A
Drive: E:
Model: SONY CDRWDVD CRX310S

It is past being upgraded and being a disabled veteran I am on a budget
My question is can this tower be gutted and a new mobo /pcu (i5 750 type) be put into the tower?
I would need a better PSU (375 won't cut it) upgraded memory to match new system,
and a better video card and probably a replacement for the HD (even though I only have about 50% of this one used.
I play WoW (since I don't get out much) and its cheap entertainment.
I looked at some of the pre-built from Dell and for 500-700 there isn't much choice so this was why I was looking at the possibility / feasibility of doing the upgrades to this one
Thank you for any help you can give me

More about : worth

November 22, 2010 2:56:54 AM

If your changing the Mobo completely then I don't see why not, because I know that those Dell computers in the past had a mobo that was part specific to their products. Greedy on their part. Just make sure you know the size of your case so that you get the right size board. Make sure when you buy your new PSU to check the cables. There are differences from the 4 pin and SATA adapters, and by the sounds of your computer you might have to use 4 pin connector prongs. I found out quickly when my new hdd only had a sata adapter. Thankfully my psu had one.
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a b B Homebuilt system
November 22, 2010 3:28:13 AM

If you give us a budget that works for you I have seen these people come up with some amazing systems?
Here's one for under $580
Or this one for about $1000
And this one might be to your liking.

These were put together for other people of course so if you give us some preferences or pick one of the others we can tweak it up for you. Or go to the new built systems section and find something you like there with some preferences and we'll help you tweak that one to your liking.
And you can probably always sell your for a few hundred buck on ebay or something for extra funds to get something you really like.
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November 22, 2010 1:58:14 PM

vvarreng said:
If your changing the Mobo completely then I don't see why not, because I know that those Dell computers in the past had a mobo that was part specific to their products. Greedy on their part. Just make sure you know the size of your case so that you get the right size board. Make sure when you buy your new PSU to check the cables. There are differences from the 4 pin and SATA adapters, and by the sounds of your computer you might have to use 4 pin connector prongs. I found out quickly when my new hdd only had a sata adapter. Thankfully my psu had one.



w/ Core i5 750 (4 x 2.66GHz ~ 3.2GHz - 2500 FSB - 8MB Cache) $259.80
Asus P7H55M-LX mobo

Is what I was looking to install. I will have to open the case on the 410 and get some measurements to see if they are comparable in size. Same with the PSU. Case dimensions are 17L x 17 H x 7 W

CORSAIR HX Series CMPSU-520HX 520W ATX12V v2.2 $ 90.00

Since these seem to be the most critical parts for fit into the case.

Corsair CMX8GX3M2A2000C9 XMS3 8GB DDR3 RAM Kit - 2x 4GB, PC16000, 2000MHz $ 205.00
SAPPHIRE 100283L Radeon HD 5770 140.00

Approx $695.00 unless any of the other components aren't compatible and require replacing
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a b B Homebuilt system
November 22, 2010 3:18:16 PM

Definitely get the measurements for the motherboard, that will really be the most critical bit.

8 GB of RAM isn't necessary if you're just gaming, 4 GB will do just fine.

Do you know specifically which 48xx card you have? 4850, 4870, other? Tom's Best Graphics Cards for the money suggests that you're not going to see much of an upgrade moving from one of the ones I listed to a 5770.

What resolution do you game at? A 5870 should provide a good boost, and they're rapidly dropping in price due to the new 68nn series being released. Or a 68xx series graphics card might be good as well.

$90 for a 520W PSU seems a little high...ah, it's modular. If you're on a budget, modular isn't the way to go. Unless the PSU mounts at the top of the case, but even then you can save some money by just tying the cables out of the way rather than paying an extra $20-30 for modular cables.

I would consider this Antec EarthWatts 650 for $10 less, or for $100 ($80 after $20 MIR) get a XFX 650W 80+ Bronze PSU (semi-modular, and not a budget-conscious item, but more wattage & better rating for not much more). Or this Seasonic 520W 80+ Bronze for $60.

If you're not absolutely dying to upgrade this right now, you might consider waiting until January, when Intel is releasing a new processor line, making the i5-750/760 series obsolete (and possibly less expensive, so better for your budget).

If you're looking to get this done before Cataclysm, then obviously you don't have a lot of choice. :) 
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November 22, 2010 3:31:32 PM

I bought a new Dell 560 and was so disgusted with it I sent it back within a week because The XPS 410 ran better.
I have the money I spent for it and was looking at ways to get a newer / better performing computer and why not see if the upgrades i wanted can be installed in the old case and use whatever I can from it.

I was looking at certain types of PSU's because of the way Dell installs them --- apparently they have to be similar replacements to get the cooling air flow going properly and the 375 W is barely enough for the HD 4850 Graphics card that I have installed now

I looked at complete systems and to get close to what I want is in the $900.00 + range (which is more than I can afford)

I am definitely not on the cutting edge when it comes to computers which is why I came here to see if more knowledgeable folks had some guidance for me and appreciate all the help (4G is definitely cheaper than 8 and can then turn that towards something with a better upgrade)

I can wait till Jan without any problems and see what releases. Although by the time I put this all together, everything will be obsolete.
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a b B Homebuilt system
November 22, 2010 3:50:37 PM

Since you can wait until January, that's should provide you some additional options.

What I would recommend is measuring the motherboard, specifically check to make sure that the standoffs are standard ATX spec...or that you're comfortable drilling ATX spec with a Dremel. :) 

Then in January, create new post in the format in the How to Ask for New Build Advice thread, indicating that you have a case, etc.

For $500-700, you should be able to get something decent, though you might consider an AMD build to save $50-100 vs. an i5 build. Do you need to include Win 7 64-bit in that price as well?

CPU -
* AMD - Phenom II X4 955 - $150
* AMD - Athlon II X3 - $75
* Intel - i5-760 - $200
* Intel Sandy Bridget - ?
Mobo -
* AMD 870 chipset mobo - $100
* Intel P55 chipset - $125-150ish
* Intel P67 (Sandy Bridge) chipset - ?
RAM - $60-80
GPU -
* AMD 6870 - $240 (mostly out of stock at newegg right now)
* AMD 5870 - $300 (may drop in price more after the 69xx series comes out, model # oddly offers better performance than the 6870)
* nVidia GTX 460 1 GB - $190 ( slightly lower performance than the 6870
* nVidia GTX 470 - $260ish (slightly better performance than the 6870)
PSU - $60-100
OS - Win 7 Home Premium 64-bit OEM - $100 (if needed)

Budgeting the averages for everything and including an OS but mobo & CPU looks like about $500. I would lean towards an AMD build for your budget, though price changes may affect this some by January. If you don't need the OS, then you can go a little higher on CPU/mobo.

There are, of course, going to be some good deals at newegg this week for Black Friday/Cyber Monday, but obviously there's no way to know if the parts you need are going to be on sale.
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November 22, 2010 4:50:10 PM

coldsleep said:
Since you can wait until January, that's should provide you some additional options.

What I would recommend is measuring the motherboard, specifically check to make sure that the standoffs are standard ATX spec...or that you're comfortable drilling ATX spec with a Dremel. :) 

Then in January, create new post in the format in the How to Ask for New Build Advice thread, indicating that you have a case, etc.

For $500-700, you should be able to get something decent, though you might consider an AMD build to save $50-100 vs. an i5 build. Do you need to include Win 7 64-bit in that price as well?

CPU -
* AMD - Phenom II X4 955 - $150
* AMD - Athlon II X3 - $75
* Intel - i5-760 - $200
* Intel Sandy Bridget - ?
Mobo -
* AMD 870 chipset mobo - $100
* Intel P55 chipset - $125-150ish
* Intel P67 (Sandy Bridge) chipset - ?
RAM - $60-80
GPU -
* AMD 6870 - $240 (mostly out of stock at newegg right now)
* AMD 5870 - $300 (may drop in price more after the 69xx series comes out, model # oddly offers better performance than the 6870)
* nVidia GTX 460 1 GB - $190 ( slightly lower performance than the 6870
* nVidia GTX 470 - $260ish (slightly better performance than the 6870)
PSU - $60-100
OS - Win 7 Home Premium 64-bit OEM - $100 (if needed)

Budgeting the averages for everything and including an OS but mobo & CPU looks like about $500. I would lean towards an AMD build for your budget, though price changes may affect this some by January. If you don't need the OS, then you can go a little higher on CPU/mobo.

There are, of course, going to be some good deals at newegg this week for Black Friday/Cyber Monday, but obviously there's no way to know if the parts you need are going to be on sale.



Thank you for all your help ------

I was highly disappointed with the new Dell I bought (but you get what you pay for), it was such a letdown and that was what drove me to investigate other options like this. Other than that, there is really no pressing reason as to when I try to do this and am trying to gather as much info as possible.

A new case would probably eliminate a ton of problems and they seem fairly cheap.

The Intel / AMD---- choice I was under the impression that certain video cards seemed to work better if paired with a like processor (Intel and Radeon / AMD and nVidia), and reading that Intel had a slight advantage over AMD (right at this moment which could be subject to change by next week)

I am going to open the case and get more information on the mobo and the PSU and see where that leads me to
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a b B Homebuilt system
November 22, 2010 5:08:09 PM

Yeah, at this point, you're mostly doing a complete build with an old case. If you aren't attached to the case or you don't like its looks, there's no pressing need to keep it. Very decent cases can be had for $40-50.

There's no truth to the Intel/nVidia and AMD/ATI pairing rumors. What is true is that most AMD motherboards don't do SLI, but I don't think your budget/uses really point towards an SLI solution anyway.

Intel's processors are generally more powerful than AMD's right now in productivity apps, but the difference doesn't really matter a whole lot for gaming (unless you're gaming at a very low resolution, then it might matter a little more), your graphics card matters more anything 1680x1050 and up. The Phenom II X4 955/965 perform very similarly to the i5-750/760 in most games.

With a GTX 280 at 1920x1200, which isn't significantly more powerful than your 4850, the i5-750 gets 90+ fps in WoW, the 760 got 89, the X4 970 got 79, and the 965 got 74. All of those are well above 60 fps, and I suspect there had to be some variation in the test (maybe not as many players in the area, or a slightly different zone or something, as the 760 should have scored higher than the 750 based on processor speed alone.

In other games, the difference isn't as significant, but even the numbers above shouldn't concern you. A 2-generation-old graphics card scored well above the limit of human comprehension with all of the chips. A newer graphics card will be even better.
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