I have a Dell XPS 435MT i7-950 & am having a bit of trouble figuring out if this PC will support PC3-10666 RAM (1333MHz) without down clocking to 1066MHZ.
Per Dell Thread the BIOS gives a false reading of 1333MHz. Having searched high & low but am unable to get a definitive answer regarding the i7-950 processor, the i7-965 for sure supports the 1333MHZ RAM.
Since 12GB of RAM can now be purchased for less than $100 believe I am going to give a shot & see what happens. Have used CPU-Z to verify the DRAM frequency @ 532.0 MHz. I am assuming that if the upgrade works the DRAM frequency will be 667.0 MHz after words.
The last BIOS update is version 1.1.4 dated 2009 & Dell does not appear to be willing to alter the BIOS to allow for the faster RAM. Feel like I have exhausted the resources at Dell & was wondering if anyone here might have input/experience with this PC?
There is no underlying problem. We have had virtually zero problems with this PC since plugging it in three years ago. In fact I have had no reason to even pull it out from the wall until recently.
When purchased this PC had Vista with an upgrade to Win 7. Dell talked me into an on-board sound card with integrated Sound Blaster X-Fi MB. Well it is Not compatible with Win 7 & has been running in compatibility mode since the Win 7 install- not a problem until Oracle's Virtual Box. Have been running VM under Win 8 preview (without SB software installed) & Ubuntu Precise Pangolin in VM. That way we have sound in Ubuntu.
I suppose there is a way around the integrated sound card & VM but to be honest it just reopened some old anger issues with Dell. We also purchased a Bose Companion 3 series 2 sound system, a 30" high def monitor & Blu-Ray disc player. This is the best TV/stereo in the house. We love watching movies on this machine but why in the world Dell wanted us to save a $100 on a sound card when we already had so much invested is beyond me?
Few weeks back decided wanted to install SSD & would go ahead & correct the Sound Card issue too. Crucial 512 GB SSD & SB X-Fi Titanium are on their way, so I was wondering if there was anything else I should do now & head off any future opening of the cabinet. RAM was the only thing I could come up with. Some research online, your assistance & it looks like the upgrade won't work.
The manual @ Dell indicates this PC will handle PC3-10666 RAM, glad I did a little research before buying RAM. We'll be buying the next PC from Newegg or Cyberpowerpc. Don't imagine we'll need one for a while, this PC is really quite good. Dell could have done better though.
Well, the 1333 may work, Intel's own product page wouldn't lead me to believe that, but it is indeed possible.
I just would rather not see you take the risk unless there is something solid to gain from it.
Right now it doesn't seem like, even if you get it and it works, that you will gain very much.
As for the sound card thing, I can appreciate that you want to use the computer as a multi-media system and I don't really want to sound like I am on DELL's side or anything, but I will say that it is common for people around here to suggest people don't get sound cards and they instead rely on motherboard sound.
Motherboard sound will get most people to where they want to be for a grand total of $0. If you are someone that cares about not just being 80% of the way there but instead 100% of the way there, then an add in sound card would make sense.
Also, if you had an old board where Windows 7 wouldn't even recognize your sound, that would also be a good reason to have an add in card specifically for sound.
I can tell you that I am using motherboard sound and it works just fine for me, but I wouldn't really consider myself an audiophile either.
Anyway, if you already have a good sound card coming then its no big deal either way.
If I were you I wouldn't just change the RAM just to change the RAM at this point.
Unless you had a problem that was clearly RAM related, I would suggest to just stick with what you have and what you know to be working.
OK - the RAM is going to stay the way it is. "If it ain't broke don't fix it" certainly applies here. Not only not broke but performs very well. This is our first desktop & I'm a little bit nervous to be mucking about inside the cabinet as it is.
The Sound card is Creative refurbished & only $50, wouldn't that be killer if the Virtual Box didn't recognize it either?
I realize this isn't the proper forum for SSD questions & I can certainly open another thread but if you have any suggestions on the following I would very much appreciate that too:
Read a number of the reviews for the Crucial 512GB SSD on Amazon & some of the reviews made it sound anything but easy. The 3.5 to 2.5-Inch Bay Converter sounds simple but a couple reviewers were using double sided sticky tape to get the drive in place. I won't do that.
We purchased the transfer kit as well, this will be our system/primary drive & the 1TB spinning drive will be a data drive. Some reviewers had issues getting their PC to recognize the SSD as new C: drive?
Enabling TRIM in Win 7 - was going to research that more tomorrow.
A BIOS choice between AHCI or IDE? - From what I have read, the SSD has to be in IDE for the firmware upgrade. Once the firmware upgrade is complete, AHCI is the recommended setting which is accomplished thru regedit. Hope we don't have to update the firmware on the SSD as soon as we get it. Really hoping there will be great install instructions included.
Virtual Machines have a habit of not recognizing things. It is pretty common.
I am no virtual machine expert, but a lot of times a virtual machine works by simulating basic hardware so stuff like gaming inside a virtual machine is often out of the question.
I think it can be pretty hard to simulate super expensive hardware.
Anyway, it might work and I guess it is worth a try.
SSD stuff - I don't have one so take it with a grain of salt when I say that you can probably get by just fine without a firmware upgrade.
The firmware is like a little hard drive that exists on the device itself that has the instructions for how the internals of the drive should work. Most devices don't ship without working firmware in the first place.
Unless it clearly is not working, I wouldn't bother with doing anything related to firmware. I tend to view firmware as a last resort kind of thing. If you screw up the firmware you screw up the whole device forever.
It isn't like in Windows where if you mess up the OS you can just reinstall Windows and the problem will be gone. Broken firmware means broken device forever. Just like a messed up BIOS upgrade often means the motherboard is broken forever.
Basically, I would use a change of firmware as an absolute last resort method to fix any kind of problem.
On the subject of installing it, again I haven't had to do it before, but I just want to say that hard drives and SSDs can handle some pretty crazy stuff. My current hard drive is upside down in my case, because that makes the cabling work out better. My hard drive doesn't even care.
You could just literally set the SSD physically on the bottom of the case and it would work just fine. It isn't like it has to be in a 3.5 slot. Ideally air would be flowing wherever it is, but other than that you can do whatever ghetto sort of thing you want most likely.
I am sure you can get it going if you have a 3.5 to 2.5 converter thingy.
Transferring stuff - I wouldn't count on it. Call me old school, but in my day we saved everything that needed to be saved onto a CD or DVD and then we blew away everything on a drive when we didn't want to have an OS on there anymore.
That is how I would suggest you do it too.
If you do some kind of data migration technique, you may have a tough time.
In the ideal world, the Windows install on the SSD will be done when the SSD is the only hard drive physically connected to the computer.
Also in the ideal world, there won't be a 2nd drive capable of booting into Windows installed into the computer later.
Not doing things this way has the potential to cause problems booting, like for instance if both drives have OS installs on them and they both fight over which one the computer should use.
If you took the 1 TB drive out with its OS still intact, install the OS on the SSD, and then put the hard drive back in with its OS intact, the above problem could occur.
It is best to have one OS gone before another OS is installed if you don't intend to use both at the same time (and you wouldn't if its the same exact OS).
The only time I would install an OS with another already present is if I wanted to be able to switch between them, and then I would definitely do it with the first one still available in the system while the second is installing. That way the second one can check and see that it isn't the only one and put its information into a table so that you could choose between them at start up.
Anyway, if you do it like I suggest, copying data with CDs, blowing away everything on the 1 TB, then installing on the SSD, it should pick up the SSD automatically as AHCI and the process should go pretty smoothly with little configuration from you.
If it was me, that would be how I would do it, tbh.
Got an external 1TB Western Digital HD a while back, we have lots of music & movies & wanted everything backed up. I have been partitioning the C: drive & migrating as necessary so that Windows backup will fit onto one single DVD. Also since we have the 1TB external HD I have been Creating a System Image on a weekly basis = 60GB.
My first thought, before the transfer kit, was to wipe the 1TB internal drive & install the new SSD - get it to be recognized as the C: drive & then install Win 7 to the point where I could perform a System Image Restore to the new SSD. As you can tell I am pretty much winging it. I like your old school line of thought, think I was kinda going there myself.
With the transfer kit I imagined some kind of software provided by Crucial that would allow me to copy the C: drive via USB to the new SSD before even touching the cabinet. Then wiping the internal drive, installing the SSD & somehow it is recognized as the new C: drive - Voila!
Do you think I will have to uncable the 1 TB internal drive in order to get the SSD recognized as the C: drive?
Well, since we have a Windows backup on DVD & have created a System Image I suppose the worst that could happen if the transfer doesn't work is we'll be re-installing Win 7 & restoring from backup. Which sounds like what your suggesting anyway?