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Semi-Homebuilt Upgrade

Last response: in Systems
September 30, 2011 6:44:51 PM

Alright, I have a Dell system I'm looking to upgrade if possible. This is used almost exclusively for work and no gaming so video card(s) meeting my requirements are OK...don't need top of the line.

Can someone please advise how I can upgrade to meet these requirements?
-Can support 3 or 4 monitors
-Ability to accept 8GB ram (option to upgrade to 16GB in future a plus)

I've built computers when I was a kid (i.e. 16yrs old....which was 10 years ago!), so putting things together and installs will be no problem.

Initial thoughts from distant experience makes tells me I need: new motherboard, new processor, 2 new video cards, RAM. Details of computer as-is now below:

Intel Core 2 Duo E8400
Code Name: Woldfale
Max TDP: 65 W
Technology: 45 nm
Core VID: 1.300 V
Specification: Intel Core 2 Duo CPU E8400 @ 3.00GHZ
Family/Ext. Family 6l Model 7; Ext Model 17; Stepping A; Revision E0;
OptiPlex 960,Core 2 Duo E8400/3.0GHz,6M,1333FSB

Dell Model# 0H634K
Chipset: Intel Q45/Q43
Southbridge: Intel 82801 JB (ICH10)

4GB,Non-ECC,800MHz DDR2,2X2GB OptiPlex

512MB ATI RADEON HD4670,Dual DVI plus single DVI VGA adapter, OptiPlex 960MT
80GB SATA 10K RPM 3.0Gb/s 3.5 inch SATA2 16MB Data Burst Cache Dell OptiPlex
500GB 3.5, SATA 3.0Gb/s and 16MB DataBurst Cache,Dell OptiPlex 960 Minitower

16X DVD+/-RW and 16X DVD

If anything else is needed let me know - and Thank You in advance!!!

More about : semi homebuilt upgrade

a b B Homebuilt system
September 30, 2011 7:31:08 PM

What kind of work? What's you're budget?
a b B Homebuilt system
September 30, 2011 7:32:51 PM

Also exactly what model is that dell. If it's an optiplex (like my optiplex 780 at work) that uses BTX layout you would need a new case to go along with a new motherboard.
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a b B Homebuilt system
September 30, 2011 7:33:56 PM

Trying to install a non-Dell motherboard into a Dell case (Optiplex 960) is going to be a pain. Dell uses proprietary connectors in the Optiplex line for the front panel connections (USB, power, LEDs, etc).

Your options are limted to adding a quad-core processor OR building a whole new rig, for all practical purposes.

That being said, since this is for work, what is your current config not capable of doing for you now?
September 30, 2011 8:02:15 PM

If I was replacing that much of the system, I wouldn't even bother with the dell case. Cooler Master and Antec make some decent cases in the $50 range that would be much easier to work with.
September 30, 2011 8:04:54 PM

I'm pretty sure it is a BTX layout.

What it's not doing is running quite as fast as I want during heave utilization. The 4GB RAM won't cut it and based on internet posts compared to the tech book I'm not sure if 8GB really is the max and 2GB per slot is the max. I'd also like to add a third monitor at the minimum (4 is a plus). Comp it used for heave financial modeling in excel and I may start using it for forex trading too....would rather avoid getting a whole new computer if economical.

Thanks again for your help.

Best solution

a b B Homebuilt system
September 30, 2011 9:05:55 PM

Since you're not gaming I'm guessing you would want something more subdued. Of course the choice of case is up to you but I'd go with

NZXT Source 210 S210-001 $39.99


Intel Core i5-2500k $219.99

CORSAIR Vengeance 8GB DDR3 1600 $47.99

That's $397.96. You can reuse your hard drives and optical drives (assuming they are SATA) but you may need to buy an OS. You will also likely need a PSU and I would recommend.

CORSAIR Builder Series CX430 $44.99
October 10, 2011 4:19:25 AM

Best answer selected by NickRomo.