Advice on upgrading Dell XPS 720 (building new comp)

Hi everyone and Merry Christmas!

Ive been reading over this website for the past few days looking for ways to make my Dell XPS 720 work. The final conclusion: Dell sucks and it's time to upgrade.

Here's the story. A few days ago I received a Dell XPS 710. The owner never used it and really just wanted to get rid of the thing. Free computer? Of course I'll take it. I go home to see what this thing can do and when I go to plug it in I see that I can't use a universal power cable for this guy. After some research I find the cable I need and am currently waiting on it to arrive in a few days. (I've searched EVERYWHERE locally and could not find this cord. It's a c19 female end to c14 connector)

I'm not a fan of being patient. I purchased a new power supply and went to work installing it. Power supply I got is a Thermalke Black Widow 850W. Figured it would work....but then I discovered how evil Dell is. The motherboard and PSU are Dell propriety in which the motherboard requires a 20 pin and 24 pin power connection. The power supply that was in the machine is 1000w. When I went to turn on the machine with the 850w PSU a solid amber light glowed. Looking further into the machine from what I can tell this thing is not a 710 but rather a 720 (The manual I got with it said 710).

Next I tried using two separate power supplies to run the motherboard (24 pin on the 850w PSU and a 20 pin from a 400w PSU) but still no success. I have re installed the original PSU and now waiting for the plug.

I came here to ask for advice on upgrading the machine. I know from research that the mother board is BTX and has a reputation for crapping out. What mother board would be a solid replacement? (I know Ill have to mod the case a bit to fit a new motherboard. Thats fine). The computer currently has 2 ATI Graphic cards that still look awesome and can work together perfectly. The computer had no harddrives in it when I opened it so Ill need to buy those. From what I know the CPU is still decent as well. I also believe the computer needs a sound card. Ive got 6 gb or ram I can put into it.

I also have two other graphics cards and a sound card Ive purchased but never used. An NVDIA GeForce GT 520 2gb ddr3 memory and Galaxy GT420 (or something like that I dont have it with me). The sound card is a Rocketfish 5.1 channel internal sound.

My goal is to build something that can handle gaming and Video editing/graphic animation on a professional scale. I'm a video and graphic animation editor. I use After Effects, illustrator, and photoshop religiously so I need a computer that can perform well. Only gaming I really do is WoW.


Any advice on what to do with what I have to make a functioning PC? Any ideas on things to buy and/or replace?


Thank you so much for your help.
4 answers Last reply
More about advice upgrading dell building comp
  1. you need a new case and mother board since the Dell motherboard is backwards
  2. Quote:
    I'm not a fan of being patient. I purchased a new power supply and went to work installing it. Power supply I got is a Thermalke Black Widow 850W. Figured it would work....but then I discovered how evil Dell is. The motherboard and PSU are Dell propriety in which the motherboard requires a 20 pin and 24 pin power connection. The power supply that was in the machine is 1000w. When I went to turn on the machine with the 850w PSU a solid amber light glowed. Looking further into the machine from what I can tell this thing is not a 710 but rather a 720 (The manual I got with it said 710).


    This is why I'm not a fan of Dells - their use of proprietary parts have always been sketchy, and then when something goes wrong you can't upgrade or replace a part. But what's really puzzling is why they would mislabel a PSU and use a level of wattage that you can't get in stores.

    Quote:
    I came here to ask for advice on upgrading the machine. I know from research that the mother board is BTX and has a reputation for crapping out. What mother board would be a solid replacement? (I know Ill have to mod the case a bit to fit a new motherboard. Thats fine). The computer currently has 2 ATI Graphic cards that still look awesome and can work together perfectly. The computer had no harddrives in it when I opened it so Ill need to buy those. From what I know the CPU is still decent as well. I also believe the computer needs a sound card. Ive got 6 gb or ram I can put into it.


    Can you post the specs as to what the machine does have and then I can look into that further? It will help to know what will work with the system and what won't to give further upgrade advice.
  3. Thanks so much for the quick reply and a MERRY CHRISTMAS to everyone!

    The Specs are:

    Processor:
    Intel Core 2 Duo
    Intel Care 2 Extreme quad core processor


    Maximum memory

    8gb
    (Ive got 6 installed)

    Chipset
    NVIDIA nForce 590 SLI MCP
    Northbridge c19
    Southbridge MCP55

    System clock 1066 MHz data rate

    Video
    Motherboard has 2 PCI Express slots
    Dual ATI Radeon X1950 Crossfire

    three regular PCI slots


    I dont see a sound card.

    SATA Harddrive capable


    Power
    1KW


    Like previously mentioned I have two extra video cards Im not using in any machine, as well as a Power Supply and a sound card which are all listed in my previous post.


    Any more information needed? Thanks you and MEEERRRYYY CHHHRIIISSSTMASSSSS!
  4. Quote:
    Like previously mentioned I have two extra video cards Im not using in any machine, as well as a Power Supply and a sound card which are all listed in my previous post.


    Any more information needed?


    I think I have all I need. I'm thinking you might just have to start from scratch. The problem with upgrading a Dell is that - well it's a Dell. All the proprietary parts that the system uses are pretty much non standard, non conforming. I mean even if you replace the motherboard with an Asus Maximus IV, you'd still have to replace the CPU, PSU, RAM, all that stuff, you're probably better off buying a new system as opposed to upgrading your existing one.
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