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Advice on upgrading Dell XPS 720 (building new comp)

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December 25, 2011 12:06:08 AM

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.
a b B Homebuilt system
December 25, 2011 3:15:47 AM

you need a new case and mother board since the Dell motherboard is backwards
a c 91 B Homebuilt system
December 25, 2011 3:31:48 AM

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.
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December 25, 2011 3:50:04 PM

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!
a c 91 B Homebuilt system
December 27, 2011 4:50:30 AM

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.
!