Dell XPS 8300 maintainability

I just ordered a new XPS 8300 from Dell, and I'm wondering whether it'll be easy to maintain. When something goes wrong with the hardware, I usually just choose to replace the faulty component myself since that's easier for me. Upgrading the system later on is even more important.

So my question is this: will I be able to replace its components with ones from other vendors, or do they use some sort of custom components that are only available from Dell? Basically, I'd just like the parts to be cross compatible with everything else on the market.

I'd also like to know how many PCI and HDD slots the motherboard has. I can't seem to find any up to date info on Dell's website, for some reason.
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  1. In the past DELL has played games with modifying their components so they aren't using the universal specifications in order to force people to buy everything through DELL.

    That being said, they have gotten more universal friendly in the last few years.

    I had an old dell one time where I needed a replacement PSU and I had to take metal cutters to the back of the case and cut a huge ugly looking chunk out of the metal back there so that the PSU would fit into the case.

    I heard people haven't had to do such things lately, though.

    On a side note, I was trying to investigate your questions a little and it made me kinda angry when the 6770 was $140 more than the 6450 base card considering that the 6770 itself doesn't cost $140, much less $140 more than something else.

    The RAM is no better. 16 GBs of RAM costs $340 more than 8 GBs even though 16 GBs of ram can be gotten for like $50 on the street.

    Also not a big fan of how DELL "recommends" Windows 7 Ultimate even though like 1% of people will ever use the features that it has that Professional doesn't have.

    This review

    is kinda old, so DELL may have changed the parts since then, but it does say that there are no PCI slots at all and only two PCIEx1 slots free inside the PC and that is if you don't get the optional stuff like wireless cards with the PC.

    After an excruciatingly long time searching, it seems that the XPS 8300 uses the 0Y2MRG motherboard also used by the Vostro 460 among other things. That motherboard appears to have 4 SATA ports for things like DVD drives and Hard Drives.

    Here is a link to some images of it from bad angles
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