I've been searching around the internet for as much information as possible on trying to improve my xps 420. Yes I know...I should try and get a new rig but I've added to my current one over the years and I think its actually still pretty good. I've put 8 gigs of crucial ballistix memory in there, and I've added a third hard drive of 1 tb to accompany the original two hard drives (2x 320gb).
I don't have any trouble playing games on there...recently played skyrim and it runs well on low graphics settings (personally I think the game still looks great so not worried too much).
The thing is I hardly ever play graphics intensive games...more of a football manager person...but I've really got into skyrim recently. One thing that confused me when I first heard it was the sound of a fan noise coming from my case....as I said, because I don't usually play these types of graphics games I had no idea what is was until I realised it was the gfx card.
My only concern at the moment, like most xps 420 owners it seems is heat. I downloaded game booster and the new version has temperatures for cpu, gfx card and hard drive....
My graphics card was up in the 70c range when not playing any games and when I'm playing skyrim it sometimes gets up to mid 90s. Now I believe the max temperature is around 105c for the nvidea 8800 gt that's in there.
So, for the time being I've actually taken the side of my pc off to try and keep it cool (not ideal, I understand the way cases are meant to work...opening them disrupts the airflow) but seriously it was like a heat sink in there. Opening the case up has reduced the temperature a bit but its still too hot for my liking.
Now I've seen on you tube some upgrade videos (nonthing specific) and one caught my eye where the guy had put one large one at the front...seemingly in place of the stock fan there and also a large one at the back. Judging by the numerous xps 420 questions on here I'm sure you guys could help me to cool this case down!
Another thing of concern is my PSU....its the 375W one which to be honest probably needs sorting out.....I'd love to be able to take all the parts out and shove them in a bigger, more spacious case with more options for cooling but as I understand it proprietary dell mobos are a pain in the **** to find cases for?
Only cheap cooling would be to get an aftermarket cpu heatsink and remove the fan shroud, but I don't know what brands will fit dell, since I don't see any heatsink holes around the socket area. I would post this in the dell forum on their website and maybe a dell tech can help you. With the fan shroud removed, the rear fan can remove some of the warm air in your case. Your case also has a front fan assembly so there's no need for that. Many power supplies will fit dell cases, but you may have a proprietary connector somewhere on the dell motherboard. I used to work at dell and assembled a few server boards.