Okay, I have an XPS 8300 and I'm wanting to either upgrade or build a new PC.
Here's my question... I'm thinking about getting a new PSU and GPU right now and in two or three months get a everything for a new build except the GPU and PSU of course. The reason I want to split it up like that is because I want to use my credit card but I don't want to max it out right now. I need to keep some credit on it for travel at work. Before someone says anything, I have the money to do it all right now at once but I'd rather take advantage of 0% interest for 12 months and build some reward points on my card.
Now, first off, will an MSI 7950 TwinFrozrIII be okay in my case for a few months? I have basically no airflow in the Dell case. My current HD 6770 runs at 82C running at full load with 100% fan speed. I've read that the cooling is really good on TwinFrozr cards but that if you don't have good airflow it's actually worse than a card that vents straight out the back.
Next, wouldn't it be fine to just buy a case, mobo, RAM (Dell RAM sucks), and OS and just reuse my i7 and HDD?
Lastly, if I wanted, could I go ahead and buy a case when I buy my new GPU and PSU? Would I be able to transplant the XPS 8300 okay?
Just buy the 7950 and use it with your existing case and psu. My wife's machine is the same configuration: XPS 8300 with HD 6770 and 460w psu. That psu is a good Delta unit and more than enough for a 7950. I installed a MSI TwinFrozr 560ti 448 and it works great. The custom cooler dramatically drops the temperatures, so even though it is a faster gpu and uses more power, temps max at around 65C.
I've had a series of Dell OEM units over the years and they're not easy to work on. I wouldn't recommend doing much more than switching graphics card, upgrading RAM and adding disk drives.
Just out of curiosity, what makes you think Dell RAM sucks and what are you expecting from good RAM? I am skeptical that your system performance is significantly impeded by the quality (quantity maybe) of RAM.
I guess I should't have said that Dell RAM sucks like that. I think my RAM is faulty. It's hard to describe the problem I'm having but I'll try anyway risking sounding like I'm a complete idiot with computers (which I'm really not).
My PC does this strange freeze/slowdown intermittently. The best way to describe it is like the system hiccups and then catches back up. It usually happens if I'm watching YouTube and rarely happens during a game. I'll have YouTube open in a tab and open a new tab. Sometimes merely opening the tab will cause the hiccup but other than that nearly anything can. Clicking a link, hitting the back button, etc. Sometimes it even does it if I'm watching a video and doing nothing else. It also happens in iTunes.
The audio lags too during the hiccup and it's only like .5-1 sec in length - just enough to be annoying. The audio might be saying this and aaaaaalllllll of a sudden it hiccups.. Like that. Make any sense? Sounds slowed down and distorted.
I asked on another forum and someone said it sounded like faulty RAM. Dell support (that's premium Dell support where I get to talk to a "North American" and everything ) just did a remote-in and ran a virus scan and proceeded to tell me "No sir I don't know what it could be but make sure and keep your cookies deleted."
Sadly, that could be anything: power, network, software, drivers, gpu. Actually, just about the only thing I can think of that doesn't make sense is RAM...lol
One thing I noticed before I updated the 6770 to a 560 was that AMD has a "video watching low power mode" it would switch into. It bugged my wife because she would watch a video and then her games would be slow until she rebooted. I figured it out at the time...I think it was a Catalyst setting, but I'm afraid I don't remember now. Can't hurt; might help.
First thing I would look at is updating every driver you can find. Dell's site should have a list.