Hey everyone. I'm new to the site but have been browsing around here for answers to my question with fuzzy-at-best results. I have a Dell Studio XPS 8300 pre-built computer that I am attempting to upgrade myself. I don't have the budget to buy a whole new pc (which I now know I would much rather put together myself), but while I'd like to buy a new GPU, the small dell case creates heat issues as it is (Radeon HD 5770 idles at 70C and is 102C at load, and thats after the 10 degree drop since I cleaned the GPU out)
So I'd like to transplant everything from my current case into a new one (probably with a new psu (460 feels a little small, especially since I'd like to sli/xfire a couple high end gpu's in the future). What I don't know is if the motherboard will fit in a stock atx/microatx case? The threads I have seen don't seem to have any for sure answers. Has anyone attempted to do this and knows? I've already figured out that the front panel pinouts are fairly case specific on the 8300 so those might not work right, but I'm most concerned to see if the mobo even has the right screw-hole placement and/or would be compatible with a non-proprietary psu.. Thanks much!
Approximate Purchase Date: New gpu(s) within a year, already have access to a good case and psu
Budget Range: For just the new GPU: $500 (one really nice one or two good ones if sli seems preferable (I want what I get to last a while)
System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming, movies/tv, surfing
Are you buying a monitor: No
Parts to Upgrade: GPU, PSU, Case
Preferred Website(s) for Parts: Newegg, Amazon, Tigerdirect or whatever you think is reliable/has good deals
Location: Pacific NW, USA
Parts Preferences: I already have CoolerMaster Case and CPU
SLI or Crossfire: Maybe in the future (I'd have to upgrade Mobo before then so way in the future)
Your Monitor Resolution: 1920x1080 on both monitors
Additional Comments: I already have access to (no need to buy) a CoolerMaster HAF X case and a CoolerMaster SilentPro 850W bronze rated PSU
And Most Importantly, Why Are You Upgrading: Current graphics card (Radeon HD 5770) can't handle 2 monitors (idles near 80C) and can't handle gaming with Guild Wars 2 (runs at 102C within 2min of opening the game (or any other game for that matter), regardless of whether using 1 monitor or 2).
This probably isn't the most helpful response, but that motherboard isn't really worth transplanting given your stated future plans.
You say you've got $500. That would barely squeeze you into a GTX680, which is the top end regular Nvidia card. For $100-150 less, you can get a GTX670 or a Radeon 7970, which provide like 95% of the performance of the GTX680, but then you'd have money for a nice motherboard upgrade, too.