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Dell XPS 420 cheap upgrades

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Last response: in Systems
January 8, 2013 7:18:24 PM

I've seen some threads in the past where people have upgraded their XPS 420. Personally I'm still pretty happy with a pc that my mate got brand new for around 400 quid.

Original components:

2 Samsung HDDs. My hard disk sentinel program is telling me one of them is about to fail but then it says its fine after a while...happens most days.

Quad Core Q6600

Geforce 8800GT


PSU 375W

Case (obviously)

Stuff I've added:
Two 22" acer monitors

8GB Crucial Ballistix Ram (initially bought 4 sticks of tracer but first 2 died within 2 years and the other 2 have just gone so crucial are replacing the dead ones and the ones I got as a replacement for 4 new sticks of Ballistix sport)

Hitachi 1TB hard drive

2 x 80mm fans (one of which isn't powered as I ran out of connectors)

2 exhaust fans, both screwed into my expansion bays at the rear to suck out heat

1 hard drive cooling fan which sits in the drive bay below the original DVD drive. I use it to cool my 1TB disk but also to get extra into the system

What I'm looking at getting:

The game I play most is Football Manager 2013 and I rarely play 3D intensive games. Aside from playing that the only other things I do is internet, watch films and trade forex (hence two monitors).

The only issue I have with my GFX card is how hot it gets when I run skyrim but admittedly I only realised it had a fan when I played this game. But like I said, I rarely play 3D games anyway.

Motherboard + RAM

From what I've read, people are recommending the Asus striker 2 motherboard / 780i / 790i motherboards.

Having done some research, the only viable way of getting it without spending a fortune is ebay. As I write this, one board is bidding at 51 quid, the other at 69.

Personally I don't see the point of paying that much if I'm not a heavy 3D gamer.

I was thinking of a DDR 3 mobo like the ones above but for a lot less money. My initial research has thrown up this:

ASRock G41M-S3

Seems to be a solid mobo for £35 and I'm pretty sure the parts I've got in my system at the moment will fit that?

In terms of ram, even though I'm getting sent some replacements sticks of DDR2, buying 8GB of DDR3 will surely provide a massive performance jump? The mobo does support 8GB and I do do a lot of multitasking as I usually have football manager running as well as my Mt4 platform for trading as well as Chrome with lots of tabs open

The official specs says the mobo "Supports DDR3 1333(OC)/1066/800 non-ECC, un-buffered memory". Does this mean that you can put 1333 memory in there and then over clock it or that it only supports up to 1333 max if overclocking slower ram (I'm thinking the former rather than the latter).

I'm looking at an 8GB kit (2x4GB) of 1333 memory. I'll be honest, having received such amazing and fast customer support from crucial, I'd be reluctant to try anyone else. I'm thinking of going with:

Crucial 8GB (2 x 4GB) Ballistix Sport DDR3 1333MHz CL9 1.5v 240pin

Currently are selling for £32 including delivery.

In my head I want 8GB of RAM because I think I need it. But, I'm coming from using DDR2 so having 4GB might be more than enough for what I currently guys will help me on that!

However it seems that for only a little more money I can double up to 8GB so for an extra 7 - 8 quid it might just be better to get more....?


My current case, as most of what I have read about my machine has stated, isn't the best for heat dissipation, hence the numerous fan additions (makes a bit of difference but not massive). I want a case that has good ventilation and cheap. Not bothered about looks.

If basing the case on the mobo above then I need a micro atx one.

That should do the trick and I can get it for about £27 on ebay brand new. It also comes with a 120mm fan which is good. Also allows for me to put my two 80mm fans in and also I think I can put the exhaust fans in the expansion slots at the back.

I've got my original dvd drive but I could possibly do with putting another drive in to copy cds and dvds. This isn't essential though. More concerned with everything else.



Has gotten solid reviews and I can get it for around £15 quid on ebay.

Total cost:


8GB RAM - £32

CASE - £27

PSU - £15

Have a look guys, see what you think. I certainly don't wanna be spending anything more than 100 quid really. Any suggestions are welcomed!


More about : dell xps 420 cheap upgrades

January 9, 2013 11:07:07 AM

What do people think?
January 10, 2013 8:31:04 PM

No one?
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January 11, 2013 9:43:45 PM

ARRGGGH lol.....if anyone has any input for the above please let me know. Would be very much appreciated
January 11, 2013 9:58:27 PM

i tried reading some of it but i got lost. the only thing to really upgrade so you get better performance is cpu or gpu. to upgrade the cpu you probably also need a new motherboard.