So I've had a Dell XPS 720 for some time now, and figured it was time to upgrade some of the parts. After reading a few forums, I quickly learned that this particular model is total crap. For those of you unfamiliar with this model, let me give a little description.
This particular model uses the nforce 680I mobo, but instead of the standard atx design, Dell decided to use a custom btx design, which makes it impossible to upgrade the mobo. I mainly bought this comp for the nice case, which I figured should last me a couple upgrades. Nope. I am unable to even change the fan speeds with the locked bios, nor am I able to OC the cpu. Apparently the only things I can change is the vid card, hd's, etc.
My question: is this a complete loss? Should I just chuck everything and start over (excluding the hd's and such)? I've read some threads on converting it completely to atx, which I doubt I can do.
Comp specs (yea I know, pretty crappy)
Q6600 2.4ghz (stock)
nforce 680i mobo (custom btx)
2x GTS 250 SLi
Dell 750w power supply
Dell cpu heatsink
BTX cases were used for a short time; Dell continued to use it for marketing reasons. You are correct; it is hard to upgrade. Do not put any money in it, just continue to use it until the end of its useful life.
dell computers are well known to use BTX style boards as well as their own designs for equipment whenever they can. this can make them a pita to work on.
what were you planning on upgrading? for what purpose?
depending on how much ram you have you could upgrade for a bit more pep. upgrading video cards might improve gaming performance/ rendering performance if you aren't cpu bound. upgrading to SSD drives would noticibly quicken your system but chances are you didn't get a full windows install disk with your dell. i'm not sure if their recovery disk would let you full install on a different disk. that and the motherboard might not support SSDS natively.
although yes you could technically upgrade your system it might be benneficial to save your money and build your own system from scratch. as long as you know the parts to connect (we can help you with this) its as easy as playing with legos or tinker toys!
Thanks for the replies, I guess I forgot to mention my ram. Originally I had about 3 gigs of ram but upgraded to 8 gigs of corsair ram. Also it originally had an 8800gt but I replaced those with the gts 250's.
I don't use the computer for much else besides games so I was hoping this setup would last a while longer before I scrap the whole thing. I usually play GTA and fps games so this comp has been starting to struggle lately.
I was considering an upgrade to i5 2500k but people are telling me to wait for ivy bridge and the other chips in line, so I think I'll wait for the faster chips before I finally upgrade. A SSD hd is a definite must for me on the next computer, I just hope prices will be a bit more reasonable soon.