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Dell Upgrade Advice


BlackKnight
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Sorry guys I asked about video cards before and this is the same thing, but Id really like advice on this one.

 

Here's the problem... I have a Dell 8300. As you may know Dell uses non-ATX mobos and PSUs, which menas I cant change the 250W one Im stuck with. I desperately want a 6600GT, which requires 300W and Im freaking out.

 

But- Dell 8300s also come with 9800 Pro sometimes and manage them on 250W. That card requires 300W as well as far as I know.

 

So can someone who knows about these things tell me if that means I should reasonably expect a 6600GT to work too? Or if not... will having low wattage damage anything, or will it just underclock the card...?

 

Please any thoughts would be appreciated.

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Their cases are always a pain in the ass. They do use ATX standard, they just make it a pain in the ass to do upgrades for.

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I am in the same trap as you. I have only 256 MB of RAM, but it's RDRAM so I can't upgrade it. In case you didn't know, 256 MB more of RDRAM is about the same cost as 1 GB of DDR now because nobody uses it anymore. Dell screwed me over. I soon realized I could have built a much better PC myself for the same price I paid for my Dell.

 

I can agree that the case inards are a pain to work with. I recently opened my clam shell style case to upgrade. Figuring out how to open it was tough enough. Then as I opened it with what seemed to be an overly excessive amount of force for opening a PC case, it felt like the plastic was about to collapse and shatter. Piece of junk... who makes plastic cases?!

 

Cut to slipping in my new wifi card into one of their PCI slots. They had some weird clamping mechanism to hold all of the PCI cards in place instead of screws like the rest of the world. I undid the clamp and stuck the card in but then I couldn't get the clamp shut again. The latch on it wouldn't click back into place no matter what. Now if you press on the PCI cards on the back of the case like if you're trying to plug in a VGA cable or something, they will come out of their slots.

 

Then there's the forced bloat of bundled software. I know I'll never use my free AOL icon or that DELL branded photo editor/media player shareware app that came with my computer. As soon as I got my computer, I did a clean install. Not to mention the Utility partition which I wiped out since I dual boot Linux and Windows. Dell is fine for casual newbies that want to check their email once a week, but anything more and it's better to just build your own, which I will do as soon as this machine becomes too obsolete.

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I uninstalled pretty much all of the pre-installed software that dell put in this comp

 

I can't believe they even have their own catalyst drivers, oh well...changed those too heheheh

 

I know I said I've always wanted to build my own, but I didn't have time to this time even though I had the "necessary funding"; oh well..only thing I feel that needs upgrading atm are the speakers and a bit more ram

Edited by Weirdy
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I uninstalled pretty much all of the pre-installed software that dell put in this comp

 

I can't believe they even have their own catalyst drivers, oh well...changed those too heheheh

 

I know I said I've always wanted to build my own, but I didn't have time to this time even though I had the "necessary funding"; oh well..only thing I feel that needs upgrading atm are the speakers and a bit more ram

 

The only reason they'd have their own drivers would be because they're using a 3rd party proprietary board, and simply buy the GPU from ATi....like all these 3rd party mfg's do (Sapphire etc). It can be a bad idea to not use the proprietary drivers, if the card is made quite differently from a retail ATi card.....but for the most part, it's not an issue.

I'd never buy a computer from a store, ever. Build or die. Computers are retard-proof these days, and color coded. Any moron can put one together from parts.

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I don't know whether or not the gpu is 3rd party. They didn't really say.

 

oh well, like I said, didn't have the time and needed it quickly. However, the first thing I did when I got it (after hooking everything up :thumbsup1: ) was uninstalled all of the crap I don't need

 

...freed up abut 5 gigs :o

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You could always just hook up another PSU externally and sit it ontop of the case or hide it behind. Just because the card says you should have a 300w PSU, doesn't mean it requires 300w itself....it doesn't. Your PSU may be able to provide it enough power if you don't have many components in there to begin with.

 

What have you got in there? If you've only got one hard drive and one optical drive + motherboard with a couple expansion cards, 250w should be just fine to provide enough power to that hungry graphics card.

What you can do is look at the power consumption of each device, add em all up and if they exceed 250w, you know you need more power for sure.

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