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Upgrading Dell Optiplex GX240 - Where to start?


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#1
Catic15

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We have a creaky old Dell Optiplex GX240 - verrrry slow. P4, 1.6 GHz, 512M RAM, 80 G HD, running XP right now. Mainly used for finances, word processing, email, some games. . . and desperately in need of an upgrade. I've done some hardware work in the past, but it's been years, so I'm feeling pretty much adrift at this point and in need of guidance on what to do first and how to get started.

So where do we start, and what can we reasonably do with this machine? I know we can upgrade the RAM to 1024 at least. Can it go any higher? What's the fastest processor we can put in - will it take a 3 GHz? Or would that require a new motherboard? And, of course, how much will all this cost? We're trying to squeeze out another year or two with this machine if possible. But there's the cost/benefit consideration - if we can make it more useable for $100, great; if we're talking $500, forget it!

Cathy C.
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#2
reconman

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Hello Catic15

It sounds like the main thing you want to do (and possibly the only thing?) is to make it faster. Do you know what your cpu socket type is? If you don't know, click here and download AIDA32. I believe it comes as a zip file and all you have to do is extract the contents and click on the aida32.exe file with in the folder you extracted the contents to.

Once you have the program open > click on the motherboard > then click on the CPU.

Tell me what it says for Package Type under the CPU Physical Info section.
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#3
tom488

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...apologies for resurrecting this old thread... but I'm in the same boat as the original poster.

So my Package Type is a "478 Pin uPGA"

Also, I have seen pictures of an Optiplex GX240 and sometimes like simply look like mini-towers. Mine is one of those nifty, ergonomical clam-shell desktops which is a "corrupted" ATX form factor. (In particular, the PSU is like a long blade equal to the depth of the case.

I have 1 gb of memory in mine and there was some talk that a Northwood, 400fsb, 512k cache might work, however, I wouldn't try one until I heard that someone actually succeeded in doing it. Mine is a 1.6 Willamette (4x400), A80528, Stepping DO, L1=8k, L2=256k CHIPSET: Brookdale i845

Does it make any difference whether I have the odd clam-shell desktop or a mini-tower?

Thanks in advance,
Tom
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#4
Ferrari

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It sounds like reconman has some ideas on the cpu upgrade. I'm not the best at that anyways.

Catic14 and Tom488,

Take a look at this article by G2G's Artellos, What makes your machine slow?

If you look towards the bottom, you will see my signature with my system specs. I have done what this article suggests to both of the Dells I have that have similar specs to yours and they ran like a new machine.

Then, if you spend a few bucks on a faster cpu and a RAM upgrade, you will be very happy I'm sure. Computer would last longer than 1-2 years if you keep in maintained with that articles recommendations/tools.


Catic15. If you go to www.crucial.com you can use their system scanner, or what I do, use their tool by entering in Dell then next category enter Optiplex and then the final would be GX240. Click on FIND. It will tell you the kind of RAM you need and the maximum amount of RAM the GX240 motherboard can handle, then you can buy from them or search around on sites like newegg.com or geeks.com for the best price.

Post any questions about the article or RAM if you need to.
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