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Dell Dimension 4550


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#1
Feilena

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Hello there!

I have a standard Dell Dimension 4550 excluding two things - a EVGA Nvidia 6800 graphics card, and one additional 512 MB stick of ram.

As my computer has lasted 6 years and is now on its last legs, is it possible because I'm on such a tight budget to use the original clamshell case from the Dell and put a few newer pieces inside? I realize that Windows is tied to the motherboard, which isn't an issue. I just wondered if it would be possible to put another Micro ATX motherboard inside and get a "new" computer for cheaper.

Thanks!
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#2
Ferrari

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I believe those Dells do actually take an ATX or mATX board unlike many of their other systems. Without doing further research, I think the problem you may run into is getting the power button and HDD activity light hooked up as they are often proprietary cables used to hook to the Dell Motherboard. Same with the Front USB ports.

There are some pretty cheap cases out there, and if I were you I would just go ahead and pick one of them up. Like any of these Gigabyte Cases. Lowest starting out at $17. HERE
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#3
Feilena

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Basically Ferrari I'm trying to get the most bang for my buck - just enough of an upgrade to last for a while for the least amount of money. Those cases look great! My only concern is can I make something like this a viable option?

Rosewill Case and Power Supply
http://www.newegg.co...N82E16811147132

Foxconn Motherboard
http://www.newegg.co...N82E16813186188

AMD Athlon X2 Processor
http://www.newegg.co...N82E16819103688

EVGA Nvidia 8400 GS
http://www.newegg.co...N82E16819103688

Kingston HyperX 2 GB Ram
http://www.newegg.co...N82E16820134218

Western Digital 320GB HD
http://www.newegg.co...N82E16822136498

Sony CD/DVD Read/Write Drive
http://www.newegg.co...N82E16827118030

I mean this alone totals 320.00 Approx without shipping and its a significant upgrade to the Dell. The capacitors on the motherboard are failing on this one and I'm experiencing some more distinct issues which is giving me the huge queues that the computer is going to fail soon.
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#4
Ferrari

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which is giving me the huge queues that the computer is going to fail soon.

Make sure you have your data backed up.

Everything looks real nice for a budget build and is compatible except the the power supply + case combo. The power supplies that come with cases like that are usually very very cheap, and the last thing you want is to have crappy power going to all your brand new components... especially if it blows up it can take those components with it.

This is my recommendation. I'm assuming you don't game, right? If so, you don't really need a dedicated video card, so ditch that. Just use the motherboard's onboard video ATI 2100 and put the money you save from doing that towards a better PSU that is 80 Plus Certified. Like this OCZ 500 Watt or better yet, this 400 watt by Corsair. (Corsair isn't modular though, lots of cables that you might want to keep tidy in the case).

Also, something to consider is look on Newegg's specifications tab for whichever case you go with and see what fans come with the case and what areas you can put an extra fan. The cheaper cases don't always come with all the fans, so look into getting a cheap fan at a minimum for the intake grill in front of the case. Case's generally come with a rear exhaust fan.

Let me know what you think. :)
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#5
Troy

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Let me know what you think. :)

Love your work, boss. :)
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#6
Ferrari

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Of course you do, my sole foundation on learning this stuff came from you. :)

Edited by Ferrari, 12 May 2010 - 11:46 PM.

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#7
Troy

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Nah, not me, I didn't do nothing speshal... huurrr duurrrrr... :)
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#8
Feilena

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I'm assuming you don't game, right?


Actually I do - that's why I chose the card. :) Its a step up from my EVGA Nvidia 6800 AGP that I have.

I'm actually playing World of Warcraft, Guild Wars, and The Sims 3. My current one runs it on low settings and its not picture perfect but I don't complain.

The only reason I am even considering building a new PC is because this one is starting to go. Even my ISP who have came several times for some lag issues are telling me that its based somewhere on my PC.

I've never actually built a computer before I did however look at the diagrams you have stickied. I'm just hoping I can get a new box without spending too much money.

Would I be able to put the HD in the new one to retrieve the information from it?

Edited by Feilena, 13 May 2010 - 02:18 AM.

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#9
Ferrari

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Oh, ok. Well I still recommend going with one of those power supplies then. And yes, you will be able to attach your old hard drive via IDE Cable I presume and retrieve the data.
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#10
Feilena

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Thanks Ferrari! At least I know that I'm not going to spend a ton to get a new one.

:)

Feilena
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#11
Ferrari

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You are welcome. Let me know if you need help with the build. :)
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#12
Feilena

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Hey Ferrari while I have you around for a quick second can I run something by you and let you mull it over and see what you think?

The reason I'm considering this new PC is because all of a sudden I'm experiencing some strange... Lag I guess is the best way to put it. I'll just lose internet connection, or it will stutter for approx 20-40 seconds and then start back up. Quite strange to watch if you are in World of Warcraft and the players are running in place around you :)
In either case its affecting my Skype calls and all sorts of other things now too.. I've been running speedtests off the same server off and on this morning and cannot figure out what is causing the issue.

I've had my ISP out and they tell me that its not them its me.
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#13
Ferrari

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Well, I'm fairly familiar with the Dimensions 2XXX-4XXX Series of computers as my parents used to have one. I even have a 2400 I just refurbished sitting downstairs as I type this. I work on them all the time. I've always thought that they weren't the fastest computer, even after a fresh install it's quite noticeable that it's not a very speedy system.

So what I"m getting at is that you can't make slow... fast. See? It's quite possible that you are having internet connectivity issues, but that really isn't my area of expertise. You could try starting a topic in the networking forum.

However, you mentioned earlier that the motherboards caps are starting to go. If they are swollen and/or bleeding, it's just a matter of time before it doesn't turn on one day. If you are very very strapped for money, and cannot afford a new PC, then looking at a site like Craigslist locally might be an option. That's actually what I do (sell used computers on Craigslist).

In my area, you can find some decent P4 2+ghz Hyper-Threading, 512mb RAM, 80gb HDD, XP Pro, CDRW for about $130-$150 or so. Look for guys like me that do it as a side business and it will come with a fresh install of the OS, all ready to go.

I still say build yourself a new computer, but that's an option.
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