Mest 17:18 07 Aug 2008

I've decided to buy parts to update my dell xps gen 4 and have two questions.

1) I've decided to update 5 main things (HD,Motherboard,Gfx,Ram,Processor,PSU) , with these:

a)Hiper 880W 85% Efficient PSU - Quad SLI Ready, 4x 12V Rails

b)Zotac GTX280 1GB GDDR3 Dual DVI HDTV Out PCI-E Graphics Card

c)Corsair 4GB Kit (2x2GB) DDR2 800MHz/PC2-6400 XMS2 Memory Non-ECC Unbuffered CL5(5-5-5-18) Heat Spreader Lifetime Warranty

d)Intel Core 2 Quad Q9550 2.83GHz (FSB 1333MHz) Socket 775 L2 12MB Cache Retail Boxed Processor

e)Seagate ST3100340AS 1TB Hard Drive SATAII 7200rpm *32MB Cache* - OEM

f) motherboard??? I don't know

And I have two queries on this matter:

1)What motherboard should I get for these?

2)Will it fit into an xps gen 4 case?

Now, my second question is about the reliability of ebuyer. Who's had experience with this site and how was it?

  jack 17:26 07 Aug 2008

is Dont.
These machines of all mass market computers are largely made from custom made parts to Dell spec.
They are made Model by Model to perform a set of functions and that is it- Just like a washing machine or a TV.
This not to say if you have money and time to spare you will not succeed in getting a computer - of sorts but it wont be plain sailing.

Your best bet is to go to click here
and check out their bare bones boxes

  citadel 17:40 07 Aug 2008

motherboard 790i sli or 750i sli if you ever want two cards
or if you only intend to have one card x48 or p45 as these are crossfire enabled but no problem with one nvidia card.
I would get a new large case to ensure plenty of airflow and cooling for the gtx280. something like a cosmos or stacker from coolermaster.

  sunny staines 23:55 07 Aug 2008

i have tried to help people upgrade dell's they are a nightmare, good while working and reliable but as Jack mentions their spec is not always standard causing problems.

  GaT7 00:44 08 Aug 2008

As citadel suggests, get a good airy case. Something like the £67 Antec 900 click here would be fine.

Also consider a:
- Q9450 click here at considerably lower cost. Then overclock it after fitting a good after-market cooler (e.g. click here - there are better ones if required). This would perform as good as a stock Q9550, if not better
- 9800GX2 click here at lower cost but similar performance

eBuyer are fine - I've purchased from them on a number of occasions. G

P.S. Btw, those parts would be fine in most 'newer' Dell non-slim cases that will take an ATX motherboard (as against micro-ATX), in addition to the newer longer graphics cards. I'd hazard a guess that the XPS Gen4 case will not do, but it may have been OK if it was the newer roomier XPS.

Some problems you're likely to run into in this instance - not worth it for a saving of ~£120 (case + OS):

- The XPS' CPU fan/hood may not coincide with the new CPU+cooler's position. But probably remedied by removing the fan/hood, & trying a regular ATX motherboard & backplate (from a friend e.g.) for size/fit
- Not enough space to accomodate a 10.5" long GPU with PCI-E power connector plugged in
- Cooling problems
- Invalidating Dell's warranty, i.e. too many changes. It appears the only original items would be the case & hard/optical drives?
- New OS disk required, as the Dell OEM licence will not activate on the drastically altered system (it might do, but technically it would be illegal)

If more info needed, best to visit the Dell forums click here

  Mest 11:18 08 Aug 2008


Well Instead of the gtx 280, I want to go with the two 4850's in crossfire.

I'm going to go with the case that crossbow suggested.

I heard overclocking reduces hardware life. Plus I'm a complete newb to this. (My first pc made by my own hands, all i understand is the parts. I have no idea how to overclock).

Can someone link me to some tutorials?

Especially one of how to put gfx cards into crossfire.

  €dstowe 12:32 08 Aug 2008

There is little or no point in overclocking a modern computer. Any increase in speed will hardly be noticeable on even a modest speed up-to-date machine.

Note that many motherboards do not permit overclocking and will just shut down if you try to do it.

  €dstowe 12:34 08 Aug 2008

Sorry, missed a bit off. I find ebuyer a very good company to deal with but, as with most things, it pay to shop around to get the best deals.

  GaT7 17:07 08 Aug 2008

Whilst I'd be inclined to agree with you if the price-performance wasn't great, the reason to overclock here is quite compelling because of the price difference...

Q9550 = £343 click here

Q9450 £202 click here + cooler £16 click here + free overclock = £218, saving of £125 for arguably the same performance

From your own reasoning, wouldn't it be better to go for the lower Q9450 CPU, saving £141 & not overclock? Don't want to get into a debate here - just making a point.

Btw, there are several 775 motherboards that will permit overclocking & provide overclock tools for it. Even a relatively cheap £50-60 o'cing motherboard will be good enough for a substantial OC. Overclocking has come a long way with the new breed of Intel CPUs, & some PCs are being sold pre-overclocked - Chillblast click here & Overclockers click here are two PC-builders that come to mind. G

  Mest 18:11 08 Aug 2008

Well my IRL relative says that 2.8 is the minimum for games. I think 2.6 is plenty for things like crysis but im not sure..

  Mest 18:19 08 Aug 2008

Product Description ASUS P5N-E SLI - motherboard - ATX - nForce 650i SLI
Product Type Motherboard
Form Factor ATX
Dimensions (WxDxH) 30.5 cm x 22.9 cm
Chipset Type NVIDIA nForce 650i SLI
Multi-Core Support Dual-Core / Quad-core
Max Bus Speed 1333 MHz
Processor 0 ( 1 ) - LGA775 Socket
Compatible Processors Pentium 4, Celeron D, Pentium D, Core 2 Duo, Core 2 Extreme, Core 2 Quad
64-bit Processors Compatibility Built-in
RAM 0 MB (installed) / 8 GB (max)
Supported RAM Technology DDR II SDRAM
Supported RAM Integrity Check Non-ECC
Storage Controller ATA-133, Serial ATA-300 (RAID), eSATA port
USB Ports Configuration 8 x USB
Storage Ports Configuration 2 x ATA, 4 x SATA, 1 x eSATA
FireWire Ports Configuration 2 x FireWire
Audio Output Sound card - 5.1 channel surround
Networking Network adapter - Marvell Alaska 88E1116 - Ethernet, Fast Ethernet, Gigabit Ethernet

Would that be any good for my choices?

(Corsair 4GB Kit (2x2GB) DDR2 800MHz/PC2-6400 XMS2 Memory Non-ECC Unbuffered CL5(5-5-5-18) Heat Spreader Lifetime Warranty

Intel Core 2 Quad Q9550 2.83GHz (FSB 1333MHz) Socket 775 L2 12MB Cache Retail Boxed Processor

2 Sapphire HD 4850 512MB GDDR3 Dual DVI TV Out PCI-E Graphics Card

Antec Nine Hundred 900 - Gaming Case with 200mm Top Fan - No PSU

Hiper 880W 85% Efficient PSU - Quad SLI Ready, 4x 12V Rails

2 Seagate ST3500320AS 500GB Hard Drive SATA II 7200rpm *32MB Cache* - OEM

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