Upgrading Dell Dimension 8300

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Upgrading Dell Dimension 8300

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Hi. I own a Dimension 8300 from 2004 that are slow, and now I would like to have some comments of what is possible to do with the system.

Question: Which is the most powerfull processor and memory type I can use on this motherboard?

Spec. as it's now

DIMENSION 8300 P4 WITH HT TECHNOLOGY 3.2
    NORDIC - DOCUMENTATION WITH EUROPEAN POW
    1024MB DDR400 DUAL CHANNEL MEMORY (2X512
    3.5" FLOPPY DRIVE
    250GB 1ST SATA HARD DRIVE
    SONIC SOFTWARE FOR DVD/RW+R (MEDIA CD NO
    8X/4X DVD+R/+RW AND 16X DVD
    FP/MG - EURO - 20IN (2001FP HAS TCO99) U
    ATI RADEON 256MB 9800 XT
    DELL MOVIE STUDIO ESSENTIALS FOR AUDIGY
   

SOUNDBLASTER AUDIGY 2 (DELL)

 

 

All Replies
  • I own an older Dimention 8300 and it seems plenty fast for what I wish to accomplish using core programs such as word processing, spreadsheets, and Photoshop rendering. Speed however is a relative thing so if you are wanting to do 3D modeling or high graphics intensive gaming, you are likely at the limit of speed for your configuration. Technology has moved on. Your AGP graphics card is highend for its time but newer PCI express SLI cards are much faster and not supported by your motherboard so your only real option is a new brain and body transplant or a new system. Your SATA drive is still current but now you can get a 1.5 terabyte drive for $150 while a truely state of the art SSD drive at 64 GB would set you back for just under $1000. It all depends on how much money you wish to through at the problem.

    Regards---dennydm

  • I'm a big fan of the Dell PCs with 478 pin processors. My two main desktops are both from that generation and are very fast, IMHO. The fastest processor you can run is the Pentium 4 3.4 Ghz "Extreme Edition" (Intel Code SL7CH). If I recall, these rare processors are actually modeled after Xeon processors for Servers (codename Gallatin). Anyhow, I digress. I was lucky to get a few of them on eBay a year or so ago for a fraction of what they went for new. The second hand market was still buoyant for these CPUs a year ago. They really are smoking fast. I run them on my Dimension 8300 (which is running Windows Home Server, it's a 8300 mobo in a 8200 case) as well as my main desktop, a Precision 360 (essentially a 8300 clone with some slight differences, it's running XP Pro, SP3). I managed to score a used Precision 360 just today on eBay for $100 and it's going to get a similar spec as the others (using a SL7CH as well), but this one will get Windows 7 Ultimate RC to test for a year. I've got a ton of spare parts kicking around so this PC promises to be almost as fast as the others. (I say almost because my main PC is running two Western Digital Raptor drives in true RAID 0 and the new one will just be running a regular 7200 rpm SATA drive from the motherboard).

    As far as RAM goes, DDR is cheap and plentiful. You can load it up with 2-4GB for pretty cheap. Yes, 32 bit OS and systems can't access 4GB fully, but if it's so cheap...so what?

    Both my existing Dimension 8300 and Precision 8300 have 4GB installed. The new Precision will have 3GB (from my spare parts collection).

    478 pin CPUs are everywhere on eBay and there are LOTS to chose from from Northwood to Prescott to Gallatin CPUs. These so called "obsolete" processors can be had for a song. I've got a ton of them and plan to stick with this old school technology for a long time. They haven't let me down at all. These were rock solid single core processors and I much prefer 478 pin CPUs to the 775 versions that replaced them.

    Many on these forums will try and steer you away from upgrading old machines citing "cost/benefit" as their argument. They'll then try and steer you towards a new Dell. As much as I love Dells, I'd rather maintain their top end machines from days gone by then buy an entry level machine now. I've never had issues with these older machines and spare parts are so plentiful (and cheap).

  • Hi BTC64 or anyone else,

     

    I enjoyed your post.  It's really nice to find fellow Dell 8300 fans.  I'm very adamant about the reliability these babies give and also have pampered mine over the years.  Your knowledge on the different types of CPU's and motherboards have given me insight to more of my questions.  Specifically, on whether I am getting the most out of my computer and whether in the future I can even upgrade to something like a 3.4 Ghz CPU. 

    The issue I have right now is finding out whether I'm actually benefiting from it having dual cores or if they are even working optimally together.

    I always had my doubts on whether my Dual Core Dell 8300 (P4 3.00 GHz) system was actually using both processors.

    I decided it was time I really sought some advice on whether this is properly setup and if I'm getting all the processing power out of my computer.

    Here are some screenshots of the specs:











    Additionally, I do not have a digital camera with me but this is what the BIOS info says:

    DELL - DIMENSION 8300 SERIES

    Intel Pentium 4 Processor: 3.00 GHz
    Level 2 Cache: 512 kb Integrated

    Bios Version: A07
    Service Tag: I ommited

    MEMORY INFORMATION
    Installed System Memory ................ 2048 MB DDR SDRAM
    System Memory Speed .................... 400 Mhz
    System Memory Channel Mode ............. Dual
    AGP Aperture ........................... 128 MB

    CPU INFORMATION
    Hyper-Threading ....................... Enabled (option for disabled)
    CPU Speed ............................. Normal (option for compatible)
    Bus Speed ............................. 800 MHz
    Processor 0 ID ........................ F29
    Clock Speed ....................... 3.00 GHz
    L2 Cache Size ..................... 512 KB

    ================================================== ==

     

    Does anyone have any insight as to why CPU-Z only shows 1 core and why it does not show more cores within My Properties or elsewhere.   Ideally, I would like to take it to the next level and maybe even find it out if has the possibility of converting over to 64 bit.

    Not sure how that works but it may be promising.  Any ideas? thoughts? or direction?

  • You have 1 CPU body which has 2 CPU's built into it so the threads show as 2 which is why Device Manager see's 2 of them and Task Manager is looking at what is populated in the CPU Socket. My i7 has 8 CPU's but it's still built into one CPU package so Task Manager shows 1 CPU and 8 threads  and Device Manager shows 8 CPU's, hope this helps.

    435T i7 975 3.3 GHz Extreme, 12 Gb RAM, 1.5 Tb SATA x 2 internal,Patriot Warp 256 Gb SSD quick release and 1.5 Tb eSATA drive  Windows 7 64 Ultimate, Blu-ray/HD-DVD/RW combo by LG and Blu-ray/RW, 1000/NIC and  Belkin N+  wireless, X-Fi Extreme Soundblaster, Hauppauge 2250 DTV Tuner card with Media Center remote, Bose Surround Sound 5.1 speakers, LifeCam VX 3000 VidCam, Logitech Wireless Desktop Kb and Performance MX Mouse, Bamboo Pen Tablet,  XFX ATi 5870 XXX Edition driving a Vizio 37" HDTV using  Optical Toslink from the X-Fi Extreme Sound Card, also have Pioneer SE-DIR 800C Wireless Dolby DTS Headphones

     

    Black Alienware M17X Q9100 2.26 GHz Extreme, 320Gb HDD0 and 160Gb SSD1,Blu-Ray w/ DVD/RW, 8Gb RAM, WUXGA  Screen, ATI 4870 Crossfire-x,  Alienware TactX Mouse Windows 7 64 Professional.


  • I just thought I would add if anyone arrives via Google:

    Pentium 4 CPUs at 800FSB all have HYPER-THREADING which simulates a dual core CPU without actually having two cores.

    This is source of 'dual-channel' RAM term.

    'Dual channel enabled' will appear in BIOS, but ONLY if the proper RAM is installed.

    Channel A = slot 1 & 3, and channel B = slot 2 & 4 ( different colors)

    RAM within each channel has to be same size MB, same number of chips, and have similar timings. 

    Not sure if must be same speed.  This is in Dell Dim8300 manual.

    Also, have to have both slots filled in 1 or both channels.

    Try running Right Mark Memory Analyzer with dual channel enabled and disabled.  Huge difference with no HT.

     

    Those Pentium 4 3.40 E E for 478 slot  I see on ebay for 5 or 6 times the price of the next fastest,

    the Pentium 4 3.4 -1 mb cache Prescott.

    The Pentium 4 3.4 GHz -512kb Northwood runs cooler and as fast.  (TDP= 104 watts vs. 79 watts)

     

    Video card - AGP - low prices GeForce 7900 -7950 but don't forget to buy the used 400w PSU, too.

  • MacGruber

    I just thought I would add if anyone arrives via Google:

    Pentium 4 CPUs at 800FSB all have HYPER-THREADING which simulates a dual core CPU without actually having two cores.

    This is source of 'dual-channel' RAM term.

    Dual-channel memory concerns the use of two separate channels to communicate with the memory controller. Hyperthreading refers to Intel's proprietary CPU multitasking technology. :)

  •   I also am a 8300 owner and am Happy with it still but for a few issues maybe someone can answer for me. First off I maxed out the memory and also added hard drives so all is good. Now my problem is my sound card. I want to throw 7 on my machine but it does not recognize the Sound Blaster that came installed when I bought it BUT 7 does recognize the integrated audio that is on the mobo so my question is how do I get the integrated to be recognized??? Do I just take the card out or can I disable it from inside??This has been bugging me and I want to resolve it so all answers are appreciated.

  •  John J Kushner

    For the integrated sound to work, you need to remove the sound card and check in the system setup [BIOS] that the integrated sound is set to 'on'.

    Bev.

     

    If my answer was helpful, please use the 'Did this answer the question' and click: Yes
    Forum Member since 2001
    I am not employed by Dell

  • John J Kushner

      I also am a 8300 owner and am Happy with it still but for a few issues maybe someone can answer for me. First off I maxed out the memory and also added hard drives so all is good. Now my problem is my sound card. I want to throw 7 on my machine but it does not recognize the Sound Blaster that came installed when I bought it BUT 7 does recognize the integrated audio that is on the mobo so my question is how do I get the integrated to be recognized??? Do I just take the card out or can I disable it from inside??This has been bugging me and I want to resolve it so all answers are appreciated.

    When you say that Windows 7 doesn't recognize the Soundblaster card, do you mean it couldn't find a driver? If so, did you look on Creative's site?

     

     

  • Looked but could not find it is breative sound blaster live  with 5.1 support the original paperwork reads n Bev just looked and taking it out is no problem BUT if I do so where will I plug my speakers in to as that is what is used?? TY for replies.

  • John J Kushner

    Looked but could not find it is breative sound blaster live  with 5.1 support the original paperwork reads n Bev just looked and taking it out is no problem BUT if I do so where will I plug my speakers in to as that is what is used?? TY for replies.

    You're right -- Creative Labs has dropped support for this model.

    If you have integrated sound hardware, you should have audio ports on the IO shield and that's where you plug your speakers in. You should also have a white socket with ten pins on the mainboard to which the front audio port cable connects to.

    Another option is to buy a newer Soundblaster card with Window 7 support, and several models are available with the special ten-pin socket for the front audio port.

  •  John J Kushner

    Have check the back panel to see what integrated speaker connectors are available?

    You could buy another PCI sound card that's Windows 7 compliant.

    Bev.

     

    If my answer was helpful, please use the 'Did this answer the question' and click: Yes
    Forum Member since 2001
    I am not employed by Dell

  • shesagordie

     John J Kushner

    Have check the back panel to see what integrated speaker connectors are available?

    You could buy another PCI sound card that's Windows 7 compliant.

    Bev.

    If the OP wants front panel audio, they're limited to Soundblaster unless they rewire the front port like I did for my 3000.