On the offchance, does anyone know if the motherboard from this system will fit into a full tower case as opposed to the mini-tower I have now?
I don't know the model number of the motherboard fitted, I have tried to look but assume its a Dell custom fit?
I've upgraded the PSU and video card and, perhaps unsurprisingly, I'm having a bit of trouble with temperatures. I have renewed the thermal paste on the CPU with Artic Silver 5 this evening (no, I haven't put too much of it on!) and will keep an eye on it to see how it beds in.
It is idling now at 55-57C. I think I've made a bit of a mistake buying this model as the case is small, but it does fit on my desk nicely and the PC itself is nice and quiet.
I'm prepared to take the cash hit and move into a case with better airflow/ more fans, but would I have to change motherboard as well?
If I went this route I would go a step further and replace the motherboard as well. That way you will be able to do all the fun overclocking with your i7 core (go beyond 3.6GHz with air cooling....) and your memory. you will give yourself room for future improvements. The board should fit into an eg. Antec case with some adjustments. I suggest to take a pic of the board or from the pdf and make sure you know where exactly the attachment screws are located and go to a store that offers good cases and try matching your outline to those.
but your temps are not too bad either. maybe consider replacing the outtake fan in the back with a more powerful one. or add another outtake on the side. there is just enough space between cpu and grafx card to add one to the side panel. of course, that requires some dremmel skills. some people here (http://www.techspot.com/vb/topic118231-9.html) also mention to add an intake fan on the front, although that to me requires some more thought, as it is not trivial with the layout. I am actually surprised that Dell didn't ship this with an intake fan in the front.
of course, that would null your warranty.
Thanks for the reply, will look into somehow adding another fan into the case for the time being. I didn't know if the motherboard was a "standard" micro-ATX or Dell special- if its a standard micro-ATX board then there are plenty of full size cases available that should accept both this and the full ATX sizes. I Will have to investigate further!
If you replace the motherboard with a non-Dell motherboard you will need a new copy of the Operating System. The Dell supplied operating system disc will only install on a system with a Dell BIOS.
Many (most) Dells use a Dell proprietary motherboard. Some can be installed in Retail cases but there may be some modification of the case needed to accomodate the Dell motherboard (and there will probably not be a rear motherboard I/O panel that will match up). Many Dell's also use a proprietary and undocumented motherboard connection for the front panel connections, and another issue to investigate on your specific model.
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Thanks, that is unfortunately what I suspect too! It is difficult to obtain a motherboard model number also- even went on Foxconn's site in vain. in the meantime I have added an Antec Spotfan (3 speed fan on a bendy stalk) and directed the thing at full belt onto the CPU heatsink- idling now at high 40sC, and hopefully this will come down after a few thermal cycles powering off/on so that the Artic Silver does its thing.
Thanks for your input.
hey, that is a great idea. I've heard of spot fans in the past, never thought about this though. I wonder if this fits as an intake on the front, or is there not enough space to mount this behind hdds? also, any suggestions where to get these at a decent price?
edit1: just found it on Newegg for $15. ordering it now. thanks for the tip.
I changed the case several months ago, it's a standard board. Now I want to change the motherboard to Asus p6t SE, I am if the cpu cooling is good enough if I overclock it to 3.66GHz? This cpu cooling looks good BTW. Any ariticle about motherboard change?
As an update to this post I have moved everything into an Antec 1200 case (gone from 'Small & Chic' to 'Wardrobe and LEDs!') and temps have improved,as to be expected.
truelies - I've kept the Dell board for the time being and the Dell supplied CPU cooler which is doing an adequate job. If I was to change the motherboard at some time in the future then a cooler upgrade would be a desirable addition.
As it stands though, I cannot overclock with a Dell BIOS so no point changing at the moment.
.....Unless for sheer posing - Thermalright True Copper?
Can't justify it though. Remember you will have to buy another OS to go with a new motherboard, as fireberd has already mentioned.
BTW, I got around the I/O shield problem (eventually) by buying what appeared to be a "match" off EBay, but it didn't quite fit correctly and I couldn't be asked fiddling about. So I cut up and old plastic DVD cover to size and stuck that in! Works...and its black and no one looks around the back...!
Im also considering doing this, is there anything else I should know? Could you explain more on how you modded the I/O panel?
This particular Dell board is a standard size MicroATX, so just make sure the case you buy will accept that size. A good quality case comes with screw-in stand offs so you can fit a full size ATX board or a MicroATX, whichever.
TBH, the I/O shield was just a hack up, when you remove the motherboard out of your existing case you will find the I/O panel is attached to the case but there is a "gasket" which comes away readily and you can use this as a template- simply cut out the ports that you need and use. As I said I made one from an old DVD case, lay the gasket on the plastic and cut away with a craft knife and drill holes for the sound connections. There will be a load of swarf which is a pain to remove fully!
Go to Dell support and look at the manual - there is a diagram of the motherboard in question detailing all of the board's connections- either print or copy for future reference.
The front panel connectors were a bit of a fiddle, the case I got came with tiny 2 pin connectors for the power, reset and HD LED and they all have to go onto the motherboard connector which was simply a "plug" which has all of them built in. I got them the wrong way round at first but after carefully swapping them about everything fired up. Reset button doesnt work though as I don't think there was one on the original Dell case anyway, but no big deal.
I wish I had simply built a PC entirely from scratch but I didn't really have the confidence, but now at least buying the XPS has given me valuable experience on how PCs are screwed together!
My machine now consists of an Antec 1200 case (with a transparent side window!), Corsair HX620w modular PSU and a Sapphire HD4870 graphics card.
The CPU idles around 39/40C according to Real Temp 3.00, which is much better than the high 50s I was getting with that graphics card stuffed into the mini-tower.
Thanks for all your help!
I was planning on purchasing the Antec 1200 before I even saw this thread but now since I know it works thats great!
And as far as the I/O shield d the idea you came up with is great, I will see if I can do anything with any of the I/O shields I have laying around or I will just print out the mobo diagram and do the same thing you did.
I also hate those little connector but after playing around with them they work, there are a lot of diagrams you can follow when doing that. Also I know the Antec 1200 has a ESATA port in the front, how does that connect? Do you just plug it in though a SATA port?
I also plan to buy a Corsair 750 Watt modular PSU because the one that dell supplies has too low of a wattage and is probably too small, I regret not building my own but when I purchased my XPS 435 I really did not know as much about computers as I do today and now I build file servers and computers, but this upgrade should be good.
I did get a Vantec Tornado 80mm fan to hold me over until I get the Antec 1200 and I didnt install it yet but I heard its a great fan and ill probably put it in the Antec 1200.
sorry, this is a little of the subject now, but how did you power the Antec SpotCool? I thinking of buying the same fan, but I'm not seeing any extra connections in the motherboard, I'm also a little new to this. Thanks in advance.
Orient it in the case first to see how it is going to fit, and then remove the motherboard fixing screw and attach the stalk of the fan there and re-screw in the fixing screw.
Then I used an adaptor that came with another case fan I'd bought to convert the Spot Fan 3 pin connection to molex fitting.
Case fan I got was a 92mm Silenx Iextrema 42cfm / 14dBA - real quality fan I think, and came with the rubber "pins" that you use instead of the screws- nice and quiet. Plus it was this fan that came packaged with the 3 pin to molex adaptor.
Then simply plug the molex fitting into a molex lead from the PSU.
The end result was a couple of degrees off, which is better than nothing I suppose, although I didn't have it set to the highest setting all the time as I think noise is always a consideration ( 3 speeds available).
It isn't the most elegant of solutions either!