Replacing the PSU in a Studio Slim 540s

Desktop

Desktop
Desktop computer Hardware and Software discussion

Replacing the PSU in a Studio Slim 540s

This question is not answered

Hi, I bought a Studio Slim 540s back in November 2009 and now I've decided I want to do a little gaming on it. However, it runs a bit hot and it doesn't have sufficient energy for a new card. I think I have a PSU that is at 300w.

I was looking at either a GTX 460 or ATI 5850. The 5850 is probably way too big for the case. So, I was thinking of replacing the case with something simple but effective. I like this:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811119137&nm_mc=AFC-C8Junction&cm_mmc=AFC-C8Junction-_-RSSDailyDeals-_-na-_-na&AID=10521304&PID=3136390&SID=



That case should be good enough, with perhaps adding a fan or two.

 

Now, on to my next problem. I'm keeping everything else in the Studio Slim at stock, the Quad Core, 6GB ram, etc. Only thing that is changing is the PSU and Graphics Card. However, I've heard Dell Mobos/PSU are proprietary and that makes the PSU hard to replace. I need around a 400w-500w PSU. What is compatible with the dell Mobo chipset? Help would be appreciated, thanks.

Some of my specs if it helps:

Mobo: Dell 0M017G A00 P45/P43 chipset
CPU: Intel Core 2 Quad Q8300
Ram: Dual Channel 400mhz(DRAM frequency) DDR2 6GB
HDD: Western Digital 7200RPM 32mb Caviar Black

PSU: reads 10A 125v so I'm guessing its at 300w?

 

All Replies
  • Bump?

  • If you plan on changing your case then plan on buying a new mb and operating system as well. Not only are the panel connection "Dell Only" but the operating system is tied to the mb as well. Seriously, if you plan on doing gaming then your looking at a new system as the one you have is limited for many of the reasons you've stated. If your replacing the mb, op system, graphics and case your already most of the the way to a complete system. Sorry but the joy of owning Dell is being locked into their limited upgrade path. Dell would rather sell you a new system then allow you to upgrade your way out of a new purchase.

  • I don't want extreme gaming right now.

    I was hoping to do a huge upgrade next year when specific things come out like PCIe 3.0. That is the reason I didn't want to upgrade a mobo now. I've been told that even though Dell use proprietary mobo/PSU, you can still replace the PSU with a ATX PS with certain connectors. I was hoping someone on here had experience with that.

    If I must downgrade a card to something like a 5770, with even lower voltage, I wouldn't be opposed to that since its OK. But a 300w PSU is dangerous, IMO. Even at stress load levels, the power sometimes spikes in your system. So even if its safe on a stress load, you still take a risk if its close to the full PSU consumption...

    I think with a 5850 the wattage on my system is around 270 at full load. That is too risky if I get a energy spike somewhere and I'm not talking about power surges...

  •  deuce985

    The Studio 540 Slim has a 250w power supply.

    The power supply is a standard ATX format, but due to the constraints of the 540 Slimline case, it is a Dell proprietary unit, due to it's shape, size and wiring harness.

    If the motherboard was installed in a standard ATX Mini/Mid Tower case, most generic standard ATX power supply units can be used, with either a 24-pin or 20+4-pin main motherboard power connector, with or without the on/off switch.

    You should be able to buy a compatible power supply from either a local or online computer store.

    Note: You require a power supply with four SATA power connectors.

    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

  • Ok, so this case that I mentioned earlier should be fine for me to transfer all the parts to? It is ATX built.

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811119137

    This power supply should be sufficient enough for the specs I posted above plus a GTX 460 graphics card, yea? 20+4 pin connectors.

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817371034

    Or perhaps I can go with the combo deal:

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?ItemList=Combo.432088

    Thoughts on this? I want to be sure before I purchase anything...

  •  Bev - Aren't the front panel connectors proprietary also?? How would deuce985 make those connections in a non-Dell case?

    Jeff

    XPS 8100 i7-860(8MB Cache, 2.8GHz), 8GB Dual Channel DDR3 SDRAM @ 1333MHz, 750GB SATA 3.0GB/s 16MB Cache, nVidia GeForce GTS2401GB GDDR3, Dell ST2310 Full HD Widescreen Monitor, AverMedia G2 Combo hybrid TV Tuner, dual 16x DVD+/- RW dbl layer, Microsoft LifeCam Cinema HD, Running Windows 7 Home Premium, 64 bit. 

    If your question is answered here on the forums; PLEASE post back! It may help another user.              

  • deuce985

    Ok, so this case that I mentioned earlier should be fine for me to transfer all the parts to? It is ATX built.

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811119137

    This power supply should be sufficient enough for the specs I posted above plus a GTX 460 graphics card, yea? 20+4 pin connectors.

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817371034

    Or perhaps I can go with the combo deal:

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?ItemList=Combo.432088

    Thoughts on this? I want to be sure before I purchase anything...

     deuce985

    If you use a non-Dell case you will need to figure out Dell's undocumented front panel connectors, using a multimeter to check the pinouts.

    Can a Dell motherboard be installed in a non-Dell case, yes, it can, but it will not be easy and be prepared for a lot of aggro.

    Personally, I would look for a Studio 540 Mini Tower case.

    Regards to the 430w power supply listed in your link and the combo deal, I would use at least a 550w power supply.

    The Antec Three Hundred Illusion Black Steel ATX Mid Tower is an excellent case, I've used the same case myself with a Gigabyte motherboard, to build a desktop. the only problem I found, there is no 3.5" external bay.

    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

  • DCX4EVER

    If you plan on changing your case then plan on buying a new mb and operating system as well. Not only are the panel connection "Dell Only" but the operating system is tied to the mb as well. Seriously, if you plan on doing gaming then your looking at a new system as the one you have is limited for many of the reasons you've stated. If your replacing the mb, op system, graphics and case your already most of the the way to a complete system. Sorry but the joy of owning Dell is being locked into their limited upgrade path. Dell would rather sell you a new system then allow you to upgrade your way out of a new purchase.

    The 540s uses an OEM variant of a Foxconn micro-ATX mainboard. The sockets for the front panel connections are standard, and a third-party CPU heat sink will work provided that the Intel push-pins are replaced with screws such as those supplied with the Thermalright 775 Bolt-thru kit. The power supply is standard TFX, not proprietary, micro-ATX or ATX. (400-watt TFX power supplies are occasionally available on eBay.) And, the OS product key will activate with non-Dell hardware although a call to the Microsoft 1-800 line may be necessary. Been there, done that.

    I own a 540s refurb that I bought in stripped down form from eBay and pieced back together with mostly third-party parts. The only proprietary parts I needed were the shoulder screws for the drives and the Flex-bay bracket I used for the third-party card reader.

  •  

    shesagordie

    deuce985

    Ok, so this case that I mentioned earlier should be fine for me to transfer all the parts to? It is ATX built.

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811119137

    This power supply should be sufficient enough for the specs I posted above plus a GTX 460 graphics card, yea? 20+4 pin connectors.

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817371034

    Or perhaps I can go with the combo deal:

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?ItemList=Combo.432088

    Thoughts on this? I want to be sure before I purchase anything...

     deuce985

    If you use a non-Dell case you will need to figure out Dell's undocumented front panel connectors, using a multimeter to check the pinouts.

    Can a Dell motherboard be installed in a non-Dell case, yes, it can, but it will not be easy and be prepared for a lot of aggro.

    Personally, I would look for a Studio 540 Mini Tower case.

    Regards to the 430w power supply listed in your link and the combo deal, I would use at least a 550w power supply.

    The Antec Three Hundred Illusion Black Steel ATX Mid Tower is an excellent case, I've used the same case myself with a Gigabyte motherboard, to build a desktop. the only problem I found, there is no 3.5" external bay.

    Bev

     

    Any idea where I could get one? How roomy are they and how many fans do they support?

    I just want a case so I can get this over with. Put a new PSU and graphics card in...why did you make it so difficult Dell...Crying

    I don't think I'll ever buy another built PC from a manufacturer. Learned my lesson, all custom built from here on out.

     

     

  • rdunnill

    DCX4EVER

    If you plan on changing your case then plan on buying a new mb and operating system as well. Not only are the panel connection "Dell Only" but the operating system is tied to the mb as well. Seriously, if you plan on doing gaming then your looking at a new system as the one you have is limited for many of the reasons you've stated. If your replacing the mb, op system, graphics and case your already most of the the way to a complete system. Sorry but the joy of owning Dell is being locked into their limited upgrade path. Dell would rather sell you a new system then allow you to upgrade your way out of a new purchase.

    The 540s uses an OEM variant of a Foxconn micro-ATX mainboard. The sockets for the front panel connections are standard, and a third-party CPU heat sink will work provided that the Intel push-pins are replaced with screws such as those supplied with the Thermalright 775 Bolt-thru kit. The power supply is standard TFX, not proprietary, micro-ATX or ATX. (400-watt TFX power supplies are occasionally available on eBay.) And, the OS product key will activate with non-Dell hardware although a call to the Microsoft 1-800 line may be necessary. Been there, done that.

    I own a 540s refurb that I bought in stripped down form from eBay and pieced back together with mostly third-party parts. The only proprietary parts I needed were the shoulder screws for the drives and the Flex-bay bracket I used for the third-party card reader.

    So, you're saying the cases I posted should be alright since the front panels are standard too? Where do I get the proprietary screws you mentioned? Could I just borrow the ones in my 540s Slim case?

    It really upsets me its this confusing to simply take all the parts out of my PC and put them into a new case. Just to get a new PSU/Graphics Card. I'm not a technical genius when it comes to PCs but I've done this before...and it was never this confusing. My fault for not researching the buy I guess.

    If you could recommend me a good 500-550w PSU, a case big enough(and easy enough) to transfer my Dell parts to them and roomy enough for a NVIDIA GTX 460...it would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.

     

  • Yes, you can use the parts in a standard case. The mainboard's front audio and USB headers are standard. I'm not 100% sure about the pin block for the on-off switch, HD activity light, etc but they are connected via a standard 10-pin plug; you may have to switch them around ... or not.

    You won't need the proprietary screws if you are using a new case.The proprietary parts I bought were needed to use third-party parts in my 540s case, not move the 540s parts to an aftermarket case.

    BTW you won't be able to re-use the CPU heatsink unless you buy a bolt-through kit, like I used with a retail Foxconn board. I would recommend using an aftermarket fan like a Rosewill that has the standard Intel push-pins.

    And, finally, If you are moving the parts into a new case, you won't need to reactivate Windows.