Chassis for a Dimension E310

By Nottat
Apr 25, 2006
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  1. I want to get a new case for my Dimension E310 and Dell does not want to give me the info I need to buy a proper case. Can you guys help me out? I need to know that Motherboard type and dimensions? Sorry a bit of a newb at this.
  2. CrossFire851

    CrossFire851 Newcomer, in training Posts: 1,058

    I would think you would have to get a new motherboard, ($40-100)

    But then you would be sure that it would fit in any case. (standered atx)
  3. 0009

    0009 Newcomer, in training Posts: 80

    i think any mid size atx case would do.
  4. KingCody

    KingCody TechSpot Guru Posts: 1,568   +7

    The cases that Dell uses are actually good quality.

    why would you want to get a new case for a Dell?

    if you insist on putting your dell system into a new case, than as 0009 said above, any mid-tower ATX or bigger will do. since dimensions use micro-ATX mobos, you may even be able to get it into a micro-ATX case.

    Crossfire... why would you think he would need a new mobo??
  5. es84

    es84 Newcomer, in training Posts: 65

    I am sure this is a new system since dell has not been selling 310 for very long. Ther e is no need to change the mother board, and theboard is a good one, it has everyting built in all the cards . The chassis of the system is very good , I checkd this the cooling is superb on this system , I suggest you dont replace the chassis , this can causing cooling issues, check the big fan an the air duct on the front, it is pretty good
  6. es84

    es84 Newcomer, in training Posts: 65

  7. KingCody

    KingCody TechSpot Guru Posts: 1,568   +7

    dell mobos are rubbish unless you buy the high end XPS models.

    they have everything built on because it's alot cheaper to do it that way then it is to install separate cards... allso because they don't want you to be able to upgrade anything on it (which is why they only have PCI slots, no AGP slots)

    I believe the XPS series have PCI-E slots on them, but they (as with all dells) cost much more money than they are worth.

    the bottom line is, if you're going to change the case, then do yourself a favor and buy a better mobo for it as well. this will avoid the front panel connector issues, give you more features, and make for an easier peripheral transfer.
  8. 0009

    0009 Newcomer, in training Posts: 80

    in some dells its very hard to take off the motherboard, this is because they dont want you to upgrade from their stock hardware. i know from first hand..
  9. Nottat

    Nottat Newcomer, in training Topic Starter

    thanks es84, good point about the cooling. and thanks for the specs. I may just leave it, I don't know.
  10. Nottat

    Nottat Newcomer, in training Topic Starter

    Comp was a gift and I've learned quite a bit upgrading what I can. I think I will just build a new one. Lol, not as hard as I figuered it would be.
  11. es84

    es84 Newcomer, in training Posts: 65

    true there is not much that u can upgrade on this system , however i have used one of these and a XPS as well , as long as u are not in to gaming or video editng etc,it will work well
     
  12. dmill89

    dmill89 TechSpot Guru Posts: 737

    The Demension E310 uses a BTX motherboard. You will either need to get a BTX case (they are expensive and hard to find) or downgrade to an ATX motherboard which is *****ic since BTX is the new formfactor and offers better cooling.I recomend you just keep the Dell case untill more BTX cases become avalible. Or of course you could build a new system but the E310 is more upgradeable than older dells.I believe the E310 even has a PCI express slot and a standard intel 915GV chipset.
  13. gpooleii

    gpooleii Newcomer, in training

    dmill89 is right. My E310 motherboard croaked and I've gone through the work of finding a BTX formfactor replacement. I like the BTX idea and am trying to work with it.

    I've gotten a new BTX motherboard and found that Dell used a front panel system with a proprietatry (I assume) 20-something pin connector. Now I'm wrestling with how to even power the system up (since the power button is serviced through the front panel connector).

    I'd be interested to know what you settled on since it's been a year or so. Did you stick with the BTX case or go with something new?

    Thanks!
  14. old_hack

    old_hack Newcomer, in training

    I see it's been a while since the last post, but I am interested in how the replacement worked with the front panel connections for the Dell E310. Intel makes several microBTX boards that will fit the E310 case: DQ965CO, D945GCZ, DG965MS, and D946GZTS. The specs for each board can be found on the Intel site. From the Intel home page look under Products, click Motherboards, then click ALL.
    I've been contemplating an upgrade to a dual core cpu and PCI-E x16 (the E310 has one PCI-E slot but it is only x1 for those who don't know) which all of these Intel boards offer, but the Dell E310 has that silly front panel header that I assume is made specifically for the Dell PC. The Intel boards obviously have front panel connectors, so I'm wondering if the front panel components of the E310 can be individually connected to the board by "unwiring" the panel wires and adding individual connectors to the wires. Also, is the Dell power supply compatible with a standard Intel board, or are Dell's boards also designed for their power supply (I've heard something along those lines somewhere before). Dell makes a good, cheap product, but all the proprietary components make it not so favorable for those of us who like to build/rebuild their systems. I really like the BTX design, too bad it didn't get much acceptance. BTW, I found a place to get power supplies made for Dell PC's: pcpower dot com (I'm new so I can't post a link), under the Products tab click Dell Units.
    All replies with any attempts at an upgrade for a Dimension E310 will be appreciated.
    Thanks.
  15. Matthew

    Matthew TechSpot Staff Posts: 6,049   +84 Staff Member

    This page has information on how to rewire your front panel connectors.

    Dell was indeed really big on proprietary PSU's among other things years ago, not too sure how that is now. If you're going to be upgrading your motherboard, I would invest in a new PSU whether or not the Dell PSU were compatible form factor wise.
  16. old_hack

    old_hack Newcomer, in training

    Too much trouble

    Thanks for your input. The link was interesting reading. I have not disassembled my Dell E310 to see what the necessary procedure would be to install a non-Dell Intel board. I thought the first course of action would be to find someone who has attempted (hopefully successfully) an upgrade. One point made earlier in the thread recommended a new case so the panel connector would not be an issue. I'm beginning to lean towards scrapping the E310 upgrade idea based on the fact that Dells are cheap to begin with. By the time you buy a new case, PSU, motherboard, and even perhaps upgrade the RAM and video card, it might be cheaper to buy a new one. Maybe that's why Dell builds them this way. The Intel boards alone can be $100 and up. I bought my E310 from the Dell Outlet as a scratch-and-dent for $194 when I found a 40% discount coupon online. That doesn't happen very often. I couldn't buy the board and cpu for that. It came with a P4 521 2.8GHz, 80gig SATA hard drive, 1G 533MHz RAM, cd-rw/dvd rom combo, XP Media Center. I've done some upgrades, P4 640 3.2GHz cpu, 2G ram, 2 cd-rw/dvd burner optical drives, 256MB PCI video card, PCI firewire card (I do video capture and editing) and 300G hard drive. I took out that useless PCI modem that came with it to use the slot for something worthwhile and am getting the most out of it that I can. It just doesn't look like it would be worth the time and expense to upgrade this particular model. Dell's been around the block a few times and I'm sure they know this. They're not in the business of selling parts, they're in the business of selling assembled PCs, Servers, Notebooks, and such.
  17. gpooleii

    gpooleii Newcomer, in training

    I have rebuilt my Dell E310 with upgraded components and a little common sense engineering. I found an Intel DG965MS motherboard (as correctly mentioned above) - it was an open box from Newegg and cheap ($45). I used an intel Core2Duo processor. Of course, the processer was new (and expensive) so the total bill came to just over $200.00. That's still pretty cheap for a good-as-new screaming machine. I had to cut out and rework the back of the chassis so the I/O board was available (a reciprosaw and hand file work nicely). Take note - check the layout of a new motherboard visually before ordering or it also may not fit correctly and you'll be doing the same thing. I discarded the Dell proprietary front panel system, bought a $2.00 momentary switch from Radio Shack and wired it to the appropriate pins on the motherboard front panel header for a power switch - it works fine. The switch fit perfectly into the old audio jack hole in the front panel. It was trial and error to get the CPU fan working but I have the correct pinouts if you need them (it will not work if you just connect it as-is to the CPU fan header on the motherboard). Still to do: install a USB and audio header into the front panel and find a way to enable the 13-in-one Tech card-reader. Otherwise the system is working awesome running Suse 10.3 64bit linux.
  18. old_hack

    old_hack Newcomer, in training

    Thanks for your reply - I was hoping you got it done and would share your experience.

    I didn't consider the I/O difference with regard to the chassis. I am curious why you discarded the front panel system in its entirety. Is there no way to use any of the present input connections or power switch? I was afraid if that when I made note of the ribbon cable that connected the front panel unit to the mobo, like it was all integrated.

    As far as front panel connections go, There is a e-store called frontx (dot com) that has a great variety of do-it-yourself front panel add-ons in black, gray or ivory. You need an available 5.25" front drive bay and can add internally connected (header) ports or externally connected by running a cable through the case and out the back thru an open expansion slot and plugged into the rear I/O. I checked the specs for the Intel DG965MS and see it has two USB front panel headers for four USB ports (2x2). I have a frontx bay unit but I've had it for a few years. I just ordered a cable from them so I could connect a firewire cable to the mobo header. The one I had from an earlier PC had an external type of connector although it was connected internally to a PCI IEEE card. The order confirmation said it was being sent Malaysian Post. I don't remember that from the first order I made a couple years ago. The shipping is free, anyway.

    One more thought: were you able to use the Dell power supply for the DG965MS?
    I think I'll save the Dell project for a rainy day. If I know what I'll need before hand, I can watch for some good deals.
  19. Indyman

    Indyman Newcomer, in training

    Hi Everyone - my first post! I know this thread is a little old but I to am taking the plunge and upgrading my E310 with a new motherboard. I'm curious about the Dell CPU fan header - is it different than on a standard Intel board? Also, when you had to cut out for the I/O shield, did you ground it to the case? I'm going to try to figure out the front panel pinout - I'll let you know what I find since I cant find it on the net anywhere. I'm upgrading to get a PCIx16 slot so my son can get a better graphics card. Thanks!
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