TechSpot

Dell 2400 with P4 Motherboard, Processor, Video card upgrades?

By capridrifter
Apr 28, 2008
  1. Before You guys tell me its such an old computer and why bother,:evil: I have my reasons.:D OK now I have the 2400 that I need to upgrade a bit and I need to know what is the BEST motherboard and possessor for This computer? I know that the stock heat sink/fan is not so great so I also plan on upgrading that as well and I also have my eye on a 1 gig video card
    (I am one of those hard to shop for Multi taskers so more then enough is almost enough) ;)
    So Please TechSpot Help me Pimp My DELL! lol

    Thanks in advance;)


    ps*I found one old thread that talked about this subject in Google BUT it is so old I cant find it again to post in it or click the expired links.*
     
  2. raybay

    raybay TS Evangelist Posts: 10,716   +6

    Silly move. But if you are trying to fool your mother, find a board and a CPU that will fit in that little case, along with a 400+ watt power supply, heat sink, and such.
    The biggest problem is the plastic tie-downs to hold the heat sink in place. They break.
    It is easier and cheaper to get a board, cpu, power supply and memory as a package that try to fit something decent into that case.
    The power supply is lousy. There is no room, and inadequte cooling.
     
  3. capridrifter

    capridrifter TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Mkay...I'll just stick with mild upgrades then....I was hoping to get freed from Dell hell:( I thought I was on to something here....Oh well this computer will still work for checking emails and stuff like that....perhaps I'll convert it into a server or something...Sigh
     
  4. raybay

    raybay TS Evangelist Posts: 10,716   +6

    If you have not done so, Upgrade the memory to maximum ( recommend crucial, directron, tiger, or zipzoomfly). Each memory slot can hold DDR PC2700,DDR PC3200 with a maximum of 1GB per slot. Yours likely came with DDR PC2700. Upgrade to 2 modules of PC3200, 1 GB per slot and you will notice signifucant improvement in many tasks.

    Install a faster hard drive. The one that came with the 2400 is a slow 5400 rpm... and the Seagate 7200 rpm ones are significantly better. They are very low cost now. Also, be sure your heat sink is cleaned out with canned air such as Dust Office twice each year, and that your CPU fan is clean.
    Take a close look at the plastic mini towers into which the heat sink clamp-downs attach. Those plastic arms often break and should be immediately replaced. When the system heat sink is poorly attached, or does not have clean, new thermal paste, you can have what appear to be slow down problems.
     
  5. dnanorton

    dnanorton TS Rookie

    1gb pc3200 sticks wont work in the dimension 2400. I just tried 2x(1gb) pc 3200 G-skill sticks from newegg and 2x(1gb) pc3200 Advanced Modules sticks from ebay.

    I upgraded the bios to A05 (the latest one).

    Called dell support and they say its 1gb max no mater what the analizer programs say.

    Also tried a single stick of each (1gb max) and it still wont work.

    Leds recognize memory, but is unusable. with all 4 sticks.
     
  6. raybay

    raybay TS Evangelist Posts: 10,716   +6

    Generally that is just bull. What is the Service Tag?
    We have 100 2400's in insurance, Sales, and real estate offices. They all take 2 GB of PC2700, or PC3200... but not mixed.... Kingston, Crucial, Infineon, and Buffalo. Cheap at $45 per GB

    Somebody at Dell is pulling your chain.

    Please send service Tag and I will verify.
     
  7. dnanorton

    dnanorton TS Rookie

    service tag is C4P5X31
    its a intel 2.53 P4 with a 845GV intel chipset

    I have ran the service tag and used the crucial analizer both show 2048 max memory. However, I have tried 4 different 1gb sticks in pairs and singles and none are working. It wont boot.

    put the old 256 infineon back in and it works fine.

    The only thin I can think of is that the 1gb sticks are pc 3200/400 and the original 256 stick is a pc 2700. I thought it was backward compatable, but it doesn't seem so.
     
  8. raybay

    raybay TS Evangelist Posts: 10,716   +6

    Use a bright light and a magnifying glass to assure there is no dirt or damage to any of the memory sockets.
    This is a motherboard that has had extremely wide use in the 2350, 2400, 3000, Optiplex 160L, and 170L so you would expect the system to work the same way...

    Of course, anything is possible with production runs, or various plants where the board was made.
    What Dell tech told you appears to be true for that board, but it is NOT typical for the model. We have just serviced and maintained too many, and have found that even junk memory works... we generally use Crucial, Kingston, Buffalo, or Kingston... We do know that "Value Ram" does not always work.
    It could also be the version of Windows they sent you.
    Sorry I do not have better advice.
     
  9. dnanorton

    dnanorton TS Rookie

    if it is a board problem, is there a better board i should upgrade to while im doing surgery?
     
  10. raybay

    raybay TS Evangelist Posts: 10,716   +6

    If it is a memory issue, along with a time problem for you, I would find a way to get a different computer... PCSolutions, TechforLess, PCSurplus online... There are better computers to upgrade. You can get a Dell 8400 for $200 and use your memory... or a Dell Optiplex 260 or 270.
     
  11. capridrifter

    capridrifter TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Model : Dell Dimension 2400
    Chassis Type : Space Saving
    Service Tag : 2P1F751
    Operating System : Microsoft Windows XP Professional Service Pack 3 (Build 2600)

    Number Of Processors : 1
    Type : Intel Pentium 4 2666 MHz
    Processors Bus Speed : 532 MHz

    Manufacturer : Dell Computer Corp.
    Model : 0G1548 Rev. A00
    CPU Slot/Socket Type : Socket 478 mPGA
    Chipset Vendor : Intel i845G Rev. A1
    Bios Manufacturer : Dell Computer Corporation
    Bios Version : A05

    Model : Intel ONBOARD 82845G/GL/GV/GE
    ONBOARD Speed : Not Available
    Monitor : CTX 1785

    Hard Drive 1 : ST3120026A
    Size : 114.47 GB
    Hard Drive 2 : WDC WD400BB-75FJA1
    Size : 38.15 GB (This one is a temp that I'm pulling info off of)

    Total RAM Installed : 1536MB
    Type : DDR DIMM PC3200
    Used RAM Slots: 2 of 2
    Memory Bus Frequency: 166 MHz
    Memory Timings: 2.5-3-3-7
    Slot 1: 1024MB PC3200 DDR
    Slot 2: Legacy Electronics 512MB PC2700 DDR 88L5HDL0-1PDG

    And I clean my computer spotless At LEAST once a month! I tear it down to bare chassis and clean every last part....Overkill? I think not,lol

    Oh and I just got an old Compaq Presario for parts....I think I'm going to make a Dell/Compaq "thing" I think I will call it the Hellpaq! lol And IF I wanted to spend the money on a new/used MoBo Could I? I know the compatable MoBo's are getting harder to find...But I sorta like this pos:) And soon I should be getting a new Intel 3.20GHz Prossessor for the thing, I only paid 20 bucks for it too!...lol Sooo......:grinthumb
     
     
  12. raybay

    raybay TS Evangelist Posts: 10,716   +6

    First observations.
    You have two different types of memory... one module is PC2700. The Other is PC3200. I would have them both be the same, whatever it is. If it were working, it would run at the speed of the slower module.
    On that board, you will not really notice the difference between the PC2700 and the PC3200.
    The Legacy Electronics memory module is perhaps third tier memory and not of the same quality as the PC3200.
    Or it could be that both modules are not of adequate quality.
    I do know that Crucial, Infineon, Buffalo, and Kingston work on that board with our customers when either PC2700 or PC3200 is used.
    If both of those modules are third tier memory and the chip spacing is different, that is the source of your troubles. I am putting my guess on poor memory quality.
    Look at current prices at www.directron.com, www.zipzoomfly.com, www.tigerdirect.com, and www.newegg.com. I like Directron best.
    You are asking a lot of that computer to power two hard drives and such... with that power supply.
    I would consider replacing the Dell 250 Watt power supply with a 400 Watt ATX of the same dimensions as your current power supply.
    I would not do anything with a board change in that case with that power supply and cooling fans.
    Replacement boards on eBay are $59.99. The Dell 170L or 170XL board fits, but the CPU will not run faster.
    You have enough knowledge to consider something like the partial builds at www.cpusolutions.com and the combo packages of motherboard and CPU that you will find at Newegg, Directron, ZipZoomFly, ComputerGeeks, Outpost, Tech Depot, PCConnection, CDW, PCMall, and so on. When the boards and CPU's age a bit they drop the prices wildly to create shelf space for the new boards coming in. Consider a CoreDuo type board.
    Good luck.
    Let us know what you decide.
     
  13. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 10,821   +922

    The socket 478 is pretty much a dead end. There are a couple of Gigabyte boards is the $60.00 price range which will mount all of the new dual core CPUs Even a new Pentium Dual Core 2140 would improve your computing lot in life dramatically..

    This board has built in graphics to get you started; http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813128078
     
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