TechSpot

Dell Dimension 2400 MOBO?

By rick1974
Feb 26, 2007
  1. I've have a dell dimension 2400 thats about 3-4 years old, Now I've had some problems in the past with certain pci devices. Now recently i've purchased a graphics card (geforce 6200) and the thing only worked now and again. I've had it tested and the card is working fine. So I turn to the motherboard as the offender. I want to buy an upgraded one but i'm a total newbie when it comes to Motherboards, The only thing I have been told is not to buy one from dell..... as if i needed that piece of advise! So calling all computer buffs, can you help me please?
    I can supply the id tag if needed.
     
  2. vnf4ultra

    vnf4ultra TechSpot Paladin Posts: 2,195

    No board other than dell will be a direct replacement, but any micro atx socket 478 board with ddr memory support should work. I'd get a board with agp(very hard to find a board like this with the newer pci-e), so you aren't limited to pci cards only. You probably will have to modify the front panel(lights, button(s)), as well as the front usb/audio, as these are likely specific to the dell motherboard. Note, the only one you really need to hook up is the power switch, the other stuff is just for convenience.

    Socket 478 boards are falling away fast, as they're somewhat outdated. I could only find two new boards that'd work on newegg, and only one is in stock.
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16813138262
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16813123008

    Here's your spec page, fyi.
    http://support.dell.com/support/edocs/systems/dim2400/en/sm_en/specs.htm
     
  3. rick1974

    rick1974 TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 21

    Thanks for the advice, however I live in the UK. Would you know any uk sites you'd recommend?

    Cheers
     
  4. Tedster

    Tedster Techspot old timer..... Posts: 10,074   +13

    stay away from DELL. They use proprietary architechture.
     
  5. vnf4ultra

    vnf4ultra TechSpot Paladin Posts: 2,195

  6. rick1974

    rick1974 TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 21

    Thanks again for searching. I have done a bit of digging myself, and some people have told me that I can only upgrade/update my motherboard with dell. But I find this hard to grasp. However, are the mobos you have advised me on upgraded? You also mentioned that some connectors might not be compatible, what would be the answer, and would a new case be req'd too?

    It's just before I commit to buy I want to be 150% sure, so I don't have to mess about sending things back etc. I think I'll be competent enough to fit the mobo, but if the connecors are different, would I be able to cut and solder the wires to the old connectors?
     
  7. Tedster

    Tedster Techspot old timer..... Posts: 10,074   +13

    the problem is not with the connectors - it is also with the pinouts and voltages. DELL uses proprietary architecture on many of their systems. IF you try to use generic parts or PSU, you find either they get burned out, or they won't work. If you use a generic PSU - you'll burn your motherboard out.
    Dell did this deliberately so you only buy dell parts.

    STAY away from DELL.
     
  8. rick1974

    rick1974 TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 21

    It's all very well you telling me to stay away from dell, but I need a computer, and even though it is a dell and it has it's problems, I cannot afford another pc at this time, so I either don't play any games till I can afford one, or I upgrade the current one, if this means buying another motherboard and case then so be it. I have already fitted a new psu, as I thought that was the problem when trying this new graphics card, as it turns out it's the pc, or more to the point, the motherboard. SO the point of this thread is to find out the relevant info for me to go out and purchace the said items, without having any problems if possible.
    Hindsight is a very good tool, because if I'd known more about dell when I was looking for a pc years ago, I'd have given them a very wide berth. But as I have already said, i'm stuck with it for the time being. So any info will be greatly appreciated.
     
  9. cartera

    cartera TS Enthusiast Posts: 142   +14

    I didn't think the 6200 worked on standard dell psu's? Have you checked the voltages, because you may need a new PSU. I upgraded a dell not long ago, very very sticky business. I wouldn't bother with dell they told me that i could put a AGP graphics card on a motherboard which was PCI only. But the PSU may sort your problem out not sure check this thread it is a thread specifically for dell upgrade problems;
    http://www.techspot.com/vb/topic29193.html
    Someone has upgraded there dell 3000 to this particular card and had problems powering it, they had to buy a new PSU, go direct to the last page of the thread above and read!
    Hope this helps,
    Regards
     
  10. vnf4ultra

    vnf4ultra TechSpot Paladin Posts: 2,195


    There is a lot of misinformation out there, but I have some experience with this range of dell systems, and they're fairly standard parts. The only proprietary parts are the front panel connections(hd led, power button), and usb/mic connections. This dell doesn't use a non standard power supply unlike some previous dells did. It's a standard atx supply, and the board is standard micro atx form factor socket 478 with ddr support.

    I will say that if you get a bunch of new parts, you may need a new power supply anyway(yours is either 200 or 250w), since the new parts will draw more power. You can find what you'll need as far as wattage here.
    http://extreme.outervision.com/psucalculator.jsp
    Just put in your parts and get the calculation.

    If you get the board I listed it will connect to your current parts(cpu, ram, hard drive, cd drive, etc), but the front panel connectors will likely not line up. To fix this, cut the dell ends off and solder standard front panel connectors onto the wires(or otherwise modify the connector to work on the new board). If you don't want to do that, you could buy a new case, but it's not necessary.

    For performance type computers I agree that people should generally "avoid dell," but at this point you already have the dell, so you might as well upgrade what you have if you don't have a large budget to completely redo the system or buy a new one.

    I will note another inconvenience for you. If you replace the motherboard and it isn't "broken," you legally(according to microsoft) have to buy a new copy of xp (hey if your pci slots won't work right maybe it already is "broken" :)). Now I know for a fact you can reuse the xp you have(which will likely run into activation issues and require calling microsoft and telling them "my motherboard broke, I replaced it, and now I can't activate..."), but I can't officially recommend that...

    Also, you should backup all important data before doing anything to your system, you might have to reinstall windows.

    Oh, and I almost forgot, you might need a new heatsink for the cpu. It depends on how the board fits. If it won't line up with the dell heatshroud, then you will likely have to either get an active heatsink(one with a fan, most of the dells in this series are passive(no fan), and rely on a duct to pull air through the heatsink.), or you could modify the shroud to fit the new board. As a side note, the green duct hinges upward if you release the tabs on the bottom. Either way, remember you need to reapply thermal compound(grease) to the cpu. First you'd clean the cpu and the heatsink until bare shiny metal shows on the entire contact surface of both parts. I usually use isopropyl alcohol(91%) to clean thermal grease off. I recommend artic silver 5 thermal compound, it's the best I've used, it only takes a small dab, the size of a grain of rice between the cpu and the heatsink.

    For reference, this is what your computer will look like inside. Picture from ebay.
    http://cgi.ebay.com/Dell-Dimension-...QQihZ006QQcategoryZ140070QQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem
    I'll hotlink from imageshack, instead of ebay, to keep them happy.
    [​IMG]

    Hope this is helpful. If you need any more help regarding "redoing" your dell, feel free to ask, I've done this on models in this series so I know how it's done.
     
  11. rick1974

    rick1974 TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 21

     
  12. vnf4ultra

    vnf4ultra TechSpot Paladin Posts: 2,195

    Yes, the board you linked to would also work. I prefer the one I linked to first(because it has an intel chipset, which I like better than a via chipset). The intel chipset supports dual channel memory which is a plus.
     
  13. rick1974

    rick1974 TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 21

    Well i've gone and done it, I've bought one... The one I linked, mainly because it has the pciE graphics card slot. Again thank you very much for all your help, I'll let you know how I get on.
     
  14. vnf4ultra

    vnf4ultra TechSpot Paladin Posts: 2,195

    Ok, if you need any help doing the swap, post back when you get the hardware.
    I don't blame you for getting the one with pci-e, pci-e cards are more prevalent and cheaper at this point. Best wishes.
     
  15. rick1974

    rick1974 TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 21

    I would llike to publically thank vnf4ultra for his/her help. I bought a new mobo, installed and set it up. All on his/her say so. Bought A new Pci E Graphics card too. All for around £70 in total. Better than buying a new pc for £450. So if anyone need advice on anything pc, I can certainly recommend vnf4ultra's advice.
    Now My dell dimension is no more, it has a dell case, but thats it. The options that this new mobo gives me are a damn sight more than the Dell mobo ever gave me. Why it took me this long to realise, I'll never know!
     
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