Build a PC Dell Dimension 4300 vs Dell Dimension 8100


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I like to hear forum members opinion.
Just recently fixed the issue with Dell Dimension 4300, machine didn't power up when power switch pressed. I replaced original dead 250W PSU with new 430W dual fan and now comp is running. This PC is:
Intel 845 1.6 GHz internally and 400 MHz externally. 4 DMA channels and SDRAM PC133 512 mb of memory.
I also upgraded USB to 2.0, nice 128MB video card and some other goodies.
Now, I got another stock Dell Dimension 8100 without papers, but I check and this particular one has:
Intel 850 1.4 GHz internally and 400 MHz externally. 8 DMA channels and 384 mb RDRAM of memory. Nothing was done to this machine, and it also have original working 250W PSU.
What better to do? Keep the Dimension 4300 or remove goodies that compatible with 8100 motherboard, including fabricating in, new, dual fan PSU and excluding memory, I assume SDRAM and RDRAM not compatible and transfer to Dimension 8100?
Is 8100 machine more advanced then 4300? I know they both pretty old and outdated. I personally bough 4300 for my dad in 2001. Is 8100 was produced later? I see that CPU is Intel 850 vs 845..
Guys, opinion welcome.


Posts: 20   +0
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  • #3
I think you should concentrate on finding a computer that is still relevant in this century.

If you'll check put this publication from Dell, you'll see the copyright date is 2000, and that' it is the 8th revision.

So no, I'm not just being mean.
It's cool and I am not offended.. easy.
This is for back up machine and from 2, I want to get the better one.
You agree with me, that these old comps can be up to task even today to teach the kids and seniors performing basic operations?


Posts: 16,065   +4,867
Actually, I think the 4300 is the better of the 2, given the new PSU, the RAM spec is more up to date, and there's more of it.

I suppose you could dredge up some Linux distro to run the 8100 as is.

With that said, PC133 DDR is still available. Even if RAM from the 8100 was compatible, I think you'd run out of sockets, since the DIMMs are very small capacity. (384MB =3 X 128MB or 128MB + 226MB.

Some Googling has brought me to the conclusion the Intel 850 chipset is older than the 845, (?) as I have run across references to an earlier socket in regards to it (socket 423), but it did carry forward to socket 478 also. AFAIK, 845 is socket 478 only.


Posts: 20   +0
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  • #5
Thats the answer I was looking for. Thanks captain.
I am going to edit my post, to tell you BIG THANKS for providing extra information!
Thats both helpful and interesting.
Also reading D 8100 , manual just now, and see that the max ram memory 2 GB while 4300 manual says 512 max (I remember I came accross other sources stated is 1GB max for Dell Dim.. 4300.) Go figure.


Posts: 16,065   +4,867
I don't know how relevant this is to your Dell, but a random Intel 845 board; shows 2 184 pin DDR sockets, and a maximum RAM capacity of 2GB.

However, this does not attend to Dell's implementation of this chipset.

That fact that the 8100 has a stated RAM capacity of 2GB and the 4300's capacity is 512MB, does not surprise me. But, it's probably brought on by Dell's marketing strategy, which is really heavy into step up selling. I had thought that the 8XXX series Dell, was considered a "pro workstation", and that would account for the high RAM capacity also.

I really do think that Intel 845 usually has a max RAM of 2GB, but I'm surely not saying that your machine falls into this category.

The 4 RAM socket, dual channel Intel boards, began with the 865 chipset.

Witness Tom's Hardware review of a bunch of Gigabyte 865 & 875 boards;,652-33.html Some of these boards have >>6<<< DIMM sockets...!


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  • #7
Interesting links indeed., thanks for digging into
I didn't open Dell 8100 yet, but looking into the online Dell manual, it shows 4 memory sockets.
Dell 4300, the one I fixed, have only 2.
So I can try to upgrade D 8100 to 2 GB, most probably 4 memory sticks will work more efficient and smooth.
What made me ask all these questions is the 845 processor 1.4 GHz, less then the one from Dxxx 4300. Not sure if the difference between 1.4 and 1.6 GHz any relevant to even talk about, but I like to know!:grinthumb.


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  • #8
Ok just want to close this topic. After some more considerations decided to stay with Dell 4300 over 8100.
Added 128 mb Ge Force video card which made a huge difference obviously comparing to original 32 mb and replaced old (2001!) system battery
Past 2 weeks operating troubles free. Made senior citizen machine to serve people longer!
Topic closed:)