Dell Dimension 4600 Upgrading for Photo Editing

By TedB ยท 62 replies
Dec 25, 2008
  1. Thanks RayBay and Rage_3K_Moiz, advice taken, and I'll be wary of it - I'm even unplugging most of the USB peripherals when I'm not using them for that very reason. If the PC lasts another year I'll be impressed anyway - didn't really expect this PC to last as long as it has without any major issues. The X1300 card was under $60, the PSU I can't even remember what I paid for that - less than the card anyway, so the risk vs reward is acceptable for me. I back up regularly on an external drive any important docs as well, and if it does melt down, it's a good excuse to upgrade. Been looking at the Dell XPS 630 or 730x for a while now.. :)
  2. The Antec SL350 has 2 cooling fans which helps, however the 400W may be the better option in light of what Raybay said (altho I don't know about the quality of that StarTech model), and also because for some reason your card had a higher recommended minimum wattage than mine most places I looked (mine recommended 300W, yours 350W minimum).. still unsure why that is, considering my one is 512MB and yours 256MB, when they're the same basic model. Maybe the built-in cooling system on the 512MB version is better? Apparently Antec also have a 430W compatible ATX PSU..
  3. TedB

    TedB TS Rookie Topic Starter

    I'm getting confused re hunting down the PSU

    If I type Corsair PSU/type in (Amazon) I get Corsair 400CX (@Rage_3K_Moiz) I get something that doesn't look quite right+way too large from the pic/almost an external unit??:

    Corsair Power CMPSU-400CX 400w CX Series 12V ATX 80 Plus Certified Power Supply

    I google Antec EarthWatts shows a Antec EarthWatts EA 430 ATX12V Power Supply - EA430 (I'm assuming 430w is ok as well/will still fit in the D4600 case/switches where they should/need to be.
  4. raybay

    raybay TS Evangelist Posts: 7,241   +10

    Does the Antec have the power socket and switch in the correct location? Most Antecs do not fit.

    Star Tech is not a quality power supply.
  5. TedB

    TedB TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Raybay..I don't have a clue re Antec's power socket/switch. Nerus #42 indicated a tight fit for the Anetec unit/switches apparently ok. Scratch the Star TechPSU (hmmm..on Dell's SmBus site though.)
  6. Antec SL350 dimensions: L5.9" x W5.5" x H3.4"

    Here's a [ame=""]picture[/ame] of it :

    I mounted mine with the 2nd fan facing downward, not upwards like in the photo though.

    Hope the helps for comparison.
  7. Rage_3K_Moiz

    Rage_3K_Moiz Sith Lord Posts: 5,443   +38

    The dimensions are standard on all ATX PSUs. The Corsair however will not fit because the switch and socket will not line up properly with the back of the case. The EA430 will however, and should be your best choice.
  8. TedB

    TedB TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Thanks guys. EA430 it will be...I'll get it ordered after lunch.
  9. Hey. Wonder how your upgrade went? Just driving by..

    I've have the occasional problem with startup after an overnight shut down - I'll get a 'clicking' kind of noise from the built in speakers on the monitor, and no picture. Effectively cycling the PC power a couple of times fixes it, and once it's up and running I've never had an issue. I'm guessing it's due to underpowered PSU? Drivers and everything are up to date. :)

    Doesn't matter though - I just ordered a brand new Dell which should be delivered in a week or two.. can't wait!
    XPS630 with a Q9550 (12MB, 2.83GHz, 1333FSB) quad, RAM 8GB DDR2 at 800MHz, NVidia GTX280 1024MB graphics card, and a 300GB Velociraptor 10Krpm hard drive. ..and those are just the stock values *grin* Finally will be able to play some of the graphic-intensive games!
  10. raybay

    raybay TS Evangelist Posts: 7,241   +10

    You will like the Dell a lot. I would upgrade the memory to the maximum as soon as you receive it... while the memory is so very cheap. If they do not offer a disk set in the box, call them and request it.
  11. Thanks for the info! By upgrading the memory, do you mean replacing it with Corsairs or something similar at higher MHz, or going into the BIOS and upping the speed (and voltage) of the existing 8GB DDR2 beyond the stock 800MHz (and hoping I don't fry them)? ..or did you mean adding more RAM, although I thought 8GB would be ample, even though theoretically you can use up to 16GB on a quad I think..

    I don't know if the Q9550 will be EO or C1 stepping.. although not sure I'll even try to clock anything up - apparently the stock cooling isn't the best for overclocking.

    By disk set, do you mean the o/s? They better bloody supply it - although maybe OEM so I can't use it elsewhere. This will be the 3rd Dell I've bought new, and they always supplied o/s CDs and drivers in the past.. Is that what you're talking about? This PC comes with Vista Home Premium x64, although I have unrestricted full installation CD's for Vista Home Basic 32bit, XPpro (which I currently prefer to anything else), and even 2000pro, 2000server and 2000advanced server.

    Only getting integrated sound for now - I didn't want to commit to a sound card that I couldn't use if I decided to revert to XPpro.

    Appreciate the advice :)
  12. raybay

    raybay TS Evangelist Posts: 7,241   +10

    I mean to upgrade the size of each module... if 512 MB, upgrade to 1 GB... if two 256 MB modules, upgrade to two 1 GB modules... if 2 GB now, upgrade to 4 GB while memory is available and cheaply. Most suppliers are dumping extra memory to adjust to the market... Once inventory is in balance, the prices will likely go up a lot.
  13. Ah I see, and good point. I'm not actually sure of the current makeup, but I *think* it will be 4 x 2GB..

    Looking at, they say the stock XPS 630 has 4 slots and a max 2GB per slot, so looks like I'll be at max anyway - I'm presuming it's 4 x 2GB DDR2 PC2-6400 (800MHz), even though the Vista Home Premium 64bit o/s *can* work with up to 16GB. I guess I could replace them with 4 x 2GB DDR2 PC2-8500 (1066MHz) though.. would it be worth the effort for ~$150?

    By disk set you meant the o/s and drivers, yes?

    *edit* - apparently unless I clock the Q9550 CPU of 1333FSB up to over 1600, it won't make much difference using 800MHz RAM or 1066. Additionally, if I downgrade the o/s to XP (32bit), then anything over 4GB RAM does not get utilized by the o/s anyway, so looks like I'll be good on the 8GB 800MHz RAM they are supplying with the PC already. :)

    *further edit* - ok damn. Apparently the 'stock' motherboard is a proprietary 650i, which has 2 graphics PCI slots, but each only has 8 lanes. That's fine for SLI with say GT8800 which max around 80GB/s, but the GTX280 is a single card which really needs 16 lanes, so the card is going to be effectively bottlenecked to around 80GB/s, instead of the 115-160GB/s the GTX280 can handle.. that's just silly. What a waste of resources. Wonder if Dell will let me upgrade to 750i motherboard for cheap (has a 16 lane PCI slot)...

    And even furthermore, the mobo can't handle PC2-8500 RAM; apparently PC2-6400 is the max, but they can be clocked up to 1066 on stock setup anyway (according to Dell), so it looks like I am definitely at the max as far as RAM goes.
Topic Status:
Not open for further replies.

Similar Topics

Add your comment to this article

You need to be a member to leave a comment. Join thousands of tech enthusiasts and participate.
TechSpot Account You may also...