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Dell XPS Studio Desktop 8GB Tri-channel DDR3 Question

By yukka · 181 replies
Dec 22, 2008
  1. Hoku

    Hoku TS Rookie

    non traditional student

    Without the academic discount I would not have been able to get CS4 Web Premium. Of course, if I wasn't a student I wouldn't really need to upgrade my system just yet either.

    I don't do much gaming so I went with the stock monitor Dell offered. Originally I configured the Studio XPS with a bigger monitor and the 6GB memory option. Then I changed my mind and went with the stock UltraSharp 20" (2009WFP) and 12GB of memory. I'm currently using an old 19" UltraSharp (1905FP) and I've been happy with that in a dual setup with a CRT (16" viewable), even though the disparate resolutions are a PITA. I really like dual monitors and the 20" and 19" together should be good enough for my needs. I'd rather code than play games anyway.

    It does seem that to do any real upgrades to the Studio XPS will require a different case due to the cooling issues and limited expandibility. My space requirements and budget dictated the 435MT over the 435T. The only upgrade options I'm considering at the moment are swapping HDD's. I'd like to run a WD Velociraptor as a system drive with a 1 or 1.5 TB storage drive internally. My 435MT is shipping with just a single 500GB drive installed but I do have a 1 TB WD MyHome external drive that has a triple interface: USB 2.0, FW400, and eSATA. I'll probably use the FireWire option until I can afford an eSata cable. After that I may try a quieter fan and maybe a Rosewill RC-216 or RC-219 eSata port multiplier PCIe card from Newegg. (still can't post links)

    At the moment the waterpump on my 93 "K" car is leaking like a sieve and I'm trying to nurse it along until the semester ends and the weather warms up. It snowed here Fri afternoon, and got down to 12 F last night, so Spring is not quite here yet. Yes, this is Arizona but I live at 7K feet in the mountains. Replacing the waterpump on the Mitsu designed 3.0L V6 is a chore as it runs off the timing belt and requires removing the AC compressor, power steering pump, and engine mount. That's not something I want to do until it gets warmer since I'll be working outside.

    My goal this summer is to teach myself ASP.NET, AJAX, and maybe a couple of others to get up to speed on RIA and web design. I won a toolset from Intersoft that plugs in to Visual Studio 2005 and 2008 which I haven't been able to use yet. It's WebUI Studio.NET which runs about $1600 for a one year subscription (intersoftpt dot com). I think that rich internet apps and cloud computing are the next big thing and I'm trying to prepare accordingly.

    Thanks for the links to CPU-Z, GPU-Z, Real Temp, and Speedfan. I'll definitely give those a try.

    Cheers, hh
  2. EnigmaMan

    EnigmaMan TS Rookie Posts: 24

    As I mentioned before, I'm absolutely thrilled with my Studio XPS 435MT and one of the things that I like best about it is the small piano black tower case.

    This machine replaced my aging Dell Dimension 8300 P4 machine, which was a much bigger case and I couldn't believe how much heavier it was when I came to carry it upstairs to store it away.

    I can honestly say that I hardly notice the fan noise now and in a geeky kinda way, I really love the noises that it makes for the first two or three seconds after switching it on - it really sounds like something powerful.

    I've still got my Acousti Fan Gasket and Acousti soft silicone fan mounts sitting on my desk, because I am just in no hurry to try them out as the fan noise just isn't bothering me. I'd be interested to see what happens in the height of summer when the ambient temperature is much higher and I'm compiling large Dot Net projects.
  3. Hoku

    Hoku TS Rookie

    The mini-tower size is one of the reasons I chose the 435MT. My 8250 is probably the same case size as your 8300 at 16.5" tall. While it's fairly quiet it does produce a high pitched whine at times that is annoying. I think a low pitched rumble might be better in that regard.

    I've also been looking at silentpcreview dot com and frozencpu dot com. (Only one post left to go and I can include links).

    Silentpcreview is a little dated but still has some fan reviews as well as explaining the designs of various fans. Frozencpu is located in NY and has a good selection of quiet and ultra-quiet fans as well as sound absorbing materials. They also list a 100mm x 25mm fan with 92mm mounting holes (Scythe at various rpms for $9 - see post #103 by abstrait-kh) as well as an adapter that will allow mounting a 120mm fan on 92mm mounting holes. Additionally they list y-cables of various types for fan Mobo connections as well as 1 molex to 2 and SATA to molex. They have other fan power options as well including AC 110v and 5v DC. I suppose you could run another fan from the USB bus on 5v.

    This will be much easier when I can post links!
  4. yukka

    yukka TechSpot Paladin Topic Starter Posts: 855   +64

    I just moved property and my Studio XPS 435MT is now sat on the floor next to my HDTV. I have it plugged straight in with HDMI and its just brilliant - an excellently priced powerful mediacentre with Blueray that streams online video in widescreen while doing any other tasks I throw at it without a twitch.
  5. Hoku

    Hoku TS Rookie

    More Core i7 stuff

    HP has competitive pricing on Core i7 desktops. Newegg specials on DDR3 6GB (3x2GB 1600 MHz kits) and Core i7 Intel X58 mobo/processor bundles:

    HP Pavilion Elite m9600t series with Core i7 processor base price $950 without monitor. Memory selections are all 1066 MHz.

    DDR3 6GB 1600 MHz kit from Newegg with free shipping for $98 (marginal heatsinks)

    CORSAIR XMS3 6GB (3 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 9-9-9-24 1.65V

    Core i7 mobo/processor bundles from Newegg
  6. Hoku

    Hoku TS Rookie

    Now I can finally post the freakin links!

    HP Pavilion Elite m9600t series with Core i7 processor base price $950 without monitor. Memory selections are all 1066 MHz.


    DDR3 6GB 1600 MHz kit from Newegg with free shipping for $98 (marginal heatsinks)

    CORSAIR XMS3 6GB (3 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 9-9-9-24 1.65V


    Core i7 mobo/processor bundles from Newegg


    Only 20 days until my 435MT ships (hopefully, I need it now!)
  7. Poke13

    Poke13 TS Rookie

    Hi guys.

    This post as ever is very imformative for new and current owners of the Studio XPS system and it is good to see!

    I have had further thoughts as to whether I could get the refund from Dell for the extra 2gb of RAM to take my system for 8gb to 9gb (-1gb and add 2gb to enable DDR3 Tri Channel).

    Due to the way my system was ordered through my dads college I am pretty sure that I will not be able to get the refund but I was wondering if anyone knows how I can get one 2gb stick of DDR3 that would work in conjunction with the current RAM, which I think I read here is Samsung?

    I thought for the time being this would improve things and would hopefully only cost around £30.

    On another note has anyone noticed the annoying noise the onboard sound card makes when turned up? when there is no music playing it seems to make a high pitched sort of distant beeping noise when things load etc? Another reason I think for new MB/sound card.
  8. abstrait

    abstrait TS Rookie Posts: 59

    Well, I would download CPU-Z and head to the RAM section, which will report exactly what ram you have. Although I have 1066Mhz Samsung, I've seen other types of ram reported in early Dells so you need to know what you have. In all probability, you'll need to order a matching stick from Dell as it's important to have matching ram. You'll have two banks with it imperative to match within the bank of three. So if looking for ONE 2GB stick, Dell is probably the best bet.

    What is your ram config right now exactly?
  9. Poke13

    Poke13 TS Rookie

    thanks for prompt reply.

    I have yet to open up my case even though I have had experience with PC hardware before more than anything I am jsut concerned over breaking/disturbing anything. Although I could do with checking before I go any further with this 'adding a 2gig stick' in!!! From what I have read I guess my setup is 2x2gb +1x1gb in one bank and then 3x1gb in second bank. If this is true it seems like lunacy being only 1gb away from being a true TRI channel setup, hmmm? I will open up my case if needs be to check and will download CPU-Z to check details.
  10. yukka

    yukka TechSpot Paladin Topic Starter Posts: 855   +64

    When I received my refund from Dell for the price of a replacement 2Gb stick of DDR3, they refered me to contact sales or follow this link:-


    The ram was not the same manufacturer as the sticks already in my Studio XPS. I have not received any incompatability issues.

    This is for the European Site - I do not know the equivalent site for the US. Hope that helps.

    By the way, if it is anything like my setup, the ram was put in completely randomly. I had a 2GB stick in each bank but not necessarily in the first slot on both.
  11. abstrait

    abstrait TS Rookie Posts: 59

    Dell Studio XPS (435MT) Reference Links

    Then it was the same speed and specs as from all reports it's really hard to achieve Tri-Channel with different ram types. IF at all possible, I would try and get the same ram, although I'm sure the same voltage and ratings regarding the matching bank would go most of the way.

    As for ole Poke13, at the least, you can just download CPU-Z and it will tell you exactly what ram you have and where (go ahead and download Real Temp while you're at it).

    These are the most important reference links below:

    Dell Studio XPS (435MT) Info
    Excellent System Performance Monitor Software
    • CPU-Z (Total System Info Report)
    • GPU-Z (Graphics Card Total Report)
    • Real Temp (CPU Report and Core Temp Monitioring)
    • Core Temp (CPU Report and Core Temp Monitoring)
    Fan RPM Reading & Control Software
    • Speedfan (Fan RPM reading plus User Control)
    System Testing
    • Prime95 (Ultimate CPU/Memory test for your i7 System)

    - kh
  12. KoshB5

    KoshB5 TS Rookie

    Thanks for the links. The new driver for my audio seemed to fix an occasional bug I was having. Sometimes my mouse and audio would stutter intermittently, causing a spike in CPU usage. Only a reboot would correct this. I did determine it was the Realtek HD Audio driver doing this, and the new driver seems to have corrected it.

    Nearly four months later and the Dell XPS Studio is still running great. No one should have leaf-blower fan mode anymore. I never did get that power supply, the HD 4850 is a sweet card, and the next card will just be another single-slot/ 1-6-pin pcie power 5850.
  13. Poke13

    Poke13 TS Rookie

    New motherboard and OS issues

    Thanks abstrait for all of your useful info I will try and get round to using some of the software and maybe even sharing the results.

    I have been thinking about a new motherboard, I wouldnt get one until early next yr but I was wondering would it be possible to basically install the Dell Vista Ultimate with a new different motherboard? Would there be any problems with drivers etc? If there were potential problems then it wouldnt be worth it as I would have to buy vista or even windows 7.

    Another thought, I am guessing that the CPU heatsink could be used on another MB, but do you think it is good enough to handle some overclocking? It seems very easy to overclock this i7 920 and the heatsink looks pretty hefty.

    Thanks in advance, surely theres more thoughts on this machine to come :)
  14. milrobo

    milrobo TS Rookie

    Hello, Yukka, Abstrait and Poke13. I have been looking at your thread because I just fell into the Dell 8GB trap on a Studio XPS with Intel corei7-920 chip--i.e. dual channel ram when it should/could be tri channel. They will not give a refund or exchange sticks. The config is 2x2/4x1.

    The mobo in my system is supposed to be capable of supporting trichannel, according to Dell. Could I go to 6GB tri channel simply by pulling 2 1GB sticks and using a config of 2, 2, and 1+1, or would it have to be 2, 2, and 2. Or, if I bought another 1GB from Dell could I get 9GB tri channel using a config of 2+1, 2+1, and 1+1+1? Are tri channel sticks inherently different from dual channel sticks?
  15. fracturex

    fracturex TS Rookie

    your best solution is to buy another 2Gb that matches the 2x2 set you already got as close as possible and install 3 x (2+1) = 9Gb and sell your one remaining 1Gb module. Your next best bet is a new 3x2 =6Gb tri-channel kit from e.g. Newegg (there are very good deals a few pages back) if you want them to be identical modules, then sell what you got. However, it's ok with this board if the 1Gb and 2Gb are not perfectly matched and hence you may as well install 3 of the remaining 1Gb modules you already got to get the first solution with 9Gb ;)

    tri-channel sticks are not inherently different, you just need three of the same kind and speed. That also means that the only way to get tri-channel is 3x1, 3x2, 3x(2+1) or 3x(2+2) with the latter being the same as 6x2.
    As there is no way to overclock this board or the memory, the 9Gb is the best and cheapest solution. As long as the speed and timings of the ram are close you won't loose much in performance at all. Your tri-channel will work at the speed of the slowest module you use.

    btw.: If you bought your PC with 8Gb advertised as tri-channel then you should insist on a refund or ask for a discount for a 2Gb module of identical type you already got to get to 9Gb. Often people from Dell on the Dell forums are very supportive and help. You may want to explain your circumstances there.
  16. yukka

    yukka TechSpot Paladin Topic Starter Posts: 855   +64

    Indeed. If you bought it advertised as 8GB in tri-channel you should definately get dell to send you a 2GB stick for free (or the money to buy one from the website yourself).

    If that is not the case, buy a 2GB stick from the Dell website (or somewhere else if you want to take the risk of incompatability) and replace a single 1GB stick to get 9Gb. That is how I am running mine.

    there are posts explaining how to get the refund and others with links to the official dell ram upgrade page in this thread.

    good luck
  17. fracturex

    fracturex TS Rookie

    new Bios June 18, 2009

    for those of you with fan issues listed with this info:

    Dell Studio XPS 435MT system BIOS
    Release Date: 6/18/2009
    Version: 1.1.2

    1.Update Intel CPU Micro Code.
    2.Fan Curve Parameters update.
  18. Poke13

    Poke13 TS Rookie

    After BIOS 1.1.2 update the idle fan speed seems to be slower

    since the latest bios update released 6/18/2009 (v1.1.2) the fans dont seem to be making the low humming noise as much, has anyone else noticed this? I didnt do a test using speedfan to see what rpm the fan was idling at before the bios update but if anyone could shed some light it would be great.

    I think this may be do to further testing by dell as to whether a lower idle would be benificial as then their may be the need for the fan to speed up more times to level out temperatures.

    If I get a new motherboard can I use the Dell Vista Ultimate 64 disk to install OS?

    Or could I just change the motherboard and then do a repair install?
  19. fracturex

    fracturex TS Rookie

    I did not notice any difference before and after bios update. However, my grafx card fan is pretty loud (throttling it with rivatuner) and I may not notice it.

    as for your Vista install on a new motherboard I am afraid that won't work. The Dell OEM Vista disk is actually checking the slic table in the bios for a Dell key. Since that doesn't work your second choice is what you suggested. Either use what you already got, or start over with a fresh install. When it doesn't boot with the new mobo, try a repair and if you are lucky it may work with that or even without repair.
    if you then run into vista activation problems, call MS and ask them for a new activation key. I wouldn't have a problem with that.
    good luck
  20. Poke13

    Poke13 TS Rookie

    Thanks for the reply! DO you mean that I would have to try changing the MB then seeing if it will boot? Or install the MB and see if it will boot using the dvd as boot drive?

    Just tryin to work out if I could possibly afford a new x58 MB at the normal ATX form factor with the possibility of crossfire and more expansion slots and a bigger cooler case. Having to add on an OEM disc of Vista 64 or Windows 7 would hike the price!
  21. fracturex

    fracturex TS Rookie

    the easiest would be if you just tried the new mobo with your current vista installation. it may work, it may have to be repaired if it bsod's . but even after it works you may get problems with activating Vista. In that case I'd call MS and get it activated via phone (since you have a legal copy that shouldn't be the problem - yeah I know it's OEM and you are officially not allowed to do this, but it should work).

    if you start from scratch, install the new mobo and then try to install your Dell OEM Vista you will not be able to activate it without a key. the key is stored in the Dell BIOS, which you don't have on the new mobo.

    hope that is a little clearer than before
  22. memedell

    memedell TS Rookie

    awkward pairing memory from dell outlet

    I am glad i found this forum. Have found a lot of wonderful discussion here.

    I have just ordered an outlet 435 MT dell. It comes with 2 dimms total of 4gig memory. So i guess, i will need to get an additional 1X2gig from newegg and enable a tri-channel setup. I thought i read somewhere that 435MT do not support dual channel, so with my current 2X2dimms, I am running them in single channel each. Anyone know which brand would be a good mix for dell's original memory to make sure everything is compatible, stable and getting tri-channel? Since, the brand could be different, do i have to do the pair trick like abstract posted?

    By the way, will it be possible to install a front intake 80mm fan? I still have a brand new panaflo quiet fan i would like to find some usage out of it. p.s my rig isn't arrive yet.

    Primary usage will running a few oracle and mysql databases, apex and other programmings experiment. Will be running dual boot on 64 bit linux in the future with similar setup. No gaming. So, memory is somewhat critical.

    Thanks in advances,
  23. fracturex

    fracturex TS Rookie

    you can use cpu-z to find the timings for the installed memory. Usually Dell installs Micron or Infinion memory. Mine was Micron PC3-8500-7 DDR3, 1066, CL7. Your current setup runs in Dual Channel. The only way to run it in single is with one single module.
    By now there may be several people selling their left over Dell 2gb module on ebay from the same system. That'd be the cheapest way and you know it will be compatible. Make sure it's 1066 and Cas Latency 7. Check the brand of the modules as well. You should also be able to get it from Dell (call them to get exactly what you need), but you will likely pay a premium.

    If that is not possible it may be a good idea to invest in a complete kit of 3x2 trichannel, which runs at about $80 on Newegg (look for item #N82E16820148246 and #N82E16820220378). You can then sell your remaining on ebay.

    there is not much space in the MT. In my case I cramped it with hdds and there is no space to add another fan in the front. But I personally do not think that it is necessary. The installed fan and the one on the grafx card are sufficient in my opinion.

    good luck
  24. dan2009

    dan2009 TS Rookie

    I’m so glad that I found this forum. I just bought a 435MT from the Dell Outlet. It comes with 3 dimms 3 gig memory and a 500 GB sata hard drive. These are the two components I want to upgrade. For the RAM, should I buy 3 GB (3X1) kit to make it 6 GB total, or 6 GB (3X2) kit to make it 9 GB total. The next thing I want to upgrade is the hard drive. Is this 435MT a SATA II or SATA MB? If it SATA MB then I don’t need to spend the extra money on the SATA II hard drive. Thank you for your help.
  25. fracturex

    fracturex TS Rookie

    if you purchase 3x1Gb in addition your future upgrade would require you to pretty much remove all what you got. I highly recommend to buy 3x2Gb to get to 9Gb total in trichannel. Shouldn't be more than 70-80 bucks for that.

    mine came with a 640Gb WD SATA II drive. the controller is downward compatible and I put two extra drives in there that are SATA including a Raptor.
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