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Installing new motherboard on dell dimension 8250

By shahab · 8 replies
Oct 24, 2007
  1. Hi,
    I have a Dell Dimension 8250 which I would like to upgrade. I want to install a new motherboard+cpu+memory+video card. However I'm not sure what type of board will fit into the system and what I should be looking for. I opened up the case and measured the dimensions of the motherboard but not sure what else I need to start looking for a new motherboard. I'm not looking to spend much money .... The main reason that I'm doing this is that when I bought my system 4 years ago, I made the mistake of going with RDRAM. Upgrading from 512 MB of RDRAM to anything decent is going to cost more than I want to spend just on memory. Any help would be much apprreciated.

  2. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Posts: 10,546   +430

    Based on the pictures here: http://www.nbinside.com/side/dimension-8250.htm
    It looks like a full size ATX motherboard. So any ATX board will fit. Might want to do a little research on your PSU/motherboard connector. I think Dell used to use a propriatary connector that won't work with non Dell motherboards but I'm not entirely sure. You'll almost certainly be dealing with a motherboard that takes a 24 pin connector now, and even if the Dell's isn't wired differently there is still a good chance it is a 20 pin, they make adapters though.
  3. Fragrant Coit

    Fragrant Coit TS Guru Posts: 345

    What do you use the PC for, mostly?

    I've recently built a few budget systems using the E21xx series Intels, unbeatable "bang for your buck", couple that with a P35 board {I don't trust those "all in one" boards - too many RMA's}, 2 x 1Gb DDR800 and an 8600GT and it's an inexpensive way out.
  4. mailpup

    mailpup TS Special Forces Posts: 7,345   +595

    I have a Dell Dimension 8250 and I think you are going to have a problem with the front panel connectors. I believe Dell uses proprietary molded connectors to the motherboard. Major surgery would have to be performed on the connector to split it up to fit on the new motherboard pinouts. As a practical matter I recommend using a new case.

    Regarding your power supply, your current one may not be enough for all your new components, especially a good graphics card. I upgraded my power supply but I didn't take any chances on whether or not a standard ATX power supply would fit. I bought a PC Power & Cooling PSU supposedly made just for proprietary Dells. Anyway, it works. However, this was for the original Dell motherboard. If you change from the Dell motherboard, you might as well go ahead and get a more powerful ATX standard power supply.

    So, if you buy all these new components you are almost buying a whole new PC. Just a few more components and you are there. I realize cost might be an issue but I think you should consider keeping your working Dell 8250 as a backup or second PC and build a whole new PC from scratch. It would be simpler albeit more expensive (but not that much). Actually, that's what I did.
  5. sghiznaneck

    sghiznaneck TS Maniac Posts: 394

    Mailpup is correct. Your best bet is to purchase a new mid tower ATX case. Not only will you have less hassles connecting the pins, you won't have to splice wires and add connectors. You'll also pick up a decent amount of space inside the case, which will help with circulation. Dell (as with most manufacturers) cases just barely have enough room internally. They do this for a reason, so that people don't monkey around with them, and if you want to upgrade, you have to purchase directly from them. The cases just aren't made for upgrades. It's also another way they can tell if you've been inside and voided the warrantly.
  6. shahab

    shahab TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Here are more details that I got from Dell today. I have an Intel 850e chipset & a 250W power supply.

    Externally accessible:

    9-pin connector; 16550C-compatible

    25-hole connector (bidirectional)

    15-hole connector

    Network Adapter
    RJ45 connector

    PS/2 (keyboard and mouse)
    6-pin mini-DIN connector

    two front-panel and six back-panel
    USB 2.0–compliant connectors

    three connectors for line-in, line-out, and microphone; one front panel connector for headphones

    System board connectors:

    Primary IDE channel
    40-pin connector on PCI local bus

    Secondary IDE channel
    40-pin connector on PCI local bus

    Floppy drive
    34-pin connector

    Telephony (TAPI)
    4-pin connector

    3-pin connector

    Given this information, is it worth it to try and find a motherboard+cpu combo?

  7. kpo6969

    kpo6969 TS Maniac Posts: 710

    That would cost as much as a new system. Check the Dell Outlet.
    Also figure in the cost of another copy of Windows.
  8. archie123

    archie123 TS Rookie

    just buy a new case its much easier , and in future dont buy a Dell ;) be carefull of that psu too 250w is a tad low
  9. shahab

    shahab TS Rookie Topic Starter

    yeah ... I guess I'm just going to try and find some more memory for the system on ebay. I was also thinking of updaing the video card, currently have a 64MB nvidia geforce to a 256 mb card. do I need to upgrade the power supply as well?
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