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Your Dell is dead dude!

by talby


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Gentlemen, we can rebuild it. We have the technology. We have the capability to build the world's first Dell that does not suck...

Ok so it was funnier before I typed it. Anyhow, the original board suffered from some bulging caps, a 1.6Ghz core-duo and 2Gb of ddr2, not really 1080p worthy (might make some nice paperweights)... Some FM2 goodness should be able to make it my new HTPC.

Task #1 - cut the ATX rear panel to standard. Rotozip and sharpie lines were a great enabler. Task #2 - make the front panel header standard, an old ATX case w/ U-lid was nice enough to donate the header connectors. Safety pin was used to remove the header from the crimp connectors and transplant.

notes: The Patriot Sector5 is rated for 1.65v@1600Mhz but underclock very nicely, 1.5v@1333 is stable and tested for 24h in both memtest & prime95. If you notice, the rear fan is forced @ 5v via the floppy power connector for some nice quiet ventilation, can hardly hear this thing when its running. You can see the original Delta OEM power supply, probably good enough but just had to try out the Seasonic SS in an HTPC build, an excellent choice so far.

Comments Sorted by:

18hockey 1 Build 10 points 49 months ago

I love all these ghetto/restoration builds recently! Good to see that old parts and computers don't go to waste.

talby submitter 10 Builds 6 points 49 months ago

agreed, I also enjoy reading and voting up everyones refurb's.

Cheers to all who do the same!

LookTopHats 2 Builds 4 points 49 months ago

Same! I contributed myself haha smirks

18hockey 1 Build 4 points 49 months ago

yeah, your build was the one I was referencing :P

LookTopHats 2 Builds 2 points 49 months ago

Oh right hahaha :D

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gabegabbert 3 Builds 4 points 49 months ago

quite the sleeper! loving it man

talby submitter 10 Builds 4 points 49 months ago

thanks, yes it's nice to have an old dell over 5 years old and still working. I also have a couple of P4 generation grey-blue clamshell type, may tackle one of those when the need arises - it's too much fun.

gabegabbert 3 Builds 1 point 49 months ago

It's amazing the computing power one can fit into tiny spaces!

AMD's A series are such winners in my book

ReDnAx1991 7 Builds 4 points 49 months ago

+1 because intro

talby submitter 10 Builds 2 points 49 months ago

thanks, was hard not to laugh as I was posting this!

ReDnAx1991 7 Builds 1 point 49 months ago

Well I did :P Keep up the good work !

I_Luv_Cheetos 2 points 49 months ago

the airflow in OEM cases are nearly non-existent but this is a low tdp processor anyways... Props on the build man

talby submitter 10 Builds 3 points 49 months ago

Thanks, yea probably not a good choice for a game rig... I am surprised on how cool it runs - behind the front faceplate (which comes off completely, no wires - nice touch for that model) there are a lot of holes for airflow. There are also some holes in the left side panel too, for a discrete GPU I would imagine.

I_Luv_Cheetos 1 point 49 months ago

It's definitely got potential, cut out the bottom for dual 120/140mm fans, change the back to 120mm exhaust and you could probably manage a decent amount of heat in that case.

what kind of temps do you get in that case?

talby submitter 10 Builds 3 points 49 months ago

just fired up prime95 for the last 20min, hwinfo does not give cpu temp for some reason - here is what is says

t1 - 47c, aux - 46c, motherboard - 31c, hdd - 33c, gpu - 30c

I think the t1 is the non-core cpu temp - apparently these new amd's dont make monitors very simple...

I_Luv_Cheetos 1 point 49 months ago

Hmm that sucks but those temps don't seem bad anyways

bigblock454 2 points 49 months ago

love this build :)

chowsownsomepizza 1 Build 2 points 49 months ago

Ironically a $500 dell PC is more s*** than your $179 build. My dad's dell burnt after just two years. I think I will use your build as a guide. Good choice for an everyday PC.

d3athpwn96 2 points 49 months ago

I've got that exact same computer! except the slim version, maybe i might be able to do an upgrade to it

EggplantComputers 2 points 47 months ago

Intel inside sticker. AMD A4-5300 hue.

username22 2 points 46 months ago

this was an awesome idea. maybe i should gut my old hp m8120 and rebuild it. +1

Eggman772 2 points 44 months ago

haha that is the same case i am using now

guitargod1174 2 Builds 2 points 43 months ago

i have that same exact dell computer. i've been meaning to do this like 2 years back but then i learned that dell has their own motherboard form factor. you made it possible though!

talby submitter 10 Builds 3 points 43 months ago

Glad I could "inspiron" you to consider it lol! If you have the same one, you can even reuse the old power supply - I used it to test out a few old amd X2 matx builds worked just fine.

I am considering putting it back and using the seasonic I got in a NAS build that will run 24x7.

dc_ae7 2 points 40 months ago

Inspiron 530 was my first "good computer" (before that I had a Windows 95 Gateway. Right now its hidden/lost somewhere in the garage, if I ever find it, I will try a similar build for my parents.

Brodzster 2 points 37 months ago

+1 for start of description

Zedzer 2 Builds 2 points 32 months ago

This is kinda late but I find it hilarious that I ditched my old Dell (this EXACT same one) to build a newer, much faster PC. So +1 because I too am thinking to rebuild that same Dell that surprisingly after 7 years of torture still works!

geogyro 3 Builds 2 points 26 months ago

Ha, I have an Inspiron 530 that my mom uses. Core 2 Duo E4500 and recently added a GeForce GT 610 in it along with 2 more GB of memory to get it to 4 GB. Added some thermal paste and it went from jet loud to very quiet. +1 nice restoration.

Starlana 2 Builds 1 point 49 months ago

Lolz. I like you dude. You're cute. :D <3 Starlana <3

ROODAY 1 Build 1 point 49 months ago

Wait, so the old builds require new header cables? I was planning on rebuilding my dads old work computer with the old case, but I wouldn't if I needed new header cables. Are there not adapters?

talby submitter 10 Builds 3 points 49 months ago

only the front panel needed a re-wiring, once I looked up the old board specs it was really simple to re-do - just need a bit of patience and writing down the color codes of all the wires.

The dell had a single 2 x 5 block wired directly, instead of the individual headers for hdd led, power on and power led. So I used some from another clunky beige-box case I was going to trash anyhow. I used a safety pin to pry the retention clasps, they are very fragile, but once you get it over the crimp connector it slides right out. Once all the wires were out of the big block the smaller ones just snap right in.

The fun part was the ATX rear panel, the rectangle hole wasn't there at all - the rear of the case had only the holes for the old board's sockets, so just had to outline where the rectangle would be then cut along the lines. If you have never used a rotozip, you have to give it a try... A dremel would have taken too long and the rotozip just cuts like butter, along with a foot and a half shower of sparks for an awesome visual. Eye protection is a must, and since I have an ear-to-ear grin as I am sawing through stuff, a dust mask helps keep teeth clean.

ROODAY 1 Build 1 point 48 months ago

Yeah, that sounds too hard for me lol. But hopefully my dad's old premier v2 has normal headers. do they not make adapters?

talby submitter 10 Builds 3 points 48 months ago

unfortunately no, I have not seen adapters for the front panel header.

But don't be afraid to ask for help on the forums, be it these forums, the steam, eggxpert and maximumpc are also good ones to join to ask for help.

If you can ID your dell OEM motherboard via the service tag it's a pretty simple matter.

In my case, the dual-core inspiron board is dell # 0RY007 which is the same as the FoxConn G33m02 which has a pretty common pinout for the front panel connectors, there was only a minor difference when I tested with a multimeter, the power / reset pins were mixed up so I just decided to use the standard header connectors from the other case. I could have just rewired the block but though it was easier to use standard headers in case I use another board in the future.

elpidio 7 Builds 1 point 49 months ago

Not all require new header cables. Dells use a lot of proprietary stuff.

Mattyice47 1 Build 1 point 49 months ago

Look Adele

cyanghost109 4 Builds -8 points 49 months ago

Call me overly prideful, but I couldn't bring myself to reuse an OEM case like that. I like to take credit for my builds!

a_slow_descent 4 points 49 months ago

that's retarded. this is an extreme budget build. buying a new case would have been a complete waste.

talby submitter 10 Builds 4 points 49 months ago

actually, its a pretty nice case and it's super quiet too. Perfect sitting under my HDTV. It was a bit of work getting it re-wired and all the holes cut out, I was glad not to have to trash it.

cyanghost109 4 Builds -1 points 49 months ago

Wow, the people that thumbed my comment down couldn't have misunderstood me more. My comment was meant to be taken in a positive, jokingly way. BTW, cases of Dell quality would only cost you $20-30, so it wouldn't have damaged your budget too much.

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talby submitter 10 Builds 3 points 48 months ago

yep, mine had a nice Samsung 320g 3.5" sata drive that I used in my oldest son's pc, was a pleasant surprise.

And congrats on the upgrade looking forward to seeing it.


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