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How To Upgrade The Dell Dimension 8200


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#1 mmlgoh

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Posted 16 July 2007 - 10:17 PM

I want to change the motherboard on My Dell Dimension 8200 PC in order to upgrade the RAM and CPU. Do I need to change the casing as well? What else do i need to change?

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#2 Nikas

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Posted 16 July 2007 - 11:55 PM

Hi mmlgoh,

I don't have that model but most of the time branded Desktop PC comes with pretty small casing. Thus, making your life difficult when you wants to upgrade some hardware. Thus, I suggest you to change to a more spacious casing. I'm not that sure about the spec's of 8200 but if it only support AGP and your new motherboard supports only PCI-e. Then you have to get a PCI-e graphics card too. I may be wrong somewhere, wait till other experts gives you their opinion.

Nikas

Edited by Nikas, 16 July 2007 - 11:56 PM.


#3 dc3

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Posted 17 July 2007 - 12:22 AM

Most of Dell's PUSs are proprietary in design, this includes the 20 pin connector and its physical dimensions which are non ATX. You can find an adapter to counter the non ATX pin out, but you may have a problem installing a ATX PSU in that case.

Edit: Known exceptions:

Pentium 4 Dell Models that do not require a power supply adapter:
Dell Dimension 4300, 4400, 4500, 4700, 8200, 8300, OptiPlex GX 400

http://www.endpcnoise.com/cgi-bin/e/std/sku=dellconverter

Edited by dc3, 17 July 2007 - 12:36 AM.

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#4 mmlgoh

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Posted 17 July 2007 - 12:34 AM

Because of Dell's proprietary design you will need an adapter for the 20 pin connector if you are going to use the Dell PSU on another motherboard, Dell's PSUs are non ATX , not just with their connector pin out but the size as well.


Huh?? I don't understand what are u talking. :thumbsup:

#5 dc3

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Posted 17 July 2007 - 01:05 AM

Most of the PSUs (power supply unit) that Dell uses are of a non industry standard ATX design. The order in which the wires are placed in the 20 pin connector that attaches to the motherboard is different from ATX PSUs, this means that if you replace the motherboard with anything other than a Dell board you will have to change the PSU as well. I know that they make an adapter to go from a ATX connector to the Dell motherboard, but I don't believe they make one to go from a Dell PSU to a ATX motherboard.

This link will take you to a better definition of ATX.

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#6 Andrew

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Posted 17 July 2007 - 04:44 AM

Additionally, some older Dell models employ nonstandard "daughterboards" (think a smaller board attached to the motherboard) for their PCI/AGP slots. (I don't think the 8200 has that, but I just thought I'd mention it)

#7 acklan

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Posted 17 July 2007 - 05:07 AM

Could you give us a little information on what type of MB, Processor, and RAM you want to upgrade to?
That Dell will support up to a 533nhz P4 2.8Ghz processor and 2gb or RDRAM RAM. Your biggest drawback to this computer is you are limited to a 4x AGP card.

Dell Dimension 8200 Technical Specifications

EDIT: One more thought. You may have problems mounting the new motherboard since nothing on a Dell is standard. The mounting holes, on the new motherboard, for the stays will not line up. This means you will have to modify the Dell case to mount a non-Dell motherboard.

Edited by acklan, 17 July 2007 - 05:11 AM.

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#8 usasma

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Posted 17 July 2007 - 05:49 AM

I'd suggest a new motherboard, case, video card, CPU, RAM, and maybe a PSU to take the place of what you've got now (reuse the rest of the components from the Dell). Select the motherboard with a view towards which CPU that you want. Also consider the type of memory (DDR2 is a lot cheaper than DDR right now) that you want, and the type of video card that you'll need.

This will get you away from the limitations of RDRAM and the AGP video bus and will let you plan for the future.

IMPORTANT!!! - Prepare for moving the hard drive to a new system carefully and ensure that your Dell disk will allow you to do a repair install of XP once you're in the new case. Worst case, you'd have to get an OEM copy of XP to use on the new system. Here's a link on how to move a hard drive with Windows already installed: http://www.michaelstevenstech.com/moving_xp.html
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#9 acklan

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Posted 17 July 2007 - 06:23 AM

Personally I think you should keep this computer just as it is. The few dollars you may save are not really worth the headache of a use part failing on an almost new system. Built a new computer from scratch.

For this computer, if you do not have a back "Just in case", this may be a good time to create one. This is still a fair machine, especially for just a backup.

One note. If I am not mistaken Dell branded OEM OS software keys on the BIOS to complete the install. I am not sure but I do not believe you will be able to use the Dell disks. Good news is XP Home can be found on eBay for around $80.
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#10 usasma

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Posted 17 July 2007 - 06:28 AM

I haven't found a Dell XP CD that isn't BIOS locked - but the guys at work insist that there are. I've asked them to "show me" - but nothing has come back yet.
My browser caused a flood of traffic, sio my IP address was banned. Hope to fix it soon. Will get back to posting as soon as Im able.

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#11 mmlgoh

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Posted 17 July 2007 - 09:02 AM

Could you give us a little information on what type of MB, Processor, and RAM you want to upgrade to?
That Dell will support up to a 533nhz P4 2.8Ghz processor and 2gb or RDRAM RAM. Your biggest drawback to this computer is you are limited to a 4x AGP card.

Dell Dimension 8200 Technical Specifications

EDIT: One more thought. You may have problems mounting the new motherboard since nothing on a Dell is standard. The mounting holes, on the new motherboard, for the stays will not line up. This means you will have to modify the Dell case to mount a non-Dell motherboard.


I plan to upgrade the RAM to the DDR2. Is there anyone out there who has the Dell Dimension 8200 PC/any knowledge abt this PC who can help me?

#12 acklan

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Posted 17 July 2007 - 09:38 AM

You cannot upgrade the RAM to DDr2. It will not fit. Your computer, if you would look at the link in my last post, requires RDram. It is a different form factor than DDR or DDR2.
What do you wish to know about your Dell?
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#13 dc3

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Posted 17 July 2007 - 10:08 AM

I agree with acklan, I would keep the Dell stock and upgrade what can be done to it, CPU and RAM. Anything other than that I would start with a new case and PSU and go from there. As I mentioned previously the PSU in that model is a non ATX item it, is only a 250W PSU which is small by any standards today, and the drive bay of the Dell case may not be large enough to accommodate a ATX PSU. You can use the old peripheral devices, but do read the article that usasma provided the link to and be sure that you have at least the repair CD for the OS.

Having said all of that, I have to admit to believing that with a sawzall, drill, and a pop-riveter you can modify most any case to your needs. :thumbsup:

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#14 TheYoda

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Posted 17 July 2007 - 11:42 AM

I haven't found a Dell XP CD that isn't BIOS locked - but the guys at work insist that there are. I've asked them to "show me" - but nothing has come back yet.


I got a Dell Inpiron 1501 and it came with Vista basic. I needed vista to play halo 2 on my desktop and I used the version that came with the laptop and it worked fine. I didn't even need a product key to use it. I think it might be because the dells and my desktop use the same BIOS (phoenix) or maybe it's not locked. It might not be the same case with XP though, i'm not sure.

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#15 mmlgoh

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Posted 17 July 2007 - 08:15 PM

You cannot upgrade the RAM to DDr2. It will not fit. Your computer, if you would look at the link in my last post, requires RDram. It is a different form factor than DDR or DDR2.
What do you wish to know about your Dell?


I want to change the RAM so that's why I would like to change the motherboard in order to do so. I would like to know whether I can just change the motherboard without changing the original Dell casing. If I change the motherboard will I still be able to access into my Windows XP?




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