Hi. First I'd like to give you some specs about my machine. I have a Dell XPS 9100. The motherboard is a Dell 05DN3X( http://tinyurl.com/lrgz697 ) with an intel core i7 930 @2.8GHz . I have a 525 watt power supply. The computer came with a Radeon HD 5670, and I upgraded to a HD 6870( http://tinyurl.com/ohqed82 ). I have a triple channel DDR3 Ram thingy( ) with 4 2-gig cards(bleeps, right?) I'm pretty sure that's all you need to answer my questions. I have a couple of "mandatory questions" then a couple more that if you could enlighten me on them, I would be very much obliged.
1.) Picture YAY( http://imgur.com/zt0Aews ) 1a.) I'm a little confused about the RAM situation. From what I understand, a triple channel works best when you have 3 ram cards of the same type. I'm assuming that, for example, if I had 3 8-gig cards, I would place them in the Red or blue slots, and not mix them, for maximum usefulness? Is this correct?
Due to its recent increase in price, I don't think I can afford 3x8gb and I'll have to settle for 2x8gb(http://tinyurl.com/kf8rr6y) take that for an example. 1b.)Would I take a hit in performance because I'm not using 3 cards of the same type(size wise, as in 2gb, 4gb)? 1c.) Let's say I wanted to keep my 2gb cards. Should I place the 2 8gb cards in the red slots, and (3) of (4) of my 4 2-gb cards in the blue slots. Or should I fill all the slots, including the last 2-gb in the last red slot? Or get rid of the 2-gb cards altogether? 1d.)These are just nitpicky questions, I know, but while I'm asking I might as well be through. What setup with Ram do you recommend for $130 or less? I'd like to have at least 16gb.
2.) I'd very much like to upgrade my graphics card. My current card has served me well, but now that I've tasted it's limits, I'd like to go a little further, and I think it's within my budget. Unfortunately, just today, I realized that it might not even be possible. I don't know what it is or does, but when I looked up my "PCIE" I only have a maximum of x16(please check this yourself.) It looks like in order to use a better card, like the gtx 670 for example, I would need PCIe 3.0 x16, correct? My budget for the GPU is upwards of $450, but I'm not excited to spend that much(my most expensive upgrade ever by $250, the hd 6870 was $200.) Since I don't know what to look for because of the pcie situation, I'd like you to just tell me what you think I should get.
Optional questions(Order of importance to me from top to bottom.)
3.) ( http://imgur.com/TtFzgHf ) What is that slot to the left of the graphics card for?
4.) ( http://imgur.com/S0kK3ui ) Please use question 3's image for reference if needed.
4a.) What are those two black slots for?
4b.) What is that card to the left of the black slots for?
4c.) What is that white object at the bottom left, the one that looks like MMM(kinda) for?
I will also be posting this to other forums, if you care about that. If you can help me, even with an optional question, I will be grateful. I tried to make these questions as easy to understand as possible, in order to get my message across better. I was going to say I tried not to ramble, but I'm doing so now, so let me stop.