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How to Salvage Parts from Dead Dell XPS 8500 (Bad Motherboard) for Next Computer


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#1 techgnosis

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Posted 13 January 2016 - 04:23 PM

It looks like my Dell XPS 8500 which is only 2.3 years old needs a new motherboard.  I've been quoted $350 to fix it (90 days warranty) by Dell.  I asked Dell how much it would cost to get back on warranty once I have it fixed and it's $200 per year.  Not sure whether I'll go along with this.  A local technician gave me his estimate and it's $250 parts and service which includes 90 day warranty.

 

Instead of taking the repair option, I'm thinking of salvaging the parts for my next computer purchase.  My XPS 8500 has 12 gb ddr3 sdram [1,600mhz (2gb x2) + (4gb x2)] and a 2 TB hard drive and 1 TB hard drive (from my Studio XPS 8000 which also died after 2.5 years).  My Studio XPS 8000 has 12 gb ddr3 SDRAMs.  Any other salvageable parts here?

 

Any Dell models that are compatible with these?  8000/8500 are no longer being sold.  Dell sells XPS 8900 and 8900 SE which use DDR4 RAMs.  I don't know of hard drive compatibility.  Dell Outlet still sells XPS 8700 which is upgradable to Windows 10, which use ddr3 chips and are is presumably hard drive-compatible. 

 

Doesn't have to be Dell or XPS.  In fact, I would rather not buy another Dell or XPS because I've had such terrible luck with them.  I'm thinking perhaps Dell business models like OptiPlex or Lenovo's best-selling desktops which may have compatible RAM and hard drive expansion options. 

 

Does anyone know of the best way of putting to use these system parts from relatively new machines?  Thanks.



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#2 ScathEnfys

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Posted 13 January 2016 - 10:04 PM

The majority of consumer machines still take DDR3. So you should for the most part be good there. Hard drives are fairly standard too, as long as it's connected by a small SATA cable and not a wide ribbon cable. Provided that you have the same type of RAM in the XPS 8000 as the XPS 8500 (same speed, timings, and preferably manufacturer), you can use the 4x 4GB sticks to make a computer with 16GB of RAM.

I strongly recommend that, with all the parts you currently have, you simply purchase a motherboard, CPU, PSU, and case and build a PC yourself, reusing the components that you already have from the old computers. It will save you a considerable amount of money and give you longer warranty periods on some components. However if there is a good reason you cannot/will not build a PC that's OK. Just let me know.
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#3 techgnosis

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Posted 13 January 2016 - 11:42 PM

That's a good point.  I  now have 5 non-working computers and an XP laptop.  I have a huge computer junkyard in my apartment.  While I use my work computer, I should really learn more about computers and try to build a system.  It's just the time commitment and the intimidation factor.  And the constant need to ask questions at forums over and over. 

 

But if I'm a beginner, I should start at minimum with a good motherboard, right?  So the 2 Dell XPS computers are out.  And I'm left with Lenovo IdeaCentre B540 All-in-One, whose monitor is cracked.  Last I checked the motherboard, 1TB HD, and 4 GB DDR3 RAM were all good.  Just need to get those parts out of there and perhaps use my Dell Studio XPS 8000 as the computer case to build my desktop / All-in-one computer?

 

The majority of consumer machines still take DDR3. So you should for the most part be good there. Hard drives are fairly standard too, as long as it's connected by a small SATA cable and not a wide ribbon cable. Provided that you have the same type of RAM in the XPS 8000 as the XPS 8500 (same speed, timings, and preferably manufacturer), you can use the 4x 4GB sticks to make a computer with 16GB of RAM.



#4 ScathEnfys

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Posted 15 January 2016 - 09:17 PM

Might work, but on occasion OEM (prebuilt) motherboards are weird shapes, use custom power connectors, or otherwise make it virtually impossible to use outside its special assembly. Not that there's any problem with attempting it, just alerting you to the possibility. Your plan sounds like a good one and quite honestly this is one of the more interesting ways to get your feet wet with PC building. I would also figure out which power supply unit (PSU) is the more powerful of the computers you are salvaging and stick it in there. Go forth and create!
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