Solved: Transplanting a Dell into a proper case

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jackdw

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My sister has a refurbished Dell Optiplex GX240. 256mb RAM, some form of P4 and a 40GB hard drive.

For christmas she wants is 'made quicker' so I am going to get some SD RAM (probably 512mb in additon to the 256 she has to make 768mb). But she also wants a TFT screen as the 17" CRT she has is ancient and is starting to make weird noises. To be as good as her brother she wants a 19" 1440x900 screen that her little 32mb ATI graphics card would die at after loading the BIOS...

Simple fix, get a decent graphics card. Problem: The expansion slots are like half the width of normal ones. Is it possible to get her a proper (ATX or mATX) case that has full-size expansion slots for a decent graphics card that the Dell's motherboard, processor and hard drive would fit in and work correctly?

I know it might seem stupid but I've only ever built custom builds and don't know if there's anything different to prebult computers such as Dells...

Thanks
Jack
 
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jackdw said:
My sister has a refurbished Dell Optiplex GX240. 256mb RAM, some form of P4 and a 40GB hard drive.

For christmas she wants is 'made quicker' so I am going to get some SD RAM (probably 512mb in additon to the 256 she has to make 768mb). But she also wants a TFT screen as the 17" CRT she has is ancient and is starting to make weird noises. To be as good as her brother she wants a 19" 1440x900 screen that her little 32mb ATI graphics card would die at after loading the BIOS...

Simple fix, get a decent graphics card. Problem: The expansion slots are like half the width of normal ones. Is it possible to get her a proper (ATX or mATX) case that has full-size expansion slots for a decent graphics card that the Dell's motherboard, processor and hard drive would fit in and work correctly?

I know it might seem stupid but I've only ever built custom builds and don't know if there's anything different to prebult computers such as Dells...

Thanks
Jack
you may have front panel wiring and I/O shield problems. you would have to trace the front panel wires back to their source in order to make yourself a wiring digram, unless of course you can come up with a MB manual. first thing i guess is to make sure the mb is a standard ATX or m-ATX board otherwise all bets are off.
 

DoubleHelix

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The expansion slots are part of the motherboard, not the case. Moving the board into a new case doesn't change the physical structure of the components.

Evaluate what you spend carefully to determine if it's worth it. With brand new computers available that are 10x more powerful that that one for a few hundred dollars, upgrading a really old computer doesn't make sense.
 
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some other issues will be the heatsink setup and maybe even the PSU, I do not think you can use a standard PSU for this model. Dells are not meant for upgrading or for modders
 
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Don't open a can of worms. If I recall correctly this model is a small form factor and 2 things immediately come to mind. #1 on most Dell cases the I/O shield is an actual part of the case, and I doubt that you would ever find an I/O shield that would go into another case that would line up with the I/O components. #2 Dell uses shrouded passive processor heatsink cooling. You would probably have to do extensive mods to the processor cooling system to fit it in another case.
 
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yeah the more you look at this the worse it gets, Dell just does not make that model to fit into generic pc cases, etc.
 

jackdw

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My case is entirely different to what brite posted. Here is the case and it's insides:
http://s46.photobucket.com/albums/f138/jackdw4/?action=view&current=DSCF4896.jpg
http://s46.photobucket.com/albums/f138/jackdw4/?action=view&current=DSCF4895.jpg
http://s46.photobucket.com/albums/f138/jackdw4/?action=view&current=DSCF4894.jpg
http://s46.photobucket.com/albums/f138/jackdw4/?action=view&current=DSCF4893.jpg

on the last one you can see the smaller-than-usual expansion slots. Also, the CD drive looks like one out of a laptop, but I have a standard 5 1/2 inch IDE one kicking about.

She only uses the computer for the internet and MSN messenger so why buy a new one when I can make this one adequate for her needs? Also my granddad gave it to her so he would probably take offence to it being replaced.
 

DoubleHelix

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I think you're throwing money away by upgrading this machine. Tehcnology changes. Granddad has to accept it.
 
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jackdw said:
My case is entirely different to what brite posted. Here is the case and it's insides:
http://s46.photobucket.com/albums/f138/jackdw4/?action=view&current=DSCF4896.jpg
http://s46.photobucket.com/albums/f138/jackdw4/?action=view&current=DSCF4895.jpg
http://s46.photobucket.com/albums/f138/jackdw4/?action=view&current=DSCF4894.jpg
http://s46.photobucket.com/albums/f138/jackdw4/?action=view&current=DSCF4893.jpg

on the last one you can see the smaller-than-usual expansion slots. Also, the CD drive looks like one out of a laptop, but I have a standard 5 1/2 inch IDE one kicking about.

She only uses the computer for the internet and MSN messenger so why buy a new one when I can make this one adequate for her needs? Also my granddad gave it to her so he would probably take offence to it being replaced.
yeah you have one of those wacky ones, thats what i dont like about Dell in addition to a million other things they dont have decrete model #s for their pcz. I answer to your question "why buy a new one" because you cant do much of anything with the one you have. so your options are add ram and live with it, make grandad happy, or build a new one using as much of this Dell pc as possibly. Keep in mind that if you use a different MB you will not be able to use the Dell OS restore disk. Of course the other thing we are trying to tell you is, you will probably spend so much just to keep the inards of this one that you could build a new one, besides when grandad sees that the case is different he will be offended anyway if he's going to be at all. I'm pretty sure if you explain to him the situation he may be more interested in pleasing his grand kids than getting offended..
 
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hey Jack you know what?, they do make what is called low profile agp cards that is probabaly what the ATI card is, let me look around and I'l post a site that may help you get her better graphics.
 
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if you can pull the gfx card and post some pics that would be helpful. they must make cards for this type of case that are a little more modern
 
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if i was in your position i would build your sister a good amd xp system......... u will be surprised how cheap u can buy a amd xp 2800 or xp3000 and a good socket a asus or abit mobo,
people who are upgrading to core 2 computers literally want to "get rid" of their old computers
and if u put a decent agp video card in these "old" systems they are still very capable and u can still use the mem and drives from the dell
 
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replay said:
if i was in your position i would build your sister a good amd xp system......... u will be surprised how cheap u can buy a amd xp 2800 or xp3000 and a good socket a asus or abit mobo,
people who are upgrading to core 2 computers literally want to "get rid" of their old computers
and if u put a decent agp video card in these "old" systems they are still very capable and u can still use the mem and drives from the dell
I think the mem is sdram not DDR not sure though
 

jackdw

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The memory is SD RAM.
I will pull out he graphics card and take some pics.
 
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