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Maximum Power Supply for Dell XPS 200 Upgrades

By markschu ·
Ok, I could use some help from the smart guys again! I have a Dell XPS 200 with a Intel Lakeport-G i945G Motherboard Chipset. I want to upgrade the ATI Radeon X600 video card that came installed (I also use a ATI TVWonder HD650 Combo card). The stock power supply is 300W. I don't know the brand but I can check if necessary. I want to add a ATI HD card (Radeon HD 2600 or X1950 or something like these) and I think I will have to upgrade the power supply. My question is, How do I know which power supply to install? I don't want to fry the machine, but I need enough power for the new card. Also, it has to be the same size, I think, to fit in my small form, low-profile, or whatever, case. Suggestions for the ATI card would help as well. I am going to upgrade to a 24-28" monitor as well. I guess I might need some guidance on the monitor as well, as the power supply, video card, and monitor probably go hand-in-hand. Nothing's simple when upgrading a stock machine, right? Jeez...lol. Anyway, any help is appreciated and I also am running Windows MCE 2005, 3.2 Intel dual core and 3Gig RAM, Thanks guys!

Mark

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You should be ok with a 650 to 700 watt power supply.

This type of power supply will cover you for a few years to come and for your usb devices also.

Please post back if you have any more problems or questions.

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helpful but...

by markschu In reply to You should be ok with a 6 ...

Hello. Thanks for responding. Not to sound picky, but "should" be ok is not really a definitive enough answer. I need to be SURE about the highest I can use. I could not afford for anything to happen to my system as it's the only one I have! :) That's what started me on this question. I was going to purchase a 600W PS and then thought, "What if my motherboard can't handle it?". Also, I need to know if there IS a 650 or 700W PS that is as small as my stock XPS 200 PS? This information is hard to find as well. Dell is NO help. The wouldn't even tell me what motherboard I had installed?! Something about security??? They won't identify my PS either. I know, all I have to do is open the case, I've done that, just forgot to write it down.

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Well the problem here is we don't know which case you have

by OH Smeg In reply to helpful but...

Dell shows several different ones for this system so it's impossible to say with any certainly what will fit.

As for the Rating of the Power Supply that is the Max that it can produce not what it produces the M'Board and associated components will only use what is required and not be damaged by the Extra Unused Power that may be available. It's not like you are attempting to feed it with 415 Volts AC on a 110 V AC system the Amperage or Wattage of the Power Supply makes absolutely no difference to how well the M'Board will work unless it is too small when the system will be underpowered and possibly destroy the entire system by overloading the Power Supply.

What you need to look at is the Brand of the Power Supply some are rated to a Continuous Amount of Power that they can produce and others are rated to Peek Levels that they can produce for short periods just like HiFi Audio Systems.

I tend to stick with Brand Name Power Supplies like the Antec ones because they are a Continuous Power Rating not the Peek Variety and have more built into them with better protection of the system than the cheap No Name Power Supplies. Dell will not tell you anything about the internals of your system because they don't want you to realize that they use cheap nasty parts that could all be replaced for far less than the cost of the system and offer no Safety Margin.

A good Power Supply should destroy itself and not hurt the internals of the computer it should act like a Protection Circuit between the Mains and the internal Components, so to that end I only use Antec Power Supplies because I saw the results of a Power Pole coming down and bringing the High Voltage Distribution lines into contact with the Low Voltage Mains Supply so here that means that the 33,000 V Lines came into contact with the 240 V Mains and sent 33,000 Volts over the System destroying everything within the area connected to the mains. In the case of a computer that I was involved with it sent about 3 feet of flame out the Fan Guard and set a curtain on fire but when the Power Supply was replaced the computer worked perfectly again for 3 years till it was replaced with a new one. Not all Power Supply's offer that level of protection and I wouldn't be suggesting that you test them that way either but it's nice to know what is possible.

Many of the Cheap No Name Power Supplies will continue to work after they have sent excess power through the internals and destroyed them and that isn't good for the computer or any attached items. I've seen a Server PS send Mains Voltage into the case and out over the Network Cables destroying the entire network but in that case the Power Supply was faulty but things like that just shouldn't happen and I have never seen this with the better Power Supplies.

As to weather something like this will fit in the case that depends on what you already have in there and how much space is available without knowing which case you have it's impossible to say as well so if I was doing this work I would need to have a look see and then make a suggestion as to what can be done. With Propriety Power Supplies you sometimes need to change the case to be able to get one that will fit and be safe to use.

So as we can not physically see and touch things we can only offer our Best Guess as to things like this.

Col

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a "slight" singeing...

by markschu In reply to Well the problem here is ...

First of all I hope to Heaven you weren't anywhere near that flame when the Power of Zeus came barreling down the line! My God man, 3 feet?!! Right now I have the back of my system directly facing me (due to cable length restraints) and I can imagine losing my mind (literally) should I experience this myself! That is definite motivation to complete my upgrades in a timely manner. Like yesterday.

Thank you for explaining the way the power is output. This makes perfect sense to me now that I know how it works.

A pic of my system case can be found here: http://www.netcostcomputersstore.com/dellxps200.html

You have also confirmed my suspicions towards Dell. I guess they think that most people are not going to open their machine and check out the innards, but I guess I have finally realized over the years that when you buy a Dell, you are certainly buying what THEY want to assemble your machine with and after realizing that they DO use some inferior products (or at least the lower end of somewhat better products) I can have a much more efficient machine if I do it myself. Like most things in life.

I can certainly open my machine tomorrow and find out EXACTLY which PS I have and post the make/model w/dimensions, if necessary, but for now I will just measure the case to estimate the dimensions of the PS. Maybe that can help some.

W= no more than 3"
L or D= well that's the side of the case, but I would guess no more than 4"?
H=from the top of the case screen to the audio I/O is 3" as well. (I will definitely open it up tomorrow and find out for sure)

Hope to hear back soon and thanks so much! I tried to click on the "helpful reply" button but it doesn't seem to be working? I'll try again though!

Mark

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Well a Standard PS is

by OH Smeg In reply to a "slight" singeing...

5.3/4 inches across the back of the case from left to right 3.5 inches from top to bottom and 5.5 inches from back to front so they stick into the case by 5.5 inches with a bit more room required where the Power Leads come out.

The 5 3/4 by 3.5 inches is a fairly common size used by nearly all the Power Supplies and the depth from the back of the case 5.5 inches can be shorter with smaller Power Supplies but provided that there is nothing in the way like a M'Board this measurement shouldn't matter. I've fitted quite a few of the longer PS's to Gateway cases without much of a problem other than needing to do some surgery where the plugs come out of the Power Supply so the case needed to be ground away to allow the plugs to fit in. Most just slip straight in and bolt in with the 3 or 4 screws that held the old one in pace. Some Cases have a Plastic Locking Device which pushes the Power Supply against the back of the case and these are not screwed into the case I just forget about those Plastic Retainers and fit screws to hold the PS in place.

By the looks of that case it should take a Standard Power Supply but just have a look to see if there is clearance between the back of the PS and the Back of any Drives that should be mounted somewhere around there. .5 of an inch is plenty and more allows you to fit things easier and have room to stick your hands in there.

Some Dell Cases have the Power Supply mounted on it's side and sort of up against the Left Hand Side of the case. I've fitted some really deep PS's in that type of case without much of a problem though a little surgery was required to make room for the bigger PS. I've stuck a few Redundant Server PS's in that type of Case till I could replace them with a normal PS that didn't require 2 Power Leads. The Redundant Ones had a plug covered naturally but worked quite well till they where removed and a Standard PS fitted a few days latter.

The other thing you need to know is that most new M'Board support Dual Chanel RAM so to get the best performance out of this type of computer you really need 2 Identical sticks of RAM or the CPU only runs at 50% of it's Front Side Bus Speed so if you have a 800 MHZ CPU and 1 stick of RAM the CPU's FSB will be 400 HZ and considerably slower than it was designed to run at.

AS for that little incident it was at a customers place and the computer was the least of the troubles the Air Conditioner looked really spectacular when it died. But the Fire Extinguishers got a good work out that day all because a tree fell onto the Overhead Power Lines.
The Closed Shop up the road wasn't so lucky and burnt to the ground as the roads where all closed because of the downed Power Lines.

Col

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identify the BUS Speed?

by markschu In reply to Well a Standard PS is

concerning the bus speed of my RAM: I am using 2 1GB
sticks of G. Skill with my 2 512MB sticks of stock Dell
memory. Is there a program (or windows function) that I can
use to identify the front BUS speed to see if they are running
at optimal speed?

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Well provided that the RAM is installed in the correct Sockets

by OH Smeg In reply to identify the BUS Speed?

The Speed will be correct for your CPU.

However if it is in the wrong Sockets the CPU will only be running at 50% of the Front Side Bus Speed that it should be running at. To find out which are the correct sockets you need to look at the manual under Dual Chanel Ram.

As Dell may not have this you may need to look at the M'Boards Makers Web Sits for this M'Board. You can get the Makers Name & Model from the BIOS String which is a Alpha Numeric String of letters & numbers that appear on the POST Screen you may have to go into BIOS and turn off the Dell Splash Screen though and then after you have written this down go here to find out the M'Board Details.

http://tinyurl.com/4zph2

Col

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Just to add

by Jacky Howe In reply to Maximum Power Supply for ...

This is your Proprietary PSU
<br><br>
http://support.dell.com/support/edocs/systems/xps200/sm/techov1.htm
<br><br>
This is a Standard IBM Clone.
<br><br>
http://www.ocmodshop.com/images/reviews/power_supplies/antec_earthwatts_500/thumb_antec_earthwatts_08.jpg
<br><br>
As you will notice that they are quite different.
You would have to shop around for a suitable PSU to fit your PC.

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I am having a hard time finding a replacement

by markschu In reply to Just to add

Are you saying this ps in the photo might fit my case? I'll have to open he rup tomorrow and measure. Antec is the best from most articles/reviews I've read...

I have been searching for a LONG time to find an upgrade. Obviously, Dell will sell me the SAME ONE but they don't have ANY other replacement PS's. Sad...

Maybe I will just have to buy ALL new components and start a new case...man, talk about a pain in the a**. At least I have the motherboard/processors, right? lol...

Well, any suggestions for a Case (might as well start from the beginning!) Also, any websites that show the best way to build my own would help!

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Unfortunately Proprietary

by Jacky Howe In reply to I am having a hard time f ...

means just that. The Power Supply and Motherboard in your Case are Proprietary. The power connectors from the PSU are designed to fit that Motherboard that is in the case. The connectors are not the standard 24pin that an IBM clone has so they are not interchangable. You will not be able to put the Motherboard in another Case.
<br><br>
It might be time to invest in a new Unit.
<br><br>
Post a new question and see what the TR Members can come up with to help you out. You should look for something in your Area.
<br><br>
As I am from ɹǝpun uʍop

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