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Want to know if my desired desktop upgrades are safe to make

Discussion in 'PC hardware help' started by LufianGuy, May 22, 2012.

  1. LufianGuy

    LufianGuy Regular member

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    Hope everyone is doing well here.

    I have a Dell Studio XPS 7100:
    Windows 7 Ultimate x64
    AMD Phenom(tm) II X6 1090T Processor (6 CPUs), ~3.2GHz
    8GB of RAM (2GBX4)
    1GB ATI Radeon HD 5670
    460W PSU
    1TB SATA 2 7200rpm HD

    It says the motherboard is Dell 0GK1K2 (can't find specs for this online):
    http://www.ascendtech.us/dell-gk1k2-studio-xps-7100-motherboard_i_mbdgk1k2xps7100.aspx

    I have yet to open up the tower and look inside myself, but there should be an extra SATA connection and one more 3.5" drive bay.

    I want to upgrade the RAM to the max (16GB across 4 4GB sticks or 2 8GB sticks or whatever it needs to be) and need to add a slave drive (looking at 2TB-3TB) as my master drive is near 80% full (not good).

    I need to know if these upgrades can be handled safely by the current power supply.

    I called Dell and was told:
    1. Max RAM each slot can handle is 4GB or 8GB (got two different answers from two different people)
    2. If I add a slave drive bigger than 1TB, there will be problems with the PSU

    I don't want to put too much in here and cause a problem with the PSU (won't that kill the computer entirely)?


    Questions:
    1. So can I make these upgrades safely or not without also upgrading the current PSU?
    2. Is there a way for me to check the insides of my computer to know what is exactly in there (using software)?
    3. Is there a way for me to test to see if these upgrades will be safe?
    4. SATA 3 is backwards compatible with SATA 2 right (so a SATA 3 drive will work on a SATA 2 connection)?
    5. What RAM and HD's would you guys recommend?
    6. Can Windows 7 Ultimate support a 3TB HD as a slave drive with no problems?

    I am always open to just buying an external HD and taking space off the master that way also.

    Thanks!
     
    Last edited: May 22, 2012
  2. ddp

    ddp Moderator Staff Member

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  3. LufianGuy

    LufianGuy Regular member

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    Thanks for all of that info ddp.

    I used the PSU calculator (might be wrong) and it is telling me:
    Your power supply rating should be greater than 472.5 watts.

    So lets say I go ahead and hook everything up, what is the worst that could happen?

    Guess I will either buy a 550/600W PSU (will have to check what needs to be on what rails) or just buy an external HD.
     
    Last edited: May 22, 2012
  4. ddp

    ddp Moderator Staff Member

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    it could blow things like drives, motherboard, ram & other things or behave normally. can always upgrade the psu later when you get the 2nd tb drive. do you really need a 2nd internal drive that big that you can't use on other computers? go external. i was taking guesses on the calc as i didn't know exactly what you had except for your list. should have no problem with 3tb as external.
     
  5. LufianGuy

    LufianGuy Regular member

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    Yea I figured the computer could blow up.

    It seems like i will go external for the time being (quickest and easiest fix).

    I downloaded the program mentioned here and max RAM per dimm is unknown:
    http://www.howtogeek.com/howto/windows-vista/what-kind-of-memory-does-my-computer-have-installed/

    I am a bit worried now though because with my current setup, the PSU calculator says:
    Your power supply rating should be greater than 466.5 watts.

    and my PSU is 460W!! (Lets hope I or the calculator am wrong)

    Was looking to use something like this for the ram (DDR3 SDRAM - PC10666, 1333MHz):
    http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=6611013&CatId=3433

    I assume maxing the RAM from 8GB to 16GB will increase the power used, so maybe I shouldn't max the RAM either?
     
    Last edited: May 22, 2012
  6. ddp

    ddp Moderator Staff Member

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    what do you need 16gigs of ram for?
     
  7. LufianGuy

    LufianGuy Regular member

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    I do a lot of video conversion (usually HD h.264 mkv to SD xvid avi), subtitle editing, subtitle embedding, and play a lot of video games.

    Usually my 8GB of RAM goes by pretty fast, this may be due to a memory leak, but I am not sure how to find or fix it.

    I will leave the computer on the desktop with nothing special going on and the RAM usually continues to drop.
     
    Last edited: May 23, 2012

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