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Old 05-20-2012, 12:44 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Dell Studio Slim 540s Upgrade

Hello all, I'm new to the forums and have a question concerning a possible upgrade. I purchased a Dell 540s approximately 3 years ago and am considering an upgrade. The computer has served my needs, and continues to do so. I mainly surf the web, watch movies, and play a few games that I purchase on sale...I don't do online gaming because I know I would get hooked. I am currently working towards an Information Management degree and will be learning Unix in the fall. I would like to load Linux as a 2nd OS and was going to get a larger hard drive (I have a 750gig which is half full). Below is a list of my current specs and what I was considering upgrading to

Current:
Intel Q9400, Radeon HD4650, WD Caviar Black 750g HD, Seasonic 300w psu, 2x2DDR2 stock ram, 2X2DDR2 Gskill ram, blu ray, card reader, and I think an Intel mobo.

Thinking of Upgrading to:
ASUS P5G41T-M LX PLUS LGA 775 Intel G41 mobo, InWin Mid or Micro atx case, G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3, New HD(don't have a brand or size), possibly a Corsair Accelerator SSD(if it would work in this set up--I want an SSD, but have read about a lot of failures on them and not sure how to set up a regular SSD for an OS and frequenly use programs), Windows 7 Professional (would need for SSD and can get student upgrade for $64).

I already purchase a PSU and GPU: Corsair CX600 and a XFX HD-677X-ZNLC Radeon HD 6770 ($140 total for both after rebates). I don't believe that I'll need more power in the PSU/GPU category. Total for the upgrades--not including the PSU and GPU--will be aprroximately $300-$400. My question is, does the upgrade that I'm considering make sense considering my needs listed above? Another possibility would be to try to sell my current set up for $200-$300 and use the money for a new rig...my problem with this is that I have personal ID information on the old HD and I would have to shell out $200 for Windows 7. I could also look for a deal on a refurb online and swap the PSU and GPU. Any thoughts/insights would be appreciated..

*P.S. I hope this isn't a repost. I tried to post before, but the page froze and it looked as if the information did not go through.
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Old 05-20-2012, 12:48 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Dell Studio Slim 540s Upgrade

Update....when I mention the Corsair SSD, I am not considering using this as a primary HD as I know this won't work...just something to speed things up.
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Old 05-20-2012, 01:26 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Dell Studio Slim 540s Upgrade

The SSD would be pretty simple. You can get like a 60GB OCZ, Corsair, or Mushkin SSD for pretty cheap, simply install your OS and other small programs like browsers to it, then install the rest to your other drive. Really is a simple process.

For your needs I think the mobo/drive/SSD/RAM upgrade would be fine while retaining your CPU.
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Old 05-20-2012, 01:58 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Dell Studio Slim 540s Upgrade

Thanks for the feedback. I'm assuming that the ASUS mobo will accept an SSD then. I could keep the WD 750G HD, upgrade to Win7, and then transfer to an SSD later. I also want to have Linux as an option on the drive as well. Do you know of any good sites that exlpain this process? I've never transferred an OS before. Also, I've read in forums that it can be a pain to try to transfer the OS from a Dell configuration to a new rig. Any experience with this?
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Old 05-20-2012, 02:05 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Dell Studio Slim 540s Upgrade

If you are still using the OEM installation (Windows from Dell) then trying to transfer to the SSD will (in my experience) just give you a BSOD. When you get an SSD, you want a fresh install of Windows anyways.
An SSD can be installed to any motherboard with a SATA port.
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Old 05-20-2012, 02:54 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Dell Studio Slim 540s Upgrade

So, I should just buy a new copy of Windows, rather than using the OEM version from Dell? And, if I bought a new copy, I'd just have to uninstall the oringal copy from my WD drive? Would the programs on the WD still work? (I'm sure they'd all have to be updated). Concerning SSD...would it matter if I got a SATA II or III?
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Old 05-20-2012, 03:17 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Dell Studio Slim 540s Upgrade

Sorry, I see that you already answered the SATA question...I'm tired and missed it. Also, would it make sense to by the new mobo? I think it would just give me the option of DDR3. I don't want to do the upgrade if it's not necessary.
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Old 05-20-2012, 11:51 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Dell Studio Slim 540s Upgrade

Quote:
Originally Posted by BILLJ2008 View Post
So, I should just buy a new copy of Windows, rather than using the OEM version from Dell? And, if I bought a new copy, I'd just have to uninstall the oringal copy from my WD drive? Would the programs on the WD still work? (I'm sure they'd all have to be updated). Concerning SSD...would it matter if I got a SATA II or III?
When you do a fresh install you are installing Windows to a freshly formatted drive. You would have to install all of your programs again and backup any information you want to keep (pics, music, bookmarks, files, ect). By OEM version, I mean the version that was already preinstalled to your system when you bought the computer that Dell installed. You simply can't reuse this, uninstall it, or the like. SATA 3 drives are faster, and even if the board you want only has SATA2 they will still be able to max the bus better than SATA2 SSD's.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BILLJ2008 View Post
Sorry, I see that you already answered the SATA question...I'm tired and missed it. Also, would it make sense to by the new mobo? I think it would just give me the option of DDR3. I don't want to do the upgrade if it's not necessary.
Yea I would update to DDR3. Memory bandwidth gains can never be turned away lol.
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Old 05-20-2012, 01:18 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Dell Studio Slim 540s Upgrade

Gotcha, thanks for helping me out here.
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Old 05-20-2012, 06:17 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Dell Studio Slim 540s Upgrade

If you want to edit your post within 24 hours you should use the Edit Post button, it looks like a pencil.
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