Dell PSU upgrades

On the subject of video card upgrades I was checking on power usage and the XPS 400 only ships with a 375 watt whereas the X1900XTX suggests a 450. I was reading on Firing Squad that a guy with a near identical system to what I’m getting put one in without upgrading and it’s working fine, but I’m paranoid.

anyone here ever upgrade a dell PSU and if so, what brand/model did you buy? I hear theyre rather peculiar

I’ve read that you have to buy them from dell. They switch even the colors so if you plug a standard PSU you’ll end up with a fried system. I’m sure you could rewire a standard PSU to work though.

Is there a component site for dell? I never can seem to find anything on the main site

Couldn’t find any power supplies. Found everything else though!

That used to be true. May still be, but I’ve heard they moved away from that.

I asked their sales people and there arent any upgrades available according to them. I may see if other PSU’s work. I’ve heard that they don’t use proprietary any more.

The best thing to do is to call Dell’s tech support line. Tell them what you’re planning to do and ask them to give you the part numbers for all of the compatible power supplies. They’ll do that, then give you the number for “spare parts”. Buy a refurbished one.

They will probably be WAY more expensive than they should be, though, so it might be better to just try using the one you have.

Edit: The sales people wouldn’t know. Call tech support.

As for whether that PSU is proprietary, I’m not sure. I left before the new rebranded models were launched, but if you check out the specification sheet and the user guide, there is nothing that leaps out as obviously non-standard.

From what I understand they used to switch around the cables on the PSU and change the color code.

I’ll call tech support.

Just looking at the pinouts. Man, I’m kind of behind the times on power supplies, which kind is it that has 24 pins?

thats what I’m looking at.

Hah, the pinouts are the same from all the comparisons I’ve made.

I’m pretty sure all the new PCI-e motherboards use 24 pin power supply connectors. Although I think I just saw a dual board (AGP and PCI-e slots) that still used 20 pins.

Yeah, I don’t spend a whole lot of time with Power Supply pinouts, myself.

So I looked at the pinout you gave me and at an ATX 2 spec, and it looks to me like they are the same… I would maybe look for somebody that, like, knows, though.

If it were me, I would at least call tech support to see if they could tell you whether it’s proprietary. Either way, get a coupleof prices for dell-provided PSUs. It shouldn’t take more than 30 minutes at the absolute most, and if they are reasonably competitive, that could save you some headaches. If you upgrade the PSU with a Dell part, it will assume the existing warranty of the machine.

That’s not paranoid, that’s practical. An X1900 XTX in this computer…

NVIDIA nForce 4 motherboard
AMD Athlon 64 FX-55 2.6 GHz Processor
1 GB OCZ 2:2:2:6 DDR400 RAM
Seagate 7200.7 120 GB Hard Drive

…draws about 150 watts at idle and ~340 watts under load. If you have an extra hard drive or more RAM, you’re going to run out of power.

Won’t be running anything extra yet, but am gonna replace the PSU after a week or two anyway I think.

This website sells custom PSU’s especially for Dell machines (the key feature on these PSUs is the correct connectors and the lack of an on/off switch so that it fits into the Dell case w/o havning to cut a custom hole in the back of your case):

I upgraded the 350W psu in my Dimension 8400 to a 470W psu from these guys. Works great and a reasonable price.