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daemoncycler
3 Argentium

Re: Studio XPS Overclocking potential - BIOS upgrade?

Hi,

May I add to this old thread?   Thanks to i-vol, truelies, Chris M & 123ghost I have learned more about my machine in the past hour than the past year.

No where in this thread do I see mention of the i7-950?  Can I assume that the BIOS/mobo issues re: installing PC3-10600 (DDR3 -1333MHz) only running @ 1066Mhz are present with the 950 too?

Realizing the 965 is a serious upgrade over the 950  i-vol  did indicate that 1333Mhz RAM speed is not reached without overclocking the 920/940 CPU to @ 3.4Mhz.  But is capable on the 965 CPU.

thanks

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123ghost
2 Bronze

Re: Studio XPS Overclocking potential - BIOS upgrade?

Daemoncycler:

Been a while since I have posted here. Made some updates to the XPS 9000. Did some Google work on the chipset of the board. Intel Rapid Storage Technology (used to be Intel Matrix Storage Controller) was the search term I used. I was able to get into Intel and with some digging around, found a update for the X58 motherboard, Intel ICH 10R Sata ACHI Controller. Got into a area where updates were available. Let Intel scan the system and they came up with a update, downloaded it, flashed the chipset which also created a program in Windows start menu to view the stats. This created a different color BIOS, dark blue. Still holds the current edition of the updated Dell BIOS of A16. The Samsung 103SJ hard drive was starting to show its age. I replaced it with a Seagate ST95005620AS. This is a laptop drive. 2.5", 7200 rpm, small in size. It is a hybred containing 4GB of SSD type memory. Cost was half of a SSD. I had a Corsair 128GB SSD drive in it also but had problems with the Marvell controller not starting up at boot. Hence the Intel upgrade which also requires AHCI to use all of the features. The Seagate drive is quick. Have not tried another processor, but upgrading to GSkill 1333MHz timing 9 9 9 24, was useless. Slow to boot, shut down and reinstall Crucial 1066 MHz.  I do now have a 950 in a sister system on a X58 Asus Sabertooth board. It flies just as my 960 on the same board in the sister system. CPU coolers are important with both of these CPU's. Zigmatek handles the chores well in each. Had the 920 on the Asus board of the second system while waiting for Newegg to restock the 950 model. Ran better here than on the Dell board. LGA 1366 processors are becomming scarce. The 940 would be as close as you will get on the Dell 501 board. I have seen a few. Compuvest now and then stocks them. They are above the $300 mark. One more item. Went to Intel again driving one of the big horses. Found updates for the Asus boards, they are the same as was installed in the Dell XPS 9000. Lets look outside the box here.

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daemoncycler
3 Argentium

Re: Studio XPS Overclocking potential - BIOS upgrade?

Hi 123ghost,

Have decided the whole memory upgrade issue is too fuzzy & will leave the original PC3-8500 RAM as is.  This PC has performed quite well since we bought it three years ago but it is a bit disappointing that it will not easily support PC3-10666 RAM like the manual indicates.  Will probably go to Cyberpowerpc or newegg in the future for computer purchases.  Doubt if it will be anytime soon, this PC more than meets our needs for now.

In fact the only reason I was looking at faster RAM is because a few weeks back decided we wanted to install SSD & would add a Sound Card too. Crucial 512 GB SSD & SB X-Fi Titanium are on their way. Wondering if there was anything else I should do now & head off any future opening of the cabinet,  RAM was the only thing I could come up with.

Having never opened this PC before I am a bit concerned to be mucking about in the cabinet anyway. This is our first desktop. My only hardware experience , if you want to call it that, has been a few minor additions to our laptops.  Hope this SSD isn't going to be as difficult as some of the reviewers at Amazon make is sound.  The SSD will be our primary/system drive & the 1TB spinning drive will be for data.  Lots of music & movies.

However - all this research this past week has me interested.  I have been looking for a hobby.  Maybe can find an used PC with an i7-920 processor? ,something other than a Dell, with a mobo than can be overcolcked, ASUS x58?.  Old RAM that needs to be upgraded so I can experiment with benchmarking before & after upgrades.  There's neighborhood garage sale this weekend?  Hope it won't be a super expensive hobby.

eBay has a bunch of X58 mobo's sold as is, purchased at auction & not functioning.  Bent pins & such.  Looks a little dicey.

thanks

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123ghost
2 Bronze

Re: Studio XPS Overclocking potential - BIOS upgrade?

Hello Daemoncycler:

Thanks for the reply.

Picked up a board for the 3rd X58 system from Newegg. Was under $140. Asus Sabertooth. The first was just over $200. It is refurbished. Have not found anything wrong with it. Has run for 2 months. Registered with Asus, appears the warranty is valid of new. Has newer software than the 2 year old one. It is a plus. Upgraded the first to specs. Crucial on the SSD... No. I do have 2 128GB M4's. Tuff to get them running at 6GB with the Asus Marvel software. I never did. I do not trust Crucial any more as to their merger with their new partner. In addition to the 2 SSDs, 1 Adreneline system and 20 plus sticks of their memory. Looking at Samsung and Intel for my next, this fall. Today for a build, go to the Intel Z77 boards and the 3rd generation Intel processor. More bang and less dough. Run cooler also. No need for a 1000W power supply either. They sip electric. Asus builds many flavors. Intel I5 fills the bill @ $200, give or take. $150 on sale buys a decent board. Want the biggest bang? Step to the I7. Cost comes with it.

Do believe 1333MHz memory can run in our systems. Most of the 1066MHz memory for these systems has timming of 7.7.7.21. I wonder if this is the key. I will get some time to look for memory with this timming. Not right now though. There was a post in this thread somewhere that the ability was there before the A16 BIOS update. I will not trade this. A16 update is for compatibility of Windows 7, seeing that most of the 435T and XPS 9000 systems were Vista installed at the start. My own benifited greatly from this update.

Seriously, build your own. Takes me about 3 months to gather up the goods, as I find the price and information to match it all up. No pro just a hobby. Do a little for others too. Belong to this community and a few others.

Dell does have a new ride out, you can see it in their site. I cannot remember the model. Starts @ $700.

Still own the first Dell. Dimenision 4600i (1993), rebuilt last year . Most it is used for is 11 pinball games, 1st generation 3D. Still access for the Internet if you have time to wait. I can push Windows XP ball off the table. A old AGP video card.  

Keep in touch.

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daemoncycler
3 Argentium

Re: Studio XPS Overclocking potential - BIOS upgrade?

Hi 123ghost,

Glad you saw my entire post - had deleted a good portion of it.  Thought maybe too much info not pertaining to memory & the XPS 435MT.  Since this is customer forum I guess we can put as much non-pertinent info as desired.

Everything is in the threes now.  SATA III, USB 3.0, 3'rd generation quadcore's, can't think of a three for the RAM.  Blink & you'll miss the next upgrade.

Did find on Amazon this RAM kit =Crucial Ballistix Tactical 4GB kit (2GBx2) DDR3-1333 1.5V 240-Pin with a CL7 latency & extended timings 7-7-7-24.  Was planning on purchasing 3 sets before finding this thread.  Not happy to hear that you're not happy with Crucial.

Per Dell BIOS & CPU-Z the motherboard is Dell Inc. 

model = 0R849J   BIOS = A03
Chipset Intel X58 
Southbridge intel 82801JR (ICH10R) 
LPCIO ITE IT8720

Looks like the A16 update does not apply to the XPS 435MT, only the 9000 or XPS T?  Read a couple threads on this forum where the A16 update didn't go so well.

  

This PC did come with Vista installed & an upgrade to Win 7 upon release.  One of the sticking points with Dell is that they recommended an integrated sound card = Sound Blaster X-Fi MB (which is not compatible with Win 7) instead of a separate sound card.  Truly a multi-media center we have a 30" high def monitor, blu-ray disc player & nice Bose sound system.  We love watching movies on this machine, it is the best TV/Stereo in the house.   Why Dell recommended an on-board sound card when we already had so much invested is curious.  If they sell an PC with an upgrade to Win 7 shouldn't it be fully compatible with Win 7?   A friend just told me I was wasting my money on a separate sound card.  He says the on-board sound cards are more than sufficient.

Have been running the X-Fi MB SB software in compatibility mode since the Win 7 install & really has been OK.  But by definition I guess if you have to run something in compatibility mode it is not running to peak performance.  Recently began to play with Oracle Virtual Box & VM would not recognize the sound card.  Had a preview of Win 8 running on another partition without the SB software installed, so now have VM running under Win 8 preview & Ubuntu 12.04 (Precise Pangolin) running inside VM.  This way we have sound with Ubuntu.  Decided to run Ubuntu in VM because we were already running short on partitions with a M: Music partition along with the small 75 MB diagnostic partition.

 

Thus the Crucial SSD purchase.  The SSD is backwards compatible to 3Gb/s.  Hoping the install will be pretty straight forward.  With the transfer kit I imagine some kind of software provided by Crucial that would allow me to copy the C: drive via USB to the new SSD before even touching the cabinet? Then wiping the internal drive, installing the SSD & somehow it is recognized as the new C: drive - Voila!

Picked up an external 1TB Western Digital HD a while back, to backup music & movies. I have been partitioning the C: drive & migrating as necessary so that Windows backup will fit onto one single DVD.  Also since we have the 1TB external HD I have been Creating a System Image on a weekly basis = 60GB.  So in case I totally hose this Crucial SSD install up at least everything will be backed up.

 Any ideas on the SSD install would be much appreciated.

 

thanks


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daemoncycler
3 Argentium

Re: Studio XPS Overclocking potential - BIOS upgrade?

Hi 123ghost,

Apricorn software info is great & so are the tips regarding removal of Anti-virus/spyware before hand.

Had already found the article on Trim enable, but was still a little fuzzy on AHCI .vs IDE - thanks for that.

daemoncycler

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argvargc
2 Iron

Re: Studio XPS Overclocking potential - BIOS upgrade?

Went through the entire thread today. I have a 435MT since 2009. Never interested in OC or RAM upgrade. My system never had the high-fan noise that was reported with the earlier models.

The only sore point in the ownership has been the graphics card. I have a separate thread on the same. The 4850 ran incredibly hot and eventually started showing artifacts after two years.

I am still using it since the second card that I purchased - the XFX 6670 (I purchased last August) eventually started "not working". I had to try blowing hot air with a blower and it used to start working again. (Someone told me that it would be a crystal frequency mismatch.)

Then eventually this stopped working too. However the card worked fine on some systems and not on others. So it was pretty confusing where the problem was - card, mobo, or PSU.

Now it is time for me to get money back from the dealer and go for a new card. I am considering another 6670 since it runs cooler and is sufficient. The other option 6750 is more power hungry, hotter and more expensive - but more powerful today. Maybe I could go for it, if I get a good deal.

Nothing else to report.

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123ghost
2 Bronze

Re: Studio XPS Overclocking potential - BIOS upgrade?

Hi argvargc.

A few items I have learned with my XPS 9000, 435T. Graphics card that came with mine, ATI 4xxx series, never really found out what it was, other than a Dell issued item. Graphics were "buggy" after a 2 hour period of running. Problem I found was heat not being extracted from the case, Googling the manufactures numbers on the power supply turned up a unit that was a potential fire hazard. Since the case supports only a 92mm fan in the rear and a 120mm up front, with no way to increase air control, the system was re-cased into a Antec 300. A HIS 5xxx PCIe X16 2.1 card was purchased and installed as also, a Corsair TX650 power supply. Memory remains a 9GB as Dell shipped it, but replaced with Crucial. Your AtI 6670 requires at the least a 400 watt PSU. Memory serves me correct most of these systems were shipped with a 450 watt PSU. At 80% efficiency, and I am high here, that would be a 360 watt PSU. The figure is more like 65-70%. Bottom line not enough power. My rule of thumb is to equip with 100 watts more than the system needs, including the percentage factor. The PSU lasts longer, because it does not have to work as hard. System runs cooler also is the next advantage.

The taller # cards do consume physical memory especially with high demanding graphics in games. I am not a gamer but have seen much of this in systems brought to me for repair. I saw temps in the 50C range before these changes in my own, with very little load. Average running now is 32C. Never see over 40C. System has run flawless for about 18 months. It just celebrated it's second birthday here. G

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Wreks
2 Iron

Re: Studio XPS Overclocking potential - BIOS upgrade?

Yeah, I-VOL,

I agree. I'd been asking that, too. I'd also like to adjust some of the voltages a .02, too. I imagine Dell doesn't want anyone to change the bios for the headaches their clients and customers may cause. Sarcasticly, my thoughts are, they think the computer will last too long and their interest is to sell you a new one.

I did cram a larger psu and pcie3 video card in the xps435mt. I changed everything at least once except the mobo & cpu. I do keep a spare mobo for good reason.

For 4 years I owned the xps435mt, the biggest problem I dealt with is heat. Though mobos usually take high heat better than moving parts, high heat changes conductive metals in due time. I was getting temps over 175f+. I cook eggs at those kind of temps. Good voltage will make solid connections, stay cool. Low voltage, if it can't make the connections, jumps, burns across electron gaps creating heat. Heat also loosens moecules and after a time, they're not so conductive as they once were. Complicated chipset designs have their heat signatures, too. I got my temps down. But not without new fans and heat sinks. If you can shut down heat, electronics will last a long, long time.

Yeah, I-VOL, it makes me wonder if Dell did these non-adjustments so the computer would wear out sooner and we would buy a new one. Ford Motor Company did it back in the 60s to the 80s. They said, "We're not in the business of spare parts or fixing cars. We're in the business of selling cars".

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Techgee
3 Zinc

RE: Studio XPS 435MT & 435T Overclocking potential - BIOS upgrade?

Has anyone tried using the Intel XTU (maybe older 2.1 version?) to overclock either the 435T/9000 or 435MT?  XTU does overclocking outside the BIOS.

Seems most of this thread ends with conclusion they can't be overclocked, but I believe this was before the Intel eXtreme Tuning Utility came out...

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