1 Nickel

Upgrading Dell XPS 420

Hi peeps,

Since I bought my XPS I added 8gb of Crucial Ballistix ram to it to give it a boost. I've been playing Dead Island and have noticed that the cutscenes have sort of choppy black lines, maybe indicating that the card is straining or that its just a bit old. I was thinking of adding a second Geforce 8800 GT (seen one for 40 quid) and having them rigged up in SLI (if that's the correct term, I forget!). I've had a look around various forums and it seem that there's debate over whether a new PSU can be added or not. 

My question to you all is this....firstly will installing a second graphics card alleviate the choppyness (the gameplay is fine by the way). Also I notice the fan on the graphics card is loud which I would assume is normal given the graphics intensive game.

I've also seen a review from a user somewhere saying when they installed Windows 7 Professional over Vista, the OS utilized the quad core processor better and was much faster! 

What advice can people give me about their experiences with the XPS 420 upgrading path and what upgrades I should look into getting. Are SSD drives supported for instance? I'm just looking to squeeze a bit more out of what I already have.

Another thing that is concerning me is the dust levels. I want to give it a good clean but am wary about ESD. Air compression cans apparently just blow the dust around and obviously hoovers emit ESD so its a gamble using one of those. Any advice on cleaning the PC?

Sorry for the volume of questions but I'd rather have them all answered in one go than in individual posts.

Cheers peeps,


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4 Tellurium

Re: Upgrading Dell XPS 420

You cannot put another 8800 GT in your computer.  You only have one PCIe X16 slot for a graphics card.  The 8800 GT seems to be above the recommended card for the game which is a 9600 GT.  

I have never had any issues cleaning the computer out with a can of compressed air.  I will generally disconnect everything and take it out to the garage and clean it.  Also, take out the 8800 GT and clean it individually.   The noise level of the card will be louder when gaming as it speeds up to keep the chip cooler.  Some fans are louder than others so it depends on the specific card.  I take my card out at least every 3 months and clean it and the entire computer too as mine gets very dusty.  

The XPS 420 uses a BTX case design, but a standard ATX power supply so it can be easily upgraded.  The 375 power supply is good enough for higher-end cards today since they are more power efficient than the old ones so you may not need to upgrade it.  

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