I own an XPS 400 desktop that I would like to upgrade its hardware to make it run like a new "current-gen" computer. I would like to enable it to run newer games like Black Ops II or maybe GTAV at around a 30 FPS at least, if I have to lower the graphics to allow it to run I do not mind, as I would prefer not to pay a lot of money because I simply do not have a lot of money. My XPS 400 has 2.50 GB of RAM, a Intel Pentium D processor, an ATI graphics card, and a 2.80GHz power supply.
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Whatever amount of money you have, put it towards a new or newer computer. Pentium D is obsolete and no amount of upgrades will make it run like a new computer. It would be throwing money away. BTW 2.8 is not your power supply. It's the processor speed. Your Power supply is more like 300 watts-400w.
You can buy brand new computers for $200 nowadays--a far cry from the $2200 the ten year old xps400 cost new! Used recent computers can be had for less.
I will admit Mary G that it is rather old and getting rid of it would make sense but is it not possible to replace the Pentium D with something that is more current, getting something along those lines I'm sure could be found at an affordable price on Ebay and the like. In all honesty the xps is as good as my laptop and i got it brand new from dell. The xps must still have potential, instead of recycling it. And how do you check how many Watts a power supply handles?
I would agree with Mary G, that is better to use the money towards buying a newer system, instead of upgrading a 9 year computer, with outdated technology, especially the processor.
The default power supply is 375w and to replace it, because the XPS 400 system does not use a Dell proprietary power supply, you can use most standard ATX power supplies with either, a 24-pin or 20+4-pin main motherboard power connector and with a minimum of 2-SATA power connectors.
As the XPS 400 has an open back panel, a power supply with or without the on/off switch can be used.
You can buy a compatible power supply from most local, or online computer stores.
But the big issue with upgrading the XPS400, it does not support any of the newer Core 2 Duo or Core 2 Quad processors.
You could use a faster Pentium D, but the fastest processor supported for the XPS400/9150 is the Pentium D 960 [3.6 GHz] which is not much of an upgrade.
Note: Check that you have, the latest BIOS version installed before upgrading the processor, because with BIOS version A04, support for newer processors was added.
Update the Bios to Latest. And look for a cheap pentium D 900 series UNLESS you already have one.
The reason for this is that with the pressler 900 series pentium D you can run 64 bit windows 8 or windows 10. The 915 is as low as $9 on ebay. You can use 915 all the way to 960.
Games will require a better GPU. Geforce GTX 750 TI is the sweet spot for price vs speed so this is where you would spend some money. And this is also not good money after bad because you can always get a newer system and move that card to it.
IMHOP I think most of you chaps are a bit balmy. I've upgraded my Dell XPS 400 for about a hundred and fifty quid. The main reason I did so was that it has a surround system which is great. So why toss it in the rubbish bin. I installed 16GB of RAM, a 1TB hard drive, and updated a few drivers. So what's the big deal?
My main systems are MAC's; I have three of them. But this old Dell is a great standby with a big screen.