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dwlovell
2 Iron

XPS 435T Observations and Answers (Power, Case, Misc)

Here are some answers to questions I had about the Studio XPS 435T that no one could answer prior to my buying it. Now that I have it, thought I would share

- The default 475 W PSU was able to run 3 SATA drives, 1 DVD writer, the i7 920 processor, a BFG OC GTX 275 graphics card (with two 6 pin connectors) and xfi titanium PCI-E card without problems. My battery backup with monitoring never showed a peak of higher than about 385W even when playing Fallout 3, all settings maxed with lots of screen action. The average usage outside of the game and using desktop apps was about 220W. I did a web-based calculator where you add up all your peripherals and it said it shouldnt peak higher than 387W. Additionally a graphics card with 2 6-pin connectors cannot pull more than 225W by itself. (75W for the PCI-E slot, and 75W for each 6 pin connector). The box for the graphic card said you needed 575W PSU with 42A on the 12V rail, but this is also just an estimation based on a system with a core i7 975 which means they are assuming everything enthusiast in the box, completely maxed out. I did have to use a different PSU, but not because the default one couldn't handle the setup.

- This has been covered here before, but I will give a concise summary: The default 475 W PSU is apparently very sensitive to having a perfect sine wave, so normal battery backups will not operate in backup mode with this PSU. (ie: pull the plug or shutoff the breaker, and the system resets and will not turn on while in battery backup mode). This is NOT an issue of slow switching to battery as the system will not turn on while there is no wall power, even when any of the batteries are fully charged. DELL apparently recommends the server grade battery backups which will run you 300-500$. I installed a Corsair HX620 power supply and it does not have the same problem. The original DELL 475W PSU would not work with either a 750VA or 1300VA APC battery backup, whereas the Corsair HX620 worked with both, the larger one lasting 21 minutes before shutdown and the lesser one lasting about 13 minutes before shutdown. The only problem with the new PSU is the physical size not matching the case. (see next item)

- The PSU that comes from dell is larger than a default PSU. It is almost square from the rear of the PC, whereas the new Corsair HX620 is almost rectangular, This causes 2 of the 4 screws to not line up on the PSU. (still installs tightly). This also leaves a gap of about 5" x 1/2" below the power supply where air can flow freely in/out of the case. This is less than ideal because dust isnt being directed through filters, etc. (maybe doesnt matter). I am going to the store tonight to see if there are any 3rd party power supplies with this larger form factor.

- The top case mic/headphone jacks include a standard cable that goes to any of the new sounds card. If you don't bundle a sound card, it plugs into the motherboard. This is a 10-pin connector very similar to the internal USB motherboard connectors. (the missing/blocked pin is in a different place so you dont mix them up). So if you wanted to buy a sound card after you received the machine, you can rest assured, you already have the part to hookup the jacks to the card.

- Something I missed in the design/tech specs but was pleased with is the machine has a builtin windows media center infrared receiver up next to the card readers at the top, and it is automatically detected and drivers installed with Windows 7 RC x64.

- This is more of a testament to Windows 7 than this machine persay, but I two 500GB drives in a mirror using the Intel Matrix Storage controller on my old XPS 410. I moved them to the new machine expecting to have to wipe, re-mirror and re-install the OS. Instead, the Intel Matrix Storage controller on the Studio XPS 435T found the existing mirror, had to rebuild it, but did so while the system was in use. Additionally on the first bootup of the existing Windows 7 x64 OS, a screen popped up with about 100+ "New Hardware Found" items on a list, it automatically installed drivers for everything. After one reboot, everything new was detected and I was up and running. I will probably reformat and reinstall when Windows 7 retail comes out.

- The glossy finish so far seems durable against scratching, but it does show fingerprints quickly. Keep a micro-fiber polishing cloth nearby and they dissapear quickly tho. I wish the top/front was the same metal with matte finish as the sides, because the white matte finish is fantasticly smooth and doesnt show any fingerprints. I even had the side door fall when I had the case open, it hit the leg of my chair and I was expecting a scratch or a dent, and the finish was undamaged.

- All my previous DELL's with the media card reader, the reader would "dissapear" from the system after a couple of weeks of uptime. A reboot or restart of the USB hub driver (sometimes hard to find in the device list) would cause it to be re-found. I have only had the Studio XPS 435T for a few days, so will have to see how it goes with this card reader. I normally just use the one in my 2408 LCd panel since every time I turn it off/on each night, its USB devices are redetected, so even if it were to disaapear, its much easier to bring them back.

- I never knew what flexbay was. In this machine, its really just 2 extra 3.5" drive bays that can be internal or external. There doesnt seem to be anything default that goes in there, so when you use the slide down front door, you are looking at two drive bay covers. The bays DO NOT need any kind of tray. They have tensions clips on one side and you screw in on the other side. Very solid and snug fit for hard drives. This means you can fit a good 5 hard drives without any special setup. Since nothing comes in the flexbays, the slide down front cover is a little of a let down, not sure if I will ever have anything front acessible there. Maybe a fancy temperature monitor or fan speed controller someday.

- There are 6 SATA ports, however 1 is used up by the eSATA port on the rear of the machine that is soldered to the motherbaord, so you cannot disable it to free the extra port. This leaves 5 usable internal ports. So if you want 5 hard drives and 2 optical drives (which all fit physically), you will need another SATA controller with at least 2 ports on it.

- There is no floppy controller on the motherboard, so you would need a USB floppy or install a controller. I am trying to resist the completionist urge to put one in.

- Even with all the default connections hooked up, there are still 2 more USB 2-port headers open on the motherboard, so y ou can easily have 4 more USB ports or hook up devices in the flex bay or CD bay that use a motherboard USB connection.

- Would have liked a front-panel firewire connection, rear only, but its minor, I only seldomly hookup my video camera to record from it.

- The case is silent with the default PSU. Even on startup it seems to not spin up the fans at all. The Core i7 920 with the default air cooler is running ambiently at about 49 degrees C, and under load about 60 degrees C. Supposedly 68 degrees C is where you want to stop for this proc. I imagine the fans start kicking on when you get close to 68C, but I haven't been able to get this to happen yet.

- The case appears to be a standard ATX case. Someday when the guts are obselete, it will be nice to try swapping them out. Even the front panel connections all seem to have specific headers to the motherboard that appear very standard. The PWR/RESET/HD light are in a single header, which appears that it might be a standard pinout, but even if its not, the wires are obvious and splitting them to the smaller jumpers would be easy. There isnt a fancy logic board inside the front bezel that makes this difficult like in prior dells. The system really feels like a very high quality build it yourself. The case is really heavy duty, very smooth, the engineering and manufacturing is top notch. If I was still building my own PCs, I would definitely buy this case if it was sold as a empty case.

Hope this helps you. I am very pleased so far. As long as I can find a PSU that matches the physical dimensions of the original part, but also works with a battery backup, I will have no complaints.

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15 Replies
Chas_T
1 Nickel

Re: XPS 435T Observations and Answers (Power, Case, Misc)

Thank you for taking the time to share your findings about the 435T. As we have owned the same PC for about the same length of time, you answered some questions that I had, but haven't had the time to focus on finding the answers. Great information!!!

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dwlovell
2 Iron

Re: XPS 435T Observations and Answers (Power, Case, Misc)

Thanks for the reply Chas. Glad to be helpful.

I just got back from Fry's and it looks like there are no mainstream power supplys of the physical dimensions of the stock power supply.

Essentially all the mainstream ones are 150mm W x 86mm H (variable depth around 150mm).

The DELL PSU is 150mm W x 98mm H. So the gap in the case is about 150mmW x 12mmH.

Still looking online for a PSU that matches the stock dimensions.

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Chas_T
1 Nickel

Re: XPS 435T Observations and Answers (Power, Case, Misc)

You are welcome.. If you find a PS that fits your needs, it would be helpful to the community in case someone has the same goals are you. Personally, my gaming days are far and in between, so the stock power supply will suffice. However this turns out, the info would be an asset to someone. It always bugs me when these types of threads are initiated and if someone has discovered a silver bullet, it's always proactive to share the knowledge. Thanks again!!!

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dwlovell
2 Iron

Re: XPS 435T Observations and Answers (Power, Case, Misc)

No prob. Sadly the reason I needed to change the PSU was not for gaming, the stock PSU was fine for all my power needs. It just flips out when any affordable battery backup unit goes into battery powered mode (ie: when the power goes out).

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bklynlou
1 Nickel

Re: XPS 435T Observations and Answers (Power, Case, Misc)

hi.  has anyone found a psu that will fit this nicely?  or any psu that works and is secure, even if it doesnt fit perfectly?  i just bought a 435 that is being delivered in a week and i have an apc xs 900, so it seems im going to have the same problem with the apc not working with this machine.  also, i woldnt mind a better psu as then i could upgrade the video card to a better one.  thanks in advance for any help.

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Char435T
1 Nickel

Re: XPS 435T Observations and Answers (Power, Case, Misc)

Yup I found a Power Supply that will work, and it fits great and alot better than stock.

https://shop.pcpower.com/products/power_supplies/dell/

 

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cstocksd
1 Copper

Re: XPS 435T Observations and Answers (Power, Case, Misc)

Do you happen to have a graphic of the motherboard that shows the location of the 6 SATA ports?

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keithg2
3 Zinc

Re: XPS 435T Observations and Answers (Power, Case, Misc)

Check the System Board Components <ADMIN NOTE: Broken link has been removed from this post by Dell> of the Service Manual for the 5 SATA ports on the motherboard.

Studio XPS 435T/9000 (His)
Inspiron 1720 (Hers)
Inspiron 530s (Server)

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DarthSineWave
1 Copper

Re: XPS 435T Observations and Answers (Power, Case, Misc)

- This has been covered here before, but I will give a concise summary: The default 475 W PSU is apparently very sensitive to having a perfect sine wave, so normal battery backups will not operate in backup mode with this PSU. (ie: pull the plug or shutoff the breaker, and the system resets and will not turn on while in battery backup mode). This is NOT an issue of slow switching to battery as the system will not turn on while there is no wall power, even when any of the batteries are fully charged. DELL apparently recommends the server grade battery backups which will run you 300-500$. I installed a Corsair HX620 power supply and it does not have the same problem. The original DELL 475W PSU would not work with either a 750VA or 1300VA APC battery backup, whereas the Corsair HX620 worked with both, the larger one lasting 21 minutes before shutdown and the lesser one lasting about 13 minutes before shutdown. The only problem with the new PSU is the physical size not matching the case. (see next item)

- The PSU that comes from dell is larger than a default PSU. It is almost square from the rear of the PC, whereas the new Corsair HX620 is almost rectangular, This causes 2 of the 4 screws to not line up on the PSU. (still installs tightly). This also leaves a gap of about 5" x 1/2" below the power supply where air can flow freely in/out of the case. This is less than ideal because dust isnt being directed through filters, etc. (maybe doesnt matter). I am going to the store tonight to see if there are any 3rd party power supplies with this larger form factor.

Hope this helps you. I am very pleased so far. As long as I can find a PSU that matches the physical dimensions of the original part, but also works with a battery backup, I will have no complaints.

 

Hi dwlovell,

I know this post is about a year old, but it's really good stuff. Very helpful. I wish mainstream reviewers of PC's were as good as yours. This whole "sinewave UPS powersupply" issue is a MAJOR bummer and blows my mind. I've been wanting a new PC for many months now, but ever since I came across this sinewave issue, my purchase has been on hold. I am astounded that this isn't more widely talked about on the internets. I have a $60 APC UPS that has worked great, but to have to buy a new one for no less than about $250 is ludicrous. Even more ludicrous than that, is the fact that NO WHERE on the Dell page for the Studio XPS Studio 435/9000  is this requirement for a UPS mentioned.

Anyway, that's a deal breaker plain and simple. I really wanted a XPS 435/9000, but now I just don't know what to do. I guess just wait another several months or a year until a differnent model is out. I don't know. It sucks. Oh, and the idea of buying a new PC, and then imediately opening it up and replacing it with a new power supply sucks bigtime. The whole thing sucks. 

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