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TheRoots
Bronze

Looking to upgrade the Graphics Card in my Dell XPS 8900 to EVGA GeForce GTX 960.

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I have a Dell XPS 8900 Special Edition that I purchased a couple months ago. I would like to upgrade the OEM GeForce GTX 745 that it came with to a EVGA GTX 960.

I have the Dell XPS 8900 (i7-6700k processor), 32gb memory, 2tb HDD + 32gb m.2 SSD cache, Dell UP2516D monitor, and Windows 10 Pro. I will be adding a second Dell UP2516D monitor soon and later will add an SSD and move the OS and applications to that.

My needs aren't gaming. Primarily I do business applications (MS-Office, including Access and Project), finance and investing, and a lot of photo and video editing.  The photo editing software will use the GPU if I upgrade.

EVGA suggested either of the following, based on what would fit:

http://www.evga.com/Products/Product.aspx?pn=04G-P4-1961-KR

http://www.evga.com/Products/Product.aspx?pn=04G-P4-3963-KR

These cards are almost identical except;

#1 is 6.8" long, has 1 BIOS, 1 fan, and uses 128 watts for $160

#2 is 10.1" long, has 2 BIOS, 2 fans, and uses 160 watts for $170

I thought I would replace the graphics card myself, but once I opened the case, I wondered if either card will even fit.  I've seen that other people have swapped out their graphics card, so it must be possible.

When I look in my case, the existing graphics card is a single slot.  Both of these cards are dual slot.  Also, it looks like there are some transistors right next to the existing card.  When you install a dual slot card, does the new card just straddle the transistors underneath?

Lastly, given these two cards and the XPS 8900 case, is it possible to put the longer card in?  Is it worth the extra $10 gain an extra BIOS and fan, at the expense of a longer card and 12 watts?

Any help or thoughts are greatly appreciated, thanks.

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10 Replies
speedstep
Diamond

RE: Looking to upgrade the Graphics Card in my Dell XPS 8900 to EVGA GeForce GTX 960.

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The longer card will fit.  HOWEVER the USB 3 cable is VERY VERY VERY VERY VERY VERY SHORT and must be removed and routed underneath the long card.  The shorter card would be easier to fit.



 


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TheRoots
Bronze

RE: Looking to upgrade the Graphics Card in my Dell XPS 8900 to EVGA GeForce GTX 960.

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Speedstep, thanks for the help.

When I look in my case, the existing graphics card is a single slot.  Both of these cards are dual slot.  The question/concern I have, is that it looks like there are some transistors right next to the existing card.  When you install a dual slot card, does the new card just straddle the transistors underneath?  You might be able to see them better with the bottom photo.  It seems like the transistors would be under the right side of the video card.

I'm not much of a hardware person, so I just want to make sure I don't get in over my head trying to install this.  Or wasting my money on a card that won't fit.  I'd rather not trust my local BestBuy store either to install this because I've had serious problems with that before too.  Thanks again.

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Dan-H
Platinum

RE: Looking to upgrade the Graphics Card in my Dell XPS 8900 to EVGA GeForce GTX 960.

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The dual cards fit without any issue. Many have upgraded their XPS 8900 and 8700s with cards that need two slots of width. 

I prefer the dual fan models as they run cooler. They have a larger heat sink and with the relatively low heat generated by the GTX 960, some are silent at idle because the fans don't run at all.

For example, my Son's MSI GTX 970 fan only spins above a certain temp which only happens while gaming. Perhaps the EVGA card does the same thing. It is nice to have a quiet system at idle.

As far as fit, the MSI GTX 970 Gaming 4G Card Dimensions are (mm) 277 x 140 x 35. Length and height are tight but it fits without cutting. 

Also, as speedstep noted you must run the SATA cables under the card. I replaced the SATA cables with longer cables so they route toward the front of the case, and then under the graphics card and up. 

This thread has lots of different cards people have added. ( link is to page 26 ) and about halfway down is my son's system with the MSI GTX 970 which (I think) is slightly taller than the EVGA 960 you listed.  It also shows the case mod to add a front fan.

en.community.dell.com/.../19611037

Dan-H
Platinum

RE: Looking to upgrade the Graphics Card in my Dell XPS 8900 to EVGA GeForce GTX 960.

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HOWEVER the USB 3 cable is VERY VERY VERY VERY VERY VERY SHORT

I think this was just a typo, and you and meant SATA 3, but yes the factory SATA cables are very short. I've replaced mine with 18 inch cables which are much easier to work with.

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Dan-H
Platinum

RE: Looking to upgrade the Graphics Card in my Dell XPS 8900 to EVGA GeForce GTX 960.

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EVGA 04G-P4-3963-KR

Height: 4.376in - 111.15mm

Length: 10.1in - 256.5mm

it is not as long nor as tall as the one in my Son's system.

Also, if you are using the stock power supply, you'll need to use ( what looks like is included )  a power adapter cable to combine the two PCIe 6 pin connectors into a single 8 pin which the graphics card needs.

Anyway, that card should be a great improvement and with the three DVI out you can easily run two of the ultrasharps you have for the non-gaming uses you described.

Pls Post pics and let us know how it goes.

ChefBoiRC
Copper

RE: Looking to upgrade the Graphics Card in my Dell XPS 8900 to EVGA GeForce GTX 960.

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Hey, sorry I am new here, not sure how to send a PM. But I recently purchased an XPS 8900. You seem really knowledgeable about installing a CPU. I am having trouble with the full size GPUs, particularly with the cable that is above the SATA connecters. I still have the stock GT 730, but I have an R9 270 that I recently installed temporarily. But that was somewhat of a tight fit because the cable with right about the SATA ones (I think it is the one to the power button and top USB ports) is kind of short and I had to really squeeze it into there.

When you installed the bigger longer cards like in the link where you installed a GTX 970, how did you remedy that?

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ChefBoiRC
Copper

RE: Looking to upgrade the Graphics Card in my Dell XPS 8900 to EVGA GeForce GTX 960.

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Particularly in here: en.community.dell.com/.../20160811_5F00_163656.jpg

The picture posted above, next to the M.2 slot and above the blue SATA port is the bigger longer port with the cable to it. How did you guys take care of the cable so that it does not get in the way of a larger GPU?

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Dan-H
Platinum

RE: Looking to upgrade the Graphics Card in my Dell XPS 8900 to EVGA GeForce GTX 960.

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posting questions here is better than PM because it may help someone later.

Here is a pic of one of the 8700s with a GTX 970 ( and a cryorig H7 cpu cooler )

After the GT 730 is removed, a larger card takes up two PCI slots. One slot is the same as the GT 730, and the slot below it.

The SATA ports further down on the Motherboard so a SATA cable with a straight connector will clear the front of the card.

I have the cables come forward towards the open part of the case and loop back behind the card. I route them underneath the graphics card and between the front of the case and the MoBo.

In the pic below, there are three SATA cables. Two red, one black. One red SATA cable goes to the HD mounted in HD2 position. The other red SATA cable goes to the SSD mounted in the lower optical drive bay, and a black SATA cable goes up to the DVDRW. 

I hope this makes sense. The machine is in a different location now so I can't take a better picture.

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ChefBoiRC
Copper

RE: Looking to upgrade the Graphics Card in my Dell XPS 8900 to EVGA GeForce GTX 960.

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What about the USB 3 front Cable adapter, the one with the small metal pins, at least on my XPS 8900, is it a blue connector and black cable? I don;t see it in the pic you posted, but looking at the graphics card size, you wouldnt be able to connect it?

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