Rebuilding Dell Dimension 4600

xthekidx

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Dec 24, 2008
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So my father-in-law's old dell just crapped out on him and he was going to toss it because he already has a new one, but I snagged for a little project (I'm bored and need something to do). I want to build a decent general home use PC out of it for my folks (they have a POS iMac G5 which is just awful); email, microsoft office, internet, music, movies, ect. Not much gaming. I will reuse the case, optical drives and the case fan, all the other stuff is junk. Its a microATX form factor case, like 7.25" wide I think. I just want to keep it pretty cheap ~$400 give or take $50 or so, cheaper is better.

Here is what I'm thinking of doing:

E5300 and Gigabyte G31 mATX mobo
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?ItemList=Combo.181197

Corsair 400cx
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817139008

Corsair 4gb DDR2 800 ram
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820145184

2x IDE to Sata converters for the optical drives (I might just get a new optical, haven't decided yet, the drives are pretty good still) and use the other IDE port on the mobo for the other optical (its got 1 cd drive, 1dvd drive and a floppy)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16812232004

HDD: WD3200AAKS+Free sata cable
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?ItemList=Combo.175879

Scythe slipstream fan (cuz the case only comes with 1, if you got a better cheaper one that is fairly quiet let me know)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835185058

Saphire 4670 (might just use onboard video, but I might want to play a game or two when I visit so idk)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814102820

Windows XP (probably just find a license on craigslist somewhere, not included in price)

And I want a decent lower profile HSF so I can OC the CPU a bit >3ghz, need suggestions here. I was thinking maybe something like this, though it might be a bit too big. $45 dollars seems fairly reasonable though.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835118019

Total ATM is $403 with shipping, not including a HSF

I'm thinking I did pretty well for the money, but if you guys know of any better deals let me know. The E5300 is only $10 more than the E5200, so I went with that but I might just back it down since I probably don't need the x13 multiplier. Anyone have an idea of how well that mobo will OC? Reviews look promising on newegg.

Here is a link to the specs of the Dimension 4600: http://reviews.cnet.com/desktops/dell-dimension-4600-pentium/4507-3118_7-30529709.html?tag=mncol;rnav
Can you believe this thing was one of the better offerings back then? lol it was so slow before it pooped out.
 

Look's interesting, but why not just get a 2 connector IDE cable and save a few more bucks ?
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Productcompare.aspx?Submit=ENE&N=2010010001%20117752968&bop=And&CompareItemList=N82E16812123154%2CN82E16812123155
 
If you're looking for a good low profile cooler I would check out this one:

ZALMAN CNPS8700 2 Ball CPU Cooler - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835118030 $47.99

That should be plenty for the overclock you have in mind. I recently built my parents a computer using the E5200. The chip easily overclocked to 3.4GHz with only 1.2v in the BIOS. I just used the stock cooler from an E6420 and the temps are pretty good.

You shouldn't need the IDE to SATA converter since two IDE devices will work on one IDE port. The motherboard has a separate FDD port located on the bottom edge (right side in the picture) for the floppy drive.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ShowImage.aspx?CurImage=13-128-357-S03&ISList=13-128-357-S01%2c13-128-357-S02%2c13-128-357-S03%2c13-128-357-S04%2c13-128-357-S05&S7ImageFlag=1&Item=N82E16813128357&Depa=0&WaterMark=1&Description=GIGABYTE%20GA-G31M-ES2L%20Micro%20ATX%20Intel%20Motherboard%20-%20Retail
 

xthekidx

Splendid
Dec 24, 2008
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Sweet, I didn't know they made round IDE cables.
 

xthekidx

Splendid
Dec 24, 2008
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Looks pretty good, although now that I think about it I probably don't need that good of a HSF...ehh why not, I should be able to take it to pretty high levels with that thing if I want.

Duh...brain fart. Thanks.
 
I don't know if the extra .5x multiplier is worth $10 between the E5200 and E5300. The E5x00 series won't do a very high FSB, but I ended up setting my parents E5200 at a 10x multiplier and 340 FSB instead of 12.5x @ 272 FSB. It would have got me the same CPU speed, but I'm a fan of getting the highest FSB possible even if it means lowering the multiplier.
 

Nik_I

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Oct 12, 2007
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you might want to invest in a new case. i have a dimension 4600 and i planned on upgrading the motherboard so i could get a new cpu and ram, but i gave up on that when i found out that the case uses a proprietary front panel connector. you may be able to manually re-wire it, but i have no idea how.
 

xthekidx

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Dec 24, 2008
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Hmm well thats good to know I guess. I will try to make it work but if not then I will Pick up a cheap rosewill
 

It's not difficult to make it work.
I'm pretty sure the connector on the 4600 the same as the 1 on the 4700, I'm using one of them to power up a bench system, simply remove the brown jumper wire from the Dell header and plug it in.
There's no reset switch, but it's something you live with when doing that kind of modding.
 

xthekidx

Splendid
Dec 24, 2008
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So I am done building, it went without a hitch, just did a basic rebuild for now. Currently formatting the HDD. I got the Gigabyte G31 MB and E5200, WD3200AAKS, Corsair ram, Corsair 400cx PSU and Round IDE cable. Unfortunately I just eyeballed the vents and figured a 120mm fan would fit, but was mistaken so I had to order a couple 80mm fans, just using the stock HSF for now with the side of the case off. I might just make due with the integrated graphics for now and wait for the HD 47xx cards to come out before I get a discrete GPU (I will either get a 4750 or a 4830 if the price drops on those when the 47xx cards are released). The Zalman CNPS9500 looks like it will fit alright so I might get one of those when I decide to OC it, they are cheaper than the CNPS8700 cooler suggested by shortstuff and I think they cool better.

Any other suggestions for decent cheap coolers (preferably with a mounting bracket) that aren't too tall (lets shoot for 130mm or smaller)?
 

xthekidx

Splendid
Dec 24, 2008
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Didn't have to rewire anything, the power switch plugged right into the MB and is working just fine :)
 

That's good to know, I pulled the jumper wire just because I thought it would cause an issue.
 

xthekidx

Splendid
Dec 24, 2008
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So here is what I ended up doing (in case anyone is intersted):
MB: GIGABYTE GA-G31M-ES2L LGA 775 Intel G31 Micro ATX Intel Motherboard
CPU: E5200 (will OC probably around 3.4ghz)
Cooler: COOLER MASTER GeminII S RR-CCH-PBU1-GP 120mm Sleeve CPU Cooler (Frosty tech's #1 LP cooler, I found it for $20 locally)
HDD: WD3200AAKS WD 320GB Caviar Blue
Ram: Corsair XMS2 DDR2-800 4gb
Case fans: 2x Masscool 80mm Case Fan (cheap and fairly quiet)
GPU: XFX GeForce 9600 GSO 1GB (came with two free games that I was going to go buy anyways, GPU itself ended up costing like $15, plus I needed a single slot GPU)
PSU: Corsair 400CX

I'll put up some pics when I get the time to mount the cooler and overclock.

I was able to reuse the old XP license that came with the PC (don't know how...) by just using the reinstall disks and then Microsoft activated over the phone. I am pretty sure you aren't supposed to be able to use OEM licenses on new PC's, but hey I'm not going to complain.
 

AKM880

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Apr 16, 2009
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This is sweet, I would want to put my Dell into a better case but surrently thats not possible unless I make my own lol. I dislike the BTX form factor very much :(
 

joefriday

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Feb 24, 2006
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nice build. I was using a 4600 case to house my K6-2 rig about a year ago, until I sold all my Dell cases just a couple months ago. I'm guessing you probably didn't attempt to hook up the front headphone jack? For plug and play operation it takes an old Turtle Beach sound card.

Still not exactly sure why you ended up switching out the old Northwood P4 setup though. I mean, if it still worked, it was probably good enough to do what your folks were going to need it for.
 

xthekidx

Splendid
Dec 24, 2008
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The old PSU ate the MB and it wasn't worth trying to find a new MB for it, so I just did a complete overhaul. I was able to connect the front audio jack, it had an old Sound Blaster Audigy sound card that I reused, since its a little better than the onboard sound and the front audio jack cable is only long enough to reach if you use a sound card...the front audio connection on the MB was at the back of the case and the cable wouldn't have reached.
 

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