[SOLVED] Upgrading T3500 - Need Advice

Dec 6, 2021
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Hello everyone,

I'm considering upgrading my Dell Precision T3500. My PC has the below specs currently:

Motherboard: DELL 0XPDFK
BIOS: Phoenix ROM BIOS PLUS V. 1.10 A17
Processor: Intel Xeon W3550 3.07GHz 8CPUs
RAM: 16GB
GPU: Quadro 4000
HDD: HITACHI 2TB SSD

My core purpose is video editing and rendering. I would really appreciate it if someone can recommend a better Processor, SSD (2TB), GPU and RAM for the same purposes. Also, if you can share the budget of this upgrade, so I can have an idea of how much is that gonna run me around.

Appreciate all the responses in advance.
 

Karadjgne

Titan
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It's a Dell. That said, don't bother assuming a worst case scenario, it already exists. Dell is highly proprietary, including cases, and especially motherboards and psus, even to the point they can and do use differently wired 4pin PWM fan headers, making cpu cooler upgrades semi-impossible.

It's a Dell. Plan on selling it complete to whomever will buy it, but plan also on Replacement not Upgrade. Whether that means buying another pre-built, a custom built, or build it yourself piecemeal.
 
Do you want to rebuild into that Dell case with the original Dell power supply?

Or something else?

Most would tell you to get a new case and start over, replacing all parts if the PC is say 5 years old.

I have no idea about the power of that Xeon you now have. It could be recent or 10 years old and weak. I dunno.

Where are you and where will you be buying the parts?
 
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Dec 6, 2021
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TBH Me neither (lol) but it should be the older power supply, I bought the PC about 3-4 years ago.

and I am trying to build the PC within the same case since I am on a tight budget but I am willing to change the power supply as well.

BUT I don't have any idea about what's going to FIT and what's not going to FIT in the same case.
 
Yeah, Dells can be peculiar.

I would NOT assume that whatever cables and connectors that are part of the original Dell, particularly power supply stuff, would connect properly to a new motherboard.

Maybe yes, maybe no, but I'd be spooked and inclined to get a new case unless you have absolute confirmation of no problems.

You might check Dell forums?

Look here for your CPU horsepower.

https://www.cpubenchmark.net/cpu.php?cpu=Intel+Xeon+W3550+@+3.07GHz&id=1269


3152 score is quite puny. That CPU has 4 cores and was introduced in 2009.

By comparison, I just checked a new desktop which has an Intel i-3 10100 CPU. It scores 8828.

https://www.cpubenchmark.net/cpu.php?cpu=Intel+Core+i3-10100+@+3.60GHz&id=3717

You can get an entirely new setup with that CPU for about 300 on up; with Windows, no monitor.

https://www.newegg.com/p/pl?N=100019096 601351275&Order=1

Might be better than buying individual replacement parts for your Dell.

It's pretty tough to save money by rebuilding at home rather than buying pre-built at low price points.

If you are willing to spend say 700 or so, maybe you build your own.
 
Reactions: shahzadshahab
Dec 6, 2021
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Hello there, thanks for your response.

I actually bought my T3500 from Newegg and the PCs that I am looking at right now are all over $1K. My max budget for this rebuild is around $500-700

I would honestly like to buy something with the below specs:

1- i5 11Gen (for obvious reasons)
2- 32GB Ram (Rendering of videos depends on RAM)
3- Nvidia GeForce GTX 2080
4- 2TB SSD (Because of 4K videos)

Anything else that goes with supporting the above hardware like power supply BUT my pockets are just too tight. Been waiting for buying a new one but the bills are just too much!

So decided to forward with the upgrade route, didn't research much since I am a designer but don't really have enough experience on the hardware side.
 

lordorwell

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Oct 1, 2016
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I had that exact same computer. It's unfortunately old enough the best processor you can get for it is a 4th gen i7, and it won't be overclockable. You can however put tons of ram in it. I had 24gb in mine. It's fast enough to play most games but you can replace the motherboard and ram and processor with ryzen and get a huge speed boost. The power supply is standard and more importantly, 500 watt. If that' s not powerful enough fo ryou, you can upgrade to a 800 watt model cheaply by buying the power supply for a t-5500. Your absolute cheapest option for tons of cores is to buy a used t-5500 from ebay. You can get them with 12 cores and up to 48gb of ram. It's really fast for ddr3 since it's triple-channel.
 

Karadjgne

Titan
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It's a Dell. That said, don't bother assuming a worst case scenario, it already exists. Dell is highly proprietary, including cases, and especially motherboards and psus, even to the point they can and do use differently wired 4pin PWM fan headers, making cpu cooler upgrades semi-impossible.

It's a Dell. Plan on selling it complete to whomever will buy it, but plan also on Replacement not Upgrade. Whether that means buying another pre-built, a custom built, or build it yourself piecemeal.
 
The Dell T3500 is pretty good as long as you don't need CPU AVX support.
3 channel DDR3 1333 can keep up fairly well, and 48GB capacity is good also.
Fastest clock speed is a Xeon X5687 4c/8t CPU. 3.6GHz/3.86GHz turbo.
But there are some unlocked 6c/12t Xeons W3680/3690 that can be overclocked even faster.
They're popular here.
And here.

BTW 16GB is not a proper 3 channel RAM setup.
 
It's a quad core from 2009...(alas, 'hyperthreaded' is not the same as '8 CPUs')

I doubt you are going to find many compatible CPUs that will be supported within Dell's BIOS and/or cooling/power constraints...

WIth many refurbished servers from 3-4 years ago often available for $200-$300 or so, I'd start there in my upgrades...
 

Karadjgne

Titan
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It's not the hardware individually. It's the software and user demands that render a platform obsolete. Ppl just don't want to babysit a 5 hr long render of a 4k video (if the cpu will even support the codecs and encryption) when any modern cpu will do the same in 20 minutes or less.

DDR3 1333MHz might be ok, in a dual/quad channel setup, but was a disaster in tri channel. In dual channel, the ram is run in parallel, bandwidth doubled. In tri channel, the ram is run in series, sequentially. You end up with 24Gb of single channel ram basically.

Why do you think it died after a few short years, it was going nowhere
 

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