Dell XPS 8000 Series Upgrade FAQ/Q&A (8300/8500/8700/8900)

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Power Supplies Dell CPUs Dell Studio Xps Motherboards Graphics Cards
voiidwulf
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Welcome to my Dell XPS 8000 series upgrade/maintenance guide. I have owned an XPS 8500 since August 2012 and have since upgraded almost every component other than the motherboard, CPU and RAM. What puts me in a useful position compared to a normal PC builder is that each upgrade was done individually and a few months apart so I experienced a lot of difficulties that would have been easy to solve if I had known about them in advance.

On this page I am simply going to list basic tips but I am posting this mostly so it will appear in search results and stuff so people can message me if they are unsure of something. I will bold anything I think people might be particularly interested in.

First of all, here is a comparison between how my XPS 8500 was originally equipped and how it is now:

Original:
Intel Core i7 3770 3.4GHz
AMD Radeon HD 7870 2GB
16GB DDR3 1600mhz
2TB 7200RPM HDD
32GB SSD (Intel Smart Response Technology Caching) (mSATA rather)
Dell XPS 8500 Case (white)
Dell OEM PSU (460W)

Now:
Intel Core i7 3770 3.4GHz
AMD Radeon HD 7970 3GB
16GB DDR3 1600MHz
2TB 7200RPM HDD
240GB SSD
500GB HDD
32GB SSD
NZXT S340 Razer Edition Case
Thermaltake Smart 750W PSU

As you can see there have been some slight changes. Now, onto the information.

PSU
The stock Dell PSU is actually decent for a prebuilt component. It has 32A on the 12V rails which is enough to run almost any single Nvidia card and a lot of AMD cards.
The PSU has the following connectors:
24 pin mobo connector
4 pin CPU connector
4x SATA connectors (all on a single cord)
2x 6 pin PCI-e connectors (only 6 pin, both on the same cord)

Not a lot, but more than enough for a basic build. Notably of absence are 8 pin PCI-e connectors so a lot of video cards will be incompatible with the PSU.

Also, the computer's case is very small so the cords are short. The PSU will likely not reach all the components in a larger case if you were to upgrade.

I upgraded the PSU while still using the Dell case. First I put in a Corsair CX600 and it fit perfectly but was DOA so I returned it. I then got the Thermaltake Smart 750W and it worked perfectly but did not fit in the case. I had to have it sitting on top of the computer with all the wires going in through where the PSU would normally be. I guess the Dell case is slightly below ATX spec or something so be careful what PSU you try to stick in it.

Case
The stock case is rather small but can actually accommodate an 11" or so card such as the 7870. There is a stupid black bracket covering the power connectors on top of the GPU but it is easily removed via the two screws on top.

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It's 2:00 AM and I wanna go to bed but I'll keep working on this and add pictures soon. If you have questions message me and I'll get an email notification. Even if it's like 2019 or something I'll probably still be able to respond.