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I have an OptiPlex (Mini-Tower version) with these specs:

  • Intel® Core™ i7 Processor 860 / 2.80GHz, 8M
  • 8GB (4x2GB) NECC DDR3 1333MHz SDRAM Memory
  • 1 GB NVIDIA GeForce GT330, 1 DP & 1 DVI, 1 DP-DVI 1 dongle(Full Height)

The remaining specs are as detailed here.

I would like to upgrade the 1 GB NVIDIA GeForce GT330 to a NVIDIA GT 440. The specifications on Nvidia for the GT330 and the GT440 say they both need the same 300W PSU, so I'm guessing this shouldn't be a problem.

I'm wondering if I can simply replace the 330 with the 440? One issue is I can't upgrade the PSU for a higher end card because I hear Dell uses non-standard pin connectors. The other is the 440 is a dual-slot card whereas the 330 is single-slot. Not sure if space would be enough.

TIA.

NB: The main reason for this upgrade is for decent dual-monitor setup and some gaming.

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Is you PSU modular? Also, the link to your specs is broken please fix it. –  Nima Jun 20 '12 at 17:09
    
Fixed the link... not sure if it is modular. How do I find out? –  Jim Jun 20 '12 at 18:41
    
Can you detach cables from your psu? A modular psu would look like this: images.techtree.com/ttimages/story/112796_modular.jpg –  Nima Jun 20 '12 at 18:47
    
Just checked and the PSU is not modular... –  Jim Jun 26 '12 at 15:55

3 Answers 3

up vote 3 down vote accepted
+25

I would also agree that you should go ahead and do it. I have heard of Dell using custom pins to connect the PSU to the motherboard but all the other peripheral connectors should be standard.

Regardless, a separate power cable for the graphics card is not needed in smaller cards such as this one, and as @slafat01 pointed out the 440 requires less power as well so you can easily keep the same PSU.

Looking at your motherboard you have 2 PCI x16 slots. As long as you have a free x16 slot there should be no reason why you wouldn't be able to put in the new card.

As far as spacing goes I doubt you will have a problem because although the 440 is listed as a dual slot card it is quite small and should fit in quite comfortably.

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According to the specs, it appears that the 440 uses less graphics power than the 330 (65W vs. 75W, respectively), so I would say that you could swap them out as long as you have an open power cord on your power supply.

Also, the 440 does not require dual slots (look at the images of the 440... it's a single slot card). The interface on the 440 is a PCI-e 2.0 standard, where the 330 interface is a PCI-e (assuming 1.0). Luckily, the PCI-e 2.0 standard is backwards compatible with the PCI-e 1.0 standard.

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From my experience with dells, while the colour codes may be non standard at times most modern dells have had standard connectors. There were a few models that were around 2000 era which used a non standard PSU out, but not any more - dell started following the standard around 01. I've been able to swap the PSU on the dell mini tower i run for a standard one with no problems, and i've never heard of dell changing any other pin outs.

I WOULD note that on the dell 530 MT i was working on, the 4 pin processor power connector was a non standard colour code (IIRC brown and black, swapped it for a standard PSU later) but worked fine. The colours may NOT be standard so check what you have carefully when you do changes. I don't think fitting a 2 slot video card into a dell mini tower would be an issue either - working on them wasn't too bad other than the tight fit of the PSU. Assuming roughly similar physical dimentions, it should be a non issue unless a heatsink or other component is in the way .

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