Question about Dell OptiPlex GX520 PC Desktop

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Want to Go HD but only have PCI Ex1 and PCI on Dell OptiplexGX520

Hello. Im looking to turn my Dell Optiplex GX520 into a multimedia PC
Running Windows 7 RC1

Pentium D 3.2Gig Dual Core CPU
4GB DDR2 Ram
350W Generic Power Supply
Currently Running XP Pro nicely

BTX Form Factor MB in Mini Tower

Its really not a bad pc apart from the lack of PCI Express x 16
It only has one PCI Ex1 and some regular PCI Slots.

Im looking to install a HDCP capable Video Card with HDMI output as well as a HDTV Tuner card and possibly a BluRay RRW to make this into a good home multimedia center.

Im thinking that it may pay to just dump everything and take the ram and CPU for a new ATX MB setup.
Would you suggest this as the best option.
Any advice would be really appreciated.

Cheers
Mathew

Posted by on

  • mathew_ja May 22, 2009

    Thanks Yomitako I appreciate that.Point taken on the PSU.



    I have just built another ATX pc running Intel E8400 3.0Ghz,

    its currently running a Palit 9400GT Card that is PCI EX 2.0 and HDCP Capable. it runs on regular MB power (does not need seperate power)



    This is the Card I am looking to use in the Dell Optiplex PC.



    Because this is BTX Format It would probably mean a new case wouldnt it? I like the dell case and would like to keep it if possible.

    What do you think



    Mathew

  • mathew_ja May 22, 2009

    Wow that would be great if it takes an ATX flipped upside down.

    Am I right in saying that its simply a matter of ensuring the cables can reach where they need to?

    Or would mounting the board be a possible issue as well?

    It sounds like I could buy an ATX MB and try my luck.

    If it doesnt work out then get a new case as plan B.

    Thanking You

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Yeah, I would certainly look into replacing the motherboard with something that has a PCI-E 16x slot so you can use a higher-end video card. I will forewarn you though, that the power supply will probably have to be replaced with it, as most, if not all, video cards that have HDMI out as an option, will need a little more juice to run (so look into getting something at least 520W rated, especially considering what else you plan on running in the computer, blu-ray included) I can't remember how the HDMI rules work on an ATI card, but I do know that if you get an nVidia card, for HDMI to carry both video and sound signals, it has to have at least the GT designator (ex GT, GTS or GTX). Hope this information helps you out, and happy hunting!!

Posted on May 22, 2009

  • Monty Lewis
    Monty Lewis May 22, 2009

    Well depending on how the chassis is made, you might be able to get away with flipping a regular ATX motherboard upside down (I've seen some BTX Gateway towers do that) and it basically becomes a BTX board...

  • Monty Lewis
    Monty Lewis May 22, 2009

    For sure, the main thing to look for too, is on a true BTX case, the expansion cards are still at the bottom of the case. Take a look at some HP towers that run a BTX form, the expansion slots sit near the top (thus denoting an upside down standard ATX board) If your Optiplex case has the expansions near the top, then you can most certainly get away with the flip. And of course making sure the cables and front LED jumpers can reach their respective spots on the board.

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