Overclocking the Dell Vostro 200

Discussion in 'CPUs and Overclocking' started by Zap, Nov 28, 2007.

  1. Zap

    Zap Elite Member

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    STAGE 1

    It all started with this thread regarding a hot deal on a Dell Vostro 200.

    $419
    $29.05 tax
    $FREE shipping
    = $448.05 shipped cost

    Dell Vostro 200 mini tower (NOT the slim version)
    Pentium Dual Core E2140
    CPU fan/heatsink this one looks identical
    1GB RAM (two 512MB DDR2-667)
    G33 chipset board (Foxconn G33M02 minus the PS/2 ports)
    SATA DVDROM drive
    SATA 80GB HDD
    nice mini tower case (probably made by Foxconn) 2x 5¼" optical, 2x 3½" HDD, 1x 3½" FDD, 92mm exhaust, really nice airflow characteristics
    Bestec 300W PSU, 18A on +12v, has 24 pin motherboard, 4 pin +12v, one FDD and four SATA... NO MOLEX

    STAGE 2

    I had a Celeron 420 (Conroe-L core) that defaults to 1.6GHz on an 800MHz FSB. I "pretested" it on an overclockable motherboard at 2.66GHz on default voltage and it runs Prime95 just fine.

    Time for a BSEL mod!

    picture of results

    I used a small piece of aluminum foil, cut to size, then taped on. It worked! Well, depending... my Abit IP35-E still detected it at 1.6GHz and my ASRock ConRoe1333-DVI/H also still detected it at 1.6GHz which was really strange as I thought it would definately work. However, my Biostar TForce P965 detected it at 2.13GHz so...

    The Dell detected it at 2.13GHz. Success!

    STAGE 3

    Time to push my luck.

    picture of results

    Using "heavy duty" aluminum foil this time, I layered a piece over the original, with tape between them to insulate from each other (actually two layers). If you look closely, you can see that the top "leg" of the original layer tore a little bit, but it was hanging on by a hair!

    The Dell detected it at 2.66GHz. Success!

    picture of CPU-Z, etc.

    Running Prime95, the power usage from the wall bounced between... 70W and 71W, as measured by my Seasonic Power Angel. I think there's plenty of juice left over for a PCI-E video card. :D
     
  2. Avalon

    Avalon Diamond Member

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    Not bad, but couldn't you build your own similar rig for $300 shipped?
    Don't get me wrong, I love your work :)
     
  3. Spikesoldier

    Spikesoldier Diamond Member

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    i have a feeling that if you bsel'ed the e2140 even to 1066 it would slap that celeron around
     
  4. VirtualLarry

    VirtualLarry Lifer

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    I don't see how those Vostro computers are a deal. TigerDirect has a E4300 system with 1GB DDR2, 320GB SATA, DVD-RW DL, refurb, for $329. Gateway.

    Edit: I take that back, after reading the linked thread, it seems that the Vostro comes with a 19" LCD, that makes it a much better deal.
     
  5. bryanW1995

    bryanW1995 Lifer

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    I've never seen bsel before. I see HOW you did it, just why those particular ones? Also, why didn't you just do it to the e2140 as spikesoldier mentioned?
     
  6. Zap

    Zap Elite Member

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    Newegg "shipped" pricing from memory (and rounded):
    E2140 $75
    G33 board $85
    1GB RAM $30
    80GB SATA $40
    SATA DVDROM $25
    cheap Foxconn case/PSU $60
    Windows XP Home $95
    20" widescreen $200
    = $610 shipped

    $300 shipped would be not including monitor and Windows. Heck, I didn't even include the mouse/keyboard ($25?). Also, I've used those cheap cases in builds and they aren't as quiet and don't have as good airflow, plus IMO the Dell PSU is better.

    Single core 2.66Ghz or dual core 2.13GHz? Performance results will HIGHLY depend on whether application is multithreaded (and how well it is).

    I got mine with a 20" widescreen for $20 more, or $419 (plus tax).

    1) I wouldn't want to waste my time with the mod until I have "pretested" the CPU at higher speeds on default Vcore using an overclockable board. That Celeron was already tested at those speeds. The E2140 was unknown.

    2) I may have another use for the E2140. The Celeron was a spare.

    3) The "cheap bastard" in me really likes the idea of using a $35 processor. I could have just as easily used the $99 E4500 chip that I got from Micro Center, but $35 < $99. :D

    4) After I'm done playing with it, I can probably sell it locally as a super cheap computer.

    Incidentally I have a local buyer for my 20" widescreen at $230 (IIRC Dell wants $299 for just the monitor), so minus the monitor my cost is $218.05 on the tower. Minus the cost difference between the processors ($40) and I'm at basically a $180 computer with a legit Windows XP. Not that I needed one... I now have... 15 legit copies of Windows XP in the household and I don't even have that many computers. :eek: Windows Vista? Zero. :laugh: (Had one on a notebook I bought, but sold the notebook.)
     
  7. Avalon

    Avalon Diamond Member

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    Ahh, didn't know you got a 20" widescreen with it. Good deal then.

    I could still do that system for $300 even after purchasing another copy of Windows XP if I looked around froogle, though :p
    But your deal would be better after selling the monitor.

    So, do you have any plans to BSEL the E2140? Can you BSEL it to 1333FSB?
     
  8. Zap

    Zap Elite Member

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    Yeah, I have so much stuff from hot deals that I could do an uber cheap system too, but this one was just... easy. Plus yeah, after selling the monitor for $230 and taking out the value of the CPU... $180 system with Windows XP.

    Yes the E2140 can be BSEL modded to 1066 or 1333. Will I? Well, I'm going to pre-test it on another board at 1333 default Vcore and see if it works. Whether it goes back into the Dell, I don't know. Depends on what I end up selling, I guess.

    I'm also playing with the idea of putting my Radeon 2600XT into it (factory overclocked with GDDR4, 850MHz core, 2300MHz memory). It is the fastest video card I have that doesn't need a PCI-E connector, and I got a good deal for it. I'd basically end up with a $300 budget gaming rig that's overclocked.
     
  9. ScrapSilicon

    ScrapSilicon Lifer

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  10. imported_Gangrene

    imported_Gangrene Junior Member

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    Hey guys,

    I used to build all my sytems too, until I realized that it didn't add up anymore.

    I have a full-on 8-machine LAN gaming thing going in my basement, each a Dell E521 (similar to the Vostro), AMD X2 4000+ with a 7900gs card. The guys who come and play have never complained, and the machines never fail. I had to buy a PCI power adaptor cable for each machine, but nothing other than that.

    You can see my lan here: http://www.bunkerguts.com/blog/?page_id=19
    And my realization that at this time in my life, it is just easier to buy a system and deal: http://www.bunkerguts.com/blog/?p=31
    And what the parties are like, with vids of the lan in action:
    http://www.bunkerguts.com/blog/?cat=18

    In the old days I would always recommend building, but I can't anymore. The only shame of it is, that when I _was_ building, there was no such thing as Newegg. I would have loved the egg back in the day.
     
  11. RIFLEMAN007

    RIFLEMAN007 Golden Member

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    overclocking dell ftw
     
  12. Zap

    Zap Elite Member

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    Gangrene, nice setup!
     
  13. Denithor

    Denithor Diamond Member

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    And here I always thought the Dells were totally un-overclockable.

    Just goes to show...a cheapass can find a workaround and get some real value out of even a Dell.
    (I might have to do that myself one of these days...:D)
     
  14. tcsenter

    tcsenter Lifer

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    Sure, after spending several hours sifting through hot deal posts, browsing online for specials, comparing a half dozen configurations with shipping in your shopping cart and discarding five of them, and don't forget to send off your rebates (figure another hour of filling out forms and making copies). And you still would not be able to match this in every respect, namely the chassis.

    I don't understand how the big OEMs can afford to use their chassis in such cheap computers. Or rather, why you can't touch ATX Mini Towers that are comparably well designed and manufactured as those used by the big OEMs for less than $60 sans the PSU. Good ATX Mini Towers defy a certain logic WRT the vast selection of Mid Towers by being smaller, lighter, less raw materials...more expensive!

    I have just decided to scavenge for and even purchase used Gateway/eMachines, HP/CPQ, and other OEM Mini Towers that would otherwise be disposed of or collect dust in someone's garage rather than buying aftermarket cases.
     
  15. Zap

    Zap Elite Member

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    I resemble that remark. :D

    I had gotten mine with FREE shipping, which made it a fairly hot deal. Without it, the deal is barely warm. But yeah, it is a "sure thing" without having to hunt for deals and hassle with rebates.
     
  16. BladeVenom

    BladeVenom Lifer

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    Here's a Vostro with the E2140 and 19" monitor for $429. It has 2GB of memory. If anyone wants to go for it. Or buy 8 and do a set up like Gangrene's.
     
  17. nyker96

    nyker96 Diamond Member

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    I'm always amazed at how OEM people are amazed at OCing OEM machines, I take it it's quite difficult. COngrads!
     
  18. tcsenter

    tcsenter Lifer

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    Well this is an unconventional overclock in that the motherboard isn't being made to do anything it isn't supposed to do, only the processor. 1066MHz and 1333MHz processor options are available on Vostro 200 with this motherboard. BSEL mods that trick the motherboard into using a different (but supported) bus probably would work on a lot more OEM boards than we know, and conversely don't work on many retail boards.

    Most full-featured retail boards don't allow the processor FSB/DRAM strap to be explicitly selected in BIOS by the user, only the actual clock frequency within the FSB/DRAM strap configured by the processor.
     
  19. mageslayer

    mageslayer Senior member

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    Links aren't working

    Secondly, can a BSEL mod be applied to on a e6400 in a p965/g965 dell board
    Details about my setup here

    All help appreciated
     
  20. sutahz

    sutahz Golden Member

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    Dude, I got a dell, AND OC'd it!
     
  21. Avalon

    Avalon Diamond Member

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    Uhh...no?

    It may take you several hours to shop around, but it took me 20 minutes to purchase $250 worth of parts for a fairly close system without OS for my parents last month. No rebates.

    Not sure why you're attacking my post, as I already conceded Zap got the far better deal with the 20" monitor thrown in. Read the rest of the thread before posting maybe? You seem to have a huge ongoing problem with that.
     
  22. mageslayer

    mageslayer Senior member

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    Help me now here
     
  23. mikefxu

    mikefxu Junior Member

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    We have two of these systems we purchased for work recently. I just did the BSEL mod on one of the machines (mine) from 200mhz FSB to 266mhz FSB. E2140 1.6Ghz to 2.128Ghz. I just started stress testing it with OCCT and if it checks out for 24hrs I will BSEL it to 333mhz FSB for a clock speed of 2.664Ghz tomorrow night. Then on to the next machine. I will keep you all updated.
     
  24. Zap

    Zap Elite Member

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    Modding work machines = hardcore!
     
  25. mikefxu

    mikefxu Junior Member

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    Went ahead and bumped it up to 333mhz FSB so 2.664Ghz clock speed. Running 2 instances of prime95, priority 10, in-place large FFTs (maximum head, power consumption, some RAM tested). Using RightMark CPU Clock Utility to see if throttling is taking place, no yet, SpeedFan to get the RPM speed on the fans, it is loud right now at max load jumped up to 4,500RPM, temps are staying around 125F on both cores according to: RightMark, SpeedFan, and CoreTemp. I will run this throughout the day and overnight run OCCT to check stability.