Memory upgrades and limitations ¶
The system uses DDR2, and can take 667MHz or 800MHz memory. 800MHz memory is recommended.
The RAM limitation information available varies. Dell says it can only take 4GB, but testing has shown systems with the G33M03 motherboard can accept 8GB of RAM with the latest BIOS. The 8GB BIOS bump does not work on the G33M02 motherboard.
It should be noted 8GB of DDR2 is very unlikely to be cost effective. It can be done but the cost needs to be weighed first.
Processor Upgrades ¶
Important: This system uses 2 different motherboards. The boards appear similar, but have a cricual difference that will limit their processor upgrade headroom.
The difference between the G33M02 and M03 is in the CPU VRM, at least for processor upgrades. The G33M03 has all of the VRM components installed, while the M02 does not. The M02 only has 9/11 of the VRM components, so even with a custom BIOS the Core 2 Quad would never work because of this.
This is why the M03 takes it. This board has all 11 VRM components installed, so the board can handle it.
- The maximum processor on the G33M02 is the E8600. This is due to the motherboard missing VRM hardware.
- The G33M03 can take a Core 2 Quad processor, and supports the 45nm versions. The maximum processor it should support in theory is the Q9650.
- Both the M02 and M03 board accept Celeron/Pentium/Core 2 Duo processors.
- A new heatsink may be in order to keep the Core 2 Quad cool. A low profile aftermarket heatsink will do the job if you need to replace the heatsink. It must be low profile.
Video card upgrades ¶
This system uses PCIe 2.0 and will accept a PCIe 3.0/3.1 video card, but it will only run at 2.0 speeds. The system requires low profile cards, which are usually compromised in terms of performance and hard to find due to limited demand.
It is also very likely the power supply will need to be replaced as well. These systems usually ship with a Bestec 250W or 305W Delta power supply. You will need to replace the Bestec unit just to install a card, but a low power card may just barely work with the Delta unit.