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Dell Precision Workstation 340 questions


Striking Master
Ok, seeing as I have not had a DELL before (nor am I ever), I am helping a friend out by getting all the drivers and such.

One thing I realised is she doesn't have a Dialup modem (the reason for this is because this was bought from my college at a cheap price). It would result her in a problem and I got that covered. It should work without problems so long as I take out this LAN card (I assume it is a card but havn't had time to study it).
Here are the main specs I know:
CPU - Pentium 4
1.70 GHz
L2 Cache Memory: 256

Video Card - FireGL2 AGP
DAC Speed: 300 MHz
Mem: 64MB
Mem Speed: 120MHz
AGP: 4x

1GB RD Ram (I am too tired to just look inside if its 2x 512MB or just 1x GB)

Hard Drive:
20GB - 14.5GB left currently

Ok, so now that you know what is equipped, what I need to know is this:
Can the Video card be overclocked in some way without killing it or the Mobo?
These are the spec requirements for the SIMS2 as I know she'll probably try playing it since she says she has it:
[FONT=Arial, Helvetica]The system requirements for The Sims 2 are as follows:[/FONT]
  • [FONT=Arial, Helvetica]800 MHz processor[/FONT]
  • [FONT=Arial, Helvetica]256 MB RAM[/FONT]
  • [FONT=Arial, Helvetica]Windows(R) XP, Windows ME, Windows 98 or Windows 2000 Operating System.[/FONT]
  • [FONT=Arial, Helvetica]At least 3.5 GB of hard drive space[/FONT]
  • [FONT=Arial, Helvetica]A T&L-capable video card with at least 32 MB of video RAM.[/FONT]
Despite it all, the fact that I don't know anything about the Fire GL series, should it run (I'm kind of looking at the T&L part and wondering if it is T&L enabled)?


█▄█ ▀█▄ █
Political User
I really would not recommend ever OC'ing anything Dell, especially a 64MB video card. But that's just me.


F@H - Is it in you?
Staff member
Political User
A precision is a workstation. Why is she using a workstation for personal use? It might not work the way she wants it to. Components should be fine for modification but yah, no oc'ing.


Striking Master
Well let me explain...
My school had alot of computers replaced to newer Pentium systems...

So they had a sale with all the computers they currently had.

The prices ranged from $40 - $120 and the computer she bought was $90 because the $120 were gone (They were the ones that had the decent stuff... like a Geforce FX 5950 with 2GHZ processors etc).

So considering it was cheap (And the fact she is planning to get a laptop soon), she got a... sorta good deal.

Ok, so no OC'ing. Got that straight.

What about the rest of the stuff. I mean I still don't even know if this card has T&L (although I highly doubt it) and uhh... ya. My friend told me to go to that GameAdvisor thing but it was crap (It said that the video memory was 1MB and that the system was pretty much close to being on par with the fastest systems out there).

Son Goku

No lover of dogma
Well, for a $90 deal, it isn't that bad. The gfx however, is the tickly part as depending on their uses for the thing, they might well have not cared about gfx... Workstations themselves can leave a bit of an open end, as there are differences from say a graphics workstation (which will tend to have high end video, for 3D animation development, CGI, and the like), to a corporate desktop meant mostly to run word processors, and other corporate programs.

If the card is AGP, then you could probably slap an older Radeon of GeForce (the Radeon 9x00 or GeForce 6600 or 6800) might do sufficient here, also considering the clock on the CPU. It's an older CPU so probably wouldn't benefit from one of the lattest gen cards (would be CPU bound), and I also wouldn't pay much for this, in a $90 machine...

That CPU brings up another point, as at 1.7 GHz it might be Willemette :eek: or it could be Northwood. Would be better if it's Northwood, but either way, that's part of the bargain, so not much can be said...

If the person is on dialup (which I gather from mention of taking the NIC out, as many broadband services come outa the DSL or cable modem as ethernet), throw in a good modem, get a gfx card as I suggested above (which is also reasonably priced), and try to get an OK sound card (assuming you have a PCI slot available). I'm not sure how a Soundblaster live or Audigy would play with that mobo, so I'll leave that suggestion to someone else... I wouldn't buy the lattest gen sound card either however, given the age of the box.

If the gfx card isn't AGP, but is using some other bus (for whatever reason, when I first read it this morning, I read FireGL, and thought Firewire, don't ask me why :eek: ), that could be tougher...

BTW, I don't know who said it's on par with some of the fastest systems out there, but there's no way a 1.7 GHz P4 (especially if it is Willemette) will keep up with a lattest gen Athlon 64 or a 3+ GHz P4 using one of the lattest hyper-threaded or multi-core procs, with a GF 7800, or ATI's lattest, and a decent setup wrt RAM and all... But still, for $90, not bad...
Last edited:


F@H - Is it in you?
Staff member
Political User
The motherboard should take a max agp 4x card. The x800 would be out of spec I think. It should work in a 4x/8x slot but the motherboard is a lot older, there are potential issues that may arise.


Striking Master
Anyway... Besides, that video card would be up to the discretion of the owner. I'll ask and PM ya if the offer is still opened :)
The Modem I put in in replacement to the 2nd NIC card was my old modem I had before I got broadband which was the U.S. Robotics 56K V.92 Data/Fax internal Modem. Pretty good and HOPEFULLY she doesn't try updating the firmware on it as for some odd reason, me and my father both lost 2 other internal modems to a firmware update.
If my friend wins me the Geforce 7800 AGP 8X contest, I will just give her my Geforce FX 5200 to replace it and BAM... that will solve most gaming problems right there.
The only other issue would be to get a bigger dam Hard Drive... 20GB... By the time I was done with it before she was here and I showed her everything done, there was only 13.7GB left.
Oh and having 4x 256MB DDR Memory Modules.... hmm... Ya.. Maybe for about... $250 I can probably get that upgraded as maxed out as I can without affecting the Power Supply currently installed... but the only other delema would be the CPU because I'm not sure (Since I'm used to custom built) if the CPU can be replaced with something higher. If so, I guess maybe we could find a better Intel chip... although I would go with AMD for the gaming portion (please don't do the AMD vs Intel flame war, just my personal preference :) ) but odds are if it has an Intel chip, I'll assume the basics of a mobo that can accept only AMD or Only Intel thing and say that the mobo can only accept Intel.
So Gokou, thanks for the info.
Thanks Sazar for the other info as well.

*Sigh* I hope I don't have to play around with ANOTHER DELL PRECISION WORKSTATION EVER AGAIN! T_T Now I remember why I like custom built systems.

Son Goku

No lover of dogma
zapoqx said:
If so, I guess maybe we could find a better Intel chip... although I would go with AMD for the gaming portion (please don't do the AMD vs Intel flame war, just my personal preference :) ) but odds are if it has an Intel chip, I'll assume the basics of a mobo that can accept only AMD or Only Intel thing and say that the mobo can only accept Intel.
Yes, you are stuck with an Intel chip, unless you upgrade the mobo. Problem is, by the time you get done upgrading the mobo (and possibly the RAM with it, as some of the older P4 systems used Rambus rather then DDR, albeit Saz could indicate more about the board they would have put in it as a Dell employee, then I could), it'd just not be worth it IMO... At this point, one would be talking almost a new system anyhow, so...

Even a newer P4 could be a problem, as Intel has been known to change their sockets from time to time. The CPU, would have to use the same physical socket... If you decide to replace it, mind the socket type (as it will have to match both the number of pins, as well as the pin layout itself), and also that it isn't of a newer type, then an available BIOS update would possibly add support for...

Oh, and you're welcome :)

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