|07-28-2003, 09:33 PM||#1|
Unofficial Dell PowerEdge 400SC FAQ
Unofficial Dell PowerEdge 400SC FAQ (constantly being updated):
If you'd like to ask any questions, please use the forum's search feature first, then post a new thread. Registration is required to prevent trolling, but it's quick and painless. If you have something you'd like to see added to the FAQ, PM me.
Q: Where can I find online documentation for the 400SC?
Q: Where are some pictures of the outside and the innards?
A: You asked.
Q: Is the 400SC loud?
A: Definitely not. With a little ambient noise in the room, I can't even tell if the computer's on or off without looking at the power LED. If the room were completely quiet, you might be able to hear it... if you put your ear right next to it!
Q: Are there any front panel connectors?
A: There are 2 USB 2.0 ports and a stereo headphone jack hidden behind the bezel (picture here). From inside the case you can see the USB cable attaches to the PCB that controls this unit. After removing the front bezel, you can access and use the 2 USB 2.0 ports. (I've tested these personally.) Unfortunately, there is no audio cable from the motherboard's connector to the front panel connector, so I do not believe the headphone jack will work until that's connected. pbox has put together a few pages detailing the layout of the front panel and control panel.
Q: I noticed some lights on the back of the 400SC with the letters A, B, C, D... what do they mean?
A: These are diagnostic lights. Their function is explained here.
Q: Is the 400SC's power supply proprietary?
A: For once, it looks like Dell has gone the right route and changed it's evil ways. The power supply is fully ATX compatible. Compare the Dell's wiring to the ATX spec wiring. Here are some pictures I took of the connector itself, connected to the motherboard and the power supply label. If you so choose, you may replace the Dell OEM power supply with an ATX power supply of your own. The only problem would be physically mounting the power supply, as Dell's case layout is a little unconventional.
Q: Will the 400SC's puny 250W power supply handle my added components?
A: Most probably. It's a very high quality power supply, and many have loaded up their 400SCs with graphics cards and drives a plenty with no problems.
Q: What type of cooling does the 400SC have?
A: Single, temperature controlled 92mm fan. It's an NMB 3612KL-04W-B66. Specifications are here. (Pictured here and here) Additionally, the 3.2C model has been reported to use a JMC/Datech DS9238-12HBTL-A.
Q: Will the motherboard support the Prescott CPU?
A: Yes, the 400SC's motherboard supports Prescott processors with the A05 BIOS update.
Q: Is there a better diagram of the motherboard in the 400SC available?
A: Maybe. As far as I can tell, this motherboard is striking similar to that used in all of it's other 875P systems (Dimension XPS, 8300, Precision 360). The Precision 360 has a nice explanation of the motherboard layout here.
Q: Does the 400SC support HyperThreading?
A: Indubitably. (Yes.) If your processor is an 800MHz FSB, Intel Pentium 4C, then your OS should show 2 logical processors when HyperThreading is switched on in the BIOS. Proof from Dell's specification sheet:
Q: Is there any way to check the 400SC's temperature?
A: Yes. Download and install Motherboard Monitor. The closest compatible motherboard in the MBM list of motherboards is the Intel D875PBZ.
Q: Can I boot off a USB device? (Pen drive, USB hard drive, etc.)
A: Absolutely! Just press F12 while booting, then select which device you want to boot from.
Q: How do I remove the 400SC's heatsink?
A: Dell's Processor Installation Guide.
Q: What's the difference between the C1, C5 and C6 motherboard options when I go to buy a 400SC?
A: They're the same. The difference is to tell the people assembling it what configuration it'll be.
Q: What kind of motherboard does the 400SC use?
A: The motherboard is made by Intel (which has been confirmed), but there isn't an Intel part number. The motherboard is an OEM for Dell board, and won't be able to be found in the normal retail/online channels. It closely resembles the D875PBZ.
Q: I've heard rumors that the 400SC equipped with a Celeron will have a different motherboard. Is this true?
A: Nope. As I've long suspected, it's been confirmed that the 400SC has the same motherboard, no matter what processor is chosen. Seeing that the lowest model Celeron offered is a 400MHz CPU, it will work in this motherboard. Older Celerons and Pentium 4's running a 400MHz bus have also been reported as working.
Q: What type of CPU cooling system does the 400SC use?
A: Dell opted for a simple, quite and effective cooling solution. The 400SC uses a single, temperature controlled 92mm fan at the rear of the case, right under the power supply, with a plastic duct that sucks the hot air off the top of the heatsink and out the rear of the case. This is also effective in lowering the overall ambient temperature of the case because it's forcing cooler outside air in the front vents due to the pressure differential. The majority of the 400SC family ship with a standard aluminum heatsink, but the 3.2GHz model ships with a heatpipe heatsink and a louder, more powerful fan.
Q: Can I overclock my 400SC?
A: There are no options in the BIOS to overclock. Any overclocking will have to be done on the hardware level (ie: messing with the motherboard and CPU wiring).
Q: Will the motherboard fit in an ATX case?
A: No. It doesn't fit under the ATX specification. It is held to the motherboard tray with plastic standoffs and 4 screws, none of which are in the locations specified by the ATX standard.
- Case with no motherboard.
- Motherboard out, on tray.
- Motherboard tray bottom.
- Rough measurements. (In inches.)
- Measurements diagram.
Q: Does the motherboard support USB 2.0 on all ports?
A: Yes. While the device manager in Windows cryptically lists only a single USB2 controller, all of the USB ports on the 400SC are USB 2.0. The official word is:
Q: What video card does the 400SC come with?
A: An ATI Rage XL 8MB PCI card, shown here.
Q: Does the 400SC have an AGP slot?
A: Of course! (The AGP slot is, however, not supported by Dell.) Picture here and diagram here. The AGP socket is keyed for universal 0.8v AGP cards that comply with the AGP 3.0 specification or 1.5v AGP cards that comply with the AGP 2.0 specification. The AGP connector supports 8x, 4x AGP 3.0 add-in cards operating at 0.8v, or AGP 2.0 add-in cards operating at 1.5V. There is no support for AGP 2x operation or legacy 3.3V AGP cards.
Q: Does the 400SC support 8x AGP cards?
A: Yes. I've personally tested 2 8x AGP cards in the 400SC. The Intel 875P (Canterwood) chipset specifically touts 8x AGP as a feature. There have also been numerous other reports that it works.
Q: Will non-ECC RAM work?
A: Yes! (The difference between non-ECC and ECC RAM is simply an error checking logic IC.) Please let me know what modules you've had success with and I'll update the FAQ.
Q: Will buffered (registered) ECC RAM work?
Q: Does the 400SC support "Dual Channel" DDR?
A: Indeed. To enable this, you'll need to use a pair in slots 1 & 2 (white tab) and/or 3 & 4 (black tab) as shown in this diagram. (1 & 3 are the vertical slots, 2 & 4 are the diagonal slots.)
Q: What brands and types of memory does the 400SC support?
A: It seems that the only problematic RAM is low-latency, ultra-performance PC3200 RAM, which is set to run at too high a speed for Dell's conservative BIOS, which in turn clocks the RAM down to PC2700 speeds. Also, some high-performance, overclocker-marketed RAM has been known to be programmed with incorrect SPD information, which can also cause the RAM to run at lower-than-advertised speeds. As always, make sure the RAM you buy has a good warranty in the case it doesn't perform as desired. The following RAM is listed here only because it's been reported to me as working. This list is by no means complete. There are likely many more unlisted types of RAM that work fine. The following has been tested:
- 1x 128MB Samsung PC2700, 333MHz, ECC. (Default RAM for 533MHz CPUs)
- 1x 128MB Samsung PC3200, 400MHz, ECC. (Default RAM for 800MHz CPUs)
- 2x 256MB Corsair PC3200, 333MHz, Dual Channel.
- 2x 256MB Kingston HyperX PC3200, 400MHz, Dual Channel.
- 2x 128MB Crucial PC3200, ECC.
- 2x 512MB Mushkin PC3200 Basic Green.
- 2x 512MB Crucial PC3200, 400MHz, Dual Channel.
- 2x 512MB Kingston HyperX PC2700, 333MHz, Dual Channel.
- 2x 256MB Crucial PC2100, 266MHz, Dual Channel.
- 1x 512MB Kingston KVR333/512R PC2700 CL2.5, 333MHz, Dual Channel.
- 4x 128MB Samsung PC3200, 400MHz, Dual Channel.
- 2x 256MB Buffalo PC3700, 333MHz, Dual Channel.
- 1x 256MB Corsair XMS3200C2 PC3200, 333MHz.
- 2x 256MB Kingston HyperX PC3500, 400MHz, Dual Channel.
- 2x 512MB Kingston HyperX PC3200, KHX3200AK2/1G, 400MHz, Dual Channel, 2.5-2-3-2-8.
- 2x 512MB Patriot (Fry's) PC3200, 400MHz, Dual Channel.
- OCZ OC3200 EL Platinum Dual Channel Series 1024MB 400MHz
- 2x 512MB Buffalo Tech (Winbond CH5), 400MHz, Dual Channel
- 2x Kingston KVR400X72C3A/512 512MB, PC3200 CL3 ECC, 400MHz, Dual Channel
- 2x 512MB Infineon PC3200 non-ECC, 400MHz, Dual Channel
- 2x 512MB Komusa.com (Infineon Technology/Micron) PC3200 ECC, 333MHz, Dual Channel
- 2x 256MB Komusa.com PC3200 non-ECC, 400MHz, Dual Channel
- 2x 512MB Kingston KTD-WS360A/1G ECC, 400MHz, Dual Channel
- 2x 512MB Corsair VS1GBKIT400 ValueSelect PC 3200 non-ECC, 400MHz, Dual Channel
- 2x 512MB PNY Optima Memory D512MPC320PT PC3200 non-ECC, 400MHz, Dual Channel
Q: How do I test my RAM to see at what speed it's operating?
A: Use any one of the following tools to see the RAM speed and a myriad of other information about your system:
- SiSoft Sandra Standard
Q: Why is my PC3200 RAM running at 333MHz/PC2700 speed?
A: For maximum compatability, Dell's BIOS reads the module's SPD information and sets the timings accordingly. If you have "fake" PC3200, which is in reality overclocked PC2700, the SPD data tells the BIOS it's PC2700. On a motherboard with manual RAM settings, you can set this yourself. Alas, the 400SC's BIOS doesn't allow this. The 400SC's BIOS seems to allow maximum memory timings of 2.5, 3, 3, 6. Save yourself money: do not buy RAM intended for ultra-high performance overclocking, as that's not possible with the 400SC.
Q: Why can't I run CAS 2 RAM in the 400SC?
A: From a moderator on the Dell forums:
Q: What type of hard drive comes with the 400SC?
A: I can't speak for every configuration, but mine came with a 40GB IBM/Hitachi Deskstar 180GXP. (Picture of the label here.)
Q: Does the 400SC have onboard serial ATA (SATA)?
A: Yes. There are two onboard SATA connectors, visible here.
Q: Can I use an SATA drive as my boot drive and an IDE drive as a secondary drive?
A: Absolutely, I have this exact setup running flawlessly.
Q: Does the 400SC support SATA RAID?
A: No Officially, the word from Dell is "no", and further investigation reveals that the 400SC uses the ICH5 (82810EB) southbridge, as shown in this picture. The Intel data sheet confirms that RAID support is only available on the ICH5R (82810ER) chipsets. Additionally, the BIOS only shows the option to enable/disable SATA, no RAID configuration. Also, Intel's Application Accelerator is not supported by the 400SC's chipset. It has become a RAID only utility.
Q: Why doesn't my >120GB hard drive (160GB, 200GB, 250GB, etc.) only show as ~120GB?
A: You will need Windows XP SP1 or to use large drives off the bat (see this for more information). A workaround that enables 48-bit LBA access is located here. Many hard drive manufacturers also have utilities to help fix this problem. Alternatively, you can add a PCI ATA133 card to access the full drive. The simplest solution is to split the hard drive into partitions smaller than 120GB. (Which is a smart idea, anyway.)
Q: How many drives can I put in my 400SC?
A: The 400SC has 2 5.25" bays and 2 3.5" bays. By default, 1 5.25" bay is being used by the optical drive (CD-ROM in my case), and 1 of the 3.5" bays is in use by the hard drive, leaving space for 1 5.25" drive and 1 3.5" drives (without using kits). And yes, Dell did include spare rails to install an extra 5.25" and 3.5" drive. You can order more rails from Dell Parts at 1-800-372-3355, Dell P/N 21TUG. There is a space available underneath the floppy drive which appears to be a 3.5" hard drive bay, but hard drive rails will not fit, only floppy rails (P/N 26PNP). (I've tried.)
Q: What comes with the SCSI system?
A: If you ordered a 400SC with SCSI, it'll come with an LSI 21320-IS dual channel U320 PCI-X card. The card is 64bit/133MHz and backward compatible with the 32bit/33MHz PCI slots found in the 400SC, although it'll only run at U160 speeds on the slower PCI bus. It has an internal connector and an external connector. The card also has integrated striping (RAID 0) support. The card enables you to add up to six SCSI drives per stripe set. The default SCSI drive that for the 400SC is a Seagate ST336607LW (U320, 10000 RPM) that is both fast and quiet.
Q: Are there any firmware updates available for the Lite-ON 48x CD-ROM drive?
A: Yes. Download and install the A04 firmware from Dell if you so desire.
Q: Will the 400SC work with Windows XP?
A: While, not officially supported by Dell, the 400SC works fine with Windows XP Pro (and forseeably XP Home as well). You will need no drivers for the install, but after installation download and install the following:
Intel Chipset / INF Update (AGP, USB, Core PCI)
Default Video Card (ATI RAGE XL PCI)
Q: What operating systems will work with the 400SC?
A: While, due to time constraints, I've only personally tested Windows XP Professional, the 400SC will run:
- Red Hat 9 (officially supported)
- Microsoft Windows Server 2003 (officially supported)
- Windows XP Professional
- Windows XP Home Editition
- Windows 2000
- Windows 98SE (with a bit of work)
Q: Where can I find other drivers?
A: Try Dell's Download page or the Intel driver page.
Old thread from Dell Forums worth reviewing.
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