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Video card help for a Dell E 521

I just ordered a Dell E 521 with a AMD 3800 processor and the integrated 6150 LE card. I want to upgrade the video card. The problem is I don't know much about computers. I'm not sure what type card I should buy...PCI,PCIe or AGP. Would someone be able to tell me what type card I should buy? I called Tiger Direct and asked them if they could advise me but the guy I talked to wasn't sure. He did say that with an integrated card on the motherboard, I probably needed a PCI card.
Yesterday I installed a wireless network card into what I believe is one of three PCI express slots that are on the motherboard.( Forgive me for my ignorance but aren't the PCI express slots the 3 inch or so long,( white colored) plug ins on the motherboard? ) If these are the PCI express slots I have one left thats not in use. I thought I could plug the video card in this empty slot. I was looking at a EVGA 7600 GT card and could really use some help figuring out which type will work on my computer. Thanks for any help you can provide.
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  1. Your machine takes pci express cards, the video slot is the uppermost and has a locking latch on it. Depending on how much hardware you have, you will be able to use up to a 7900 GS.
  2. Thanks for the reply. At least now I know what type card I need. So I guess those white slots are PCIe slots? Just above them is a dark brown or black slot with a lock on it. What is that? I don't remember seeing any lock on the PCIe slots though.
  3. According to the Dell Specs for Dimension E521, you should have 2 PCI, 1 PCIe x1, and 1 PCIe x16 and a 305W power supply.

    The good news is that you have the PCIe x16 slot for the latest and greatest video cards. The bad news is that your power supply is rather weak and may not support a "big-gun" video card.

    Go to extreme.outervision.com and plug in all the hardware you have in your system as well as a prospect video card to see if you have enough juice to run. I won't even go into the importance of amperage, but the calculator should give you a general idea of power requirements.
  4. You should be able to run a 7900 GS but do not buy a factory overclocked card since 305W isnt all that much for modern computers.
  5. Thanks for pointing out the power supply. I looked at it last night and thought it said 350 watts. It is only 305W. I'll have to get a better PS.
    I'm guessing that where I have the Fax modem card and the wireless card are the PCI slots. Is this true?
    Above that is a slot with a clip one one end. Is that where I connect the PCI Express card? Again I apologize for my lack of knowledge but I'm trying to learn.
  6. Quote:
    Thanks for pointing out the power supply. I looked at it last night and thought it said 350 watts. It is only 305W. I'll have to get a better PS.
    I'm guessing that where I have the Fax modem card and the wireless card are the PCI slots. Is this true?
    Above that is a slot with a clip one one end. Is that where I connect the PCI Express card? Again I apologize for my lack of knowledge but I'm trying to learn.


    That PSU has 264w max (22 amps) combined on the 12v rails and no 6-pin power connector. A 7600GT is a good fit for it.
  7. Your power supply will be sufficient for the 7600 GT you mentioned or even the 7900 GS , it provides 22 amps on the +12 volt rails. And yes the slot with the clip on it is where the video card goes.
  8. You guys have been extremely helpful. Thank's very much.
  9. Just as a note.. I would not risk a 7900 GS.
    And u should buy a 7600 GS if its any cheaper since its the same card, just clocked a little slower, wich is something u can change by urself in under a minute.
  10. Will any normal Power supply fit in the Dell 520/521 Case? Or would I need to get a Dell branded PS?
  11. some dells use a proprietary psu. link
    so can buy one of these link
    or the adapter, you have to check first
  12. Quote:
    some dells use a proprietary psu. link
    so can buy one of these link
    or the adapter, you have to check first


    Dell machines have been able to use a standard ATX psu for about 5 years.
  13. thanks, i was unsure about that, hence that is why i said "some dells" but looking into i found this
    Quote:
    **Special Note to Owners of Dell Computers:** If your Dell computer was manufactured after August 1998, it may require the use of a proprietary Dell power supply...
    learn something new every day. :D
  14. Quote:
    Thanks for pointing out the power supply. I looked at it last night and thought it said 350 watts. It is only 305W. I'll have to get a better PS.
    I'm guessing that where I have the Fax modem card and the wireless card are the PCI slots. Is this true?
    Above that is a slot with a clip one one end. Is that where I connect the PCI Express card? Again I apologize for my lack of knowledge but I'm trying to learn.


    That PSU has 264w max (22 amps) combined on the 12v rails and no 6-pin power connector. A 7600GT is a good fit for it.

    I'm typing this info directly from the sticker on the PS... Output 305W, +5V/22.0A, +12VA/18.0A, +12VB/18.0A, -12V/1.0A,+3.3V/17.0A,+5VFP/2.0A, +12VB/18.0A. Maximum combined output on +12VA and +12VB output is 264W. Am I still ok with a 7600GT or should I get another PS?
  15. Quote:
    Thanks for pointing out the power supply. I looked at it last night and thought it said 350 watts. It is only 305W. I'll have to get a better PS.
    I'm guessing that where I have the Fax modem card and the wireless card are the PCI slots. Is this true?
    Above that is a slot with a clip one one end. Is that where I connect the PCI Express card? Again I apologize for my lack of knowledge but I'm trying to learn.


    That PSU has 264w max (22 amps) combined on the 12v rails and no 6-pin power connector. A 7600GT is a good fit for it.

    I'm typing this info directly from the sticker on the PS... Output 305W, +5V/22.0A, +12VA/18.0A, +12VB/18.0A, -12V/1.0A,+3.3V/17.0A,+5VFP/2.0A, +12VB/18.0A. Maximum combined output on +12VA and +12VB output is 264W. Am I still ok with a 7600GT or should I get another PS?

    It's my opinion that yes, your current PSU will be ok with a 7600GT.
  16. Quote:
    Minimum of a 400 Watt power supply.
    (Minimum recommended power supply with +12 Volt current rating of 18 Amp Amps.)
    from evga.com

    Quote:
    A 350W PCI Express compliant system power supply (with 12V current rating of 20A or more)

    from bfgtech.com

    just check the manufacturers website for requirements. since your psu has 22 amps on the 12v rails, your safe
  17. I have the same computer, And I was asking the same questions. My computer was shipped with a 150 watt power supply though.
    But, I went to newegg.com, and purchased a evga 9600 712 mb graphic card with a Corsair 850 Watt power supply. Everything fit into the computer, although very snugly. So it will work.
    What happened was though, my monitor was not DVI. So it burned out my monitor. I ended up buying a Samsung HD monitor.
    So there is more than just putting the parts into your computer.
    So make sure your monitor will handle the new power it's being asked to use.
  18. bradleyc said:
    I have the same computer, And I was asking the same questions. My computer was shipped with a 150 watt power supply though.
    But, I went to newegg.com, and purchased a evga 9600 712 mb graphic card with a Corsair 850 Watt power supply. Everything fit into the computer, although very snugly. So it will work.
    What happened was though, my monitor was not DVI. So it burned out my monitor. I ended up buying a Samsung HD monitor.
    So there is more than just putting the parts into your computer.
    So make sure your monitor will handle the new power it's being asked to use.


    850watt PSU for a 9600? Major Overkill...

    You can power two beastly GTX285s with a Corsair 850...power consumption equivalent to like 6+ 9600s
  19. Monitor burnt out :heink:

    Nice necro post homies
  20. Necros. We hates them.
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