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Dell Dimension E520

Hey guys I just bought a Dell Dimension E520 and upgraded it as much as I could but the graphics card options were not the best. I got a NVIDIA GeForce 7300 LE at 256MB and I definitely need to upgrade. I play games like Empire at War and Command and Conquer and want to run them on full graphics. Right now they are running in the mid range. I am a big gamer but not really familiar with the technical side of it all. It has a dual core processor at 2.13GH and 4GB of RAM. It also has Vista. I really don't want to spend more than $350-$400 either. Any suggestions would be much appreciated!
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  1. Dell PSU's are under-rated, but don't supply the amps to support higher end cards so you are limited in your choices. Ones that should work and would give you better performance are: 7600GT, 7900GS, 7950GT and the 8600GTS or lower.
  2. In terms of PSU, it looks like the Dimensino 520 has a 305 watt powersupply (not 350, three-zero-five). It sells on Dell's website for $28.64 (refurbished). This might be your big limiting factor.

    http://accessories.us.dell.com/sna/productdetail.aspx?c=us&l=en&s=bsd&cs=04&sku=PH333&mfgpid=184891&chassisid=8246

    But a 7900GS or equivalent might still work.
  3. If somebody blows out their psu on a E520/521 they probably were doing something they weren't supposed to. I would stay away from that. Anyway the stock psu can run anything that will fit in it with the execption of the higher X1xxx's. Nvidia series up to 7900GS and 8600GTS are ok.
  4. 8600GTS wins my vote 200$ and it only uses the PCI-E slot power supply no need to connect anything to it.

    No need to swap out your PSU and you got yourself a very nice card that OCs very well.

    8600GTS Pre-OCED 2.26Ghz and 730Mhz Core XFX great company owned a 7900GT OCed from them never once had a problem for it and i had it for years even more OCed
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814150226
  5. So I wouldn't be able to run the 8800GTS then?
  6. No, unless you upgrade the PSU. The Stock PSU you have is 305 watts with 22 amps on the +12v rails. The 8800GTS need around 26 amps and 400watts. You're a bit short in both categories.
  7. ok thanks. i have been reading up on the 8600GTS and it seems like it would work for me anyway
  8. Quote:
    So I wouldn't be able to run the 8800GTS then?

    It has actually been done. There were modifications made to the case and heatsink shroud to allow the card to fit and it was powered up with the stock psu. According to the guy who did it he had no problems running the card full tilt and overclocked.
    The 8600 is the better option, not requiring any case mods or having the fear that the psu may crap out and take other components with it.
  9. Quote:
    So I wouldn't be able to run the 8800GTS then?

    It has actually been done. There were modifications made to the case and heatsink shroud to allow the card to fit and it was powered up with the stock psu. According to the guy who did it he had no problems running the card full tilt and overclocked.
    The 8600 is the better option, not requiring any case mods or having the fear that the psu may crap out and take other components with it.

    I thought it was done on a 350 or 375 watt unit. Those I would believe. I have a harder time with it working on a 305.
  10. Ok I went ahead and ordered the 8600GTS from the link the guy posted above. thanks for everyone's help!
  11. NO problem whats THG forums are for to HELP THE NEEDY! :D
  12. Quote:
    So I wouldn't be able to run the 8800GTS then?

    It has actually been done. There were modifications made to the case and heatsink shroud to allow the card to fit and it was powered up with the stock psu. According to the guy who did it he had no problems running the card full tilt and overclocked.
    The 8600 is the better option, not requiring any case mods or having the fear that the psu may crap out and take other components with it.

    I thought it was done on a 350 or 375 watt unit. Those I would believe. I have a harder time with it working on a 305.

    Big thread on the DCF about it, the guy was told it wouldn't work and he set out to prove people wrong. Anyone out of warranty or willing to void the warranty by cutting up the case should be able to do the same.
  13. Quote:
    Ok I went ahead and ordered the 8600GTS from the link the guy posted above. thanks for everyone's help!

    Good luck with the card. One thing though, with your psu you need a connection from the card to the psu with the GTS. The GT you don't.
  14. get a cooler master 500w psu - $50
    get a ATi Radeon hd 4850 - $140

    both fit the e520 perfectly - temps also run low.
  15. Thought I'd bring this back from the dead. My cousin has a Dimension 520 and wants a graphics card to run L4D.

    Anyone know if this 4670 will fit and if the Dell's PSU can run it? Thanks guys!

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814161287&cm_re=4670-_-14-161-287-_-Product

    If not what GPU would you recommend?
  16. ??? anyone???
  17. I was able to install an XFX Radeon HD 4870 (HD-487A-ZWFC, which is a single slot design) in my friends Dell E520. I had to remove the plastic cover from the 4870's FanSink. Even then the 4870 was a tight fit since the E520 is a BTX motherboard, and the 4870's memory heat sinks are right against the Dell's CPU shroud. I also replaced the stock power supply with an Antec EarthWatts 750. Then to improve case cooling I simply reversed the direction of the stock Dell Fan so it now pulls hot air out the front, and cool air in from the back, right to the graphics card. All temperatures stay well below max, and this old E520 can now play all the modern games.
  18. ozzy702 said:
    Thought I'd bring this back from the dead. My cousin has a Dimension 520 and wants a graphics card to run L4D.

    Anyone know if this 4670 will fit and if the Dell's PSU can run it? Thanks guys!

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814161287&cm_re=4670-_-14-161-287-_-Product

    If not what GPU would you recommend?


    You might want to avoid that and i know I'm a month late, anyway the grille on the back is meant to blow hot air out of the case, I own this Dimension also and I know that double slot i/o plate isn't going to do you much good. Based on the pictures on the site this was what I was planning to upgrade to when I had the cash. It is the Visiontek Radeon HD 5770 and is here.
    http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=5625658&CatId=3669
    and here
    http://www.microcenter.com/single_product_results.phtml?product_id=0326389
    Hope you read this :)
  19. I have an E520 and spare PSU (200watt i think) If i could fit in a 8800GS (or GS) would there be any problems just to power the card from a that PSU? just running the right connectors through the the spare slots in the back?
    Or I've seen seperate power supplies with molex connectors, would that do it?
  20. its a ati 5670 or 5770 that you want.
    A 5670 cost between $75 to $155
    A 5770 cost between $155 to $270

    A 5770 is faster than a 5670 but a 5670 it happily play all your games in max settings at a acceptable speed

    But you need a DVI monitor or a VGA to DVI adaptor if u have VGA to start with.

    Welcome Laurence
  21. I have a Dell e520 used for my movie player on my big screen. It fit my Nvidia 9500gt just fine. Not sure how big that card is compared to the ones you're getting. though.
  22. This topic has been closed by Mousemonkey
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