PSU Upgrade for DELL C521

Hi,

Like many others, I'm looking to upgrade my DELL C521 slim case PC for gaming.

I know, I should have put more effort into my original PC selection but here we are. It will be some time before I can afford a new one.

I've had some good advice on the graphics card, the MSI 8600GT (www.ebuyer.com) which is low profile so it fits no problem.

The main worry is power, The DELL C521 comes with a 280 W PSU, heat dissapation is 955.39 BTU/hr maximum.

The MSI 8600 GT graphics card asks for a 400W PSU.

So, where do I begin to find out about PSU's ? makes/models/compatibility ?

Could I damage the current PSU if I just plugged it ?
or are there automatic cut outs for high current / high temp ?

Any help here is very much appreciated.

regards

dblyth2007
19 answers Last reply
More about upgrade dell c521
  1. Check with PCPower and cooling .com they sell PSU's that fit some Dells.
  2. Its ok, monitored the current before (with Radeon X3100 Pro) and after with the MSI 8600 GT.

    It only changed from about 0.75A peak to 0.8A peak @ 230/240 VAC.

    Well within the spec of the 280W PSU, unless I'm missing something.

    Thanks
  3. :chuckle:

    yeah... just a bit...

    Bobb was referring to the web site: PC Power and Cooling. This company manufactures and sells power supply replacements for some Dell systems.

    -Wolf sends

    Edit:

    Doesn't look like they have one though.
  4. ...Ah, I see where you're coming from, I did understand that Bob was refering to websites.

    I monitored the current because I was desperate to just plug it in and see what improvement it made to Gears of War. Nice :-)

    Peak watts jumped from 172W to 184W, so no problem with my PSU and system works fine, even over clocking the GPU to 700 and Mem to 900.

    I guess MSI specify 400W just to cover themselves on more power hungry gaming machines.

    Thanks for taking a look.
  5. Just as a confirmation, I recently upgraded my Dell c521 and it is running AWESOME now!

    Athlon X2 5400 2.8 gHz
    4 gb OCZ 800 mHz RAM
    Chaintech 8600gt 512 mB
    160 gb SATA HD
    16x SATA DVD RW+

    No problems with stock 280W PSU and stock cooling, and all for less than $250.
  6. The 8600GT from MSI will run perfectly, even OC'd on the standard dell c521 PSU, I bought one of them not long ago and I've never had any problems with it. It's borderline but it should be fine.
  7. I was just wondering if it was possible to fit a micro atx psu in a micro btx case?
  8. This would REALLY be stretching it, but do you think the C521 PSU could handle a low profile 9600 GT?

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814162016

    I figure it can't use that much more power than an 8600 GTS as it has a 55nm vs. 65nm core size.
  9. question? will a Sapphire HD 4550 512MB DDR3 VGA DVI TV Out PCI-E Graphics Card work on my dell c521 with 3gb DDR2 ram 667mhz?

    also looking to upgrade to the Athlon X2 5400 2.8 gHz where you get yours from torus and how much?

    Thanks
  10. I went to my local Microcenter and upgraded my C521.

    I got the Socket AM2 6000+ 3.1 Ghz Dual Core Processor, 4GB DDR2 Ram and a Geforce 9400GT 512MB Graphics and have no problems at all. The 9400Gt is a Low-Profile compatible but I had to buy the Lo-profile kit seprate. It comes with a VGA Extention for the graphics card to make everything fit up right and the little metal brackets that go in the back. Also got a DVI cable thats running my 24" widescreen LCD Monitor.
    System runs great. I think Dell just Under-rates there Power Suply's...

    My opinion is BUY THE GEFORCE 9400GT its 2x better than the 8400GS and has 1080p support.

    Actually the specs i found was that we had a 305 Watt PSU. The 9400GT states it needs 300watts or greater but if you owned a company wouldn't you over state things like that just a little bit to cover your a** so you dont blow peoples systems up... Think about it.

    (metaphore) I know im right at the edge of the cliff, But I stopped just in time so I dont fall. Now imma sit back and watch the sunrise.

    I'm not big on PC Games but I do play Xbox 360 & PS3 Roms and play em on my computer. Plus I dont get the red ring of death on that crappy xbox lol!

    Mastermind 4.0,
  11. Hi there

    I also have a C521 with roughly the same specs as mastermind (albeit I have the AM2 5000+ 2.6 Dual core), however I was looking to upgrade the graphics card to the Galaxy 9600GT.

    While a few of you have had successes with these better cards (I know the OP got a 9600GT working successful from another thread and mastermind has a 9400GT) I am still concerned about the PSU.

    Is there anywhere at all that sells better PSU's for the C521? I'm trawled the internet in vain, but found nothing so far.

    If I had the money I'd go the full hog and build a brand new system, but I dont!

    Any help greatly appreciated!
    Thanks!
  12. darkhalls,
    Take the measurements of your psu, then do a google search for " TFX power supplies" ( without the quotes )
  13. delluser1 said:
    darkhalls,
    Take the measurements of your psu, then do a google search for " TFX power supplies" ( without the quotes )


    Thanks, I did a google search, but to be honest there really isnt that much to find... or at least I couldn't find anything. Is TFX a fairly old style of power supply? Ideally I want something more the 350-400W range.
  14. TFX is thin form factor, they may be out there, but I haven't seen any over 300 watts.
  15. For the first time yesterday i got the graphics lag from my Power Supply. So I went to my local computer store and bought a Thermaltake 430. I pulled out my old power Supply and the Thermaltake 430 "usally black in color" has wires long enought to where you can route them inside the computer. This is a option and for $40 honestly it solves your problem. It is seriously difficult to find a Tower to put the c521's motherboard into. Alot of them dont fit. Not to mention the heatsink/fan style blows thru the heatsink. Your first choice is what I just did. It's cheap and works. If you want to you could even put a big fan where the back of the old PS was. but i monitored Processor heat and it is fine. Or you can purchase a new motherboard/tower/PS and swap everything. It would only be worth it if your exsisting processor was the big boy Am2 6000+... But for $40 just make a external Powersupply.
    The Thermaltake 430 has 430 watts and is so silent it doesnt sound like its on i had to look at the fan blades to believe it.

    www.microcenter.com <--They have em...

    1 Vote=External Supply


    Mastermind,
  16. mastermind85 said:
    For the first time yesterday i got the graphics lag from my Power Supply. So I went to my local computer store and bought a Thermaltake 430. I pulled out my old power Supply and the Thermaltake 430 "usally black in color" has wires long enought to where you can route them inside the computer. This is a option and for $40 honestly it solves your problem. It is seriously difficult to find a Tower to put the c521's motherboard into. Alot of them dont fit. Not to mention the heatsink/fan style blows thru the heatsink. Your first choice is what I just did. It's cheap and works. If you want to you could even put a big fan where the back of the old PS was. but i monitored Processor heat and it is fine. Or you can purchase a new motherboard/tower/PS and swap everything. It would only be worth it if your exsisting processor was the big boy Am2 6000+... But for $40 just make a external Powersupply.
    The Thermaltake 430 has 430 watts and is so silent it doesnt sound like its on i had to look at the fan blades to believe it.

    www.microcenter.com <--They have em...

    1 Vote=External Supply


    Mastermind,



    Hi Mastermind

    Thanks for the info. Glad I didn't just rely on the standard 280w. Seems an external PSU is definitely the way to go and the cheapest option. I would be interested to see how you have mounted yours, if you wouldn't mind providing a picture. Its not something I've had to do before, so knowing how you did yours would be useful!

    Thanks!
  17. Well honestly I didnt mount it. I hate the fact the they make peope put the tower standing up and to insert disc's you have to hold em sideways. Major Pain in the ass. So I sat it horizontal... Works better that way...

    <a href="http://s180.photobucket.com/albums/x151/mastermind061485/?action=view&current=SupaComputer.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="http://i180.photobucket.com/albums/x151/mastermind061485/SupaComputer.jpg" border="0" alt="Photobucket"></a>
  18. Sorry forgot it was a forum. lol
  19. Just wondering what the "Type" of power supply is. I just need a total of 400W (DVD drive is dropping out, too little power)?
    ATX
    ATX / BTX
    ATX12V
    ATX12V / EPS12V
    ATX12V / MicroATX
    Micro ATX
    Micro PS3
    Mini ITX
    EPS12V
    SFX12V
    TFX12V
    AT
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