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Upgrading processor in Dell E521

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September 27, 2008 12:20:24 AM

Hi

I own a Dell E521 with a AMD Athlon x2 3600+ and I was thinking of upgrading the processor to a AMD 5600+, I'm fairly inexperienced at this kind of thing although I've made a few minor upgardes (new PSU and graphics card and sound card) and I was hoping some one can let me know if this is a viable option and if not why. I've done a little research on the net and it seems that other people have made a similar upgrade, but i'm mainly worried that the new chip with heatsink and fan will not fit in my case. I've located an 5600+ with same manufacturing process (65nm) and power requirements (65W) as my current processor - (http://www.ebuyer.com/product/144075/show_product_speci...) is there anything else I should take into account?

Any help would be appreciated

Cheers
a c 159 à CPUs
September 27, 2008 10:12:56 AM

You should be ok, even if post screen says "unknown cpu" it will still run at stated speed, unless you are using amd's cool and quiet software, which reduces speed at idle like Intel's speedstep. Fry's has the 5600 with board for $89.99 in yesterday's ad.
September 28, 2008 11:24:34 AM

Thanks for your help

Would you say the 5600+ would be the limit to what i could upgrade to with the E521? I noticed on some of the Dell forums people saying that they'd succesfully installed a 6000+ or even 6400+. Just looking at AMD website it says that there is a 6000+ at 65nm although the power consumption is higher at 89W compared to 65W for my current CPU, do you think this would be a problem with my PSU which is a 450W Corsair VX?

Cheers

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September 28, 2008 11:44:44 AM

No, you will be just fine my friend. I'm running an Am2 4200 dual core @ 89 watt with 2 gb ram and a 9800 GTX. I have a 450 XCLIO Power Supply and it runs just fine. Go ahead and get the 6000+ or 6400 if you can find it. Will make your upgrade that much more worth it.
September 30, 2008 5:25:23 PM

Cheers mate, thanks for your help

a c 117 à CPUs
September 30, 2008 11:39:47 PM

I'd stick with the X2 5600+ at 65w - jumping up to an 89w X26000+ for .1MHz ... meh
October 1, 2008 6:03:32 AM

Wisecracker said:
I'd stick with the X2 5600+ at 65w - jumping up to an 89w X26000+ for .1MHz ... meh

Good advice
My old system was an E521 and tried the X2 6000 89w, no go.
October 1, 2008 5:59:14 PM

Ok maybe better to play it safe, don't desperately need that extra speed anyway.

Thanks all
October 9, 2008 3:41:17 PM

I am looking to upgrade my Dell in a similar manner. I do have some additional questions though. Should I look to get a CPU with its own heatsink or should I reuse the Dell one? My guess is I should re-use the existing Dell since I suspect other heatsink may not fit. If so, how easy is it to remove the CPU from the heatsink?

Thanks.
a c 117 à CPUs
October 9, 2008 3:48:20 PM

kinneer said:
I am looking to upgrade my Dell in a similar manner. I do have some additional questions though. Should I look to get a CPU with its own heatsink or should I reuse the Dell one? My guess is I should re-use the existing Dell since I suspect other heatsink may not fit. If so, how easy is it to remove the CPU from the heatsink?

Thanks.


Should not be a problem.

After you carefully release the retention bracket place your fingers around the top of the HSF assembly and gently rotate it back in forth a few degrees.

Most likely will pop right off.

Reusing the Dell HSF is not a bad idea - not sure how easy it might be to replace the fan on the heatsink, however ...
October 9, 2008 5:42:45 PM

"not sure how easy it might be to replace the fan on the heatsink, however ..."

Wisecracker,

Sorry if this is a stupid question but when you say that it might not be easy to replace the fan do you mean that you would have to use a new fan with new processor? The processor (5600+) I was looking at has very similar power consumption and temperature specs to my old 3600+ so I thought that I might be able to re-use the same fan and heatsink. I was also worried that any new heatsink/fan would not fit in E521's case.

Thanks again

a c 117 à CPUs
October 9, 2008 8:59:37 PM

the3rdpoliceman said:
"not sure how easy it might be to replace the fan on the heatsink, however ..."

Wisecracker,

Sorry if this is a stupid question but when you say that it might not be easy to replace the fan do you mean that you would have to use a new fan with new processor? The processor (5600+) I was looking at has very similar power consumption and temperature specs to my old 3600+ so I thought that I might be able to re-use the same fan and heatsink. I was also worried that any new heatsink/fan would not fit in E521's case.

Thanks again


Forget I said anything - I wasn't very clear so I apologize :pt1cable:  I'll try not to make it worse. This also applies to kinneer if we are talking directly to the E521.

You don't have to necessarily use a new fan but while you are wankin' around in there it's not a bad idea. The question is whether you can find the right replacement fan. I think it's a 120mm fan that's thermally controlled and Dell has a special connector to the mobo header.

In the E521 the cooling assembly is a combination of a shroud, a heatsink and a fan which is attached to the motherboard. The fan is mounted vertically and pulls air across the heatsink. Here is a really crappy schematic and instructions for removal ...

http://support.dell.com/support/edocs/systems/dimE521/e...

I'm afraid to say anything more for fear of making it even more confusing ... hope this helped a bit :) 
October 10, 2008 5:04:12 AM

For the 521
If you have a Brisbane core the cpu/fan/heatsink assembly is rated @ 62w.
If you have a Windsor core it's rated for 89w.
October 14, 2008 5:53:33 PM

No that's fine i appreciate your help, I'm just a bit of a novice with this stuff so wanted to make sure i understood. So sounds like it might be better to just re-use the Dell cooling assembly provided I can get the other chip in safely. Do you think that I'd have problems using the AMD fan and heatsink that comes with the 5600+? If that's the case it might be better to go for the cheaper OEM package if i can get it?

Ta
December 1, 2008 10:13:30 PM

I am in the same boat; wanting to upgrade the CPU in my E521 to the best one possible not really knowing how heat sink needs factor in. When i called Dell to see what my upgrade options were several months ago the Rep capped off the CPU limit at AMD 2X 5600, but it sounds like people have gone higher? I would like to go as high as I could, but it sounds like this may involve some extra Heatsink/cooling upgrades as well with the possibility of the neccesary cooling unit not fitting? Any advice on what the best CPU upgrade option would be and if there would also be a need to upgrade heatsink as well? I was pondering the AMD 5600+, but would like to go as high as the E521 can accomodate.
May 5, 2010 3:57:16 AM

Well I upgraded my E521's 3600+ to a 5600+ (65w). Using the factory heatsink my temps were mid 40's at idle and up to mid 60's playing MW2 and left 4 dead 2 etc. So I picked up a different heatsink off ebay, A dell oem heat sink for an intel chip, its still aluminum, and sits in the same shroud, just much wider. However realize the intel chip is mounted 45* differently than the AMD, so the heat sink has to moved a bit in the shroud to get adequate contact with the chip. Now it idles at low to mid 30s, and only gets up to mid 50s tops. So a 10* drop across the whole temp range. I'm also running a single slot 9800GT (with an OCZ silencer 460W PS) and 4gb (2x2gb) of corsair pc6400 ram. This was worthwhile, and will get me through another year. I really wanted to just screw together a quadcore rig, but its just not in the budget. When I went to build a dualcore (in like 06?) I couldn't do it for less than what my E521 cost. This is the first "big box" computer I have ever owned, I have always just built my own. If I had realized it was BTX and had the funky cooling I probably would have passed. Oh well. Lesson learned. It has been a great machine though so I can't complain, not a single failure.
April 23, 2014 6:40:40 AM

does anybody know the minimum psu needed for the 6000+. i have a 365 max psu now and want to put in a 6000+
!