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Dell E521 - New to building/upgrading systems systems

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January 17, 2009 6:35:00 AM

Alright guys and gals i'm a complete noob to building/upgrading sysptems. What I'm really tyring to get is to be able to play WoW with decent frame rates. I currently have a stock Dell E521. The new expansion is eating up and spitting my system out while raiding 25 man raids. I ideally would "ONLY" like to replace my motherboard, processor, graphics card, Power supply, and RAM.

These are the components I'm lookin to adding

1. Intel Core 2 Duo E8500 Wolfdale 3.16GHz LGA 775 65W Dual-Core Processor Model BX80570E8500 (Processor)

2. SUPERMICRO MBD-C2SEA-O LGA 775 Intel G45 HDMI ATX Intel Motherboard (Mother Board)

3. hec ZEPHYR HEC-750DR-AT 750W Continuous @ 40°C ATX12V V2.2 / EPS12V V2.91 SLI NVIDIA SLI Certified NVIDIA HYBRID- SLI Certified - 9800 GX2 CrossFire Certified Active PFC HYBRID-SLI Power Supply (Power Supply)

4. XFX PVT98GYDLU GeForce 9800 GT 512MB 256-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Supported Video Card
(Graphics Card)

5. G.SKILL 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model F2-6400CL5D- 4GBPQ
(RAM)

I guess my question is can I just take the old parts out and put the new ones out and be fine. If not can I buy a new case put these parts in and remove anything else i'm missing from my old system and put it in the new one? REally hoping I can just take the parts out of the old one and put the new ones into the old case. Like I said I've never done anything like this before so any help you may give me is GREATLY appreciated.
January 17, 2009 7:39:41 AM

It's probably not a good idea to try to upgrade your existing E521 by adding those components. You probably won't be able use your Operating System since it's tied to your motherboard. Your best bet would be to build a whole new system, it isn't as bad as it sounds since you're planning on replacing the major costs already.
You didn't list any specifics from your Dell E521, they come with different configurations. You may be able to just upgrade your graphic card to something like a HD4670 and possibly add RAM to get better performance.
January 17, 2009 4:01:03 PM

Here are the specs on my current setup

Processor
Model : AMD Athlon(tm) 64 Processor 3800+
Speed : 2.40GHz
Cores per Processor : 1 Unit(s)
Threads per Core : 1 Unit(s)
Internal Data Cache : 64kB, Synchronous, Write-Back, 2-way, Exclusive, 64 byte line size
L2 On-board Cache : 512kB, ECC, Synchronous, Write-Back, 16-way, Exclusive, 64 byte line size

System
System : Dell Inc Dimension E521
Mainboard : Dell Inc 0CT103
Bus(es) : ISA X-Bus PCI PCIe IMB USB i2c/SMBus
Multi-Processor (MP) Support : No
Multi-Processor Advanced PIC (APIC) : Yes
System BIOS : Dell Inc 1.1.4
Total Memory : 2GB DIMM DDR2

Chipset
Model : AMD Athlon 64 / Opteron HyperTransport Technology Configuration
Front Side Bus Speed : 2x 1GHz (2GHz)
Total Memory : 2GB DIMM DDR2
Memory Bus Speed : 2x 267MHz (534MHz)

Memory Module(s)
Memory Module : Kingston KHU006-QIA 1GB DIMM DDR2 PC2-4300U DDR2-534 (4.0-4-4-12 2-16-4-2)
Memory Module : Kingston KHU006-QIA 1GB DIMM DDR2 PC2-4300U DDR2-534 (4.0-4-4-12 2-16-4-2)

Video System
Adapter : Radeon X1300/X1550 Series (256MB, PCIe 1.00 x16, PS3.0, VS3.0)

Storage Devices
SAMSUNG SP2504C 250GB (Fibre Channel, 3.5", 7200rpm, NCQ, 2MB Cache) : 233GB (C:)  (D:) 
SONY DVD-ROM DDU1615S (Fibre Channel, DVD+-R, CD-R, 2MB Cache) : N/A (E:) 
TSSTcorpCDRWDVD TS-H493A (Fibre Channel, DVD+-R, CD-RW, 2MB Cache) : N/A (F:) 

Logical Storage Devices
RECOVERY (D:)  : 10GB (NTFS) @ SAMSUNG SP2504C 250GB (Fibre Channel, 3.5", 7200rpm, NCQ, 2MB Cache)
OS (C:)  : 223GB (NTFS) @ SAMSUNG SP2504C 250GB (Fibre Channel, 3.5", 7200rpm, NCQ, 2MB Cache)
CD-ROM/DVD (E:)  : N/A @ SONY DVD-ROM DDU1615S (Fibre Channel, DVD+-R, CD-R, 2MB Cache)
CD-ROM/DVD (F:)  : N/A @ TSSTcorpCDRWDVD TS-H493A (Fibre Channel, DVD+-R, CD-RW, 2MB Cache)

Peripherals
LPC Hub Controller 1 : Dell MCP51 LPC Bridge
LPC Legacy Controller 1 : SMSC LPC v1
Audio Device : Dell MCP51 High Definition Audio
Audio Codec : Sigmatel High Definition Audio Codec
Serial Port(s) : 1
Disk Controller : Dell MCP51 Serial ATA Controller
Disk Controller : Dell MCP51 Serial ATA Controller
USB Controller 1 : Dell MCP51 USB Controller
USB Controller 2 : Dell MCP51 USB Controller
System SMBus Controller 1 : nVidia MCP5+ SMBus 1
System SMBus Controller 2 : nVidia MCP5+ SMBus 2

Printers and Faxes
Printer : Microsoft XPS Document Writer (600x600, Colour)

Network Services
Network Adapter : Broadcom 440x 10/100 Integrated Controller
Wireless Adapter 1 : 2Wire 802.11g USB Wireless LAN Card (802.11g (ERP), TKIP, 54Mbps)

Power Management
Mains (AC) Line Status : On-Line

Operating System(s)
Windows System : Microsoft Windows Vista Home 6.00.6001 (Service Pack 1)
Platform Compliance : x86

Windows Experience Index
Current System : 4.2

Performance Tips
Warning 100 : Large memory sizes should be made of Registered/Buffered memory.
Tip 2546 : Large memory modules should be ECC/Parity.
Tip 2 : Double-click tip or press Enter while a tip is selected for more information about the tip.
Related resources
January 17, 2009 11:34:35 PM

One easy upgrade choice would be to upgrade your graphic card to a HD4670 which run about $80. You should see some dramatic improvements with just the card. Another option would be to upgrade your processor, you might have to update your BIOS, but your motherboard... OCT103 .......does support faster Athlon64x2 processors ($45 - $80) You'd have to check with Dell support to see which processors/BIOS is needed. Those are your easiest and cheapest options.
The parts you had listed for your upgrade run about $500, if i were building a system for WoW at about that price here's a list of what i'd buy. It isn't the equal of the E8500 you picked, but it is decently fast for the price.

Case - budget Rosewill case for $25 + shipping
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Processor - Athlonx2 7750 $79 comes with combo deal with the motherboard
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Motherboard - Biostar 790GX $90 after rebate (combo price for CPU and mobo $154)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

RAM - G.Skill 2x2 GB DDR2 1066 $48
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Power supply - Antec Earthwatts 430w $40
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Graphic card - HD4830 $90 after rebate
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Hard drive - WD 320GB SATA $55
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

DVD burner - Liteon SATA retail $26
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Operating system - Vista Home Premium 64 $100
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

About $550 before rebates, shipping of taxes (if any)

January 21, 2009 8:52:40 AM

Sucess! After researching all over the web. I'm writing in hopes of helping someone. I just upgraded CPU in my Dell E521 with Nforce 430 chipset, 6150LE integrated video to an AMD 3.1 GHZ Athlon 64 X2 6000+ ADV60000DOBOX with no problems. With one exception, my bios is 1.0.3 and when I upgraded my bios to 1.1.10 , my bios wouldn't remember settings and would loop until I hit F12 and enter the boot setup, and boot into Windows. This may or may not happen to you but I had to revert back to 1.0.3. I know this topic is old but I hope it can help someone wanting to upgrade their Dell E521. This is the best CPU for the E521!!! I was able to overclock it using CBID and ClockGen. Run CBID and change the multiplier to 15. Run ClockGen and change the speed to 3.392 GHZ!!!. I guess I'm just lucky! You better buy before AMD discontinues this product!
January 21, 2009 8:56:03 AM

Oman read my post above. I just upgraded 2 days ago. For you I highly recommend do the following:
1. Upgrade your CPU to AMD 3.1 GHZ, currently it's only $76 at newegg.com
2. Replace your memory. Purchase 4 sticks of Kingston Hyper X memory $17 each now at Kingston.com Part#KHX6400D2/1G
And if gaming is still slow, upgrade your video card but make sure it fits in your case. I'm sure you'll find a huge boost after doing those 2 things.
January 21, 2009 9:00:50 AM

Hey rolf thanks for the update and glad your E521 got such a great boost.
January 21, 2009 9:10:59 AM

Thanks! No problem, I'm just really happy and want to spread the word and save others the hell I went through.
Oman, if you never worked on a pc , you should find a qualified and trained pc technician to do it. Also I used Arctic Cooling MX-2 thermal compound and my CPU is 28-30 Idle and 45 celsius playing games. One more thing you won't be able to use the heat sink that comes with the CPU, you're going to have to use Dell's proprietary heatsink. Maybe you don't need to overclock if you're not up to it. Good luck!
January 29, 2009 8:23:41 PM

rolf said:
Oman read my post above. I just upgraded 2 days ago. For you I highly recommend do the following:
1. Upgrade your CPU to AMD 3.1 GHZ, currently it's only $76 at newegg.com
2. Replace your memory. Purchase 4 sticks of Kingston Hyper X memory $17 each now at Kingston.com Part#KHX6400D2/1G
And if gaming is still slow, upgrade your video card but make sure it fits in your case. I'm sure you'll find a huge boost after doing those 2 things.


Did you upgrade to BIOS version 1.1.11? That seems to be the latest.
http://support.dell.com/support/topics/global.aspx/supp...

January 30, 2009 11:34:33 AM

Thanks sjcpu, that 1.1.11 version worked. Odd that version isn't posted on Dell's website. You must work for Dell or something... :) 
May 8, 2009 3:25:21 PM

rolf said:
Sucess! After researching all over the web. I'm writing in hopes of helping someone. I just upgraded CPU in my Dell E521 with Nforce 430 chipset, 6150LE integrated video to an AMD 3.1 GHZ Athlon 64 X2 6000+ ADV60000DOBOX with no problems. With one exception, my bios is 1.0.3 and when I upgraded my bios to 1.1.10 , my bios wouldn't remember settings and would loop until I hit F12 and enter the boot setup, and boot into Windows. This may or may not happen to you but I had to revert back to 1.0.3. I know this topic is old but I hope it can help someone wanting to upgrade their Dell E521. This is the best CPU for the E521!!! I was able to overclock it using CBID and ClockGen. Run CBID and change the multiplier to 15. Run ClockGen and change the speed to 3.392 GHZ!!!. I guess I'm just lucky! You better buy before AMD discontinues this product!


Hey Rolf,
I´m very glad I found your post. I too have been researching the web for some time now for information about upgrading my E521. I was also looking at the 64 X2 6000+ to replace my 64 X2 4200+, but I don´t know if I can safely do this as I will be using the old heatsink. So I would like to ask you: What was the original CPU in your E521? Was it a 4200+ or more powerful then that? Does it make a difference? I wouldn´t want to fry a brand new cpu :|

Mainboard: 0CT103 A03
Nforce 410-430 MCP, GeForce 6150

Thanks in advance!
June 26, 2009 5:06:47 PM

Does it take 2GB sticks btw? was just wondering
July 23, 2009 5:52:45 PM

WalterSobchak said:
Hey Rolf,
I´m very glad I found your post. I too have been researching the web for some time now for information about upgrading my E521. I was also looking at the 64 X2 6000+ to replace my 64 X2 4200+, but I don´t know if I can safely do this as I will be using the old heatsink. So I would like to ask you: What was the original CPU in your E521? Was it a 4200+ or more powerful then that? Does it make a difference? I wouldn´t want to fry a brand new cpu :|

Mainboard: 0CT103 A03
Nforce 410-430 MCP, GeForce 6150

Thanks in advance!



If your airflow is good, you shouldn't have to worry. I reinstalled my dell e521 into a plasma tv chassis to get around the freaking annoying! btx form factor case. I am running everything in open air with directed but not guided air flow and my temps are peachy. Just go for it and run an occasional temp sensor like one through SIW. Your computer should shut down before frying anything.

Also I am disturbed by the direction that the original poster went when he experienced poor gaming quality. The biggest differences you can make are: graphics card, memory, and then I/O speeds to harddrive arrays.
These fixes cost much less, and I can't imagine how you managed to find a modern motherboard in BTX....
August 1, 2009 7:10:13 PM

How about " AMD Athlon 64 X2 7750 2.7GHz Dual-Core AM2+ Box" ? can work ? :hello: 


someone do ?



:bounce:  :bounce:  :bounce:  :bounce:  :bounce:  :bounce:  :bounce:  :bounce:  :bounce: 









August 2, 2009 4:21:34 AM

I also have a Dell E521 and looking into Athlon 64 x2 6000+ 3.1 but I am worrying about the DELL cpu heat sink. Is there a way to replace it with a better one?
December 6, 2013 12:19:42 PM

I have a dell e521 with 500gb hard 700 watts power supply 4gb ram a amd Athlon 64x2 4200+ OS window 7 64 bit and it run fine have any question email me dragonz20005@gmail.com
May 18, 2014 12:55:07 PM

SplitShadow said:
Does it take 2GB sticks btw? was just wondering

YES!! i have 8Gb in mine right now. im sure it would take 4Gb sticks aswell
!