Dell E521 CPU Upgrade - A couple questions

Hello all, long time reader first time poster!

After having my Dell e521 for about 3-4 years now, playing world of warcraft and FFXI.. It just does not cut it for new games anymore. I have added new ram, replaced a power supply and have upgraded from no GPU, to an EVGA 8600GT and now to a BFG 9800GT. Im currently running an AMD Athlon 64x2 3600+ 65w CPU and it is a huge bottleneck for my computer and newer games anymore.

I recently purchased an AMD Athlon 64x2 5800+ Brisbane 89w CPU. This will be my first time and replacing/upgrading a CPU and I'm pretty nervous! First off, I'm wondering if the stock heatsink will be enough to keep this CPU running at reasonable temperatures. Second, Would a BIOS update be required and if so is it something relatively easy for a beginer to do? Also another fear I have is the CPU being stuck to the heatsink due to crappy thermal paste, if this happens should i release the CPU lever and pull the CPU out with the heatsink?

I have read all of This thread and it seems like many of people have had success with the E521. I'd just like to be sure for myself if im going about this the right way!

Thanks for reading, any comments appreciated :)
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  1. 1. Upgrade BIOS to latest, better chance of supporting CPU.

    2. Jumping from a 3600 to a 5800 will result in heat increase, so get a good 3rd party cooler.

    3. Before removing the heatsink, run prime95 and max. out the 3600 to create enough heat to safely remove heatsink, if still a bit stubborn, use a razor blade to ease off cpu.
  2. Thanks for the reply guys! Very helpful. Is there anything that I could potentially nuke on accident when updating the bios and should update the bios before or after the new CPU install?
  3. Ok thank you, I'll post back later this week when the CPU is delivered with results.
  4. Ooops, one more question. In the event that the CPU/Heatsink seem stuck together, what should I do? Release the socket lever and try to pull both out at the same time? I've read a handful of posts across different forums with people have stuck AMD 64x2's stuck to the heatsink.

    Again thanks, you guys are a huge help!

    Edit: Threads like These scare me! =X
  5. Best answer selected by Rhartzell88.
  6. Well, everything went well. Id just like to thank you all for the tips! The only part that I had trouble with was figuring out how to use the can of air I had bought to clean out my case. Everything is running pretty well now for about three weeks.
  7. Hey All,

    I used this thread to do my E521 upgrade but ran into a serious snag with the CPU. I tried upgrading from a 3800+ to the Brisbane 5800+, stock heatsink, added 4GB Kingston Value RAM to 6GB total, XFX GT 240 GPU, 2TB hard drive added to the bottom bay.

    I upgraded the BIOS to.11 as well. Pulled CMOS to reset the BIOS just in case. Cleaned heatsink, tried AS5 spread and rice technique. It fires up ok, about 3 minutes in the CPU fans get faster and faster, then the PC shuts down. HW monitor shows the cores going thru the roof but the chip and the heatsink are cool to the touch. When I reboot, the machine can't even load Windows, just shuts down shortly after POST. BIOS and Windows report the 5800+ correctly. I reseated and reapplied AS5 dozen times or more.

    Suspected video card and ram, went back to stock on both, same issue. Replaced power supply (400W Dynex), same issue.

    Is the CPU defective? Am I missing something? Thanks very much for the help!
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