Dell Dimension Graphics Card Upgrade Question

Hello. I have a Dell Dimension E521 PC with a Radeon X1300 card. My power supply is 305W, and I can take PCI, PCIx1, and PCIx16 cards. I would like to upgrade so that I can play my "Total War" series without any concerns. I was looking at a Diamond 5670, but would appreciate any advice of cards I may purchase to play these types of games. Thanks in advance!
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  1. About your current card(X1300), is it low profile card?
    If yes, then you can buy HD5670 2.0 Low profile version... :)
  2. the DELL E521 is a mini tower. it can fit normal single slot 5670 cards. like this one.

    the slim case version of the E521 was the C521 (i believe, too lazy to check)
  3. Here we go:

    Yes, a normal card would fit into your case...
    Go with HD5670 that ct1615 said above... ^ :)
  4. Thanks for all of the replies, so let me try to answer each one:

    - Is the x1300 a low profile card? I am not sure exactly what you mean. Please explain.

    - I've seen mini-towers, but I don't think my Dimension is a mini tower, as it is a regular tower.

    - Would PCI Express 2.0s fit into my PC?

    -What's the best card, that would work with my current configuration, be best for the "Total War" games?
  5. the x1300 is not a low profile card. low profile cards are cards with short brackets that can fit in slim cases
    * this is a low profile card with its "low profile" bracket on

    *this is a single slot card with a short fan, people often get the cards confused because of the name "low profile"

    you have a mini-tower. i own a E521, i know what the case looks like. although i did basically gut the entire case.

    PCI-E is 2.0 backwards compatible with 1.0 x16, avoid the 2.1 cards though.

    the 5670 will work fine with total war. it will max out most of their games although your CPU may cause some lag spikes depending on its speed.
  6. I don't think there even are low profile HD5670s, just HD5570s.
  7. jyjjy said:
    I don't think there even are low profile HD5670s, just HD5570s.

    You're right, sorry, my bad... :)
    I'm just... confused. :D
  8. Thanks for the help, everyone! I see what you mean about the tower, "ct." I was thinking that a mini tower is one of those tall, skinny ones...didn't realize that the E521 was considered a "mini-tower."

    Since we have the same machine, which helps out a lot, is there a way that I can upgrade my CPU/ or won't the present configuration allow this? Thanks again!
  9. the fastest cpu that i know you can stick in there is the athlon x 2 6000. make sure you update your BIOS to 1.1.11 or higher, DELL makes BIOS updates very easy.
  10. Thanks again,'ve been a great help! Here's 2 more:

    1. How big of a power supply can I add to my rig?

    2. When you mentioned about the "5670," were you talking about the link to New Egg (, that you provided above, or my Diamond 5670? Thanks!
  11. You wouldn't need a new PSU for an HD5670;
    Any of those would be fine. I've read that even an HD5750 should be ok on those Dell 305w PSUs but it would likely be of limited benefit over the HD5670 on your processor.
  12. prljamm1 said:
    Thanks again,'ve been a great help! Here's 2 more:

    1. How big of a power supply can I add to my rig?

    2. When you mentioned about the "5670," were you talking about the link to New Egg (, that you provided above, or my Diamond 5670? Thanks!

    just about any atx PSU will fit, like jyjjy stated; you don't need a new PSU to run the 5670.

    i'm not sure what diamond 5670 you are talking about. if its a 2.0 card and does not use two expansion slots then it will be fine.
  13. Does he need a single slot card?
    In that case stick with the XFX one that ct linked.
  14. yea, its a BTX mobo so the card goes fan side up. the northbridge has a heatsink that sticks out by where the video card ram is. Also, there is a large housing for the CPU heat sink near the video card back.

    I was able to stick a single card in there with a large HSF like this one but a dual slot just wont fit without some modifications.
  15. Yeah, I've seen the insides of one of those before. A single slot bracket with a centralized dual slot cooler like you've got is the best you can fit in there.
  16. i used to mostly for work but a video card is nice for when you want to take a break and play half-life 2! now it just sits in my basement collecting dust....

    although i have seen some sweets mods to it. one guy had a corsair TX650, after market tower cooler, and a GTX 260 in his.
  17. Thanks a lot guys! When I mentioned the Diamond, ct1615, I was referring to the one at the beginning of my post:

    I tried to install it earlier and had these problems:

    1. The Diamond 5670 graphics card only got a low (1.0) "windows
    experience rating"

    2. When I installed the card, it messed up the Windows Aero capability (showed a light blue color).

    3. It didn't show up in my BIOS when I checked.
  18. Did you install the drivers? Uninstall the old ones?
    Why such an expensive version of the card?
  19. I didn't install the Diamond drivers, if that's what you mean. As for the card, I was trying to narrow it down and trying to figure out what I could/couldn't get, plus I knew that Diamond has a good name. On the NewEgg page you sent, which is a good card? Thanks.
  20. You need to install drivers for a card to work on anything more than a very basic level.
    Get the latest Catalyst Control Center from the ATI site.
    If you would just like to get a new card grab the single slot XFX card ct linked. It seems the most appropriate for your case from what he is saying.
  21. Just wanted to let you both know (especially you, ct1615 for the initial recommendation), that I purchased the Sapphire card you recommended, and it works great, especially with my "Total War" games! I can use the "higher" settings. I also went to the site and installed the latest drivers as well. Thanks again for the help and support!
  22. gratz, enjoy your new card
  23. Thanks malmental. If I upgrade to one of these listed, is there anything else I need to buy? Is the upgrade easy to do? Thanks for the tip and info!
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