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Dell Dimension E521 video card problem/update

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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November 13, 2010 8:54:26 PM

Hello,

I'm looking for information on upgrading my current video card. I'm not really a computer person, so will try my best at explaining what I currently have. My system is a Dell Dimension E521. I'm running Windows Vista 32 bit and the system is an AMD Anthlon 64 X2 Dual Core Processor 3600+ 1.90 ghz with 3 gb of ram. I honestly don't know what video card I have. Device manager tells me that I have a Radeon X300/X550 series, but doesn't get much more specific than that. The computer power supply is 305W.

I do not use the computer for gaming, just e-mail, surfing and watching online and dvd movies. The reason I'm even thinking about upgrading the video card is that when I watch movies in full screen, the video has a few intermittent horizontal lines that shoot back and forth about a quarter way down the screen and where those lines are, the video looks choppy and out of sync. If I watch the movie in any size window, it looks perfectly fine. The problem only occurs in full screen.

When I bought the system (in 07) it only had 1 gb of RAM and a geforce 6150 video card. It started to act up when I upgraded to a 20" monitor, so unsure if it was the monitor or Vista or something else, I asked a friend of a friend look at it. He told me the lack of RAM could be causing problems with the monitor and also something meaning the 6150 card didn't have it's own memory, so was using the system RAM. He then put in a different (used) video card he had (the one in the system now) and said that it would be better than the geforce card as it has it's own onboard memory. Since then I get the choppy video lines. After adding the extra RAM, the lines are still there. I've swapped monitors and the choppy lines are there. I no longer have the 6150 card, so can't verify 100% if swapping the card would fix the problem.

Hoping someone out there might be able to point me in the right direction of going either going ahead and swapping out the video card or maybe try something else. If I do swap the video card, I don't want to have to swap power supplies, so it needs to be able to run with the system I am currently running.

Would this card work in my system?
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B0033WSDNS/...SIN=B0033WSDNS

Thanks!!
a c 235 U Graphics card
November 13, 2010 10:37:51 PM

i think I still have the 7300LE card that came with my DELL E521....

the 6150 is actually a chip on your motherboard, its not a dedicated card.

anyways, this ATI 4350 is more then enough for DVD playback and everything else you need. plus its $20 after rebate and will have no issues with your PSU.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

if you need an HDMI port, i have this one in a DELL slimline with a 250w PSU
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
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a c 235 U Graphics card
November 13, 2010 10:47:14 PM

...you know I still have the case somewhere too. that was a good little PC :lol: 
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November 13, 2010 11:33:18 PM

Thanks for the replies!

Do you think the problem I'm having (lines/choppy video), is being caused by the video card?

How difficult is it to upgrade the processor? I'm no computer tech and learning as I go, so I may not be able to handle it if it's too technical. From what I saw with the last video card swap out, the video cards looks to be pretty much a simple plug and go procedure.

Apart from price, what are the differences between the ATI 4350 and the HD5670?



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a c 235 U Graphics card
November 14, 2010 12:07:57 AM

jeffysno said:
Thanks for the replies!

Do you think the problem I'm having (lines/choppy video), is being caused by the video card?

How difficult is it to upgrade the processor? I'm no computer tech and learning as I go, so I may not be able to handle it if it's too technical. From what I saw with the last video card swap out, the video cards looks to be pretty much a simple plug and go procedure.

Apart from price, what are the differences between the ATI 4350 and the HD5670?


1. it's probably caused by your video card. it could be your monitor although it runs fine at lower res. its hard to tell without running tests and actually seeing the issue.

2. its pretty easy to upgrade a CPU and with your BTX cooler, installation is a snap. plenty of youtube videos we can link to help you out.

3. the ATI 4350 is designed for home theater PCs, HD video, DVD playback, MS office, flash based video games.
the ATI 5670 is a modern lower level gaming card. Its purpose, on top of what the ATI 4350 does, is to play the latest video games at mid levels with budget monitors (1440x900 res) & PSU.
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a c 218 U Graphics card
November 14, 2010 1:33:50 AM

I would recommend a GPU like the Radeon HD4650 instead. It will require less power and should more than meet your needs. I have used this one successfully in several similar Dells as yours:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Also, in the meantime, you should go to ati.com and download and install the latest drivers for your video card (this should help a lot):

http://support.amd.com/us/gpudownload/windows/Legacy/Pa...

Get the Catalyst Software Suite (Option 1).

Good luck!
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November 14, 2010 10:32:09 AM

I plugged up a brand new monitor (22") to the computer and got the same problem when going to full screen, so I figured it wasn't the monitor and started to focus on the video card.

The GT240 and the 5670 are the same price (after rebates). Looks like I'll be going with one of those. Same quality for both? Do you recommend one over the other?

Upgrading the processor will make the computer more responsive, right? If it's an easy fix, sounds like I should do that as well. Any chance I can get you to send me youtube links for that and a couple stores for the processor? I read somewhere that I'd have to update Bios with a new processor. You have a link that could educate me on that as well?

Again, thanks for the help.
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November 14, 2010 10:37:06 AM

someone also suggested the Radeon HD4650. Is that in the same neighborhood as far as functionality and power usage as the 240 and 5670?
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November 14, 2010 11:20:49 AM

COL,

Thanks for the links. Somehow I added this question twice to the forum, so I have two different threads going for the same problem.

I just updated the drivers and the original problem of the lines and choppy video in full screen has gone away. THANKS!!

Still thinking of upgrading the video card and it was recommended that a processor upgrade might help my system with overall performance.
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a c 271 U Graphics card
November 14, 2010 11:24:45 AM

This next topics has been merged by Mousemonkey
  • Dell Dimension video card problem/upgrade
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    November 14, 2010 11:31:54 AM

    Malmental,

    You make it sound do easy! :pt1cable: 

    Somehow I ended up asking this same question in two different forum threads. Someone else sent me a link to upgrade the drivers and it fixed the fullscreen problem I was having.

    Still thinking of upgrading though. I'm guessing that going with the 2.9 over the current 1.9, I should see a lot better performance, right?

    Will changing OS affect any of these upgrades? I'm not fond of Vista and saw an upgrade offer for $65 to Windows 7 Professional. Thinking of doing that, but wondering if it will mess up any of the driver updates I just did or change the recommendations you've made for video and processors.
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    November 14, 2010 11:34:17 AM

    Thanks Mousemonkey
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    November 14, 2010 11:52:02 AM

    I'm going to go with the GT240.

    Will this processor work?
    http://www.zipzoomfly.com/jsp/ProductDetail.jsp?Product...

    Will look for a cheaper price on 7. If changing to 7, should I do it pre or post these upgrades?

    I see in some of your links you reference a C521 and specifically mention things not working on the E521. I have the E521. Will everything you've recommended in this thread work on the E521?

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    a c 271 U Graphics card
    November 14, 2010 11:55:17 AM

    jeffysno said:
    Thanks Mousemonkey


    You're welcome.
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    November 14, 2010 12:05:13 PM

    Thanks for the info!
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    November 14, 2010 4:50:52 PM

    I searched for the 3.0, but the sites I find all say they're either not in stock or deactivated. Any idea where I might find one?
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    a c 172 U Graphics card
    November 14, 2010 8:43:11 PM

    Quote:
    here is my E521 (modified), I made it my daily driver unit for the web and crap..:

    Athlon 64x2 6000+ (3.1GHZ) Brisbane
    E521 (modified) / Foxconn / Dell UW457
    Noctua NH-U9B cpu cooler
    AS5 - thermal compound
    4GB (2x2GB) Elpida DDR2 800mhz CL5
    2 - Seagate Barracuda 7200rpm HDDs= 240GB
    PNY nVidia GT240 - 512mb DDR5/HDMI
    Asus DVD+/-RW 24B1ST
    5.25in twin fan case cooler / 3.5in card reader
    2 (set) - Dell 1905FP moniotrs
    Windows 7 Ult. x32 OEM - (daily driver..)

    my lowest WEI score in win7 if you're into that is 5.9 for my HDD.
    the GT240 scores a 6.7
    my RAM in 4GB 800MHZ dual channel mode is 6.6
    and the processor, mine is a 6.2
    your recommended 2.9GHZ processor will get a 5.9 or possible 6.0 WEI score.
    dude, that's not bad..


    What terrible hard drives, yuck! :s A single WD Blue/SE320gb would do you well and save a bit of power.
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    a c 172 U Graphics card
    November 14, 2010 8:46:50 PM

    ct1615 said:
    amazon has a bunch of older CPUs. i tossed a Windsor 125w athlon x2 6000 3ghz in my e521. it ran fine with no issues. just make sure you update your BIOS before any CPU upgrades

    http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias...


    I would never use that cpu even with a 1.5kw or 2kw dual phase psu when 89w samples are floating around that use less power than that cpu with very similar clocks. That 5600+ isn't a bad idea.
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    a c 172 U Graphics card
    November 14, 2010 8:52:08 PM

    Quote:
    ^
    agreed..


    I got a 8250e that uses less even with my 42% overclock still uses less power.
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    a c 235 U Graphics card
    November 14, 2010 9:02:25 PM

    nforce4max said:
    I would never use that cpu even with a 1.5kw or 2kw dual phase psu when 89w samples are floating around that use less power than that cpu with very similar clocks. That 5600+ isn't a bad idea.



    i didn't ask if you would use it, i didn't state the OP should use it. All is said is that I used it and it worked fine. Then I linked him to a page full of various athlon X2 CPUs not just the athlon x2 6000 Windsor.


    ...but thanks for stating what CPU you would and would not use, i'll place that information exactly where it belongs.

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