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Dell Dimension E510 Processor Upgrade

Last response: in CPUs
July 9, 2012 11:10:53 PM

Hello, I am looking to upgrade the processor of my current Dell Dimension E510.As of now it runs an Intel Pentium(R) 4 3.00 GHz. Is there a processor out there that I can upgrade to? Preferablywith multiple cores.
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July 9, 2012 11:33:52 PM

According to the Dell service manual, only Pentium 4 5xxx/6xxx CPUs are supported. The chipset supports higher processors but the Dell BIOS may not.
July 9, 2012 11:44:05 PM

I apologize, I'm a little new to computers, what does the 5xxx/6xxx mean? Is that GHz?
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July 9, 2012 11:46:27 PM

It refers to the model number of the CPU (Pentium 4 model numbers starting with a 5 or 6)
August 1, 2012 9:43:20 PM

To those trying to answer the same question (still trying - it's now August, 2012!), maybe I can help (and you only need to read about half of this essay):

Just spent many hours looking for an answer to the same question. It is pretty clear, based on Dell's website and many posts in several forums, that the "Presler" Pentium D-945 SL9QQ is the best you can do in a Dimension 5150/E510. One forum respondent said an E520 came later, and it can use a better/later Core 2 Duo. That's probably true, but the best you can do in a 5150/E510 is a D-945.

The Socket PLGA775 D-945 is dual core, and a few forum writers suggest it is close to, or equivalent to, to next Core 2 Duo generation of Intel desktop CPU's. Pentium 4's (P4's) are single-core/hyperthreaded (HT) CPU's, while Pentium D's (PD's) are dual-core/single-thread CPU's. While the families of the two chip types - P4's vs. PD's - overlap in time, the P4 was introduced before the PD. Not surprisingly, within the overall group of Socket 775 CPU's, the best PD eclipses the best P4. At

Intel has a nice list of ALL Intel desktop CPU's EVER, with major spec's. You pick CPU's you wish to compare, hit go, and compare. Your E510 CPU candidate search criteria needs to include:

(1) Pentium D family, or lower/older. I'm tempted, as others are, to go higher/newer. Forum writers say Dell's BIOS is a limiter, and newer chip families require different power management.

(2) Socket PLGA775.

(3) Power supply limit. My E510 has the standard 305W PS; my original P4-630 draws 84W. In related posts, a few writers suggest that Dell power supplies (PS) are robust, and have a safety margin of untapped capacity. I don't want to buy a new PS for this old machine, so I cut off my list of candidate CPU's at ~95W.

(4) 800MHz FSB. Dell spec's say the E510 motherboard (MB) FSB is capable of 1,066 Mhz, and both 400MHz and 533Mhz RAM are supported. I looked at the next higher "Extreme" CPU family - it uses a 1,066MHz FSB. If you're curious, brave, and don't have enough to do, I guess you could thumb your nose at all these Dell and forum "experts", get a bigger PS, and try a 1,066MHz FSB CPU. (Hmmm...)

My search ended up with a list of 4 top CPU upgrades, including one P4 and three PD's. Of these, the best CPU is the P-945 3.4GHz SL9QQ. I'm about to buy a used one on Amazon for $14.51, including shipping. Just gotta' see what the old E510 can do before I give it away to some low income folks. (Of course, there IS that bigger PS/1,066 FSB idea...)

A short story of affection for this obsolete old box: I just upgraded its Win7 x86 to Win8 x64 Release Preview. If you look carefully on the Dell support website, you'll see the E510 isn't supposed to be able to run Win7. It runs Win7 just fine (apparently Win8, too), has been an XP x86 Media Center Edition (MCE)/Win7 Ultimate dual-boot since Win7 (Ultimate) Release Candidate (RC) came out almost three years ago. It's my library - on both OS's - and I'm about to make it burp up it's content to my new 3.0TB NAS.

The E510 has also been a great media center/DVR-PVR - like lots of reviewers, I like MCE a lot. I find it interesting that MCE was an option, and cost extra with XP, then was free in most editions of Win7, and now, with Win8, MS is back to making it an option, and charging extra for it. Plus, while every reviewer I've ever read has said that MCE is great, and they love it - how often do you hear "love" with relationship to MS products? - MS never promotes it. Is MS, for some reason, trying to kill MCE in Win8? They say the strategy of making MCE an option makes Win8 less expensive for people who don't want it. Maybe. But more than a small majority of us desktop users - home AND business - handle more than a little "media". And especially given that the media mass and velocity is exploding, I just can't help but view the Evil Empire with a little suspicion. Maybe they want to sell you an xBox to act as your media center.

I (literally) picked up the E510 a few years ago when it was (literally) kicked to the curb with a virtually identical Dimension 5150 by a couple of neighboring university co-ed's as they headed out for the summer (maybe they were also heading into grownup life). MS was kind enough to convert my Win7 RC to a legit license. Perhaps I'm attached to this old box because I've done tons of stuff to it/with it, learned a lot with it, and it's never let me down, even when dropped and otherwise abused. And it's all been free.

Though there is that bigger PS/1,066MHz idea...

November 30, 2012 11:53:41 AM

I also have the Dell Dimension E510, its a great box. I picked it up at the county recycling center for free and there was nothing wrong with it and still looked brand new. I think that its an undervalued machine and i think dell didnt list the windows 7 compatibility so that people would buy their Inspiron Line of desktops now that the dimension line has been killed off.

I just added a 1gb ATI Radeon HD 4850 PCI-Express 16 version 2.0 card and the D-945 SL9QQ processor came in yesterday. You cannot add this processor while running Bios A05. You have to flash to A07. If you are running Windows 7 like me, you have to press F8, disable automatic driver signing enforcement and then boot into windows and flash the bios. If you dont disable you will get an error stating that the driver needed for that program to run is not digitally signed. I dont have a floppy drive and getting a usb stick to be bootable was just irritating. After these two last upgrades I can definitely see the difference in the performance.

Dell Dimension E510
3.5gb Ram
Pentium D 945 3.4ghz
150gb hard drive.
Windows 7 Professional 64bit
Office 2010 Professional

Next upgrade is going to be the 2tb hard drive from Tiger direct for 79.99 and a wireless keyboard mouse combo.
April 16, 2013 1:23:58 PM

I agree with MIBPreachers statements completely. I also recently upgraded my e510 to a D-945 3.4Ghz SL9QQ processor and upgraded the GPU to a Radeon HD 5670. I was running the new hardware on the OEM WinXP SP3 Media Center Edition OS until my newer 250GB Hard drive came in and I decided I had enough free time to do some testing of my options.

I benched fresh and completely updated installs of WinXP Pro x64 and Win7 x64 on Passmark Performance Test 8. I am actually surprised at how much more performance I am able to get with the Win7. I was actually expecting just the opposite to be true and was all set to settle for XP Pro x64. For those who are curious the Win XP Pro x64 achieved a passmark rating of 814 but held back the complete performance of my HD 5670 quite a bit (3-D score of 700) not to mention no DX10-11. I highly encourage anyone with an e510 to go with Win7 if you are thinking about keeping the old box around for a bit longer. Just be prepared to waste about 24 or so gigs of Hard drive space to the OS alone. I'm sure there are ways to slim that down a bit but I haven't.

Here are the side by side Passmark scores for my original Windows XP x32 setup Vs the Win7 x64

The overall performance increase as per the Passmark score is 63.8%

Not too bad for only $78.00 of parts upgrades which include the Pentium D Processor, 250GB HDD, the Radeon HD 5670 and an Ultra ULT-500p PSU. I scored all from E-bay. Not including the Win7 OS. Another plus, the hand me downs went into another lower grade Dell Dimension e310 box I also have. It's now getting much more attention.

I started posting all of these exploits in this thread --->
But as is often the case it has closed between the time I was gathering all the parts and my last posts there.
These are older forum concerns after all... who in there right mind is still considering a Pentium D option in an outdated Dell when you can get a whole new system on the cheap... with Win7 LOL. I'm sure there's a few more nut-jobs out there like me... meh.

If you do have an e510 and wonder how much better you could be doing get and run the Passmark Benchmark software here ---> and see where your at compared to my scores. If you want a good gaming box for modern games... I would just get a new system. My most advanced game is Fallout 3 and I can run it on ultra at 1440x900 no problem on my Dell SE198WFP monitor. But I could do that in XP with no real noticeable difference with my current GPU. The main use of this computer is Netflix and standard word processing stuff. Even so I do wish I had held out for the HD 6770. *shrugs*

Hope this helps someone out.

P.s. Almost forgot to mention my Win7 system rating score is a 5.1 overall which was due to the processor being the weakest link of course. ;) 
May 23, 2013 4:20:34 AM

I recently came across Dell Dimension E510, works great, and I want to upgrade it. Currently it has the original 3GHz Pentium 4 and 1GB of PC2-4300 DDR2 RAM.
I see I can get the Pentium D 945 processor from ebay for about $10.00, that’s a no-brainer.
I want to upgrade to Windows 7 64 bit to match my laptops. Will primarily use this machine as a media and data server for my laptops, but also good to have a third computer in the house.
Help me with RAM… I read another blog that this motherboard chipset will only recognize 3 GB of RAM no matter 32 or 64 bit OS. The crucial memory advisor says it can take 8GB (2GB per slot), but when I run the crucial scanner it shows max of 4GB. Currently I have 1GB of PC2-4300 (266MHz), which I will replace. But I’m confused – how much RAM can I install - 3GB, 4GB, or 8 GB? Will PC2-6400 perform better in this machine, or does PC2-5300 max out the speed? What if I plan to turn this into a freeNAS system, does that make a difference with how much RAM the computer sees?
Help me with internal hard drives. I’m looking at SATA III (6Gb/s) either 3TB or 4TB drive. I understand my E510 is limited to SATA II (3Gb/s). Will the newer SATA III still work? At slower speed?
I learned a lot from this forum, and any further advice you can give would be great. I plan on having this E510 around for a while.
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May 24, 2013 12:43:34 PM

Survive for another couple days - I don't have answers with, but at home in bookmarks - there are a lot of possibilities, but I don't want to guess here.
SATA III is backward compatible with SATA II.