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getting my brothers old dell E521, what to do with it

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abarth_1200

Member
Joined
Jun 3, 2009
Location
Scotland, Inverness
Hi guys, sometime soon I will be getting my hands on my bros old dell, amd cpu old ATI graphics card, still good for a few old games and such,

My question is, is it worth throwing money at the dell mobo and getting up to a better spec or will an ATX motherboard fit in the dell case, thinking about modding it a lot and spraying it instead of the dated white panels, make something cool out of it.

Im sure a load of guys here have doen something to a dell at one point so hope you can help thanks.
 

King107s

Member
Joined
Oct 27, 2008
Could be a decent paper weight... if you have some chain, and a boat = new boat anchor :clap: I just dont like Dells... notorious for leaky capacitors and a lot of other issues like horrible PSU's.

Kidding aside, max it out with some cheap RAM (make it useable), reformat the HDD and install everything fresh to your liking. Use it for a backup or a different system to test stuff on when trouble shooting. But I wouldn't spend money trying to make it faster.

Edit: If youre into gamming you make it a LAN server, maybe change out the network card and put in faster HDD for that.
 

GT3mich

Member
Joined
Aug 1, 2007
Location
Birmingham,Michigan
Replacing the MB will be your biggest hurdle. Have a look.
http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_VyfZ0-glh...AAAEo/knzZyJdViBc/s1600-h/DELL+MOBO+CT103.jpg
The I/O panel is backwards. :rolleyes: The case would need major modification to fit say a LG 775 MB. It wouldn't be worth it IMO. You can upgrade PSU, ram Video card, DVD burner, maybe even the CPU depending on the MB. I have a Dell 510 P4 as a back up replaced most of the parts. It plays COD 4 and COD 5 OK with a 3870 video card doing all the work. It all depends on how much you want to spend. I would never use it as my main computer but its good for web access when I'm messing with my rig.
 

madhatter256

Special Member
Joined
Jul 5, 2008
Location
CFL
Not worth putting money into. Actually, you're better off buying a new case, new motherboard and PSU. You can pretty much use the RAM, HDD, dvd drives, etc. from the dell in the new one.

DOn't know what kind of CPU, but if it's a x3 phenom you might unlock it on an aftermarket mobo.
 
OP
abarth_1200

abarth_1200

Member
Joined
Jun 3, 2009
Location
Scotland, Inverness
god damn dell are very clever at foolproofing their design. Might just stick sum more ram in it.

I read somewhere that you can fit a Geforce 9600GT in it on the standard PSU, anyone know, id be happy with that, my bros dell is super quiet so culd leave it on all the time and stick a few more HDD and use it as my home security
 

Old Thrashbarg

Member
Joined
Sep 26, 2007
It looks to have a 305W PSU, which should be OK for most midrange cards, like the 9600GT or 4770 or something. I wouldn't recommend going any higher than that, though. If you wanted, you could upgrade the PSU, the minitowers take standard ATX supplies... just be sure to weigh your options carefully since it isn't really advisable to pour a lot of money into an old K8 system anymore.

But yeah, with some more RAM and a decent video card, it'll still make an alright system. Lack of overclocking aside, the Dell will perform on par with any other system of similar spec.
 
OP
abarth_1200

abarth_1200

Member
Joined
Jun 3, 2009
Location
Scotland, Inverness
cheers man, I wont be getting a new psu, maybe throw in a new fan or 2 more ram and a 9600 off ebay for good measure, If I have money ill spend it and Im pretty happy with my current rig not to mess anything up on it.
 

Old Thrashbarg

Member
Joined
Sep 26, 2007
My old E521 would have power issues with a 7600 GT.

The 7600GT only draws maybe 40W under load. Even on a 300W power supply and assuming a fairly weak 12V rail, there should be no problem with that much draw. I wonder if your PSU had gone a bit dodgy, or maybe the issues weren't actually power related...
 

psionic98

Member
Joined
Jun 22, 2009
I never tried to go above a 3650 on my current system.. which supports a 300w psu..works fine to play some games on med graphics.. sucks for crysis, but most systems at 4+yrs old do!