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Windows 7: Dell Dimension E520 - Possible upgrades (Ram, Graphics Card, OS)?

16 Nov 2012   #1

Windows 7 Ultimate X64
Dell Dimension E520 - Possible upgrades (Ram, Graphics Card, OS)?


I have been searching the Internet for many leads but have come up, empty handed. I am new to these forums, so I am not sure whether or not this is the correct area to be posting this in.

I have been looking to upgrade my old computer an Dell Dimension E520 to a more powerful computer, so it is able to run 3d based programs without an hint of lag. I have looked into getting new computers, but I'd rather upgrade the computer I have, so I can use it for a few more years.

My system specifications are as follows:

Computer: Dell Dimension E520

OS: Windows 7 Ultimate x86 32 Bit

Bios: 2.04

Processor: Dual Core Intel Pentium D CPU 3.40GHz

Current Ram: 2Gb

Graphics Card: NIVIDIA GeForce 7300 LE (512mb)

Power Supply: 300 Watts

Bios Screen:

(I hope this is enough information)

and I would like to upgrade the ram to make use of the two extra slots so I can get 8Gb's and also upgrade the graphics card to an.

Although something I really want to know, is if the dell Dimension can handle the windows 7 64 Bit or do I have to go down to a lower OS?

Also has anyone done this before and does anyone have any advise for a suitable graphics card that will not overtax my power supply.

Thank you for reading, any help would be most appreciated.

Sean Hall.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
16 Nov 2012   #2

Windows 10 64 bit

I had an E510 which is basically the same vintage. You are better off just buying a new PC rather than try to upgrade the hardware in the E520.

First, max memory, according to the Dell manual, is 4GB. If you upgrade the Video card you will need a new power supply. The Dell power supply is 300 watts and does not have a PCIe power connector. The motherboard is a BTX style and it has a Dell proprietary and undocumented front panel connector, thus you couldn't upgrade the motherboard (if you can even find a BTX style motherboard) and use the Dell case.

Better off to put whatever money you would spend on the limited upgrades into a new, modern technology, computer.

From the Dell manual:
Type 533-MHz and 667-MHz dual DDR2 unbuffered SDRAM
Memory connectors four
Memory capacities 256 MB, 512 MB, or 1 GB non-ECC
Minimum memory 256 MB
Maximum memory 4 GB
My System SpecsSystem Spec
16 Nov 2012   #3

Windows 7 Ultimate X64

Hmmmmm, I can see what you mean. But as an collage student I'd rather just spend on the minimal upgrades and buy a new computer when I got to university. The main thing I need is an good graphics card.

As so, I have an budget of 400 hense why I wish to upgrade and not buy A new computer. If you have any suggestions to a budget but powerful computer, it would help me allot.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

16 Nov 2012   #4

Windows 7 Ultimate x64 SP1

I have an e520 running as a server right now. You can upgrade minimal things, such as memory and DVD drive, but you can't do much with the core of the computer.

The point fireberd was trying to make is that you'd be better off buying a new computer, or the parts. Memory, for example, is more expensive for these machine than for something current. You would get a lot more for your money by replacing it, especially since you bought a small form-factor OEM system. By doing so, you gave up your ability to make system-wide upgrades.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
04 Jan 2015   #5
Chris S

Win 7 ultimate 64bit
Dell E520 upgrade

You can upgrade you Dell E520 to 8Gb ram (4x2gb) but you will need to turn memory mapping on in the bios to see more than 4gb. You can fit a Quadcore 6600 processor provided you upgrade the bios to verson 2.4 to recognise it. As a small form factor case the only high end card that will fit is an ATI4770 but you will need an upgraded PSU.

It can all be done as I have upgraded mine as above, but I would have been better off spending the money on an i3 or i5 based machine.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
05 Oct 2015   #6

Window7 64 bit Home Premium

There is a lot you can do with one of these. They can run Core2 Extreme CPUs, QX6700,QX6800 (SLACP prefered),X6800.
The BIOS is still locked, but Throttlestop software for laptops can unlock voltage and multiplier settings. 8GB DDR2 @ 800, Win7 64. The bolt in heatpipe cooler is D9729, the better cooler is T9303, requires moving holes in cover to match heatpipes.
D9729 with QX6700 will go 3.2 Ghz with no other changes. QX6800SLACP =_3.45Ghz. T9303 cools video card better due to more airflow out the back. a good video card is PNY GTX750Ti O/C 2GB DDR5. Some brands require EUFI BIOS to operate so check first.
Slight modification of the card is required. Remove bracket and cut in 1/2 vertically, reinstall. Then cut plastic cover by where bracket was removed so air can turn and go out the rear vents. About 5 minutes labor.
For more advanced overclocking putting heatsinks on the motherboard chips (a real chore) , removing fan power to a molex connector and/or installing Delta GFB1212VHG 2 motor 3.4A fan can result in gaming at 3.72Ghz, and validations a 3.99Ghz.
CPU-Z VALIDATOR CPU-Z VALIDATOR Not tested yet are more powerful (expensive) GPUs for ITX computers.
Normal ATX PSUs fit. The fan mod results in error messages at POST, I use sleep mode to ignore them. I post as Retrorockit at OCN in "LGA775Club" Links to validations on p.118.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Dell Dimension E520 - Possible upgrades (Ram, Graphics Card, OS)?

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