I am building my custom computer but I'm going to use the E521 case. The thing is I want a good motherboard that can fit. Also I need to keep the original fan and it has to be below $50. Any suggestions?
Only a Dell board will directly fit the case and link up with the wiring harness. The fan has a connector that isn't going to work with an aftermarket board -- if you're building a new system, you'll need a new case and fans -- along with a new heatsink. Also bear in mind that the original copy of WIndows is tied to the Dell BIOS - if you swap in an aftermarket board, you'll need a new WIndows license.
You're not going to find any new boards that will take the CPU from an E521.
And just to add to what ejn63 said...
Not only will you need a new Windows license if you use an aftermarket board, you're also going to have to do a clean install of Windows and all your software on the existing HDD.
Windows that's installed on that HDD now is very unlikely to work with any new motherboard (aside from another E521 board).
Forum Member since 2004
I am not a Dell employee
I am building my custom computer but I'm going to use the E521 case.
The E521 uses a proprietary motherboard, and aftermarket ones won't fit.
As for Windows, I am assuming the OS is XP or Vista, both of which are obsolete, and it's probably 32-bit as well. If you set up a third-party SATA card in the 521 before moving the hard drive to a different machine, it should boot from the card, after which you can set up the chipset drivers and then remove the card altogether. If you then activated, you'd be in violation of the Microsoft OEM licensing terms; instead, at that point, I'd recommend upgrading to a newer version of Windows.