Dell Dimension C521 upgrade

I was wanting to upgrade my Dell Dimension C521 computer.

I was wondering what type of socket the 521 has. Would this AMD processor work? (AMD Athlon 64 X2 5600+

Windsor 2.8GHz Socket AM2 89W Dual-Core Processor Model ADA5600CZBOX - Retail )

I was also wondering if the PCI Express(X16) slot was version one or two.
Would this video card work?
(SAPPHIRE 100253HDMI Radeon HD 4650 512MB 128-bit GDDR2 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFire Supported

Low Profile Video)

Thank you for your time and any info you can provide.

0 Kudos
3 Replies

Re: Dell Dimension C521 upgrade


The Athlon 64 X2 5600+ Windsor 2.8GHz Socket AM2 89W Dual-Core Processor, should be fine, prior to installing, update the BIOS to the latest version.

The SAPPHIRE 100253HDMI Radeon HD 4650 512MB 128-bit GDDR2 PCI Express will work, but requires a 400w power supply.





If my answer was helpful, please click: Kudos
Forum Member since 2001
I am not employed by Dell

0 Kudos

Re: Dell Dimension C521 upgrade

I'm in the process of doing the same thing. Through my research I found the following thread on the Forum pages http://www.techsupportforum.com/hardware-support/motherboards-bios-cpu/354366-cpu-upgrade-recommenda... it was very usefull. On my particular model of C521 I found out that I had to reuse the same origonal Heat Sync that came with my computer, so I had to go out and get some Arctic Silver 5 from Radio Shack to install my AMD Athlon 64 X2 5600+. As the previous poster said your PSU unit is only rated at 280. I found a Vidio Card on Dell's web site that is supposed to be compatable according to Dell. I have ordered it and it's supposed to arrive this coming Monday.  it is XFX GeForce 9500 GT

<ADMIN NOTE: Broken link has been removed from this post by Dell>

. The PSU requirement was @ 300 if I'm not mistaken. This is based on running XP. I do not know if it is Vista compatable.

0 Kudos

Re: Dell Dimension C521 upgrade


As for the video card, there have been many discussions on video cards and required PSUs on this and many other forums. 


The manufactors overstate the recommended PSU wattage required and  Dell understates the power of their PSUs.

Just for another opinion check at this site for reviews from 4 Dell owners with 250w PSUs, 1 Dell owner with 275w PSU, 1 “other Brand” with 280w PSU, all said it ran great with no problems.

I purchased the same Sapphire HD 4650 low profile and have been using it on my stock 250w PSU with no problems at all, I am not a heavy gamer so do not stress the card.

According to ATI recommended PSU of 400w it is risky to get a HD4650 if you have a lower watt PSU. It will depend on the individual computer and what has been added to it and what the user wants it to do, heavy gaming or other heavy video use then maybe no.

Check out this article on The Truth About Graphics Power Requirements See how many watts you really need.

The best thing to do would be to keep the safety margin. Best way to ensure no problems in the future.







Inspiron 530s, Intel Core2 E7200, 6 GB DDR2 800MHz, 500GB SATA II 7200RPM, 22" Widescreen LCD w/2 MP Webcam,Radeon HD4650, Windows 7 Ultimate 64bit,  eSATA port 

Studio Laptop 1737, Intel Core2 Duo T6400 800MHz , 4GB DDR2 memory 800MHz, Intel X25-V 40GB SSD, 320GB SATA II,17" WXGA w/2.0-megl webcam, Facial recognition, Windows 7 Ultimate 64bit, Vista Premium 64-bit,  eSATA port,  9-cell battery 
External HDD: A.C.Ryan w/500GB Seagate Barracuda SATA II 7200RPM w/eSATA, WD My Book 500GB 7200RPM w/USB
Custom Rig, i5-750, Gigabyte UD4P, Intel X25M 120GB SSD, 8GB Corsair Venegance CL8, XFX HD 5770, Corsair HX 650 PSU, 1TB and 500GB HDDs. Win7 Ultimate 64bit.
Tags (2)
0 Kudos