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Dell Dimension E520 - Graphics Upgrade?!


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Dell Dimension E520 - Graphics Upgrade?!

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Hello All,
I have a stock standard Dell Dimension E520 with 2x1GB 677Ram. Intel Core 2 Duo E6320. & need a new graphics card - I currently have a ATI X1300 Pro 256 MB graphics card. What is the best Graphics car upgrade i can get? I think at least a Nvidia 6600GT/ATI Radeon 1600XT with 256MB memory, will they go strait into my graphics card slot?? **Or better**
Thanks heaps!!!!

Yes its to play COD 4 - WAW.Smile

All Replies
  • You could stick a 9500GT or a HD4670 onto that machine. These cards require no extra power connectors and draws all of its power from the PCI Express x16 slot.

    Max Power for 9500GT - 50 watts.
    Max Power for HD4670 - 59 watts.

    Dell Dimension E520:

    Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600 (2.4GHz), 4GB DDR2 667MHz SDRAM, Samsung SP2504C 250GB HDD, Seagate Barracuda 7200.11 500GB HDD, Hitachi-LG 16X DVD+-RW - DL, XFX GeForce 8 8600GT 256MB GDDR3, Stock Dell 305W PSU

  • Naru2005: I too want to upgrade my E520. I notice you have a Q6600 quad. Does it work OK? I should think it would require a larger power supply also. My lowly machine came with a E6300 core Duo. Works OK for some things.

  • Hello rockorchard and its nice to meet you. My name is Hunter and i will help you here. Although i do not have a dimension 520 i can still help you. Im wondering are you asking Naru2005 her processor type because you want an upgrade processor? I currently have a Q6600 and it requires 65 watts and sometimes more than that. You dual core requires about 55watts or greater. So they are in about the same in power usage, but a huge difference in preformance. Also, if you were to upgrade your processor it would void your warrenty, so i would not recommend that.


    XPS 420

    INTEL Q6600

    425 watt power supply

    4GB memory

    Windows Vista 64bit

    EVGA Geforce GTS 250 1GB SC



    Hunter L. Metcalfe

    IBM GBS Software Engineer

    IBM Project of the Year - NARA

    Lets Build a Smarter Planet

  • Well the Q6600 requires 105 watt if power and your processor 65 watts. But dell makes their processors different so it meets the standards of the computer.


    Hunter L. Metcalfe

    IBM GBS Software Engineer

    IBM Project of the Year - NARA

    Lets Build a Smarter Planet

  • Hunter7

    Well the Q6600 requires 105 watt if power and your processor 65 watts. But dell makes their processors different so it meets the standards of the computer.




    I was looking to upgrade my processor although this is not part of the original thread, I had asked the question since the member had the same model as I have.

    I was under the impression that in order to use specific porcessors, the motherboard had to support the item in question. According to my manual, mine supports up to the E6600 (probably also the E6700 too). There may be quite a difference between that and the Q6600.

    My warranty has long expired so that is not a consideration. The other item of note is that the member only had a stock 305W PS. I know that Dell under specifys their powers supplies, but going to a Q6600 as well as a video board that uses more power seems like quite a leap. Can this really be done safely?

  • For the interest of anyone reading the post at a later date, I've just fitted a 1GB Sapphire ATI Radeon HD4670 DDR3 into my E520.  Great card for the job, slips straight into the slot with no PSU or other mods needed.

  • well i was wrong and you were right your computer can only support the e6600 im not too sure about the e6700. I am wondering are these cards socket 775 and are they 65Nm. If they are then your computer would support q6600 or q6700. The only thing about upgrading to the quad cores is the power requirement. You would either have to do a power supply upgrade or buy a (dedicated power supply (only for graphics)). Your manual only says the E6600, because when you bought your computer that was the best core avaiable, then there was no quad cores available. If you would like me to i will have you talk to my friend from dell that could help you in this situation and find the best parts for your computer.



    Hunter L. Metcalfe

    IBM GBS Software Engineer

    IBM Project of the Year - NARA

    Lets Build a Smarter Planet

  • rockorchard,

    The KU345 Core 2 Duo Conroe E6600, 2.4GHz, 4MB, 1066FSB, B2, 65nm is the fastest we validated in the Dimension E520. But, based on Naru2005s sig file, I guess the Core 2 Quad Q6600 works. You can upgrade the 305w power supply to this 500w power supply to support a better PCIe x16 video card and CPU.

  • Chris M,

    I just bought a Q6700 to fit into my E520; this should work with my existing 305w CPU, shouldn't it?

  • Hunter: as far as I can remember, the E5700 was not out when I bought the E520 or at least readily available, Maybe the Q6600 would also work but in a limited fashion. That is what prompted me to enquire when a Q6600 was listed in a members profile. If the motherboard will match some of the multipliers, etc. The Q6600 should function but how well is the question.

    Thanks for all your help though. Maybe your contact in Dell has some information? Certainly a bigger PS would also be required for high intensity video/gaming. But I don't do gaming. Just CAD and mapping. Both require some large files, and some speed but not up to intensive gaiming requirements.


  • HI: That is very interesting. Did you run this upgrade with the stock PS of 305W and did it run well? Or did you also upgrade the PS to 450 or more watts?

  •  I have Q6600 with the FSB 1066 in my Dimension E520 and NVIDIA Ge Force 8400 GS 512 all running on a 305 PSU and it runs GREAT!!


  • Hey guys,


    Could really use some help here, I started running Modern Warfare 2 and it seems to have fried my video card on my E520 (Green and purple fuzzy pixels and lines appear on the screen  now)

    I have the Nvidia gforce 7300LE on this computer and wanted a quick and easy upgrade to replace the one that seems on it's way out now. 

    Any suggestions?  and is there an option to use a card that would simply require me to replace the one in there now? or do I have to do changes in BIOS and others areas that could be too complicated for a novice like myself?


    Dell Dimension E520 

    Intel Core 2 CPU

    6400 @ 2.13 GHz

    2GB of Ram

    Thank you





  • Hi,

    The best card you can fit without replacing the PSU or similar is the ATI Radeon HD4670 (or Nvidia equivelant).  I went for the 1gb DDR3 version; it fits straight into the slot and doesn't need any extra power (nothing to plug in).

  • Ok I started looking and found ALOT of options, do you have a link to the specific card you used?

    This is what I have found so far:




    Thank you for the help.