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Upgrading a computer

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by tankollie, Apr 27, 2010.

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  1. tankollie

    tankollie Thread Starter

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    Hey guys,

    I have a Dell Dimension E520. I am looking to do some personal upgrades. I just bought two additional GB's of RAM, and had fun installing it. I am thinking about other upgrades that are not extremely difficult, and would make a difference in the performance of my PC. I am thinking of buying a new SATA HDD 1.5 TB 7200 RPM. http://www.tigerdirect.ca/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=5764103&CatId=4357

    Are there any other upgrades, anyone would recommend doing. Just note that I would be doing them my self, and I have never done upgrades before, but I am very eager to learn.

    Any feedback/advice would be great.

    Thanks in advance
     
  2. Mumbodog

    Mumbodog

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    That WD green drive will slow it down, they are good for storage drives but not system drives, you want a WD black series drive to speed things up.

    http://www.tigerdirect.ca/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=6076939&CatId=139

    this one has 64mb cache, this really improves hard drive performance over 16 or 32mb cache drives

    If you want a real beast of a drive, look at the Raptor series WD drives. May not be worth the price, Black series are the best bang for the buck.

    Also check to see what the fastest speed memory that system will support, usually Dell will install the slower memory from the factory, but it can support faster memory. If you do get the faster memory, do not use any of the old Dell memory with the new memory.

    According to the specifications manual at Dell, that PC will support 800mhz memory, and I bet only 533 was installed at the factory, this would be a good performance boost to use 800mhz,

    http://support.dell.com/support/edocs/systems/dime520/en/SM_EN/specs.htm#wp1052310

    There is not much else you can do to a Dell to improve performance.

    .
     
  3. tankollie

    tankollie Thread Starter

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    Great call on the memory, you appear to be correct. As for the HDD, do you think a price of $138 is over or under priced? I really appreciate the feedback. I want to make sure I can the best drive/best value since I was hoping these upgrades would last for another 1-2 years.
     
  4. Mumbodog

    Mumbodog

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  5. JohnWill

    JohnWill Retired Moderator

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    If you want to make a really large improvement in disk access, consider adding an SSD. I just got a Corsair 128GB SSD for my boot drive on this system to replace a WD Raptor 10K drive, and the improvement is immense! Boots in half the time, and most programs that took many seconds to load come up almost instantly! Microsoft Office 2007 Word comes to mind, used to take what seemed to be forever. :)

    This is the drive I have: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produ...m_re=corsair_ssd_128gb-_-20-233-087-_-Product
     
  6. tankollie

    tankollie Thread Starter

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    thanks for the advice , I'll look into it. Also, do you think buying a CPU is worthwhile?
     
  7. Mumbodog

    Mumbodog

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    Dell does not release cpu mobo support information, so it is a bit of a gamble what CPU upgrades will work in any given Dell model of PC.

    .
     
  8. tankollie

    tankollie Thread Starter

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    If I were to take off the case, and look my self is there anything in particular that would make it easy to identify?
     
  9. JohnWill

    JohnWill Retired Moderator

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    The processor will surely be under a heat sink, so short of taking the exact model of the motherboard and searching for processor compatibility, nothing comes to mind. Remember, even for the same system model number, Dell has frequently changed the motherboard in the middle of a production run. Got bit by this one day myself. :)
     
  10. tankollie

    tankollie Thread Starter

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    Sure. So, let's say if I open the case, and copy the mobo information down. What are some good resources whereby I can check compatibility?
    Thanks again :)
     
  11. Mumbodog

    Mumbodog

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    There is none, Dell uses proprietary motherboards and does not release any specific information about them, other than what they publish in their documents for that model which is not much. There is not any information on processor compatibility, you might try the Dell community forums, and ask, sometimes a Dell insider will give clues as to what processors will work on any given model of Dell. If you post on the Dell forums be sure to post the first five or six digits of the Dell part number printed on the motherboard, as John Will stated, they may have several different models used in the E520.

    .
     
  12. Mumbodog

    Mumbodog

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