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What is the best processor I can upgrade this old computer to?

#1JockoPosted 8/31/2013 12:43:12 PM
My wife has my old Dell computer and I was kicking around the idea of upgrading the processor. I tried looking online to find the best processor that would be compatible with the motherboard and I can't seem to find a straight answer.

Dell Dimension E521
Service Tag: 7HVN2C1

Current Processor: Athlon 64 x2 3800 2.0Ghz

I started my search at Dells website and it either doesn't say or I'm blind because I clicked on every link I could see and couldn't get the answer I was looking for.

http://www.dell.com/support/troubleshooting/us/en/19/servicetag/7HVN2C1

Does anyone else know what the best processor for this computer would be or know where I can find out?
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#2__Cam__Posted 8/31/2013 1:02:44 PM(edited)
The socket is too old. You're honestly better off building a new PC.
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#3PhilOnDezPosted 8/31/2013 1:10:56 PM(edited)
For what it would cost you to upgrade it you could buy a new mobo and an fx6300 or an i3, or even less and get an ivy bridge pentium/A6, any of which, even the $60 CPUs, would run circles around the best AM2 chips. Good AM2 chips are just too old to find at reasonable prices and too weak to justify the cost.

Now, if your mobo supports AM2+ processors you might be able to find a Phenom II at a decent price but I kinda doubt dell would release a bios update for an OEM board so I don't suspect that's the case. I could be wrong but I'm not going to dig around on my phone, I'll take a look once I get back to my computer if someone hasn't helped you out already.
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#4PhilOnDezPosted 8/31/2013 1:32:33 PM
Just took a look, the only bios update they had listed was one to improve USB functionality so no-go on the phenoms.
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#5Jocko(Topic Creator)Posted 8/31/2013 10:02:38 PM
Thanks for your input guys. I total get what you're saying and I know you want me to build a new computer and I don't blame you but I've got a couple of sources that have really old processors for dirt cheap so price isn't a concern. I just really want to know what the best processor for this computer would be period. If anyone knows or can tell me how I can find out I would really appreciate it.
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The oxygen's leaving my brain!!! --Clucky the Chicken
()===={SWORDSWORDSWORDSWORD> It's my SWORD sword.
#6Kokuei05Posted 8/31/2013 10:30:03 PM
Probably best you're going to get is Athlon 64 x2 5000 or 6000. You're not going to be able to run Phenom or Athlon II on that. You also need to find out what socket your motherboard uses. There are socket 939 and AM2 versions of your current CPU.
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#7OmegaDL50Posted 9/1/2013 1:10:42 AM(edited)
I looked up the details of your motherboard.

This is the details I could find

http://www.ascendtech.us/dell-dimension-e521-motherboard-ct103_i_mb4deluw457e521.aspx

The problem however just because it supports socket AM2 CPUs, doesn't mean it will support ALL AM2 CPU's and the only way to determine is the cpu compatibility list, and since this is a generic Dell OEM motherboard this information isn't that easy to come by.

So basically it narrows down to finding this compatibility chart, or buying a better AM2 CPU and hoping it's actually compatible.

All in all this seems far more trouble then it's worth, especially with an OEM board with very limited documentation.

EDIT : According to a "review" listed here - http://www.amazon.com/Genuine-Dell-MotherBoard-Part-Number/dp/B001R5N0ZO which is little more then a spec list. It apparently supports an Athlon X2 6000+, however the accuracy of this is dubious at best.

But it's closest thing I could find in terms of finding the highest level CPU your motherboard "possibly" could support.
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#8SlaynPosted 9/1/2013 1:15:22 AM
If you were to put an Athlon X2 6000+, would it even be that much of a difference? Not sure if it's worth it unless you want to bother with the time and spend less than $50.
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#9OmegaDL50Posted 9/1/2013 1:25:16 AM
Probably won't be too much of a difference, I mean sure the 6000+ is 3Ghz, compared to the 3800 which is only 2Ghz, so it's clock speed is higher, it's still has the same bus speed.

The TDP for the 3800 is 89w, wheras the 6000 is 125w, so maybe he can get by without needing to upgrade the PSU as well. According to the link in the first post in the topic, looking at the Owners manual the stock PSU is a weak 305w...no telling what it's maximum output is in terms of AMPs on it's rails.
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A fan is confident in the game they prefer being able to stand on its own merits.
A fanatic attacks the opposing game showing insecurity in the game they like.
#10Tommy2GoGoPosted 9/1/2013 2:23:44 AM
As a guy with an Athlon 64 x2 desktop

Upgrading it ot the highest "6400+* it will be pretty cool if you can get the processor for cheap.

I am able to max out many of my games. They run at around 50-60fps.

The newer games like ASsassins creed 3 or Crysis 3 run at around 30fps.

Skyrim runs excellent with mods and highest quality.

I have a 7850 AMD card though.

I would recommend it as long as you don't end up spending too much on the processor.
Plus you'll need a good graphics card.