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Thread: Cheap build using parts from defunct Dell Dimension C521

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    Cheap build using parts from defunct Dell Dimension C521

    Hi all,

    my old man's Dell Dimension C521 has gone the way of many before it and given up the ghost thanks to a dodgy mobo so I'm looking to do a build using as many parts as possible from the Dell to keep costs down.

    I can salvage these from the existing system:
    AMD Athlon 64 X2 Socket AM2 (think its the 4600+)
    2 x 512MB 553MHz PC2 4200 RAM
    HDD
    DVD Drive

    so will be looking for a case (with PSU if possible), CPU cooler, a decent AM2+ mobo, new RAM if newer boards no longer support 533Mhz DDR and a run of the mill graphics card as the ATI x1300 Pro card from the Dell is low profile and I can't find many low profile cases out there. Is there an adapter available that make make a low profile card full height?

    The system itself will be used for mainly web browsing and light gaming and it'd be nice if I could keep it as quiet as possible. The Dell has the cooler encased in it's own housing which makes it practically silent when running. The stock cooler on my own Phenom II X4 965 BE sounds like an aircraft taking off!

    So, with all the said. has anybody got any good ideas for what way to go? My budget would be around the 140-150 mark and any good ATX or mATX combination would be good to have.

    I'm currently looking at these:
    Mobo
    http://www.scan.co.uk/Products/Asus-...Board-Graphics

    Question: would the onboard Radeon 3000 be better than the x1300 ?

    Case
    http://www.scan.co.uk/Products/CiT-2...e-Inc-450W-PSU
    or
    http://www.scan.co.uk/Products/CiT-1...SB-20-450W-PSU

    CPU Cooler
    http://www.scan.co.uk/Products/Arcti...-to-130-Watts!

    1GB DDR2 667Mhz RAM (only required if new mobo cannot support 533Mhz)
    http://www.scan.co.uk/Products/1GB-C...d-CAS-5-5-5-15
    Cheers.
    Last edited by johnny; 09-09-2010 at 04:34 PM.

  2. #2
    Poor graduate. Ulti's Avatar
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      • PSU:
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    Re: Cheap build using parts from defunct Dell Dimension C521

    I'm not sure if the 785G AM2+ motherboards support 533mhz now because I remember the Intel P35/45 chipsets only support DDR2 667mhz and upwards memory.

    I did a quick google and it seems if there are multipliers to support it so in theory it should work but I'm not sure. If it does work get the Asus M4A785D-M PRO for ~£55 off Scan's Today Only. This has onboard graphics which is only slightly subpar to the X1300 as seen in this thread.

    You could reuse the X1300 though by simply getting a full height graphics card I/O plate/adapter. I forgot what it was called though so I can't find any of them unfortunately. Basically you want the opposite of a low profile bracket.

    You could then get the Corsair CX400W for ~£30 which I think is great and I personally have owned two of these. Not sure why they're rated 1 star on Scan, they're the best budget PSUs IMO and are very quiet.

    In terms of the case it's pretty much personal preference, there's a nice case on Ebuyer that's pretty cheap and offers a lot but then you'd have to pay postage so perhaps go for a Silverstone PS04B for ~£35 or PS05B for ~£40.

    This totals about £125 and should keep your system running for a while until you feel the need to upgrade the CPU/memory/graphics.
    Last edited by Ulti; 09-09-2010 at 04:29 PM.

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    Not a good person scaryjim's Avatar
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      • CPU:
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      • Memory:
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      • Graphics card(s):
      • Radeon R5 230
      • PSU:
      • Battery/Dell brick
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      • Dell Inspiron 5570
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    Re: Cheap build using parts from defunct Dell Dimension C521

    When you say "light" gaming, how light? If it's stuff that the X1300 Pro could manage then you may actually be fine with HD3200 onboard graphics and could then sell off the X1300 for a bit of beer money Sadly there seem to be a dearth of AM2+ boards with sideport: most manufacturers have moved on to AM3 now

    Or you could get a cheaper AM2 motherboard, a low profile case and keep the X1300, which your old man might prefer

    Either way, I'd be tempted to go for a low profile case as your dad will be used to the amount of space they take up and will appreciate having something similar. It'll take the existing X1300 no problems, and there are always plenty of low profile graphics cards in the low end if you want to upgrade to something with more oomph later.

    So, for the case I'd splash out with:
    Antec NSK1480 + 350W 80+ PSU - £79

    And then I'd either get this motherboard:
    Gigabyte GeForce 7000 motherboard - £35
    PLUS:
    your existing X1300 - £0
    or HIS HD5450 512MB DDR3 - £38
    or ASUS GeForce GT210 512MB - £34


    OR get this motherboard and use the onboard graphics:
    Asus AMD785G motherboard - £60

    Oh, and you'll need a new CPU cooler as you won't be able to transfer that bulky built-in one from your Dell:
    Scythe Shuriken Rev B - £23.14 - yes, it's expensive but it's good!
    Last edited by scaryjim; 09-09-2010 at 04:44 PM.

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    Re: Cheap build using parts from defunct Dell Dimension C521

    Thanks for the info!

    I went with:
    Asus M4A785D-M PRO, great find this and should provide a good upgrade path for a while to come

    Silverstone PS05B (scaryjim, the Antec case looked sweet but going with a decent midi tower will mean I can upgrade to an ATX board if I need to. Plus, I might just keep that case for myself and give the oul fella my Cooler Master Centurion 530)

    Arctic Cooling Freezer 7 Pro v2.1 ( I read a review of this cooler vs the Scythe Shuriken Rev B and the Scythe was slated in almost every category). The Arctic fared only better than a stock cooler performance wise but the most improtant thing about it was that it's quietness rating and decent bang for buck)

    I'm going to try the 533MHz DDR RAM in that board too even though it doesn look like it's supported. If the worst comes to the worst then i'll just pick up a gig or 2 or some faster DDR2.

    I'm going to try the onboard graphics too. All that would be played on that system would be the Sims 2/3 so I reckon the onboard should handle it. I've had a look for a standard bracket too for Radeon x1300 but haven't found anything yet. If the onboard graphics are poor and I can't find a bracket then I'll just have to nab a vice grip and address that low bracket with some ad-hoc metal work

    Thanks again.

  5. #5
    Poor graduate. Ulti's Avatar
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    • Ulti's system
      • Motherboard:
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      • CPU:
      • AMD Ryzen 7 1800X
      • Memory:
      • Team Group Delta 32GB
      • Storage:
      • Samsung 970 EVO+ 500GB
      • Graphics card(s):
      • Palit GTX 1070 8GB
      • PSU:
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      • Jonsbo UMX3 TG Version
      • Operating System:
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      • Internet:
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    Re: Cheap build using parts from defunct Dell Dimension C521

    The case is on Scan's Today Only for £35 btw. If you get 5 posts you can even get free delivery, try to make some contributions in the General Discussion or in the other areas you have an interest in and you should get free delivery overnight whilst the Scan Today Only deals are here until Monday noon.

  6. #6
    Not a good person scaryjim's Avatar
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    • scaryjim's system
      • Motherboard:
      • Dell Inspiron
      • CPU:
      • Core i5 8250U
      • Memory:
      • 1x 8GB DDR4 2400
      • Storage:
      • 128GB M.2 SSD + 1TB HDD
      • Graphics card(s):
      • Radeon R5 230
      • PSU:
      • Battery/Dell brick
      • Case:
      • Dell Inspiron 5570
      • Operating System:
      • Windows 10
      • Monitor(s):
      • 15" 1080p laptop panel

    Re: Cheap build using parts from defunct Dell Dimension C521

    Quote Originally Posted by johnny View Post
    Arctic Cooling Freezer 7 Pro v2.1 ( I read a review of this cooler vs the Scythe Shuriken Rev B and the Scythe was slated in almost every category).
    The Shuriken is low profile to match the case I was suggesting - I believe the Freezer 7 Pro is generally regarded as a great value cooler, but it wouldn't fit in an NSK1480 Good choice if you're going for a standard mid-tower

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