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What can I do to my old DELL Dimension E521 to make it a gaming pc?

KENN1027
  • 6 months ago

I would like to be able to do games like Minecraft, Fortnite and etc. I'm not asking for an absolute overkill gaming pc but I would like to at the very least play these games smoothly and at (or I hope at) 60 fps. Can you give me a list of parts that I can use to make it like that? I'd like to keep the budget right around $500. You can see if you can have a cpu and a graphics card. If not, I'm alright with an integrated gpu.

Comments

  • 6 months ago
  • 6 points

PCPartPicker Part List

Type Item Price
CPU AMD Ryzen 3 1200 3.1 GHz Quad-Core Processor $59.99 @ Newegg
Motherboard ASRock B450M Pro4-F Micro ATX AM4 Motherboard $71.00 @ Amazon
Memory Team T-Force Vulcan 16 GB (2 x 8 GB) DDR4-3200 Memory $65.99 @ Newegg
Storage Sabrent Rocket 512 GB M.2-2280 NVME Solid State Drive $59.98 @ Amazon
Video Card ASRock Radeon RX 570 4 GB Phantom Gaming D Video Card $129.99 @ Newegg
Case DIYPC F2 MicroATX Mini Tower Case $39.96 @ Newegg
Power Supply Corsair CX (2017) 450 W 80+ Bronze Certified ATX Power Supply $49.99 @ Newegg
Prices include shipping, taxes, rebates, and discounts
Total $476.90
Generated by PCPartPicker 2019-08-18 23:29 EDT-0400
  • 6 months ago
  • 2 points

That is a surprisingly good build for that kind of money Mark, even has 16gb of 3200mhz ram and a 512gb ssd in that budget! Couple years ago people would have called that insane.... Cheapest workable CPU available and gives plenty of room for future upgrades with that choice on motherboard. Though likely OP will not have to upgrade anything from this for fortnite or minecraft as this hardware should be more than enough to max it out at 1080p.

  • 6 months ago
  • 1 point

Yes i agree. I'm glad you like it. :D

  • 6 months ago
  • 1 point

Also for a bit more, you can change the stock CPU cooler with an aftermarket one (better overclocking thermals and noise levels) and OC that processor to run at 3.9GHz across all cores.

And the price comes just around $500.

PCPartPicker Part List

Type Item Price
CPU AMD Ryzen 3 1200 3.1 GHz Quad-Core Processor $59.99 @ Newegg
CPU Cooler Deepcool GAMMAXX 400 74.34 CFM CPU Cooler $19.99 @ Amazon
Motherboard ASRock B450M Pro4-F Micro ATX AM4 Motherboard $71.00 @ Amazon
Memory Team T-Force Vulcan 16 GB (2 x 8 GB) DDR4-3200 Memory $65.99 @ Newegg
Storage Sabrent Rocket 512 GB M.2-2280 NVME Solid State Drive $59.98 @ Amazon
Video Card ASRock Radeon RX 570 4 GB Phantom Gaming D Video Card $129.99 @ Newegg
Case DIYPC F2 MicroATX Mini Tower Case $40.96 @ Newegg
Power Supply Corsair CX (2017) 450 W 80+ Bronze Certified ATX Power Supply $54.99 @ Newegg
Prices include shipping, taxes, rebates, and discounts
Total $502.89
Generated by PCPartPicker 2019-08-20 21:15 EDT-0400
  • 6 months ago
  • 2 points

What can I do to my old DELL Dimension E521 to make it a gaming pc?

Dang these are old. I am thinking nearly 13 years. I had one during my college years, around 2006. The one I had included an Athlon dual core.

Yeah not sure I would even try make this a gaming PC - even for low demanding modern titles. If you have a budget of $500 I would just go with a fresh new build. Even the humble Ryzen 3 2200g is light years ahead of whatever you could do with a PC this old.

  • 6 months ago
  • 1 point

No kidding: Sempron CPU, presumably DDR2 ram? Very hard to find upgrades that justify the bang per buck. If you are trying to find ways to stretch the budget, you could reuse the case. Don't try to reuse the power supply without careful checking of exactly what you had: Dell was notorious for "custom power supplies" that were dangerously incompatible with PC-type power supplies.

Also check any modern reviews of the 3400G: that should provide plenty of CPU grunt, but I wouldn't expect nearly as much in the way of GPU power. Also remember that 3400G are Zen+, so compare it to any R3 2400 CPU (instead of the recently released zen2). You might find that you can swing a 2400 (or 1600) Ryzen plus a RX570 card.

  • 6 months ago
  • 1 point

So you'd say it'd be more of a (don't think this is a term) a "sleep build" . (That's the one where it looks old but run like a modern computer, right?)

  • 6 months ago
  • 1 point

You can reuse the chassis although with prebuilt units like the Dell there is no guarantee you will find it easy getting a modern mobo and gpu in there. A 13 year old low wattage PSU could probably do with replacing. Get the files off of it you need, donate to Goodwill and make it a tax deductible, and then purchase new chassis and accessories. No USB 3 ports with this old Dell and outdated hardware ports you will never use. Time to move onto something new.

  • 6 months ago
  • 2 points

Yeah I agree with DrLitch, here's a cheap build for your consideration :D

PCPartPicker Part List

Type Item Price
CPU AMD Ryzen 5 3400G 3.7 GHz Quad-Core Processor $148.90 @ OutletPC
Motherboard MSI B450 TOMAHAWK ATX AM4 Motherboard $114.99 @ Amazon
Memory Team T-Force Vulcan 16 GB (2 x 8 GB) DDR4-3200 Memory $65.99 @ Newegg
Storage Intel 660p Series 512 GB M.2-2280 NVME Solid State Drive $59.99 @ Amazon
Case Cougar MX330-G ATX Mid Tower Case $46.99 @ Amazon
Power Supply Corsair CX (2017) 450 W 80+ Bronze Certified ATX Power Supply $49.99 @ Newegg
Case Fan ARCTIC ACFAN00119A 56.3 CFM 120 mm Fan $8.52 @ Amazon
Prices include shipping, taxes, rebates, and discounts
Total $495.37
Generated by PCPartPicker 2019-08-18 18:33 EDT-0400

You might need to update the mobo bios but you can do that easily using the bios flashback feature before you put the cpu or ram in.

The 3400g is very capable for both of those games, search tube/etc for "3400g [gametitle]", there's plenty videos with fps data out there.

If you can stretch your budget a little go for gig am (2x 8gig), minecraft will use up more than the 8gig listed. Scratch that I found a cheap 16gig set :D

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