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Old 11-07-2012, 09:47 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Unhappy Upgrading Dell Dimension C521

Alright fellas, I need to upgrade this bad boy of mine. Problem is, I don't know what to get.

I have a Dimension C521 (slim tower casing) running Windows Vista Home Premium (32-bit)

Some system specs:
Processor: AMD Sempron(tm) Processor 3400+ 1.80 GHz
Memory(RAM): 1.00 GB
Graphics: Radeon X1300/X1550 Series
Processor Cores: 1

If anything more is needed, let me know.

I'm the only one using this pc, really, and when I'm on it, I'm playing me some games. Well, only one game, really. League of Legends. My fps is not smooth most of the times and I freeze up for a little bit every now and then. All I'm concerned with is getting my computer to the point where it runs smooth. I don't care if I have to continue playing on the lowest graphics settings. :P

Recently I've been closing PVP.Net (improves performance somewhat) which is really just a platform for League of Legends to launch from. It allows one to add friends, check the store, join chat rooms, etc. and isn't actually needed to play a match. I get out of it because I only have 1 GB RAM and PVP.Net takes up a lot of my memory. Now, I'm not a computer expert or anything, but this makes me believe I just need more RAM and I'm good to go.. but that probably isn't the case, is it? ._.

I'm thinking of just getting 4GB RAM and a solid state drive/internal hard drive

Please bear in mind I'm on a limited budget ($100-$120)
Any suggestions are appreciated ^^ Unless the suggestion is me getting a new rig. I don't want any answers of the sort o:<

P.S. I don't want to change my casing s:
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Old 11-07-2012, 10:30 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Upgrading Dell Dimension C521

your RAM is definitely holding you back.

until you can afford a new system, you would be best served with getting more RAM.

open up your case and see how many of the 4 ram DIMM slots are filled up. then see if they are labeled with exactly what kind of ram is in it. it might say something like PC2 6400 or use those characters in a row mixed with some more. report back.
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Old 11-08-2012, 01:07 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Upgrading Dell Dimension C521

Changing Vista to 7 will reduce current RAM usage and probably stop the freezing. I'm surprised this system plays this game at all, and why Vista is even on here is beyond me.
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Old 11-08-2012, 10:48 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Upgrading Dell Dimension C521

I agree more RAM would certainly help your situation and ridding yourself of the Vista curse will greatly increase your computers performance. Now, two sticks of RAM totaling up to 2GB or 2.5GB will probably be around 60-90 dollars assuming you buy DDR3 or GDDR3, so thats almost half budget right there. A new CPU would also be beneficial such as: Newegg.com - AMD A6-3500 Llano 2.1GHz (2.4GHz Max Turbo) Socket FM1 65W Triple-Core Desktop APU (CPU + GPU) with DirectX 11 Graphic AMD Radeon HD 6530D AD3500OJGXBOX
Do you know the model#/manufacturer of your computer?
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Old 11-08-2012, 12:34 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Upgrading Dell Dimension C521

Quote:
Originally Posted by PhantomGamer View Post
I agree more RAM would certainly help your situation and ridding yourself of the Vista curse will greatly increase your computers performance. Now, two sticks of RAM totaling up to 2GB or 2.5GB will probably be around 60-90 dollars assuming you buy DDR3 or GDDR3, so thats almost half budget right there. A new CPU would also be beneficial such as: Newegg.com - AMD A6-3500 Llano 2.1GHz (2.4GHz Max Turbo) Socket FM1 65W Triple-Core Desktop APU (CPU + GPU) with DirectX 11 Graphic AMD Radeon HD 6530D AD3500OJGXBOX
Do you know the model#/manufacturer of your computer?
the model and manu is in the subject.

ddr3 ram wont work. gddr3 ram is for graphics cards.

that cpu wont work

a stick of 1 gig ram goes for $15 - $20. an additional 2 might be helpful.

so, what may patch you over until you can afford a new system is:

upgrading the OS ~ ~$100

RAM ~ TBD $30

thats sort of on budget. The OS is a chunk of that. vista sp2 is not that bad. i think i would recommend getting a cheap gpu card for the ~$90 remainder budget. Can you tell us if you are using the vga plug out the back of the computer, or if you are using a vga or a different looking cable near the bottom of the case, further away than the vga plug that is situated in the middle of the case?
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Old 11-08-2012, 01:45 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Upgrading Dell Dimension C521

He can get 4GB of RAM for around 40 bucks (DDR2) off Newegg.

This CPU should also help a tad as well.
Newegg.com - Refurbished: AMD Athlon 64 3800+ Orleans 2.4GHz Socket AM2 Single-Core Processor ADA3800IAA4CW

Your biggest deal is that single core CPU, your RAM limitation, and your budget. Best thing you can really do is try to find a used AM2 dual core CPU, upgrade to 4GB of RAM or more off Newegg, and up the GPU. Your freezing can be a combination of everything just being too old, but your biggest issue is RAM and Vista. SP2 helps in performance but not RAM footprint. If he is capping RAM already with just loading the OS (not taking into consideration background tasks and bloatware) then the OS is a serious problem.

Edit: Wanted to clarify, an SSD would be a noticeable improvement from HDD access times and loading, but your problem will not be solved with an SSD so therefore I did not recommend one.
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Old 11-08-2012, 01:53 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Upgrading Dell Dimension C521

I would not recommend you run that on 1 gb of ram either. Aside from that, Vista or W7 should be run on a 2+ghz dual core or better anyway (IMHO). You have an oem pc and your very limited on what you'll be able to do. You should put XP on it and use it like that until you can build a nice custom pc for yourself when your budget permits





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Old 11-08-2012, 01:57 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Upgrading Dell Dimension C521

Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe C View Post
I would not recommend you run that on 1 gb of ram either. Aside from that, Vista or W7 should be run on a 2+ghz dual core or better anyway (IMHO). You have an oem pc and your very limited on what you'll be able to do. You should put XP on it and use it like that until you can build a nice custom pc for yourself when your budget permits





.
Windows 7 runs better than XP due to better resource management. XP has a much less RAM footprint but if he can take care of that RAM issue with his budget (which he easily can) then his only hold back is the CPU choking.
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Old 11-08-2012, 02:06 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Upgrading Dell Dimension C521

I'm running 7 on my laptop with a single core a 2 gb of memory....it ran better with XP on it. The OP might be better off to use XP for his games for the time being, will probably get less lag
Just My Honest Opinion
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Old 11-08-2012, 02:17 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Upgrading Dell Dimension C521

Placebo effect honestly. My sons laptop (P4 with 512MB) runs certain games (albeit old ones) better on 7 and with an SSD the overall feel is snappier. Like I said, it has less of a RAM footprint but resource management is way better than XP. If he upgrades to 4GB of RAM he can't use XP anyways. XP 64bit sucks hard, and the RAM upgrade will essentially alleviate his freezing problem and the need for a less bloated OS.
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