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Dimension C521

Dimension E521
Dell starts off with the Dimension C521 and E521

It's been a big build up to this point in the AMD-Dell saga. We were all bombarded with rumor after rumor over the years, but Dell finally made the announcement that shook the computing world on May 18. At that time, the company announced that it would deliver server systems using AMD Opteron processors. As the months progressed, we learned that Dell was planning desktops and notebooks featuring AMD processors. So today, we see the launch of two AMD-based entry-level desktop models and while they won't set enthusiast hearts ablaze, it's still a start.

For the Dimension C521, processor choices include the varying models of the Sempron, Athlon 64 and Athlon 64 X2. The motherboard is an NVIDIA nForce 430-based solution with graphics duties being handled by the integrated GeForce 6150-LE controller. Graphics upgrades include a 128MB Radeon X1300 and a 256MB Radeon X1300 Pro. Four memory slots are included and up to 4GB of DDR2 memory is supported while two SATA-II ports are included for storage. Networking duties are handled by an integrated 10/100 NIC while audio is taken care of by an integrated 7.1 audio solution. As for expansion, there's one PCIe x16 slot, one PCIe x1 slot, one PCI slot, two front USB 2.0 ports and 4 back ports. The C521 features two 3.5” drive bays and one 5.25” drive bay and comes with a 280-watt power supply. Choices of operating systems include Windows XP Home, Professional and Media Center Edition.

The Dimension E521 mirrors the C521’s basic hardware features including processor choices, motherboard and memory support, but features three 3.5” drive bays, two 5.25” drive bays and a 305-watt power supply. The E521 also gives you the option of a Sound Blaster X-Fi XtremeMusic sound card if you so choose.

The C521 and E521 are available priced from $359 and $329 respectively with no monitor. It is also worth mentioning that both desktops are Vista-ready. If you’d like to see video footage of the new desktops, head over to the Direct2Dell blog site.



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Dell AMD X2 vs Intel C2D
By customcoms on 9/13/06, Rating: 0
RE: Dell AMD X2 vs Intel C2D
By fxyefx on 9/13/2006 3:47:40 PM , Rating: 2
Thanks for the comparison; I was wondering about that myself. According to the fanatic blogger Sharikou, though, AMD has some very competitive Dell models at lower price points than the comparison you made. Anyway, one shouldn't buy a Dell if they're going to spend over $1K on a desktop, imho...


RE: Dell AMD X2 vs Intel C2D
By Master Kenobi (blog) on 9/13/2006 3:52:23 PM , Rating: 2
Noted that Skarikou is so Anti-Intel he puts the Bush haters to shame.


RE: Dell AMD X2 vs Intel C2D
By JNo on 9/13/2006 7:43:54 PM , Rating: 4
someone likes bush?


RE: Dell AMD X2 vs Intel C2D
By xsilver on 9/13/2006 9:20:18 PM , Rating: 2
one of you's must have voted for him? ;)




RE: Dell AMD X2 vs Intel C2D
By Samus on 9/14/2006 1:25:19 AM , Rating: 2
voting for him and liking him are two seperate worlds my friend :-)


By Burning Bridges on 9/17/2006 3:33:23 AM , Rating: 2
No they're not :-(


RE: Dell AMD X2 vs Intel C2D
By Master Kenobi (blog) on 9/13/2006 3:50:54 PM , Rating: 3
It's never been a secret that buying parts and building yourself is cheaper, thats a moot point. The reason OEM's are in business is because the vast majority don't have the time or skill/knowledge required to build and maintain a computer.

That said, yes the AMD solution right now is pointless since you can get an Intel system for the same price (from OEM's) that kick the living crap out of the AMD system. This is more for Dell to do some design and product testing using AMD processors, to see what people like, and don't like, and any unforseen problems they might encounter. This also gives them potential marketshare from people that were Intel haters, and wouldn't buy Dell simply because they were forced to go with Intel.

Now buying an AMD desktop is hit or miss right now, its better than an old Pent-4, and its slightly better than the Pent-D's, but gets rocked by any C2D, so its a trade-off. Even at the price points, AMD is a bad choice since the cheapest C2D rapes the entire AMD product lineup and can trade blows with the flagship AMD processors. That said, what this does is give Dell the ability to sell AMD processors to people that are hardcore about AMD, and won't buy Intel. This also gives them time to test and see how the supply lines will hold up in the face of demand from Dell. It also lets Dell overhaul its support system to accomodate all the new AMD based designs, and retrain it's field techs to the AMD based hardware. All this before AMD releases K8L which may or may not drive support back to the AMD camp. Dell is betting that K8L can or will drive up demand for AMD based systems, and is getting everything lined up now so they are good and ready to be right there with HP, and Gateway offering AMD based systems from the K8L family.

Simply a market expansion folks. It's logical from a business perspective to expand into the AMD market. This is just a good time for Dell since demand for AMD is low and it will mitigate the potential number of supply/support problems you would get implementing a new class of systems in a high demand timeframe.


By Olaf van der Spek on 9/13/2006 4:02:09 PM , Rating: 4
quote:
Even at the price points, AMD is a bad choice since the cheapest C2D rapes the entire AMD product lineup and can trade blows with the flagship AMD processors.


Too bad the cheapest C2D is 180 euro. Below that pricepoint, AMD is better. And that's a big, vety big, market.


RE: Dell AMD X2 vs Intel C2D
By MarioC on 9/13/2006 4:06:10 PM , Rating: 2
I felt compelled to reply that this is an exceptionally well-written post :) I'm a business major and explaining this stuff is my expertise, so I love it when it is done correctly!


RE: Dell AMD X2 vs Intel C2D
By QueBert on 9/13/2006 6:37:12 PM , Rating: 2
Dell's entry level pc prices can't be matched doing it yourself, unless you get magically lucky and find every component with rebates. Neighbor got an entry level dell with 1 gig of memory, SATA2 HD, a 19" LCD and the usual stuff, with a legit copy of XP for $450 out the door. I priced everything off newegg, building a system as close to his as I could. and the price was still higher. I would NEVER suggest anyone buy an XPS. but if you need a basic PC, their entry level ones are a damn good price.


RE: Dell AMD X2 vs Intel C2D
By eRacer on 9/13/2006 4:45:32 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
AMD Specific: X2 3800+, 3 year warranty, no virus scan
Intel Specific: C2D E6300, 1 year warranty, virus scan included (McAfee)

The 3-year warranty adds $150 to the overall price of either system compared to a 1-year warranty. Choosing a 1-year warranty for the X2 3800+ will lower its price by $150.


RE: Dell AMD X2 vs Intel C2D
By fredgiblet on 9/13/2006 5:58:20 PM , Rating: 3
Hmmmm.....

I made these systems:

1GB 533Mhz RAM
DVD burner
160 GB hard drive
17 inch monitor

Pentium D 805
Athlon X2 3800

AMD price: $679
Intel price: $779

So you get a much better processor for 100 dollars less...

I know what I'd pick, in fact I'm a little pissed since I just ordered two computers with the 805 for work, if I'd known I would've waited so we could get the better procs. While Intel holds the lead at the mid to high-end (picking up with the 6300 and not letting go) AMD still holds the lower end and most people buy lower end.


RE: Dell AMD X2 vs Intel C2D
By fredgiblet on 9/13/2006 6:19:13 PM , Rating: 2
Also, I just re-created your systems (albeit keeping them identical instead of skewing them) and found that I was able to put a X2 5000 in and still have the AMD be $50 cheaper (and that includes the $100 discount on the C2D system). I'm pretty sure that puts price\performance at about the same level.


RE: Dell AMD X2 vs Intel C2D
By Master Kenobi (blog) on 9/14/06, Rating: 0
RE: Dell AMD X2 vs Intel C2D
By Lonearchon on 9/14/2006 9:49:57 AM , Rating: 2
Unless you overclock the 805 it will not outpreform the x2 3800 look up some older review when the 805 came out the 3800 was above it in the benchmarks. But in the same sense the 3800 also overclocks very well


RE: Dell AMD X2 vs Intel C2D
By fredgiblet on 9/14/2006 1:08:24 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Yea but if you could just swap the board on that machine with a real board/bios, that 805 D would run circles around the X2 3800 =/


Um, no. The only way to make the 805 even remotely competitive is to seriously overclock it and\or very carefully pick your benchmarks. Once again, go to Toms Hardware and check the CPU charts, Toms tries to eliminate all potential bottlenecks when they do benchmarks, so what you see (namely the 805 losing virtually every benchmark (single and multi-thread) by a wide margin) is an accurate representation of the 805's capabilities.

Now that being said, the 805 is (usually) cheaper than the 3800 and is you want the cheapest dual core you an get the 805 is perfectly serviceable. However the only real reason to get an 805 is if you desperately want a 4 Ghz proc and don't care that it will still be kinda slow, or you want a (really, really) cheap dual-core proc.


RE: Dell AMD X2 vs Intel C2D
By Calin on 9/15/2006 10:21:02 AM , Rating: 2
The 805 ran circles around the single core 3000+ Athlon64. If you put a dual core Athlon in the picture, the 805 is nowhere as great (in fact is slower in mostly everything).
The day of the 805 is gone - the day when you could buy a dual core processor from Intel cheaper than a single core Athlon64


RE: Dell AMD X2 vs Intel C2D
By cplusplus on 9/13/2006 6:28:12 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
AMD Specific: X2 3800+, 3 year warranty, no virus scan
Intel Specific: C2D E6300, 1 year warranty, virus scan included (McAfee)


Let's try this again shall we:

Components
AMD Athlon™ 64 X2 Dual-Core 3800+
Genuine Windows® XP Media Center Edition 2005 with re-installation CD
1GB Dual Channel DDR2 SDRAM at 533MHz- 2DIMMs
250GB Serial ATA Hard Drive (7200RPM) w/DataBurst Cache™
Dual Drives: 16x DVD-ROM Drive + 16x DVD+/-RW
19 inch Ultrasharp™ 1907FP Digital Flat Panel
256MB NVIDIA Geforce 7300LE TurboCache
Integrated 7.1 Channel Audio
Accessories
Dell A225 Speakers
Dell USB Keyboard and Dell Optical USB Mouse
Software
No productivity suite- Includes Microsoft Works 8. DOES NOT INCLUDE MS WORD
Norton Internet Security™ 2006 Edition 15-months
Service
3Yr Ltd Warr,At-Home Service,and HW Warr Support plus Nights and Weekends
Integrated 10/100 Ethernet

Cost: $1148

Components
Intel® Core™2 Duo Processor E6300 (1.86GHz, 1066 FSB)
Genuine Windows® XP Media Center 2005 Edition with re-installation CD
1GB Dual Channel DDR2 SDRAM at 533MHz- 2DIMMs
250GB Serial ATA Hard Drive (7200RPM) w/DataBurst Cache™
Dual Drives: 16x DVD-ROM Drive + 16x DVD+/-RW
19 inch Ultrasharp™ 1907FP Digital Flat Panel
256MB nVidia Geforce 7300LE TurboCache
Integrated 7.1 Channel Audio
Accessories
Dell A225 Speakers
Dell USB Keyboard and Dell Optical USB Mouse
Software
No productivity suite- Includes Microsoft Works 8. DOES NOT INCLUDE MS WORD
Norton Internet Security™ 2006 Edition 15-months
Service
3Yr Ltd Warr,At-Home Service,and HW Warr Support plus Nights and Weekends

Cost: $1398

Or, for equal cost, upgrade the X2 3800+ to an X2 5000+. Not saying Intel may not be better for the cost, but at least get your facts straight.


RE: Dell AMD X2 vs Intel C2D
By fredgiblet on 9/13/2006 6:41:28 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
Or, for equal cost, upgrade the X2 3800+ to an X2 5000+. Not saying Intel may not be better for the cost, but at least get your facts straight.


According to Toms Hardware's CPU charts the 5000 regularly fits in a little behind the 6400, which probably puts it at the same as the 6300. meaning you can get the same performance (albeit with a little less short-term upgradeability) for less money at Dell


RE: Dell AMD X2 vs Intel C2D
By Spoelie on 9/18/2006 9:52:29 AM , Rating: 2
the 3 year warranty costs like 2-300$ at dell...
also, the 7300LE is not an option for the amd setups

start over plz.


What a historic day (mild sarcasm)
By UNCjigga on 9/13/06, Rating: 0
RE: What a historic day (mild sarcasm)
By otispunkmeyer on 9/13/2006 1:44:38 PM , Rating: 2
BTX is dead isnt it?

it was only invented to try keep presshot cool


RE: What a historic day (mild sarcasm)
By Phynaz on 9/13/2006 1:47:59 PM , Rating: 1
No, on both accounts.


By mendocinosummit on 9/13/2006 2:06:15 PM , Rating: 2
It is nice in the way that it removes all the hot air out of the case and cool also from outside the case. Now we just need cool, power efficient GPU's (dual core?).


By Mockthedevil on 9/13/2006 3:23:53 PM , Rating: 2
RE: What a historic day (mild sarcasm)
By supremelaw on 9/13/2006 2:21:05 PM , Rating: 4
Dell can afford to custom-design
all their motherboards, so the
choice of a BTX format makes more
sense because air flow is superior.

Note the intake area right behind
the front bezel: this clear space
feeds cooler air straight into the
CPU heatsink and fan.

If I could afford to design the
whole system from scratch, I would
be doing the same thing because
the hot Prescott AND hot video cards
gave Intel engineers a great reason
to re-invent the thermal properties
of case interiors.

Re-arranging motherboard layout was
an excellent solution, quite apart
from market acceptance (or not).

Also, recent research has shown that
it was the stock Intel heatsink/fan unit
that was the culprit in most overheating
situations:

http://www.supremelaw.org/systems/heatsinks/warnin...

All CPUs will overheat if their HSFs are not
seated properly.

And, even though most AMD and Core 2 Duo
CPUs do run much cooler than the Prescott,
video cards and FBDIMMs are now running
much hotter than unbuffered non-ECC DDR2.

So, from a purely engineering point of view,
BTX does offer more efficient cooling.


Sincerely yours,
/s/ Paul Andrew Mitchell
Webmaster, Supreme Law Library
http://www.supremelaw.org/
All Rights Reserved without Prejudice


By JeffDM on 9/17/2006 1:50:11 AM , Rating: 2
I think it might have been more accepted if they didn't completely reverse the bolt patterns.

The changed placement of the CPU makes a good amount of sense, but not to the point of how they did it, that just makes it look like they were trying to get more licencing fees more than anything else. It very well could have been ATX 4.0 or one better than the previous major revision and not attempt to suggest that case makers and such to totally dump existing tooling.


By Samus on 9/14/2006 1:31:31 AM , Rating: 2
keep prescott cool? rofl. its funny because its plausable ;)


No nVidia Ethernet
By ChuckDriver on 9/13/2006 4:07:09 PM , Rating: 2
Dell decided to use a fast ethernet network interface instead to the gigabit ethernet nVidia. While I wish they had used the nForce chipset's ethernet MAC, they still could have equipped it with gigabit ethernet from Broadcom. Perhaps the home users targeted by Dimension series won't mind. I'm sure many won't. I am curious about the configuration of the AMD Optiplexes.




RE: No nVidia Ethernet
By abakshi on 9/13/2006 11:43:21 PM , Rating: 2
Yeah, I wonder why that was done? How much cheaper could it have been to do that -- especially given that GigE is pretty much standard nowadays, why do it?


RE: No nVidia Ethernet
By yehuda on 9/13/2006 11:55:43 PM , Rating: 2
Onboard DVI is also missing on both models, even though it is supported by the chipset.


3 years late
By MontagGG on 9/13/2006 1:06:22 PM , Rating: 2
My hope is that AMD will execute well as a vendor and Dell will keep the purchasing road open for the future - if AMD becomes the best performer for the dollar.




HP
By mendocinosummit on 9/13/2006 1:13:41 PM , Rating: 2
Say thank you to HP AMD.




Bad start
By crystal clear on 9/14/2006 9:49:42 AM , Rating: 2
"So today, we see the launch of two AMD-based entry-level desktop models and while they won't set enthusiast hearts ablaze, it's still a start."

If I was selling computers to starters,I certainly would not recommend these models.This even if I was getting higher profit margin from DELL,for fear of loosing a customer returning again to me.
Apple gives a better range/choice.
Sorry Dell, bad start-do some market research & look at the competitions offerings.




Low Prices???
By toyota on 9/13/06, Rating: -1
"If you can find a PS3 anywhere in North America that's been on shelves for more than five minutes, I'll give you 1,200 bucks for it." -- SCEA President Jack Tretton














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