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.

"Paying an extra $500 for a computer in this environment -- same piece of hardware -- paying $500 more to get a logo on it? I think that's a more challenging proposition for the average person than it used to be." -- Steve Ballmer

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