Details on Dell’s New AMD Desktops


At Tech Day yesterday, we launched 4 Dimension systems. All four of these systems (Dimension E520, C521, E521, and XPS 210) are meant for customers who want to do more than send emails or surf the web. All are good options for consumer and small business customers interested in multimedia like digital music, photos, or videos, or watching and recording live TV via media center.

The C521 and E521 represent the first AMD-based consumer systems we’ve ever offered. If you want the details before watching the video, here’s how processor support breaks out:

  • Dimension C521: Sempron, AMD Athlon 64 and Athlon 64 X2 dual-core processors
  • Dimension E521: Sempron, AMD Athlon 64 and Athlon 64 X2 dual-core processors

What’s the difference between the two AMD systems? Mainly form factor—the C521 features a chassis that’s nearly half the size of it’s bigger brother, the E521.

What this boils down to is that we announced two AMD-based options for customers and two Intel-based options. Our consumer and small business customers now have a choice. All four of these systems will be available worldwide today.

In the vlog below, Ketan Pandya from the desktop team gives you an overview of all four of these.

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Format: wmv

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31 thoughts on “Details on Dell’s New AMD Desktops

  1. You know Dell…you could have done this right, but two key things are still wrong:

    1) Still only 2 useable USB ports in the back since 2 of the four are required for the (and you are the only PC manufacturer to do it) USB mouse and USB keyboard.  My brand new Compaq has more useable USB ports than you (since they intelligently include PS/2 for the mouse and keyboard) and it cost quite a bit less.

    2) Still the same ugly white and silver design.  Maybe if Dell read the online forums and actually listened to their customers that the glossy white sides are ugly.  I have read where some people have returned computers because of the way it looks.  Dell has to know how ugly it is because every advertisement shows the white sides in shadows to *appear* to look grey/silver.  I have never seen one advertisement/picture yet of Dell showing the computer with its bright shiny white sides.

    I don’t know, between these problems and the rest on this website people have commented on, its like trying to beat a dead horse when it comes to giving suggestions to Dell.

  2.     Love the coverage Lionel. Keep up the good work!

    I have to say, Ketan Pandya presents the products well. He seems prepared and knowledgeable.

    I like the fact that I can come to this blog and get up to date information. Please keep it up.

  3. wow — great blog!  those systems sound like they could be gaming machines too.    that guy seems to knows what he is talking about.

  4.    The systems described here may be the cat’s meow but your customer service has such a poor reputation that after several years of excellent experience with your hardware (mainly high-end DImensions 8100) and initial satisfaction with your customer service I just went for the replacement model to HP. Your service reps are hard to understand, their responses seem scripted, the wait lines beyond my patience.  I had the new Dell model all picked out but  I just could not get myself to deal with your service system. And I have the feeling that even if I paid top dollar, I would but get higher priced frustration from the same folks.

  5. The AMD products are finally here!  and Dell did em’ right – they let you choose whichever one is right for you.  Its about friggin time.  Who’s this Ketan Pandya guy?  He should do more of these because he’s the only one that seems trust-worthy in the whole bunch and actually looks like he cares about the product and Dell’s success.   Come on Dell, I’m routin’ for ya to start kickin’ some butt again in the marketplace.

  6. Cool!  The products are finally here, better late than never I guess.  Hey Mr. Pandya, nice VLOG – finally someone with some passion about their products at Dell.   Now, can you fix the service?

  7. I actually think the new Dell’s look pretty cool. for they prices they offer, you won’t find a better looking PC. They need to advertise more of what Ketan Pandya said, different ways to use the PC and the power of graphics!

  8.     I have a couple comments against what “Steven” said here in the comments.
    1) “My brand new Compaq has more useable USB ports than you (since they intelligently include PS/2 for the mouse and keyboard)” 

    You’re right, God forbid Dell try to move it’s customers into the 21st century by packaging more functional USB mice and keyboards.   Would you like your floppy drive back or have you never heard of a USB key?  In fact, if you would like I have an old Packard Bell computer here with serial mouse and keyboard, floppy drive, a VESA slot and ISA slots, circa 1991.  It seems right up your alley.

    2) I’m sorry, did you and some random forums decide white sides was unacceptable?  It’s unfortunate Dell missed that.   Were you the same people that complained that everything during the 90’s was off-white and then complained that everything in the 00’s was black?  What would you like?  Pink, chartreuse, watermelon?  what?  I swear some people will never be happy.  What exciting colors did your Compaq come in?

  9. Why do all Dell employees keep their hands in their pockets during the vblogs. If you are serious about using video in your blog train your employees so that they convey the professional feel that you aspire to with your brand.

  10. To Jerome:

    I think you need to relax and I don’t appreciate your flaming post. 

    I am simply stating that Dell needs to put more USB ports on the back.  Yes, I understand we are moving forward, and I do like a universal connector, such as USB, but with only 2 on the back of these Dells, I would have to buy adaptors/hubs/etc. to connect all of my stuff.  If Dell continues to use USB for mice and keyboards (and I don’t have a problem with that) then there should be 6-8 USB ports on the back, not 4. 

    Regarding the side colors, that is personal preference of myself and many others.  I don’t think white sides matches the computer at all.  It may look “cool”, but wait to you see it in person.  When you have a computer whose white sides look like a kitchen appliance, then pair it with a modern black/silver monitor, black/silver mouse, black/silver keyboard, it just doesn’t look right.  Lets hope Dell doesn’t turn into Apple and have white mice, keyboards and monitors next.  Then again, even Apple is moving away from glossy white and changing to brushed silver on some high end products.

    PS – That Compaq that I got was defective, and I returned it.  I will be buying a Dell OptiPlex instead. Has a lot of USB ports and is black/silver, and has the legacy ports I need for my business.  In case you didn’t know, many companies *do* need them.  For example, I use a FedEx shipping program as I ship a lot of merchandise, well, you can only use a serial or parallel port for connecitng a thermal label printer for printing shipping labels.  Their program doesn’t support USB.  I wouldn’t be able to use the program if I had a Dimension computer since they did away with parallel and serial ports on it.

  11. Sam Miller, have you even watched the video blog?  The dude is more natural than the other ones on here and is actually quite animated.   He really seems enthusiastic about it and does not look like he was given some sort of script to read with a bunch of blah blah blah.    I don’t think the professionalism of MR. P is the problem, its the pricing that does not seem to match what he is saying.

  12. I think the new AMD C521 is the best one of all of these.   Its slimmer and is not over-priced for its small size.  It also has more features than the hp mobile-powered equivalent.   The DataSafe that Ketan talked about is a neat idea and I’m not sure anyone else is doing it.   Dell should talk about that more in their commercials because they way that guy described it sound pretty compelling.  I also like the fact that you can add a PC graphics card to any of these new platforms, because I always like getting the cheaper one and then adding a card from Fry’s or Best Buy later.   Thanks Dell!

  13. Please quote the AMD part numbers for the X2 processors you offer in the new C521 and E521 models so we can tell if they are 89 Watts, 65 Watts or 35 Watts (hopefully). Is the memory you offer for the C521 and E521 really DDR2-533 and not DDR-800, or is this just a typo? Why?

  14. Based on what Dell is getting from AMD – the current X2 processors are a mix of wattage from 89 -65W. 

    Yes, memory is DDR2 533.  Do you think we should bring the 667 and 800 out there too?  

  15. Even more interesting news.. according to Digitimes..

    “The sources also pointed out that Intel’s licensing agreement with ATI limits the front-side bus (FSB) clock speed to 1066MHz and slower, so when Intel unveils its new FSB specification at 1333MHz next year, ATI may not be allowed to roll out chipsets supporting the new specification. Because of these reasons, the sources claimed that ATI has revealed to motherboard makers that it will not invest further in Intel platforms.”

    AMD is hitting hard. Article link:

    I wonder if this has any impact on Dells future game system plans?


  16. Unknown: Thanks for the feedback, and glad to see you’re excited about Intel’s Core 2 Duo processsors.  From our perspective, it really is about customer choice.  That’s why we offer an Intel versions (like the E520 and the XPS 210) and AMD versions (C521 and E521).  For customers who still prefer AMD processors, we can offer those now.

  17. “The World’s Fastest Processor” is right – Core 2 Duo is the bomb!  I wonder why Dell would announce these products now and not 2 years ago when AMD had the advantage.

    In any case, the quad core CPUs from Intel will definitely put a nail in AMD’s coffin when it comes to out right benchmark scores.  I know Intel still suffers in the marketplace and hp is helping AMD iin a big way in retail, but I don’t get why people would buy AMD CPUs when Intel is a better price performance stories.

    Dell (and their spokesperson on the VLOG) might be excited about their new products, but I think its being late to the AMD party – that’s ending.

  18. Glad that so many of you have weighed in with positive feedback for Ketan in his vlog.  Now I just hope it doesn’t go to his head. 🙂

  19. I work with Dell’s Gold Tech Support Transactional department, and i do not like how the guy in this video said “with dell’s data safe you will NEVER loose your music/data”, ive seen things happen, and theres always situations where all data may be lost.  I think this was sort of misleading.   Hopefully all of our customers know the importance for keeping multible backups.

  20. Sounds like a great machine, but I sure would like to experience it for myself. I’ve been waiting now for three weeks, and just received notification that it might be November before the computer arrives at my door, if then.  I’ve been shopping all day for a comparative model that I can get before November. Any input?

  21. I have bought one of those DataSafe equipped machines that this guy was speaking about and he pretty much got it right on.   I had a hardware failure and the HDD crashed.  This little Intel window popped and said something to that effect, although, I’m sure no sane person speaks that way.   I called Dell and they sent me out a replacement HDD (under warranty) and I was back in DataSafe land.   I think this guy is onto something with this DataSafe thing, but I think the implementation could use some serious overhauling.  Anyway, nice job by Ketan to try and explain something pretty complex in very simple terms.

  22. Just bought a customized Dell C521 through my employer.  I have an HP deskjet 842C (uses parallel port).  Does the dell have a parallel printer port?  If it doesn’t, do places like officemax carry parallel to USB converters?



  23. Enid: To answer your question, the C521 machine does not include a parallel port. You typically can find USB to Parallel cables  at some retail stores.  Doing a web search is another option— “Parallel Port Converter” to find these cables online.  One word of caution, make sure you get a bi-directional cable.

  24. Does the E521 board support DDR800 if we were to upgrade at a later date? Or is the bus only capable of 533? I do second that request to offer the choice of 667 and prefereably 800 as an ordering option.  There isn’t much of a price different in the products, well worth the slight latency and speed improvement.

  25. steven,

    if it really bothers you so much that you only have 2 USB ports left, then go like me and get a converter that goes from USB to PS/2.

  26. My 70 year old relative managed to buy a E521 preloaded with Vista Home Premium but with onboard video. I have had the joy of installing it for her and am finding that Vista with onboard video is a ridiculous joke.

    I think it is morally wrong for Dell to even allow such a configuration.  I am the process of trying to find her a decent video card that won’t pop the pathetic power supply that this sucker comes with.  The configuration choices at Dell are sad and the primary reason why I haven’t bought a Dell in ages.

  27. The same as “disappointed”:

    Bought a Dell e521 – it didnt work reallly well and produced a lo t of bluescreens.

    Dell support is unabel to solve the problem.
    PC crashed and cannot be revitalized. 

  28. Hello

    I have dimension C521. Could You tell me which of Dell’s modems are compatible with this computer?

    Kind regards


  29. Bought a Dell Dimension E521, worked pretty good for about a year. Now it seems the crazy thing likes to show me pretty blue screens that say,"system failure".  I had to wipe my entire computer out, back to it's factory settings. Now it likes to shut down all by it's crazy self. I don't recommend this computer to anyone who doesn't wish to speak endlessly with some guy from India. I paid the $239.00 for their, "On Call Support". Yet another waste of money. I paid the money because the guy at their tech support said, "I can fix your computer without having to wipe it out, if you pay for the service". Please be careful before you purchase a Dell. I now understand why a person must do the research. I have read of others with the same problems I am having.

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