Memory upgrades (and information on a potential 3.5GB RAM defect)
According to Dell, the machine can take 4GB of RAM. However, there is more to the story then Dell tells.
Some of these machines only take 3.5GB due to a potential chipset defect. It is not known if all of the 5150's have this issue or it was just an issue with the author's. Nonetheless, it is being mentioned just in case it wasn't a defect and is limited to 3.5GB rather then 4GB.
How to identify the problem: Install a dGPU you can confirm does *not* share system RAM (some do, but they are rare) and install 4GB of RAM. If you do this and see 3.5GB in the BIOS, your system has the problem.
The system supports DDR2 memory. It will only accept 533MHz and 667MHz memory. Trying to use 800MHz will lead to a POST error.
Dell used 2-3 board part numbers, with 2 models being known. The following boards exist for this machine (well, at least what the Wiki creator knows about):
- 0HJ054 (5150/E510)
- 0WG261 (5150)
Systems with the 0WG261 are the most likely to be affected by the 3.5GB RAM bug. The 0HJ054 does not have the problem.
This machine uses SATA I, meaning it is limited to 1.5Gb/s for throughput. SATA III drives work, but run at SATA I speeds. A PCIe controller is required for SATA III speeds.
This machine has 2 limitations for processors.
- 0HJ054 can take up to the Pentium D 945.
- 0WG621 systems are limited to the Pentium 4 670, but accept 2MB cache processors. Using a Pentium D in these will lead to a microcode complaint. These are also very likely to be nearly maxed out processor wise.
Run CPU-Z and verify your board before a processor upgrade to the Pentium D. CPU-Z will tell you which board you have.
64-bit compatibility: All Pentium D's are 64-bit. Pentium 4's can be 32-bit or 64-bit, depending on the amount of L2 cache it has. 1MB is 32-bit and 2MB is 64-bit.
The machine uses a mostly normal power supply. Dell's power supply case is larger then the standard power supplies on the market, so a gap may be apparent on some power supplies. This is cosmetic, since the power supply will bolt in normally.
You will have to live with the gap since Dell's power supplies are likely to fail, or already have.
Pinout is standard 24-pin.