Like many others tha hav posts here in the past, I didn't realize what I was doing when I purchased the slim case 530 from Dell in 2008. Now that I'm interested in upgrading, I'm hitting the same walls as everyone else.
I've searched a bunch of threads that deal with this very question and was wondering if there's been any new releases that may help my situation.
I have an Inspirion 530s running the 2.4 gb processor, 4 gb RAM, the standard 250w PSU, and a Radeon 2400 HD 256 mb (I think, on my iPhone at work and will have to confirm) card.
I know I have to upgrade the PSU to at least 300w to run a decent card. What is the highest rated one that will fit in my case with no mods, and also the best for the money if it's not same.
Also, depending on the above questions answer, what is th "best" card available now that will fit in my case? I would love a 1 gb card, but would be happy with a good performance 512 mb.
Ideally this would all cost under or around $200, but that's not a firm budget ifits justified. I'll be playing games from Battlefield 2 (yes, that old system resorce hog) to Lotro and whatever come out in the next year or two.
Also, is it possible for me to double my RAM to 8 or will the MB only handle the 4 1 gb sticks?
You can put a Radeon 4650 (the Sapphire low-profile model) in a Dell 530S. It physically fits (a minor miracle with that case), runs off the OEM-supplied 250W power supply (a major miracle) ... and is a really great card, esp. for $60 or so. I can run games that use the Unreal T. 3 engine, an obvious graphics challenger.
However, I will note that lately I have been having overheating problems -- which manifested as persistent and INCREDIBLY loud fan noises; I then checked the temps and saw they're high -- and I don't know if those are related to the card. Apparently the 530S is notorious for its fans sounding like a 757 taking off, and related problems, out of the box anyway. Or it could just be dust; I just ordered compressed air and am trying that first, as cheapest poss. fix. (I installed the new GPU right after i got the computer, so no basis of comparison. I also have no idea if there's a cooling solution that will work w/ that config, which I suspect would need more power.... Anyone with thoghts on that, give a holler.)
all the dell slimlines make that lovely 757 sound, I have a vostro slim line at work
luckily the 250w PSU is not bad for an OEM and can peak over 250w. you can go with the low profile 4650, 5570, some people even run a 4670 off that PSU. The ATI 5570 will give you medium settings in most games at 1600x900 or less.