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Need help upgrading Dell Inspiron 530s.

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March 17, 2011 8:34:14 PM

Hi guys!

A few years ago I bought Dell Inspiron 530s slim case. Of course i regret that now, like most of the people who bought a slim case. But now i want to upgrade it. So I am thinking about putting the components in a new case and replace the Graphic card and PSU. Anyone of you have any tips on what graphic card i should buy? Not to expensive, around 100 bucks for PSU and graphic card. And does every PSU fit? And can i put the motherboard in any atx case?

Thank you!
a b U Graphics card
March 18, 2011 3:06:26 AM

Just before you start plugging a new PSU onto your Dell components you may find that the new PSU may not play well. Dell and HP etc prefer their customers to be forced into sticking to their brands. I'm not sure how they operate now but it wasn't that long ago certain brand name systems would basically burn out if the PSU was not original. Your system is quite old so that could well be your fate. Thats because they were wired differently. The only safe way to find out if you can do what you are considering is to find out from Dell if it can be done.
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March 18, 2011 6:52:04 AM

I had that exact system to start with.

What I did (was tight budget) Bought:

GTS 250 1GB
Rosewill Challenger ATX Mid-Tower Gaming Case
580W power supply.

I've since realized a few things..

The power supply you get will be dependant on your GPU, though I don't advise going lower than 500 Watt. If your GPU has a "6-pin" power adapter, make sure the power supply also has one.

As for your mobo I'll assume it's same as mine was: With a 24 pin mainboard power connector and a 4 pin CPU adapter. To make sure the power supply works with the mainboard/CPU, you will need either a 24,+4 pin adapter, or a 20+4, +4 pin adapter. You mts make sure the mainboard segment has 24 pins (double check with your own mobo to make sure.)

As for a case.. I like the Rosewill Challenger in almost every aspect.. But it is extremely thin and so sound is as loud outside as it is inside.. If you have your desktop ON your desk or in close range to you, you may want a heavier/thicker case for sound dampening.

But simply put, the first step is to buy a new GPU. You will likely want a DirectX 11 compatible card (future proofing) so choose GTX 460 or above (or on Radeon's end equivalent DX 11 card).

With a GTX 460 (for example) you'd want a 6-pin capable PSU with a wattage rating of at least 500W or above (more is good to future proof a few upgrades). The Inspiron 530s mobo uses very little power but if you upgrade to an ATX motherboard in later years (As I'm doing as we speak, UPS is on it's way) you will want that extra wattage. I have a 580W and it's worked perfectly with 4GB of RAM (4x1GB DDR2 800) and also powers the larger ATX motherboard without using too low load.

So yeah, summary:

ATX case, mid-Tower or full Tower (mid is plenty big.. Like a cat house).
550W + PSU with at least one 6 pin adapter, and a 24 +4 pin (mainboard, CPU) with appropriate voltage per rail to power what you have.
And a good GPU, preferabbly a double slot as they pump heat out of your case and with the new upgrade you will have plenty of room.


--My GTS 250 blocked 2 of my SATA ports but with an "L" shaped smaller SATA head I could squeeze them in underneath.. With that mobo you won't find a good card with clearance, so just do the best you can with it.

My 530s had WEI (Windows 7 ultimate 64-bit) ratings of:

6.0
6.0
6.9
6.9
5.9

cpu, ram, aero graphics, 3d graphics, HDD.

Yours will be better if you buy a better GPU, but overall should be about the same.

-PS: Make sure the power supply has long enough wiring for the motherboard. The 530s uses a Micro ATX form factor, and so it will sit at the top of your case in any type of ATX case.. Meaning you'll be glad you checked the reviews on wire lengths.

if you want I'll link you a few newegg items that should work well for you. Let me know. And for reference, the 530s DEFAULT motherboard is a Foxconn E3350; but is possible yours may be different. If it is a Foxconn, I still remember my whole list of compatible upgrades from when i did mine and could easily help you with this even more.
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March 19, 2011 3:27:53 PM

Thanks guys! :) 
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May 4, 2011 7:54:44 AM

I have a Dell Inspiron 531s (like 530s but with AMD processor instead of intel). I opted for a Galaxy GeForce 9600 gt low profile low power graphics card that I purchased from tigerdirect.com for $99.99 http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/ite... . The fan is a little noisy at times, but it works very well and will run off the installed dell power supply. It is currently unavailable at tigerdirect, but if it comes back in stock or you are able to find it elsewhere, I would recommend getting it.
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