Dell Inspiron 530 Upgrade Suggestions

I have a 3-year-old Dell Inspiron 530

Specifications:
- Intel Core 2 Duo E8200 @ 2.66GHz
- 4GB RAM (4 x 1GB)
- ATI Radeon HD 2600 XT
- 300W Power Supply Unit

I would like to do some upgrades on the system by replacing the graphics card and power supply unit. In addition, I would also like to add two more LCD monitors to set up for Eyefinity (Triple Monitors).

Herewith are upgrade parts I am considering:

GPU: I am going with a Radeon HD 6850 card instead of a 6870 which I initially wanted, but the power connectors would get in the way with the hard disk mounted on the frame of the case - the case is a Mini Tower.
http://www.amazon.com/Sapphire-DL-DVI-I-SL-DVI-D-PCI-Express-100315L/dp/B0047ZGIUK/ref=sr_1_1?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1301297318&sr=1-1

PSU:
http://www.amazon.com/Cooling-PPCS500D-Silencer-Certified-Supply/dp/B0017XEGCM/ref=sr_1_1?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1301297240&sr=1-1

Please assist in making suggestions and recommendations.
8 answers Last reply
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  1. Good choices. But EVGA and some other brands offer extended warranties if you register them online. Leave some room for a board change down the line; many dell boards fail suddenly at the 3-4 year mark, so I wouldn't put too much money into your system. When the board goes, you may need a new windows coa to use a non dell board; dell stops making replacement boards after about 18-24 months or charges so much for them that it's not worth repairing. I've worked in their manufacturing buildings several times.
  2. o1die said:
    Good choices. But EVGA and some other brands offer extended warranties if you register them online. Leave some room for a board change down the line; many dell boards fail suddenly at the 3-4 year mark, so I wouldn't put too much money into your system. When the board goes, you may need a new windows coa to use a non dell board; dell stops making replacement boards after about 18-24 months or charges so much for them that it's not worth repairing. I've worked in their manufacturing buildings several times.



    Thank you very much for this information...I was not aware of Dell's motherboard failures on the 3-4 year duration period. Now that you have mentioned this, back in the late 1990s my dad owned a Dell desktop, which within less than 3 years failed...he installed a new non-Dell board in the case with a newer processor.

    This information you have shared has changed my decision to consider a new build. Actually, last week I was compiling shopping lists of builds between a Core i5-760, Core i5-2500K. I also considered a Phenom II X6 build since it would cost about the same as a Core i5 (Lynnfield/Sandy Bridge) configuration.

    This Dell upgrade was two months away,...and now being aware of this new information you have presented me, I can plan and come up with an extra $1000 for the components of a new Intel/AMD build.

    Could you recommendation other brands that you personally trust? And another thing, which build would you recommend: Intel or AMD?
  3. Intel costs more, but the new 1155 cpus are nice, especially the onboard video. Beware that Intel cpus use the graphics on the cpu die, so some Intel cpus don't support onboard video. The onboard video ports on 1155 and 1156 boards are only for certain cpus. Check the specs carefully. I have used the i3 530, and it overclocked easily to 3.6 without a voltage increase. The 760 is also good; these are for socket 1156 only. For 1155, checkout the 2500K with unlocked multiplier for overclocking. The non K cpus will work in turbo mode, but don't overclock.
  4. Quote:
    are you certain that you can fit the HD 6850 in that case.?



    Yes, the 6850 will fit perfectly in the case, and so will a 6870. But installing a 6870 requires removing the secondary hard disk to allow access to a pair of 6-pin power connectors from the power supply unit (the top flat surface of the hard disk will run parallel-thin to where the power cords connect to the card). On the other hand, with the 6850, I'll not have to make the compromise of removing the secondary hard disk because the power connector is on different placement compared to the 6870.

    Because I'm still two months away before buying the upgrade parts, should I go with the 6870 instead of the 6850, the secondary hard disk will have to be removed.

    QUESTION: Have you played or seen games like Crysis in Eyefinity with an AMD HD 6850?
  5. o1die said:
    Intel costs more, but the new 1155 cpus are nice, especially the onboard video. Beware that Intel cpus use the graphics on the cpu die, so some Intel cpus don't support onboard video. The onboard video ports on 1155 and 1156 boards are only for certain cpus. Check the specs carefully. I have used the i3 530, and it overclocked easily to 3.6 without a voltage increase. The 760 is also good; these are for socket 1156 only. For 1155, checkout the 2500K with unlocked multiplier for overclocking. The non K cpus will work in turbo mode, but don't overclock.



    Thanks for the input...I'll be considering the 1156 and 1155 boards for the 760 and 2500K, respectively. Personally, I think the $30 price difference between the 2500 and 2500K is worth getting the latter.

    Since I'll be installing a discrete graphics card, the onboard video is not a bother. But I appreciate this information because I wasn't aware some Intel CPUs don't support onboard video...I thought that all Intel CPU support the onboard video.

    QUESTION: Have you played or seen games like Crysis in Eyefinity with an AMD HD 6850?
  6. Quote:
    OK, first let me say that I am in the middle of an Eyefinity build right now, only using 15" LCD's however; it's a spare parts build.
    I even did a thread about it.
    Odds are that I'm going to use a HD5770 or the HD6850, I haven't made up my mind yet.
    resolution is only 1024x768..

    AMD AMD/ATi Eyefinity (in development, mostly spare parts...)
    ---------
    Athlon X2 7850 @ (3.2GHz) KUMA
    ASUS M3A78-EM (AM2+) AMD 780G HDMI mATX
    AMD Phenom II X4 955 BE OEM Copper Heatsink/Fan
    4GB (2x2GB) Patriot PSD22G8002 DDR2 CL5 PC2-6400
    - AMD/ATi Eyefinity gfx card -
    WD Raptor 160GB 10K HDD WD1600ADFS
    LG GH22NS40 22x SATA DVD±RW
    MYOPENPC DOMA Pro PCI Black Transparent Acrylic Open Computer Case
    RF-500WPS2 RocketFish 500-Watt Semi-modular Power Supply
    3 - Dell UltraSharp 1504FP Flat Panel LCD DVI & VGA USB (height, pivot (rotation), swivel, tilt)
    Windows 7 Ult. x64

    secondly, I have played and seen some games in Eyefinity and that's why the parts build.
    i got hooked.

    my main gaming unit is an i5-760 build:

    HEAVY HITTER
    ------------
    Intel Core i5-760 @ (3.4GHz) Lynnfield
    EVGA LGA 1156 Intel P55 Micro ATX
    COOLER MASTER Intel Core i5 Gemin II S 120mm Sleeve CPU Cooler
    CORSAIR Vengeance 8GB (2x4GB) DDR3 1600
    nVidia GeForce GTS 240 (OEM Product) 1GB 256-bit GDDR3 (phys-X)
    EVGA GeForce GTX 560 Ti FPB (Fermi) 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16
    OCZ Vertex 2 80GB SATA II
    2 x WD VelociRaptor 300GB (RAID 0)
    SAMSUNG BLU-RAY COMBO 8X BLACK BD ROM/DVD WRITER
    COOLER MASTER RC-692-KKN2 CM690 II Advanced - 2 x 140mm + 3 x 120mm fans
    NZXT Sentry-2 5.25in Touch Screen fan controller
    Rosewill RV2-700 700W SLI Power Supply
    27in ASUS Black Full HD HDMI LED BackLight LCD Monitor w/Webcam
    Windows 7 Ult. x64

    being a former Dell 'flunky' for years, I had several Dell units that I maxed out.
    I left Dell in like end of '07.
    your 530 has some potential but in the end it's restricted because of the Dell BIOS.



    You’re right on the Dell BIOS limitations.

    I bought the Inspiron 530 direct from Dell in mid-2008. My customization was Core 2 Duo E8200, 2GB RAM, Radeon HD 2600 XT, 500GB. Going Quad-Core during customization was more that I could chew; therefore, I figured I would upgrade the processor later down the road and settled for a Core 2 Duo. After having had the system for two years and considering upgrade options, it’s when I knew of the PC Vendor hiccup – the upgrade path is RESTRICTIVE.

    For instance, Dell shipped these 530 systems with either a G33M02 or G33M03 motherboard, with the former for Core 2 Duo and the other support up to Core 2 Quad. Since I bought a Core 2 Duo, Dell slapped in a G33M02 board – to my discovery, the board limited to 4GB RAM max upgrade whereas the G33M03 (for Core 2 Duo and Core 2 Quad) is upgradeable to 8GB.

    What Dell (PC Vendors) don’t mention/specify on their web store is board flavours and specifications...this information can only be found out with a little digging. This upset me, and as a result, the 530 was my first and last vendor pre-built system purchase...I'm returning to the DIY route, which I haven't done in years. My first and second PCs were built by me (Pentium III and Pentium IV). The Inspiron 530 was my third PC.

    If I were to go quad-core on the 530, it would require a motherboard swap and replacing the 300W PSU with at least a 350W.

    To make the most out of my 530 system (considering the board’s limitations), I upgraded the 2GB 667MHz RAM to 4GB 800MHz. I also added two hard disk (500GB and 640GB)...storage is never enough. The mini-tower case allows two hard disks and two optical drives. Since the second optical drive bay was empty, I got hard disk mounting brackets for the third hard disk.

    The two upgrades left are the GPU and PSU.

    The monitor I use is a 19” LCD. I wanted to bump up and get a 23/24” LCD. I was going to be using both monitors with the 23/24”primary and 19” secondary (extended display). But after seeing the Eyefinity experience, I've dropped the 23/24” display purchase and will get two additional 19” LCD monitors.

    I'm getting inspired by the specifications of your HEAVY HITTER system for my new build...and also interested of the outcome of your Eyefinity project build
  7. Quote:
    G33M02 or G33M03 motherboard - difference in the two boards is the amount of VRM or VRAM (I do not remember which)
    the lesser boards only hold 4MB and the better holds 8MB.
    that's the reasoning why the limitations in cpu and RAM occupancy.

    you do not necessarily need a psu upgrade if swapping board but it does make sense and is also future proofing.
    Dell makes a perfect fitting upgrade to your current psu @ 375-watts but you unit should be able to hold ANY standard ATX psu.
    I have purchased both Dell motherboard and psu from eBay for cheap.
    If you can get a correct motherboard for like $40-$50 then get a C2Q for upgrade
    but the total price might be as much as you getting newer technology hardware (motherboard, RAM and cpu)

    DDR2 800MHZ in dual channel mode I hope... is it 4GB(2x2GB) or 4x1GB.?

    while everyone jumped on the new second generation of SB (then had the recall on them, remember) I stayed with the first.
    I love that decision - BTW

    I feel the Eyefinity unit will get more play in my house..



    This was an interesting thread for me as I also have an almost three year old Inspiron 530 with the G33M02 mobo. My system was the bargain basement version with the 1.6GHz E2140 and onboard video only.
    My question is: has anyone tried to replace the Dell BIOS with a FOXCONN provided BIOS?

    This might trash the mobo, I realize, but can anyone confirm if it does trash it or not?
  8. lonkarl said:
    This was an interesting thread for me as I also have an almost three year old Inspiron 530 with the G33M02 mobo. My system was the bargain basement version with the 1.6GHz E2140 and onboard video only.
    My question is: has anyone tried to replace the Dell BIOS with a FOXCONN provided BIOS?

    This might trash the mobo, I realize, but can anyone confirm if it does trash it or not?


    Very good chance
    I wouldnt do it myself
    If you want to OC check this out
    only option with factory OEM towers

    http://www.overclock.net/intel-cpus/341123-intel-bsel-vid-mod-guide.html#post3980695

    if your mobo supports a higher fsb (1066 in your case) then you can use this mod
    Just need a circuit writer pen ($10 at Radioshack if in USA)

    I have done twice very successfully
    I have a E4500 stock 2.2 800mhz FSB running 24/7 @ 2.93ghz 1066mhz
    Do so at your own risk!
    I have read many forum posts across web where many people have done these with success
    if your only going one step up for ie 800-1066 then you dont even have to worry about cooling or volt mod
    take your time
    Make sure you let conductive ink from pen dry at least 2 hours otherwise wont be conductive
    also if you have to use a magnifying lense to make sure there is no accidental contact between wrong cpu pads

    I overclocked a Dell, Dude!
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