Upgrading Dell Inspiron 530 please help

Hello, Thanks for taking a look. New pc enthusiast here. I have on hand a little used Dell inspiron 530 that has a Hard Disc that has been wiped clean with Dariks boot n nuke. On which that I have installed the latest stable version of Linux Mint, which I enjoy using from time to time.
Primarily I want to use this for bittorrenting, and ftp'ing, and to play music, it will be attached to my stereo, and may turn it into a base for HTPC, again, mostly linux Mint based.
My dilemma is I want to use it for occasional gaming purposes, mostly windows xp games. The specs are as follows:
Intel Core 2 Quad Processor Q6600 (8MB L2 cache,2.4GHz,1066FSB)
Memory --3GB Dual Channel DDR2 SDRAM at 667MHz - 4 DIMMs
Video Cards --
-- Integrated Intel Graphics Media Accelerator 3100
Hard Drives --500GB Serial ATA Hard Drive (7200RPM) w/DataBurst Cache
300 watt power supply in the bigger case, not slimline case.

I want to install the extra 1 gb of ram for a total of 4, upgrade the video card (150 $ budget on video card or so(less is better)), possibly install an additional hard drive (1 TB.
Questions: What graphics card can I upgrade to and be compatible with the dell and linux mint and windows xp? I want to play some flight simulators, and racing simulators, if I upgrade the video card will this rig be able to handle this? I am going to partition the hard drives to include 4gb of swap space, what would be some other peoples opinions on smart partitioning.
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  1. I would check out something like a Nvidia 9800 series. Maybe something more specifically like the Nvidia 9800 GT by PNY. I know they use less power but offer a great bang for your buck buy.
  2. I know that this matters but to what extent I dont know, but this is hdmi compatible and I will be using this with about a 24 inch monitor.
  3. I would assume then that you would be needing PCI-E. Regardless of brand, were you looking for a single card setup or SLI or X-Fire? Also a price range?

    Something like that the Nvidia GeForce 240 GT should have HDMI or 500 series.
  4. In regards to your first question of pci-e: If that is needed for hdmi then yes, if not I don't care.
    In regards to single card setup or sli, or x-fire: I am ignorant on the advantages or disadvantages of those three options (note to self: research them).
    Main issue is compatibility with the box, and linux mint/ windows xp, and decent gaming experience.
  5. The Nvidia site lists the drivers available for both Linux and Windows 32/64 bit so that shouldnt be an issue as far as compatibility.

    PCI-E refers to the type of slot that the video card will be fitting into on your motherboard. I assume with your CPU Socket Type, your mother board will have the PCI-E 2.0 slot. As for the SLI & X-fire setup that I mentioned, just disregard that.
  6. Oh wow, thanks for that, I've been looking for compatibility lists for linux, could you please post that, it would be much appreciated, I am looking at this one now which isn't very complete:
    never mind, found it:
  7. Sure


    Try that link, it should take you straight to the Nvidia driver page where you can check each model of card versus each version of Linux or Windows you may have. It may not be the exact compatibility list you were looking for, but if they have it its compatible.
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