Sign in with
Sign up | Sign in
Your question

Dell Precision 490 dual xeon 5130 -need new video card and hard drives

Last response: in Systems
November 12, 2012 12:36:40 PM

Approximate Purchase Date: between now and end of the year
Budget Range: under 500
System Usage from Most to Least Important: Graphic design & Web design (Photoshop, Illustrator, Dreamweaver, Muse), CAD (Rhino, AutoCAD), standard desktop stuff (Chrome, Excel, iTunes, etc.) - I don't do any gaming.
Are you buying a monitor: No. Running dual - 22" Asus, 22" Acer
Parts to Upgrade: Hard Drive, Memory, Graphics card
Do you need to buy OS: No - I already have Windows 7 Home Premium (OEM was XP Ultimate)
Preferred Website(s) for Parts:,
Location: Arkansas
Parts Preferences: prefer stability over price. Still want good deals, but "cheap" is not the primary motivator.
Overclocking: No
SLI or Crossfire: ?
Your Monitor Resolution: Both monitors are set to 1680x1050

Additional Comments, Why Are You Upgrading: : Have had this Dell Precision 490 for 5 years now and love it. Spent good money to get a good workstation with a xeon 5130 processor. Some of the USB ports have failed on this mobo, so I picked up another one to put in that is like-new (I now have dual xeon 5130s...yay!). I'm also putting in 4x4GB RAM (yes, I have the correct stuff - don't need help on that part - not much selection available...LOL). I am thinking if I can get a new set of hard drives and a good video card (plus the memory upgrade I already have) I can breathe another few years of life back into this "ole reliable" power-workstation. I'd have to spend more than $2k to get a comparable system today.

I need advice on the following:

Hard drives
I am thinking the best way to go will be an SSD for programs & scratch disk, and a large 7200 rpm drive for storage.

Looking at these:
SAMSUNG 830 Series MZ-7PC128B/WW 2.5" 128GB SATA III MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD)

Seagate Barracuda 7200.14 ST3000DM001 3TB 7200 RPM SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive

Graphics card
Just needs to do dual monitors and support Adobe/CAD software. I don't do any gaming, or video editing, or intense CAD rendering (just basic model-building, send to CAM, etc.)

- need suggestions

Anything else I should be considering? compatibility issues? Windows 7 runs just fine on it. SSD ok on this system?


March 16, 2013 4:18:59 PM

I know this is an older thread but others may have the same intentions....

I used a Samsung 840 256Gb SSD as the primary drive and kept the 500GB 7200 as a data drive.
3Tb is the absolute single partition limit for Windows 7 x64 so I would consider a 2Tb if that is your contention. I already have network storage so a big single partition mechanical hard drive was not necessary.

I had a tempermental first run nVidia GTX 670 that had loads of problems in another rig so I replaced it with an AMD HD 7970. The nVidia GTX 670 runs just fine in the Precision 490. Since the 490 has a 750W power supply as native equipment, the two 6 pin requirements were a snap.. It already had one, and I used a pigtail for the second from unused 4pin molex connectors. The nVidia website sniffed out the card without a problem and downloaded the latest drivers.

Like most other people, I bought my Precision 490 on eBay for less than 300 bucks. It already had dual 3Ghz Xeon processors and 16Gb of 400Mhz Dell ram already no upgrade there.

Once Windows 7 64bit O/S was installed the WEI indicated the weakest link to be the Xeon processors at 7.2 The rest of the system was 7.7 with the GTX 670 scoring a solid 7.9 in both catagories which is no surprise.

This is not bad for a 5 year old system that would have been parted out if not sold.