Dell Inspiron 530, EVGA GeForce 8800GT SC, Coolmax 600 watt
2008 by Steve Warrick

This page is my attempt to help out the community of Dell Inspiron 530 owners or pre-owners who have questions about upgrading their hardware with a new video card or a new power supply, or both. The photos were taken with the intention of being helpful for others with lingering questions. After purchasing my Insprion 530, I wanted to upgrade the video card, and therefore needed to upgrade the power supply to avoid difficulties with insufficient power. In the past, Dell has had a bad reputation for having proprietary hardware, so I did a lot of study and research and shopping around, before coming to the conclusion that it should work with any ATX power supply. So I hope this information can help you out. But as usual, YMMV (Your Mileage May Vary). Still recommend doing your homework.

Dell pre-sales said that the Inspiron 530 (there's a standard sized case, and I think the 530s is a slim sized case; this page / my case is the standard sized one) comes with a 300 watt power supply, but when I got it, it turned out to be a Lite-On 350 watt Power Supply. See 524_2424, the second picture below for the model number. I still decided to be safe and upgrade the power supply to a larger wattage. When pikcing options for the system, I checked what the fastest video card was, and figured I could go that high without having problems with the existing power supply. I think it was nvidia 8600, but I cannot seem to locate that information anymore. Google might be able to tell you. But since I wanted to go higher, I decided to go ahead and research a power supply (psu) that would ensure enough power. Apparently, if you don't have enough power delivered from the power supply, you might get intermittent and random problems like sudden shut downs, reboots, etc.

I found the reviews and information available from Tom's Hardware to be the most helpful in determining a video card for my budget / performance desires. On the main page, look for the "The Best Gaming Graphics Cards for the Money" series which seems to be refreshed monthly. It's boiled down to price range, and has a NICE tiered chart that shows you approximately where all of the cards rate performance-wise to each other.

524_2423 overview measurement looking into case, near power supply

524_2424 zoom measurement on the power supply in the case

524_2425 front of case measured from back, minus bezel

524_2426 measurement over area where pci-e video card will go

524_2427 same measurement but moved to show pci-e slot

524_2429 clearance from motherboard to empty 2nd drive bay

524_2430 psu motherboard connector in place, ram and cpu fan too

524_2431 is this cpu power, 2 black and 2 brown

524_2432 is this cpu power, 2 black and 2 brown

524_2433 another view of pci express

524_2434 case attached psu wire holders

524_2435 back of case view of original psu

524_2436 original psu measurement 1of3

524_2437 original psu measurement 2of3

524_2438 original psu measurement 3of3

525_2546 angled view of evga 8800gt installed

525_2547 straight down evga 8800gt installed

525_2548 clearance of installed evga 8800gt in inspiron 530

525_2552 installing evga 8800gt

525_2554 evga 8800gt box contents

525_2555 evga 8800gt card in package, front

525_2556 evga 8800gt card, back

525_2559 use caution to get evga 8800gt from package because of tabs

525_2560 530, two hard drives with 8800gt

525_2561 530, two drives and 8800gt clearance

525_2562 back side of 530 and 8800gt clearance

525_2564 back of the evga box

525_2574 do not return to store

525_2594 coolmax 600w power supply

525_2597 coolmax atx psu installed in 530, inside

525_2599 coolmax atx psu installed in 530, backside

525_2600 coolmax 600w power supply side chart

526_2603 inspiron 530, coolmax 600w, 8800gt

526_2604 don't forget to plug in the extra power supply connector

526_2606 you may or may not have to change the 530 bios

526_2607 coolmax 600w power supply chart on back of box

 

 

This setup attains a Vista Experience score of 5.5. For those that don't know, your Vista Experience score is the lowest of about 5 (or 6?) sub-component scores. The highest sub-component rating on this system is 5.9.


Some of Steve's other photos may be found at PictureTakingFreak.com