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How to: Dell Inspiron 530, upgrading your video card and power supply

This project is upgrading the power supply and video card for a Dell Inspiron 530 PC running Windows XP. I purchased it refurbished from Dell for a discounted price.

This is a fast machine with its Intel Core 2 Quad processor, 4 GB of RAM and a 640GB SATA hard drive.

The only problem with this PC so far is that from the factory it only has the motherboard's onbaord video chip and it doesn't support 3D and gaming. That may be fine for MS Word or Excel but try and run a game of do some video editing and my 5 year old PCs are just as fast or faster so we're going to upgrade the video card and the power supply making this PC scream.

In the videos below you will see all of the steps of replacing the old power supply and installing the new video card.  I even left in the part about installing a power supply that was not right for this PC just to show you some of the pitfalls of this type of project so that you may avoid them yourselves.

I will be adding a video of installation of the 650 Watt PSU (Power Supply Unit) when it is done and a final overview and review of the entire project. You can see a list of the parts used in this project below. You can click on the buy button and it will take you to newegg.com so you can order them for your project.

I've had a couple of people ask me already this week about which video card they should use for this project.  I have a personal preference for NVIDIA cards ever since my $450 ATI card died an early death and left me high and dry. Your Inspiron 530 should be able to run any PCI Express card on the market at the time I'm writing this article.  So all I can really say is just make sure that your power supply is adequate for the video card that you choose.  I would recommend that you use a power supply calculator like the one on newegg's web site.

Both of the original parts I used in the video are no longer available at NewEgg.com so I've substituted both with parts that seem to be a good match based on the original specs.

PARTS USED IN THIS ARTICLE

COOLER MASTER UCP RS700-AAAAA3 700W Power Supply

COOLER MASTER UCP RS700-AAAAA3 700W Power Supply

Today’s serious gaming PCs require more power to support multiple hard drives, processors and high-end graphics cards. Cooler Master is ready with the solution with their new line of Power Supplies with built-in cooling units. The UCP (Ultimate Circuit Protection) series is the newest generation of power supplies designed to specialize in efficiency and ranks as one of the best PSUs in the 80 Plus Silver Category. The RS700 delivers up to 700W of continuous DC power. Cooler Master includes a wide range of well-wrapped connectors that could easily make an electrician blush. These units deliver higher efficiency with integrated protection circuitry for a more stable and reliable source of power. The intelligent 120mm fan control varies speed according to load to run as efficiently and silently as possible. Ultra durable coating and compact design make this a must have for the PC gaming enthusiast in your life. Fans: 1 Main Connector: 24Pin +12V Rails: 4 PCI-E Connectors: 4 x 6Pin, 2 x 8Pin Power Good Signal: 100-500ms Hold-up Time: 17ms min. Over Voltage Protection: Yes Overload Protection: Yes


EVGA GeForce 9800 GT 512-P3-N973-TR Video Card

EVGA GeForce 9800 GT 512-P3-N973-TR Video Card

Chipset Manufacturer: NVIDIA Core Clock: 600MHz Stream Processors: 112 Memory Clock: 1800MHz DirectX: DirectX 10 OpenGL: OpenGL 2.1 DVI: 2 TV-Out: HDTV / S-Video Out



1st Benchmark

Part 1: How to: Getting inside the case

 

Part 2: Overview of the system and the power supply


Part 3: A look at the PC after removal of the original power supply

Part 4: New power supply installed

Part 5: Power supply compatibility issue

Part 6: Installing the NVIDIA 9800 GT

Part 7: Reconnecting all the power and data cables

Part 8: Configuring the system with the new NVIDIA card installed

Part 9: Benchmarking the system with the NVIDIA 9800 GT


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