DELL Inspiron 530 desktop review

Discussion in 'Dell' started by Jonathan Eales, Aug 21, 2007.

  1. My 8 week delayed Inspiron 531 replacement arrived yesterday in the form of
    a Inspiron 530 desktop with Intel E6550, 2Gb DDR2 667Mhz, 320Gb HDD, DVD
    writer and Intel integrated graphics.

    Upon unpacking it I realised that it is a lot lighter and smaller than its
    Dimension predecessor, though rather attractive in silver and white. No
    supporting structure that you can use to lift it though. The media card
    reader, audio and USB sockets are neatly hidden away behind a sliding front
    cover.

    Installing Windows Vista Home Premium was no problem. The BIOS set-up is
    back to the AMI/Phoenix style which doesn't seem to be as informative. The
    Intel SATA RAID Bios still does not support RAID 0 Stripe just RAID 1
    Mirror.

    The system certainly seemed very responsive and benchmarked well. My older
    version of Sisoft Sandra failed to reveal the exact chipset but as the FSB
    was shown to be 1,328MHz and with Intel integrated graphics I suspect a G33
    variant. The memory bandwidth was the fastest I'd ever seen at over
    5,500Mb/s. The single Western Digital hard disk also did well at 67Mb/s
    bandwidth.

    Opening the case by undoing the two screws (!) to remove the flimsy side
    panel reveals a few surprises. First there is not a single piece of green
    plastic to be seen in this ATX format case. Yes we are back to retaining
    screws and ATX awkwardness and airflows. There are two large 90mm fans one
    on the CPU and the other fitted closely to it exhausting to the rear. The
    system seems whisper quiet though, so DELL design engineers have done a good
    job here. The hard drive is mounted with four screws horizontally on its
    edge with room for another to be placed next to it. There is also room for
    an extra optical drive.

    The next surprise was the clearly marked Foxconn motherboard. The chipset
    heat sink clearly show this. Upgrading the memory to 3Gb practical limit
    for any Windows 32-bit operating system was difficult as it seemed to
    require more than usual pressure to get the 2x512Mb DIMMs to click into
    place.

    When I tried to insert my nVidia 8600GTS graphics card after removing and
    replacing the screwed, rather fiddly, expansion slot retaining plate there
    was another problem. The 300W power supply does not have any four-pin Molex
    power connectors at all! So it is impossible to connect the extra
    PCI-Express power supply to the card. It does seem to run well enough
    though on the slot power alone. There are just two free PCI expansion
    slots.

    In conclusion, though I sure I will sell plenty of these stylish, silver
    desktop systems, it will definitely be upgrade and repair these on the
    workbench rather that on my knees under the desk. The DELL Vostro 200 seems
    to be exactly similar in a more attractive (to me) glossy black colour
    scheme. And the equivalent configurations are cheaper too.
     
    Jonathan Eales, Aug 21, 2007
    #1
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  2. Jonathan Eales

    Journey Guest

    Based on this review, I think it may be better to get an older desktop
    model from the outlet than this new design. When you say screws to
    open the cover, please tell me that Dell didn't design it so that you
    need to use a philips head screwdriver .....

    I am certainly happy with my XPS 410 and love the case design. I
    prefer to not have a sliding door covering things like the memory card
    readers -- just an extra thing to get in the way.

    I don't understand why Dell renamed the desktops from "Dimension" to
    "Inspiron". Inspiron has been the laptop name -- and naming desktops
    as Inspiron will only lead to confusion.

    I also think they could have come up with a different name than
    "Vostro". Where did that name come from? Does it actually mean
    anything? Sounds like something from Harry Potter, but not a very
    good name for a laptop line.

    Obviously Dell has been in trouble, and they needed to shake things
    up. I think they are doing a poor job of it. The new 13" XPS
    notebook went backwards from the M1210 with a 1.5Ghz starting Core 2
    Duo, and it is way overpriced. They move to less user-friendly
    desktop cases. They mangle their names and come up with a poor one
    for the new line, IMO. Hopefully for the stock price the move into
    retail outlets will increase sales, because they will need something
    positive from somewhere! I don't think I'll be buying the stock
    anytime soon, or an "Inspiron" desktop in the future.
     
    Journey, Aug 21, 2007
    #2
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  3. Jonathan Eales

    Tony Harding Guest

    Journey wrote:


    ACK, suddenly it's 1999. :)

    Same here, very nice design.
    Right - ???
    From: http://www.backupreview.info/index.php?pid=news_article&id=1440

    What's Mine is Vostro

    With the introduction of Vostro (Latin for “yours”), Dell hopes to
    correct its recent course. The new brand is meant to bridge the gap
    between the company’s Dimension and Inspiron consumer PC lines (now
    combined under the single Inspiron banner) and its OptiPlex and Latitude
    corporate offerings. Designed specifically for growing businesses with
    one to 25 employees, Vostro desktops and laptops aim to combine the
    hardware, software and service those companies need and nothing that
    they don’t.
     
    Tony Harding, Aug 21, 2007
    #3
  4. Jonathan Eales

    Journey Guest

    Well, I think Dell did a great job of taking well defined and well
    understood product lines and creating a lot of confusion. The Vostro
    name is horrible and they couldn't have done any customer preference
    testing of several good names because I can't believe that many people
    woudl choose "Vostro".

    I am really glad that I have the Dell PCs that I have now. I will
    never buy a desktop computer that has a case like the new Inspirons.
    Is Michael Dell involved at all with these designs, and does he even
    use these PCs?

    Oh... wait. Dell is the same company that used, and continued to use,
    the incredibly poor designed case with the flap over the front USB
    ports that were at the bottom pointing down, which made them almost
    useless (without an extension dongle). Even with an obviously poor
    design that users complained about, Dell continued to use that design.

    So, I guess it was a fluke that they got it right with the XPS 410 /
    9200's.
     
    Journey, Aug 21, 2007
    #4
  5. Jonathan Eales

    Andy Guest

    I just got a Vostro 200 and pretty happy with it some striking things at the
    moment I am not too happy with is the CD ROM Drive / Combo hidden behind the
    casing flap now and when the drawer of the CD rom drive is out you cannot
    press the button to get the drawer in, you have to push the drawer which I
    don't like doing I feel it could wreck the CD rom over time closing it this
    way. Bad design I think.

    The second thing I am not happy about at the moment is the absence of the
    Diagnostic LED's that have been as standard on all the older Dell's I think
    these were very useful - seems they think they are no longer needed now they
    must think.

    The Fan(s) in this Vostro 200 Desktop are not as quiet in operation as the
    fan in my Dimension 2400 Desktop.

    The Matt Black finish is showing up fingermarks and dust already and I have
    only had it a couple of weeks Blue lights on the front of the case for power
    button and hard disk activity light are very snazzy!

    Great size (Height & width) now and very modern looking a nice change from
    that last lot of ugly looking bulky Dimension Desktops that were out with
    the white case sides and the huge gaps at the side for the ventilation - I
    mean who wants something that huge and bulky when you can have a small
    streamlined desktop like the Vostro's and Inspron Desktop PC's now.

    Andy.
     
    Andy, Aug 30, 2007
    #5
  6. Jonathan Eales

    S.Lewis Guest


    I do.

    And the fans are quiet too. And they have diag LEDs. And you can close the
    optical drives using the drive buttons, and the side covers are quick
    release rather than thumb screws that are actually oversized standard screws
    that need a screwdriver.

    If I wanted blue LEDs I could buy an HP, Compaq, or a Sony.

    Each to his own, however.
     
    S.Lewis, Aug 31, 2007
    #6
  7. Jonathan Eales

    Andy Guest

    when you put it that way....... - I still hate the look of the huge gaps at
    the side of them Dimensions for air ventilation they (Dell / the people who
    manufacture the tower case) could have made that more pleasing to the eye
    surely!

    Andy.
     
    Andy, Aug 31, 2007
    #7
  8. Jonathan Eales

    S.Lewis Guest


    In fairness, some of Dell's best and most reliable machines have been ugly
    and/or boring in many people's minds.

    Hence, the new Vostro and Inspiron desktops.

    I'm more concerned about function than fashion, but certainly a segment of
    consumers want the box to look at certain way - and that's cool.

    Certainly some of the Sony Vaio desktops I've seen had nice aesthetics.


    Stew
     
    S.Lewis, Sep 1, 2007
    #8
  9. Jonathan Eales

    Andy Guest

    Makes you wonder why particular huge cases with loads of air vents and fans
    are included on some desktop tower cases yet you can cram everything into a
    small space of a notebook/laptop PC and it runs ok without that ventilation
    and cooling fans!

    Andy.
     
    Andy, Sep 1, 2007
    #9
  10. Jonathan Eales

    Tony Harding Guest

    Andy wrote:

    I don't wonder at all. Do you wonder why Porsche puts a honking V-8 into
    their Cayenne models when Honda has a lovely 4-banger in their Civics
    they could use instead, hm?
     
    Tony Harding, Sep 10, 2007
    #10
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