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Upgrade Options for Dell Inspiron 537

By davislane1
May 26, 2016
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  1. I recently came into possession of an old Dell Inspiron 537 desktop PC. It's a corporate computer that was given away for fairly obvious reasons. I am looking to upgrade the OS (it's running on XP) and possibly use it as a trading computer give it to my sister as photo editor/art machine for a drawing tablet she got for Christmas, if I can squeeze adequate power out of it.

    Do you guys have any recommendations on what parts of this to upgrade? My initial search about the mobo didn't give me any optimism about potential. Specs below:

    Processor: 2.7GHz Pentium E5400 (dual core)
    Current/max ram: 2GB/4GB DDR2
    Factory mobo: Intel G41 (Socket 775)
    Graphics: Integrated
     
    Last edited: May 28, 2016
  2. Route44

    Route44 TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 11,966   +70

    As one who was given a Dell Inspiron 660S I understand your question well. I have been contemplating doing a few upgrades but then I asked myself if it was worth the $ in the long run with it being older tech. Which brings us to a few questions:

    1. What, besides trading, would you like this system to do?
    2. If you were to go ahead and upgrade what is your budget to do so?

    Here are a few things to consider:

    a. You can still find good quality DDR2 RAM such as G.Skill and Crucial in a 2x2 = 4 gigs at cheap prices at such places as NewEgg.
    b. How old is the hard drive? When was the last time maintenance tests as well as defragging it were done? I would be concerned about its stability from years of use.
    c. What OS do you want to run?
    d. What is the make of your power supply and how much wattage does it say it supplies?
     
  3. davislane1

    davislane1 TS Evangelist Topic Starter Posts: 3,562   +2,370

    1. Outside of trading...probably only minor work in Excel and some light image editing for adding notes to trade screenshots.
    2. I'm looking to spend no more than $150. At the moment, I can get a decent graphics card and 4GB of Crucial DDR2 for about $110 from the local Microcenter.

    Thing is, I can buy a refurbished machine off of NewEgg with significantly better specs and head room for $300.

    The HDD is fine (I also have spares just in case) and I put W7 on it yesterday and things seem to be running very smoothly.

    Dell says the PSU is 300W but I haven't opened it up yet to verify make or actual power. Will do that this afternoon and update this post.

    Edit 1: These are the alternatives I'm looking at. Being that I don't upgrade/replace on average for 6 or so years, the extra $200 might be better spent on one of these refurbs.

    Edit 2: I have confirmed that the PSU is 300W.

    Edit 3: I actually bit the bullet yesterday and purchased components for a whole new build. The computer in this thread will likely be used for very light image work involving an art tablet of some form. Budget for this build is still the same, however.
     
    Last edited: May 28, 2016
  4. Route44

    Route44 TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 11,966   +70

    You can get that Crucial memory from Newegg.com for less than half that price.
     
  5. davislane1

    davislane1 TS Evangelist Topic Starter Posts: 3,562   +2,370

    The listings are showing me ~$50 for 4GB of DDR2. That's about what Microcenter is offering (previous price quote was for both memory and a GPU).
     
  6. Route44

    Route44 TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 11,966   +70

    If you can get it from Microcenter for roughly the same price then go for it. Make sure it meets the specific specs for your motherboard.
     

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