Dell Inspiron 531 Budget Desktop PC

Dell Inspiron 531 Desktop PC

The Inspiron 531 desktop personal computer is no longer producted by Dell. It may be possible to find it still available used through third parties but it is very dated and is best replaced by a newer desktop system. If you happen to be looking for a low cost desktop PC, check out my Best Desktop PCs Under $400 for a list of currently available systems. Most new systems do not come with a monitor like the Inspiron 531 did. If you also need a monitor, check out my Best 24-inch LCD Monitors for some options.

The Bottom Line

Oct 24 2007 - The versatility of the Dell Inspiron 531 is certainly one of its greatest aspect. The customized system can be selected with a setup that can match exactly what the consumer needs. The problem is that this customization requires much more effort by the consumer and can quickly escalate the price above consumers intended budgets.


  • Includes 19-inch Dell Monitor
  • Highly Customizable


  • Many Features That Should Be Standard Are Not
  • Price Can Quickly Exceed Budget Category


  • AMD Athlon 64 X2 5000+ Dual Core Desktop Processor
  • 1GB PC2-5300 DDR2 Memory
  • 320GB 7200rpm SATA Hard Drive
  • 16x DVD+/-RW Dual Layer Burner
  • NVIDIA GeForce 6150 SE Integrated Graphics
  • Dell 19-inch SE198WFP LCD Monitor
  • HDA 7.1 Audio
  • v.92 56Kbps Modem, 10/100 Ethernet
  • Eight USB 2.0 Ports
  • Vista Home Premium, MS Works 8.5, McAfee Security Center

Guide Review - Dell Inspiron 531 Budget Desktop PC

Oct 24 2007 - The Inspiron 531 can come in a wide variety of configurations from budget all the way up to performance oriented. For this review, we are looking at a standard configuration that fits into an under $750 budget with a monitor.

The Inspiron 531 is based upon the AMD Athlon X2 line of processors compared to the 530 that uses Intel processors. This makes the 531 a better choice for those looking at a budget priced system than the 530. In this case, it comes with the Athlon 64 X2 5000+ dual core processor that provides it with strong performance, but not quite up to the Core 2 Duos. Dell puts in a standard 1GB of PC2-5300 DDR2 memory that lets it run Vista OK, but it would be better to see it with 2GB for smoother performance. Users can always upgrade the memory after purchase if they need to.

Storage is average for a budget desktop. The 320GB hard drive provides it with a good amount of space for programs and digital media. Of course, larger drives are available, but they quickly add to the cost. There is space inside of the system for an extra drive but consumers can also use the USB 2.0 ports to add an external drive if they need more space after purchase. A standard dual layer DVD burner handles playback and recording of DVDs and CDs.

One nice aspect of the Dell desktops is the inclusion of Dell's strong lineup of LCD monitors. For this setup, they include the 19-inchSE198WFP wide screen LCD. The graphics are driven by the NVIDIA GeForce 6150 integrated graphics that lack any real 3D performance for gaming, bit a PCI-Express graphics slot is available for upgrades.

One big problem with the Inspiron 531 though is the lack of many standard features such as a FireWire port or media card reader. These are standard on many desktop but require an extra cost for inclusion here. This may make customization nice but can quickly cause the price to get outside of a budget size.