What Types of Hard Drives Work in a Dell 530?

by Solomon Poretsky

The Dell 530 is a budget-oriented desktop computer with an Intel processor and a minitower case. Its minitower case has the ability to hold hard drives of different sizes, speeds and capacities. At the same time, it also has both internal and external ports to allow you to connect the drives.

Dell 530 Drive Bays

The two internal 3.5-inch drive bays that Dell builds into the 530 hold the most popular types of hard drive mechanisms with nothing more than a couple of screws to hold them in. In addition, the computer has two outward-facing 5.25-inch drive bays. They can hold 5.25-inch hard drives or, with an adapter, 3.5-inch drives.

Dell 530 Motherboard Connections

The Dell 530 has four Serial-Advanced Technology Attachment ports. While the first two, SATA0 and SATA1, are designated for hard drives and the second two, SATA4 and SATA5, are designated for CD or DVD drives, many hard drives will work with either set of ports. In addition, Dell builds the computer with two Personal Computer Interconnect slots. Either PCI slot can hold an aftermarket expansion card that adds additional SATA ports to allow you to install more drives.

Using 2.5-Inch Drives

Many solid state drives, which are drives that use flash memory instead of a mechanical hard drive assembly, come in 2.5-inch form factors, like a notebook computer hard drive. The Dell 530 will let you use an SSD and get the benefit of its quiet operation and fast data transfer speed, but you will need a drive adapter to fit it in the 3.5-inch bays.

External Drives

With USB ports on both its front and back panels, the Dell 530 lets you connect external hard drives at USB 2.0 speeds of up to 480mbps. It also has built-in networking, letting you connect it to an external network drive, such as a Network Attached Storage (NAS) unit. You can also use an internal SATA card to add an external eSATA port to the Dell 530, letting you connect external drives over a speedy eSATA connection.

About the Author

Solomon Poretsky has been writing since 1996 and has been published in a number of trade publications including the "Minnesota Real Estate Journal" and "Minnesota Multi-Housing Association Advocate." He holds a Bachelor of Arts, cum laude, from Columbia University and has extensive experience in the fields of financial services, real estate and technology.

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