Dell Inspiron i3250-30BLK Mainstream Desktop Review

March 9, 2016
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As the title says, Dell Inspiron i3250-30BLK does look like a mainstream desktop: the engine room houses components such as Intel Core i3 processor and an old-school hard drive. But fear not, this kind of a set-up might be enough for your use. Let me tell you more about the desktop’s benefits, and possible drawbacks, to you.

Is the desktop good for a casual user?

Well, I can say the processing performance of Dell Inspiron i3250-30BLK is incredible, so a casual user should find it very sufficient. The processor is Intel Core i3-6100 – yes, i3 which are often seen as low-ends models, however this dual-core unit belongs to the 6th generation and offers a ridiculously high 3.7GHz clock speed. Also benchmark tests show very positive signs, for example CPU Mark gives this chip around 5500 points – an excellent amount if you keep in mind that 4th generation models from a couple of years ago had something like 2500 points.

Memory is not on par with the processor but there is still 4GB RAM installed. You can run common applications with that, and if you want better multitasking capability you can upgrade the memory to 16GB (two memory sockets all in all).

The hard drive is typical for a desktop, a 1TB 7200RPM spinning model. One thing is sure, you’re not going to run out of space with that. On the other hand, read/write speeds are not that great, so the drive won’t start up Windows or programs as fast as a solid-state drive would. SSD can be installed but only after removing the HDD because there seems to be just one 3.5″ slot available.

Does it offer anything to gamers?

Dell Inspiron i3250-30BLK offers something to players but a full gaming desktop this is not. The computer features no dedicated graphics cards, so you will have to do with the integrated one called Intel HD Graphics 530. As a real-life example, you will get around 25-30 frames per second playing the heavyweight GTA 5 on normal settings and 720p resolution. It is quite playable but far from smooth. But less demanding games like many Steam-based titles or League of Legends will have higher FPS.

There is a free PCI-e x16 slot on the motherboard, but you might not fit every card in (as the dimensions are rather small 11.4″ height, 3.65″ width and 11.61″ depth).

What peripherals can I connect?

Dell Inspiron i3250-30BLK offers you six USB ports, and of those, two are USB 3.0 while the rest are USB 2.0. You’ll be able to hook up printers, scanners, keyboards and extra drives to those if you want. The video connectivity is brought to you by VGA and HDMI outputs, two monitors can be simultaneously connected to this machine.

Audio ports include the usual headset and microphone ports, there are also line-in and line-out in the back if you want to connect speakers.

Optical drive, a tray-load DVD burner is included in the front panel. One 5-in-1 media card reader is available too, it supports the following formats: SD, SDXC, SDHC, MMC and MMC+.

It is possible to connect this desktop to Internet via wireless (1×1 802.11bgn + Bluetooth 4.0) and wired (Gigabit RJ-45) adapters.

Any other important things to keep in mind?

Not a surprise, but don’t forget Dell Inspiron i3250-30BLK doesn’t come with a monitor – however corded keyboard and mouse are included.

The operating system is Windows 10 Home (64-bit), it is pre-installed on the hard drive.

Summing it up

Dell Inspiron i3250-30BLK is not a powerhouse desktop but will be enough for web surfing, video streaming and homework/writing with the MS Office software. In case you want more “grunt”, there are easy to ways to do that with RAM or HDD upgrade. A more problematic thing would be gaming performance; currently there is not much of that thanks to integrated graphics, and upgrading the graphics engine might be difficult because of small case and PSU size. However, if you’re not wanting to upgrade and just want a decent casual user’s desktop, then I don’t see many problems with this Dell. So do take a closer look at it, the computer is very affordable as well!

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