Dell Inspiron 3250
Specification and Upgrade Options
The Dell Inspiron 3250 is a pre-built home desktop computer first released in 2016. Although more than five years old, it is still a viable solution for home and office. The motherboard is using the H110 chipset and supports 6th gen Intel Core processor, 16GB of DIMM DDR3-1333/1600 memory, and a low profile GPU. You can even make a gaming PC form this machine with a proper GPU upgrade.
Dell Inspiron 3250 is a Small form factor computer. The Small Form Factor (SFF) is an in-between model. It has less space for the larger form factors (Mid tower, Mini tower, and Desktop), but it is still easily upgradable. Usually the SFF come with 2x PCIe slots, so fitting a low profile graphics card is possible.
Can you upgrade Dell Inspiron 3250 to play games?
Yes, you can upgrade Dell Inspiron 3250 for gaming with better processors, graphics card, memory, and storage devices. However, like many other business pre-built PCs, this model may have proprietary elements like the power supply, the chassis or the power connector, which can make it difficult for users to install aftermarket PSUs to support better GPUs. You can also find that there is space constrains inside the chassis, making it difficult to accommodete larger GPU to boost the gaming performance.
Please explore the sections bellow to find ideas and suggestions on how to upgrade Dell Inspiron 3250.
Windows 11 compatibility
No, Dell Inspiron 3250 does not meet the Windows 11 hardware requirements. According to Windows 11 specification, all models with Intel 7th Gen CPU or older are not officially supported. Processor with TPM 2.0 and a UEFI Secure boot BIOS is also required in order to upgrade from Windows 10 to Windows 11 through Windows Update.
However, anyone with PC that does not pass the upgrade test can download the official Windows 11 ISO, make a bootable flash drive, and install the OS manually.
To upgrade the GPU of OptiPlex 7040 SFF, a low-power, low-profile graphics card must be used. Currently, the most reasonable GPU option is AMD's Radeon RX 6400 low profile. This model has a good price point, delivers decent FPS, and does not require any addtional hardware upgrades.
The low power requirements of this model make it the perfect option for an SFF gaming build. The RX 6400 low does not need any additional power from the PSU and can rely solely on the power delivered by the PCIe slot (75W).
GPU upgrade options for Dell Inspiron 3250 with the stock 180W power supply:
|RX 6400 Low profile||50 W||4 GB DDR6||Works with no additional hardware changes|
|GTX 1050 Ti Low profile||75 W||4 GB DDR5||Works with no additional hardware changes|
|GTX 1650 Low profile||75 W||4 GB DDR5||Works with no additional hardware changes|
|RTX A2000 Low profile||70 W||6 GB DDR6
12 GB DDR6
|Works with no additional hardware changes|
Keep in mind that these low-profile, low-power GPUs can be quite noisy and may run hot when under full load.
The Dell Inspiron 3250 supports Gen6 Intel Core technology. Intel introduced the 6th generation of its Core CPUs in August 2015. Named Skylake, it uses the same 14nm manufacturing process like the old 5th gen. The improvements are better CPU and GPU performance and reduced power consumption. Other enhancements include Thunderbolt 3.0 and SATA Express.
Best CPUs for Dell Inspiron 3250 upgrade:
|Model||Cores (Threads)||Base frequency||Turbo|
|Core i5 6500||4(4)||3.2 GHz||3.6 GHz|
|Core i5 6600||4(4)||3.3 GHz||3.9 GHz|
|Core i7 6700||4(8)||3.4 GHz||4.0 GHz|
Dell Inspiron 3250 has two RAM slots. This is more than enough for most users. For those of you who need extra flexibility and RAM size, go for a model with 4 memory slots.
To cover the needs of your OS, games, and apps, Dell Inspiron 3250 supports up to 16 GB of DIMM DDR3-1333/1600 RAM. For office work, home use, and light gaming we recommend 8GB of RAM. For everything else, use 16GB or more.
Faster RAM speeds permit your processor to access the data stored inside the memory faster. This is important for the overall speed of your system. The motherboard of the Dell Inspiron 3250 supports RAM speeds of up to 1600 MT/s.
Dell Inspiron 3250 supports Wi-Fi and Bluetooth combo card with the on-board M.2 2230 (Wi-Fi/BT) slot. The card contains a Wi-Fi module that supports various Wi-Fi standards, as well as a Bluetooth module. It is small circuit board that is designed to fit into a dedicated slot on the motherboard.
Keep in mind that the card is not always included and you have to install one yourself.
Wi-Fi and Bluetooth wireless adapter upgrades for Dell Inspiron 3250:
|WiFi 6E (Gig+) Kit||3000 Mbit/s||2.4GHz / 5GHz||NGFF M.2 A/E Key|
|Rekong AX210||3000 Mbit/s||2.4GHz / 5GHz||NGFF M.2 A/E Key|
|Gigabyte GC-Wbax200||2400 Mbit/s||2.4GHz / 5GHz||PCIe|
|TP-Link Archer TX50E||2400 Mbit/s||2.4GHz / 5GHz||PCIe|
|TP-Link Archer T9UH||1300 Mbit/s||2.4GHz / 5GHz||USB 3.0|
Ports are important and often people don't think about them when buying a PC. For example, if you don't have enough USB ports, using external devices becomes problematic. Before you buy any system, considering your use case, check the number of external devices you are going to use and plan the number of the extension ports accordingly.
The Dell Inspiron 3250 comes with six USB ports in total. Having more USB ports is always better, but also pay attention to the version of those USB ports. Higher version ports support faster transfer speeds. Unfortunately, this model doesn't come with a USB 3.1 port. If you need a faster connection for your peripherals, like external Solid State Drive, you will need to choose another model.
The DisplayPort (DP) is now the most widely used digital interface for transmitting digital video and audio between display devices and PCs. It is unfortunate to see that the Dell Inspiron 3250 doesn't have one. Check out the HDMI section and make sure that you are at least getting an HDMI port - a good substitution for the DP.
The HDMI port is another digital video port you can use to connect external display. It has very similar capabilities to the DisplayPort with few exceptions. Dell Inspiron 3250 comes with one HDMI 1.2 port(s) on the motherboard. In case your monitor supports another interface, you can always use an adapter.
*Please keep in mind in order to use the video ports available through the motherboard, you need a CPU with integrated graphics card. If you have a dedicated GPU, use his ports instead.
SSD storage - M.2 sockets and SATA ports
The SATA port is one of the places where you can connect a stora gedevice. The Dell Inspiron 3250 comes with three SATA port(s). Not enough SATA ports might limit your options for additional storage devices. Think about your use case and decide if the SATA ports provided by this model will be sufficient.
Unfortunately, the Dell Inspiron 3250 has no M.2 PCIe soket and you have to rely on the available SATA ports to connect your drives.
The M.2 PCIe SSD connector in combination with an NVMe drive allows for higher transfer rates, compared to the old SATA interface. In some situations, NVMe device connected to the M.2 PCIe socket can be more than 5 times faster.
The Dell Inspiron 3250 comes with a 180 Watt PSU. Having a power supply with high power rating is important, especially if you are doing upgrade with addtional components, like dedicated GPU and more HDDs. Will this 180 W be enough, it all depends on your specific use. Please keep in mind that some models might have more than one PSU option. Whenever possible get the most powerful one, as it might make future upgrades easier.