Computer Electronics

Dell Inspiron 530 Desktop System Teardown

03 December 2008
The following is an overview of a teardown analysis conducted by IHS Benchmarking.

Overview / Main Features

This analysis represents a teardown of an entire consumer PC system including the PC motherboard, enclosure, display monitor as well as the keyboard, mouse and optional accessories inclusive of a typical PC system purchase from Dell.

The Dell Inspiron 530 is considered to be the mid-level model (sandwiched between the 530s mini-tower and the higher grade 518) within Dell's "value line of Inspiron desktop PCs. The silver tinted Inspiron 530 mid-tower deviates a bit from the traditional black and grey Dell PC designs in order to appeal to a wider swath of mainstream PC consumers. Overall, the Dell Inspiron 530 PC system offers a generously configured Intel G33/ICH9R mid-tower PC system boasting a 2.4GHz Intel Core 2 Dual E4600 processor, 2GB of RAM, BluRay/DVD RW optical drive and a 500GB hard drive running Microsoft Vista Home Premium edition. This particular Dell Inspiron system comes filled (all 4 expansion slots full) with discrete PCIe video, PCIe TV tuner, 802.11b/g WLAN PCI and IEEE 1394 (Firewire) PCI cards. Also included in this system was a 20" wide screen LCD display monitor with an integrated 2MP webcam, an all-in-one media card reader with integrated Bluetooth as well as a set of wireless Logitech keyboard and mouse peripherals.

As a whole, this particular Inspiron 530 system can best be described a ""fully-loaded" media-centric value PC system. It doesn't offer the design panache of the Dell XPS One all-in-one system but pretty much the same feature set at around $700 less in retail price.

Dell Inspiron 530 Desktop System Main ImageDell Inspiron 530 Desktop System Main Image

Target Market

Mainstream PC consumers


Based on our understanding, the Dell Inspiron 530 Desktop system was released early Q3 of 2007. As with other PC platform products, the Inspiron 530 system configuration gets periodically refreshed subject to availability of components (such as CPU). Case in point; currently, the Dell website does not offer the options necessary to recreate the PC system configuration in this analysis. Some parts such as the monitor and CPU have since been upgraded to reflect the changes and availability within the Dell PC platform supply chain.

Dell Inspiron 530 Desktop System - Motherboard TopDell Inspiron 530 Desktop System - Motherboard Top

Pricing and Availability
Pricing - According to Dell's website, the base Inspiron 530 PC starts at just under $300 without a monitor. However, using an equivalently configured Inspiron 530 desktop system as reference, the Dell Inspiron system prices out to approximately $1200 with operating system (August 21, 2008).


- directly from

Volume Estimations

For the purposes of this teardown analysis, we have assumed a lifetime production volume of 6M units.

As a reminder, teardown volume production assumptions are primarily used for our cost analysis in terms of amortized NRE and tooling costs, especially for custom components specific to the model being analyzed (mechanical components especially). Unless assumed, volumes increment by an order of magnitude. Minor changes in volume (say 1 million vs. 2) rarely have a large net effect on our final analysis.

Market / Sector Performance

Per iSuppli's Compute Platforms Market Tracker (Q2 2008):

  • Total of 69.9M PC platform units shipped first quarter (FY 2008) representing a year-over-year growth of 12.1% but a decline of 8.3% in sequential quarter performance.
  • Desktop PCs accounted for 56% (39.2M units) of all PC platforms with a modest 1% gain year-over-year and 8.5% decline in sequential quarter.
  • Dell holds steady as the 2nd largest PC maker (after HP) with about 15% of total volume.
  • Dell's total worldwide PC shipment for Q1 2008 was approximately 10.8M.

Dell Inspiron 530 Desktop System Cost AnalysisDell Inspiron 530 Desktop System Cost Analysis

Cost Notes

Here are the top-level, system-level cost drivers (direct materials - only - does not include manufacturing costs, except for finished PCI cards and some other modular sub-assemblies).


Storage Device


Video PCIe X16 Card

Peripheral Cards Assembly

Other - Enclosures / Final Assembly

Memory Module

Power Supply

Card Reader / Bluetooth



Other - Enclosures / Final Assembly

Power Supply

Monitor PCB

Camera Module

Microphone / Image Processing PCB

Front Panel Button PCB


Keyboard & Mouse Set



RF Receiver Module

Box Contents

Materials and Manufacturing $856.65

What Is Not Included in our Cost Analysis

The total materials and manufacturing costs reported in this analysis reflect ONLY the direct materials cost (from component vendors and assorted EMS providers), AND manufacturing with basic test. Not included in this analysis are costs above and beyond the material manufacture of the core device itself - cost of intellectual property, royalties and licensing fees (those not already included into the per component price), software, software loading and test, shipping, logistics marketing and other channel costs including not only EMS provider and the OEM's margin, but that of other resellers. Our cost analysis is meant to focus on those costs incurred in the manufacture of the core device and exceptionally in some circumstances the packaging and literature as well.

Manufacturing Notes

OEM/ODM/EMS Relationships / Manufacturing

Dell relies solely on OEM/ODM/EMS relationships for their outsourced manufacturing business model. Some of Dell's leading manufacturing partners in the desktop PC product space are Flextronics, Hon Hai (Foxconn) and Quanta. Within the Inspiron 530 desktop system, Foxconn was the ODM for the PC motherboard as well as the main PC enclosure.

Country of Origin / Volume Assumptions

Based on markings, the unit was assembled in China. Furthermore, we have assumed that custom mechanicals (plastics, metals, etc. were sourced in China.

Country of origin assumptions relate directly to the associated cost of manufacturing, where calculated by iSuppli. In the cases of 'finished' sub-assemblies (such as CPU fan), we do not calculate internal manufacturing costs, but rather assess the market price of the finished product in which case country of origin assumptions may or may not have a direct effect on pricing.

Remember also that labor rates are applied directly only to hand inserted components and systems in our bill of materials, and although regional assumptions do, these new rates do not have a direct effect on our modeled calculations of placement costs for automated SMD assembly lines. ""Auto" inserted components (such as SMT components) placement costs are calculated by an iSuppli algorithm which allocates a cost per component based on the size and pincount of the device. This calculation is affected by country or region of origin as well.

Design for Manufacturing / Device Complexity

The Dell Inspiron 530 PC system has a component count of 3598 parts (excluding box contents), of which, 614 are mechanical in nature.

Component counts have a direct bearing on the overall manufacturing cycle times and costs, and also can increase or decrease overall yields and re-work. Our calculations of manufacturing costs factor counts and more qualitative complexities in the design. The cost of manufacturing is also, to some extent, decreased in this case because of assumed labor rate applied for China.

Note that manual labor has a much smaller effect on auto-insertion assembly lines (for the Main PCB, for example), where manufacturing costs are much more capital equipment intensive and driven by these investment costs.

Design Notes

At the core of the Inspiron 530 PC system is the Intel chipset platform (G33/ICH9R) on the Foxconn G33M02 motherboard. Around this core design, are the key PC components such as the Intel Core 2 Duo E4600 processor, 2GB of SDRAM, 500GB SATA hard drive and combo Bluray/DVD RW optical drive that drives the specifications. Supporting the main PC functionalities are the PCI expansion cards for video, TV tuner, WLAN and IEEE 1394 ports. As a whole, the Inspiron 530 system takes a discrete and compartmentalized design approach to build up the PC functionalities via modular components. This design approach is, of course, necessitated by Dell's customized ""build to order" manufacturing philosophy. This manufacturing / design philosophy gives Dell the flexibility to cater to their customer needs as well as drive down pricing through extensive use of commoditized parts.

Here is a summary of the major components used in the Dell Inspiron 530 desktop PC system design:




  • Core 2 Duo E4600 - Intel - HH80557PG0562M


  • G33 Express, Graphics and Memory Controller Hub - Intel - LE82G33-SLA9Q


  • I/O Controller Hub 9 (ICH9R) - Intel - NH82801IR-SLA9N


  • DDR2 - 1GB, PC2-5300 - Kingston - KPN424-ELJ (Quantity 2)

I/O & Interface

  • I/O Controller - ITE - IT8718F
  • Ethernet Transceiver - Intel - LU82562V
  • Codec - Realtek - ALC888-GR


  • Codec - Realtek - ALC888-GR

Power Supply

  • PWM Controller - Intersil - ISL6312CRZ

Video PCIe x16 Card


  • GPU - AMD - Radeon HD 2400PRO


  • SDRAM (GDDR2, 256Mb) - Qimonda - HYB18T256161BF - 20 (quantity 4)

Storage Devices

Hard drive

  • Hard Drive (500GB) - Western Digital - WD5000AAKS

Optical Drive

  • Blu-Ray/CD/DVD RW Drive - Hitachi-LG Data Storage - GBC-H20N

Peripheral Card Assembly

TV Tuner

  • Hauppauge - WinTV-HVR-1250 (PCI Express X1 Interface)


  • 802.11b/g - Asus - WL-138gE


  • IEEE 1394 - Adaptec - AFW-2100



LCD Display Unit (TFT, 20.1') - Chunghwa Pictures Tube Ltd - CLAA201WA04A


2.0MP, 1/4' Format, Fixed Lens (unknown manufacturer)

Keyboard, mouse & accessories

  • Logitech Cordless Desktop S510 Keyboard & Mouse Set

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