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Dell optiplex 980 small form factor - graphics card upgrade

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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February 15, 2011 3:08:27 PM

Hi everyone,

The company that i'm working at just got me an i7 Processor 870 /2.93GHz, 8M dell optiplex 980 small form factor computer. Unfortunately, the graphics card that came with it is a bit mediocre for what I need to do (512MB ATI RADEON HD 4550). I would like to ask for your help in recommending me a better graphics card that will be compatible with the above specs. Preferably - I would like a graphics card that has about 1GB of memory, HD, and can handle medium to high 3D graphics at a reasonable resolution (wishing :D  ).

The gpu that came with it is a bit weak as well. i think it's about 230w - might need to upgrade. I've tried to ask Dell for help and they recommended me a card meant for a mini-tower and not a small form factor computer ( :na:  ). I'm not very familiar with small form factors so I'm kinda lost concerning this problem. I've searched around but wasn't sure if it will fit the Dell 980 SFF.

Anyhoo - any suggestions will be very helpful. Thank you in advance :) 
February 16, 2011 4:15:34 AM

anyone?
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a b U Graphics card
February 16, 2011 4:26:13 AM

This is a challenge. I look around when I have a few minutes to see if there's anything with more "oomph" to it that's low-profile (<-- Keywords). This is where ATI is probabliy going to shine, and Nvidia has been focus on beefier, performance cards, as of late. Also, does it have a decent power supply on that Dell?
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February 16, 2011 4:34:52 AM

Hi Mirrion,

Thanks for your assistance. To answer your power supply question, unfortunately, no - the power that came with this Dell is only about 230w. :(  But if need be, an upgrade for the power supply won't be an issue. Beefier cards require more power. Hope to hear from you soon.
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a b U Graphics card
February 16, 2011 4:38:28 AM

Ok, here you go:

My Pick:
Radeon HD 5670: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Here's some other options:

Powercolor Radeon HD 5750 1GB http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

MSI GeForce GT 430: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Palit GeForce GT 430: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Regrettably, there's not a lot of lowprofile options that're much beefier than what you have. All these have a more than marginal performance increase, as I didn't want to point you to an upgrade you wouldn't notice. I don't know powercolor, though it's the most powerful card listed, my pick is the MSI which typically makes good parts. Also, be sure you can fit any dual slot cards, as one or two required a second slot for cooling.
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February 16, 2011 4:46:16 AM

WOW! thanks a lot Mirrion for your recommendations. I'll check out the specs for each. Much appreciated.
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a b U Graphics card
February 16, 2011 4:49:45 AM

groovytoon said:
Hi Mirrion,

Thanks for your assistance. To answer your power supply question, unfortunately, no - the power that came with this Dell is only about 230w. :(  But if need be, an upgrade for the power supply won't be an issue. Beefier cards require more power. Hope to hear from you soon.


In regards to the PSU, you'll likely need more power for the top two cards (my pick and the power color), you'll be cutting close with the remaining two, especially if your computer is active on the network with more than one drive constantly going. You'll want to aim for 350Watts, at the absolute least, as you have a top notch CPU capable of drawing in some pretty numbers in the wattage department. Luckily most parts used in low-profile computers are low power consumption (as most small form factors tend to come with low wattage power supplies). In some cases, you might be able to squeek by, especially if you never fully load the CPU to the max.
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February 16, 2011 4:55:05 AM

Oh ok! Thanks for the head up.
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February 16, 2011 6:25:41 AM

Thank you k0888 for the info on the power supply .
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!