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Dell Optiplex 980 Mid-T. GPU & RAM Upgrade

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May 25, 2011 8:12:07 PM

Hi ,

I am planning on upgrading the GPU of the Dell optiplex 980 i have . But the problem is that there is a lot of limitations .
1- Its a BTX motherboard
2- The new GTX series graphics cards needs two slots , but in the optiplex 980 the CPU heatsink is in the way of one of the slots so literally only low profile one slot graphics card can be installed in the PCI-e x16 slot .
3- The power supply is only 305watts (model - H305P-02) . Upgrading seems impossible .

The specs of the system are as follows ;

*Core i5 650 LGA1156
*2 GB of DDR-3 ram
*Seagate 500gb hdd (forgot the RPMS)
*Intel HD graphics
*305 W Dell power supply

Planning to upgrade to this
* 6 GB DDR-3 ram
* Zotac GT 430 graphics card .

I am looking at the zotac Gt 430 graphics card , but i have a huge doubt my PSU is only 305w , the minimum power consumption of the gt 430 is 300 , so lets say it works fine and all but when i start gaming (everything on high) it will start drawing more power and the system has only 305 w , so what will happen ?

Also add i plan on gaming for may be 16h a day , watching HD movies , multitasking etc etc . Do you think the upgrade plan i mentioned above will work ???

Thanks for your help


a b U Graphics card
May 25, 2011 9:55:56 PM

The minimum power REQUIREMENT is probably 300 watts, not power consumption. Two totally different things. The card itself only draws a TDP of 49 watts, which means that it doesn't need external connectors and draws all of its power from the PCI-Express slot.

For watching HD Movies, fine, multitasking, fine, for gaming? Depends on what games you're playing, and what settings you're playing them at, on what resolution.
May 25, 2011 10:53:49 PM

oh ok , i will be playing stalker mostly , GTA , crysis , dirt 2 , assassin creed , metro 2033 etc etc , resolution well my monitor is a 19" so (1366 X 768) . I am sure the gt 430 would do great . Also as i mentioned above everything at max .
So what do u think ?
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a b U Graphics card
May 25, 2011 11:36:26 PM

Dell rates their power supplies (HiPro) at CONTINUOS not MAX like most PSU makers
so the Dell 305w is roughly equal to about 400w

I run a HD 5670 OCd with a OCd E4500 C2D in my dell with no problems
on a 280w PSU

You can hate Dell for businees practices
but their PSUs are great
a b U Graphics card
May 26, 2011 12:00:42 AM

Regarding max details within those games, I highly doubt you'd pull acceptable framerates on Stalker, Metro 2033, and Crysis. GTA, Dirt 2, and assassins creed maybe. Could you get by with Medium settings on those games? Absolutely.
a b U Graphics card
May 26, 2011 12:09:13 AM

Also GT 430 is low end for gaming card
Even the HD 5670 is low end for gaming card and that easily beats a GT 430

look at Toms chart to see the performance levels of cards
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/best-graphics-card-...

really need to be in the top ten levels of the chart for gaming

if you like Nvidia then consider a GT 450 or GT 440 though I dont know if they are available in low profile

I went with the HD 5670 for my Dell Optiplex 745
I did have to cut the fan assembly in half to fit it :) 
runs at 40c in 70F house a idle
at maxes out at 70-72c at load

it is hard to find a decent low profile card
a b U Graphics card
May 26, 2011 12:11:02 AM

a GT 240 is a good option also if you want to stick with Nvidia
it comes in low pro
a b U Graphics card
May 26, 2011 4:02:55 AM

Definitley open your choices to a GT 240 or HD 5670 with the HD 5670 being a little better.
anything lower than that doesnt make sense for gaming
a b U Graphics card
May 26, 2011 4:04:58 AM

both are single slot low profile solutions also with low power draw
May 26, 2011 12:58:08 PM

nice really nice but the reason for me getting the gt 430 is because of physics and cuba . i may consider the 5670 because of its performance .

@king smp ; 5670 and c2d e4500 on 280 w hmmmmmmmm , i have a few questions how much is your system ram , for how long have you been running this setup (year wise) , how many hours in a day do you game on it , your settings pls as well .

@borisof007 ; i think they will run on max , the reason is because my resolution is not too freaking high besides i saw some videos on youtube running them on max .
a b U Graphics card
May 26, 2011 4:18:52 PM

I have 4 x 1gb of Gskill DDR2-800 5-5-5-15
I bought the tower in December
I ran a E4300 BSEL pin modded from 1.8/800fsb to 2.4/1066fsb until
March 24/7 with a HD 4650
I put in a E4500 2.2/800fsb which I pin modded to 2.93/1066 in March
and ran with the HD 4650 until last week
This past week I put in the HD 5670

I run my towers 24/7/365
At night I put into sleep mode

Currently I play Crysis Warhead at 1920x1080 gamer settings
I play BioShock 2 at 1920x1080 all high settings
I play Left4dead 2 all high settings at 1920x1080
I play Far Cry 2 all high settings at 1920x1080
I play Oblivion all high settings
I play Fable Lost Chapters all high settings


I usually will play about 30mins to 2 hrs at a time

With the current setup (E4500 OC/HD 5670 OC 850/1050)
I have ran OCCT GPU torture test with Prime95 at the same time
for a half hour with the GPU reaching 74c in a 72F room
the cpu reached 62c

I have added three extra fans to the tower
one two intakes in front
and one exhaust to rear

Dell PSUs are a good psu within reason

I had a Dell 360w in a Precison 450 that ran three hardrives,7600gs GPU,sound card,
dual Xeon chips,two extra fans,two dvd-rws
it still works
I use it as a network rendering machine for Vegas Pro
May 27, 2011 10:10:01 AM

intense !!!!!!!!!

i asked u abut how many years you ran that setup because as what i know when the psu is like always on 100% load it will die soon which is a risky thing .

"I ran a E4300 BSEL pin modded from 1.8/800fsb to 2.4/1066fsb until
March 24/7 with a HD 4650
I put in a E4500 2.2/800fsb which I pin modded to 2.93/1066 in March
and ran with the HD 4650 until last week
This past week I put in the HD 5670"

so u were running on a e4300 until march 24 / 2007 and then upgraded to a e4500. I mean come on why the hell did u even upgrade ??? u could have got a e6xxx something instead .
a b U Graphics card
May 27, 2011 3:12:16 PM

GamersAreTheBest said:
intense !!!!!!!!!

i asked u abut how many years you ran that setup because as what i know when the psu is like always on 100% load it will die soon which is a risky thing .

"I ran a E4300 BSEL pin modded from 1.8/800fsb to 2.4/1066fsb until
March 24/7 with a HD 4650
I put in a E4500 2.2/800fsb which I pin modded to 2.93/1066 in March
and ran with the HD 4650 until last week
This past week I put in the HD 5670"

so u were running on a e4300 until march 24 / 2007 and then upgraded to a e4500. I mean come on why the hell did u even upgrade ??? u could have got a e6xxx something instead .



My Dell mobo only supports as high as a E6700

By getting an E4500 which is stock at 2.2/800fsb I was able to
BSEL Pin Mod it to 2.93ghz/1066fsb

which is faster than an E6700 2.66/1066

So that is why I "even in the hell upgraded" LOL

this is the BSEL pin mod
http://www.overclock.net/intel-cpus/341123-intel-bsel-v...

it is the only way to overclock a Dell

also 24/7 means 24 hours a day 7 days a week it was turned on


also the Dell is a CONTINUOS max load is 280w
continous load is what it constantly runs at
continous MAX load is what it can run all the time at max

a Dell 280w is equal to about a 350w to 400w peak load PSU (peak load is the highest it can go)
which is how aftermarket PSU makers rate their PSUs

my unit runs around 200-225w

as you can see here
http://extreme.outervision.com/PSUEngine
on the PSU calculator it recommends a 280w PSU with my setup

Dont worry I fix computers for a living
I know what i am doing :) 

May 27, 2011 11:47:15 PM

"I ran a E4300 BSEL pin modded from 1.8/800fsb to 2.4/1066fsb until
March 24/7 with a HD 4650 "
i though 24th march 2007 , lol !!!!

"this is the BSEL pin mod
http://www.overclock.net/intel-cpu [...] ost3980695 "
Damn!!!!!!!!!!

http://extreme.outervision.com/PSUEngine
it takes me to the tools page ???
oh btw i tried to check using the lite version of PSU calculator and got a recommended 300W!!!!! unbelievable . But newegg's calculator says 339W , WTH?


BTW as said before when the PSU is always on full load the PSU starts to lose some wattage.......

a b U Graphics card
May 28, 2011 4:09:20 AM

That is true
you shouldnt run a PSU closer than about 80 percent of max load
my system draws about 200-225 max on a PSU rated at about 350watts max
(280w continuos load)

so I am okay
it is actually a %76 PSU (of course dell couldnt make it 80%)
the tower since it was designed for businesses and not home users
was designed with to be very energy efficient (at least according to Dell LOL)


iBTW the psu calculators out there are sometimes way off

I found this PSU calculator from reading Toms posts and everybody recommended it
as the best

May 28, 2011 2:13:24 PM

ok

The verdict ;
i will proceed with my upgrade plan
"Planning to upgrade to this
* 6 GB DDR-3 ram
* Sapphire 5670 graphics card "

King smp ur final words !!!!! SHALL I OR NOT


OH Also did u OC tht 5670 with your dell motherboard ?
a b U Graphics card
May 28, 2011 2:24:27 PM

Sounds good to me
The extra ram will be nice
and Sapphire is a good card maker

Yes I do OC my HD 5670
from 775core/1000mem to 850core/1050ram
with MSI AfterBurner

I know the card can go higher
I just havent pushed it yet

just make sure you have the room for the card especially the side
with the fan assembly

Good luck and have fun :) 
May 28, 2011 3:57:39 PM

thanks alot for your advice !!!

did u see the 6670 , the xfx and his version is like single slot GPU s
i will check the benchmarks and the power requirements on this card and then decide between the 5670 . but i guess the overclocked version of the 5670 will still be better than the standard version of 6670 never the less we shall see !
!