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What to upgrade next?

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September 18, 2012 2:13:54 PM

Hi all, I'm looking to upgrade my current PC on the cheap and do not know where to start. I don't need to run all the latest and greatest games at super high graphics, but I'd like to be able to handle games like CS:GO, GW2, or DIII with better than <30fps on low-medium settings. The only upgrade I've made is the low profile Radeon HD 5570. I'm thinking I need a new PSU, but am unsure of how to check to see if I do, nor what to upgrade to.

Current System:
Dell Optiplex 380 (small form factor)
https://www.dell.com/us/business/p/optiplex-380/pd
Windows 7 Pro, 32 bit
Pentium Dual core E5800 @ 3.2 ghz
4GB DDR3 ram
ATI Radeon HD 5570 (1024MBytes)
235W PSU


Approximate Purchase Date: within the next couple of weeks
Budget Range: I'd like to keep it under $100, max of $150.
System Usage from Most to Least Important: moderate gaming, internet surfing, streaming media
Parts to Upgrade: You tell me! :D 
Location: North Carolina
Overclocking: Maybe
SLI or Crossfire: Maybe
Your Monitor Resolution: 1920x1200
Additional Comments/Why upgrading: I'd like to upgrade to be able to handle games like CS:GO and DIII a little better. Even with moderate graphics, I tend to get low fps.

More about : upgrade

September 18, 2012 2:22:22 PM

Consider this video card, instead (HD6670):

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

The Dell PSU is stronger than you might think. Just don't try to overclock the video card and you will be fine.

Otherwise, there isn't much you can do with the SFF Optiplex.

Good luck!!!
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September 18, 2012 2:32:59 PM

That 235W PSU is simply not going to have enough kick to run a real GPU. I guess your first move would be to move up to a real case with a real PSU. But if I am not mistaken your minitower is BTX and will not fit within an ATX tower... which means that you would also need a new mobo, cpu, and ram.... and it all snowballs out of control after that.
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September 18, 2012 2:36:09 PM

COLGeek said:
Consider this video card, instead (HD6670):

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

The Dell PSU is stronger than you might think. Just don't try to overclock the video card and you will be fine.

Otherwise, there isn't much you can do with the SFF Optiplex.

Good luck!!!

According to AMD's site even the 6670 'needs' a 400W PSU when under load. I am sure there is a bit of padding in that number, but not 165W worth of padding. Also keep in mind that this is a small form factor dell, and they tend to have capacitor issues when extra heat is introduced to the system.
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September 18, 2012 2:39:37 PM

I run a 6670 in a Shuttle XPC case with a 220W PSU just fine. The Dell PSU is a better product than the Shuttle. The Dell PSUs are actually pretty strong performers.

Of course, OCing the GPU is out of the question.
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September 18, 2012 2:39:42 PM

I would recommend building a new pc. There's nothing you can do with a sff pre-built junkbox.

The psu is too small, the case is too small for a decent video card. Not to mention the cpu is too slow for much of anything.

If it's a standard atx power supply and mobo you can just move the parts into a new regular size case.

But then you still need a new video card. In this case I would recommend a 7750 because it would work with your psu.

They do make low profile 7750's, but can't guarantee it'll fit in your case, it should but can't guarantee. Make sure it comes with a low profile bracket.
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September 18, 2012 2:57:21 PM

COLGeek said:
I run a 6670 in a Shuttle XPC case with a 220W PSU just fine. The Dell PSU is a better product than the Shuttle. The Dell PSUs are actually pretty strong performers.

Of course, OCing the GPU is out of the question.

iDunno... I work at a computer refurbisher and we pretty much only use dell sff boxes, and we are always having issues with power supplies and motherboards failing. The newer equipment is much improved over the old P4 junk, but it is still very much a problem.
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September 18, 2012 3:03:27 PM

CaedenV said:
iDunno... I work at a computer refurbisher and we pretty much only use dell sff boxes, and we are always having issues with power supplies and motherboards failing. The newer equipment is much improved over the old P4 junk, but it is still very much a problem.

Understood on your points, but the HD6670 is not all that demanding. It should still work.

The alternative would be a completely new rig, as already pointed out. There just isn't much you can do to upgrade these old platforms.
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September 18, 2012 3:08:48 PM

why would anybody suggest a 6670 ? if you're going to upgrade a graphics card you don't upgrade to the "same" thing. Waste of money. A new card will help but the suggestion of a PS upgrade is also needed.
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September 18, 2012 3:15:35 PM

Because the HD6670 is a slightly stronger option than the current HD5570?
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Best solution

September 18, 2012 3:18:03 PM

it is slightly stronger, but mostly a waste of money. the OP really needs to save his pennies and get a better foundation first. Even moving up to a Pentium G or i3 would be a huge upgrade for his rig, and that needs to happen before a new GPU is going to make any noticeable difference.
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September 18, 2012 3:22:54 PM

CaedenV said:
it is slightly stronger, but mostly a waste of money. the OP really needs to save his pennies and get a better foundation first. Even moving up to a Pentium G or i3 would be a huge upgrade for his rig, and that needs to happen before a new GPU is going to make any noticeable difference.

Agreed.
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September 18, 2012 7:28:04 PM

Best answer selected by ncsustylee.
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September 18, 2012 7:28:11 PM

Thanks for the feedback guys. I was considering turning this into an HTPC and going ahead and doing my own build, this thread just confirmed that I probably should ;) 
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September 19, 2012 6:18:30 PM

ya, a little duel core could make for a great HTPC. Look into XBMC, it is pretty fun and is a generally better experience than Media Center or WMP for browsing and playing back media.
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