Question Dell Optiplex 3010 ... worth an upgrade, or perhaps not?

Dimitrije02

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Hi everyone. I'm gonna try explain things as short as possible.

I've got a Dell OptiPlex 3010 PC for quite some time now (not my primary PC, this is my brother's PC and he wants to run games on it such as rocket league or gta5) which was bought for like 50€ from my father's friend and basically he's in stock condition, nothing has been replaced or modified yet.
Link of the computer I'm talking about: https://www.cnet.com/products/dell-optiplex-3010-core-i3-3220-3-3-ghz-monitor-none-series/

It's got an i3-3220, x1 4GB DDR3 , WD blue 250GB HDD and that's about it.

I've been thinking about upgrading it by the following plan:
  1. add extra 4 gigs of RAM and make it 8 in total by dual-channel RAM [13€]
  2. buy an SSD for it (most likely going to be ADATA SU650 120GB) although the motherboard has no SATAIII 6gbps ports whatsoever so I'd have to bear with slower ones [20€]
  3. get a used XFX Radeon R7 360 2GB GDDR5 [46€]
  4. Optiplex 3010 comes with 350W Dell's cr*p PSU so I'll be replacing it with my old 500W PSU and gonna get a molex>6pin for my R7 360 to make it all work [0€ cuz I already have it in my basement]
So I'm interested in yours opinion. Is all of this worth it at all? I know it would've been much better if I just sold this one, added extra cash and bought latest Ryzen 3 budget-gaming rig but I think I can't do that at the moment.
Is there anything you would change if you were in my place? What to do?

Thanks in advance.

P.S. Forgot to note that it'll be running on a 900p monitor because that's the only spare monitor I have at the moment.
 
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Dimitrije02

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Yup I hope the same. The only thing I was worried about is if the motherboard is "compatible" enough for running games at all. Just by looking at it physically, it looks very old and office-oriented (which basically is) but I'm trying to turn it into a light-gaming rig for running older games on lower graphic settings.

I hope the motherboard won't bottleneck the GPU or SSD , or cause any kind of problems/malfunctions at some point in the future...
 
Graphics card isn't going to fit in that case if it isn't a MT. I believe what you linked is a DT and the PCI-e slot is right against the bottom of the case IIRC.

I would 'consider' a swap to i7 3770 if the motherboard will support. A SSD, RAM, and would look into case swap and the appropriate adapters to power the mobo.

Unless you can find most of this nearly free or have on hand it probably wouldn't be worth doing in lieu of purchasing a cheap build already done and/or ready for a GPU.
 

Eximo

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OEM boards aren't great, but they are intended to run the CPU put in them. Maybe add a fan pointed at the VRMs around the motherboard or set the CPU fan to full blast. You could also add tiny heatsinks to the VRMs to help out.

Swapping out the case shouldn't be too hard. 3010 uses a standard ATX.

If it blows up it blows up. Not talking a huge replacement cost.

Not sure an i7-3770 is worth it. At that point I would just start looking at second hand Ryzen 3s, about the same price. Now getting a motherboard and ram would set you back a bit, but if we are talking about buying a whole other system I would go down that route.

Advantage of this 'starter' PC is that it is for a younger person. They might get big into gaming or not, and this is a minor investment.
 
I actually have a similar system--the optiplex 990. Sounds like you have the Mini-tower form factor which is the best to have.

If you have 4x ram slots on the motherboard, I would move up to 16gb since it's cheap. Even if you have 2x slots, I would consider 16gb. You don't have to worry so much about having a 'set' of ram like for ddr4, so as long as the specs and construction of modules are similar enough, you can easily mix and match.

As far as storage, I would only get an ssd if the boot time is going to be critical or the drive is going to be hammered all the time. If you have enough ram, a lot of the extra that's not being used is used for drive caching which will make a traditional drive feel just as fast since all the common stuff is just being run from ram. But this is really dependent on the amount of system ram and the use case.

The Dell power supplies are actually more solid than most consumer retail power supplies and are actually underrated. If you're going to swap it with the 500w, then I would seriously consider a more powerful gpu as well since you have the power to drive it.

As far as the processor, I would also look to upgrade that if its easily done. The i5-3470 or 3570 should give you the most bang for the buck and be a significant upgrade from the i3:
https://www.cpubenchmark.net/compare/Intel-i3-3220-vs-Intel-i5-3570-vs-Intel-i7-3770K-vs-Intel-i5-3470/1472vs827vs2vs822

As far as compatibility, there won't be any issues there at all. There's no difference between the Dell motherboards and any other except all the plastics and lights and custom bioses that the mainstream consumer boards have. The one thing Dells and other prebuilts are built for is reliability, so rather than being underbuilt, they are usually overbuilt, but not for things like overclocking, so it is in those areas you have to be careful. But you can actually still overclock and tweak these machines using software like throttlestop.
 

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I would say OEM office PCs, and this is not one of the high end ones, are built for minimum cost to do the job. Not overbuilt at all. That job also not being long duration heavy loads. I would agree Dell power supplies tend to be better than say Lenovo though.

Motherboards are usually stripped down, minimum spec, or at least recommended spec from Intel and built by Foxconn (though Intel no longer provides reference designs or builds boards, just white papers). 3010 is more a small business/home office product. Why it sticks to standard ATX and mATX form factors, for the most part. Designed to be repairable with off the shelf components.

The true business class machines tend towards custom 12V 8-pin power with onboard VRMs to provide 5V and 3.3V. 5 pin fans, custom front panel connectors. Recent Dells are all switching to true 12VO ATX standard. Basically so you go through Dell for parts or service contracts.

I've built gaming rigs out of Optiplex 9020 before. They work well enough if you slap a decent heatsink on them, but I would not go around overclocking them. Don't tend to trust VRMs without heatsinks to overclock, and there aren't very many of them to begin with.
 

Dimitrije02

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Alright then, I guess I'll proceed with the proposed plan

I'll leave this thread opened if possible and reply again, once I get all parts together and leave the final impression
 
I would say OEM office PCs, and this is not one of the high end ones, are built for minimum cost to do the job. Not overbuilt at all.
I would tend to disagree as these machines live well past a decade when most consumer boards will be lucky to make it to half that lifespam. Hence why there is such a supply of these oem machines in the used market and the price can be quite attractive.
 

hang-the-9

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I would tend to disagree as these machines live well past a decade when most consumer boards will be lucky to make it to half that lifespam. Hence why there is such a supply of these oem machines in the used market and the price can be quite attractive.
There is a large supply because business buy a lot of them, and they are not upgraded or overclocked or stressed in any way. Re-sellers buy the used ones and they get dumped on the market. Home computers tend to not get the same support or kids push their systems to the limit, and they often get dumped instead of sold to someone. because simple computer users don't even know how they would sell a used system. The motherboards and power supply in business computers are not designed to be expanded on past a few little things like adding RAM or maybe a second drive. You won't get a bunch of extra ports, or extra power supply cables for video cards, or power to add things, PCIe voltage can be lower, etc... That is why they are not overbuilt, they are designed to be used as they are when sold.
 
There is a large supply because business buy a lot of them, and they are not upgraded or overclocked or stressed in any way. Re-sellers buy the used ones and they get dumped on the market. Home computers tend to not get the same support or kids push their systems to the limit, and they often get dumped instead of sold to someone. because simple computer users don't even know how they would sell a used system. The motherboards and power supply in business computers are not designed to be expanded on past a few little things like adding RAM or maybe a second drive. You won't get a bunch of extra ports, or extra power supply cables for video cards, or power to add things, PCIe voltage can be lower, etc... That is why they are not overbuilt, they are designed to be used as they are when sold.
Yep and if they were crap, the resale market for them would be rotten with all the returns. But instead they're a cheap and easy resale even after being on 24x7 in a business environment and still keep on going.

Overclocking isn't the only way to stress a system. Lack of cleaning, harsh environment, and continuous duty are just a few things that almost all business systems endure that most consumer systems won't (and most of the time can't).

The components in a business system are usually overbuilt so there is not failure. They are built to an MTBF spec that will fail at some point, but they do last a long time. I have original Dell power supplies going on 10+ years now, still running. And you'd be surprised how far you can push them. I upgraded the cpu, added a gpu, maxed out the ram in my Optiplex 330/380 hybrid--all on the stock power supply. And it's been running for years now in an overheated room that's usually 80F.

It is true you don't get a bunch of extra ports or power supply cables for video cards, but you can generally swap the power supply with an aftermarket one, even if you need an adapter.

Generally, I've found business systems like this to be quite reliable, even when pushed. Can you max them out like consumer systems? No. But they can present a tremendous amount of performance and value for the right application and the right buyer.
 

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It is the whole overbuilt line that bothers me. They are not. Cheapest possible way to meet specifications, guaranteed. And every corner is cut. One of the reasons for the 12V only PSU is less wiring, at a few hundred thousand units a dollar of copper saved adds up quick (They even tend to use a low gauge wire for power on). In all likelihood following Intel's base recommendations as outlined for the chipset and CPU socket and finding the cheapest supplier for the relevant components. Which is why you see a small number of naked VRMs. But this is fine since the CPUs are locked and can't be overclocked significantly (nor should you, not much to gain) And keeping a downdraft cooler in there for the VRMs which offsets the need for heatsinks somewhat.

Enthusiast systems tend to spread the load on the VRMs and put heat sinks on them. If Dell did that, then you would have something like their workstation lines which are well above standard quality. And they do have certain models that are a cut above the rest. Some of the small form factor ones are forced to a higher level of efficiency and do enjoy some nice components. Smaller you make it harder it is to deal with the heat.

I don't think anyone is saying that aren't reliable for what they are, otherwise businesses wouldn't buy them.

Anyone's results may vary. For instance, still haven't had a GPU die on me. Doesn't mean all GPUs I've bought are high quality (far from it in some cases), I just got lucky. Also have some old power supplies kicking around that are well passed warranty.
 
Well, the truth does bother some people. ;)

It depends on which line you are looking at--'home' computer line, yep, absolutely the cheapest stuff. But this is definitely not the case for the business and workstation lines, and is in fact, the opposite.

Enthusiast systems do have certain design changes that allow for extended or more reliable performance. But because long-term reliability is not the focus, I think the reliability just comes from the design, not necessarily a goal. Business class systems need this as a goal, so the components are secondary to the goal.

Reliable is one thing, but reliable 3x times longer than their designed use case is what I would consider overbuilt. Most everything these days fails 20 seconds after the warranty expires unless it is overbuilt. Lasting this long is seriously overbuilt.

Quality is something that only time can tell. Like the Model M keyboard I'm typing on that's got 3 decades on it and is still working great. While most enthusiast systems end up being reliable because of the components, they are not reliable by design, which is the opposite of the business pre-builts which are reliable by design and not necessary by components. But because because systems are built to be reliable, they tend to overshoot the mark by quite a bit, hence they are overbuilt imo. If consumer or even enthusiast systems could make it in the business world, you'd see a lot of crossover usage, but this is not the case, even in emergencies.
 

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This is why I didn't respond the other day. You seem to be stuck on an opinion about the 3010, not even what I would call business class. Home or small office. Typically the 20 series that wind up in corporate and schools.

And I will stress again, that sitting under a desk idling and working for years being someone's outlook box is not the same thing as something like gaming or other tasks. Ones that actually see use do die, and I can tell you that from experience under all kinds of different usage scenarios. Desktops at my office were a catch all for when a laptop didn't make sense. They were shoved under machine tools, rapid printers, engineering test labs, kiosks (clock in/out, health, fixed displays), software test labs (which I oversaw, had every model over a ten year period of Lenovo and Dell), and most commonly as part of our warranty division operating in the call center. Guess which ones saw the most failures?

Now a CPU designed to run at 65W sitting 95% of the time at sub 15W, going to survive. Some engineer using it to simulate hardware or act (stupid to this day) as an ingest point for zip files (instead of a nice server) forcing it to run the CPU at peak performance for hours at a time, pop.

Not to mention that the ones you see for re-sale passed the ultimate quality filters.

Still the Dells we had tended to do better, particularly when we swapped the hard drives for SSDs. Though still a few machines died doing Admin Studio packaging work, even though they were mounted in a rack in a datacenter with all the airflow in the world. (Was easier to have remote workers use a physical box next to the software library/servers)

Now the nice Dells were another story. Aside from one with some bad memory slots (oh the sacrifice to only have 96GB of ram instead of 128GB) nothing but praise for the Precision workstations. Need to buy some of those power supplies, want to see how good a bench supply I can make.
 
Not stuck on the opinion--I have lots of these systems and they don't have hiccups like all the wussy consumer boards that I've dealt with that are more focused on marketing and 'looking pretty'. The 3020 is simply the new 3010, which today is the 3040 I think. Same series design just updated for newer processors and memory systems.

I don't know why you think business systems just sit and idle? Is that what you think these corporations pay many thousands of dollars in lease fees for these systems? For them to sit and idle? And that the person behind the desk is also paid a nice fat salary to sit and be idle? Gaming is a toy that doesn't push a system as hard as a large spreadsheet or cad work will do. Even today's video conferencing for hours on end will end up being harder than playing around for an hour or two. Since you've worked in an office I would expect you to know these things. I'm sure you had a bunch of consumer systems right there next to the business ones to compare which had the most failure rates, right? I didn't think so--they cost more and more than likely wouldn't have lasted any more at best, and at the worst wouldn't have even lasted as long.

Strange, I've actually put 95w processors in my 65w systems and didn't even change the cooler and just set the fan to 100% and even ran them in 100F temps for weeks at a time without issue--and these systems were past the 10 year old mark. The only ones that have had issues are the consumer boards that I have to baby.

Of course resellers refurb them...otherwise they could not sell them as refurbed. But they're still not new and still last.

Those systems weren't designed for racks so that probably messed up the fluid dynamics and flow. It's why servers are cooled much differently.

The precisions are some of the best of what Dell makes (akin to the HP Z line) and are even further overengineered, albeit using proprietary tech at times (like those power supplies unfortunately).

Either way you slice it, if it's a business-class machine, it is built better than your normal consumer system even by the same brand.
 

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100F temps are not that high, practically idle for most computers...most businesses don't modify the systems at purchase.

If they are doing CAD on optiplex 3010, then there is a problem with the budget. And I do hope they've at least installed a GPU.

No I don't think people sit around and do nothing, nor do I think they modify complex spreadsheets throughout their workday at a some ridiculous level. (Which is essentially what I do for a living now) And to be honest, even that is stupid, if they are using that much resources on a spreadsheet then they need to be using a grown up database on a dedicated server, that way they can actually use their computer at the same time as whatever action they would have been doing in excel. I hate it when Excel gets stuck doing something that is relatively simple.

What I expect most people to be using a PC for these days is accessing online systems. Internal or external. I can tell you that most large corporations have pushed near everything to the cloud. Payroll, HR, Asset Management, Procurement, Incident tracking, ERP, Logistics & Supply Chain, the amount of things I have seen people using SalesForce for boggles the mind. Current place is moving even its core business function to the cloud, so yes, I expect almost completely no load on a system that spends all of its time using external resources. Amazing what work you can get done when the processing is done on something designed to handle a few hundred users.

CPU and GPU while gaming is a different load than straight CPU calculation, I'll grant you that, but certainly more stressful then your average business workload.

As for mounting those systems in a rack, literally just on shelves in an open rack chassis, they weren't part of the airflow. Just pointing out they were in a climate controlled room so had a pretty ideal environment. What those were used for was software packaging, which meant running virtual machines, creating whole images of the OS, installing software, getting the difference before and after, and turning that into an MSI for distribution, uploading to the central server. A lot of CPU time, a lot of disk time, and they would fail occasionally. Certainly lasted a few years, and not all of them died, one just lost the internal NIC for some reason, we slapped in a card.

Reason they were desktops is because they didn't need to move and the processors more powerful. At my company it would be an odd time if they issued someone a desktop. Usually hourly positions, desk sharing situations, and other tasks with long idle times. Not making this stuff up. When I say I expect 95% idle time, I meant it. Even then most of those people would still be using external resources. Security would be logging into a web portal to monitor cameras. Call center would log into a tool and fire up an IP phone application.

Only really heavy use of desktops I saw was our software testing lab. Had 15 9020 running as test platforms, wiped regularly. I want to say 9 desktops running packaging, with an additional 3 precisions for the big jobs. (Though it started with 12 precisions during our switch to Windows 10). And then there were a few industrial applications, where I imagine the load was also fairly light. I never could get those guys to go out and buy industrial PCs. And the engineers usually had a few laying around doing various things.
 

hang-the-9

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Not stuck on the opinion--I have lots of these systems and they don't have hiccups like all the wussy consumer boards that I've dealt with that are more focused on marketing and 'looking pretty'. The 3020 is simply the new 3010, which today is the 3040 I think. Same series design just updated for newer processors and memory systems.
3080 is the current one.
 
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Dimitrije02

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Hey, I just wanted to let you know that I bought another 8GB stick of ram for 13€ and Adata SU650 120GB SSD for about 25€ last week and finished the upgrade. And here's the deal: The PC is immensely faster than before, the SSD gets its job done but you can notice some slight stutters here and there when doing a sequential data copy-pasting which doesn't seem to be as fast as on SATA III 6gbps ports but it's fine overall, I can't complain much.

Right now I am thinking of maybe getting a used Dell Radeon R7 250 2GB ... this: this GPU to match the performance with i3-3220 and hope it'll be able to run gta 5 on lowest settings possible (on 1440x900 resolution monitor) and hope for the good results.

I managed to find a mentioned gpu for exactly 30€ and I'm not sure if it's worth it and if it's going to work alright.
The reason I'm going for this particular gpu is the fact every Optiplex PC comes with a very limited ~300 PSU which neither has a molex nor any 6pin connector, which makes it impossible to plug in any better gpu that requires some extra power from the PSU.

I've thought of 750Ti but I can't find any below 50€ in my country and I can't go that high for a used gpu for this PC.

Do you think R7 250 is going to be an okay choice for 3010 ? I'm not expecting much from it, just to run weak games on low settings, that's all.
 
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jtk2515

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Hey, I just wanted to let you know that I bought another 8GB stick of ram for 13€ and Adata SU650 120GB SSD for about 25€ last week and finished the upgrade. And here the deal: The PC is immensely faster than before, the SSD gets its job done but you can notices some slight stutters here and there when doing a sequential data copy-pasting which doesn't seem to be as fast as on SATA III 6gbps ports but it's fine overall, I can't complain much.

Right now I am thinking of maybe getting a used Dell Radeon R7 250 2GB ... this: this GPU to match the performance with i3-3220 and hope it'll be able to run gta 5 on lowest settings possible (on 1440x900 resolution monitor) and hope for the good results.

I managed to find a mentioned gpu for exactly 30€ and I'm not sure if it's worth it and if it's going to work alright.
The reason I'm going for this particular gpu is the fact every Optiplex PC comes with a very limited ~300 PSU which neither has a molex nor any 6pin connector, which makes it impossible to plug in any better gpu that requires some extra power from the PSU.

I've thought of 750Ti but I can't find any below 50€ in my country and I can't go that high for a used gpu for this PC.

Do you think R7 250 is going to be an okay choice for 3010 ? I'm not expecting much from it, just to run weak games on low settings, that's all.
Sounds like your doing it the right way. Dont have any wisdom to offer, but keep us updated once you decide on the GPU. I cannt find anything used where I am at for under 3xmsrp.
 

Eximo

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Hey, I just wanted to let you know that I bought another 8GB stick of ram for 13€ and Adata SU650 120GB SSD for about 25€ last week and finished the upgrade. And here the deal: The PC is immensely faster than before, the SSD gets its job done but you can notices some slight stutters here and there when doing a sequential data copy-pasting which doesn't seem to be as fast as on SATA III 6gbps ports but it's fine overall, I can't complain much.

Right now I am thinking of maybe getting a used Dell Radeon R7 250 2GB ... this: this GPU to match the performance with i3-3220 and hope it'll be able to run gta 5 on lowest settings possible (on 1440x900 resolution monitor) and hope for the good results.

I managed to find a mentioned gpu for exactly 30€ and I'm not sure if it's worth it and if it's going to work alright.
The reason I'm going for this particular gpu is the fact every Optiplex PC comes with a very limited ~300 PSU which neither has a molex nor any 6pin connector, which makes it impossible to plug in any better gpu that requires some extra power from the PSU.

I've thought of 750Ti but I can't find any below 50€ in my country and I can't go that high for a used gpu for this PC.

Do you think R7 250 is going to be an okay choice for 3010 ? I'm not expecting much from it, just to run weak games on low settings, that's all.
Should be fine, I recall recommending that card to many light gaming builds back when they were new. Should be able to run plenty of esports titles and older games.
 
100F temps are not that high, practically idle for most computers...most businesses don't modify the systems at purchase.

If they are doing CAD on optiplex 3010, then there is a problem with the budget. And I do hope they've at least installed a GPU.

No I don't think people sit around and do nothing, nor do I think they modify complex spreadsheets throughout their workday at a some ridiculous level. (Which is essentially what I do for a living now) And to be honest, even that is stupid, if they are using that much resources on a spreadsheet then they need to be using a grown up database on a dedicated server, that way they can actually use their computer at the same time as whatever action they would have been doing in excel. I hate it when Excel gets stuck doing something that is relatively simple.

What I expect most people to be using a PC for these days is accessing online systems. Internal or external. I can tell you that most large corporations have pushed near everything to the cloud. Payroll, HR, Asset Management, Procurement, Incident tracking, ERP, Logistics & Supply Chain, the amount of things I have seen people using SalesForce for boggles the mind. Current place is moving even its core business function to the cloud, so yes, I expect almost completely no load on a system that spends all of its time using external resources. Amazing what work you can get done when the processing is done on something designed to handle a few hundred users.

CPU and GPU while gaming is a different load than straight CPU calculation, I'll grant you that, but certainly more stressful then your average business workload.

As for mounting those systems in a rack, literally just on shelves in an open rack chassis, they weren't part of the airflow. Just pointing out they were in a climate controlled room so had a pretty ideal environment. What those were used for was software packaging, which meant running virtual machines, creating whole images of the OS, installing software, getting the difference before and after, and turning that into an MSI for distribution, uploading to the central server. A lot of CPU time, a lot of disk time, and they would fail occasionally. Certainly lasted a few years, and not all of them died, one just lost the internal NIC for some reason, we slapped in a card.

Reason they were desktops is because they didn't need to move and the processors more powerful. At my company it would be an odd time if they issued someone a desktop. Usually hourly positions, desk sharing situations, and other tasks with long idle times. Not making this stuff up. When I say I expect 95% idle time, I meant it. Even then most of those people would still be using external resources. Security would be logging into a web portal to monitor cameras. Call center would log into a tool and fire up an IP phone application.

Only really heavy use of desktops I saw was our software testing lab. Had 15 9020 running as test platforms, wiped regularly. I want to say 9 desktops running packaging, with an additional 3 precisions for the big jobs. (Though it started with 12 precisions during our switch to Windows 10). And then there were a few industrial applications, where I imagine the load was also fairly light. I never could get those guys to go out and buy industrial PCs. And the engineers usually had a few laying around doing various things.
100F ambient temps are high unless you live in the Sahara or have no AC.

I guess all the offices that previously used 3010s for CAD work made bad buying decisions then?

If you don't know what type of work people do, then don't make stuff up. Most people are taxing business systems or else businesses wouldn't spend the money on them.

Yeah, cloud requires no resources hence why hardware needs to be upgraded along with the browser--todays browsers typically use more system resources than any other application. And the developers know this so more bloat, bloat, bloat, which will drive even more hardware upgrades.

There's nothing magical about gaming workload--the gamerz need to feel specialz, but they're not. It's nothing more intense than any other workload that hits max utilization. And the only business systems that have a gpu are those that use one, so they're going to be loaded as well.

Unless the systems were stress-tested that way, you were pushing them in an undesigned work space, probably in an untested orientation.

Yep, everyone is moving to the 'kiosk' model as it makes management a lot easier and you can use thin clients. But then again, all the software bloat is making that hard to do, and sometimes dedicated hardware like usb connected devices makes things easier.

Labs are more about multi-tasking ime--you can do 3-4 things at a time if you have 3-4 systems.
 
Hey, I just wanted to let you know that I bought another 8GB stick of ram for 13€ and Adata SU650 120GB SSD for about 25€ last week and finished the upgrade. And here the deal: The PC is immensely faster than before, the SSD gets its job done but you can notices some slight stutters here and there when doing a sequential data copy-pasting which doesn't seem to be as fast as on SATA III 6gbps ports but it's fine overall, I can't complain much.

Right now I am thinking of maybe getting a used Dell Radeon R7 250 2GB ... this: this GPU to match the performance with i3-3220 and hope it'll be able to run gta 5 on lowest settings possible (on 1440x900 resolution monitor) and hope for the good results.

I managed to find a mentioned gpu for exactly 30€ and I'm not sure if it's worth it and if it's going to work alright.
The reason I'm going for this particular gpu is the fact every Optiplex PC comes with a very limited ~300 PSU which neither has a molex nor any 6pin connector, which makes it impossible to plug in any better gpu that requires some extra power from the PSU.

I've thought of 750Ti but I can't find any below 50€ in my country and I can't go that high for a used gpu for this PC.

Do you think R7 250 is going to be an okay choice for 3010 ? I'm not expecting much from it, just to run weak games on low settings, that's all.
Glad to hear the results! The ssd isn't top of the line, so it probably has some 'in-house' work going on that causes that--or another thing it could be is having limited cores. I'm sure it's a huge improvement overall though. :)

That gpu is a good fit for the system's limitations, but I wouldn't expect too much out of it:
https://www.techpowerup.com/gpu-specs/radeon-r7-250-oem.c2731

The 750Ti would be a much better choice, but they never really came in a low profile single slot format:
https://www.techpowerup.com/gpu-specs/msi-gtx-750-ti-lp.b4098

I would also see if you can find an i5-3470 processor as that will wake the whole system up along with the gpu.
 

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100F ambient temps are high unless you live in the Sahara or have no AC.

I guess all the offices that previously used 3010s for CAD work made bad buying decisions then?

If you don't know what type of work people do, then don't make stuff up. Most people are taxing business systems or else businesses wouldn't spend the money on them.

Yeah, cloud requires no resources hence why hardware needs to be upgraded along with the browser--todays browsers typically use more system resources than any other application. And the developers know this so more bloat, bloat, bloat, which will drive even more hardware upgrades.

There's nothing magical about gaming workload--the gamerz need to feel specialz, but they're not. It's nothing more intense than any other workload that hits max utilization. And the only business systems that have a gpu are those that use one, so they're going to be loaded as well.

Unless the systems were stress-tested that way, you were pushing them in an undesigned work space, probably in an untested orientation.

Yep, everyone is moving to the 'kiosk' model as it makes management a lot easier and you can use thin clients. But then again, all the software bloat is making that hard to do, and sometimes dedicated hardware like usb connected devices makes things easier.

Labs are more about multi-tasking ime--you can do 3-4 things at a time if you have 3-4 systems.
I don't recall ambient temperatures being part of the discussion, but feel free to read back to what that was answering.

As I mentioned, software testing lab that I managed from 2010 to 2015. Your definition of lab ignores what the lab I ran was for. Which was testing application installations for everything used in the company. Not testing our own software development, though that certainly happened. No multitasking at all, each system was loaded up with a new version of whatever it was, documented, automated, and put on to a distribution server, and the test system wiped back to stock. Everyone ordered software through a web portal. Honestly, I tortured those things drives and some of them did die. And I will say Dell certainly won out over the Lenovo, mostly power supply failures on those things.

I do know what type of work people do. And in many cases, helped set them up to do it. Was for a fortune 500 that had about 60,000 systems. A small percentage were desktops fulfilling the roles previously mentioned. Majority of end users were issued laptops. Engineers were issued either a mobile workstation (starting in 2014, before that we didn't really have that, lots of complaints) or a full blown workstation. Earliest I recall were Dell Xeon towers, then dual socket Lenovo (6 core I think, late entry LGA1366), then Dell Precision dual socket systems. Most only had a single 8-core CPU, but we did offer a dual 12 core for the heavy users. Graphics cards were always Quadro 4000 series, whatever was latest at time of purchase. And for a few lucky users at the time, Tesla accelerators.

If wherever you have been didn't have the budget for that, not my fault. Not theirs either, if they were stuck running complex applications on quad cores or worse, I feel sad. Time is money, and a company throwing a few thousand dollars at someone they are paying 100k a year to, is worth it in efficiency. Just have to get it past the bean counters.

And to reiterate again, most of the users of said laptops, and ESPECIALLY desktops at that company used external applications. So the only thing they were typically running was outlook, office, a browser, and antivirus suites, and other background things. I will agree that modern browsers use more system memory then they used to, but CPU usage, typically fairly low unless they are abusing it by leaving everything open.

I think you are also discounting that people don't always get to use modern applications. Some of the stuff they were running was built in the 90s. Heck we still had terminal emulators for accessing an actual mainframe (virtualized itself). Let me tell you those systems didn't do anything. We literally could have gotten Wyse terminals and they would have been just as effective, if it weren't for email. The entire parts and warranty system ran that way.

After 2015 I was put in charge of our license management systems (after helping to set it up), which produced very interesting metrics and we could see how often applications were used. And yes, when I say the majority of users, I really do mean it. Across all those systems we could track live what they were running, filter by device type, all of that stuff. And we did, regularly, to produce reports. We started analyzing software that we were paying for that sat idle for months at a time, reduced license allocations, or stopped renewing so many. We are talking about 5000 authorized applications and another 3 or 4 thousand that people managed to get ahold of. Enforcement wasn't that strict as long as we had the licenses covered and they weren't pirating or playing games. Did find the occasional WoW install or emulator. Call of Duty MW once (would love to have seen how that played on integrated graphics actually)

Never got to the point of targeting people who didn't need high end systems, we really only had about five options. Tablet, Ultrabook, Mobile Workstation, Desktop, Workstation or a fully loaded Workstation, and Toughbooks for field engineers and technicians.

I don't know how else to convince you that Optiplex aren't an amazing system. They work, and if you applied the same workload to a high end gaming rig, I think the gaming rig would outlast it. Mix of experience between my own personal rigs and those I have used as a professional. We went through three major hardware generations while I was there, two brands, and several in between models.
 

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