[SOLVED] Dell Optiplex 780 SFF with a Q6600 Overclocking Question

Feb 25, 2020
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Hello,
I have a question about overclocking. I have an optiplex 780 and there isn't an overclocking menu in my bios, so I can't overclock it that way. I've heard something called a BSEL mod, but wasn't sure how safe that was. I wanted to know what you recommend I do to overclock my Q6600 on this machine. I feel like there's so much more I could pull from this thing for gaming if I overclock it.
Thanks,
Alfking
 

SamirD

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That's a great find! Nope, that's probably real. Prices have really crashed on those generations and even the one after. If you got that with the i5, you don't even need a cpu upgrade and you're ready to go!

Getting one of the lga1150 generations opens up the possibility of an i7-4790k, which starts into modern performance numbers. But right now that processor is 2x as expensive as it was the end of last year, so demand is currently high. I got an i3-4130 system at a decent price and have been wanting to upgrade it to the 4790k, but only when the price is right:
https://www.cpubenchmark.net/compare/Intel-i3-4130-vs-Intel-i7-2600-vs-Intel-i7-4790K/2015vs1vs2275

And the great thing is that you can sell your existing system with the leftover parts from the i5 for $25-30 locally and someone will have a great productivity machine and you effectively got your i5 for the cost of just the cpu. :)
 
You won't be able to OC from your BIOS... it is very limited in terms of options with these optiplex models.

As for the tape mod I'll give you some pointers:

Q6600 Tape Mod OC

Tape mod/BSEL mod intel Q6600 - a thread from this forum

Simplified: what you need to do is cover 2 contact points on the CPU(you'll see which ones in the links above).

Even though you could try doing the mod, I won't recommend it. Why? Here goes:

1.The motherboard's power delivery doesn't look promising. It's obvious why Dell doesn't have any OCing option in the BIOS.

2.The CPU Cooler is mediocre at best + airflow in these SFF cases is awful. After the OC I'm expecting your Q6600 to be quite toasty.

3.(!!!this is the main problem!!!)Your PSU is only a 235W unit, but on the +12V rail you have a max power output of only 204W. Considering that the Q6600 is already a power hungry chip having a TDP of 105W, overclocking it would bring that number dangereously close to your max power output(CPU, GPU,motherboard,storage are fed from the +12V rail). Also the quality of the PSU is dodgy: no efficiency rating + manufacturer is not specified(delta is usually making models for dell which are fine, but there are also some AcBel units which are of garbage quality).

4. You said something about gaming performance.... I'm guessing you have a dedicated GPU(if so what model?).
If you have a GPU the concern from point 3 is grows even bigger.... definitely don't OC that CPU.


Based on the reasons above I'll advise against OCing your Q6600.
 
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Feb 25, 2020
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Alright, I'm looking into purchasing a 1030 gt, but right now I have a cheap 710 gt, which is sad trash, lol. I don't want to do anything that would be harmful to my system. What would you recommend I do for the cpu and overall for gaming? I might upgrade my PSU if I have to. Also, I have 10gb of ram in case you needed to know. The main game I'm trying to improve is SWBF2. Thanks for the reply :)
 
You can't really fit any standard PSU in that case unfortunately... so you won't be able to upgrade it.

The 1030 will work since it has a really low TDP and it will improve gaming performance. There are compatibility issues between Pascal cards and LGA775 boards due to legacy BIOS support... fortunately your motherboard does work with the GT 1030(has been proven working by others).
There's nothing you can do to your system other than changing your GPU.

That said, looking at the minimum requirements of star wars battle front 2, I really doubt that you'll get a great experience with your hardware(even with the 1030). If you really want to enjoy that game a platform change will be required .
 

SamirD

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Instead of overclocking the q6600, I would upgrade to a q9xxx series, preferably a q9650 if you can. And if you can't find those cheap enough, look at the x3370 and x33xx series xeons as the Dell motherboards will support them (I have a x3360 installed in my Optiplex 380):
https://www.cpubenchmark.net/compare/Intel-Xeon-X3370-vs-Intel-Core2-Quad-Q9650-vs-Intel-Xeon-X3360/1285vs1050vs1284

The next thing I would look at is finding a low profile 750 Ti or 1050 Ti (if the bios will allow it to install). That will help max out the system. I would also move to 16GB ram so you're running dual channel memory.
 
Feb 25, 2020
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Alright, Thanks! I'll look into what I can upgrade. Would a 1050 ti even work for my optiplex? keep in mind it's a sff 780. And would a q9650 be compatible with my system? one last question... What the difference between q9650 and the Q6600? and 10gb of ram vs 16gb? For battlefront 2 specificly. Also keep in mind my limited PSU. Thanks for your help :),
Alfking
 

86zx

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Alright, Thanks! I'll look into what I can upgrade. Would a 1050 ti even work for my optiplex? keep in mind it's a sff 780. And would a q9650 be compatible with my system? one last question... What the difference between q9650 and the Q6600? and 10gb of ram vs 16gb? For battlefront 2 specificly. Also keep in mind my limited PSU. Thanks for your help :),
Alfking
The 9000 series core 2 quads are much better in my experience clock for clock they are gonna be faster than a 6000 series. If you can get a 1050ti to fit in there I’d do it but that also depends on your powersupply. I have a 755sff and it has a 275w powersupply I’m unsure of the 780’s and as far as ram goes I do t think your system will be powerful enough to play a game that will require a lot of ram I have 8gb in my system and it’s never saturated
 
Alright, Thanks again (again) for all your help. much appreciated. I think that this card:
https://www.amazon.com/MSI-GTX-1050-TI-4GT/dp/B01N2W8MJ9/ref=sr_1_1?keywords=1050+ti+low+profile&qid=1582744706&sr=8-1
should work in my system. What do you think? I'll do some measurements later, to see if It would physically fit.
That card won't fit... it's 2 slot wide. The 780 SFF can accommodate cards that are only 1 slot wide.

This zotac version will fit:

Zotac GTX 1050Ti mini

Even though the Zotac GTX 1050ti fits and it'll most likely run fine initially, I'm skeptical about how it'll fair in the long run. As I said previously your power output on the +12V rail is really low, only 204W. The 1050ti has a tdp of 75W and your CPU 105W. Add the storage devices + motherboard and you're extremly close to the limits of a crappy PSU.

I'd just stay with the 1030 for now, save up some cash and upgrade to a newer platform... instead there's a possibility you're throwing money out the window with that 1050ti(in case your PSU will fail).
 
Feb 25, 2020
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I think I've made up my mind to upgrade my CPU to a Q9650 3.0ghz and to purchase the 1030GT. What should I expect performance to be like for SWBF2 and is it a good idea to upgrade my CPU or will performance be close to the same?
 

Karadjgne

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Depends on your opinion of what you consider 'the same'. Compared to newer pc's performance, you'll still be nowhere close, but compared to the Q6600/gt710, you'll see a decent sized fps boost.

Normally there's just one limiting factor, either cpu too weak or gpu too weak. With you it's both, so fps output is low, and graphics cuts it lower. The Q9650 is stronger overall, so fps cap will be higher, but gpu is mad stronger, so will not be as limiting to the fps output from the cpu.
 

86zx

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Depends on your opinion of what you consider 'the same'. Compared to newer pc's performance, you'll still be nowhere close, but compared to the Q6600/gt710, you'll see a decent sized fps boost.

Normally there's just one limiting factor, either cpu too weak or gpu too weak. With you it's both, so fps output is low, and graphics cuts it lower. The Q9650 is stronger overall, so fps cap will be higher, but gpu is mad stronger, so will not be as limiting to the fps output from the cpu.
Well between the 9550 and 9650 if you did geekbench it would be negligible
 
Feb 25, 2020
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Well, I found this guy online who ran the game with a Q9650 and I was impressed. you can check it out here:
View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=88Z9yIxCMms
. But he was overclocking, so I bet that would look different for me. He is, however, using a capable GPU. I've seen videos of the game with a 1030 gt and that's what worry's me. It's not as good as I would have hoped or rather, it's not as good as the performance in that video. Is there potentially any other card I could purchase around the same price that would get me similar results to the video? I'm hoping to find a solution where I can enjoy the game a little better. I realize that the speeds in the video may be difficult to match or impossible. Sorry for all the questions, and thanks again for all your help. you guys rock!
 

SamirD

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Jan 16, 2014
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Alright, Thanks! I'll look into what I can upgrade. Would a 1050 ti even work for my optiplex? keep in mind it's a sff 780. And would a q9650 be compatible with my system? one last question... What the difference between q9650 and the Q6600? and 10gb of ram vs 16gb? For battlefront 2 specificly. Also keep in mind my limited PSU. Thanks for your help :),
Alfking
Yep, you'll have to find a low profile one, but they will fit. Yes, q9650 will work and even the xeons I mentioned--stay away from the chinese fakes and 771 cpus that need mods--not worth it.

Differences between q9650 and q6600 in detail:
http://www.cpu-world.com/Compare/823/Intel_Core_2_Quad_Q6600_vs_Intel_Core_2_Quad_Q9650.html

10gb and 16b is that you would be running true dual channel so you would get double the memory performance you do with single channel. Yep, power supply is fine as I checked all this out with some searches. ;)
 

SamirD

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Okay, I have a 235W PSU. I've found this on amazon, would this be just as good as the Q9650?:
https://www.amazon.com/gp/offer-listing/B01CVKXPYO/ref=sr_1_4?keywords=intel+core+2+quad+q9650&qid=1582730549&sr=8-4
Thanks Again
It's quite close as the performance is within 10%:
https://www.cpubenchmark.net/compare/Intel-Core2-Quad-Q9550-vs-Intel-Xeon-X3360-vs-Intel-Core2-Quad-Q9650/1049vs1284vs1050

The top end upgrades always command top dollar, and it seems when I just checked prices the q9650 is still going for almost 2x the q9550/x3360. This is mainly why I've also only upgraded to q9550 and x3360--the top dog is expensive. :(
 

SamirD

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That card won't fit... it's 2 slot wide. The 780 SFF can accommodate cards that are only 1 slot wide.

This zotac version will fit:

Zotac GTX 1050Ti mini

Even though the Zotac GTX 1050ti fits and it'll most likely run fine initially, I'm skeptical about how it'll fair in the long run. As I said previously your power output on the +12V rail is really low, only 204W. The 1050ti has a tdp of 75W and your CPU 105W. Add the storage devices + motherboard and you're extremly close to the limits of a crappy PSU.

I'd just stay with the 1030 for now, save up some cash and upgrade to a newer platform... instead there's a possibility you're throwing money out the window with that 1050ti(in case your PSU will fail).
Good catch on this. Older Dells didn't do this, but the newer ones stupidly do, so you need not only a low profile, but also single slot gpu. :(
 

SamirD

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Jan 16, 2014
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Well, I found this guy online who ran the game with a Q9650 and I was impressed. you can check it out here:
View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=88Z9yIxCMms
. But he was overclocking, so I bet that would look different for me. He is, however, using a capable GPU. I've seen videos of the game with a 1030 gt and that's what worry's me. It's not as good as I would have hoped or rather, it's not as good as the performance in that video. Is there potentially any other card I could purchase around the same price that would get me similar results to the video? I'm hoping to find a solution where I can enjoy the game a little better. I realize that the speeds in the video may be difficult to match or impossible. Sorry for all the questions, and thanks again for all your help. you guys rock!
If the label for that video is right, that's a gtx 970 which is a LOT more powerful than a 1030. It's actually the single slot gpu restriction that's killing you--if you would have had a tower version, you could have put in a 970 too. Power supply upgrade would have been simple as well.

But you don't have these so you need to decide if you want to invest any more to play. Or you can spend $75 or so and wait for a good deal on a newer generation system that when paired with even the 710 will be a huge upgrade.
 
Feb 25, 2020
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Okay, I'll see about an i5 system online. I've seen some good deals. I just was hoping that I could keep using my sff. but as it turns out, it's becoming more and more obvious I should look into an upgrade. That way I could get a 1050 ti or better, a better psu if need be, and I'll not need to worry about an cpu upgrade. Any system suggestions?

I know that some i5's are different from the other simply because of age (kinda like the core2quad). I've heard some good things about the optiplex 3020. I won't need that much ram so long as it's ddr3 (got 10gb in my sff I could use), and I've already got an ssd with windows 10 on It I can pop into anything.

And thanks again for your help.
 

SamirD

Honorable
Jan 16, 2014
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Okay, I'll see about an i5 system online. I've seen some good deals. I just was hoping that I could keep using my sff. but as it turns out, it's becoming more and more obvious I should look into an upgrade. That way I could get a 1050 ti or better, a better psu if need be, and I'll not need to worry about an cpu upgrade. Any system suggestions?

I know that some i5's are different from the other simply because of age (kinda like the core2quad). I've heard some good things about the optiplex 3020. I won't need that much ram so long as it's ddr3 (got 10gb in my sff I could use), and I've already got an ssd with windows 10 on It I can pop into anything.

And thanks again for your help.
Yeah, you can get something cheap and then upgrade it with what you have and some other stuff. Like this complete system for $66+shipping:
https://www.pcliquidations.com/p24275-dell-optiplex-390-mt

It comes with 4gb, which coupled with your 8gb, would give you 12gb. You could sell the 4+2 and get another 8 and you'd be running dual channel. The processor is easy to swap to an i7-2600/2600k/2700/2700k (max it can take), and there's good room for a 1660 or even a 2060/2070 as long as it isn't long enough. The power supply is standard so you can upgrade it with regular parts, and even though the cpu heatsink is little, it's more than capable for the i7 so you don't need anything more. And you can easily upgrade the fan on it as this motherboard uses the standard 4-pin vs dell 5-pin power connector for the cpu fan.

So $66+shipping, $15-$20 for 8gb (optional), $50-60 for the i7, use your own boot drive and you're at i7 performance for under $150. Then you can upgrade power, gpu, etc as you wish.
 

SamirD

Honorable
Jan 16, 2014
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That's a great find! Nope, that's probably real. Prices have really crashed on those generations and even the one after. If you got that with the i5, you don't even need a cpu upgrade and you're ready to go!

Getting one of the lga1150 generations opens up the possibility of an i7-4790k, which starts into modern performance numbers. But right now that processor is 2x as expensive as it was the end of last year, so demand is currently high. I got an i3-4130 system at a decent price and have been wanting to upgrade it to the 4790k, but only when the price is right:
https://www.cpubenchmark.net/compare/Intel-i3-4130-vs-Intel-i7-2600-vs-Intel-i7-4790K/2015vs1vs2275

And the great thing is that you can sell your existing system with the leftover parts from the i5 for $25-30 locally and someone will have a great productivity machine and you effectively got your i5 for the cost of just the cpu. :)
 

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