Question Dell Optiplex 9020 upgrades

AlergicToTheSun

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Jan 19, 2020
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I have a 2015 Dell optiplex 9020 that I would like to get a better GPU for.
The specs are as follows

i7-4770
16GB Ram DDR3-1600MHz
Old Radeon HD something
2.5" Samsung 500GB SSD
Stock power supply that I believe is 290W(I attached the labels so you can check)

I have seen people put all different kinds of GPUs in them anywhere from a 960 to a 1660ti but I'm worried that I might not have enough power for some and I don't really want to replace the power supply unit. I have also seen people use sata to a 6 pin to connect for GPUs that require external power.

I'm not looking for anything insane but reasonable for a optiplex and the price of cards nowadays. I plan on using it for light games nothing more demanding than R6 siege or modded Minecraft.

I would love to hear what you guys suggest!
 

Eximo

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GT1030
GTX1050 or GTX1050Ti or RX550
GTX1650 or RX560

That is about the limit of what the Dell supply can handle with more recent cards. Basically sub 75W (Many RX560 are 80W, and do require the 6-pin adapter, but that is relatively safe)

These are pretty expensive at moment. GT1030 has always been overpriced, but is the bare minimum for light gaming.

You might be able to get older GT740, and R7-250/260/360 for reasonable prices used.

You can replace the power supply, there are adapters to convert 24-pin ATX to the 8-pin connector Dell uses. (I have done this by hand with a 9020 before, put a GTX970 in it and an old Corsair TX750W)
 

AlergicToTheSun

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Jan 19, 2020
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GT1030
GTX1050 or GTX1050Ti or RX550
GTX1650 or RX560

That is about the limit of what the Dell supply can handle with more recent cards. Basically sub 75W (Many RX560 are 80W, and do require the 6-pin adapter, but that is relatively safe)

These are pretty expensive at moment. GT1030 has always been overpriced, but is the bare minimum for light gaming.

You might be able to get older GT740, and R7-250/260/360 for reasonable prices used.

You can replace the power supply, there are adapters to convert 24-pin ATX to the 8-pin connector Dell uses. (I have done this by hand with a 9020 before, put a GTX970 in it and an old Corsair TX750W)
What would you say is the best bang for your buck? I was looking at the r7 260x and it seems to be the best price/frame ratio but does will it take too much power?
 
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Eximo

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Reasonable, but it does require 115W, so you are pushing what a SATA to six-pin adapter should do. It should be okay though, as long as the card fits inside anyway.

If you do get an adapter, make sure it takes two SATA connectors to one-6-pin.

I would not go higher than that without replacing the power supply.
 

Eximo

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I personally wouldn't drop $500 on a low end card.

If you see one at a reasonable price, it is likely a fake listing, or a hacked BIOS on an older model card (a very very common scam). Might be a few people unaware that low end GPU prices have tripled, but good luck on places like ebay.
 

AlergicToTheSun

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I feel the same way but thanks for the help and hopefully I figure it out.

Oh wait one last question, if I do get a R7 260x that doesn't require external power do I need to be concerned or anything?
 
You can replace the power supply, there are adapters to convert 24-pin ATX to the 8-pin connector Dell uses.
And they're a lot cheaper than the premium for low powered cards:
https://www.moddiy.com/products/Dell-OptiPlex-9020-PSU-Main-Power-24-Pin-to-8-Pin-Adapter-Cable-30cm.html

Once you get one of these and swap the power supply, it opens the door to almost any gpu you want, including older ones that may use more power but are cheaper or newer ones with better performance and that use more power.
 

AlergicToTheSun

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And they're a lot cheaper than the premium for low powered cards:
https://www.moddiy.com/products/Dell-OptiPlex-9020-PSU-Main-Power-24-Pin-to-8-Pin-Adapter-Cable-30cm.html

Once you get one of these and swap the power supply, it opens the door to almost any gpu you want, including older ones that may use more power but are cheaper or newer ones with better performance and that use more power.
If I do swap in a PSU what cards would be the most fitting for the system? (btw the cpu is actually a i7 4790)
 

Eximo

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No matter what you put in there will be bottlenecked to some extent. Processor is still decent, but it isn't top of the line. There will pretty much always be more frames available from a faster CPU, particularly with newer titles that like more than quad cores.

As for GPU bottlenecking, that depends how you use it. If you ran a 4K monitor at ultra settings, then the GPU would be the bottleneck in all likliehood.

It is a combination of CPU, GPU performance that gets you performance in games. Benchmarking for CPUs is done at low resolutions and settings to emphasize CPU bottlenecks. GPU tests are done at fixed levels for 1080p, 1440p, 4K so that you get a range of results. But those tests are usually done with the fastest CPU available at the time (roughly) to remove the CPU from the equation.

So you get best case scenarios. With an older CPU and you dropping in a random GPU, the only 'correct' benchmarks to look at would be i7-4770k benches, but that will exclude cards newer than that platform.

There are occasional throwback reviews though and you are in luck, GN did a recent round up which includes the 4770k, however, it was a CPU test, so they just chucked in a 2080Ti. You can see that as much as 30-60% FPS is left on the table depending on the title.

View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j9HV9V5nzOc


I wouldn't go above a RTX2060, GTX1660Ti or thereabout. Maybe an RX5600 / XT.

But given current prices, that isn't happening anyway, so GTX 980Ti is contemporary to the CPU, and they are selling for like $250ish on ebay. GTX980, GTX970, GTX1060 all in that range. They would experience little to no bottleneck with a 4790.
 

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