Question GPU Upgrade for Dell Optiplex 3010 Low Profile PC

Dec 20, 2019
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Hello,

I am looking for peoples opinions on recommending a GPU for a Dell Optiplex 3010, Low Profile.

I am on a cheap budget because I know these PC's are technically not meant for upgrades. I have two 24" monitors on it now, one through HDMI and one though VGA on the main board. I want to add two more smaller 15inch VGA ones, I was going to use adapters to connect them to the GPU, the issue am having is finding a decent GPU that does not take too much power. I was going to get a AMD RADEON HD 6450 1GB but thought I would come on here and get more than my own opinion.

System has

  • 8GB RAM
  • i3 3220
  • Dell 042P49
  • Standard HDD
It is for nothing mager, it is a PC for the shed away from my main rig so I can do my work.
 

King_V

Distinguished
I think that machine has a 240W PSU, and if I'm looking at the right PSU label, 17W on the 12V rail, so, really 204 watts.

The i3 3220 is a 55W processor. Figure 69W for everything else (just to make the math easy) and that's 124 watts, leaving you 80-ish watts for a GPU. Of course, the PCIe slot maxes out at 75, and the PSU included doesn't include any PCIe connectors. Still, you would NOT want to even pull the full 75W on it.

That all said, as long as you can find low profile models, you have a number of options. The 6450 will likely work without issue, and might be adequate for gaming at 720p.

But, there are options for greater performance than that.
A GT 1030 (make sure to get the GDDR5 version, and NOT the DDR4 version) would perform better than the 6450 by far, though you'd be looking at something in the $80-ish range, new.

GTX 750
Radeon R7 250E
Radeon R7 250 (GDDR5 version)
GT 730 64-bit GDDR5 version

are reasonable choices if you can find them used, but again, be sure to seek out low profile versions.


I guess it's a matter of what your goal is, what your preferred budget is, and the price/availability of used cards in your region.
 
Dec 20, 2019
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I think that machine has a 240W PSU, and if I'm looking at the right PSU label, 17W on the 12V rail, so, really 204 watts.

The i3 3220 is a 55W processor. Figure 69W for everything else (just to make the math easy) and that's 124 watts, leaving you 80-ish watts for a GPU. Of course, the PCIe slot maxes out at 75, and the PSU included doesn't include any PCIe connectors. Still, you would NOT want to even pull the full 75W on it.

That all said, as long as you can find low profile models, you have a number of options. The 6450 will likely work without issue, and might be adequate for gaming at 720p.

But, there are options for greater performance than that.
A GT 1030 (make sure to get the GDDR5 version, and NOT the DDR4 version) would perform better than the 6450 by far, though you'd be looking at something in the $80-ish range, new.

GTX 750
Radeon R7 250E
Radeon R7 250 (GDDR5 version)
GT 730 64-bit GDDR5 version

are reasonable choices if you can find them used, but again, be sure to seek out low profile versions.


I guess it's a matter of what your goal is, what your preferred budget is, and the price/availability of used cards in your region.
Yeah I just popped the side and says 250w PSU, see image on here. I didn't know it was that low XD

I look on eBay from you what you said and most of them are around 30, the 36450 is 25 as well, eBay UK. However about the 1030, don't think I can pop 80 on it, unless I can find one for bidding, as for now this is just for work, I plan to have two main rigs on in my house and one in the shed for work.

Out of these, which would you say is the best to go for? In your opinion.

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Asus-NVIDIA-GTX-750-2GB/353085876011?hash=item52358ee72b:g:nlwAAOSwCr9eyqeC

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Dell-AMD-ATI-Radeon-R5-340-PCI-E-Graphics-Card-2Gb-DVI-DisplayPort-P-N-Y7XRF/331934132712?epid=5037066734&hash=item4d48d0e9e8:g:xYkAAOSw65FXqdzZ

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Sapphire-Radeon-R7-250-Graphics-Card-1GB-GDDR5-PCIE-x16-in-Original-box/254605713129?hash=item3b47aedee9:g:wgEAAOSw~y5evtG~

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/ASUS-NVIDIA-GeForce-GT-730/174292279403?hash=item2894a1206b:g:p4cAAOSwKTheyQRR

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/GT730-GDDR5-GPU-Perfect-Condition-128bit/392815289111?hash=item5b759da317:g:~KQAAOSwlepezqG-

Thank you for helping me BTW, love this place, most helpful forums I've been on.
 

King_V

Distinguished
Ok, 17.8 on the 12V rail... gives you a tiny bit of extra headroom. 213.6 watts rather than 204.

I have an Inspiron 3647 Small Desktop, similar form factor, but much more awkwardly placed PCIe slot, so I needed my card to be both low profile AND only single-slot height for card and cooler combined. Your case allows for using a low-profile dual-slot card, which is a good thing. My machine has 220W PSU, I believe, and had 18A on the 12V rail, so 216W available, and I successfully used an R7 250E.

Of the cards you listed, only the 3rd and 4th ones will physically fit in the case, and only if the seller has the low-profile slot bracket included, which you'll have to swap on to the card. This image gives an example of what I mean:


Obviously, using one of the low profile brackets means eliminating the VGA port.

This is the card I used: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00J06F4HE/

Sapphire's name is confusing for it. The R7 250 is a 65W card, and slightly different from the R7 250E, which is a 55W card. The 250E is basically a relabel of the old Radeon HD 7750. Sapphire doesn't call it a 250E, though, they call it a 250 Low Profile. When I checked the hardware ID numbers on it, though, it came up as 250E.

Of the two usable ones, the GT730 unfortunately, from what I could figure out from Asus's specs, uses DDR3. The R5 340 OEM card also uses DDR3. They're both better than the 6450, though. HOWEVER, that's in terms of gaming.

If this were for gaming, I'd suggest looking for something else, but for just being able to do work, either one of them will do the trick. I'm leaning toward the GT730. It's already got the low profile bracket, and, from a rather hasty search, it seems that it draws only 38W of power vs the R5 340's 65W. Those numbers both seem a little high to me.

BUT - if the 6450 is still in contention, that draws only 18W of power. And if all you need it for is displaying a screen (no real video processing or 3d) then it should be fine.
 
Dec 20, 2019
36
5
35
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Ok, 17.8 on the 12V rail... gives you a tiny bit of extra headroom. 213.6 watts rather than 204.

I have an Inspiron 3647 Small Desktop, similar form factor, but much more awkwardly placed PCIe slot, so I needed my card to be both low profile AND only single-slot height for card and cooler combined. Your case allows for using a low-profile dual-slot card, which is a good thing. My machine has 220W PSU, I believe, and had 18A on the 12V rail, so 216W available, and I successfully used an R7 250E.

Of the cards you listed, only the 3rd and 4th ones will physically fit in the case, and only if the seller has the low-profile slot bracket included, which you'll have to swap on to the card. This image gives an example of what I mean:


Obviously, using one of the low profile brackets means eliminating the VGA port.

This is the card I used: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00J06F4HE/

Sapphire's name is confusing for it. The R7 250 is a 65W card, and slightly different from the R7 250E, which is a 55W card. The 250E is basically a relabel of the old Radeon HD 7750. Sapphire doesn't call it a 250E, though, they call it a 250 Low Profile. When I checked the hardware ID numbers on it, though, it came up as 250E.

Of the two usable ones, the GT730 unfortunately, from what I could figure out from Asus's specs, uses DDR3. The R5 340 OEM card also uses DDR3. They're both better than the 6450, though. HOWEVER, that's in terms of gaming.

If this were for gaming, I'd suggest looking for something else, but for just being able to do work, either one of them will do the trick. I'm leaning toward the GT730. It's already got the low profile bracket, and, from a rather hasty search, it seems that it draws only 38W of power vs the R5 340's 65W. Those numbers both seem a little high to me.

BUT - if the 6450 is still in contention, that draws only 18W of power. And if all you need it for is displaying a screen (no real video processing or 3d) then it should be fine.
I haven't had much experience with Inspirons, a lot with Optiplexs though, out of all them, I have a 3010, 3020, 390 SFF, and two 780 mini ones, but they are very slow, small Pentium ones, probs just be sitting around for now on. The 3010 thought is one I need in the shed, the others have other jobs.

I see, I might have a look around for the cheapest price and go from there.

Yeah I mean I can use HDMI to VGA and DVI to VGA, but yours looks decent and what am after iussue is none other here, I can get a 7570 1GB 128-Bit GDDR5 from the US, for like 40 dollars but gonna see if I can get something like yours here.

I see, I mean maybe one or twice I might go on Steam, play a cheeky game of Terraria or something, but with i3 doubt I could strecth GTA. From what your saying I think that it would be either the GT730 or the 6450, but depends on power and performance? I guess the GT730 would be a good choice? I am now tempted to get a good one for gaming, but am not sure if I would game too much on it, as my main rig is inside.
 

King_V

Distinguished
Well, none of them are particularly gaming-worthy; maybe low details at 720p, or very simple games with low graphics requirements.

I'm disappointed that the particular GT730 you linked to is a DDR3 variant. The GDDR5 version (ok, with the 730, specifically the 64-bit GDDR5, as, strangely, the 128-bit GDDR5 version was slower) would be better suited for very light gaming. Typically the DDR3 video cards are used just to have more than one monitor connected.

Still, in your case, having the proper number and type of connectors would be the primary goal. Also, HDMI-to-VGA or DVI-to-VGA adapters, at least the active type, tend to be on the pricey side.
 
Reactions: Sheev Palpatine
Dec 20, 2019
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Yeah I even asked him too do you have the smaller bracket as well but he doesn't know what I mean, so it's like I might just go for the other one. I saw a 710 but says 300w PSU min, https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Low-Profile-MSI-nvidia-Geforce-GT710-1-GB-DDR3-Graphics-Card-HDMI-DVI-VGA/182077177157?hash=item2a64a53d45:g:VMIAAOSw5cNYQwZt

Yeah all am going to be playing is Terrira or Stardew Valley, I play main games inside. I already have the VGA to DVI, the HDMI to VGA is 3.99GBP so not too bad.

So unless I find a 730, ill just buy that other one. I haven't checked CEX yet as well. I am on a small time limit too to get it running so I can't bid on stuff.
 

King_V

Distinguished
You can safely ignore that 300W recommendation. The GPU makers give themselves a big margin of safety with the power supply recommendations, because they don't know if you're using a lowly Celeron, or an overclocked i9-10900K.

Anything under 50W should be safe with the typical OEM Dell and HP power supplies. OCCASIONALLY you'll see on the motherboard just above the PCIe slot some kind of notation like 25W max or 35W max or something, even though the PCIe spec calls for supporting up to 75W.

But the cards you're looking at, I don't think you have to worry. If there's any question, you can type in a search the name of the card followed by TDP, and you should get an answer of how much power it can demand from your system.


EDIT: Unless the PSU were maybe under 200W. Then you might have to start being careful, balancing the CPU's power requirements vs the GPU, etc.
 
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Reactions: Sheev Palpatine
Dec 20, 2019
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You can safely ignore that 300W recommendation. The GPU makers give themselves a big margin of safety with the power supply recommendations, because they don't know if you're using a lowly Celeron, or an overclocked i9-10900K.

Anything under 50W should be safe with the typical OEM Dell and HP power supplies. OCCASIONALLY you'll see on the motherboard just above the PCIe slot some kind of notation like 25W max or 35W max or something, even though the PCIe spec calls for supporting up to 75W.

But the cards you're looking at, I don't think you have to worry. If there's any question, you can type in a search the name of the card followed by TDP, and you should get an answer of how much power it can demand from your system.


EDIT: Unless the PSU were maybe under 200W. Then you might have to start being careful, balancing the CPU's power requirements vs the GPU, etc.
I see, thank you for pointing thsat out to me. , I would think the MSI is much better than the other 6450, I wanted 2GB really but can't really find one cheap enough, and this is brand new too.

Thank you for the tip, I shall do that, always learning you know, and none of us are perfect so I really appreciate your help.

I will have a look around more and see whih to buy, got vouchers on eBay, but will still look around on Amazon, Overlcokers and Scan etc. I will let you know.
 

King_V

Distinguished
Not too bad - that's more than I'd want to pay normally for a GT 710, but it is new and warrantied.

Will that accomplish what you need, though?

Can you attach one of the two 24" monitors via DVI? Then you have the VGA on the card and the VGA from the mainboard for the two 15" monitors?
 
Dec 20, 2019
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Not too bad - that's more than I'd want to pay normally for a GT 710, but it is new and warrantied.

Will that accomplish what you need, though?

Can you attach one of the two 24" monitors via DVI? Then you have the VGA on the card and the VGA from the mainboard for the two 15" monitors?
Yeah I know what you mean, but it comes tomorrow and its new as you say.

Yeah it should do. Like the 24", one will connect to hdmi and then other either vga to vga or hdmi to dvi. The other two can just connect to the board.
 
Reactions: King_V
Dec 20, 2019
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Glad to hear it's all going smoothly!
UPDATE:

After turning off the PC yesterday cus was I thinking of saving power I am starting to turn them off every night, this one anyway. I come this morning and the PSU has fried itself completely. No warning nothing, just dead. I have tested my old Corsair C600 which is dieing and it powers it up but gives me the orange flashing light. So looks like a new PSU but I have to find out if it was that new card that did this.
 

gamenadez

Commendable
Feb 17, 2018
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UPDATE:

After turning off the PC yesterday cus was I thinking of saving power I am starting to turn them off every night, this one anyway. I come this morning and the PSU has fried itself completely. No warning nothing, just dead. I have tested my old Corsair C600 which is dieing and it powers it up but gives me the orange flashing light. So looks like a new PSU but I have to find out if it was that new card that did this.
Its your Mobo the problem :) It got fried maybe due to heat..because you install new gpu the fan itself from gpu spread heat faster around your motherboard.

I had experience this problem before on my dell optiplex sff, that i bought from craiglist and I just plug in the gpu without checking the cpu thermal.. It was already too late for me as it died, I found out later on, the culprit was the cpu thermal paste was dried already. . so everytime i buy a sff it always nice to remove cpu sink to see if thermal paste dried or not.
 
Dec 20, 2019
36
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Its your Mobo the problem :) It got fried maybe due to heat..because you install new gpu the fan itself from gpu spread heat faster around your motherboard.

I had experience this problem before on my dell optiplex sff, that i bought from craiglist and I just plug in the gpu without checking the cpu thermal.. It was already too late for me as it died, I found out later on, the culprit was the cpu thermal paste was dried already. . so everytime i buy a sff it always nice to remove cpu sink to see if thermal paste dried or not.
UPDATE:

Checked the paste on CPU, was on the verge of going dry so changed it while I was in there.

However that wasn’t the issue, the issue was the PSU. DELL wanted over £60 for a new one and second hand no warranty was £25 so I thought you know what I’ll do it myself, it’s my system, so I’ll make it work.

Bought a standard 500W PSU, stuck to the side and put feet on it, put pipe on, and an extra fan to keep it happy. Feast your eyes :geek::tearsofjoy:







 

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