[SOLVED] Maxing out an Optiplex 780 SFF for gaming

Feb 25, 2020
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Hello All,
I was curious about how I might be able to push the most performance out of an optiplex 780 SFF for gaming, specifically for the game STAR WARS BATTLEFRONT II.

Currently I've got a Q6600 and a gt 710 1gb vram card with 10gb ram. Gaming with this is, well not the best as you might guess. I have fun while I play and it runs, but it's stuck at low settings, lowest resolution, and I'm looking to get smooth 1080p gameplay with this system. I know that that the max CPU that it will take is a Q9650 clocked at 3.0ghz.

My first question, is there anyway to overclock that thing up to 4.2ghz? My motherboard won't support overclocking, so it would have to be done outside of the bios.

My second question, I'm aware that the case won't allow a psu upgrade because it won't fit, but that got me thinking does it even have to? I'm thinking about upgrading the psu to a standard 400w psu and letting it kind of sit beside the case while the cords run through the back into the case. Could this work, or is it unsafe?

My next question is that now that the psu is 400w, could I put a gtx 1650 SUPER in it or will the cpu bottleneck it badly even if it were overclocked? I'm aware that the card might not fit in the case, and in that case (no pun intended), I would keep the side lid off and let the card stick out.

Next question, would you recommend me buying a new pc case that would allow me to house things more securely, and how necessary would it be?

and lastly, I currently have 10gb of ram. should I upgrade it to 16? keep in mind, the goal is to get a playabe 50-60fps on 1080p, while keeping my current system.

Thanks,
Alfking
 
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Can you share a link to some systems you had in mind? I know that some an i5 2600 goes for around $130 us dollars on ebay. But then i'd have to upgrade it's psu, graphics, and then be done around $300 plus dollars. right now I'm just exploring my options.
They can be as simple as the classifieds on here. I recently got an i3-4130 based Dell 3020 sff for $75 shipped, and that's a monster compared to what you currently have. Swapping over your gpu and storage, this is an example of a cheap upgrade that's a much better investment.

One company that has decent deals is pcliquidations. I haven't bought anything from them yet, but am always in awe of how cheap some of the deals are, sometimes cheaper than the cost of the parts. Like these i5-4570s:
https://www.pcliquidations.com/p108276-hp-z230-workstation-tower

And the performance of these even without a gpu are probably going to kick even an overclocked q9650 into the dirt:
https://www.cpubenchmark.net/compare/Intel-i5-4570-vs-Intel-Core2-Quad-Q9650/1896vs1050

And you can keep your existing system and remote desktop into it from your faster one. So you can have everything non-gaming running on a completely separate system and still have it accessible from your newer faster system. This is what I do for about 20 computers. I can switch back and forth to different systems for different tasks and none of them slow each other down even when they're running on stuff as old as a pentium 4.
 
Okay, so a lot of questions, but the bigger answer is that while you technically can do a lot of what you want to do (ps outside case, q9650 throttlestop overclock, 1650, etc), that it actually makes more sense to buy a cheap used machine that's a couple of generations newer that will be much faster and cheaper than any mods to your 780.
 
Feb 29, 2020
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Just wondering what your actual budget is?
I also agree it makes more sense to try and find something used and that can be properly upgraded. If your already thinking about a new case, GPU and PSU maybe start there and chuck in a CPU, MOBO and (DDR4) RAM later. Maybe spend a few dozen more bucks to get a 550W PSU so you could add some more modern stuff down the road.
Are you set on the 1650super? I just picked up a RX570 for $130CAD and it's only about an 8% drop in benchmarks compared to the 1650S.
 
Feb 25, 2020
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Thanks everyone for the help!
While I know that I could just easily upgrade my system to anything other then the 780 SFF, I'm trying to get it under $300. So I'd like to find a good upgrade to achieve my goal that won't be too much. Can you tell me how to do the overclock, and explain the possible bottlenecks? If I should go for a cheaper card? I still want to explore the idea for now of "what if" I were to keep this system and not upgrade from it.
 
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86zx

Upstanding
Nov 1, 2019
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Well you might be able to fit a flex atx psu in that case and a q9400 isn’t gonna be that much slower than a q9650 in real world gaming but if they are similar price might as well go with the higher clocks. 8gbs of ddr2 is about all you can do economically. As far as overclocking it’s not gonna help much I overclocked a q9400 to 3.6 ghz and ya it did decent improvement in benchmarks but it doesn’t support newer instruction sets so some games won’t work and some don’t play well with it I’ve tried stock vs overclocked on Minecraft for instance and there wasn’t much difference it was a jittery mess either way.
 
Feb 25, 2020
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Thanks,
However I'm not sure about my system running that slow. this guy got great performance and fps with a Q9650:
View: https://youtu.be/88Z9yIxCMms
of course he overclocked to 4.2ghz. Also keep in mind that my system uses ddr3 ram and I've had no problems with minecraft java edition. I'm not saying your wrong, I just think that my system might be more capable, but idk. Also I was probably to confusing before, just know that I'm trying to get this under $300.
 
Feb 25, 2020
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Okay, so a lot of questions, but the bigger answer is that while you technically can do a lot of what you want to do (ps outside case, q9650 throttlestop overclock, 1650, etc), that it actually makes more sense to buy a cheap used machine that's a couple of generations newer that will be much faster and cheaper than any mods to your 780.
Can you share a link to some systems you had in mind? I know that some an i5 2600 goes for around $130 us dollars on ebay. But then i'd have to upgrade it's psu, graphics, and then be done around $300 plus dollars. right now I'm just exploring my options.
 
Can you share a link to some systems you had in mind? I know that some an i5 2600 goes for around $130 us dollars on ebay. But then i'd have to upgrade it's psu, graphics, and then be done around $300 plus dollars. right now I'm just exploring my options.
They can be as simple as the classifieds on here. I recently got an i3-4130 based Dell 3020 sff for $75 shipped, and that's a monster compared to what you currently have. Swapping over your gpu and storage, this is an example of a cheap upgrade that's a much better investment.

One company that has decent deals is pcliquidations. I haven't bought anything from them yet, but am always in awe of how cheap some of the deals are, sometimes cheaper than the cost of the parts. Like these i5-4570s:
https://www.pcliquidations.com/p108276-hp-z230-workstation-tower

And the performance of these even without a gpu are probably going to kick even an overclocked q9650 into the dirt:
https://www.cpubenchmark.net/compare/Intel-i5-4570-vs-Intel-Core2-Quad-Q9650/1896vs1050

And you can keep your existing system and remote desktop into it from your faster one. So you can have everything non-gaming running on a completely separate system and still have it accessible from your newer faster system. This is what I do for about 20 computers. I can switch back and forth to different systems for different tasks and none of them slow each other down even when they're running on stuff as old as a pentium 4.
 
Feb 25, 2020
19
0
10
0
They can be as simple as the classifieds on here. I recently got an i3-4130 based Dell 3020 sff for $75 shipped, and that's a monster compared to what you currently have. Swapping over your gpu and storage, this is an example of a cheap upgrade that's a much better investment.
Thanks so much!
It's clear now that I'm not really going to go anyway with the 780 SFF. So what I'll do is keep searching for good deals, maybe get an i5 machine pop a RX570 into it and get it a cool case and bam, good as new. For now I'm going to overclock my Q6600 and use it until the new pc.
again I can't thank you enough for all your help,
Alfking
 
Yep, and keep in mind what your parents said too. You always need to save for something bigger. I saved every penny from the time I was working and by the time I wanted to buy a car, I was able to buy a Porsche Boxster and paid cash. Saving has its merits--especially considering that the wants of today will be the cheap junk of tomorrow and you'll be able to pick it up for 1/4 the price later and still enjoy it just as much.

And I wouldn't bother too much with the q6600 since you can get a q8400 or q9400 cheap and the performance jump will be worth it. Your Dell will also take lga775 xeons, which essentially are the same as the q-chips, but just relabled. Because of this they can be cheap to find since they fly under the radar a bit:
https://www.cpubenchmark.net/compare/Intel-Core2-Quad-Q6600-vs-Intel-Core2-Quad-Q9400-vs-Intel-Xeon-X3360/1038vs1045vs1284

One place to give you an idea of prices--you have to take into account that a lot of the prices are for chinese fakes--which you don't want:
https://www.delidded.com/lga-771-775-cpus/?filter=socket-lga-775

If you have a budget of $20 shipped, you have a lot of options. Even $15 can get you a decent upgrade for little work, and if you oc the newer/faster one, you probably can eek out even more performance.

Another thing to consider is that single thread performance is important in things like games, and that the single thread performance on dual core processors like the e8600 will stomp even the top quad cores:
https://www.cpubenchmark.net/compare/Intel-Core2-Quad-Q6600-vs-Intel-Core2-Quad-Q9650-vs-Intel-Core2-Duo-E8600/1038vs1050vs957

I run a few of these and they are surprisingly fast for what they are. Their only issues is when there's too many tasks being thrown at them because of the lack of cores, but that is understandable. And another good thing is that they're cheap as well. There's a good one on ebay right now for $8 shipped.
 
Feb 25, 2020
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Thanks for the advice.
I completely agree with the whole saving money concept. I've been making cash by mowing a few lawns and last year I made quiet a lot. as far as the cheap CPU upgrade for now, I'll look into it. I have one last question. I've been on amazon off and on today and have found some good deals on i5 systems. What are some good i5's to look out for and maybe even some i7's? specifically this one: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01K0GNUOG/ref=ox_sc_act_title_2?smid=A27Q4NXVM8ES3L&psc=1
 
Thanks for the advice.
I completely agree with the whole saving money concept. I've been making cash by mowing a few lawns and last year I made quiet a lot. as far as the cheap CPU upgrade for now, I'll look into it. I have one last question. I've been on amazon off and on today and have found some good deals on i5 systems. What are some good i5's to look out for and maybe even some i7's? specifically this one: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01K0GNUOG/ref=ox_sc_act_title_2?smid=A27Q4NXVM8ES3L&psc=1
Good. Starting with savings when you're young can pay off in super-big ways when you're older. I was smart enough to invest my money after high school. I bought Microsoft in 1995. I still have that stock too. I wish I would have invested sooner, like when I was your age. I would be in even better shape. The rich stay rich by making their money make money for them so they don't have to work in the traditional sense. The hardest part of that is initially gathering enough money.

That particular system is expensive for what it is. The i5-3470 is a previous generation and I've noticed you can get systems with the next generation processors now for the same price, so there's not point in going to the i5-2500 or i5-3470 anymore. The new sweet spot is the i5-4570. Plus the upgrade path on this is nice since the i7-4790k can really be a huge upgrade when the time comes, so there's headroom.

And think about your existing parts as well. If you can find a barebone that's literally just case, power supply, motherboard and cpu, your memory, storage and gpu will transfer to the new system, and then as you upgrade your new system, you put the parts back into your old one. I've built an HP z420 this way--got the motherboard/cpu/ram/power supply cheap and found a case cheap and put them together. Saved about $50-75 vs the whole thing as one. Added a gpu that I had gotten as a solid deal and put in an ssd I obtained the same way. Runs very well for what I need.
 
Feb 25, 2020
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And think about your existing parts as well. If you can find a barebone that's literally just case, power supply, motherboard and cpu, your memory, storage and gpu will transfer to the new system, and then as you upgrade your new system, you put the parts back into your old one. I've built an HP z420 this way--got the motherboard/cpu/ram/power supply cheap and found a case cheap and put them together. Saved about $50-75 vs the whole thing as one. Added a gpu that I had gotten as a solid deal and put in an ssd I obtained the same way. Runs very well for what I need.
Hello again,
I wanted to know what you thought about me getting an optiplex 3020 motherboard for $16 and a i5-4570 for $40 for a total of $65! then I could transfer over ram, hdd and ssd, dvd drive, and get a new psu $50, a new $50 RGB case, and a $130 RX570 card for a little over $200? what's costing me the most is the graphics card. If I could find a different card that will get me 1080p gaming then I'm more then willing to swap that for something cheaper. But I think I'm on to something. please let me know what you think. I also just realized that the 3020 mobo might not fit in a different case? what are some good mobo's that I could use instead?
thanks,
Alfking
 
Hello again,
I wanted to know what you thought about me getting an optiplex 3020 motherboard for $16 and a i5-4570 for $40 for a total of $65! then I could transfer over ram, hdd and ssd, dvd drive, and get a new psu $50, a new $50 RGB case, and a $130 RX570 card for a little over $200? what's costing me the most is the graphics card. If I could find a different card that will get me 1080p gaming then I'm more then willing to swap that for something cheaper. But I think I'm on to something. please let me know what you think. I also just realized that the 3020 mobo might not fit in a different case? what are some good mobo's that I could use instead?
thanks,
Alfking
The draw of Dell prebuilt components and systems is that they are cheap, but the disadvantage is that they are not industry standard. So while they are cheap for individual components, by the time you add it all up, it's not a great value. You wouldn't be able to put the 3020 motherboard in any other case, would need the dell front io (more $), dell hsf (more $), so by the time you add it all up, you could go with a traditional motherboard for the same cost.

And then by the time you start getting into these numbers, you can see that newer Ryzen systems offer better long term investment and performance for just a little more. Now, that being said, gpus are always moveable which makes a solid investment there transferable, so I wouldn't even include a gpu in the overall cost when comparing system to system.

Like I said, the cheapest way for you to go will be to find a Dell barebone of a newer generation that still can use your ram. You should be able to find such a thing for less than $45, but it will also be a needle in a haystack. Then you can swap stuff over and go from there.

Also, keep in mind that people are hurting for money right now and it is getting worse. My wife just told me this morning that 3 of her former co-workers when she worked at another company have now lost their jobs. And these were hourly employees, but people making 6-figures. When companies are cutting at that level, their financial problems are big and that will trickle down to every one of us. People will be selling their gaming systems in a hurry to make up for the lack of cash, so you might be able to pick one up that way. Or you can wait because who knows how much worse this will all get.
 
Feb 25, 2020
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Also, keep in mind that people are hurting for money right now and it is getting worse. My wife just told me this morning that 3 of her former co-workers when she worked at another company have now lost their jobs. And these were hourly employees, but people making 6-figures. When companies are cutting at that level, their financial problems are big and that will trickle down to every one of us. People will be selling their gaming systems in a hurry to make up for the lack of cash, so you might be able to pick one up that way. Or you can wait because who knows how much worse this will all get.
I hear you,
Thanks man and best of luck to you.
 

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