Question Need help on purchasing optiplex refurb

Nov 4, 2019
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New member here, Haven't had a PC in over a decade and looking to get one at a budget price ($100-$125 for the tower) that is usable out of the box and has room for upgrades. Don't mind putting in extra ram and an SSD off the back if needed but want it to come with a processor I'll be content with for a while, thinking i3 or i5 3+GHz. Currently considering an optiplex mini tower, either 3020 or 980. I'm so out of the loop I don't where to start, so if anybody has some recommendations I'm open to anything, just want a good base to start with that will have room for graphics If I decide to upgrade further down the road.
Also, is 8gb of memory enough in this day and age? Or more recommended?
 

USAFRet

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  1. With an optiplex refurb, do NOT look at it as being 'upgradeable'.
  2. At that price point, there is not a whole lot of difference.
  3. For a refurb (Dell Outlet?) what is available today might not be available tomorrow. Buy the best one you find that fits in your budget.
 

maxamillionfeettall

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Mar 27, 2011
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Skip the 980, any 3010/3020 and higher variants will be fine, however, the xx20 series use a non-standard power connector, so you would need a adapter caple for that. 8gb is technically enough, and will do for now. Get one with an i5, 2 cores wont do it.
 
Nov 4, 2019
4
0
10
0
  1. With an optiplex refurb, do NOT look at it as being 'upgradeable'.
  2. At that price point, there is not a whole lot of difference.
  3. For a refurb (Dell Outlet?) what is available today might not be available tomorrow. Buy the best one you find that fits in your budget.
I'm really just looking for something cheap that I
Skip the 980, any 3010/3020 and higher variants will be fine, however, the xx20 series use a non-standard power connector, so you would need a adapter caple for that. 8gb is technically enough, and will do for now. Get one with an i5, 2 cores wont do it.
Thank you!!! Power supply and graphics are just an option I want in the future. I'm not a gamer, just want something responsive that can do some multi tasking and is capable powering through the occasionl higher demand tasks (assuming ram and SSD upgrades are done) do you have any other recommendations? HP, Lenovo, asus, Dell? I'm well out of date and don't know how to catch up on 10yrs of new PC's
 

USAFRet

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Mar 16, 2013
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Thank you!!! Power supply and graphics are just an option I want in the future.
Again, do NOT look to a $125 refurb unit as something you can upgrade in the future.
Proprietary PSU, front panel case connection, even the motherboard...all conspire against you for an upgrade path.

Buy it, use it, save up your pennies for a whole new system at some opint in the future.
 
Nov 4, 2019
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Again, do NOT look to a $125 refurb unit as something you can upgrade in the future.
Proprietary PSU, front panel case connection, even the motherboard...all conspire against you for an upgrade path.

Buy it, use it, save up your pennies for a whole new system at some opint in the future.
I've got other passions that my saved pennies go toward, I've got the skills and time to make anything work, I'll build a skeleton wall mount version if I need to and don't mind using adapters or soldering. Aside from maybe not being plug and play upgradeable, is there any reason I can't build a well performing PC with an optiplex? Really just want to put something together that's cheap and fast/responsive
 

USAFRet

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The proprietary motherboard and PSU mostly.

Yes, there are "adapters".
No, you shouldn't use them.

If you can find something that uses verified standard ATX components, go for it.
Something that uses a BTX motherboard, or other proprietary connections should be avoided.
 

maxamillionfeettall

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do you have any other recommendations? HP, Lenovo, asus, Dell?
I can really only recommend the optiplex, hp uses btx and an even more conplicated psu connector. I think some of lenovo are ok, but they aren't as common.

You can do with a i5 3570, it'll hold for now. The 7010 and other variants are mostly atx, and use atx connections, so you can upgrade the psu and gpu and then transfer the parts over to a new system when the time comes. The front panel connectors are proprietary, but you can always work around that if you don't mind getting involved. The fan connectors are also proprietary, but a controller does just fine or just directly connect via molex etc.

A ssd will be immensely helpful on making the pc feel snappy.

If you can find one with a i7 3770, you'll be golden for some time up to a rx 580 or similar.

Btw, I use a dell t3500(real old thing) inside of a normal atx case, just needed some finagling to get things in order.
 
Nov 4, 2019
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The 7010 and other variants are mostly atx, and use atx connections, so you can upgrade the psu and gpu and then transfer the parts over to a new system
Briefly looked at the 7010's, gonna have to pay a little more but looks like there is a lot more flexibility and the drive housing/carriage could be easily deleted/moved if needed. Thanks!
 

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