[SOLVED] Optiplex 780 MT upgrade suggestions

May 3, 2020
15
0
10
0
Hello,
I have 2 PC’s (Optiplex 780 MT and 790 DT) and would like to use the intel i3 from the 790 DT. I prefer the 780 MT as the case is bigger, more space for 2x Enterprise HDD and a 2.5” SSD to run Win 10 Home.
Use: regular, no gaming. Since I am on a budget-
  1. I would like to buy a new/used mother board that is suitable for the 780 MT and accept the Intel Core series i3 (from the 790 DT.)
  2. A new/used power supply.
  3. A new/used 1-2 GB graphics card.
Please suggest mother board, PSU and GPU. Also, let me know if there are any significant downside to going this route. TIA.
 

yegor99

Reputable
Oct 8, 2017
16
0
4,520
2
So, I want to move the i3 to the 780 DT. A direct swap is not possible (I think). I need a new/used mobo that will fit into the 780 case and be able to mount the i3. Nothing is broken. I am trying to repurpose one machine.
Ah, got it now. The 790 DT has a mATX form factor (according to https://www.dell.com/community/Desktops-General-Read-Only/Optiplex-790-DT-motherboard-s-form-factor/td-p/4604372 ), whether 780 MT is BTX.
I would recommend to find relatively cheap ATX case with enought HDD bays/slots (personaly, I would prefer to buy used case made of thick metal, rather buying cheap new as they commonly are poorly made) and then just transfer all the hardware from your 790 DT to it (To fit your PSU into ATX case you might need a special mounting bracket or you can just screw it in with just 2 screws, not 4 (not recommended and not always work)). It it the cheapest and the easiest way. Or you can search for LGA1155 BTX and buy it instead, but they are not common.

In case you want a GPU installed, then be aware that might your require better PSU.
 
Last edited:
May 3, 2020
15
0
10
0
Thanks. My bad- the 790 DT has the Intel i5-2400 CPU@3.10Ghz. Please recommend motherboard again. Since my post I have been spekaing with a friend and he advised to get a case, a current motherboard (a bit of future proofing) and use the i5. What are your thoughts on that? TIA
 
Last edited:

Koekieezz

Notable
Apr 30, 2020
420
52
1,040
70
Thanks. My bad- the 790 DT has the Intel i5-2400 CPU@3.10Ghz. Please recommend motherboard again. Since my post I have been spekaing with a friend and he advised to get a case, a current motherboard (a bit of future proofing) and use the i5. What are your thoughts on that? TIA
The motherboard i told is compatible with your cpu, since B75 Chipset works with both Intel Ivy Bridge (3rd gen) and Sandy Bridge (2nd gen, your cpu) processor as well (a better native support than H61 Chipset, also it got USB 3.0)

As for the case, try to take a look at Fractal Design Core 1000, its pretty good tho
 
May 3, 2020
15
0
10
0
The motherboard i told is compatible with your cpu, since B75 Chipset works with both Intel Ivy Bridge (3rd gen) and Sandy Bridge (2nd gen, your cpu) processor as well (a better native support than H61 Chipset, also it got USB 3.0)

As for the case, try to take a look at Fractal Design Core 1000, its pretty good tho
Are there other mother boards that I can consider? I find the B75 to be rather expensive for my project. It would be nice to have some choices. TIA
 

yegor99

Reputable
Oct 8, 2017
16
0
4,520
2
Are you sure that motherboard from 790DT won't fit 780 case? It seems like they are both ATX (but I could be wrong)

Because, since you're on budget, you can save some money for not purchasing new one.

And what is the purpose for a new video card?
 
May 3, 2020
15
0
10
0
@yegor99. Just eyeballing it I am sure it will fit, but don't think it will fit like a replacement board, I would have to re-thread etc.
Any ideas? I don't need a new video card anymore. TIA.
 
May 3, 2020
15
0
10
0
I'm not sure what do yo mean saying "as a replacement board". Is it broken or something?
So, I want to move the i3 to the 780 DT. A direct swap is not possible (I think). I need a new/used mobo that will fit into the 780 case and be able to mount the i3. Nothing is broken. I am trying to repurpose one machine.
 

yegor99

Reputable
Oct 8, 2017
16
0
4,520
2
So, I want to move the i3 to the 780 DT. A direct swap is not possible (I think). I need a new/used mobo that will fit into the 780 case and be able to mount the i3. Nothing is broken. I am trying to repurpose one machine.
Ah, got it now. The 790 DT has a mATX form factor (according to https://www.dell.com/community/Desktops-General-Read-Only/Optiplex-790-DT-motherboard-s-form-factor/td-p/4604372 ), whether 780 MT is BTX.
I would recommend to find relatively cheap ATX case with enought HDD bays/slots (personaly, I would prefer to buy used case made of thick metal, rather buying cheap new as they commonly are poorly made) and then just transfer all the hardware from your 790 DT to it (To fit your PSU into ATX case you might need a special mounting bracket or you can just screw it in with just 2 screws, not 4 (not recommended and not always work)). It it the cheapest and the easiest way. Or you can search for LGA1155 BTX and buy it instead, but they are not common.

In case you want a GPU installed, then be aware that might your require better PSU.
 
Last edited:
The optiplex 780MT is a Micro BTX and there's not much hope for a MB swap. Q9650 CPU is about as good as it gets for that.
A Zotac GTX1050 4GB Mini is the best GPU that drops in without modding. It can handle up to 16GB DDR3 but probably 1066 speed. Has to be low density "x64" RAM.
An MSI GTX 1060 6GB OCV single fan card can have the bracket cut to single slot, and the plastic cover trimmed to the length of the card if you need more. But you need a PSU swap also. Dell T 3400 part works OK. If 8GB RAM use the 3GB version.
There is one mod for a fast 2 core. The $5 E7500 Core2Duo can be tapemodded to about 3.67GHz it might match the i3.
https://forums.tomshardware.com/threads/tape-mod-bsel-mod-intel-q6600.1798850/
You will want have the T9303 heatpipe cooler for either CPU setup.
https://www.ebay.com/itm/Dell-0T9303-Heatsink-GREAT-CONDITION-OT9303-/233541799165
 
Reactions: Jay461

yegor99

Reputable
Oct 8, 2017
16
0
4,520
2
@yegor. Can you recommend a ATX case? I glanced thru craigslist and eBay and didn't see anything interesting. TIA
Sorry, I do not know the market of cases. As I said before I would stick with used "office" cases with good quality metal (since they are very cheap in my country - you can find one for $6-12 in good condition) if you not planning install CPU or GPU with high TDP (e.g. Dell Optiplex 790 MT case will do the trick or similar), or go for well-designed (good airflow) mid ATX or even Full ATX towers if you have an upgrade plan in future. Try to create a new thread and ask a community here.

Also there's another solution: if you do not need a CD/DVD drive you may swap it with a 3.5'' to 5.25'' bracket or bay to be able to install an additional drive to your 790 DT case, but only 1 unforunately.
 
The best way to use the office computers is to upgrade them as much as possible. But MB swaps are a lot of trouble because of non standard wiring or connectors. You can go to userbenchmark.com and see what CPUs are running there in each system, and their relative performance. You can test yours and get some ideas from that. There really isn't anything else you can do with that 780 case. It was the end of the line for BTX.
The optiplex 790 can run an I7-2600, or i5-2500 CPU.
https://www.userbenchmark.com/System/Dell-OptiPlex-790/3864
It's an ATX "layout"so if you can find an Optiplex 790 MT case that would be a good way to go. The 780 won't work.
The 790 MT, and DT seem to be the same motherboard.
https://www.newegg.com/p/1JW-000H-000D1
The other way is an aftermarket ATX case. Aftermarket ATX is a universal form factor. All ATX parts are basically interchngeable. Some may be larger or smaller but that's what everyone uses to build their own computers. But that involves starting over.
 
May 3, 2020
15
0
10
0
The optiplex 780MT is a Micro BTX and there's not much hope for a MB swap. Q9650 CPU is about as good as it gets for that.
A Zotac GTX1050 4GB Mini is the best GPU that drops in without modding. It can handle up to 16GB DDR3 but probably 1066 speed. Has to be low density "x64" RAM.
An MSI GTX 1060 6GB OCV single fan card can have the bracket cut to single slot, and the plastic cover trimmed to the length of the card if you need more. But you need a PSU swap also. Dell T 3400 part works OK. If 8GB RAM use the 3GB version.
There is one mod for a fast 2 core. The $5 E7500 Core2Duo can be tapemodded to about 3.67GHz it might match the i3.
https://forums.tomshardware.com/threads/tape-mod-bsel-mod-intel-q6600.1798850/
You will want have the T9303 heatpipe cooler for either CPU setup.
https://www.ebay.com/itm/Dell-0T9303-Heatsink-GREAT-CONDITION-OT9303-/233541799165
@william p.
 
May 3, 2020
15
0
10
0
I appreciate all your suggestions. I have learnt quite a bit and has given me a few ideas along the way. I have taken apart the 790 MT, cleaned it and put it back together. Meanwhile, I'll be looking for parts to build a fresh PC. Thanks again.
 

ASK THE COMMUNITY