[SOLVED] Replacement (non-gaming) video for Dell Optiplex 990

Feb 10, 2022
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I have a Dell Optiplex 990 i7-2600 refurb that came with Win 10 Pro installed even though that was not the original OS. After Win 10 broke the Intel HD Video drivers I can't find a way to replace them because everything I've tried refuses to install saying it is unsupported hardware. Neither Dell or the refurb company can help. So I figure the best solution is to install a new video card. I'm not a gamer, just would like OpenGL support to at least level 3.0 for an app that needs it. Would appreciate suggestions of suitable (i.e. half-height PCI) video cards that would be compatible with this computer and have the required OpenGL performance. Since it's an older machine, inexpensive would be good. Thanks!
 

Darkbreeze

Retired Mod
This is probably the least expensive card that supports OpenGL 3.0 or higher (4.5 for this card), has VGA and HDMI outputs (Most cards lack VGA outputs these days) and is dimensionally compatible that I can see, that is worth buying and would do what you need. And also Nvidia has Windows 10 drivers available for the GT 710, but it should also be supported natively through Windows universal drivers. I'd use the Nvidia drivers though once you can install them.

In fact, in order to find anything less expensive you pretty much have to look all the way back to older cards like the old AMD HD 7000 series and those are likely old stock which I'd avoid and which may not work well with Windows 10 because I believe they have lacked driver support from AMD for a while now. This card used to be like 40 bucks, but with the times what they are I'm afraid that other than going used, which is a big crapshoot, it's your best bet.

PCPartPicker Part List

Video Card: PNY GeForce GT 710 2 GB Video Card ($69.99 @ Best Buy)
Total: $69.99
Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available
Generated by PCPartPicker 2022-02-10 15:37 EST-0500
 
Feb 10, 2022
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I'm using VGA now from the built-in Intel HD video and it's fixed at 1920x1080 (no other choices). That's the max resolution I'd need and my monitor takes either VGA or HDMI, thanks.
 

Darkbreeze

Retired Mod
This is probably the least expensive card that supports OpenGL 3.0 or higher (4.5 for this card), has VGA and HDMI outputs (Most cards lack VGA outputs these days) and is dimensionally compatible that I can see, that is worth buying and would do what you need. And also Nvidia has Windows 10 drivers available for the GT 710, but it should also be supported natively through Windows universal drivers. I'd use the Nvidia drivers though once you can install them.

In fact, in order to find anything less expensive you pretty much have to look all the way back to older cards like the old AMD HD 7000 series and those are likely old stock which I'd avoid and which may not work well with Windows 10 because I believe they have lacked driver support from AMD for a while now. This card used to be like 40 bucks, but with the times what they are I'm afraid that other than going used, which is a big crapshoot, it's your best bet.

PCPartPicker Part List

Video Card: PNY GeForce GT 710 2 GB Video Card ($69.99 @ Best Buy)
Total: $69.99
Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available
Generated by PCPartPicker 2022-02-10 15:37 EST-0500
 
Feb 10, 2022
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Well this is disappointing.... The PNY GeForce GT710 1GB board arrived and seems to be incompatible with my Dell Optiplex 990. Windows booted and a display did appear but it was highly distorted and nearly impossible to read anything, although the right half of the screen was better than the left. Using that method I was able to open Control Panel - Device Manager, where it only showed up as "Microsoft Basic Display Adapter" and when I tried to update the driver it said the best one was already installed. I tried both of the PCI slots it would fit in and both produced the same result. I went ahead and downloaded the Nvidia driver software and it said it could not proceed because "The graphics driver could not find compatible graphics hardware".

The board is clearly working to some degree to produce any kind of display but it's not even working correctly with the Microsoft Basic drivers and is not identifiable to the driver. I wanted to post this before attempting to return it as defective but I'm wondering if it really is or if there is something else going on. Thanks.
 

Darkbreeze

Retired Mod
Did you order it through Best Buy or another retailer? Regardless, I'd return it. Obviously something is wrong with the card and I'd be surprised if you hadn't received one that had previously been returned because something was wrong with it. This seems to happen a lot more than it used to, lately. No way that card shouldn't work with your board, although, it would also certainly be a good idea to make sure that you have the most current motherboard BIOS version that is available from Dell, for that board, installed.

Because it could, very likely, simply be due to a lack of BIOS support but if so it's because of an outdated BIOS. There is literally no reason that card shouldn't work in that system unless the BIOS is too old or there is something wrong with the card.
 

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