Question Upgrade or Build?

Ryan8

Honorable
Mar 25, 2014
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Hello all, Ive been trying to research to best of my capabilities but have hit a wall. I was recommended to post here and see if anyone could give me advice on my current situation! So I have a desktop that i had bought for 100 just to get by on a few things. But have recently decided to start pc gaming. I know my current desktop is not a gaming rig but i would just like to see if its actually worth upgrading the parts in my current or just building from the ground up with my buddy. I will list my basic specs and anything else needed for any type of advice i will try to provide! Thank you all for your time!



OS Name Microsoft Windows 10 Home
Version 10.0.18363 Build 18363
Other OS Description Not Available
OS Manufacturer Microsoft Corporation
System Name DESKTOP-V9G0B5R
System Manufacturer Dell Inc.
System Model OptiPlex 7020
System Type x64-based PC
System SKU 05A5
Processor Intel(R) Core(TM) i5-4590 CPU @ 3.30GHz, 3301 Mhz, 4 Core(s), 4 Logical Processor(s)
BIOS Version/Date Dell Inc. A17, 10/24/2018
SMBIOS Version 2.7
Embedded Controller Version 255.255
BIOS Mode Legacy
BaseBoard Manufacturer Dell Inc.
BaseBoard Product 02YYK5
BaseBoard Version A00
Platform Role Desktop
Secure Boot State Unsupported
PCR7 Configuration Binding Not Possible
Windows Directory C:\WINDOWS
System Directory C:\WINDOWS\system32
Boot Device \Device\HarddiskVolume1
Locale United States
Hardware Abstraction Layer Version = "10.0.18362.1411"
User Name DESKTOP-V9G0B5R\corey
Time Zone Eastern Daylight Time
Installed Physical Memory (RAM) 8.00 GB
Total Physical Memory 7.91 GB
Available Physical Memory 2.41 GB
Total Virtual Memory 10.8 GB
Available Virtual Memory 2.97 GB
Page File Space 2.88 GB
Page File C:\pagefile.sys
Kernel DMA Protection Off
Virtualization-based security Not enabled
Device Encryption Support Reasons for failed automatic device encryption: TPM is not usable, PCR7 binding is not supported, Hardware Security Test Interface failed and device is not Modern Standby, Un-allowed DMA capable bus/device(s) detected, TPM is not usable
Hyper-V - VM Monitor Mode Extensions Yes
Hyper-V - Second Level Address Translation Extensions Yes
Hyper-V - Virtualization Enabled in Firmware Yes
Hyper-V - Data Execution Protection Yes
 
So you have a Dell Optiplex 7020 prebuilt.
There are thousands of video's on DYI modding and upgrading the prebuilt.
Since i am a very big fan of DYI, im going to tell you alteast try to upgrade it.
If you do not like the looks of it, or the motherboard/case/psu/cpu cooler, building a new one is a good idea.
You havent mentioned the budget.
What games are you looking to play?
What resolution is your monitor?
 

Ryan8

Honorable
Mar 25, 2014
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So you have a Dell Optiplex 7020 prebuilt.
There are thousands of video's on DYI modding and upgrading the prebuilt.
Since i am a very big fan of DYI, im going to tell you alteast try to upgrade it.
If you do not like the looks of it, or the motherboard/case/psu/cpu cooler, building a new one is a good idea.
You havent mentioned the budget.
What games are you looking to play?
What resolution is your monitor?
Thank you for your response first off!
So i agree with you and love DIY and def wanna get into building more. My technical knowhow is lacking though so im trying to get as much information as possible. I would like to try to upgrade this one as i feel it would be the more budget option. Though as i continue to look into it, the more things i see that i may need to upgrade further to be compatible. Eventually i would like to build ground up, case and all. But as of now I would like to upgrade this if possible.
The games i normally play and would like to get to run/run better...
Warzone/Skyrim/AC/Fallout
Graphically demanding games i know XD lol but if in the realm of possibility of even minimum standards id like to upgrade this one.
And as of the monitor, i eventually want to upgrade to an actual monitor as well. But right now im running off a 1080p 32 in tv lol.
 

madmatt30

Titan
Ambassador
Non standard 290w 12v only psu in that dell and a 50w power limit on the pci express slot so its going to be a pain to upgrade gpu wise.

Also the fact that there are literally no gpu's out there that are reasonably priced second hand or new at the minute makes it harder still.

You could stick a gt 1030 in there and game on it but I don't think it's money well spent personally.
 

Eximo

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Ambassador
Power supply adapter, and a used GTX 970? I've done this with a 9020, even transplanted it into a new chassis for the GPU and PSU room.

Or just build a Ryzen system and stick a used GTX9xx card in it. They are still somewhat reasonably priced on Ebay at the moment.
 
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Ryan8

Honorable
Mar 25, 2014
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Yea looking more into all of the graphics card prices. From what they should be and the increased prices atm...I think I may hold off on doing any upgrading or building for the moment. From what I ran benchmarks on and such though. I could potentially put a gtx 1660s, upgrade the ram and power supply accordingly and it would run most modern games at reasonable fps. But is that actually physically possible with it being sadly yes the sff model of the tower? Also back to the graphics card. Current prices obviously not worth putting it into this comp. But do you all think that graphics card or anything superior would be going too far for this comp? Better to just build ground up? Sorry for all the questions and uncertainness. Again just now wanting to pick up building and such. Basic computer knowledge trying to get more lol
 

madmatt30

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Yea looking more into all of the graphics card prices. From what they should be and the increased prices atm...I think I may hold off on doing any upgrading or building for the moment. From what I ran benchmarks on and such though. I could potentially put a gtx 1660s, upgrade the ram and power supply accordingly and it would run most modern games at reasonable fps. But is that actually physically possible with it being sadly yes the sff model of the tower? Also back to the graphics card. Current prices obviously not worth putting it into this comp. But do you all think that graphics card or anything superior would be going too far for this comp? Better to just build ground up? Sorry for all the questions and uncertainness. Again just now wanting to pick up building and such. Basic computer knowledge trying to get more lol
With the sff model you're pretty much stuck with a low profile Gt1030 unfortunately.

The non standard psu (and the fact it's a sfx model) make it pretty much impossible to upgrade substantially.

You can game on a 1030 at reduced settings (it'll be far far better than the integrated graphics) but I honestly wouldn't spend more than $60-70 on one.
 

Ryan8

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Mar 25, 2014
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Basically the push to this was being tired of buying Xbox after xbox lol. Would rather start gaming on pc more and I know best way to do that is build rather than buy prebuilt. I have 6 kids so budget is tight at times and cant dump all at once. So my thinking was upgrade or build. Prob not best time to start building but hey lol. Basically just want to get some peace time on a modern game playable comp, love my classics but miss my modern fps and such. Do you all suggest to try and build right now or just go ahead and try to find an affordable prebuilt?
 

Ryan8

Honorable
Mar 25, 2014
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10,515
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With the sff model you're pretty much stuck with a low profile Gt1030 unfortunately.

The non standard psu (and the fact it's a sfx model) make it pretty much impossible to upgrade substantially.

You can game on a 1030 at reduced settings (it'll be far far better than the integrated graphics) but I honestly wouldn't spend more than $60-70 on one.
Yea sadly I was worried that would be the case once I started researching it more. I think if I am able to find one of the 1030 at a reasonable price I may have to try that at least for now! Thank you and all of you for your time and advice!
 

Ryan8

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Mar 25, 2014
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Yea its just convincing the wife to drop all of it at once on the prebuilt 🤣 I had her hooked on the little by little building but yea right now after looking at everything and her seeing the prices, might be easier to convince lol. I do live in the us yes
 

madmatt30

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Yea its just convincing the wife to drop all of it at once on the prebuilt 🤣 I had her hooked on the little by little building but yea right now after looking at everything and her seeing the prices, might be easier to convince lol. I do live in the us yes
I agree with Master Djoza, I've never really recommended prebuilds but the fact is at the moment it's the only way to get a half decent gpu at a reasonable price.
 

Eximo

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If you still want to try:

Adapter

https://www.amazon.com/COMeap-Adapter-Compatible-Optiplex-Precision/dp/B06XGWRTHC

Any old Mid-Tower chassis will do really. And a 450-550W power supply. I like the Focus G since it comes with two fans, but there are cheaper/more expensive options.

PCPartPicker Part List

Case: Fractal Design Focus G ATX Mid Tower Case ($59.80 @ B&H)
Power Supply: SeaSonic M12II 620 W 80+ Bronze Certified ATX Power Supply ($64.98 @ Newegg)
Total: $124.78
Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available
Generated by PCPartPicker 2021-03-16 15:39 EDT-0400


You will lose a little functionality on the front ports and you may have to force start the system by jumpering the power supply to always turn on if you don't harvest the power button assembly.
 
Basically the push to this was being tired of buying Xbox after xbox lol. Would rather start gaming on pc more and I know best way to do that is build rather than buy prebuilt. I have 6 kids so budget is tight at times and cant dump all at once. So my thinking was upgrade or build. Prob not best time to start building but hey lol. Basically just want to get some peace time on a modern game playable comp, love my classics but miss my modern fps and such. Do you all suggest to try and build right now or just go ahead and try to find an affordable prebuilt?
This is just to give you an idea of what you're looking at for a ground up gaming build (minus the gpu) for gaming at 1080P hence the reason for the 550W psu in this build .. which will push cards such as the RTX 3060, GTX 1660, etc ...

https://www.newegg.com/black-phanteks-eclipse-p300a-mesh-edition-atx-mid-tower/p/N82E16811854097
Phanteks Eclipse P300A High Airflow Full-Metal Mesh Design, Compact ATX Mid-Tower $59.99

https://www.newegg.com/evga-550-b5-220-b5-0550-v1-550w/p/N82E16817438167
EVGA 550 B5, 80 Plus BRONZE 550W, Fully Modular, 5 Year Warranty $59.99

https://www.newegg.com/p/N82E16813157978
ASRock B560M PRO4 $99.99

https://www.newegg.com/intel-core-i5-10400f-core-i5-10th-gen/p/N82E16819118132
Intel Core i5-10400F $149.95

https://www.newegg.com/g-skill-16gb-288-pin-ddr4-sdram/p/N82E16820232884
G.SKILL Aegis 16GB (2 x 8GB) 288-Pin DDR4 SDRAM DDR4 3200 (PC4 25600) CL16 $79.99

https://www.newegg.com/team-group-gx2-1tb/p/N82E16820331316
Team Group GX2 2.5" 1TB SATA III Internal SSD $82.99

Total: $533

https://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/get-windows-10-free-or-cheap,5717.html
 

TravisPNW

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Aug 26, 2020
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I agree with Master Djoza, I've never really recommended prebuilds but the fact is at the moment it's the only way to get a half decent gpu at a reasonable price.
Gotta wonder how long that's gonna last. I was watching a video yesterday on how people are buying prebuilts to flip... I'm sure it's only a matter of time before the prebuilt prices are jacked to compensate.
 
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madmatt30

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Gotta wonder how long that's gonna last. I was watching a video yesterday on how people are buying prebuilts to flip... I'm sure it's only a matter of time before the prebuilt prices are jacked to compensate.
That depends on the ethics of the system builders.

Awd and palicomp in the uk are charging reasonable prices for 3060 based builds and I don't see that changing.
Once they go down the road of scalping in prices too they'll lose business in the long run when things get back to normal.

Reputation is everything when it comes to prebuilt oc's imo.

You're right though, buying a prebuilt with a 3060 in and then selling the card on for obscene amounts has now become a thing too.

Just glad I bought a 5700xt last year for a bargain price and also my preordered series x eventually arrived about a month ago.

I'd hate to be in the position of needing components (especially a gpu) now.
 
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TravisPNW

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Aug 26, 2020
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Just glad I bought a 5700xt last year for a bargain price and also my preordered series x eventually arrived about a month ago.

I'd hate to be in the position of needing components (especially a gpu) now.
Same here. I acquired all my parts in Nov/Dec at retail price... a lucky BB 3090 order and a 10900k because AMD wasn’t an option. No issues other than slow holiday shipping.

I got nearly 4 years out of the 7700k/1080 Ti build. I really think I’ll be good here till 2026.

I see 3090s are now on eBay for $3000. 🙄
 
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