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Considering adding old video card to Dell Opitplex 360





SpaceInvader75
So I finally replaced my horrible old computer with another really old computer, but at least this one is an improvement. It has Windows Vista, and a dual core CPU (the old one had XP and a single core cpu). So I can browse the web and watch videos pretty well, and maybe do a few other things.

One thing I considered was playing some older games. I don't think the the Intel graphics will be able to run much of anything, so I was considering putting a video card in it. Obviously, it would be a waste to put a video card in it if the game wouldn't run well with my CPU. It has a mid tower case, so there shouldn't be any space issues, but I'm wondering if I'll have to buy an older card, or maybe just a cheap new one? The other issue (which maybe I can fix) is that the built in power supply is only supposed to be 230 watts, so I'm not sure what sort of video card I can use.

It's just a possibility; I haven't decided for sure. I can check the power supply in my old computer, to see if it has a higher wattage capacity, because I'm going to throw away most of my old computer, except for the power supply, DVD-RW, and hard drive. I wouldn't put much money into this computer, but I was thinking I could play some older games (that are not for xbox 360, like maybe StarCraft 2 or some free PC games). If I can figure out what cards would work in my system I can then look at system requirements for games.
Peterssidan
I had a look in the technical handbook. It lists a few cards but the motherboard has a PCI Express x16 card connector so I guess that is what decides what kind of graphics card you can have but I'm not sure. Apparently there are two different versions of the Opitplex 360. If you have the flat, wide one you have to be careful that the card will fit.

230 W sounds very low. The graphics card usually list a Watt number but I'm not sure how to know if it's enough because there are other things inside a computer that uses the power.
Possum
Ive got an Dell Opitplex 755. By adding a video card I got a new computer for $60. With dual screens as well.

I think a video card is a must!
SpaceInvader75
Peterssidan wrote:
I had a look in the technical handbook. It lists a few cards but the motherboard has a PCI Express x16 card connector so I guess that is what decides what kind of graphics card you can have but I'm not sure. Apparently there are two different versions of the Opitplex 360. If you have the flat, wide one you have to be careful that the card will fit.

230 W sounds very low. The graphics card usually list a Watt number but I'm not sure how to know if it's enough because there are other things inside a computer that uses the power.


Yes, I think it has a PCIE x16, but I'm assuming the card would have to be low wattage unless I upgrade the PSU (and I guess I'll have to look at that to see if it has standard power connections on the motherboard). I got the one with the mid tower case because I didn't want case size to be an issue.
SpaceInvader75
After some research on Tom's Hardware, it seems that the Radeon 6570 might be the best card for my computer. I know that if you look at the suggested power supply rating it will be much higher, but this is based on a test of actual watts used. I suppose I will be taking a risk, but not a very big one, in my opinion. I'm sure I can play many more games than I could with the Intel Graphics with this card. I could probably play them all on my xbox 360, but there are more games available on the PC (even if they are older games). Sadly I haven't had an extra $65 yet, but I will post when I get it.
william
Pretty sure you can get a Radeon R7 240 for around $65. I think that's a decent step above a 6570, though I don't know the power requirements off the top of my head. Also, if you're in the US, it's actually not at all difficult to get a decent power supply for next to nothing. I have a 430 Watt Corsair power supply sitting around that I got for free after rebate, and a 350 Watt HEC that I've been using to power some electronics on my bench, also free after rebate. You have to keep an eye out for the deals, but as an example, this is $16 after rebate right now, which isn't bad at all.

Personally, I don't have the best experiences with Dell power supplies. The one in an old personal machine degraded in performance severely (and I didn't make any upgrades) causing the system to crash whenever I played a video. We also had a system that we were using as a control station for some radio hardware that crashed repeatedly. Solution? Swapping out the power supply. That actually had an upgraded GPU that brought it to its knees, and it wasn't a very powerful one. So, at least from my experience, even if you manage to run the new GPU with the stock power supply, it will save you some headaches in the future if you have an upgraded one.
Ankhanu
I've got an Optiplex 990 that I wanted to upgrade the video on as well... It really hasn't had much of an upgrade Razz
To get any real improvement in performance, you'll really need more wattage to the system.

You're going to need to get a card with very low energy consumption... a PSU upgrade would be a great idea to get an even better card, but, these systems use a proprietary mini-ATX 24-pin connector. This means you need very specific PSUs for upgrades. I did find a cheap converter for a standard to mini ATX, but, it's more proprietary than just size... the pin locations are also proprietary. I COULD put a lot of work into the upgrade, pulling the wires out of the adapter and rearranging them, but I just kinda gave up on it.

I'm not sure if the 360 will have the same issue, it might take a little research.
william
^I knew they started using proprietary power supplies, but I thought that was only in the last 2 years. Confused I figured the 360 would have been from a time when they were using standard power supplies, but I guess that might not be the case. The picture of the 360's motherboard looks to have a standard 24 pin connector. but I obviously can't tell if the pins are the same.

Hmm, there isn't a whole lot of reliable literature on the web, just sources like this and this that suggest a standard connection.
SpaceInvader75
Ankhanu wrote:
I've got an Optiplex 990 that I wanted to upgrade the video on as well... It really hasn't had much of an upgrade Razz
To get any real improvement in performance, you'll really need more wattage to the system.

You're going to need to get a card with very low energy consumption... a PSU upgrade would be a great idea to get an even better card, but, these systems use a proprietary mini-ATX 24-pin connector. This means you need very specific PSUs for upgrades. I did find a cheap converter for a standard to mini ATX, but, it's more proprietary than just size... the pin locations are also proprietary. I COULD put a lot of work into the upgrade, pulling the wires out of the adapter and rearranging them, but I just kinda gave up on it.

I'm not sure if the 360 will have the same issue, it might take a little research.


I've heard of this; which is why I didn't know if simply upgrading the PSU would work. I guess I will have to take a look at the motherboard connectors. I would have preferred a generic computer, but it's also possible that there are Dell power supplies with higher wattage. I really haven't researched any of this yet, since I didn't have enough for the video card anyway. I could first look at my HP PSU (since I will be throwing away most of that computer) and see if it fits. When I bought this my expectations weren't very high, but it seems to perform better than I expected. The video card is probably the weakest link, in my opinion, second to RAM limitations. But I'm not trying to play the newest games either, just hopefully some games made in the last few years. lol
SpaceInvader75
I tried to do a search and came ended up on a forum post stating that Dell has not used standard PSU wiring since 1998. So, unless I find out otherwise, I should either just go with a low wattage video card or else not even try with this computer. I could probably just get a better system off Ebay and then get a card. I've come to expect this sort of thing from major computer manufacturers however, which is why I prefer generic computers.

Why would they even put such a low power PSU in it anyway? I know it was a business system, but why even bother with intel graphics? It just all seems like a scam to me, because it wouldn't have really cost that much more (even AMDs integrated CPU graphics are much better than intel graphics). I guess I will learn my lesson next time. 1. Don't buy Dell, HP, etc (wasn't the first time I've been disappointed). 2. Don't buy Intel. lol Unless of course you want to spend lots of money, then you can actually get a system you are happy with, but that is obviously not needed, if you buy a generic one and spend a relatively small amount on upgrades (but the major manufacturers make sure you can't do that). And as far as spending lots of money on a computer, my opinion is that it's just a waste, unless you have to have that computer for your business (in my case I don't). Otherwise I think you're throwing money away (because it will likely be worth half what you paid in less than a year).
SpaceInvader75
After I posted I read that it the Dell Optiplex 390 has a standard PSU. I know that is a slightly newer model, but if the above information I read was correct then neither one should have standard power supplies, so I'm not sure it was correct.

http://www.tomshardware.com/answers/id-2279233/upgrading-dell-optiplex-390.html

Maybe there is a way to tell by looking at it.
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