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Dell Optiplex 790 Graphics Card Upgrade


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Dell Optiplex 790 Graphics Card Upgrade

This question has been answered by SpeedStep

I have a Dell Optiplex 790MT enroute to me.   I also have an ATI HD 5670 with DDR5 memory.  Will I be able to run this card in the new Optiplex 790, seeing that the PCI-e 16 slot is rated at only 35 watts?


If not, can the PSU be upgraded and will that allow me to run the card?


I looked at the Optiplex 990 and it also has the same 265 watt power supply as in the 790 MT, but its PCI-e 16 slot is rated for 75 watts.  Can someone explain this?

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  • If it is rated at only 35 watts, then the HD 5670 may not work since it exceeds this amount.  I'm not sure why the 990 would be rated for a 75 watt card given that both systems are so similar.  The HD 6350 or HD 6450 that they offer run under 35 watts.  However, I would think in a dual card configuration that they would exceed this.  These are Dell installed cards to meet their requirements and do not have retail specs.  This is why they work on such a small 265 watt power supply even though a retail HD 6450 probably does not use more than 20 watts.  The retail HD 5670 will use up to 60 watts.  If you look at the 790 system, it appears to have a grill on the backside where they power supply is situated making it proprietary and most likely not able to be replaced with a retail unit.  You do have a limited time period to send the system back for a full refund if it is not going to meet your needs.   If you have upgrades on your mind, then the Optiplex is not the system I would get and the Vostro would be a better choice.  

  • 5670 is NOT one of the cards that is validated.

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  • I have recently had to address this issue myself.

    The 790 comes with a standard PSU or a High Efficiency PSU, neither one of them come with PCIE power cables, nor could the sub-300W PSU handle it anyway.

    You cannot put in a thrid-party PSU because the case release for the side cover gets in the way. Your only option is to unstall an external PSU and run the cables inside.

    The case is also not big enough to accomodate a full length video card.


  • I am curious as to why there is a need for validation! Aside from the power issue, I mean.

    If everyone is adhering to the standards, shouldn't any graphic card work on any system?

    I tested an Nvidia GeForce 210 card and it did not work! The requirement are 300 watt system PSU with 12v rating of 18A.

    So why wouldn't a highend desktop's PSU handle such reasonable requirement? 265 watt/12v rating of 17A is not enough

    for most of the new crop of GPU's.


    That being said, I think the integrated INTeL HD Graphics 2000 is excellent. Just increase RAM to 6 or 8 GB


  • The PSU is not difficult to change at all, I just did it in less than 2 minutes (MT). I installed a 500 watt PSU but it did not help with the GPU. Another 2 minutes and the original PSU is back.

  • You most definitely can, however you WILL need to upgrade the power supply. Choose one that is the same measurements as the stock power supply - I chose a Silverstone 600w Strider. I then had to drill out the HDD cage to remove it so my graphics card could fit and tossed in an ATI 6950 2GB videocard. This is a highend card for this system for sure - runs games like a dream now.

    I have the i3-2100 version with 4GB Ram. Obtained this unit used for 150 dollars.