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Dell Optiplex 990DT stripped

Dell Optiplex 990 DT – Gaming Upgrade

December 13, 2015 – 12:05 pm | 17 Comments

Dell Optiplex 990 DT
Passing by an office building I noticed what looked like a newer model Dell Optiplex 990 DT gutted and set out for the cleaning crew to pick up for trash. This one caught my eye because it looked like everything except for the motherboard and processor had been removed. The wires were all pulled loose and the side panel was no where to …

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Dell Optiplex 990 DT – Gaming Upgrade

December 13, 2015 – 12:05 pm | 17 Comments
Dell Optiplex 990DT stripped

Just the way I found it
click for larger pic

Dell Optiplex 990 DT

Passing by an office building I noticed what looked like a newer model Dell Optiplex 990 DT gutted and set out for the cleaning crew to pick up for trash. This one caught my eye because it looked like everything except for the motherboard and processor had been removed. The wires were all pulled loose and the side panel was no where to be found. I assumed the motherboard and processor were bad but threw it in the back of my SUV where it eventually found itself sitting in my garage. Fast forward six months and needing another machine I remembered this one.

 

 

Referencing the Dell Service Tag C82F4V1 l I found that it was a Dell Optiplex 990 DT with a Core i5 2400 running at 3.10 GHZ. I thought there was no way anyone would have stripped it out and left a perfectly good Intel Core i5 2400 in the motherboard. I slapped in a power supply and a couple of sticks of ram, put all the wires back and was thoroughly shocked when it came right up to the bios screen. Being a long time gaming pc and case modder I had a ton of spare parts and decided to put this box back into action. This is what I came up with;

Dell Optiplex 990 upgrade parts

Parts for Upgrade
click for larger pic

Corsair CX430M Power Supply

This power supply is a perfect replacement for the original loud p.o.s. Dell Optiplex OEM power supply which is rated at only 230W. The OEM power supply barely supports the machine, forget any upgrading. The CX430M fits perfectly even fitting right into the locking mechanism for the case. It’s also 430W Bronze Rated, modular and has a 6 pin PCI Express power connector that the original did not. It’s also very quiet and looks great in the case. A definite upgrade for sure and 100% perfect replacement.

 

 

Gigabyte Windforce HD7850 Graphics 

The AMD HD7850 is the exact same card as the newer AMD R9 270 series. AMD simply re-badged the HD7850 using the same gpu and hardware with a new bios update only. Like the R9 270, the HD7850 can run Direct X12 and the new AMD Crimson Drivers. It’s also a very good graphics card that can easily run full HD at 30-45 fps in a lot of games and sometimes 60 fps. It will easily run 120 fps in Minecraft on max settings.  While it does use a 6 pin PCI Express power connector, it is a low power card maxing out at 125W under full load. This Windforce model is also very quiet. In any case it is a definite upgrade over the original lame Intel 2000 Graphics.

Dell Optiplex 990 Disassembled

Dell Optiplex Disassemled
click for larger pic

Corair Vengeance DDR3 CMZ8GX3M2A 1600OC

I have had two 8GB kits new in the package for over a year now. This is an extreme over kill since this machine has no OC abilities and runs at 1333 MHZ and is PC3-10600 compliant. The red anodized aluminum heat sinks on the ram looks great. This machine maxs out at 16GB which is more than enough for anything bar video editing. Corsair Vengeance is excellent memory. Just a side note, there is no difference between the colors, it’s just cosmetic if they are the same specs.

Seagate Laptop SSHD Hybrid 1000 TB

Like the memory I have had this just laying around new in a bulk packaging. This is kind of an odd choice for a mini tower but with the NAND memory and Seagate AMT Technology booting becomes much faster and frequenting used programs are “learned” by the Seagate Adaptive Memory Technology. This means as you use certain programs or applications, the drive learns and stores them in flash for next time use. In any case this drive is 5X faster than original 7200 250GB it came with not to mention a whole lot quieter. There is no audible sound detectable even on prolonged reads.

Corsair H80iGT High Performance Liquid Water Cooler 

I’ve just been looking for a reason to use this awesome cooler. Without a doubt this is well beyond any cooling needs as the Intel i5 2400 is core locked and runs extremely cool using the stock fan. I just thought it would be totally extreme to throw this in the system and would look great. I can always put this any of this hardware in another system if I want.

Other Components

  • Asus PCE-N53 Dual Band Wireless N600 PCIE 1X Adappter
  • Antec Arctic 7 Nano Diamond Thermal Paste
  • Corsair AF120 Red Led Fan
  • Red Led Strip
  • Standard DVD+ Writer
  • Red anodized thumb screws
  • Ultraviolet reactive tie wraps

 

Assembly and Conclusion

Dell Optiplex 990 Gaming Upgrade

click for larger pic

Putting it altogether was pretty straight forward. I disassembled the case and cleaned it out thoroughly. I also had to remove the OEM hard drive cage to make room for the 120mm radiator and fan for the H80iGT. As you can see it looks sharp and performs flawlessly.

The original Windows 7 Pro COA activated with no problem and the free Windows 10 Pro upgrade went without any issue whatsoever. I also updated the bios to the latest Dell version. Combining Windows 10 Pro with the Seagate SSHD results in boot times under 10 seconds with most programs including Chrome, Firefox and IE10 opening almost instantaneous.

This machine was purpose built for Minecraft and Need For Speed. In Minecraft and NFS it runs max settings at 120 FPS without hesitation. PC Mark 8 scores 3319 on the Creative Benchmark which is a 4 hour test and on the PC Mark 8 Home Test scored 4117 which was 74% better than all results reported for an Intel i5-2400. To test the cooling of the H80 iGT i ran it on Prime 95 max burn in for 24 hours straight. Using Real Temp to record the results it never crossed 37 C which is outright freezing in CPU terms while running on Quiet Mode only on the H80iGT. All in all I am very satisfied with this machine and so is my 8 year old Minecraft warrior!

 

 

Check out the video below of this upgrade.

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