Low Profile Graphics Card Dell Optiplex 9020 SFF i5 (4750) for Kids with Its PCI 16 Slot Next to PSU

TL;DR - What is short term best value gaming low profile card for Dell 9020 SFF case (PCI slot location issues)?

Anyone reading this from a search, consensus below is go with cheapest of 1650 or 1050ti (weird pricing now) and stick it in the short slot, minimal performance hit.

Source https://forums.tomshardware.com/threads/low-profile-options-... .

Research is driving me nuts. Spent way too many hours on this question - What low profile graphics card to get for a Dell — 1030, 1050 ti or 1650 (AMDs seemed hard to get in small form factor…. almost bought an Nvidia 710 cheapie, only to luckily realise it is only useful for multiple monitors and barely better than Intel stock GPU)

Youngest boy H, 8 years, wants to play with his older brothers (11 + 10) fortnite (and a few other games) on PC. I don't want to buy another expensive gaming rig till — NAVI/Ampere and AUD/USD and Corona shortages… But him playing on an intel GPU is just excruciating to watch.

Options explored that have failed and what I am now looking at.
* External GPU to a laptop (big fail) - https://www.ozbargain.com.au/node/537547
* Buy a budget gaming rig… Need to spend close to 1k to get a lasting value when I already have 1070s in the other pc, may as well wait. Second hand options are usually dead end CPU.

  • [current] lowest net cost - "Repossess" the Dell 9020 SFF I gifted mum, and setup the laptop H is using, upgrading the Dell

* Dell Optiplex 9020 SFF case.
* i5-4570
* 8 GB
* 128 GB SSD (I have a few spinners I can add to keep SSD for his Fortnite install + O)

Here is a guy (video) doing the install - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2w45ZOcXXzs of a 1650 low profile in the dell. He uses the PCIE short slot owing to double slot config.

Picture of the slots issue: (slots) https://drive.google.com/file/d/1kkBMyoiScWe2XHDdht6SzXrYazu...
and installed: https://drive.google.com/file/d/10el3IKtPRBUsP6_fGHKz3aVm1LX...

So issues:
* It appears the 1650 low profile is cheaper new than the 1050ti second hand (~$275 vs $299).
* The option I was thinking of was the 1030, but I thought for a little more the 1050 or 1060 would go well with teh I5 CPU that is still good enough.
* I can potentially solve the PCI 16 express slot issue with an extender cable, but they are ~60 bucks extra, and then not really worth it.

So, should I:
* Get the 1650 low profile, and just stick it in the short PCI slot, keeps the heat down and good upgrade for a future low end pc. I don't think the pci extender is a good option.
* Get the 1030 as good enough and save a bit of cash.

He plays on a huge 4k monitor because that is what I had extra; 1080 will be plenty for him.

Money - just don't like wasting it. now I am wasting way more time than the value of either card!


  • I currently own the Dell Optiplex 9020 SFF with a GeForce GTX 1050 Ti Low Profile Installed in the PCIe 4x slot.

    The difference in performance from installing in PCIe 4x vs 16x slot is minimal (Reference)

    Refer to this thread for more information

    • Seconded! I’m also running a 1050TI on pcie4x. No issues here.
      Get what ever is cheaper between 1050ti or 1650. About 6fps more on the 1650 or about 12%.

      • See my response to this thread here about using the PCIe 4x slot. It may not supply enough wattage to support the card (especially a dual-width version).

    • Thank you! That savea me a huge headache.

    • +2 votes

      Me too! Just remember to turn off power saving (https://www.nvidia.com/en-us/geforce/forums/discover/237319/...). I didn't do this and it was causing all kind of trouble with my monitor - was an expensive exercise, ended up buying a new monitor (which didn't fix the problem), then found the power saving was the cause (combined with the SFF's power supply)

      • Thanks, I might have to look into it as my monitor has random flickering from time to time.

        • Exactly what mine was doing, a random splitsecond second power off then on. Don't buy a new monitor to test :P

  • Low profile refers to the bracket & height on smaller builds rather than what you're alluding to which is installing a GPU in PCIe x4 slot.

    You can do this but probably not advisable. GTX 1650 is a considerable upgrade over a 1030 although both will probably suit his needs playing Fortnite at 1080p.

    Consider your PSU as well to ensure there's enough power to run all components.

    • Hybrid, Yep.

      The problem here with this case is the 16x slot is right next to PSU with no expansion space for a double width card. The 4x slot is the only one that can handle the double card slot width.of 1050/1650

  • almost bought an Nvidia 710 cheapie, only to luckily realise it is only useful for multiple monitors and barely better than Intel stock GPU

    Hey don't knock the 710!

    My Windows Experience index shot up from 3.6 to 5.9 after adding the card. Optio 790 i5-2400 8GB W7Pro…
    Most taxing gaming is PS2 emulation at 2x native — 720P?

    If I was to upgrade again, I'd go with 1030 as I know they also run on slot power with no issues.

    • Thx. Yes. That is what I was going to do, but then I thought may as well go 1650…

      From my reading 1030 like 5x better than 710 in games and for some games 10x better for about 50% more in cost.

  • Need to spend close to 1k to get a lasting value when I already have 1070s in the other pc

    As you said "1070s" with an s, just checking you don't have two GTX 1070 cards in the one PC trying to run SLI, because if so you could get a cheap case and better PSU and use one 1070 with the dell motherboard.

    As for the main question, perhaps look for something second hand. eBay right now shows a used low profile 1050 for $200 shipped, which is about as much as a new 1030. There were used 1050s as cheap as $130 earlier in May, and 1050 Tis for $150 from the same seller. Just make sure you do your research on whatever particular model is being sold and make sure it doesn't need extra power and really is low profile.

    Good luck and hope your kid gets a lot of use out of it.

    • Thanks for the pricing info. Higher than those prices on gumtree at present. Assume covid home lockup price premiums or WA tax.

      Yes. Two seperate computers re 1070. No SLI.

      3 boys need 3 PC's and one long computer gaming desk!


      • I really like the desks, looks great. I like how the monitors decrease in size, showing that you make use of hand-me-downs rather than just buying new stuff for everyone.

        The computer towers on the floor doesn't seem ideal, but I can't really figure out where you could put them without cluttering up the desk with the towers and cables.

        I've got one son and one daughter. My son is still very much in the Minecraft stage and my daughter is too young to play anything.

  • In a fun twist I got to my mum's place and face + palm there is actually a pcie 16 graphics card in there already.

    Didn't notice. Won't be gaming spec but may actually be workable at low level settings already as a minimum.

    Too funny. Never noticed it in there and was running off the inboard. Oh well. Sometimes you have to look.

    It is an AMD Radeon HD8490

    • I might be reading it wrong, but this seems to indicate that the HD 4600 in the i5-4570 would actually be faster than the HD8490:


      Real world results might be different if the HD8490 has some functions or extensions that the HD 4600 doesn't have, and of course the HD8490 would have it's own RAM while the HD4600 is using some of your system RAM, but it doesn't look promising.

      • Yeah. I think the 3d and 2d components the Intel is faster and 3d components the Radeon is faster. We are scraping the barrel here ..

        • Does Fortnite have a built in benchmark? I'd try running it with both options and see which performs better.

          • @Stoz: Man. You were right.

            That Radeon card is worse than the specs say. Just used the heaven bench and it is something to behold. Mobile phones and their smooth performance has made us very sensitive to 9 fps !!!

            The onboard Intel 4600 runs 50% faster

            Bought the 1650 low profile at full price to stop wasting hours looking for a 30 dollar saving.

            • @grang: I've reached that conclusion before. After having one part of an old i5 fail (was using as a HTPC) and spending a few hours trying (and failing) to fix it, then spending a few hours trying (and failing) to replace the whole thing with an older Core2Duo processor and board, I went out and got a cheap i3 + board (and borrowed a stick of RAM from another computer). Have been using the i3 for 3 years now and haven't regretted it at all.

              It's satisfying when you can make use of old hardware or when you get a good deal on something, but sometimes you just need to spend the cash and get the job done.

  • I have an Optiplex 9020 with a 1650 LP. Worked a treat. And then I treated myself to a Ryzen 5 1600 AF (overclocked) and just put the card into the new system. Processor upgrade was important for me as I was going to crunch more 4k videos and GTA V seems to work a lot better (thought I don't play much of it - GTA V is a processor heavy game). CSGO in the new setup plays at 140+ FPS at FHD, I suspect it would have been the same on the i5-4570 (maybe around 120+? I can't remember).

    Was it a "Oh wow the Optiplex was severely holding me back from killzzz" when I upgraded? Gaming performance improvement wasn't that noticeable. But rendering videos were.

    You will be fine with the 9020 and 1650.

    • Ha ha. Thx. I also tell myself future proofing. You just made me feel a lot better !!!

      Now that fortnite takes up 90 GB of the 188gb SSD there is another upgrade !

      Oh well, it looks like this will be a 4 x gaming PC household soon. the boys are not so keen to go for a surf with Dad; if you can't beat them you may as well join them

      • The idea is to put all the best stuff in your computer and give the kids the hand-me-downs ;-)

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