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ashkoba
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EcoKit Optiplex 980: add graphics card

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dear Forum: I need to add a graphics card, for high-resolution monitor support, to a Dell SFF (Small Form Factor) Optiplex 980 with the EcoKit option, the predecessor of the currently available QuietKit configuration.  This configuration allows the system to run at low noise and the specifications for hardware inside the chassis are more strict.

At the time of purchase, there was an option for a graphics card, which I didn't take.  My system now has one available expansion slot and the Dell Optiplex 980 Technical Guidebook says:

  • "SFF supports low profile card."
  • The highest-spec compatible card listed under "Graphics/Video Controller" is "512MB NVIDIA NVS420 Graphics, quad DP or DVI."  The only higher-spec 1GB card for the larger form factor, an NVIDIA card, shows N/A... I assume because it's a full-height card rather than the 1GB of memory exceeding the specifications (?).

Here is the comment from my Dell warranty support agent (sent 23 July 2013):

The EcoKit just reduces system noise by up to 50%. ... However, if a component is introduced to the system which does not meet the specifications, POST error messages appear upon system boot. It would be best if you can confirm with graphics card manufacturer if it supports EcoKit

How can I found out, before buying a graphics card, if it will work with my configuration?

  • Is there a list of low-profile cards recommended by Dell that are guaranteed to work with the EcoKit SFF Optiplex 980?
  • Are there such guidelines for the QuietKit Optiplex 960, are they appropriate to this question, and if so where can I find them?
  • Failing these, how I can I determine whether a given card will be compatible, and is there a short list of vendors to start with?
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Re: EcoKit Optiplex 980: add graphics card

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Hello Ashkoba,

As per the update from the product research team, nVidia Quadro NVS420 and ATI Radeon HD 4550 512MB both are compatible and will not affect  the EcoKit.

Thanks & Regards
Allan D
#iworkfordell
To know more about Dell Product Support, Drivers & Downloads, Order & Dispatch status -> choose your region USIndia. For Dell support videos click Here.

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Re: EcoKit Optiplex 980: add graphics card

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Hello Ashkoba,

Sorry about the situation. The Optiplex 980 SFF was only tested with 512MB and 256MB video cards. The system was shipped with nVidia Quadro NVS420 (512MB graphics memory). However while researching, I came across this thread where another user wanted to upgrade the video card to nVidia Quadro 600 (1GB graphics memory) without upgrading the power supply.

Hope this helps!

Thanks & Regards
Allan D
#iworkfordell
To know more about Dell Product Support, Drivers & Downloads, Order & Dispatch status -> choose your region USIndia. For Dell support videos click Here.

If a post answers your question, please click "Yes".

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ashkoba
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Re: EcoKit Optiplex 980: add graphics card

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thanks for the response, Allan... it would seem then like the nVidia Quadro NVS420 is the way to go, or better for me the ATI Radeon HD 4550 512MB which is also on the list, doesn't require an adapter dongle, and only uses 25W (compared to 40W for the nVidia).

Still we don't have any information about whether or not the EcoKit configuration will allow these cards to be added.  It would be helpful to hear from an engineer who can verify that either or both of these cards will have the magic bits allowing them to be accepted by the EcoKit BIOS (re: the warning about POST messages).

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Re: EcoKit Optiplex 980: add graphics card

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Hello Ashkoba,

Unfortunately, EcoKit would not support nVidia Quadro NVS420 nor ATI Radeon HD 4550 512MB.  While researching, I came across this information which says AMD Radeon HD3470 256MB supports EcoKit for High-end Configuration (page# 50 of  Dell Optiplex 980 Technical Guidebook😞



 Hope this helps!

Thanks & Regards
Allan D
#iworkfordell
To know more about Dell Product Support, Drivers & Downloads, Order & Dispatch status -> choose your region USIndia. For Dell support videos click Here.

If a post answers your question, please click "Yes".

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ashkoba
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Re: EcoKit Optiplex 980: add graphics card

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dear Allan: thanks again for your further reply.   I read that chart too... it doesn't say that the EcoKit configuration allows the AMD Radeon HD3470... that card is listed as a component on a different, higher-spec system.  For instance: the "High-end Configuration" also shows a quad-core processor which would be way beyond the power and cooling requirements of the EcoKit Configuration.

This puts me back to my original question, of looking for graphic cards that won't be rejected by EcoKit.  I don't really care if I get a few warning messages when the system is booting.  I just need to make sure that 1) my system boots up, and 2) the card won't melt the machine or cause the fan to run so much that the system is no longer "quiet."

If the final column in the table above is a suggestion that the EcoKit only works with Integrated Graphics, then I'd like to have this confirmed by a Dell Engineer that is really familiar with EcoKit, rather than decided based on the EcoKit specs above which may only be suggested values.  The same specialist should also be able to suggest even a single graphics card that was tested with EcoKit.  Failing such a response, I will certainly end up trying your most recent card suggestion.

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Re: EcoKit Optiplex 980: add graphics card

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Hello Ashkoba,

I would like to tell you that,  I am writing to the product research team to check if the nVidia Quadro NVS420 and ATI Radeon HD 4550 512MB are compatible with EcoKit. I would get back to you as soon as I get an update from them.

Thanks & Regards
Allan D
#iworkfordell
To know more about Dell Product Support, Drivers & Downloads, Order & Dispatch status -> choose your region USIndia. For Dell support videos click Here.

If a post answers your question, please click "Yes".

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Re: EcoKit Optiplex 980: add graphics card

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Hello Ashkoba,

As per the update from the product research team, nVidia Quadro NVS420 and ATI Radeon HD 4550 512MB both are compatible and will not affect  the EcoKit.

Thanks & Regards
Allan D
#iworkfordell
To know more about Dell Product Support, Drivers & Downloads, Order & Dispatch status -> choose your region USIndia. For Dell support videos click Here.

If a post answers your question, please click "Yes".

ashkoba
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Re: EcoKit Optiplex 980: add graphics card

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Dear Allan, thank you very much for getting the definitive word.  It's a great help in extending the life of my Dell system & no doubt will be helpful to many others.  all the best, Robert

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Re: EcoKit Optiplex 980: add graphics card

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Hello Robert,

Glad to be of help!

Thanks & Regards
Allan D
#iworkfordell
To know more about Dell Product Support, Drivers & Downloads, Order & Dispatch status -> choose your region USIndia. For Dell support videos click Here.

If a post answers your question, please click "Yes".

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