Optiplex Desktops

2 Bronze

Dell 5070 Optiplex SFF PSU and GPU upgrade

Hello.  New to the community here.  I had almost zero knowledge of upgrading hardware prior to 2 months ago, so please bear with me.  I'm more of a software/simple hardware upgrade type of guy, and am truly enjoying learning about hardware compatibility, etc.  Especially on the Dell proprietary everything...Original setup:

Dell Optiplex SFF 5070

Intel I7-9700 @ 3.00 GHz

16 MB ram

500 GB SSD HD

NVIDIA GT 730

200W 5070 SFF PSU

I can provide service tag, but not sure if that's recommended on the forum.

Our 8 year old son is getting away from Xbox and into computer gaming, especially with a VR headset and/or 3D gaming.  My GT 730 was a joke for that...  My goal was to convert my current AutoCAD SFF workstation that I use for work to the best gaming computer that I could to hold him over until we purchase him a true gaming computer next year after he gets his feet wet.  I was able to purchase a new 12GB RTX 3060, so I jumped on it assuming I could just swap it out like the old days (which I can bill to my company).  Nope...  Required more powerful PSU and external PCIE adapter as well as it's not a low profile card.  So, I purchased a L360EGM-00 360W SFF w/6 pin PCIE.  It provides an additional 6 pin PCIE connector for my GPU and looks exactly like my current SFF PSU for the P1 and P2 connectors.  Same wire colors, size... Everything. I also purchased a PCIE stack with GPU relocator mount so I can install the GPU externally.  I will cut a bit of the side PC box cover panel out, cover the edges with rubber protectors, and enjoy the lower temps. I assumed that having the same 4 pin P1 connector and 6 pin P2 connector would work happily with my setup.  Why would it not???  Game on!  Again, nope.  Apparently that's intended for the XE3 system.  OK, now I'm lost with my issues as described below.  Right now I'm running the 3060 with the 360W PSU with the side cover off and it runs absolutely perfect in "high performance" mode.  I checked the temps and wattage consumption through HW Monitor, and the GPU actually achieves about 170 Watts as NVIDIA claims.  CPU, etc is about 80 Watts when hammered, so it should max out around 250 Watts+ assuming no insanity.  360 W hopefully will cover it.  Here are my issues:

1. The computer no longer has the jet plane fan whoosh at boot like it used to.  Dead silent at boot. I verified that all fans work, but jut seem at idle.  This is the same with the original hardware listed above (GT 730).  The seller of the PSU plugged it into an older compatible system to mine, and verified that the fans don't spool upon boot.  They spooled properly when connected to an XE3 system.  The system completely turns off 20% of the time when I reboot.  Again, zero fan whoosh sound since I replaced the PSU.  That seems to be part of the issue in my opinion.  I noticed that when I change the power settings to "high performance" it wont crash no matter the load when running (100% for HOURS),  "balanced" crashes periodically with simply surfing the web.  Almost like the PSU is shutting down since it's not seeing enough voltage at startup.  Odd...

2. The computer would simply die at around 5 minutes with the original GPU after I installed the 360W PSU.  Always under minimal load.  It never shuts down under full load, especially with the RTX 3060.  Can run for days at high load.

3. I noticed the below PSU for the XE2 system.  It's most likely more compatible with mine, but at a 45 watt reduction.  I never heard of this until recently.  Would probably solve my issues, but at a lower threshold for power consumption.  

 4FCWX 04FCWX 315W For Dell Optiplex XE2 SFF Power Supply D315ES-00

Please let me know your thoughts.  To me, what I'm attempting is a viable option for the SFF as a gaming platform.  At least temporarily...

I've ordered, and plan on upgrading the CPU heat sink and fan based off the recommendations below.  The wire converter matches perfectly from Noctua to Dell fan pins.  It even seems to sort the original J9G15 fans.  Fantastic information...  Thank you @speedstep  

https://www.dell.com/community/Optiplex-Desktops/Upgrade-fans-on-a-3020-SFF/td-p/6072591

I'm just looking for a possible workaround using my current 360W PSU.  I'd downgrade to the 315W if there's no other option.  It just seems like there's a voltage warning/shutdown on the PSU that I can comply with by adding additional consumption or voltage consumption to the motherboard.  I plan on adding two 12V fans run off the SATA ports to be full speed all the time, so maybe that will close the loop.  But again, it just doesn't like the boot up...

Much appreciated!

 

Solution (1)

Accepted Solutions

Re: does cause the computer to crash within the hour similar to when I had the GT 730 in there after I swapped the PSU.

at this point it looks more likely this XE3 psu is defective.  Dell does not release proprietary white 6 pinout but from all evidence they used the same across multiple models.  therefore, the pinout of XE3 psu by design is identical to 5070 psu.  however, in your particular XE3 psu the PS on and PS ok pins may not be meeting spec during low duty.  It is still quite strange that during high duty this issue does not surface.  I do not have a good explanation yet.   since your purpose is to use this as a temporary gaming pc running high duty it may not be worth your time trying to figure out exactly why.  Just use it with the 3060ti.  otoh, for curiosity there is nothing you can do to fix the XE3 psu you have (generally you cannot open a psu to service).  you could ask the seller to send you a replacement XE3 psu to see if you have better luck, or try a different model.  I made a complied list of 360W Dell thin form factor psu.  

 


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Replies (10)
5 Iridium

It is a very strange phenomenon but I suspect the problem is with the particular XE3 psu you get and/or your optiplex 5070 SFF bios and not a generalized issue of using a higher power Dell psu off-label in a different model.  if you have a spare working psu of 360-460w with 24 pin you can get a 24 to 6 pin adapter to test.

another thought is to give up the Dell mobo but keep the Dell cpu/ram/ssd, and build your 1st proper gaming pc using a 300 series microATX board in a new case.  the board plus case are not big investment.  a 460w EVGA standard psu is cheap.  


2 Bronze

I appreciate it, but I just want to get to the bottom line.  Can I rip this computer into a low-level screamer for the time being?  It seems to be working except my above.  I just want to know why I have said issues? Voltage differences?  If so, why?  Fans, what?   There are tens of thousands of people trying to convert the SFF into something it wasn't meant to be.  But it works! I will hammer down and build my son a proper gaming PC when that time comes.  And, I will absolutely ask for your advice.... Thank you!

Not done yet....Not done yet....

to be honest I do not have a good answer at this point to the strange shutdown issue when pc is not gaming.  I am quite curious though.  however given the temporary mission of this pc to be a short term bridge to a real gaming pc, I see you can still use it during full load without trouble.   I wish I have a good answer to your questions.  like I said if you have another psu with 24 to 6 pin it would help narrow down whether it is the particular XE3 psu or the 5070 bios.  if I have to speculate I think it is the 5070 bios.  Dell bios normally revs cpu fan at power start up for some models such as old XPS.   I do not own a 5070 so not sure the loud startup fan you had with stock psu is the expected normal for this model.  Let's say it is normal.   so with the XE3 psu somehow the bios is affected and no longer does its automatic routine.   is it possible that somehow cmos was affected when you change psu?  well to look into that you may try clear cmos settings by reset jumper on mobo.  I do not think you need to replace cmos battery given this is a quite recent model just slightly older than 7080.

I would also suggest you not to install 3060 in pc for the bios test for now.  do not make too many changes at once.  only change the psu.  use on board video port only.  see what happens.  it is possible that when bios needs to do firmware test of the discrete video card it stops what it is used to doing at beginning which is to rev the cpu fan.  instead it focuses on testing the gpu.  when that is done, cpu/chipset firmware test is already done so there is no longer need to rev the fan.

the above is a hypothesis. for normally bios revs cpu fan at very beginning of POST only for a few seconds (the Whoosh) then quiets down quickly when POST is proceeding well.  typically that is when Dell logo shows up on screen.

this does not yet touch on the low duty pc shut down issue.  perhaps after this initial bios test we can brainstorm together in part 2 should there still be enough curiosity.


Thanks for your response.  I do not have a spare PSU except for the original 200W, and I can't find any information to confirm the pinouts for the two PSUs are the same.  Even know the colors and connectors are exactly the same.  I previously tried resetting the CMOS by pulling the battery, holding power, etc.  Confirmed the reset since it asked me to set the date, etc.  Same outcome.  Pulling the 3060 makes no difference with the fan at startup, but does cause the computer to crash within the hour similar to when I had the GT 730 in there after I swapped the PSU.  Always during low usage like web surfing.  One thing I forgot to mention is that I have to reset the computer by physically unplugging the power cable from the PSU every time it crashes.  The power button is not lit and doesn't respond until I do so.  That leads me back to the PSU or something else sensing the low voltage or similar, and reacting by shutting down.  Similar to what you mentioned about the computer checking the GPU at startup, but rather investigating the low voltage and determining it it's within enough spec to keep booting.  It just seems happy when maxed out with the larger GPU current draw for whatever reason.  

I always assumed the BIOS controlled everything at startup, and the PSU was only there to provide the power without caring what was on the other end.  Obviously not in this case.  The thread below has curious about the 5V vs 12V standby.  That could possibly shine some light on the issue, but doesn't get me any closer to a solution.

https://www.dell.com/community/Optiplex-Desktops/Optiplex-proprietary-8-pin-and-6-pin-ATX-pinout-her...

 

 

Re: does cause the computer to crash within the hour similar to when I had the GT 730 in there after I swapped the PSU.

at this point it looks more likely this XE3 psu is defective.  Dell does not release proprietary white 6 pinout but from all evidence they used the same across multiple models.  therefore, the pinout of XE3 psu by design is identical to 5070 psu.  however, in your particular XE3 psu the PS on and PS ok pins may not be meeting spec during low duty.  It is still quite strange that during high duty this issue does not surface.  I do not have a good explanation yet.   since your purpose is to use this as a temporary gaming pc running high duty it may not be worth your time trying to figure out exactly why.  Just use it with the 3060ti.  otoh, for curiosity there is nothing you can do to fix the XE3 psu you have (generally you cannot open a psu to service).  you could ask the seller to send you a replacement XE3 psu to see if you have better luck, or try a different model.  I made a complied list of 360W Dell thin form factor psu.  

 


Community Accepted Solution

I thought about that as well, but the seller said that same situation occurred when he plugged it into a non-XE3 computer.  I purchased the exact one from the third link on your list.  I might try to pick another one up on the cheap and try it out.  Do you know if any of those are non-XE3?  I'm curious about the ones that have the "EBM" in the part number vs. "EGM" which is what I purchased.  

FYI - I like your idea of swapping everything over to a proper MB, box, etc, but this is my work computer.  Reinstalling the OS and configuring a new one for work is unfortunately a non-option.

according to Dell Chris M

Optiplex XE3 SFF BTX =
KU144 Battery Coin Cell, Lithium Ion, 3 Volts 190mAH
J82T5 300W Chicony Gold

Optiplex XE3 Tower BTX =
KU144 Battery Coin Cell, Lithium Ion, 3 Volts 190mAH
J82T5 300W Chicony Gold
VM8KR 360W Chicony Gold
8HKG7 360W Liteon Gold

I wonder whether the Active PFC in XE3 psu has anything to do with the shutdown business.

Active power factor correction (PFC) refers to the method of increasing power factor (PF) by using active electronic circuits with feedback that control the shape of the drawn current.   this might explain during low duty there is too small current drawn which causes shutdown.  however this issue does not arise when psu is used in XE3 pc.  weird.  does XE3 bios somehow control the psu power draw to avoid that?  XE3 is a special branch of optiplex designed for industrial use in harsh environment.

Re: 360w psu list.

the cheapest one is 29.99 and seller accepts return.  some of the psu has two white 4 pin cpu connectors designed for 7080 etc.  when choosing psu try to avoid those with active PFC for now.

Re: Reinstalling the OS and configuring a new one for work is unfortunately a non-option.

you may be able to install a second drive and install OS for home use/gaming.  it may end up saving you headache by moving Dell cpu to non-Dell motherboard/psu.


I appreciate all your feedback.  I'll follow up should I purchase a new PSU which solves my issue.

On a side note - Are there any pre-built ready to go gaming PCs that come without a GPU for a decent price?  I saw a few on Ebay for a very reasonable price, but the component specifics are not provided.  My kid is all about the glass cases, fan lights, bling...  I could install the 3060 in that, and return my 5070 back to OG specs.  I just don't like the idea of possibly causing harm to my work desktop with the unknows of my current setup.  I know I could build one (never have), but the pre-builts seem to be cheaper than the sum of parts.

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