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Dell optiplex 760 SFF motherboard upgrade

A few, pretty easy questions here, so I have a Dell Optiplex 760 right now and I want to upgrade my motherboard, after looking for a while I found the Optiplex 980 SFF motherboard that seems like it would fit and work in the Optiplex 760 case. Now my question is would it fit inside the Optiplex 760 case? I know that the motherboard gets mounted on the left side (instead of the normal right side) and it seems the 980 is the same. I know that the stock CPU cooler wouldn't fit since the 760 motherboards are tilted for the CPU while the 980 is not but I have a stock intel heatsink and an extra small CPU heatsink that I think would also work. (Both work on LGA 775 so I do not know for sure if it works on 1156)

And as the next question, would the Xeon X3440 work on the Optiplex 980 motherboard? X3440 is Lga 1156 so for that part it is fine but it doesn't naturally work on the motherboard (As in the motherboard doesn't out of the box work with Xeons) but from looking around it seems like it does work on the motherboard if the BIOS is flashed, just want to confirm it works. And is it possible to flash the bios with the X3440 or would I have to get a CPU that it naturally compatible with the motherboard in order to flash it? (Like an I3-530)

And on a side note; where is the best place to find a 2x4gb kit of DDR3? And would Dual rank DDR3 work on the Optiplex 980 motherboard and would there be a noticeable difference between single rank and dual rank (I know that dual rank timings are slower).

Current specs:
Dell Optiplex 760 Motherboardd
8gbs of DDR2 RAM
Quad core Q9550
GT 730 2gb of GDDR5
Reply to Braxton Jensen
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More about dell optiplex 760 sff motherboard upgrade
  1. Best answer
    Motherboard swaps are usually a bad idea with Dells. The front I/o bord and cable are prorietary, and change sometimes, and they don't release the pinouts or changes. The rear i/o in Optiplexes is cut into the case for each model. No I/O plate to help with the swap. The CPU coolers bolt into the case itself, not a backplate. The 760 case will have a BTX pattern, the 980 will have a BTX MB pattern with an ATX CPU pattern. The 980 MB has a thermal sensor connector, the 760 has that in the front I/O board. My advice is to skip the SFF altogether, and get a Mini Tower 980 so you can run aftermarket PSUs, and full height GPUs. Or better yet a T3500 workstation with W3680/90 Xeon.
    Reply to william p
  2. william p said:
    Motherboard swaps are usually a bad idea with Dells. The front I/o bord and cable are prorietary, and change sometimes, and they don't release the pinouts or changes. The rear i/o in Optiplexes is cut into the case for each model. No I/O plate to help with the swap. The CPU coolers bolt into the case itself, not a backplate. The 760 case will have a BTX pattern, the 980 will have a BTX MB pattern with an ATX CPU pattern. The 980 MB has a thermal sensor connector, the 760 has that in the front I/O board. My advice is to skip the SFF altogether, and get a Mini Tower 980 so you can run aftermarket PSUs, and full height GPUs. Or better yet a T3500 workstation with W3680/90 Xeon.


    Well PSU wise the connections are the same (the same PSU can be used in both the 760 and 980). For the back IO the only difference is the 980 has a ps/2 which I would technically either 1 cut a hole in the case (if there is room for it) which I would want to do or 2 unsolder the Ps/2 which is not that hard. as for the thermal sensor, is it not possible to boot with out one and if so then couldn't I just buy a thermal sensor, since they are only 5-8 bucks. So are far as I can tell it would work just would have to jerry rig it a bit.

    I mean I don't have a lot of money and I don't want to spend a lot of money either since this PC is not very good. I only have 70-75 dollars and I don't want to spend more than that. If you can point me to a better solution to upgraded the CPU and RAM for 75 or less (No more than that) then ill look into it.

    (Personally cannot find used/referb PC's that are 75 or less that come with everything I need OR total up to 75 or less)

    And no I cannot go on KSL, Craiglist, Facebook marketplace and etc to find a PC for 75 or less because all my money is on paypal so Ebay is my only option.
    Feel free to link some ebay listings if you find some that will fit my needs/wants or a partlist.

    Thanks for your help thus far!
    Reply to Braxton Jensen
  3. The PSU and backplane issue can be resovled by trimming, but the CPU cooler mounting issue is more than skin deep. The 760 Micro BTX CPU cooler is bolted doen to stamped in risers that will be in the wrong place for the 980 cooler, and might short out the back of the 980 MB. Th only easy swap for the 760 (and some 760s were 65W CPU limit) is the Optiplex 780 which gains 16GB DDR3 memory and not much else. The GT730 is holding you back right now. If you can get a Zotac GTX1050 Mini in there it will make a big difference. GPU prices have been crazy lately. But that might change now that Bitcoin has tanked (again).
    Reply to william p
  4. william p said:
    The PSU and backplane issue can be resovled by trimming, but the CPU cooler mounting issue is more than skin deep. The 760 Micro BTX CPU cooler is bolted doen to stamped in risers that will be in the wrong place for the 980 cooler, and might short out the back of the 980 MB. Th only easy swap for the 760 (and some 760s were 65W CPU limit) is the Optiplex 780 which gains 16GB DDR3 memory and not much else. The GT730 is holding you back right now. If you can get a Zotac GTX1050 Mini in there it will make a big difference. GPU prices have been crazy lately. But that might change now that Bitcoin has tanked (again).


    I bought a T3500 like you said in your previous post, for $70 which was a good deal since all the other T3500 where about $100-$140. It came with a grabo CPU (W3503) and no HDD but had 8gbs of DDR3 and the PC works, which is good enough for me (Supposedly). So after I receive the PC I will be buying a new CPU for it and throwing it a SATA 3 card, a USB 3.1 card and a SDD and wait until the GPU prices goes down.

    BTW what would you recommend at of these CPUs:
    W3565 ($7)
    X5647 ($10)
    X5667 ($13)

    Im running out of money for this project so I cant go over $15 bucks so those are the CPU's I found that fit the budget, unless you have any others that are better for the price or just better performance wise, which would be the best?

    I will be using this for streaming & gaming and I might do a little CAD or Video editing (but not much)
    Reply to Braxton Jensen
  5. There are about 3,000 examples of that system here. You can look at the various ratings of the CPUs there. Anything over 70% CPU rating is probably an overclock. X5667 looks good 3.33Ghz 6 core Hyperthreading and 3 channel memory support. DDR3 1333.
    http://www.userbenchmark.com/System/Dell-Precision-WorkStation-T3500--/2522
    You've got a system with some room to grow now.It has built in RAID support. You could RAID 0 a couple small SSDs on Sata2.
    Here's the manual for it.
    http://downloads.dell.com/manuals/all-products/esuprt_desktop/esuprt_dell_precision_workstation/precision-t3500_user%27s%20guide_en-us.pdf
    Reply to william p
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