Top positive review
36 people found this helpful
Compatible with Dell Optiplex 755 Desktop
on May 16, 2012
This product was bought for my Dell Optiplex 755 Desktop for use in moderate gaming (primarily Diablo 3). The Optiplex 755 family has four issues that make it difficult to find a decent gaming card for them: (1) they're built using a BTX form factor and the first expansion slot is the PCI-E x16 slot, meaning that cards with double-wide brackets will not fit; (2) the Desktop (DT) and Small Form Factor (SFF) configurations can only utilize low-profile expansion cards; (3) roughly 1.3 cm to the right of the PCI-E x16 slot, there are several tall capacitors, meaning that video cards with wide heatsink/fan units will not work; (4) the PCI-E x16 slot will not necessarily supply 75W to a graphics card -- according to Dell, it's only specified for 25W operation. What this means for the Optiplex 755 DT is that only single-wide, low-profile, low-power graphics cards are guaranteed to work.
I bought this particular card because (a) it's low-profile and (b) although the heatsink/fan unit is greater than single-wide, available pictures of it showed that it wasn't that much wider. Part (b) turns out not to be true; the heatsink juts out a full 2 cm from the card, putting it in double-wide territory. Fortunately for me, because of the way that the heatsink of this card is cut on the bottom, it just *barely* fits with about 1 mm clearance between the bottom of the heatsink and the top of the capacitors. This meant that problems 1-3 were neatly dealt with. Problem 4, on the other hand -- on day one of operation, this card has been flawless. There have been no failures to power on, and no crashes (in-game or otherwise). I'll revise this review if power issues start cropping up.
Finally, on to performance. The particular Optiplex 755 that I bought happens to have a 2.33ghz Core 2 Duo and 2GB DDR2 SDRAM in it -- adequate, but not exactly a powerhouse gaming build. The Radeon HD 6570 is at best a low-midrange graphics card, meaning that gaming at 1080p isn't possible with most modern games. I am running this computer with a 900p display, so I was kind of worried about playability. As it turns out, Diablo 3 plays flawlessly at 1600x900 with all video options except shadows set to high,antialiasing off. I'll be testing out my other games, but this was quite a pleasant surprise.
In summary, this is one of the better cards that you can buy for an Optiplex 755 DT. The next step up from here, currently, would be a Radeon HD 6670 with GDDR5, but only one manufacturer (Sapphire) makes a single-wide, low-profile variant (and it'll cost double what I paid for this card). Newer-generation cards (at the time of this writing) like the Geforce GT 630 or the Radeon HD 7750 should end up being a large step up in performance, but the Geforce GT 630 has yet to be released and the Radeon HD 7750 only exists in full-height variants at the moment. As such, if you're looking right now for a decent gaming card that has to work within the constraints of the Optiplex 755 DT, I heartily recommend this card.
The card continues to soldier on without a single problem. No power issues have cropped up, and the system remains stable even after play sessions of multiple hours' duration. A welcome surprise is that this card can officially overclock to 800 MHz clock / 1050 MHz RAM via AMD Overdrive (an official part of the Catalyst drivers). Most 6570's are limited to a much lower official overclock. I can confirm that when playing games on my Optiplex 755 DT, this overclock leads to a small but tangible performance benefit, and causes absolutely no system instability. The chip (1) is the same as the one used in the Radeon HD 6670, which means that it's designed to run at up to 850 MHz, and (2) automatically adjusts its clocks downward when games (and other 3D intensive applications) are not being played. In other words, there is no reason to not enable this overclock.
The current situation for low-profile low-power gaming cards that fit in the Optiplex 755 DT has not changed since the time of my initial review. The Geforce GT 640 (with DDR3) has recently been released in low-profile format (by Afox). Unfortunately, (1) the HSF is double-wide, meaning that it may not fit in the Optiplex 755 DT, and (2) current reviews of this card indicate that it tends to perform in the neighborhood of the Radeon HD 6670 with GDDR5, and since a low-profile single-wide 6670 with GDDR5 already exists and is readily available (though not at amazon.com), there's no benefit there. A low-profile Geforce GT 640 with GDDR5 would likely be a good deal faster, but these do not exist thus far. Low-profile Radeon HD 7750's have not yet been released, unfortunately; otherwise one of those would be my ideal upgrade path.
The card continues to work flawlessly. One thing I wanted to clarify is that though this card works in the Optiplex 755 DT, I have now confirmed that it will *not* work in the Optiplex 755 SFF (which has a hard drive retention cage whose makes it impossible to use a card that is even a millimeter more than single-wide). If you have an Optiplex 755 SFF and want a gaming card (and have settled on a low-profile Radeon 6570), you would be better served by buying the Sapphire variant, which does indeed have a single-wide HSF.
It has now been almost 6 months since I first purchased this card. It continues to work flawlessly, and at no time has there been a single concern about power. This card has offered up a pleasant experience in every game I've thrown at it, including Borderlands 2 (played at 1600x900 with all options except for Ambient Occlusion and Antialiasing set to their highest values) and Skyrim (played at 1600x900 with all options except Shadows and Antialiasing set to their highest values). Though Sapphire recently introduced a single-wide, low-profile Radeon HD 7750 (it's probably what I would buy if I were going to upgrade), this card has done so well for me that I feel no need to upgrade at all. Furthermore, this card has been whisper-quiet throughout its six months of operation. All in all, I've been incredibly pleased with my experience, and can recommend this card with absolute confidence. This is my final update to this review; thank you all for reading and commenting.