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My first PC. Tips?

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Due to the Mac abandonment and other issues, I have bid on a cheap-ish used PC on Ebay and won. Unfortunately, never having owned a PC before, I have since learned that I did not make the best possible choice. But it will do. It's an Optiplex 7060, i8500 3gz, integrated HD 630 graphics. It's a SFF which means that due to space and the wimpy power supply, it will only ever support a lower-end, low-profile graphics card (some day when I can afford it.) It comes with only a small M.2 drive, which I am planning to upgrade immediately to 500gb, maybe adding a 2.5 SSD later when I need more space. I figure less drives means more power available for the graphics card I might add later, is that right? Meanwhile, GW2 runs perfectly okay on the integrated iris 1536 MB graphics on my old Mac Mini (i5 4th gen 2.6gz) With the processor speed increase, it should be much better on the new machine in any case, I hope. Sounds like it will support AMD RX550 or GE 1650, eventually. Barely. :disappointed:

Any tips or advice? This is my first-ever PC, it should be arriving next week, and I am pretty nervous about the switch. I do use PCs at work, so I know the basic functions, but an IT guy handles all the detail work. Will adding more RAM make noticeable improvements to the game? (Comes with 8g.) Any settings I should have to monkey with tor know about o make it better? Upgrades I should prioritize? Any advice will be appreciated. I like to be prepared ahead of time.

Note to Mac Users:

Sorry to jump ship! I have had Macs since the 1990's, when I ran Tie Fighter off an old 5200 and made a Tie Fighter Mac Support page on flying custom missions for the Emperor's Hammer. When that Mac was too old to even web surf at reasonable speed, I finally upgraded to a used Power Mac tower, the only computer whose case I ever opened for anything (added more RAM and USB ports.) Lost the use of my favorite Wing Commander ADB joystick when everything went to USB, and never found a satisfactory replacement. When Zorg the Power Mac got too old, I got a new Mac Mini, the only new Mac I could afford. I had a lot of fun with it and still have it tucked away. Upgraded to a second Mac Mini several years ago and found that none of my old favorite games (Age of Empires series) ran on the Intel Mac, and only discovered later that the processor had not been upgraded since 2014, so I was paying new price for basically a 3 year old computer. Never upgraded the OS because of constantly hearing that new operating systems would not run older programs properly. Now I am at the point where there isn't much I can do to make this old dog do new tricks. Have a problem to fix? Want an app or game? It has gone from 'only available on Windows' to 'Only available on Windows and iOs, why don't you have an iPhone?' to 'Yep, it's actually available on mac, but not for one as old and un-updated as yours.' I need a new computer in any case, and don't want another Mini, and can't afford anything better. I am fed up with Apple insisting on me having two Apple IDs not letting me merge them and having to remember two passwords that they want me to change half the time. I am sick of not being allowed to buy things on iTunes without accepting their new terms and conditions without their actually giving me a way to do so in the page, and having to contact tech support people who don't know how to fix it unless I have an iphone, or having to buy something else on the app store to be allowed to accept their terms and conditions. If I could afford a decent new mac, maybe I would still hang on, hoping the upgrade would fix all my troubles, but losing Guild Wars 2 was really the last straw. I keep hitting the Only-For-PC wall a lot lately. There's only so much personal stuff can get away with installing on the PC at work. I will miss being part of the club, hope things get better for you all and the new Mac is a game-changer for the world!


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Check the motherboard's brand and model, then visit its official support page to see which RAM etc it supports. You can't use just anything.

Use an online Power Supply Calculator whenever you assemble or upgrade a PC to be sure it meets the requirements.

Make sure your PC is properly protected by a firewall and antivirus tool.

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See https://dl.dell.com/topicspdf/optiplex-7060-desktop_service-manual2_en-us.pdf

and https://dl.dell.com/topicspdf/optiplex-7060-desktop_specifications2_en-us.pdf

Get the strongest GPU that fits in the form factor and under 75W TDP limit (no power connector). There's an anemic 200W Power supply in there. There's not much advantage to a stronger GPU anyway unless you are on higher resolution.

GTX 1650 GDDR6 , GTX 1050 Ti, GTX 750 Ti, GT 1030 GDDR5, and RX 560 are probably going to work on that as well as some other low end GPUs. RX 550 is listed on the spec page so definitely would work. They would need to be half width however as the back panel is half width.

If you're willing to invest in a professional GPU which has a gaming mode I would also look into Quadro P1000 , P620, P600 and Radeon Pro WX 3200 , WX 2100, WX 3100, WX 4100 which come in SFF. However it likely is not worth it if all you do is game on that system. On the plus side they haven't been drastically inflated in price unlike low end gaming GPUs people have purchased en masse during the COVID lockdown.

Refer to TPU for data on professional GPUs' general performance :

Cheapest RX 550 LP (low profile) in comparison is $230 on Amazon right now (MSI RX 550 4GT LP OC); cheapest GTX 1050 Ti LP from Gigabyte (model GV-N105TOC-4GL) is ~$180 on Newegg which is faster ; cheapest GT 1030 is around $80 even though launch pricing was around $70-80 a few years ago :/ .

P.S. SSDs consume negligible power in the grand scheme of things unlike older hard drives.

Software-wise I would make sure to have an antivirus and also to use shadows/reflections on low or off (CPU bound), model limit low in WVW or meta events.

(edited to add GT 1030 which only makes sense if it's super cheap)

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Integraded gpu is always bad for proper gaming. Dont expect proper perf with this game when u run it on that.

Some things u can do to get fps up

Lower character limit to LowestLower charcter quality to Low ( If u put it to lowest,everyone will look the same,its immersion breaking )Put shadows to mediumPut reflect to Terrain Only.

Those are the heaviest options,can gain lots of fps back if u ran it higher.

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Thanks, everyone, especially Infusion for all the GPU info!I decided to go light, with the GT 1030 GDDR5, since it fits my small budget and seems a safe choice for power needs. GW2 is my main gaming focus, and that will be plenty. Looks like I should also be able to run Alien Isolation and Elite Dangerous, two games I have heard a lot about. ^^ All the parts should arrive well before the MacOs Feb 18 cut-off date, just hoping I can put in RAM, NVMe and GPU all at once go without anything blowing up or refusing to work. =)

All this has been a great way of learning what to look for when I get my NEXT computer. Thank you for the tips!

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Your next computer should probably use a standard PC case dimension :P

ITX , mATX (less common for DIY market), ATX are standard.If you go with ITX then you can use a full width GPU (maybe not full length but full width) in a small form factor case such as those from Silverstone for example.

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First what you bought is fine for GW2 save for the Graphics card hit up eBay and look for a GTX 750 ti low profile they can be had rather cheaply and will work in your computer. I used one for years to play GW2 at full graphics settings with no issues. They are also extremely power efficient and can get all the power it needs to run through the PCI-E slot.

Secondly I am seeing people say antivirus and firewall the one included with Windows 10 is as good as anything you can buyhttps://www.techradar.com/uk/news/is-windows-defender-good-enough-for-your-pc combining it with not being a complete idiot on the internet ie don't torrent software run executable email attachments etc. etc.

As far as fa firewall don't you have one already in your router and a second in the form of Windows firewall things like ZoneAlarm have not been needed since the days of Windows XP SP1

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Optiplex 7060 is an office desktop PC, so there's a lot of proprietary connectors inside, if something breaks the parts may be hard to get or a bit expensive comparing to mass market parts

and yeah like what @"Infusion.7149" said, the chassis size is gonna be an issue if you want to put a real GPU inside.Highly recommend getting a good case since it cannot break (unless you got one with tempered glass)Check out Hardware Canucks's channel, loads of reviews on PC chassis, https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCTzLRZUgelatKZ4nyIKcAbg

for experienced builders, we would bash on pre-built gaming machines like Alienware, but for a newcomer like OP I think it a good place to start.check out Linus Tech Tip's scrapyard wars for tips on saving few bux on seconds parts when building your own PC

For Advanced builders, JayzTwoCents and Gamers Nexus have more technical reviews and guides like watercooling your parts and physical customisation of hardware for extreme overclocking

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Thanks everyone again! I managed to install all the upgrades without blowing anything up! :D 24 mb RAM, 500gb hard drive, MSI Graphic Cards GT 1030 2G LP OC. Second SSD drive to be added later.

@Dusanyu, sounds like the GTX 750 ti would have been a little better, but I had already bought the 1030 when you posted. And it's fine, it 'optimized' GW2 when I installed the driver, which involved cranking every setting to max, and it runs very well. Such fun to see the whole landscape rendered at once, and the reflections on the water, and everybody's fashion wars! I am used to a flock of grey people whose individual styles only become visible after I stand next to them for a while. (And can listen to stuff on Youtube in the background without the former painful slowdowns!)

Feeling good about my future in Tyria! Now I get to start moving my personal files over from my Mac, and installing other programs. ^^ I got a keyboard sharing switch and plugged both into my monitor, just need to press a few buttons to switch from one computer to the other, so the transition should be easy and I can still play any Mac games I miss. Time to read a Windows for Dummies book...

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