Click here to sign up for my free Rick’s Tech Tips Newsletter!
Note: The links in this post are affiliate links.
Question from Chris G.: I have a Dell OptiPlex 9020 mini-tower desktop PC that has both USB 2.0 and USB 3.0 ports on it.
The hard drive died a while back and I replaced it with a 1TB SSD.
I couldn’t believe the difference in speed adding the SSD gave me!
I use this machine for my work computer, and even though it’s pretty old it works really well for me now that I’ve installed the SSD.
I’ve been using an external USB hard drive for my backups but I’m thinking seriously about getting this Crucial external SSD to speed up the backup process.
The problem is this Dell doesn’t have any USB 3.1 Gen 2 – Type C ports to plug the external SSD into.
Is it possible add at least one USB 3.1 Gen 2 – Type C port to the Dell OptiPlex 9020 without having to replace the motherboard?
Rick’s answer: I believe you just might be in luck, Chris!
Unless you’ve already maxed out your Dell’s expansion slots it should have an open PCIe x 16 slot you can use to install a PCIe to USB 3.1 Gen – 2 Type C expansion card like this one.
That particular card would add two USB 3.1 Gen 2 – Type C ports to the back panel of your Dell without requiring you to shell out the cash for a motherboard upgrade.
As you can see, it’s very affordable and it has great user ratings on Amazon.
That being said, before you order it I do recommend that you remove the cover from the machine and verify that you do in fact have a PCIe x 16 slot available that isn’t already being used by another expansion card.
This page provides a handy diagram you can refer to if you need help identifying the PCIe x 16 slots in your Dell PC.
I hope this helps, Chris. Good luck!
Update from Chris: That’s exactly what I was hoping to hear, Rick. Thanks!!
Bonus tip: This post explains how to convert a bare hard drive or SSD into an external USB 3.1 Type C external drive.
Never miss a tip! Click here to sign up for my free Daily Tech Tips Email Newsletter!