Also, I realize that this is a ton of information. Please don’t be intimidated. It might seem complicated, but it’s really not that bad. Plus, you play Eve, which is like, 10 times more complicated.
Okay, an SSD will improve things like boot times and load times. A graphics card will allow you to make things prettier and, since you have intel integrated graphics, allow you to play a lot of games that you otherwise wouldn’t be able to. Personally, I recommend both, but it you’re only going to get one upgrade, I’d go with the graphics card.
Okay, when it comes to a graphics card, the average person wants to look at four things, (1) what is the wattage on your PSU, (2) does it have a 6-pin or 8-pin power connector (or no PCIe power connectors at all), (3) what exact PCIe slot you have (i.e. PCIe 4.0, PCIe 3.0), and (4) what display connectors it has. So, graphics cards often take a lot of juice. In fact, they might even take more than can be supplied through the PCIe slot.
So, not only do you need to make sure your PSU has enough wattage, but also if it can provide additional power through a 6 or 8 pin connector. Now, I tried looking up the Optiplex 7010 computer, and found different versions. So, I’m going to make a guess that you have a 240 w PSU with no additional power connectors for a GPU, but can’t say for certain. So, you’ll need to verify that yourself by looking for an information sticker on the side of the PSU (it may be on the backside) and looking for the connectors. The connectors look like this, and usually have “PCIe” or “VGA” written on them.
Second, PCIe slots have more and more bandwidth as you move up the version numbers (how fast they can talk to the graphics card). And beefier cards tend to need more bandwidth. If you don’t give it to them, they’ll still work, but their performance will be throttled. Now, I’m not saying you shouldn’t pair a newer generation card with an older generation slot. They might have better features, support the latest version of directx, have a lower TDP (use less power), an attractive price point, and all that. Plus, you’re probably going to be rolling with a low end card that won’t need a lot of bandwidth anyway. So, in this particular case, you probably don’t need to worry about it.
Anyway, there’s a good chance that your PSU is only about 240w, and has no additional power connectors. Now, there are decent cards that don’t require auxiliary power connectors, but 240w is really low. Not only do I worry about the PSU being able to power low end cards when under load, but I’m also concerned over if they offer enough of a performance increase to even justify their cost.
So, you would probably want to upgrade the graphics card AND the PSU, but apparently some optiplex 0710’s have a slim tower that fits a proprietary PSU. If this is the case for you, you’d also need to get a new computer case as well (plus some tier 1 computer manufacturers can also sometimes use proprietary connectors, such as from the mobo to all the front panel stuff, so we would need to check that as well -I know good times. Got to love the tier 1 manufacturers).
So, before you go any further, I suggest you find out exactly what is in your computer. You can try posting an exact model number (usually found on a sticker on the back of the computer) for someone to look up, or crack open the case and take a look yourself. We need to know (1) what is the wattage of the PSU, (2) does it have any auxiliary power connectors for Graphics cards (probably not), (3) does it look to be the ATX size, or something different, and, while we’re at it, (4) tell us what monitor connections you have (you can always buy adapters, but it would be nice if your card had the right connections from the get go). And, if you can, (5) you might as well give us your motherboard model as well (printed on the Mobo, use CPU-Z, or look it up with your exact computer model number).