updated 10:35 am EDT, Tue October 28, 2008
Dell OptiPlex Fall 2008
Dell today launched a whole new range of workhorse desktops that include some of its most significant redesigns yet. The OptiPlex 960 has a much more industrial, metal design that leaves much of the front to a grill that helps cool the components inside. Combined with newer Intel hardware, this makes some systems as much as 43 percent more power-efficient than their previous generation equivalents and comes with better remote management.
The 960 comes in Dell's habitual mini-tower, slimline desktop and small form factor shells all oriented towards work, with faster processors but no optical drive. Prices start at $892 for the desktop, which carries a 3GHz Core 2 Duo, 1GB of memory, an 80GB hard drive and uses Intel's GMA 4500 for video; choosing the larger mini-tower or the compact SFF case boosts the prices slightly to $902 or $912 respectively without changing features. Most of the systems have the option of adding a DVD burner as well as more memory, more storage and up to a Radeon HD 3470 for dedicated video.
In an unusual move, the company has also launched its first thin-client desktop, the OptiPlex FX160; the PC is roughly breadbox-sized and small enough to fit on the back of an LCD. Specifications aren't yet available, but the system is intended to depend almost exclusively on a virtual operating system streamed from the network and so includes little actual storage or expansion of its own outside of audio and USB ports. Dell prices it at $399.
Also arriving today is the OptiPlex 760, a more budget-oriented workstation that drops to a minimum 2GHz Celeron in exchange for a $630 base price; it also comes in an ultra-small form factor shape for $897. The OptiPlex 360 is the base model and comes only in desktop or mini-tower housings that start at $478 for similar core specifications to the 760.
Left to right: OptiPlex 360/760, FX160, 960