Pros: Small desktop footprint, very quiet; high performance, easy to maintain; (8) USB ports.
Cons: None so far.
The Bottom Line: The DellOptiplex 755 Business Desktop is powerful business class workstation that is more then adequate for our primary business computing needs.
The push is on to lower the Total Cost of Ownership (TOC) and carbon footprint on computer equipment in the American workplace. This directly parallels the drive to move more and move data off the workstation and onto servers and other centralized storage medium turning desktop computers into little more than glorified dumb terminals. And it would nice if they used less energy to boot; the PC is Energy Star 4 complaint.
Dell has been quick to capitalize on the converging trends and offer an ever-changing line of Optiplex business-class workstations that are simple, small-footprint designs that offers high performance and low maintenance. The newest in this line is the DellOptiplex 755 Business Desktop.
The DellOptiplex 755 is very similar in design to other Dell Optiplex (desktop) computers in the GX series of desktops that proliferate our workspace, such as the two-year old Optiplex GX520 desktops this machine is meant to replace. The two are very similar in functionality as well, however the offers more powerful processors and a new hard drive technology called Advanced Host Controller Interface (AHCI). The desktop can also be ordered with Windows Vista (Home, Business, or Ultimate).
The Optiplex 755 can be ordered in one of (4) configurations, all in flat black and silver; i.e. the Ultra Small Form Factor, Small Form factor, Desktop, and Small Mini-Tower. All have the same basic innards with the major difference being the size, configurable options, and of course the weight of the units. All of our units utilize the Desktop design.
The Optiplex 755 can be ordered with one of five available Intel processors: o Intel Core 2 Quad processor with Intel VT Enhanced SpeedStep technology running at 1066MHz FSB w/8mb L2 cache; o Intel Core 2 Duo processor with Intel vPro technology running at 1333MHz FSB w/4mb L2 cache; o Intel Core 2 Duo processor running at 800MHz FSB w/2mb L2 cache; o Intel Pentium Dual Core processor running at 800MHz FBS w/ 1MB L2 cache, or; o Intel Celeron processor running at 800MHz w/512mb L2 cache.
The Optiplex 755 can be configured with up to 8GB of Non-ECC dual-channel DDR2 SDRAM memory. The Optiplex 755 has more than enough power to handle the usual office applications a typical business might throw at it, including Internet browsers. The ATI Radeon HD 2400 Pro w/DVI and TV-out video card makes it easy to deal with lightweight 3D graphics; it is certainly more than adequate for our needs, but Vista users will appreciate the adapters 256mb of RAM. Alternatively, the Optiplex 755 can be ordered with the 256mb ATI Radeon HD 2400 XT Dual monitor adapter w/DVI/VGA and TV-out.
The BTX motherboard design Dell wedged into the Optiplex 755 is based on Intel's Q35 Express chipset. The board is engineered for more efficient airflow and quieter operation. This is evident in the rather large vents that take up clearly half the front of the computer. And the machine is extremely quite. Dell achieved this mastery by realigning the processor, chipset, memory banks, and expansion slots, enabling the placement of a single system fan to cool the entire interior. The BTX design is a sharp contrast to ATX-style systems, which usually require two or more fans.
The Optiplex 755 is small; therefore upgrade options are limited, not unlike its predecessors. However, the Optiplex 755 does away with the single hard-drive bay in favor of an optional dual drive setup that allows a basic RAID configuration. Possible hard drives include 80, 160, and 250GB units. The lone optical-drive bay can house a single CD-RW/DVD combo drive, but we opted for the CD-RW burner. The Optiplex 755 is fitted with (2) front-side USB ports and two audio jacks, while the rear of the system holds six USB ports, a gigabit Ethernet port, three audio jacks, and parallel and serial legacy ports.
Cracking open the Optiplex 755 is a very simple process thanks to a removable side panel. Once inside you will note that like the chassis itself, all internal components are tool-less, and densely packed. An easily removed riser card holds the ATI video card and an open PCI slot. The second low-profile PCI slot is available on the motherboard. The density of this design made itself apparent when I switched out the system memory; I had to remove both the hard drive and DVD drive in order to get at two sticks.
As a base unit our complement of some 25 Optiplex 755s desktop and small form-factor desktops shipped with 800MHz FSB (Front Side Bus) Core 2 Duo 2.2GHz processors. Each workstation also shipped with 1.0GB of DDR2 RAM in a Dual Channel configuration; a 80GB (SATA) hard drive (HHD); CD-RW drive. The Operating System that shipped with the box was of course Windows XP Professional SP2; the business has yet to move to Windows Vista.
Despite the limited (expandable) capabilities of the Optiplex 755 I do like the unit, for the same reason I like the other Dell GX series desktops in our inventory; they are perfect for our environment, where in many cases space on the desktop is at a premium.
Response to keyboard input and or mouse movements are quick, and programs open with little to no delay. Since this is a business desktop, there is no opportunity to test gaming or other related software on the computer; in fact as part of our build the games were removed from the OS. I can report however, that business apps; i.e. Microsoft Office 2007, Adobe Acrobat Reader 8.0, Outlook 2007, Norton Anti-Virus, etc., all load and run extremely fast, while Internet Explorers performance does not seem at all changed from previous desktops that I have used.
The built-in 10/100/1000 network card (NIC) works as advertised, but I as I stated is earlier reviews of others in the GX line, I would have preferred a standalone card which could be swapped out, or a card that could be upgrade in the future via firmware. And I wish Dell would stick with one manufacturer; preferably Intel, or 3Com. The NIC chip can be disabled via the BIOS.
The built-in sound card works remarkable well and produces sound comparable to many high end offerings. The built-in speaker however, offers limited fidelity. Space on the front panel containing a lone headphone jack is a welcome convenience, an innovation it has taken PC manufactures over a decade to incorporate into their designs.
The eight USB version 2.0 ports (six in the back, two in the front) are a welcome addition especially the two in the front which are not hidden behind an annoying hinged door, though I would like to have seen the number reversed; i.e. four in the back and four in the front. Increasing, the devices that utilize USB ports are portable in nature and having to continually move the Tower in order to access them can become a pain. Nevertheless, I do appreciate the two USB 2.0 port in the front of the tower, though they are quite close together which might hinder the use of more then one at a time.
The DellOptiplex 755 Business Desktop is powerful business class workstation that is more then adequate for our primary business computing needs. For the base price of some $700.00 the DellOptiplex 755 is a relatively inexpensive high performance workhorse that more than meets our current computing needs and fits into our network-centric environment with ease where we always have an eye, or two, trained on TOC.
Amount Paid (US$): 650.00 Operating System: Windows Processor: Other Processor speed: over 1000 RAM: More than 256 Internal Storage: CD-RW and DVD Hard Drive (GB): Over 50
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