Product Notes: Dell OptiPlex 740
November 7th, 2006
Dell announced the OptiPlex 740 today, which is the first AMD-based predictable life-cycle desktop that has ever been available from one of the University's preferred providers. The University has included AMD processors in the Desktop Recommendations since FY 2002.
Information Systems & Computing (ISC) does not believe that there are significant performance differences between competitive Intel and AMD microprocessors for normal administrative uses, though higher-end requirements (desktop publishing, CAD, imaging, etc.) may show substantial and relevant differences in either direction. ISC will be doing extensive testing on an OptiPlex 740 within the next few weeks and any unexpected behavior will be reported to PC Net and on this site.
Several notes when ordering an OptiPlex 740:
- The OptiPlex 740 retains the same enclosure designs as the OptiPlex 745 but only offers the tower and desktop sizes, instead of the four choices (including small desktop and ultra-small desktop) available for the 745.
- ISC is confident that purchasing the dual core Athlon 64 X2 processor is the best choice over the slightly less expensive Athlon 64.
- Please note that as of November 7th, the operating system choice for the OptiPlex 740 defaults to Windows XP Home. Windows XP Professional is the supported and recommended choice.
- It costs about $70 more for 2.0 GB of 800 MHz DDR2 SDRAM than 667 MHz DDR2 SDRAM on the OptiPlex 740, but 800 MHz RAM can more effectively utilize the bus. ISC suggests purchasing the 800 MHz RAM if possible.
- As with the OptiPlex 745, ISC continues to strongly suggest a video card instead of integrated video.
- Dell's relatively new Energy Smart technology is an extension of previous Energy Star compliant settings. ISC believes that including these settings will be a good idea for some Schools and Centers.
- Though Dell has made it part of the default configuration for the OptiPlex 740, ISC does not believe that Gold Technical Support is the correct choice for all Schools and Centers. ISC intends to follow up on this particular issue in a more detailed communication.
- Overall, ISC believes that the OptiPlex 740 is a reasonable choice going forward. The cost delta between an OptiPlex 740 and an OptiPlex 745 with the same general configuration is approximately $25 to $50 in the 740's favor.
--John Mulhern III, Senior Project Leader, ISC Technology Support Services (November 7th, 2006)