Product Notes: Dell OptiPlex 755
August 31st, 2007
Multiple vendors have announced systems based on the Intel Q35 chipset over the last few weeks. New systems with this chipset from Dell are branded as the OptiPlex 755 (tower, desktop, and small desktop, with the ultra-small desktop to follow in approximately a month). The OptiPlex 755 will eventually replace the OptiPlex 745 line.
The OptiPlex 755 is the second Dell system to support Intel's vPro suite of hardware management technologies (the OptiPlex 745c was the first). vPro is an Intel brand that includes (and requires) a Core 2 Duo processor, an Intel chipset with support for Active Management Technology (iAMT 2.1), and Intel's Gigabit Ethernet LAN solution.
All OptiPlex 755 power supplies are 80 Plus certified, which is a strong indicator of improved power supply efficiency at various loads.
Several notes when ordering an OptiPlex 755:
- The OptiPlex 755 retains the same enclosures as the OptiPlex 740 and 745. As in those lines, there is significant variance in size, ranging from 1.16 cubic feet for the tower, 0.56 cubic feet for the desktop, 0.35 cubic feet for the small desktop, and finishing with a mere 0.21 cubic feet for the ultra-small desktop.
- The OptiPlex 755 ultra-small desktop emphasizes Dell's position that their smallest desktops can use the same disk images as their larger desktops. However, the 755 ultra-small desktop retains the same limited expandability (no PCI slots of any sort) and higher-priced laptop peripherals that were present in previous ultra-small desktops from Dell. It also has two RAM constraints - memory must be higher density to achieve the 4.0 GB maximum and 800 MHz memory is not supported. Information Systems & Computing (ISC) believes that the small desktop is a much better choice for many Schools and Centers trying to reduce the size of their desktop footprint - it has none of the ultra-small desktop's limitations and is only 0.14 cubic feet larger.
- OptiPlex 755 configurations will be offered in 32-bit and 64-bit mode when purchased with Windows Vista. If you choose Windows Vista, ISC strongly suggests purchasing the 32-bit mode - we believe that all 64-bit versions of Windows are immature and they are currently not supported at the University.
- All versions of the OptiPlex 755 can be configured to meet the EPA's new Energy Star 4.0 specification by choosing Dell's Energy Smart categories in the Select Base System page. Choosing these categories does not prevent otherwise appropriate system configuration.
- ISC strongly suggests configuring the OptiPlex 755 with a Core 2 Duo processor as opposed to the currently available Pentium or Celeron processors.
- It costs about $70 more for 2.0 GB of 800 MHz DDR2 SDRAM than 667 MHz DDR2 SDRAM on the OptiPlex 755, but 800 MHz RAM can utilize the bus more effectively. Purchase the 800 MHz RAM if possible.
- With the OptiPlex 755, ISC continues to strongly suggest a discrete video card instead of the integrated video. Though there are more powerful video cards available for the 755 than the 745, ISC believes that most users will be well served by the ATI Radeon HD 2400 Pro.
- Though Dell has made it part of the default configuration for the OptiPlex 755, ISC does not believe that Gold Technical Support is the correct choice for most Schools and Centers ordering desktop systems.
- Many Schools and Centers at the University may wish to choose the "Keep Your Hard Drive" option, which allows the School or Center to retain a defective hard drive when receiving a replacement hard drive under warranty.
ISC believes that Intel's vPro technology will eventually permeate most enterprise desktops and may see significant use in managed environments at the University. Whether or not these technologies are used, the OptiPlex 755 is still a significant update to Dell's mainstream enterprise desktops, with a improved chipset and more configuration flexibility.
Properly configured, the OptiPlex 755 meets or exceeds ISC's Performance PC specification. As always, support providers should be aware of the technical issues associated with any new system design.
Overall, ISC believes that the OptiPlex 755 is a good choice going forward. The cost delta between an OptiPlex 755 and an OptiPlex 745 with the same general configuration is only about $5.
--John Mulhern III, Senior Project Leader, ISC Technology Support Services (August 31st, 2007)