Product Note: Dell OptiPlex GX620 & GX520
Important Note: this product is now off life cycle. Dell's OptiPlex 780 and OptiPlex 980 occupy the equivalent place in their current product line. [July 7, 2010]
June 20th, 2005
Multiple vendors have announced workstations based on the Intel 945G chipset over the last few weeks. New workstations with this chipset from Dell include the OptiPlex GX520 (tower, desktop, and small desktop) and OptiPlex GX620 (tower, desktop, small desktop, and ultra-small desktop).
A couple of notes when ordering an OptiPlex GX520 or GX620:
- There is now significant variance in size within the OptiPlex GX520 and GX620 lines, ranging from 1.16 cubic feet for the tower, down through 0.56 cubic feet for the desktop and 0.35 cubic feet for the small desktop, and finishing with a mere 0.21 cubic feet for the ultra-small desktop.
- The OptiPlex GX620 ultra-small desktop replaces the SX280. It is essentially the same case, and further emphasizes Dell's position that their ultra-small desktop can use the same disk images that their larger desktops can. The GX620 ultra-small desktop retains the same limited expandability (no PCI slots of any sort) and higher-priced laptop peripherals that were present in the SX280 and SX270.
- The GX520 and GX620 are the first OptiPlexes that Dell offers only with Windows XP Professional Service Pack 2 (SP2). This coincides with ISC's Desktop Recommendations for FY2006.
- It costs slightly more for 533 MHz DDR SDRAM on the OptiPlex GX520, but it can far more effectively utilize the bus than the 400 MHz SDRAM. I'd purchase it if possible.
- The biggest difference between the OptiPlex GX520 and the GX620 is that the GX520 lacks significant graphics upgradeability - it has no PCIe x16 slot. ISC regards this lack of graphics upgradeability to be a long-term downside of the GX520 and a reason to choose the GX620. The price delta to 'future-proof' your video choices by moving up to the GX620 is less than $25.
- With the OptiPlex GX620, ISC strongly suggests a video card instead of the integrated video.
- ISC believes that including the free Energy Star label is a good idea - over a four-year life-cycle it may be relevant for many organization's inventory and accounting.
- Though Dell has made it part of the default configuration for the OptiPlex GX520 (but not for the GX620), ISC does not believe that Gold Technical Support is the correct choice for all Schools and Centers. ISC will be following up on this particular issue in a more detailed communication shortly.
- Dell has announced that the OptiPlex GX520 and GX620 are the company's first PC's that it guarantees will run 'Longhorn', Microsoft's next-generation operating system, which is currently expected in the second half of calendar year 2006.
- The OptiPlex GX520 and GX620 are Dell's first products to be specified as compliant with the European Union (EU) 'Restriction on the use of certain Hazardous Substances (RoHS)' directive. Over the long term, this should help with environmentally-friendly technology disposal.
--John Mulhern III, Senior Project Leader, ISC Technology Support Services (June 20th, 2005)