capsule review

Dell OptiPlex 755 Mini-Tower

At a Glance
  • Dell Optiplex 755

    PCWorld Rating

    This easy-to-expand unit makes a solid energy-efficient business PC.

We tested Dell's OptiPlex 755 Mini-Tower ($1272 as of 9/12/07) as part of "Green PCs: A First Step," a story on energy-efficient computing. This business desktop is Energy Star 4.0-certified and meets the stringent EPEAT Gold environmental impact standard. (EPEAT is program funded by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.) But the OptiPlex 755 also offers strong computing performance and an easily expandable design.

Our test unit, with a 2.2-GHz Core 2 Duo E4500 processor and 2GB of RAM, earned an excellent WorldBench 6 Beta 2 score of 84, making it the fastest among currently tested business desktops. It produced poor scores in our graphics tests, but that's to be expected on a PC with integrated graphics, as is common on business desktops.

In our environmental performance tests, which are not yet part of our PCW Ratings, the OptiPlex drew less power than any other desktop or notebook we tested when turned off--just 0.7 watt. In sleep and idle states, it beat out the HP rp5700 Long Lifecycle Desktop but drew more than the Enano EX7200, which is powered by a notebook processor. The OptiPlex 755 comes with an Energy Star-required 80-percent efficient power supply as well as an Energy Smart power management mode, which puts the system into sleep mode after 15 minutes of inactivity. (Energy Star 4.0 requires that the system sleeps after 30 minutes or less of inactivity.)

While the OptiPlex 755 starts at $592, our test unit's configuration costs $1272. Its specs, however, were nothing spectacular: a 160GB hard drive and eight USB ports (two on the front), but no FireWire (forgivable) or DVI port (less so). Our test unit came with a standard, unexceptional keyboard and mouse, but for an extra $89 you can get a snazzy Bluetooth keyboard-and-mouse set.

The sturdy, easy-to-open black and silver case looks businesslike (in other words, not very exciting). Though this model is called a minitower, it offers plenty of room for upgrades. Our test system had two open PCI slots and two open PCI Express slots (one of them a PCI x1). It also had three external drive bays and two internal ones, all requiring no tools to populate.

Dell also offers other business-type features such as built-in TPM (Trusted Platform Module) hardware encryption and an optional external USB biometric fingerprint reader for $39. You can also purchase same-day service to go with the three-year warranty that accompanied our test unit (add $149 to the purchase price). A four-year warranty and other on-site support services are also available for additional fees.

Overall, the OptiPlex 755 is a solid, expandable business machine without fancy bells and whistles--the lack of which likely accounts for much of its energy-efficient performance.

Narasu Rebbapragada

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At a Glance
  • PCWorld Rating

    This easy-to-expand unit makes a solid energy-efficient business PC.

    Pros

    • Expandable
    • Energy efficient

    Cons

    • Lacks some extras
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