GCN Lab Review: Dell OptiPlex 755

The OptiPlex 755 minitower from Dell is well put together, for a good price. Although it offers a lot in its standard configuration, there are few slots remaining for expansion.

Dell always tries to provide a lot of features for the dollar, and the OptiPlex does not disappoint. Besides the usual array of ports, there are eight USB ports, two of which are in the front of the system, and a 9- in-1 media bay that can read practically any kind of smart card or memory stick. It even has a Dell 1505 wireless local-area network adapter, which is compatible with 802.11b, g, and draft-n specifications, in addition to a v.92 PCI modem. The video card, an ATI Radeon 2400 XT, has dual VGA capability.

The best feature of the OptiPlex 755 is its interior layout. There are clips for cord management on practically every available surface, which definitely helps to keep things organized.

The expansion slot area is clear of cabling. Although the cooling system for the processor chip is rather large, it should provide adequate cool air for the vital components. The hard drive slots have sturdy plastic enclosures for easy removal and installation.

In our performance benchmarks, the OptiPlex 755 scored 801 points, respectable but lower than we expected. We thought the 3 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo Processor E6850 and 4G of memory would have picked up the slack for the non-high-end video card. It excelled in the areas of hard-drive and optical-drive performance but still only made it to the upper middle of the pack.

Everything the OptiPlex offers, however, leaves little room for expansion. The 4G of memory comes in four 1G modules which take up all four slots. So any memory upgrade will require a replacement. After the video card, modem and wireless adapter, there is one PCI slot left open. There are only two drive bays free, one 5.25-inch external and one 3.5-inch internal. Fortunately, there are two free Serial ATA ports to handle these new devices. Of course, though the 305-watt power supply is adequate for the configuration, its capacity will limit the scope of certain upgrades.

Dell is offering the Optiplex 755 at $1,371 as configured for our review. We found this to be a great price considering all the features you get. If you are leasing computers and won't need upgrades, or the base system has all the computing power and ports you will need, the OptiPlex could be the system for you.

Dell, (888) 375-9863, http://www.dell.com

About the Author

Greg Crowe is a former GCN staff writer who covered mobile technology.

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