Dell OptiPlex GX620

Dell OptiPlex GX620

Pros: Fastest system in the review,power-efficient

Cons: No PS2 ports

Price: $1,474

Performance: A+

Features: B

Value: A

Power efficiency: A

|GCN Lab Reviewer's Choice|

The OptiPlex GX620 packs a lot of power into a fairly small minitower case. If the Alienware had us thinking size matters, we quickly put that out of our minds.

With a 3.6-GHz Pentium D 960 dual-core processor and 1GB of 533-MHz DDR2 RAM, the GX620 broke the bank for performance, scoring an amazing 10,523 and edging the tricked-out Alienware system.

In terms of power consumption, the GX620 proved full of surprises. It had the most efficient idle power consumption rates in the review. Idle, the GX620 took up only 83 watts per second. It remained efficient while in action working, spending only 102 watts on our Excel chart and 398 watts opening applications, which put it well above average.

Of course, its feature set couldn't touch that of the MJ-12 7550a from Alienware, but no office system really needs to. The GX620 came to us with an 80GB SATA drive'a bit small for high-end applications, perhaps, but more than enough storage space for wider deployment'and spinning at a high-speed 10,000 RPMs.

In terms of extras, the GX620 ships with a USB keyboard and integrated smart-card reader, plus a standard 16X rewritable DVD drive. We were actually annoyed that the GX620 was bereft of PS2 ports, the only system in the review that was lacking the legacy connector.

Granted, USB is the future of peripheral connectivity, but many workstations will be dropped into networks controlled by KVM switches, and most of the high-end KVMs require PS2 ports, including the one we used for this test. The Dell required a workaround which users might be unwilling to perform, depending on their network setups.

All told, although it's not the cheapest system we tested, the GX620 offers the best bang for the buck. For this performance and power efficiency, we'd gladly pay the government price of $1,474. Little wonder that the GX620 remains our favorite desktop workstation.

Dell Inc., Round Rock, Texas, (800) 388-8542,


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