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What interests us about Dell 2.0

This morning at a company event in New York City, Dell CEO Kevin Rollins introduced what he called "Dell 2.0" (we'll forgive the cliche of putting "2.0" after just about anything to indicate something's new and improved--we're guilty of floating the notion for our own headlines from time to time).

A lot of what he had to say was how Dell planned to improve service, roll out new products (including new AMD-based systems) with innovative designs, etc. But we perked up when he started talking about the company's new OptiPlex 745 enterprise desktops.

In the GCN Labs we've become keen on the issue of energy consumption in PCs. While data centers will continue to garner the lion's share of attention over energy issues, we're convinced agencies should be looking for more energy-efficient desktops. That was why we partnered with our benchmark test developer, Alterion, to create a test for evaluating how much energy a system consumes while running day-to-day programs.

When we debuted the test in June, another Dell OptiPlex, the GX620, was our favorite. Besides being a powerful performer, it was the most power-efficient we tested.

Today Rollins said the new OptiPlex 745 was designed to be 70 percent more power efficient than the current-generation OptiPlex line, building on the HyperCool thermal management platform in the GX620 and Intel's dual-core processors.

Rollins said Dell would "challenge our partners and suppliers" to make energy efficiency a central part of what they offer. And he said the company was preparing a new Web site that would focus on energy efficiency and include a calculator to help enterprises make infrastructure decisions based on power consumption.

Obviously we'll reserve judgment until we can get our hands on a new OptiPlex and measure its consumption in our tests. But we like the idea that Dell, with its move to energy-efficient AMD processors for the data center and a system recycling program that Rollins said will go global, could move beyond being the buy-direct company to being the energy-friendly vendor.

Posted by Brad Grimes

Posted by Brad Grimes, Joab Jackson on Sep 12, 2006 at 9:39 AM


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