Dell OptiPlex 990 Review: Performance and Benchmarks

June 14, 2011 by J.R. Nelson Reads (86,139)
Editor's Rating

Ratings Breakdown (1-10)

    • Software & Support
    • 8
    • Upgrade Capabilities
    • 7
    • Usability
    • 10
    • Design
    • 10
    • Performance
    • 8
    • Features
    • 9
    • Total Score:
    • 8.67
    • Rating 1 to 10, top score 10

Dell OptiPlex 990

Performance
As I mentioned earlier, most of the desktops like this one fall squarely into the ‘nettop’ category. That generally means weak CPUs, stuttering Flash and HD video, abominably slow hard drives, no optical drives and so on. That set of specifications describes a machine that is basically the exact opposite of the OptiPlex 990. This little box packs in a power-saving version of Intel’s Core i7-2600, the Core i7-2600S. Instead of running at 3.40GHz like in the XPS 8300, this version is clocked down to 2.8GHz. That’s still more than sufficient to power through most of the tasks you’ll come across in a typical business environment without issue.

 

wPrime benchmark test results:(lower is better)

Dell OptiPlex 990

PCMark Vantage system benchmark test results: (higher is better)

Dell OptiPlex 990

It’s easy to forget that a package this small hides a quad-core Core i7 CPU running at close to 3GHz – especially when you consider how quiet the system tends to run. Our benchmarks bear it out, however, with the OptiPlex 990 scoring well over 7000 points. A reasonably fast 7200RPM 2.5-inch hard drive doesn’t hurt. The system is strong enough to even handle some audio and video encoding tasks, so users who might have higher workloads don’t need to shy away from the smaller form factors.

3DMark Vantage graphics benchmark test results: (higher is better)

Dell OptiPlex 990
At the same time, however, it’s easy to see that the Intel integrated graphics are the weakest part of the system. Dell does make a lower-end discrete card available, if you need a bit of a boost in the graphics department. For many, it simply won’t be necessary, however, as even the mediocre showing here is more than strong enough to support 1080p HD video decoding, Flash acceleration, window compositing and more. Even some GPGPU applications should be able to take advantage of the hardware on the chip, granting a boost to certain audio, video and photo editing applications.

 


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