Dell Releases Flexible OptiPlex 980, CPU-free FX100

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We often focus on Dell’s consumer side of the PC business, but that does them a disservice – they are remarkably well known for their business and enterprise PC availability and support. Yesterday they updated their product offerings with two new models.  The OptiPlex 980 falls in line somewhere above traditional desktops and somewhere below workstation-level performance.  Dell calls it their “most powerful business PC yet.”

The Dell OptiPlex 980

The OptiPlex 980 has two things going for it to separate itself from lower offerings: efficiency (which brings a lower TCO and eco-friendly image to the company) and support. Purchasers can pick from Core i5 and i7 quad-core CPUs as well as SSDs for both high performance and lower noise. In addition, the power supply in the new 980 is an impressive 90% efficent. 

Part of that efficiency helps the new OptiPlex score its EnergyStar 5.0 and EPEAT-Gold certifications. Additionally, lower power use means less cooling, and less cooling means lower noise in the office.  To help mask noise further, Dell offers an optional “Dell EcoKit” that chops remaining noise by a full fifty percent.

Unlike the majority of its consumer models, Dell offers business desktops in multiple styles and configurations; the OptiPlex 980 is no exception.  Organizations will be able to buy the new systems in small form factor, minitower and desktop form factors, with prices starting at $807.


The Dell FX100 Zero Client

Dell’s interesting new FX100 is a means to make computing easier on large organizations. Inside, you won’t find storage. Or fans or graphics cards or even an OS. Despite being tiny, it’s not a nettop. Rather, it’s designed to run an operating system stored elsewhere, over a network or the Internet (though much more the former rather then the latter). It does use normal, everyday ports and inputs, though, so even though it doesn’t have a hard drive or windows, you’ll still be able to use your mouse, keyboard and monitor (as long as it takes DVI).

The Round Rock giant says that its FX100 thin client solution will work with any VMware View-based virtualized OS instance. You do pay for the ease of use and flexibility, however, as Dell lists the MSRP for the FX100 at $500. That may seem like a high sum for what you get, but it’s easy to forget that unlike a standard desktop, this won’t be out-dated the second you buy it; just toss more RAM in the server.



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