A Quick Guide to the Dell Optiplex Desktop Computer

The Dell Optiplex is a brand of desktop computers primarily designed for corporations and governmental entities. The series is heavily focused on security, IT management, network, and virtualization features. It can work in retail, healthcare, education, finance, and even manufacturing environments; many affordable options are available on eBay.

How do you choose the right Optiplex desktop?

The Optiplex has received multiple redesigns since it was first introduced in 1993, so the feature set can vary dramatically. Here is what you need to know before choosing a computer on eBay:

  • Chassis - An Optiplex computer has three basic form factors: the horizontal desktop, the vertical or tower desktop, and the all-in-one desktop. The series can be divided further into different sizes such as the small form factor computer or the mini-tower, which are suitable for different work environments. The size of the computer determines the size of the motherboard and the number of expansion slots it contains. Most chassis options have an easy-to-access tool-less design that allows you to access or upgrade internal components.
  • Security features - Depending on the model, the Optiplex may feature different security features such as a chassis intrusion switch, the Trusted Platform Module security chip, or Dell data security support.
  • Performance - The Optiplex features some version of the Intel processor, from the Intel Pentium processor in earlier models to a high-end Intel i7 in later models. The graphics card can typically support multiple monitors at once.
  • Storage Options - All models come with a hard drive and/or solid-state drive. A hard drive can generally store more data, but a solid-state drive is faster and more responsive.
What are the main types of Optiplex computers?

Dell has created many different series of Optiplex computers over the years, but the most common models found on eBay are the 3000 Series, the 5000 Series, the 7000 Series, and the XE Series. The 3000 Series is an entry-level line with all the essential features. The 5000 Series is a mid-range line with extra features and performance. The 7000 Series is the premium line designed for the most demanding tasks. The XE series offers security and durability with high heat tolerance on top of everything else.

How does the Optiplex affect IT management?

One of the most important features is the Active Management Technology that comes with Intel vPro technology. This allows the IT department to manage the computer system remotely out-of-band, meaning independent from your organization's standard network. This active management technology allows for remote booting, remote powering up or down, console redirection, and the remote control of keyboard, video, and mouse (a KVM switch). Some models also come with Dell Client Command Suite, which streamlines deployment, monitoring, and configuration.

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