Answered Recommend a small desktop?, such as the Dell Optiplex

mistikempire

Active Member
Hello everyone!
I am after a desktop which wont take up to much space for my mother, who will place the desktop in her small computer room.S

She does the usual stuff online, writting letters, browsing, online shopping etc, so altough not in need of a high spec gaming laptop, i would like it to still be rapidly fast for her and also not too loud! The current desktop is like a flying jet!

After browsing the forum, the Dell Optiplex which is very small and ideal! There was one on the classifieds but its just been sold, so i have seen a few on ebay.

The one i was looking at had an Intel Core i7-4790, 8GB DDR3, 500GB HDD for around £320.

Are these recommended? or any other suggestions?
 

EndlessWaves

Distinguished Member
Optiplex is Dell's business range and comprises dozens of different models, presumably you saw one of the older USFF or newer Micro models?

Fujitsu also do a Q range of MiniPCs with the recent generations being the Q510/Q910, Q520/Q920 and Q556/Q956 and variants.

Ideally you want one with an SSD instead of a hard drive for maximum snappiness.
 
Last edited:

mistikempire

Active Member
Optiplex is Dell's business range and comprises a dozens of different models, presumably you saw one of the older USFF or newer Micro models
Hi
Firstly thank you for the reply, it was the HTPC Dell Optiplex 9020 USFF if that helps? is there a way i could find out if that is the older version or if any newer are available?

I will also look into the Fujitsu models you suggested and make sure it has a SSD, if not though i am guessing i can upgrade this?
 

EndlessWaves

Distinguished Member
Hi
Firstly thank you for the reply, it was the HTPC Dell Optiplex 9020 USFF if that helps? is there a way i could find out if that is the older version or if any newer are available?
020 is about three revisions old, Dell's site currently sells 040 and 050 models as brand new. The first number just signifies where in the range it is, so a 9020 will have more ports and possibly faster configurations available than a 7020, 5020 or 3020.

The newer Micro that replaces the USFF models is much smaller (IIRC about a third of the size) but it does use a laptop-style external power brick so it's not quite as neat as the older ones.

Nothing should be noisy for the use you're talking about where it's spending most of it's time waiting for user input rather than running non-stop.

Maybe in tens years time it'll be noisy when the fan bearings are worn, the temperatures are raised by dust and it has to run flat out just to keep up with the web but it's difficult to find information on how noisy systems are at their maximum possible fan speed.

There's a lot of choice these days in MiniPCs, HP do Prodesk Mini and Elitedesk Mini systems as well. There's also a lot of home models to choose from but they tend to use weaker laptop processors. With the laptop being the mainstream platform of choice they're obviously capable of doing what you want. They're often not much cheaper though so while a lot of people rave about options like the Intel NUC range I don't personally see the appeal.

i am guessing i can upgrade this?
Yeah, it's about £75 for a 240GB SSD at the moment.
 

mistikempire

Active Member
EndlessWave thank you very much for the extremly helpful post.
Thanks to you, i now have a better understand of the Optiplex models.

I have checked out the newer model which you said, which i believe is the OptiPlex 7050.
However the highest processessor which it comes with is the Intel i7-7700T (Benchmark 9361)

This still falls behind the benchmark score (10000) of the i7-4790 processoser in the Optiplex 9020 (4th Gen)

Am i safe in saying that the 9020 would be a better buy? and as you said more neat.

Their is one currently for sale at £280
Optiplex 9020
i7-4790
8GB
500GB HDD
Windows 7 pro
1yr warranty
AMD Radeon R7200 2GB DDR3


Would you say this is a good buy mate? I am in not much of a rush, so if you nor i dont mind holding out.
I would upgrade the HDD to a SDD and if possible upgrade the 8GB memory too
 

EndlessWaves

Distinguished Member
I have checked out the newer model which you said, which i believe is the OptiPlex 7050.
However the highest processessor which it comes with is the Intel i7-7700T (Benchmark 9361)

This still falls behind the benchmark score (10000) of the i7-4790 processoser in the Optiplex 9020 (4th Gen)

Am i safe in saying that the 9020 would be a better buy? and as you said more neat.
I guess you're talking about passmark scores there? That's a synthetic benchmark rather than a real life one. It's often not exact even for uses where CPU performance is a big factor, for more common stuff you want to put a huge margin of error on those numbers. If one is more than 20% different it might be worth taking notice of, anything less should be ignored.

You can easily find other synthetic benchmarks showing the 7700T slightly ahead of the 4790, e.g. here:
UserBenchmark: Intel Core i7-4790 vs i7-7700T

Even if it was 6% slower then all else being equal I'd be inclined to go for the newer CPU. Not only will it have optimisations to make it faster in some areas, in this case the latest video formats will use far less CPU power while playing, but it'll put out less heat too so the fans can run slower and more quietly.

Their is one currently for sale at £280
Optiplex 9020
i7-4790
8GB
500GB HDD
Windows 7 pro
1yr warranty
AMD Radeon R7200 2GB DDR3

Would you say this is a good buy mate? I am in not much of a rush, so if you nor i dont mind holding out.
Given the graphics card (likely an R7 240 or R7 250) that's almost certainly the larger SFF chassis rather than the USFF model, possibly even the full sized MT/Mini Tower (mini only in comparison to large workstation/server cases).

You'd want to upgrade it from Windows 7 sooner or later as well, security fixes are scheduled to stop in two and a half years (January 2020).

The 4790 will have been the hottest CPU in that computer model so while I'd expect the noise to be much less than jet engine levels it could well be constantly there instead of quiet enough to fade into the background. I don't have any personal experience with the 9020 though so I can't judge how good it's cooling system is or how nice the fan noise sounds. The character of the fan noise is often far more important in determining how nice a system is to live with than it's measured volume.

With the caveat about the noise I'd say that seems like a good system for the price.
 

mistikempire

Active Member
Oh wow, I never knew that about benchmark scores before, for years i have literally being going off that, to decide how good the processors are, so this has really been an eye opener.
So from what i understand, any two processors with less then 20% difference, wont have too much of a difference.

Sorry this might seem like a silly question, but 4790 being the hottest CPU do mean in terms of like hottest as in one of the best :) or in terms of heat?

Endlesswaves, The seller selling that Optiplex that i mentioned also has another with the exact same specs, the only thing is it doesnt have an operating system on it. I might be able to get that for a cheaper price and then get someone to upload windows 10 or something, if thats any better?
However that one does not have the AMD Radeon R7200, But instead has a AMD RADEON GRAPHICS CARD 109-C55257-01_02
 

EndlessWaves

Distinguished Member
Oh wow, I never knew that about benchmark scores before, for years i have literally being going off that, to decide how good the processors are, so this has really been an eye opener.
So from what i understand, any two processors with less then 20% difference, wont have too much of a difference.
The 20% is just a figure I plucked out of the air as a guideline, the point is that different processor designs are different relative speeds in different tasks. If processor A is 5% faster in passmark than processor B that doesn't mean it'll be 5% faster in everything, in a different workload it could be 10% slower.

To give a real world example consider the Ryzen 5 1600X and the Core i5-7600K. The passmark score on the 1600X is 41% higher, but if you look at a set of game benchmarks such as this one you'll find the i5-7600k produces better results almost every time. Crysis 3 being the only exception there.

That's an unusually large example but any single number is never going to be any more than a very rough guide to performance for a home computer expected to do different things.

The other factor is that small differences in performance generally aren't noticeable. One or two hundred percent faster is easily noticable. If something that look three seconds now takes one seconds it feels a lot better. A 9% difference in performance means something takes 2.8 seconds instead of 3 seconds, which feels exactly the same.

Sorry this might seem like a silly question, but 4790 being the hottest CPU do mean in terms of like hottest as in one of the best :) or in terms of heat?
I meant temperature-wise but it puts out the most heat because for that system it has the most cores and the highest clockspeed, which also produce the most performance (compared to other CPUs using the same design).

Endlesswaves, The seller selling that Optiplex that i mentioned also has another with the exact same specs, the only thing is it doesnt have an operating system on it. I might be able to get that for a cheaper price and then get someone to upload windows 10 or something, if thats any better?
However that one does not have the AMD Radeon R7200, But instead has a AMD RADEON GRAPHICS CARD 109-C55257-01_02
Microsoft do still offer the free Windows 10 upgrade from windows 7 for anyone using the accessibility features (magnifier, text to speech, larger text sizes etc. etc.)

That appears to be the same GPU, possibly with a slightly earlier 8570 branding. It doesn't really add much to what the integrated graphics are capable of. Although as I say the smallest USFF systems don't have an expansion slot as far as I'm aware (my Optiplex 790 doesn't) so that's also likely to be either the MT or SFF variant.
 

mistikempire

Active Member
@EndlessWaves
I fully understand now what you mean about the processors.
I really did not that and have learnt something new today! hopefully your post will help many people like me.

If that is the case, I would probably be more inclined to go for the the newer CPU as like you said, it will have optimisations to make it faster in some areas and will use far less CPU power while playing.

I wont badger your head in anymore :) But wanted to say Thank you, for yourself taking the time
to share your knowledge.

Much appreciated mate
Thank you!
 

mistikempire

Active Member
@EndlessWaves

Hi mate
I just want to say thanks to you, i really learnt more about the Dell Optiplex range, since we last spoke i have been researching and researching and become alittle guru Well not that much haha.

I now what you ment about micro, and small form factor.
It was indeed the Micro range i would like not sff, so literally so happy i stopped just in time.

I wanted to share that i have just purchase the
Optiplex 3050mff, with a 7th Gen i5-7500T Kaby Lake
128GB SSD
4GB

I managed to pick it up for £400 new with warranty, but yes once again just wanted to let you know your knowledge which you shared did not go to waste

Kind regards
Micheal
 

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