First Take: Dell Optiplex SX280

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Dell Optiplex SX280
Dell's Optiplex SX280 is a business desktop PC featuring a plethora of cutting edge technologies. Read our Australian first take.

In response to Intel unveiling its latest chipset, Dell released a range of business PCs that support the chip manufacturing giant's latest architecture. In the small form factor space, Dell's offering is the Optiplex SX280 -- a PC featuring Intel's 915G Express chipset, a Pentium 4 500 series processor (520, 530, or 540), and a GMA900 video controller. 256 to 2GB of shared DDR2 SDRAM can be installed, alongside a 40-250GB Serial ATA hard disk drive.

Upside: The SX280 features an ultra small form factor chassis that weighs about 4.8kg and takes up a tiny amount of desk space. The chassis can be hidden away behind an LCD, if purchased in conjunction with an optional stand from Dell. The all-in-one stand is adjustable in height and designed to hold a 15- 17-inch monitor as well as the chassis (which is held in place by a removable bolt). Cables protruding from side of the chassis are managed by a clip-on section which routes all cables out through the same hole. There are seven USB ports (two on the front and five on the rear), as well as Ethernet, serial, parallel, and audio ports.

Downside: The motherboard on Dell's Optiplex SX280 only allows DDR2 SDRAM to be installed. Businesses with spare DDR RAM lying around won't be able to use the legacy memory to upgrade SX280 PCs.

Outlook: The Optiplex SX280's design certainly isn't as striking and charming as, for example, Apple's iMac, but at a starting price of AU$1,269 you can't expect too much. But does the SX280 sacrifice performance for small size? We'll have the full details on the SX280 shortly.


Desktop type Monitor included, Small-form-factor PC
Packaged Quantity 1
Type Personal computer
Product Form Factor Ultra small form factor
Processor / Chipset
CPU Intel Pentium 4 530 / 3 GHz
Data Bus Speed 800 MHz
Chipset Type Intel 915G Express
Processor Main Features Hyper-Threading Technology
Processor Socket LGA775 Socket
Cache Memory
Installed Size L2 cache - 1 MB
Cache Per Processor 1 MB
Interface Type Serial ATA-150
Type none
Installed Size 256 MB / 2 GB (max)
Memory Speed 400 MHz
Memory Specification Compliance PC2-3200
Features dual channel memory architecture
Max Supported Size 2 GB
Form Factor DIMM 240-pin
Slots Qty 2
Empty Slots 1
Audio & Video
Memory Allocation Technology Dynamic Video Memory Technology 3.0
Hard Drive
Type HDD
Interface Type SATA 1.5Gb/s
Spindle Speed 7200 rpm
Type keyboard, mouse
Storage Controller
Interface Type Serial ATA-150
Storage Controller (2nd)
Type 1 x IDE - integrated
Controller Interface Type ATA-100
Installed Qty 1
Max Supported Qty 1
Floppy Drive
Type none
Data Link Protocol Ethernet, Fast Ethernet, Gigabit Ethernet
Form Factor integrated
Compliant Standards WfM 2.0
Monitor Type None.
Diagonal Size 17
Viewable Size 17 in
Dimensions & Weight
Width 3.5 in
Depth 9.9 in
Height 10.4 in
Graphics Controller
Form Factor integrated
Graphics Processor Intel GMA 900 Dynamic Video Memory Technology 3.0
Video Interfaces DVI
Manufacturer Warranty
Type 3 years warranty
Audio Output
Form Factor integrated
Compliant Standards AC '97, High Definition Audio
Type none
Environmental Standards
ENERGY STAR Qualified Yes
Physical Characteristics
Form Factor tower
Type power adapter
Operating System / Software
OS Provided: Type Microsoft Windows XP Professional
OS Provided Microsoft Windows XP Professional
Type Drivers & Utilities, Microsoft Office Basic Edition 2003, Norton Internet Security (90 days subscription)

Topics: Dell, Intel

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