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.


Product Form Factor Ultra small form factor
Packaged Quantity 1
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
Type L2 cache
Per Processor Size 1 MB
Installed Size 1 MB
Memory Speed 400 MHz
Memory Specification Compliance PC2-3200
Features dual channel memory architecture
Technology DDR2 SDRAM
Installed Size 512 MB
Rated Memory Speed 400 MHz
Interface Type Serial ATA-150
Type none
Max Supported Size 2 GB
Form Factor DIMM 240-pin
Slots Qty 2
Empty Slots 1
Type none.
Audio & Video
Memory Allocation Technology Dynamic Video Memory Technology 3.0
Hard Drive
Interface Type SATA 1.5Gb/s
Spindle Speed 7200 rpm
Type HDD
Interface Class Serial ATA
Installed Qty 1
Capacity 160 GB
Type keyboard (on selected markets only), mouse (on selected markets only)
Storage Controller
Interface Type Serial ATA-150
Type Serial ATA
Installed Qty 1
Hard Drive (2nd)
Installed Qty None
Storage Controller (2nd)
Controller Interface Type ATA-100
Installed Qty 1
Optical Storage
Drive Type no optical drive
Installed Qty 1
Max Supported Qty 1
Type Pentium 4
Processor Number 530
Manufacturer Intel
Clock Speed 3.20 GHz
Floppy Drive
Type none
Storage Removable
Type none
Brand Dell
Product Line Dell OptiPlex
Model SX280
Packaged Quantity 1
Compatibility PC
Data Link Protocol Ethernet, Fast Ethernet, Gigabit Ethernet
Form Factor integrated
Compliant Standards WfM 2.0
Type personal computer
Hard Drive Capacity 40 GB
Monitor Type None.
Diagonal Size 17
Viewable Size 17 in
Graphics Controller
Form Factor integrated
Graphics Processor Intel GMA 900 Dynamic Video Memory Technology 3.0
Video Interfaces DVI
Form Factor tower
Manufacturer Form Factor ultra small form factor
Dimensions & Weight
Width 3.5 in
Depth 9.9 in
Height 10.4 in
Processor Socket LGA775 Socket
Data Bus Speed 800 MHz
Chipset Type Intel 915G Express
Audio Output
Form Factor integrated
Compliant Standards AC '97, High Definition Audio
Manufacturer Warranty
Type 3 years warranty
Type none
Environmental Standards
ENERGY STAR Certified 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)
Video Output
Graphics Processor Intel GMA 900
Graphics Processor Series Intel GMA
Video Interfaces DVI
Video Memory
Memory Allocation Technology Dynamic Video Memory Technology 3.0
Service & Support
Type 3 years warranty
Service & Support Details
Type limited warranty
Full Contract Period 3 years