Ordering an Optiplex 380 Mini Tower

Discussion in 'Dell' started by jim_tehma (e-mail isn't checked), Apr 10, 2011.

  1. Hi, I'll be ordering an Optiplex 380 and dell's customization process
    made me wonder about a few of the options. I'll be using the machine
    for internet, internet video, dvd watching, cd, mp3, skype. Maybe
    transcode and burn a video a couple times a month. It doesn't matter
    if that takes 30 minutes more!

    1. CPU

    I see E7500, E7600 +$44, E8400 +$114. Is the E7500 fine for the things
    described above?

    2. PSU

    Is the 'Up to 88 Percent Efficient PSU [add $20.00]' worth it? If I
    add power consuming peripherals in the future, will the Efficient PSU
    handle them ok like the Standard PSUs in my previous DELLs?

    3. RAM

    Will 4 GB DDR3 1 DIMM be ok? I've selected 'Windows Home 32-bit.'

    4. Video Card

    I selected the DVI Adapter Card (+$10). Is it better than the
    integrated Intel GMA 4500 VGA as i think? I don't think a need an ATI/
    nVIDIA card ($64 over the DVI Card) for the things I do?

    5. Speakers

    Is the AX210 1.2W USB enough to listen to mp3s? The AX510 Sound Bar is
    +$10. I have an AX210 set now and they are fine.

    Other options: I selected the E2311H 23in monitor ($90 over the 19in),
    the 320 GB SATA HD ($8 over the 250 GB), 16x DVD+/-RW ($10 over the
    16x DVD-ROM). I can't imagine ordering the monitor alone will be
    cheaper? I also selected Windows Recovery Media (+$3), PowerDVD/Roxio
    Media (+$3), Resourse DVD (+$3) discs. But is the Windows Recovery
    disc a Windows disc? My friend ordered a 17r laptop in January and
    didn't receive a Windows disc but burned himself a Recovery disc. If
    you don't get a Windows disc why spend $3 for what you can burn
    yourself for 20 cents? Same for the 2 others. Can you burn the apps
    alone or you can burn them only as part of the Recovery disc?

    I don't see a NIC mentioned. It must be standard now-days?

    Thank you for any help. It's been a very long time since I ordered a

    jim_tehma (e-mail isn't checked), Apr 10, 2011
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  2. jim_tehma (e-mail isn't checked)

    Bob Villa Guest

    What you selected is fine for what you're doing...Windows 7 32bit can
    only utilize 3Gb's of ram. I have the monitor you selected...LED
    backlit and I like it. For $20 I would go for the better PSU.
    I got the DVD media (W7 and Drivers) when I order thu SB last month
    (nothing extra).
    Bob Villa, Apr 10, 2011
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  3. What you selected is fine for what you're doing...Windows 7 32bit can
    Yes, I'll order through SB. The 17r was ordered through Home.

    Is the '88 Percent Efficient PSU' really better or is it just a less
    powerful model? I can't find any specifications. If it's better I'll
    get it.

    What speakers do you have? Do you have the Sound Bar?


    jim_tehma (e-mail isn't checked), Apr 11, 2011
  4. 4. Video Card
    Any idea if the DVI card provides a better image? From what I
    understand the DVI card uses the Integrated Graphics system but gives
    you a DVI port to connect your monitor (E2311H 23in here)?


    jim_tehma (e-mail isn't checked), Apr 11, 2011
  5. Is the '88 Percent Efficient PSU' really better or is it just a less
    I found the following table when googling dell "88 Percent Efficient




    I don't know how correct this is, but it seems the Standard PSU is
    305W and the Efficient is 255W. Does that change the power of
    peripherals the PSU can handle? I see the DC specs are the same
    though. Any idea if the current supplied by the PSU to the computer is
    described in the DC specs?


    jim_tehma (e-mail isn't checked), Apr 11, 2011
  6. jim_tehma (e-mail isn't checked)

    Bob Villa Guest

    If this DVI card has no memory in it (haven't heard of that) then
    stick with integrated. My monitor looks the same connected DVI or VGA
    (clarity wise). I put a 512Mb ATI card in mine recently.
    Sounds like you can stick with the "less green" PSU. (higher
    wattage). Dell's PSU are suppose to be better than most vendors.
    Best of Luck!
    Bob Villa, Apr 11, 2011
  7. jim_tehma (e-mail isn't checked)

    Bob Villa Guest

    I use cheap old speakers.
    Bob Villa, Apr 11, 2011
  8. what is the overall price of the configuration that you have found?
    I think the vostro 460 is a much better value and it is significantly
    faster given the newer generation of processors that it uses. and these
    newer processors have much better integrated video as well.
    yes, even with the 32 bit os you should get 4gb of ram. there is a
    limit of about 4gb that windows 32bit can address, and from this total
    some things are deducted (such as the video ram space) so windows may
    not have the full 4gb available for use by applications, but it will
    likely have over 3gb, just not the full 4gb. and the way dell sells
    memory options is such that if you got some odd number amount of memory,
    say 3gb, then they you install three 1gb modules which means that it
    will not be working in dual channel mode which means a slight
    performance hit. so either just get 2gb and upgrade yourself with
    another 2gb later (probably for much less than dell wants), or go with 4gb.
    vostro 460 i5-2400 (3.1ghz quad core), Win7 Pro 32, 4gb, 500gb, hd 2000
    integrated graphics, dvdrw, 23" e2311h, keyboard, mouse, 15mo TrendMicro
    Start here:
    a similar config for the optiplex 380 with a e7500 (smaller 320gb hard
    disk, single 4gb ram module, windows 7 home not pro, 1mo trend, slower
    integrated video) is about $600. a perfectly good machine but already
    slow by today's standard and the unfortunately small disk making it
    undesirable for most home uses (particularly since you mention dvd
    editing). i5-2400 passmark is about 6113, and the e7500 passmark is
    about 2013 - a significant performance difference without even
    considering the better integrated video quality.
    yes, both of thee machine have integrated nics.
    Christopher Muto, Apr 11, 2011
  9. I selected the DVI Adapter Card (+$10). Is it better than the
    I'm not sure but I assume if it had memory, it'd be mentioned. The
    customize tool says:

    DVI (Digital) Adapter Card, Full Height [add $10.00]

    it seems like the difference is the dvi output instead of the vga. But
    since those look the same, no need to bother.


    jim_tehma (e-mail isn't checked), Apr 11, 2011
  10. jim_tehma (e-mail isn't checked)

    Ben Myers Guest

    Okay, so the Standard PSU is rated at 305w, so it can handle an
    aggregate wattage of devices UP TO 305 watts total current draw. The
    Efficient PSU is rated at 255w, so it can't handle quite as many
    devices. What is it about the "Efficient" PSU that makes it
    efficient, except for the name? It sure would be nice if Dell told us
    more about this PSU, but that is wishful thinking. I am inclined to
    think that "Efficient" is mostly a marketing buzz word, and I am being
    too kind in characterizing it as such. Odds are it is simply a
    cheaper and less capable PSU.

    Every power supply has some level of power loss in converting 110v AC
    to 5v, 12v, 3.3v and whatever other DC voltages are required. The
    power loss manifests itself mostly as heat from the PSU.

    Unfortunately, there is no easy way to calculate or measure how many
    watts a system consumes. So suffice it to say that the Efficient PSU
    may limit how much can be added onto a system in the form of added
    memory, another hard drive or optical drive, an add-in card, or even a
    faster CPU... Ben Myers
    Ben Myers, Apr 11, 2011
  11. what is the overall price of the configuration that you have found?

    it's $600 something.
    the reason I chose the optiplex over the vostro is I assume (from
    discussions 3-5 years ago) the optiplex is of higher build quality.
    not anymore?
    there is an offer until 4/13 for a free upgrade to 4 gb. the
    configuration tool says: 4GB DDR3 Non-ECC SDRAM,1333MHz, (1 DIMM)
    [Included in Price] Free Upgrade
    I'll check it out now and i'll post again. should I check the vostro
    230 too or is that like the same as the optiplex 380?

    one thing I was wondering now is, is it cheaper to get a monitor-free
    system and buy the monitor (E2311H) alone? I'll use the optiplex I was
    looking at for this example. if you select the no-monitor optiplex,
    the E1910H is +$139. if you look at the optiplex with-monitor the
    E2311H is +$90 from the E1910H. 139 + 90 = 229. however the E2311H
    alone is $189: http://accessories.us.dell.com/sna/productdetail.aspx?c=us&l=en&s=bsd&cs=04&sku=320-1750
    .. and the warranty is also 3 years.


    jim_tehma (e-mail isn't checked), Apr 11, 2011
  12. Okay, so the Standard PSU is rated at 305w, so it can handle an
    Have you seen anyone that tried to connect the same number of
    peripherals with the Efficient PSU that the Regular PSU could handle
    and failed?

    Anyone else here?

    and it isn't cheaper. it is +$20 for the optiplex 380 and +$30 for the
    optiplex 960.
    does the wattage rating make a difference though when the power of the
    converted current (3.3, 5 and 12v) is the same? I'm wondering does the
    "Efficient" means the power of the current after the conversion is the
    same with the Normal PSU even though the wattage is lower and because
    the conversion is in an "Efficient" PSU less heat is dissipated and
    less energy is wasted and that makes it more "Efficient"?

    Sorry if I said something totally stupid in the end! How PSUs work is
    not my area. I don't want anyone to start pulling his hair when he/she
    reads this!


    jim_tehma (e-mail isn't checked), Apr 11, 2011
  13. jim_tehma (e-mail isn't checked)

    Pen Guest

    From my read of the Dell poop I agree with you. The 2
    supplies have identical outputs, just different input power
    Pen, Apr 11, 2011
  14. i guess you could argue that the optiplex has a higher build quality but
    it is minimal at best and you pay for it. mostly what you get with an
    optiplex over a vostro or inspiron for that matter is a machine that is
    certified to be compatible in enterprise environments, that has a much
    longer product life cycle (so if you are trying to install 500 machines
    you can do 50 each moth for 10 months and the same hardware will be
    available at the begining and end of the project rollout), and embeded
    network management tools - in other words a bunch of stuff that you
    probalby don't need. but the optiplex 380 is quieter than a vostro 460.
    the 460 is pretty quiet, but the 380 is nearly slient.

    the vostro 230 is more like the optiplex 380 in terms of technology
    (processor offerings) so it is a more apples to apples comparison. and
    the same comments from above apply. another advantage of the vostro
    over the optiplex is the larger hard disks offered in the configurations
    from dell. of course you can always install your own disk or use an
    external one, but why if you can buy the machine with the capacity that
    you need/want. but unless you are on a tight budget or just don't want
    to spend a lot on a computer then i would pay the couple of hundred more
    and get the i5-2400 over the e7500 based machine and it should last you
    a bit longer. the i5-2400 rocks.
    Christopher Muto, Apr 12, 2011
  15. i suspect the name is because it efficiently separates money from the
    customer as we feel compelled to choose items that are supposedly kind
    to the environment.
    Christopher Muto, Apr 12, 2011
  16. vostro 460 i5-2400 (3.1ghz quad core), Win7 Pro 32, 4gb, 500gb, hd 2000
    ok, I checked all 3. here are the results:

    - Optiplex 380 Mini Tower

    e7500 3mb cache, win home 32, 3 years basic, 4 gb ddr3, e2311h, 320 gb
    sata, intel 4500, 16x dvdrw, ax210 = $619

    - Vostro 460 Mini Tower

    i5-2400 6mb cache, win pro 32, 3 years basic, 4 gb ddr3, e2311h, 500
    gb sata, intel 2000, 16x dvdrw, ax210 = $884

    with 2gb ddr3 (2 dimms) is $824 (-$60). 2 more gb from crucial is $32.
    so, $824 + 32 = 856. they also offer a ballistix module. any idea what
    is this? the 460, also, has a 1 year basic warranty. it's +$90 for 3

    - Vostro 230 Mini Tower

    e7500 3mb cache, win home 64, 3 years basic, 3 gb ddr3, e2311h, 320 gb
    sata, intel 4500, 16x dvdrw, ax210 = $632

    win home premium 32 is the same $ as win home 32. the 230, also, has a
    1 year basic warranty. it's +$68 for 3 years. with a 250gb hard disk
    it's $602 (-$30). 1 more gb from crucial is $16.

    so, the 460 is $265 or $237 if you get a 2 gb ddr3 and a 1gb dimm from
    crucial. I understand the i5-2400 is a better cpu but is it worth it
    that premium for my uses? I mostly use it for internet, dvd watching,
    and music listening. and maybe edit/burn a couple dvds a month.

    what do you think?


    jim_tehma (e-mail isn't checked), Apr 12, 2011
  17. please ignore the above for a while. now the 460 shows different
    jim_tehma (e-mail isn't checked), Apr 12, 2011
  18. please ignore the above for a while. now the 460 shows different
    oh, ok. there was a $25 discrepancy. it's the ax210 speakers. the
    numbers are ok.
    jim_tehma (e-mail isn't checked), Apr 12, 2011
  19. i can't quite follow all that, and true to dell they have you comparing
    dell to dell in stead of dell to hp or asus or something else...
    but you have identified that there is about $150 difference in getting
    the more expensive vostro 460 for which you get a processor that is
    about 3 times faster and a video card that is probably twice as fast not
    to mention the additional memory and larger hard disk.
    i am not big on the extended warranty as i can troubleshoot a problem
    myself and there the only part that is going to cost possibly $100 is
    the motherboard, and the far more likely things to fail are the hard
    disk or power supply or dvdrw of which each well are under $50. my time
    spent trying to convince dell that the part requires replacement and the
    aggravation of being treated badly by them is worth more to me than $50
    price of a replacement part that I can have the same day. and no matter
    what warranty you choose, 1, 2, or 3 year the monitor still has a three
    year warranty. the only problem is that you have to know this otherwise
    they will not talk to you about warranty service because once the
    machine is out of warranty they want to charge you to talk to technical
    support (seriously enforced in the home division but not as much in the
    business division)... once out of the machine warranty period they have
    to create a temporary service tag number for the monitor (as if it is
    connected to some machine that has a three year warranty) before they
    will process the tech support call. but i understand that some people
    would rather have a warranty including an on site service plan for
    repairs to be done by someone else.
    i think the vostro 460 with the i5-2400, a processor that is two
    generations of processors newer than the e series is worth the extra
    money. is is a large percentage price more but not a lot of dollars
    more particularly if you are going to go for the warranty.
    but it comes down to what you want to spend. you can get an inexpensive
    vostro 230 with the 23" monitor for as little as $460 or the vostro 460
    i suggested for $769. nearly 70% more but only $300.
    my inclination is to compare the extremes to help make the decision more
    black and white and easier to make.
    ps. if paid by credit card most credit card companies will extend your
    original warranty for up to an additional year. call you credit card
    company to find out what their policy is.
    Christopher Muto, Apr 12, 2011
  20. ps. start here for a cheap vostro 230 in a full (not slim) mini tower...
    vostro 230 mini tower, e5800, win7 home premium 32 (or 64 if you want
    it), 3gb, dvdrw, 250gb (+30 for 320, +50 for 500), e2311h, 1 year wty,
    15mo trend mirco, $429. +$35 for a speaker bar, +80 for e7500 and so on...
    Christopher Muto, Apr 12, 2011
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