Comparison of Optiplex Desktops and Precision Workstations

Enterprise Client - Wiki

Comparison of Optiplex Desktops and Precision Workstations

Enterprise Client - Wiki

The following was authored by John Pate, End User Computing

Comparison between OptiPlex Desktops PC and Precision Workstations

What are the differences between a desktop PC and a workstation?

Many people call all computers “workstations”, but the truth is they are very different. What are these differences? A good place to start this discussion is by looking at attributes of these product lines and their associated positioning:

· OptiPlex is Dell’s mainstream corporate desktop for productivity users who value stability, manageability, and corporate security.

· Precision also provides stability, manageability, and corporate security but adds higher performance, greater scalability, faster graphics, high availability options, and ISV certifications.

Who needs an OptiPlex desktop?

OptiPlex systems are targeted towards mainstream workers that need basic to medium performance for office level computing. With large deployments, space may be limited for some environments so OptiPlex offers several chassis sizes to provide maximum flexibility. Performance may be important for some of these users, but acquisition price will typically be a limiting factor.

Who needs a Precision workstation?

Precision workstations are targeted toward key personnel such as engineers, medical researchers, digital content creation workers, R&D, etc. where high performance and high reliability are required. These users will typically spend much of their work day using a single or limited number of applications to perform mission critical work. In most cases, their work is time sensitive and delays could impact completion dates of projects. Therefore, the highest levels of performance and application reliability are needed. Being able to perform their work quickly and accurately can have a substantial impact on the bottom line. Things to consider when making a decision on whether to purchase a Precision workstation include:

· Performance and Scalability: Precision systems offer the highest performance processors (including multicore dual Xeons), additional memory, more storage, and the ability to populate several add-in cards.

· Graphics: Precision graphics support Open GL and high performance 3D video for complex CAD/CAM, Life sciences, or Digital content creation work. Precision also offers support for multi-monitor environments such as financial traders.

· High Availability: Users that need the highest levels of availability should choose Precision workstations that offer the option to obtain higher reliability SAS hard drives, storage redundancy using RAID, ECC memory, and redundant power supplies (R5500 only).

· ISV Certifications: The term 'certified', an industry standard label, is granted by workstation software companies to hardware partners that meet their specific standards. Application vendors run tests to insure the hardware platform and its individual components work without error. By eliminating the issue of incompatibility, both software and hardware vendors help reduce troubleshooting and resolution time and can get their customers back to business quickly.

Attributes Shared by Precision and OptiPlex

Whether the purchase criteria are performance or acquisition price, most large organizations focus on the total cost of ownership. These customers have complex environments where internal applications, network compatibility, and security must be tested and qualified before a system can be introduced into a workgroup. Change increases risk and must be carefully evaluated before introduced into an organization. Hardware stability is important in these environments since common parts can reduce learning curves of becoming familiar with new systems and also reduces the complexity of parts management. Shared Attributes include:

· Long lifecycles: Stability allows Dell customers to standardize on a single platform and lock on the hardware and image for an extended period of time without changes. For Latitude and OptiPlex, our mainstream systems are available for at least 15 months without hardware changes

· Managed transitions: When the replacement system is introduced, 60-90 days of overlap is offered where the current and new system are both available. This allows time for customers to receive the new system, load their custom image, and test it before deploying it into their environment.

· Global Standard Products: Global customers can obtain the same hardware on a worldwide basis.

· Advanced systems management: Features provide one-to-many and out of band (OOB) capabilities with Intel vPro, Intel Standard Manageability, Broadcom TruManage, and ASF.

· Legacy Operating Systems: Support for the latest operating systems and legacy OS’s such as XP and Vista.

· Support Options: Corporate support options such as same day onsite support, self-maintainer, keep your own hard drive, image installation on the HD from the factory, asset tagging, longer warranties, etc.

· Imaging & updates: All Dell systems have drivers and BIOS updates available online for easy downloads. Documentation is also available on the Dell site for easy availability.

· Deployment services: Options for services such as multipack (several systems in a single box) and reduced documentation ship the systems without DVDs or user’s guides.

· Labor costs: Dell hardware is designed to be easy to deploy and service. Keep in mind most of the leading analyst organizations claim that 70% of the costs of running a PC are upkeep, not acquisition. To reduce upkeep costs Dell provides tool-less desktop chassis, common hardware color coding, and designs that allow for easy access to commonly access components.

Comments
  • "Legacy Operating Systems: Support for the latest operating systems and legacy OS’s such as XP and Vista." apparently that's not the case as I was just told that Dell doesn't have the Windows 7 CAB files for the Optiplex 740.

  • 02/20/2014 12:38:24PM Agent (CEBg_Alexandre_244407): "David , it seems that the older 740 system is indeed no longer listed to have available cab files. You may want to contact our fee based dell solutions stations software experts fro this."