xps vs. optiplex
January 28, 2011 7:58 AM   Subscribe

Any major difference between optiplex and xps? I'm getting quotes 3 basic machines, 2 power user machines and 1 power user laptop for a small non-profit. They gave me the first quotes and they ran pretty basic configurations, intel duo processors, all optiplexes... i went to the small business website and mades some amazing computers, XPS's with much better specs, and around the same price points (i5 or i7 processors). The dell rep just emailed me and said that xps's are gaming machines, not really for business... any thoughts?

The basic machines are just used for basic web browsing, ms office, email, maybe quickbooks)

The power user machines are used for video editing and some graphic design. (better processor, more RAM, bigger HD)

The laptop will be used for video processing to ustream for live events. and some video editing (more ram, processor, and fairly big HD)
posted by fozzie33 to Computers & Internet (8 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I think "gaming machines, not really for business" = stupid looking case. Hardware is hardware. Get the processor, ram, storage, and peripherals you need, and don't sweat where on the lineup they fall.

Business computers do come with slightly less trialware crap on them than their home computer line, if I recall correctly. Check the default warranties and make sure you're comfortable with them. Maybe pay for extra coverage on the laptop.
posted by jsturgill at 8:11 AM on January 28, 2011

Hardware isn't necessarily hardware. Many consumer grade computers/laptops will shit the bed after two or three years. My experience with the Optiplex/Latitude line is one where they become obsolete before they die. We've just finally retired some six year old Optiplex machines and they're still kicking, just not able run Windows 7 well. Hell, I think I could swat a HP Laserjet 4+ with my Latitude d610 and nothing would happen to either machine.
posted by charred husk at 8:17 AM on January 28, 2011

Response by poster: thats the main issue with these machines... they are going to have to last 4-5 years... the optiplexes look like older hardware, already obsolete... while the xps's have the newer chips, more ram...
posted by fozzie33 at 8:28 AM on January 28, 2011

Laptops are different. They have extreme heat issues and are usually treated roughly. Gaming desktops also have to deal with extreme heat, but presumably they are designed to overcome that challenge.

I've never seen desktops fail as a matter of course the way laptops fail. I've seen desktops fail due to electrical surges, crap power supplies, being transported roughly, and issues like the Great Transistor Failing of whenever it was. Pretty much any desktop should be good for years, absent serious design flaws that are unlikely to exist in an XPS system. I mean, gamers actually _game_. They spend hours and hours doing the most intensive thing modern computers can do. If there were design issues and heat building up inside the case, it would be a huge deal and immediately obvious.

So anyway. I'd feel comfortable buying an XPS-line computer for video editing in an office setting.
posted by jsturgill at 8:29 AM on January 28, 2011

Within desktops, fans and drives fail, of course. But those are simple elements to service, and as long as the problem is corrected before it multiplies, the desktop keeps on trucking.
posted by jsturgill at 8:31 AM on January 28, 2011

I worked for Dell for 4 years. My understanding at the time was that Opti/Latitude were "business" machines vs. Dimension/Inspiron because you could not buy the "business" line with the absolute latest-and-greatest stuff in them - the reason being that they would supposedly test the crap out of those rigs for "stability" because big businesses did not want bleeding edge stuff that might foobar sooner than later. Also, (at the time) optis/lats as a result were usually about 4 or 5 months behind the curve technologically speaking. Nowadays, theres Vostro for "small business" and Inspiron desktops, so i really have no frakkin idea what the deal is there with the branding. My understanding tho is that Alienware is definitely still for ubergamers, but i cant see how that could hurt you if you wanted a workhorse system with lots of blinky lights :)
posted by bitterkitten at 8:57 AM on January 28, 2011

Trust me get the xps machines. The dell xps machines are made much better then the optiplex machines.

Every single optiplex machine we have bought from dell have had their capacitors die . The xps machines are still running like tanks.

IF your looking for machines get the xps 8300 systems. They have the new sandybridge processors and should last the business a while. if you want to make sure get them the 3 year warranty.

if they are willing to spend the money on the xps systems they can even get american support.
posted by majortom1981 at 9:15 AM on January 28, 2011

It's not going to matter to you, but the theory of the Optiplex line is that the hardware will be guaranteed to be consistent for the particular models you order. For the size of your company, where you're ordering a handful of boxes, you probably don't care that much.

If you're a much larger company, ordering hundreds of these boxes, perhaps over many months, that will matter greatly in terms of training your IT staff to support these machines. All the Optiplexes can be specified to be exactly the same, rather than have slightly different components as you'll see with the consumer line (i.e., in the first 6 months of the year, Dell may use X for the video card, but use Y for the video card in the 2nd 6th months, even though they're all Dimension 4000s, for example).

But, as noted, your volume is low, and this won't matter.
posted by chengjih at 4:41 PM on January 28, 2011

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