I often get asked why a Dell Optiplex business PC is so much more expensive than the headline prices advertised in the press or at your local supermarket. As with most things the increased price is down to increased quality and, more specifically in the case of Dell, quality control. When it comes to Dell desktops you have a few options; Vostro, Optiplex and Precision (plus a couple more gaming orientated ones). To the layman it can be confusing to see what the difference is and why two machines with similar spec can cost differing amounts. The explanation I was given by a Dell account manager is as follows; the Vostro uses new to market components that may be faster but haven’t had quite as much testing as the Optiplex. The Vostro can also be lacking in terms of a quality feel and less substantial cases. Furthermore they have a much faster turnaround with their product cycle, releasing new versions months apart, thus making it difficult to plan on rollouts within a business. All bar the basic Optiplex’s come with a 3 year warranty giving some peace of mind over the 1 year warranty on the Vostro.
The default business option in my opinion is the Optiplex, this has a defined product lifecycle and all the components are tried and tested but more importantly, tested to work together. This gives much better reliability and therefore value for money as you can run an Optiplex for much longer than an equivalent Vostro. This has been evident with some of our clients having 7-8 year old Optiplex’s that are still in active use (albeit in less demanding roles).
Finally you have the Precision. The Optiplex is designed as a workhorse for more demanding office uses such as CAD design and has features such redundant components available on the options list. The Precision range has the same type of product lifecycle as an Optiplex with long timescales allowing you to plan your rollouts.