Dell intros Optiplex 780 USFF, mini-PC with desktop parts

By on December 10, 2009, 2:55 PM
Dell has announced the "world's first fully functional" mini-PC. The Optiplex 780 USFF (Ultra Small Form Factor) measures just 24 x 24 x 6.5cm. While that's larger than other small systems like Apple's Mac mini, the Optiplex 780 USFF takes an unconventional design approach: it primarily uses desktop parts.

The Optiplex 780 USFF can be configured with dual-core Celeron, Pentium, and Core 2 Duo processors -- all of which are paired with GMA 4500 graphics. The system has an on-board 180W power supply with a 90% efficiency rating -- as opposed to an external brick.

The 780 USFF does rely on a few notebook-oriented parts though, like a 2.5" hard drive. A base configuration starts at $624 and features a 2.2GHz Celeron, 1GB of RAM, a 160GB HDD, Windows 7 and three years of on-site assistance.

Dell has also upgraded its Optiplex 3 series, replacing the 360 line with 380-branded machines. The new units use Intel's G41 chipset which opens the door to Core 2 Quad processors and DDR3 1066MHz RAM. Despite the change, pricing seems to be the same, with stock configurations ranging from $329 to $349.

User Comments: 14

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Guest said:

I'm guessing it also uses those tiny proprietary power supplies that seem to drop like flies and cost a fortune to replace. Had to scrap two older mini HP systems because a new power supply would cost more than the whole computer was worth, if you could even find one to replace it with.

pomonasi said:

in addition, i think the power supply would be external given that the case doesnt seem big enough to fit a standard psu.

pkww2 said:

All the new USFF systems are using the A/C adapter just like the one on notebook & netbooks (Aopen mini PC, etc), so replacement will be much easier. Not sure if this new Dell will do the same, if not, I will pass.. for sure.

guyver1 said:

if you look at the picture you'll see the power socket is sticking out the bottom of the monitor stand, meaning the PSU is in the monitor stand base by the looks of it. This would explain why the bottom half of the monitor stand is so big and square.

Timonius Timonius said:

Wow Dell! You just put the U back in UhhhGLY!

Guest said:


27" Apple iMac for Christmas for me please.

A similarily configured 780 (if even possible) would probably cost more for twice the ugliness and 2/3 the OS (Win7 vs OSX Snow Leopard).

saintbodhisatva said:

not very pretty. something so bulky should have better configurable internal specs.

BrownPaper said:

Any person who buys an all-in-one unit like a Mac or this Dell is a *****.

Build a real computer. Not these pansy Mac trash PCs.

compdata compdata, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Not such a fan of the all in one machines like this either. Maybe for a computer lab at school or something. But for me, i like to be able to replace my monitor and not my whole computer at the same time :-)

Vrmithrax Vrmithrax, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Always gotta laugh when the Apple fans have to throw their hat into a topic that has nothing to do with their precious Macs... And when comments like @brownpaper's pop in. Sometimes people should actually read and think before they post.

Seriously, only a "*****" (as you put it) would think that these are targeted at general consumers. Dell doesn't care if you want one for Christmas, or if you would rather buy a Mac - in fact, if you want a Mac, they don't want anything to do with you. What Dell DOES care about with this product is the corporate accounts - particularly the ones with deep pockets that are going to snap up hundreds (or thousands) of these units. They are tailor made for an office environment where you have a monitor taking up real estate anyhow, but don't want to have to deal with the tower and cable routing fun. Optiplex has always been a brand aimed more at enterprise customer bases than general consumers (like the Dimension, Inspiron, or XPS lines are). Just peeking at the basic specs would sort of hint that it's not exactly geared towards gaming or multimedia. And, @brownpaper, the whole point of THIS all-in-one is that it uses standard components, not custom crap you can't upgrade or fix yourself (as in a Mac or most other all-in-one PCs).

Guest said:

The PSU is inside the system, not in the stand.

Guest said:

I'd like to point out that it's technically not an all-in-one. It's an ultra small form factor. The monitor and computer can work independently of each other. The monitor stand is just designed to seat that particular USFF.

Matthew Matthew, TechSpot Staff, said:

Hence the name Optiplex 780 USFF .

Guest said:

Vrmithrax is so right. These are not for home users. It's like the fleet of cars that your local utility company likely owns and operates. They're not Audi S4s, are they? Probably some crappy chrysler product. Would that be YOUR dream car?

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