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

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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.

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