Product Type: Dell PC desktops
Newest Review: ... speed is relitively quick and it has the added bonus of having both windows vista and an intel core duo processor. I also like the dfa... more
Still going after 4 years!
Dell Optiplex GX1 450-MHz
Member Name: r_welfare
Dell Optiplex GX1 450-MHz
Date: 22/03/03, updated on 01/06/03 (5889 review reads)
Advantages: Small desktop case, very reliable
Disadvantages: Getting old now, does anyone buy secondhand computers any more?
I bought my Dell Optiplex GX1 PC in July 1999. It was secondhand and around a year old at that stage. As I recall, it set me back around £450. For this I got a 350Mhz genuine (none of this Celeron rubbish!) Intel Pentium II processor, 64Mb of RAM, a 4.3Gb hard disk, 36 speed CD-ROM drive, built-in sound and graphics, and a 17" Dell SVGA colour monitor.
I am still using the machine to this day, and it's never let me down. In the meantime I've upgraded to a 400Mhz PII processor, and disabled the onboard graphics and sound to run a 16Mb 3DFX Voodoo Banshee graphics card and SoundBlaster 16 soundcard (I like games, you see). Also at some point I extended the RAM to 192Mb.
I've had very few problems with it, and it runs everything I want (Windows ME, the Office utilities, the Web, Outlook, and a number of racing games) perfectly well. Although considered quite old-tech in these days of Pentium 4 processors, it does everything I want it to and still runs the latest games at a fair old lick (probably a result of having a decent graphics card).
Dell run an excellent support section to their website - on the back of the machine there is a five-digit "unique" code which you can enter and will give details of all the downloads and support particular to your machine. I've only ever used the site for downloading new drivers, and when I was trying to configure the built-in Ethernet network card.
Dell have a good reputation for quality systems at a low price, and if I was in the mood to upgrade (no real need at the moment as I have a Playstation 2 to handle all my gaming needs) I would certainly consider one of their new machines. When I bought this one I didn't have a Dell in mind, but it was one of the few machines available in a desktop (i.e. the computer itself lies flat so the monitor can sit on top) case, rather than a tower. Also, the case design is very clever in that it needs no screws undoing - simply
press two buttons on the side and the cover is released so it can be lifted away. Inside everything is easy to get at, although on the desktop model there's not a lot of room for expansion.
Overall, an excellent machine, and I would recommend it to anyone as a sound secondhand buy.
Update 1.6.03 - I've recently acquired another Optiplex (for free!) which used to be the server at work. This one is identical to my current one, but is in a mini-tower case. This has loads of expansion slots and drive bays, and features the same kind of clever design as the desktop - press a button on the front and the side panel hinges up and away for access.
One thing I didn't mention about both machines is upgrading the processor. If you use a non-Dell fan on your heatsink then on bootup you get an error message that reads "Alert! Previous fan failure". This despite there being a fan! This is the only annoyance I guess, and a relatively minor one at that.