Dell Optiplex 980 review

In a world where everything is getting smaller we take a look to see what Dell's full-featured Optiplex 980 has to offer.

Dell Optiplex 980

Miniturisation seems to be the buzzword in the world of business PCs. Systems like the Lenovo ThinkCentre M90 and Gateway DS50 seem determined to provide every feature you might need in cases that keep getting smaller and, while these are admirable feats, there are some occasions when you just need a full system to get the job done. Step forward the Dell Optiplex 980.

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It's an imposing system that certainly looks the part. The front is partly covered in a tough metallic mesh, with removable parts made from glossy black plastic, and the side panels and various struts and supports feel as solid as anything we've seen from Lenovo's excellent ThinkCentre range.

The Dell impresses on a practical level, too. The front serves up four USB 2 ports and six more on the rear alongside eSATA, two PS/2 sockets, D-SUB and DisplayPort outputs alongside parallel and serial inputs.

Much stock has been placed in the Dell's security features, too: the interior boasts a TPM 2.1 module and tamper detection switch alongside a jumper on the motherboard that can bypass the administrator password and, to even get inside of the machine, you'll need to use a handle that can be fastened with a padlock.

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The interior looks vastly different from that of the average PC. For a start, the motherboard is on the "wrong" side of the case, and its layout is markedly different from that of the average ATX board. The four DIMM sockets are aligned horizontally rather than vertically along the green PCB, and the backplate is opposite the LGA 1156 processor socket rather than along the side of the board.

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