Rendezvous with the future

Planning to upgrade to Microsoft's new 64-bit operating system when it ships next year but need a new desktop machine right now? You might consider Dell's new OptiPlex GX620. It's got the hardware foundation you'll need to run the 64-bit environment next year, yet it can also handle the 32-bit software you depend on now.

The GX620 is primed for future needs with its huge memory capacity and powerful graphics. Plus, Intel's new chassis, motherboard and power supply design, called Balanced Technology Extended, achieves better thermal efficiency for the new breed of hotter-running parts, according to Dell.

The GX620 is based on the Intel 945G chipset, which features processors capable of 64-bit computing, Graphics Media Accelerator (GMA) 950 with up to 224M of shared video memory and Execute Disable Bit, a security feature that prevents certain kinds of buffer overflow viruses.

The GMA 950 graphics will help when you want to run that 64-bit Microsoft operating system, code named Longhorn and scheduled for release in 2006.

Our unit shipped with a 3.4 GHz Intel Pentium 4 processor 650, which is capable of 64-bit or 32-bit computing. The system is available with lower-priced Celeron D processors and will support Pentium D dual-core processors when they're available.

The GX620 is available in four chassis options, including mini-tower, which we reviewed; desktop; small; and ultra-small.

Dell's DirectDetect diagnostic tool uses four LEDs on the front of the chassis to identify up to 16 system health indicators.

We received an 80G Serial Advanced Technology Attachment hard drive, but the GX620 can accept Serial ATA drives ranging in size from 40G to 250G. Additionally, the 512M of DDR2 memory in our system is expandable to a whopping 4G.

One of the two 5.25-inch external drive bays in our unit contained a DVD-RW and CD-RW combination drive and the other was free. It also included one free 3.5-inch external drive bay and one free internal one.

You'll also get USB ports galore, with two USB 2.0 ports on the front and six in back.

We loved the excellent serviceability of this chassis. Most of the cables inside were either neatly tied together or held by strategically placed clips. Ribbon cables featured large loops on the ends for easy unplugging, and the hard drive slipped out easily with no tools.

The chassis also features a tool-free mechanism for holding up to four expansion cards in place without those tiny, annoying screws.

Our review unit costs $1,010 as configured, including an optical mouse. The systems come with a three-year, next-business-day, on-site service and OpenManage Client Instrumentation, a Dell application useful for managing remote desktop PCs and other devices.

The Fed 100

Save the date for 28th annual Federal 100 Awards Gala.

Featured

  • computer network

    How Einstein changes the way government does business

    The Department of Commerce is revising its confidentiality agreement for statistical data survey respondents to reflect the fact that the Department of Homeland Security could see some of that data if it is captured by the Einstein system.

  • Defense Secretary Jim Mattis. Army photo by Monica King. Jan. 26, 2017.

    Mattis mulls consolidation in IT, cyber

    In a Feb. 17 memo, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis told senior leadership to establish teams to look for duplication across the armed services in business operations, including in IT and cybersecurity.

  • Image from Shutterstock.com

    DHS vague on rules for election aid, say states

    State election officials had more questions than answers after a Department of Homeland Security presentation on the designation of election systems as critical U.S. infrastructure.

  • Org Chart Stock Art - Shutterstock

    How the hiring freeze targets millennials

    The government desperately needs younger talent to replace an aging workforce, and experts say that a freeze on hiring doesn't help.

  • Shutterstock image: healthcare digital interface.

    VA moves ahead with homegrown scheduling IT

    The Department of Veterans Affairs will test an internally developed scheduling module at primary care sites nationwide to see if it's ready to service the entire agency.

  • Shutterstock images (honglouwawa & 0beron): Bitcoin image overlay replaced with a dollar sign on a hardware circuit.

    MGT Act poised for a comeback

    After missing in the last Congress, drafters of a bill to encourage cloud adoption are looking for a new plan.

Reader comments

Please post your comments here. Comments are moderated, so they may not appear immediately after submitting. We will not post comments that we consider abusive or off-topic.

Please type the letters/numbers you see above

More from 1105 Public Sector Media Group