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Dell PC Chassis Options

With the 2009 LINK PC Ordering Moratorium nearing, there have been some questions about the different types of Dell PC Chassis available.  Dell offers more than three options for their OptiPlex 760 line, but Automation only orders the Small Minitower, the Desktop and the Small Form Factor.

When you order new computers, you should consider what type of chassis will work best for your furniture.  Your furniture may present space, height and ventilation concerns.  You will need to decide if you want your PC standing upright or on its side.  Is there enough room for the PC to be on its side?  Will the monitor be too high if it's set on top of the PC?  Can the PC be set on the floor?  Does it need to fit inside an enclosure?

Keep in mind that Dell PCs require a minimum 4" clearance on all vented sides of the PC.  If the PC is set inside an enclosure, the front and back sides of the enclosure should allow a minimum of 30% air flow.  Poor ventilation can cause decreased performance and overheating. 

Dell_PCs2

(From L to R: Small Minitower, Desktop, Small Form Factor)

Small Minitower
  • Dimensions (HxWxD):  16.10" x 7.36" x 17.52"
  • Memory Slots:  4 slots, allowing a total system memory of 8 GB
  • USB 2.0 Ports:  2 front, 6 rear
  • Audio line-in/line-out:  1 front, 1 rear
  • Hard Drives Supported:  2
  • Optical Drive Bays:  2
  • Expansion Slots: 2 full height PCI, 1 PCIe x16 (for optional graphics card), 1 PCIe x1
The Small Minitower should stand upright.  It's sturdy enough to be placed on the floor if needed.  It can technically be set on its side, but the monitor placed on top will likely be too high for the user.

Desktop

  • Dimensions (HxWxD):  15.65" x 4.59" x 14.25"
  • Memory Slots:  4 slots, allowing a total system memory of 8 GB
  • USB 2.0 Ports:  2 front, 6 rear
  • Audio line-in/line-out:  1 front, 1 rear
  • Hard Drives Supported:  1
  • Optical Drive Bays:  1
  • PCI Slots: 2 low profile PCI, 1 low profile PCIe x16 (for optional graphics card)
The Desktop has rubber feet on one of its sides and on the bottom.  This allows it to be set on its side or upright.  When it's placed on its side, you can set a monitor on top.  If your flooring isn't a hard surface, the Desktop probably shouldn't be set on the floor as it may tip over.

Small Form Factor

  • Dimensions (HxWxD):  12.45" x 3.65" x 13.40"
  • Memory Slots:  4 slots, allowing a total system memory of 8 GB
  • USB 2.0 Ports:  2 front, 6 rear
  • Audio line-in/line-out:  1 front, 1 rear
  • Hard Drives Supported:  1
  • Optical Drive Bays:  1 (slimline)
  • PCI Slots: 1 low profile PCI, 1 low profile PCIe x16 (for optional graphics card)

The Small Form Factor is smaller and narrower than the Desktop, but it can still be placed on its side or upright.  It is strong enough to accommodate a monitor on top of it.  It probably shouldn't be set upright on the floor as it is easy to tip over.

Automation orders all of the OptiPlex PCs with an add-on PS/2 port card.  This card will block access to one of the PCI slots.  This means there is no room for other add-on cards when you order a Small Form Factor with the optional graphics card.  Let me know if you have any questions.