System Performance

The last all-in-one system we reviewed was coincidentally the Dell XPS One 2710, which featured a very similar configuration. The key differences between the XPS One 2710 and the OptiPlex 9010 All-in-One I have on hand today are the SSD in the 9010 and the discrete graphics in the 2710. Keep those in mind when you take a look at the PCMark results below.

Futuremark PCMark Vantage

Futuremark PCMark 7

Same processor. Substantially weaker graphics. HUGE swing in scores. This is why I've continued to rail against PCMark in our system reviews; while it's true that an SSD offers a marked improvement in system responsiveness and performance in isolated circumstances, it's not this big of a difference. Anyone looking at this chart would assume the 9010 AiO is worlds faster than the 2710, but take a look at what happens when we put the screws to the CPU.

3D Rendering - CINEBENCH R10

3D Rendering - CINEBENCH R10

3D Rendering - CINEBENCH R11.5

Video Encoding - x264

Video Encoding - x264

The 2710 and 9010 AiO are virtually identical, as it should be, as they're both running the same CPU. We include PCMark scores for reference, but I'm still of the opinion that they're far too heavily weighted towards storage performance.

Futuremark 3DMark 11

Futuremark 3DMark Vantage

Futuremark 3DMark06

On the other hand, you can see practical evidence that Intel has made some reasonable gains with Ivy Bridge's IGP; in synthetics it starts to encroach on last generation's entry level GPUs. That's not too bad for a GPU you basically get for free. The 9010 AiO is by no means intended for any kind of gaming, but users looking for a quick Guild Wars 2 fix on company time aren't going to be too put out.

Introducing the Dell OptiPlex 9010 All-in-One Screen Quality
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  • Rick83 - Wednesday, September 19, 2012 - link

    So is AMT actually supported by the BIOS of this machine?
    I agree, that AMT should become ubiquitous, especially for larger scale deployments, it's probably a requirement. But then for home servers, HTPCs and similar application it also becomes interesting for the tinker/enthusiast crowd that has a number of headless units that need to be managed.

    For my server, this made me look at Supermicro boards, as the ASUS C216 based board removed the 82579 in favor of a second 82574 NIC, and probably wouldn't have done the required BIOS/Firmware work to get it supported.
  • BoloMKXXVIII - Wednesday, September 19, 2012 - link

    I am not knocking Dell, I just don't understand the point of AIO PCs. Does a mini case behind the monitor really take up any more room? With heat issues, lack of expansion options and additional cost of repair I can't imagine purchasing or recommending a AIO PC. If space is that much of a premium get a laptop or a tablet with a keyboard.
  • frozentundra123456 - Wednesday, September 19, 2012 - link

    I totally agree with you, but all in ones seem to be taking over from traditional desktops
    At least in the best buy I went to recently. I guess they do look cool initially, but I think a lot of people don't realize the compromises of the design. Personally I would choose either a traditional desktop or a laptop.
  • Dug - Thursday, September 20, 2012 - link

    Depends on time and money.
    If the machine is priced right, you either have next day warranty which is pretty standard with Dell, or you have a replacement ready to go while the other goes out for repair.
    Labor is too much to do repairs in house, when there are far more important things for IT to be doing.

    The benefit of AIO is just that. You don't have multiple configurations, multiple wires everywhere, etc.
    If someone has to move, its much easier to pick up one device and carry it over then dealing with multiple wires, power supplies, video cables, etc.

    We currently deploy iMacs with Windows 7 on boot camp.
    Using Clonezilla for a base image to deploy makes it very quick for setup and deployment.
    The fact that it has camera, mic, speakers, bluetooth, wireless, wireless keyboard and trackpad, a very nice screen that's easy on the eyes, no noise, makes it very nice machine for $1100. That and you only have one cable connection.

    We tried to find something comparable, and there are alternatives, but everyone else fails at the complete package, mostly the screen. If someone has to sit in front of the computer for 8 hrs a day for the next 3 years, it's easy to justify a little more for a good screen and a product that has a great track record for reliability.
  • NARC4457 - Wednesday, September 19, 2012 - link

    There are 2 major items that are wrong with this machine based on how my business operates.

    1) We replace machines at the end of their 3 year warranty. But we have kept monitors throughout many replacement cycles, and tend to be much more resilient than desktops. Replacing both units together is a waste for our situation.

    2) These specs are too high for a general business user. SSD? Core i7? WAAAY too much horsepower. Give me a 5400rpm and a core i3 with HD-2500 and that's all I need.
  • ggathagan - Wednesday, September 19, 2012 - link

    1) Then don't buy them.
    On the other hand, the monitor portion is probably not as high a percentage of the total cost as it might have been in past years. The TN panels get less and less expensive every year.

    2) It's rare that Dell locks you into one processor or one drive option.
    You can get anything from a G860 to the i7-3770S in the review and there are 6 different drive options.
  • mr_tawan - Wednesday, September 19, 2012 - link

    > SSD prices have fallen like rocks over the past year while the flooding in Thailand coupled with arguably anti-competitive mergers have made the value proposition of mechanical storage less compelling.

    Well at least having flooding in my homeland could cause a good things!! (Well I'm kidding).

    And this year flooding might come back to Thailand. I don't know. I believe we have serious problem with water management nowadays (given that we have Ms. Barbie PM lol).
  • nbrownksu - Wednesday, September 19, 2012 - link

    The author seems to be ignoring the fact that you can customize these machines. He states that they're overpowered for use in a computer lab or library setting, and he's right, but I just went to Dell's website and configured one of these with a Core-i3 and 4GB of RAM for exactly that reason.

    We've been begging Dell for a form factor like this for our campus computing labs for years in order to simplify deployments and clean up the look of the labs compared to a traditional desktop system. For us the cheaper monitor is a benefit to the system.
  • MrVan - Thursday, September 20, 2012 - link

    At around $2000.00 each, HP Z1's have transformed our Graphic Design department as serious Mac replacement with its 27-inch, 2560x1440 IPS display.

    No, I am not a reseller or HP employee, I simply enjoy the experience of owning these machines.
  • Dug - Friday, September 21, 2012 - link

    That's a very nice machine.

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