Dell Optiplex 960 Intel 3.16GHz Desktop

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Dell Optiplex 960 Intel 3.16GHz Desktop
Price: $139.99
Shipping Options:: $5 Standard
Shipping Estimates: Ships in 3-5 business days. (Wednesday, Jun 03 to Monday, Jun 08) + transit
Condition: Refurbished

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Time to learn all about the processor

CPU Benchmarks

I love how “useful” posters are posting benchmarks for 5 year old CPUs…

We have a few dozen of these at work. They are solid performers, easy to work on, trouble free. Ours were all bought brand new years ago and still running strong, none of them have died or had any issues.

Recently I have been going through and replacing all the HDD’s with SSD’s and they perform nearly as fast as the newer i5 based desktops we also have in our fleet. (boot times, most basic office work, word/excel, google apps, surfing web, etc.

With an SSD, these would make a good small sized PC for kids, grand parents, light to medium use home and office work, etc.

I haven’t had much success with these cheap refurbished from Woot. Only ordered three Dell units over the past six months, but two of them were DOA. The most recent one came poorly packed in a box with randomly tossed in pieces of styrofoam scraps. At least Woot is good about taking them back for credit. Just make sure you boot it up immediately after receiving it.

An additional consideration is making sure you can register the PC with Dell. These machines are often registered in bulk to a corporate customer and if you try and get service from Dell you might find it’s still linked to the prior customer. I still haven’t successfully registered a Dell XPS refurbished unit I purchased from Woot even after several emails with Woot support. Luckily it’s running fine.

Does anyone remember the good-ol-days when “refurbished” meant that someone had at least turned it on to see if the used item worked?

How would this do as a web browser/blue ray player (after replacing the drive of course) for the TV room?

I would be concerned that the video chipset may not be enough to play 1080i or 1080p video smoothly. I do not know this for sure, just guessing based on the age of the chipset.

I have a less powerful version of this system in use at my house, but I don’t use it for video playback. It is a headless Linux server and it runs like a champ.

I have one of these as my HTPC main 75" Samsung in our gathering room. With a DisplayPort to HDMI cable, I’ve found it to work perfectly for 1080p (1920x1080). I have a 12tb home server network, and the only rendering issues come from network connectivity issues. Wired it works fine, so I got a an Amped Wireless Bridge to plug the ethernet into. As far as the blue-ray play, I did put a BRD in it. I immediately remembered that it’s almost impossible to find a BRD Player (softare) because of licencing, and that my local clpies of KPM or Media Player Classic wouldn’t cut it. I put in a trial version of PowerDVD ultra, and decided I was better off with an actual Blueray player. It’s find for DVD’s. Even as an IT professional, I decided BluRay was just too picky to mess with from a PC. Overall, it’s functional and solid. You won’t be doing 3d gaming, but for simple video rendinger of 1080p, Netflix, Amazon Prime, Xfinty/Comcast, Hulu, YouTube, and other online services I haven’t had any problems. Three essentials if you consider doing this. K-Lite_Codec_Pack (Free so you can play anything except BRD), An inexpensive DisplayPort/HDMI cable, and a $25 Logitech K400 Keyboard with built in trackpad.

Afterthought – Because of processing power and Hard Drive speed/capacity, I’ve found that low-end PC’s still tend to outperform many current “Smart TVs” and “Smart Devices”. Examples include the latest Samsung Smart TV’s from 2015 and LG Blueray Players with streaming capabilities. The superior PC performance seems to largely be a matter of storage and buffering capabilities. Computers have a lot more capacity and bandwidth to “Read ahead” and even out transmission glitches. They also can do quite a bit of interpolation and image processing, and it’s much easier to skip ahead or jump around using progress sliders to fast forward rewind. 1920x1080 video really isn’t a stretch for most PC’s… (especially when you consider that tablets can do it). Maybe 10 years ago, you needed a video card, but most integrated chipsets since 2010-2012 can easily handle 1080p video. Also, one trick with Dell PC’s. Most store the Operating System CD-Key in bios. SO, even if you get a referb refomatted with “XP Home” or “Win7 Home”, you can usually pop in a “Win 7 Pro” cd and it will install without prompting you from a key. If the PC was ever setup with it, the PC remembers and doesn’t ask you for a key!

How are you getting audio to your TV from the Dell, through the DP/hdmi cable?

Oh, wow, yeah. Refurb used to be a principally GOOD thing for electronics, since essentially none of those sold as new have ever actually been tested.

So this has audio coming from the display port? Because there are some sites saying that only video is carried through the displayport on the optiplex 960.

Absolutely right.
Except for extreme cases CPU performance does not matter anymore. Physical limitations (size of atoms vs dissipation of heat) means thread speed improvements have pretty much stalled. Moore’s law is still in effect (number of transistors per die vs price), but the good old “tick tock” paradigm has changed. You can get more cores and threads per chip or reduced power consumption, but unless you’re using the PC for simulating nuclear bombs, predicting the weather or hosting a website with millions of active users, 5-10 year old PCS have plenty of CPU power for anyone. Adding memory and defrag disk (or better format disk and reinstall OS) is pretty much all you have to do to get a “new” fast machine. Another factor is onboard cache. That is often more important than the clock speed. Clock rate doesnt matter if we have to waste tons of cycles on expensive RAM accesses.

Does anyone know if the Win7 license on these can be transferred to another computer? That is, use the license key to license Win 7 HP on a different computer and re-purpose the Dell 960 to, say, Linux.

And wiped the sneeze-marks off the laptop screen?

It has a serial port?

Does it dispense Lucky Charms?

Must have forgot the Ritalin today.