Computer

Dell OptiPlex 7060 SFF

The Dell OptiPlex 7060 Small Form Factor (SFF) ($ 799 starting price, $ 1,650 as tested) is a high-end desktop for business. The OptiPlex 7060 is also available in mid-tower and micro-PC form factors; this space-saving SFF variant fits in the middle. It’s designed for use (and equipped for this review) with Dell’s OSS17 stand and a Dell monitor, which together effectively turn it into an all-in-one (AIO) PC, with the PC mounted in the stand. This is an attractive combo for businesses that might consider a traditional AIO, such as Dell’s 24-inch OptiPlex 7460; you get better expandability and screen adjustability. Plus, the OptiPlex 7060 SFF could end up being more economical if you reuse an existing monitor, as the OSS17 stand is VESA-compliant. The main drawback of this setup is that it’s bulky, but if you can live with that, its flexibility advantages are hard to ignore for businesses looking for a long-lasting fleet desktop solution.

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Dell OptiPlex 7060 1

An Upgrade-Ready, DIY AIO

Now, admittedly, piggybacked in the OSS17 AIO stand, this OptiPlex 7060 SFF setup doesn’t look nearly as slick as a true AIO. It offers a reduced-footprint advantage over a mid-tower PC plus a monitor, as you won’t need a big tower sitting on or under your desk. But the depth of this setup is about 13 inches, meaning it will stick out more than a foot from any wall you butt it up against.

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The PC portion’s modern gray-and-black color scheme has “business machine” written all over it, in a good way. The PC chassis itself measures 11.4 by 3.7 by 11.5 inches and weighs 11.5 pounds, jumping to 26.8 pounds once you factor in the OSS17 AIO stand and the Dell UltraSharp 24 InfinityEdge monitor included with our unit. This whole assembly is not something you’d want to tote around, but you can lug it around the office from spot to spot with a retractable carry handle in the top of the stand.

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Monitor height adjustment isn’t hard to find on an AIO, and the OSS17 stand offers plenty of it. The real secret of this stand is its monitor rotation feature, something almost never found on AIOs. Thumbs-up for that.

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The OptiPlex 7060 SFF PC chassis slides neatly into the stand from the right. A power connector on the back of the stand routes through to two power cables in the stand itself, one for the monitor and one for the desktop, minimizing the cables that have to leave the stand. The stand also has an Ethernet jack pass-through near its base, visible below.

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An AIO setup like this should help reduce cables strewn around your desk. A grated housing attaches to the back of the desktop to keep cables contained and hidden, although there’s only so much space inside to stuff the excess. (I routed USB and DisplayPort cables to the monitor without difficulty.)

One thing to note: Accessing ports from a seated position in front of this setup can require you to get out of your seat unless the monitor has built-in ports. The Dell panel that came with our review unit did. It’s something to consider when picking out a monitor to complement the OptiPlex 7060 SFF.

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Port selection on the OptiPlex 7060 SFF is plentiful. The front panel has the power button, the optional slim DVD burner, an audio combo jack, three USB Type-A ports (two USB 2.0, one USB 3.1), and a USB Type-C 3.1 port. Dell’s optional SD card reader isn’t installed in our unit, but in the image above you can see the spacer where it would go.

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The back panel of the tower is home to a line-out audio jack, legacy PS/2 and serial ports, a pair of DisplayPort video-out connectors, six USB Type-A ports (four USB 3.1, two USB 2.0), and an Ethernet jack. An AMD Radeon RX 550 GPU is a configurable option for this PC, included here; if you opt for it, it adds one full-size and two mini DisplayPort video-out connectors. In the image above, it’s actually hidden behind an expansion slot cover, just above the power supply connector; I had to remove the cover to access the card’s outputs.

Optional and Bundled Peripherals: A Quick Look

The Dell UltraSharp 24 InfinityEdge (U2417H) monitor (hit the link for a separate review of that panel) adds $ 259 to the price of our review unit. This midrange IPS panel mounts directly to the VESA bracket on the OSS17 AIO stand without tools or screws.

The UltraSharp 24’s 8.3mm-thick bezel makes for an ultra-modern look. The 1080p resolution on the 23.8-inch-diagonal panel is perfect for productivity, while the antiglare surface suppresses reflections in well-lit areas. The picture quality is reasonable, even if colors don’t exactly pop. For non-color-sensitive work, it looks more than fine.

Remember, though, you’re not restricted to Dell’s monitors with the OSS17 stand. Any 19- to 27-inch VESA-mountable monitor ought to work. So if you have your eye on a specific panel or already own one, you might well be able to make it work with the OSS17 and the 7060 SFF.

In contrast to the luxe stand, the Dell KM636 wireless keyboard and mouse setup included with our unit is basic at best. The keyboard has a lifeless feel, and the mouse has just two buttons and a scroll wheel. The best I can say about it: I suppose it gets the job done. The most important aspect of this pair is that it’s wireless; you wouldn’t want to have cables running into the AIO setup, as it’s hard to route them discreetly. So whatever input-device scheme you opt for, go wireless.

A Jolt of Coffee: Six-Core Pep

Intel’s 65-watt “Coffee Lake” CPUs are at the heart of the OptiPlex 7060 SFF. The base configuration’s Core i3 quad-core chip ought to handle just about any task, but for serious power, our review unit has the fastest Core i7-8700 hex-core option. Many of the CPU options include Intel vPro remote management technology, as does the Core i7-8700. With the ability to push 12 threads of processing, the Core i7-8700 ought to benchmark as a beast; I expect great things from it. (More on that in a moment.)

The Dell’s storage expansion in the SFF version of this PC is on par with expectations for an SFF tower. You get an M.2 Type-2280 slot on the motherboard, occupied in our unit by a 256GB PCI Express drive, plus support for a single 3.5-inch hard drive or a pair of 2.5-inch drives. This tower accepts up to 64GB of memory in a four-DIMM array, with the 8GB dual-channel (two 4GB DIMMs) setup in our review unit being the minimum I’d recommend for today’s office apps.

A variety of half-height, modest-power AMD and Nvidia dedicated graphics cards are available in the OptiPlex 7060 SFF. The Radeon RX 550 4GB in our review unit is the top choice. Dedicated cards naturally offer performance advantages over integrated Intel HD Graphics 630 solutions, but the real reason to opt for one is to gain additional video-out connections for monitors. Most business-oriented AIOs offer only integrated graphics.

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The side access panel comes off without tools, courtesy of a sliding switch. The inside is tight on space but neatly arranged. The blower-style CPU cooler can come on abruptly, as I found when running demanding benchmark tests. It’s usually quiet and shouldn’t be discernible above the background noise in a work environment.

Accessing the memory slots, unfortunately, requires removal of the 3.5-inch bay and the optical drive, making it a slightly drawn-out process, but such is the confines of an SFF tower, and it still beats servicing most AIOs. The optional 802.11 wireless and Bluetooth connectivity is absent in this tester.

From a competitive standpoint, the specifications and expansion capability of the OptiPlex 7060 SFF are matched by the HP EliteDesk 800 and the Lenovo ThinkCentre M910 SFF. Neither has been updated with Intel’s eighth-generation chips, putting Dell ahead of the curve. Dell covers the OptiPlex 7060 SFF with a standard three-year warranty with onsite service.

Putting the SFF to the Test…

The OptiPlex 7060 SFF breezed through most of our benchmark tests. Its score of nearly 4,000 points in PCMark 8 Work Conventional, a general system benchmark, is noteworthy as even high-end gaming machines and workstations we test have trouble hitting that number.

Dell OptiPlex 7060 CPU chart

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The six-core prowess of its Core i7-8700 processor continued into the Handbrake video-encoding test, although it lost out by a small amount to the eight-core AMD Ryzen 7 1700 chip in the Dell Inspiron 27 7000 AIO in Cinebench R15. The OptiPlex 7060 SFF did well in our Photoshop multimedia test, too, but it couldn’t shake the workstation-class Dell Precision 5720 AIO. A sub-three-minute time in that test is nonetheless very respectable, and the Precision is a decked-out Xeon configuration.

Dell OptiPlex 7060 gaming performance chart

The 3D and gaming benchmark scores show the low-powered Radeon RX 550 in the OptiPlex 7060 SFF is far more capable than the integrated Intel HD Graphics 630 in the HP EliteOne 1000 AIO. The under-30fps numbers in the high-resolution Heaven and Valley tests show it’s not necessarily great for gaming, though. As I noted before, the selling point for a dedicated GPU in this machine is to get extra video outputs.

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A Versatile Choice for Business

Excellent performance, easy expandability, and compact size are hallmarks of the OptiPlex 7060 SFF. It transforms into an AIO when seated in Dell’s OSS17 stand, offering numerous advantages over a traditional AIO: Extensive monitor adjustment, the ability to use VESA-compliant monitors, and superior serviceability are three.

Provided that the extra depth and bulk versus a traditional AIO aren’t an issue, the OptiPlex 7060 SFF, in its AIO arrangement, is a commendable alternative if you want an AIO with future-proof potential. It’s no slouch standing by itself, either.

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