Dell Optiplex SX280 SFF with LTSP?

john lists.john at gmail.com
Fri Nov 20 18:44:33 GMT 2009


Hi all,

Here's a report as promised.

Dell optiplex SX280 Sff

The computer is 10" x 10" 3.5" in size (sort of like a small phone
book). Unit shipped with 1 Gb ram, 40 G HD and a single 2.8 Gig
processor, also a gig nic. The model which I picked up on Ebay sold
for 150.00 including tax and shipping, I've since seen them for about
125.00 all inclusive.

pros:

So my (not exhaustive) tests showed that this system ran local apps
very well (under Karmic) as you might expect. Firefox ate between 35
and 50% of the CPU and my total ram usage for Desktop plus FF was
about 400 M.
Sound and video for youtube (e.g Pulse Audio) worked just fine out of
the box under Ubuntu 8.0.2 Hardy and Karmic.
The form factor is pretty nice, the box seems solid, easy to access
and 2 ram slots available.

cons:


This model uses an external power supply with a proprietary connector
that is approx 8" x 4" x 2" it's pretty clunky to have this extra
brick hanging around.

 Another oddity is the fact that video is DVI, but the unit came with
an adaptor so that could be used with VGA monitors. So this box
sprouts cords :->

The box is also "legacy free" so there are no PS2 connectors for
keyboard and mouse

I am not sold on this box yet. I am still looking for something in the
10 x 10 x 4 form factor that has similar power but with onboard power
in a similar price range. I like the looks of the hp dc7700/7800
http://www.trustedreviews.com/pcs/review/2008/01/30/HP-Compaq-dc7800p-Ultra-Slim-Desktop/p1

But I don't think we're going to be able to find those used at a price
we can afford.

Your recommendations are appreciated!

john

On Thu, Nov 12, 2009 at 1:27 PM, john <lists.john at gmail.com> wrote:
> Hi David,
>
> On Thu, Nov 12, 2009 at 11:08 AM, David Groos <djgroos at gmail.com> wrote:
>> For sure.  Looking at a picture of a GX280 it looks like it's about the same
>> size as my computers which (I just checked) are HP D5s  here's a pict that
>> shows size relative to keyboard.  Are the GX280's smaller?
>
> Hard to tell. Perhaps a bit.
>
>  Here's a blurb http://pcworld.about.com/news/Apr282005id120651.htm
>
> I'll try to remember to report back to the list about how these work.
>
> Cheers!
>
> John
>
>
>  The PIII's we
>> are using are the same form factor.
>> David
>>
>> On Thu, Nov 12, 2009 at 12:28 PM, john <lists.john at gmail.com> wrote:
>>>
>>> Thanks for the links David. Looks like an interesting project! I
>>> appreciate your feedback re: PIV's
>>>
>>> I am looking for very small form factor computers to use as thin
>>> clients for local apps. The GX280 seems right. I've ordered one to
>>> test out.  I am looking to replace some DevonIT/Ntavo 6020's which are
>>> about the size of a thick text book and I'd like to stay as close as
>>> possible to that form factor. The Ntavo's are nice because the power
>>> supply is internal and takes a standard computer plug. The down side
>>> is they don't have enough processing power to run local apps very
>>> smoothly.
>>>
>>> Cheers,
>>>
>>> John
>>>
>>> On Wed, Nov 11, 2009 at 4:29 PM, David Groos <djgroos at gmail.com> wrote:
>>> > Hi John,
>>> >
>>> > Last year in my classroom I used a set of 18 Pentium III, 933 MHz
>>> > machines
>>> > with 256, 384 or 512 MB RAM.  They worked pretty well as thin clients
>>> > with
>>> > Hardy.  However, since I'm now using LocalApps with Jaunty I've updated
>>> > to
>>> > older Pentium IV's.  On this page you can see one of the project
>>> > volunteer
>>> > sitting at the tables we built in which the thin clients are embedded.
>>> > Also, at the bottom of this page there's some more info on our setup
>>> > (the
>>> > site is currently messed and will fix when I get a breather).  Best of
>>> > luck!
>>> >
>>> > David
>>> >
>>> > PS my experience is that 512 RAM is plenty on a thin client to run run
>>> > Firefox and CmapTools simultaneously even as localapps!
>>> >
>>> >
>>> > On Wed, Nov 11, 2009 at 4:51 PM, john <lists.john at gmail.com> wrote:
>>> >>
>>> >> Thanks Farid,
>>> >>
>>> >> That's very useful!
>>> >>
>>> >> Cheers,
>>> >>
>>> >> John
>>> >>
>>> >> On Tue, Nov 10, 2009 at 9:44 PM, Farid Ansari <ansari.farid at gmail.com>
>>> >> wrote:
>>> >> > Hi John,
>>> >> > I have a Dell GX 280 in small form and I am using a 3.0 Intel
>>> >> > Processor
>>> >> > with
>>> >> > 4 GB DDR II. This machine works great, even better then my  Dell
>>> >> > Vostro
>>> >> > 1500
>>> >> > laptop which came with the dreadful Vista.
>>> >> > In the 280 I have 3 Oses, Win XP, Windows 7 starter and Ubuntu 9.10.
>>> >> > The built-in display is 128 mb which is sufficient for all systems.
>>> >> > In my opinion the Dell 280 will be a good choice amongst all small
>>> >> > form
>>> >> > older machines.
>>> >> > Cheers,
>>> >> > Farid,
>>> >> > Karachi, Pakistan
>>> >> >
>>> >> > On Tue, Nov 10, 2009 at 12:55 PM, john <lists.john at gmail.com> wrote:
>>> >> >>
>>> >> >> Hi all,
>>> >> >>
>>> >> >> We're thinking about upgrading some of our thin clients to a used
>>> >> >> small form factor computer
>>> >> >> with 1G ram and better the 2Ghz processor. We're thinking about Dell
>>> >> >> Optiplex SX280 sff
>>> >> >> computers which ebay has in lots of 10 for around $150 per. The only
>>> >> >> thing I see that I am not
>>> >> >> wild about right now is the external power brick. But I also wonder
>>> >> >> how sound works with LTSP etc.
>>> >> >>
>>> >> >> I was wondering if anyone had any advice about this particular
>>> >> >> computer or has another favorite
>>> >> >> small form factor that can be bought cheaply used and in decently
>>> >> >> large lots (10 or more).
>>> >> >>
>>> >> >> Thanks for any ideas you have!
>>> >> >>
>>> >> >> John
>>> >> >>
>>> >> >> --
>>> >> >> edubuntu-users mailing list
>>> >> >> edubuntu-users at lists.ubuntu.com
>>> >> >> Modify settings or unsubscribe at:
>>> >> >> https://lists.ubuntu.com/mailman/listinfo/edubuntu-users
>>> >> >
>>> >> >
>>> >>
>>> >> --
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>>> >
>>> >
>>
>>
>



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