Dell Optiplex 9020 SFF Desktop
Review & Specs

By Puja Chatterjee on June 22, 2019
Dell Optiplex 9020 SFF Desktop
Dell Optiplex 9020 SFF Desktop
PROS
  • Small form factor design saves desk space
  • Ample 16GB RAM for efficient multitasking
  • Massive 2TB HDD storage for files and applications
  • Integrated Intel HD Graphics 4600 supports multiple displays
  • Includes Windows 10 Pro for enhanced productivity features
CONS
  • May run hot under heavy workloads
  • Older 4th generation Intel processor
  • No SSD for faster boot and load times
  • Integrated graphics not suitable for demanding tasks
  • Higher price compared to some competitors
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Dell OptiPlex 9020 is a reliable and capable business desktop that offers strong performance, ample storage, and a space-saving design. While it uses an older 4th gen Intel Core i5, the processor still handles everyday office tasks with ease. 16GB of RAM enables smooth multitasking, while the 2TB HDD provides plenty of storage. Built-in Intel HD Graphics 4600 supports multiple displays. However, the lack of an SSD and limited upgrade options are drawbacks.

Design & Build

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The Dell OptiPlex 9020 features a compact, space-saving design that fits easily on or under desks. The small form factor chassis is sturdily built with a mix of metal and plastic. It has a clean, professional look suitable for office environments. Front panel ports provide easy access, while the rear houses a good selection of connectivity options. The SFF design limits internal expansion but helps the system fit in tight spaces.

    • Form Factor: Small Form Factor (SFF) desktop
    • Dimensions: 3.7 x 11.4 x 12.3 inches (9.4 x 29 x 31.2 cm)
    • Weight: 13.2 lbs (6 kg)

Processor

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The Dell OptiPlex is powered by a 4th generation Intel Core i5-4570 processor. This dual-core CPU has a base clock speed of 3.2 GHz and can turbo boost up to 3.6 GHz. While not the latest, the i5-4570 still delivers solid performance for everyday business tasks like document editing, spreadsheets, web browsing, and video conferencing. The processor's 4 threads provide decent multitasking capabilities. However, more demanding workloads may be better served by newer CPUs.

    • Processor Model: Intel Core i5-4570
    • Base Clock Speed: 3.2 GHz
    • Turbo Boost: Up to 3.6 GHz
    • Processing Units: 2 cores, 4 threads

Graphics

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The Dell OptiPlex features integrated Intel HD Graphics 4600. This GPU is built into the CPU and shares system memory. It offers basic graphics capabilities suitable for everyday office tasks, video playback, and light photo editing. The HD Graphics 4600 can drive multiple displays, making it easier to multitask. However, it lacks the power for demanding visual work or gaming. Users needing stronger graphics should consider a discrete GPU.

    • GPU Model: Intel HD Graphics 4600 (integrated)
    • Performance Level: Entry-level
    • Suitable Uses: Office productivity, video playback, light photo editing

Storage

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The Dell OptiPlex 9020 comes equipped with a spacious 2TB hard disk drive (HDD). This provides ample storage for documents, media files, and applications. The large capacity is beneficial for users with extensive file collections or long-term storage needs. However, the system lacks a solid-state drive (SSD), which would offer faster boot times, quicker application loading, and snappier overall performance. The HDD's slower speeds may be noticeable during demanding tasks.

    • Storage Type: HDD
    • Capacity: 2 TB

Memory

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The OptiPlex 9020 includes a generous 16GB of DDR3 RAM. This amount of memory is more than sufficient for most business users, enabling smooth multitasking across multiple applications. The RAM operates at 1600 MHz, providing good performance. Users can run several programs simultaneously without significant slowdowns. However, the DDR3 standard is older and not as fast as newer DDR4 memory. The RAM is not user-upgradeable due to the small form factor design.

    • RAM Size: 16 GB
    • Type: DDR3
    • Speed: 1600 MHz
    • Upgrade Options: Not user-upgradeable

Network

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The Dell OptiPlex 9020 offers a solid set of networking features for office environments. It includes Gigabit Ethernet for fast and reliable wired network connectivity. The system also has built-in 802.11n Wi-Fi, enabling wireless connections to local networks and the internet. However, it lacks the newer and faster 802.11ac standard. Bluetooth 4.0 is included for connecting wireless peripherals like mice and keyboards. The networking capabilities are suitable for most business settings but may be limiting for users requiring the latest wireless standards.

    • Wi-Fi Standard: 802.11n
    • Ethernet: Gigabit Ethernet
    • Bluetooth: Bluetooth 4.0

Ports

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The Dell OptiPlex 9020 provides a good selection of ports for connecting peripherals and accessories. The front panel includes four USB 2.0 ports for easy access to devices like flash drives and headsets. The rear houses an additional four USB 3.0 ports, offering faster data transfer speeds for external storage and other bandwidth-intensive devices. Video output options include VGA and DisplayPort, allowing connection to a variety of displays. However, the system lacks HDMI, which may be an issue for some users. A headphone/microphone combo jack is included for audio.

    • USB Ports: 4 USB 2.0, 4 USB 3.0
    • Video Outputs: VGA, DisplayPort
    • Audio Jacks: Headphone/microphone combo jack

Additional Features

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The Dell OptiPlex 9020 comes with Windows 10 Pro preinstalled, providing a familiar and productive operating system for business users. It includes features like BitLocker encryption for enhanced data security and Remote Desktop for remote access. Dell's suite of management tools helps IT administrators deploy, monitor, and update systems across an organization. The desktop also includes Dell's Data Protection software for secure file sharing. A standard keyboard and mouse are included. Dell offers a 3-year hardware warranty with onsite service after remote diagnosis, ensuring good support and protection.

    • Preinstalled Software: Windows 10 Pro
    • Security Tools: Dell Data Protection, BitLocker
    • Warranty and Support: 3-year hardware warranty with onsite service

Upon testing the CPU of our Dell Optiplex 9020 SFF review model, we were impressed to find it achieving a notably high score of over 3000 points on the PCMark 8 Work Conventional test. With a PassMark Rating of nearly 1500 points according to the PCMark Rating for Performance Test 10.2, it demonstrated commendable performance across various metrics.

Its CPU Mark value surpassed 5000 points, with the 2D Graphics Mark value reaching around 168 points, the 3D Graphics Mark value approaching 750 points, the Memory Mark value exceeding 1250 points, and the Disk Mark value reaching almost 4000 points.

These scores stand out as impressive and competitive, positioning Dell Optiplex 9020 SFF favorably against its closest mini-PC counterparts in terms of specifications. In our benchmark tests using Cinebench R15, the CPU exhibited a multi-thread performance score of over 500 points and a single thread performance score nearing 90 points.

Similarly, on the Cinebench R20 benchmark, the CPU achieved over 1200 points for multi-thread performance and more than 110 points for single-core performance. These results remained consistently close when assessing the CPU's performance on the Cinebench R23 benchmark.

Regarding graphics performance, while it may not support high-end gaming with extended frame render timings of nearly 1:30 minutes on Handbrake and almost 4:30 minutes on Adobe Photoshop CS6, it handled casual gaming and titles like GTA V, Rise of the Tomb Raider, Hitman, and Fortnite on low settings. In our tests, it achieved frame rates ranging between 50 to 60 fps at 720p resolution and lower rates at 1080p.

Additionally, the Dell Optiplex 9020 SFF proved adept at handling basic and moderate computing tasks, including streaming videos, light editing at low settings, document processing, spreadsheet calculations, and internet surfing, all performed with ease and efficiency.

In conclusion, Dell Optiplex 9020 Desktop is a reliable and powerful desktop solution for various business and personal computing needs. While it may have some limitations like thermal issues and limited repairability, its overall performance, design, and features make it a solid choice for users looking for a compact and efficient desktop PC.