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Aficionados consider refurbished gear one of the great secrets of the tech world.
International Herald Tribune, Jan 09
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Dell Optiplex 790 SFF PC Intel Core i5-2400 Quad Core 3.1GHz 4GB RAM 250GB HDD DVD-RW Windows 7 Professional

Dell Optiplex 790 SFF PC Intel Core i5-2400 Quad Core 3.1GHz 4GB RAM 250GB HDD DVD-RW Windows 7 Professional
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[£124.96 ex VAT]
[£149.95 inc VAT]
Delivery info
Courier Delivery £6.99
item # 48932
Condition: Refurbished / Grade A1
Warranty: 6 Months warranty

This Refurbished Dell Optiplex 790 is part of Dell’s premium business range using high quality components and excellent build quality to ensure reliability. The Dell Optiplex 790 is our most popular PC for business and home use, being used for everything from basic internet, word processing and email use to demanding 3D design projects. This has also been our most reliable PC we have sold.
  • Intel Core i5-2400 3.1Ghz Quad Core CPU
  • Turbo boost up to 3.4GHz
  • 6MB cache
  • 4 cores
  • 4GB 1333MHz DDR3 SDRAM
  • Expandable to 16GB
Hard Drive
  • 250GB SATA HDD
Optical Drive
  • DVD Writer
  • Operating System: Windows 7 Pro
  • Not Included
  • Intel HD
  • Realtek ALC261 high definition audio codec (all ports are stereo)
  • Integrated Intel® 82579LM Ethernet LAN 10/100/1000
Power Supply
  • Standard 240W PSU
  • Energy Star 5.0 compliant, Active PFC
  • Width 9.26 cm
  • Depth 31.2 cm
  • Height 29 cm
  • 10 External USB 2.0 ports
  • 1 Serial
  • 1 RJ-45
  • 1 VGA
  • 1 DisplayPort
  • 2 PS/2; 2 Line-in (stereo/microphone)
  • 2 Line-out (headphone/speaker
  • 1 internal 3.5"
  • 1 external 5.25" (slimline)
  • 1 half height PCIe x16
  • 1 half height PCIe x16
  • (wired x 4)

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Customer Reviews
Does what it says on the box,
Good value for money

Dell Optiflex 790,
I purchased the above computer, which arrived in good time. The product is as advertised and very satisfactory. Thank you for your excellent service, if I need anything in the future I will be contacting you again.

Just a few weeks back, I wrote that an HP Z400 workstation from Morgan was possibly the best value purchase I've ever made in 40 years of buying PC's. Well, Morgan have now gone one better. The Dell Optiplex 790 SFF beats even the HP Z400 for sheer value (though naturally not for graphics performance, they are different horses for different courses).

The Dell was delivered to my door, bang in the stated 1 hour slot, 22 hours after ordering it on line. As with the HP, there was minor scuffing on the case, but the interior looks like new. Either Morgan have some really magic mini vacuum cleaners or this kit has hardly been used. To be clear, mine is the SFF ( = small form factor) model Morgan also have the mini-tower version (it's not really accurate to call it "full size") on sale).

The really compact case size of the SFF entails a few trade-offs which may matter to some purchasers. There are only two expansion slots (both PCI-e), they are half height and limited length. Anyone wanting to upgrade the onboard graphics should be warned that the power supply hasn't much puff to spare for an additional graphics processor, and because the PSU isn't a standard shape, replacing it with a more powerful one isn't a realistic option.

The USB ports are all USB2, and because of the size and type of the expansion slots, it would be very hard to find a USB3 expansion card that would fit them. There is space inside for only one SATA HDD (and you can't sacrifice the DVD drive bay, because that's a laptop style ultra-slim device). There are audio mini jack connectors on the fron panel as well as at the rear, but there's nowhere to fit in an internal card reader. Potential purchasers (especially gamers) who would have a problem with any of those limitations should go for the standard-case model where none of them apply.

But that's where the limitations of the SFF version end. Importantly for me, the SFF comes with 4 memory slots, only two of which are populated (2x2GB). So I easily took it 8 GB by adding a couple more 2GB modules from my spares box. And if you're prepared to discard the supplied memory, you could fill all the slots with 4GB units taking you to 16GB. Admittedly, fitting the additional memory on the SFF is rather more hassle than on the full-size model.

Because the interior is so cramped you need nimble fingers to remove and replace the drives to access the memory locations, but the design is tool-free and there are videos on YT that show which bits of coloured plastic to squeeze and tug to release the devices. I bought this to be a Linux server (more of that in a moment) but I did first boot it up into the supplied Win 7 Pro then verify that it upgrades to Win 10 with no issues at all.

I then wiped the disk and did a clean install of Win 10 Pro from a DVD. Again, a flawless install, with no driver problems or other hitches. In my brief trial with Win 10, performance was exactly as expected from the hardware specs, enough to give much more recent and expensive hardware a run for its money. The video out is via VGA or standard-sized DisplayPort socket, but if you need to connect to a monitor with only hdmi input, display-port to hdmi adapters are readily available for around a fiver. When it came to installing Centos 7, there were again no problems, apart from one matter, which probably wouldn't bother most users anyway.

As on some other Dells, Linux as shipped (in any distribution) can't perform a software reboot on these machines. If you tell Linux to reboot after a standard install, it shuts down the running systems correctly, but then hangs the machine, requiring a forced hardware reboot via the front panel switch. This stops it being rebooted remotely, which was a showstopper for the use I had in mind.

However this is a known issue, and there is a simple solution (though I can't find anywhere on the Web where that solution is adequately stated) In the case of this particular hardware, you need to add the parameter reboot=pci to the kernel startup line. The exact way to do that so it's automatically added in future varies from one Linux version to another, but the procedure for adding boot parameters is well documented on the Web, once you know what parameter to set.

The machine is solidly built in the best Dell traditions and well cooled: the casing gets no more than mildly warm even when the CPU is working hard, and the two fans are very quiet unless you configured them run flat out rather than under control of the temperature sensors. Morgan does it again!

You can now recycle your old electricals with us. If you are buying a new electrical item, we will recycle your old one for free. Read more about our recycling programme.

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