Optiplex 760 USFF

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Every day I check multiple web sites for “deals”. I had already spent a lot of money this month on gadgets, so why not go for broke and get one more.

Newegg had advertised a Dell Optiplex 755 refurbished computer for $185. I love this machine, it has been my linux workstation at the office for the last few years. Getting one for home would be great, but how good a deal was this?

A quick search on Ebay proved not that good. However, I did come across a Dell Optiplex 760 USFF for $72 shipped. Now we are talking. It needed a hard drive and ram, both of which I had in my spare parts bin. It has double the processing power of my current machine, and the ultra small form factor was a cosmetic bonus.


I tried to share my enthusiasm with friends, but they couldn’t understand the value in 3 year old hardware. You can’t buy an equivalent speed CPU for under $50 and I got a whole system for an extra $22! Whatever.

When I get used equipment I like to clean all the sticker goo, fan dust, pop stains, etc to make it look as close to new as possible. Goo Gone is my preferred cleaner, but I couldn’t find it so I used a can of Goof Off instead.

Warning: Goof Off is apparently just turpentine, which ate the paint right off the plastic case. I might be able to live with the big smudge, but if not at least it is under $20 for a new side panel.

So I maxed out the ram at 4GB, added a 1TB 7200 RPM drive, and for the first time in years went with a XFCE Desktop instead of KDE. Most Dell hardware is Ubuntu Certified, so everything was detected without issue. I was right, this box runs great even before any tweaks.

Now the fun of moving all my data over begins.