Dell wants its enterprise customers thinking "green" when it comes to desktops.
For the second time in a month, the Round Rock, Texas, company is offering PCs with updated configurations that will meet the new Energy Star 4.0 requirements developed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
Starting May 30, Dell will offer its OptiPlex 745 and 740 desktops with configurations that meet the Energy Star 4.0 requirements. On May 9, the company launched new power configurations for three of its Latitude notebooks that also meet these new standards.
These updated configurations from the EPA, which go into effect July 20, call for 80 percent efficient power supplies and lower idle wattage ratings.
In addition to the new desktops, Dell announced that it would work toward ensuring that its entire line of commercial desktops, laptops and workstations can be configured for the new Energy Star standards. The company plans to unveil a Precision workstation that meets these requirements in a few weeks.
Besides burnishing its "green" credentials, Dell is also hoping to entice corporate customers to buy these new desktops by offering PCs that can save on electrical bills. When combined with Dells Energy Smart configurations, the company claims these desktops can save up to 78 percent in power consumption compared with previous systems.
"The desktop models are really one piece of the announcement," said Margaret Franco, the director of Dells Product Group. "As part of our overall strategy, Dell is offering its own Energy Smart support for all our client products. We are really going above and beyond regulatory requirements."
Dell is achieving these energy savings by using parts—microprocessors, chip sets, hard disk drives—that are optimized for power efficiency, while designing clients with settings that allow the PC to automatically switch into an idle or "deep sleep" mode when not in use, Franco said.
Dell, which has been working to reinvigorate its PC offerings since Michael Dell reassumed day-to-day control of his company earlier this year, has made several announcements in the past few months to offer both its business and consumer customers more choices.
One of the biggest announcements included three consumer systems that are factory installed with the Ubuntu 7.04 Linux distribution.
Dell has also launched a new program called Project Hybrid, which looks to revamp the companys line of business PCs and servers. These products are expected to hit the market later this year.
In the past several months, Dell, like several other vendors, has watched its desktop sales slip. When the company announced its fourth-quarter financial results on March 1, its desktop shipments fell 18 percent. Dell is expected to announce its latest financial results May 31.
Dell is not the only major IT vendor looking to beef up its desktop line by offering the new Energy Star standards early. Hewlett-Packard, which has taken market share away from Dell for the past several months, also offers a number of business desktops, as well as 11 mobile workstation and laptop models, that meet the upcoming EPA requirements.
"While we dont anticipate that this will increase the market size for desktops, it is a way to keep this category of PCs relative and exciting," Franco said.
Dells own research, Franco said, found that about 30 percent of business customers would purchase these energy-efficient systems with smaller, cost-conscious companies showing the greatest interest.
The OptiPlex 745 desktop offers several Intel microprocessors, including the Core 2 Duo, Pentium D, Pentium 4 and the Celeron D models. The desktop also offers Intels Q965 Express chip set.
The desktop, which Dell offers in four different form factors, also includes up to 8GB of DDR2 SDRAM (double data rate 2 synchronous dynamic RAM) and a SATA (serial ATA) hard disk drive with up to a 250GB capacity.
The desktops also offers nine, USB 2.0 ports, a CD-RW/DVD combo and integrated TMP 1.2 (trusted platform module) for security.
The OptiPlex 740 desktops are based on Advanced Micro Devices processors and feature either a single-core Athlon 64 or dual-core Athlon 64X2 chip. Both of these processors offer AMDs Cool n Quiet cooling technology. In addition, the PC features a Nvidia Quadro NVS 210S chip set.
The OptiPlex 740, which Dell offers in both a desktop and minitower form factor, features 8GB of DDR2 SDRAM and a SATA (serial ATA) hard disk drive with up to a 250GB capacity.
Both the OptiPlex 745 and 740 desktops are available starting May 30. The prices for the new desktops were not immediately available.