Dell OptiPlex 7000 Micro Internal Hardware Overview
Getting inside the system, Dell has a class-leading single retained screw solution. There is also a nice power cable holder hook that seems to have undergone a small but useful redesign (we close the chassis less with this one out of place as a result.) Here is a look at Dell’s design which is similar to the layout of the HP Mini competition and less like the Lenovo Tiny units.
One of the fun features is that our system had an optional speaker. Do not expect to DJ at a large event or get theatre-quality audio from this. It is, however, good for things like notifications.
Taking off the fan and shroud, we can see inside the unit with the major components.
On the top, we have a socket LGA1700 with the Intel Core i7-12700 Alder Lake CPU. One can even see the socket latch from here.
Next to the CPU, we have the two SODIMMs. The 65W chassis uses DDR5 memory and so we have two DDR5 SODIMMs that are 8GB each. The system can support up to 64GB in 2x 32GB configurations.
One area where we wish Dell would improve is the heatsink. The heatsink on some competitive units is copper. This is not as dense. As a result, later in our power consumption figures, we will discuss the impact. Also, in the video for this, we show the impact of thermal throttling.
Below the CPU, memory, and cooling, we have the main expansion area.
Our SSD was a Samsung PCIe Gen4 NVMe SSD that is 512GB. This is an upgrade in the chassis. We also managed to hit some fairly significant temperatures on this SSD in this chassis that we will discuss later.
The WiFi solution is an Intel AX211 WiFi 6E/ Bluetooth card. WiFi is optional on these units. If you do configure one, The Intel AX211 would be our recommendation over the other offerings.
On the bottom of this area, we get a second M.2 NVMe slot.
Over the battery, we can see the optional HDMI expansion port PCB.
Above that, we can see pads for “Slot 1” but an unpopulated slot. We did not see the dGPU option, but we suspect that is what these pads are for.
One item we did not get with this system was a 2.5″ tool-less caddy. Storage these days is moving to M.2 and Dell has cooling challenges anyway in this form factor. Removing the 2.5″ drive infrastructure also meant Dell could remove the hard SATA data and power connector on the motherboard that was a class-leading solution in the previous generation.
One can also see the Intel vPro sticker on the bottom of this unit. Intel vPro is optional, but one can also order these without vPro.
Next, let us get to the performance with some special results.