Alienware Area 51 R2 vs. Dell OptiPlex 7010 DT
Comparison and Differences
Differences between Alienware Area 51 R2 and Dell OptiPlex 7010 DT
Both models have the same form factor, meaning reoughtly they have the same phiysical size and form.
Usually the newer the generation of the CPU, the better the performance and efficiency is. If your budget allows it, you should go with the Alienware Area 51 R2 as it is running a newer generation CPU. This is not to say that Dell OptiPlex 7010 DT is bad - it can still run some powerful CPUs, albeit being an older generation.
Both models have have equal amount of ram slots (4 RAM). Usually two RAM slots are more than enough for most cases. However, the count should be taken into account when planning how much and what combination of RAM you are going to need for your system.
The Alienware Area 51 R2 is using the faster 2667 MT/s RAM. The Dell OptiPlex 7010 DT is slower by supporting RAM speeds of up to 1600 MT/s. Additionally, if you will be needing a lot of RAM, better go for the Alienware Area 51 R2 as it has the ability to run 64 GB of RAM. The Dell OptiPlex 7010 DT can do a bit less at max 32 GB. Most of the times, this should be sufficient for the majority of users.
Both models have the same amount of USB ports for total count of 10. If this is not enough, using a USB hub is always a viable option. None of the desktop models has a USB 3.1 port (10Gb/s), so if you need a fast connection to your peripherals, like external Solid State Drive, you will need to look elsewhere.
Unfortunately, only the Dell OptiPlex 7010 DT has a DisplayPort. The Alienware Area 51 R2 does not have one? Don't worry though, nowadays video adapters are cheap and you can get almost any combination of conversion types.
None of the models has an HDMI port. If your monitor supports only the HDMI interface, you will need to buy an adapter. Such adapters are cheap so nothing to worry about.
SATA ports are placed on the system board and it is where you connect your HDD, SSD and Optical Disk Drives. More SATA slots will allow you to have more drives running at the same time. In this regard the Alienware Area 51 R2 is better equipped as it comes with 6 SATA slot(s), while the Dell OptiPlex 7010 DT has 3 slot(s).
M.2 SSD interface allows you to transfer data with higher speeds compared to the old SATA interface. Unfortunately, neither the Dell OptiPlex 7010 DT, nor the Alienware Area 51 R2 has one. However, you can still use a SATA SSD drive which should give you satisfactory performance.
Make sure that the available M.2 slot supports the PCIe (also called NVMe) interface. This is important as there are M.2 slots which support only the inferior SATA III interface. For comparison, the SATA III interface has max speeds of 6Gb/s, while the PCIe 3.0 x4 will support speeds up to 32Gb/s!
Having a Power Supply Unit with high power rating is important, if you are going to use components which require extra power. The Dell OptiPlex 7010 DT comes with a decent 250 Watt PSU, but the Alienware Area 51 R2 has a more powerful one rated at 1500 Watts. Choosing either one depends on your specific requirements and use case. Also don't forget that some models might have more than one PSU option - try to always get the most powerful one, especially if you plan to upgrade to a powerful GPU.