Alienware Area 51 R2 vs. HP ProDesk 600 G6 SFF
Comparison and Differences
Differences between Alienware Area 51 R2 and HP ProDesk 600 G6 SFF
If you are looking for the smaller form factor the HP ProDesk 600 G6 SFF is the right one for you. It is smaller than the Alienware Area 51 R2 and will fit more easily under your desk.
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 HP ProDesk 600 G6 SFF as it is running a newer generation CPU. This is not to say that Alienware Area 51 R2 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 HP ProDesk 600 G6 SFF is using the faster 3200 MT/s RAM. The Alienware Area 51 R2 is slower by supporting RAM speeds of up to 2667 MT/s. Additionally, if you will be needing a lot of RAM, better go for the HP ProDesk 600 G6 SFF as it has the ability to run 128 GB of RAM. The Alienware Area 51 R2 can do a bit less at max 64 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. What is nice about the HP ProDesk 600 G6 SFF, is that it has 3 USB 3.1 port(s) which allows transfer of up to 10Gb/s. Unfortunately, the Alienware Area 51 R2 has no such port, thus restricting your transfer speeds significantly. For people who want to use external drives on regular basis, this might be an issue.
Unfortunately, only the HP ProDesk 600 G6 SFF 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 HP ProDesk 600 G6 SFF has 3 slot(s).
If you want the fastest transfer speeds for your SSD, an M.2 interface is crucial. Thus, if the M.2 SSD slot is a mandatory requirement for you, go with the HP ProDesk 600 G6 SFF. Sadly, the Alienware Area 51 R2 has no such slot, and you will be forced to use the SATA interface instead.
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 HP ProDesk 600 G6 SFF comes with a decent 210 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.