Alienware Aurora R3 vs. Dell OptiPlex 9020 SFF

Comparison and Differences

Alienware_Aurora_R3.jpg case front and back pannelDell_OptiPlex_9020_SFF.jpg case front and back pannel
Model
Form factorMid TowerSmall
CPU optionsIntel Gen2 i3/i5/i7;Intel Gen4 i3/i5/i7;
ChipsetP67Q87
Dedicated GPU *GeForce GTX 1650 SuperGeForce GTX 1650 Low Profile
RAMDIMM DDR3-1333/1866DIMM DDR3-1600
RAM slots44
RAM speed1866 MT/s1600 MT/s
RAM max32 GB32 GB
USB ports(5x) USB 3.0 Type A; (8x) USB-A 2.0;(4x) USB-A 3.0; (6x) USB-A 2.0;
Video portsN/A(2x) DisplayPort 1.2; VGA;
Other portsRJ45; Headset; Line-Out; Line-In; S/PDFI optical/analog;RJ45; Hdph; Mic; Line-Out; Line-In; Serial; (2x) PS2;
Optional portsN.A.N.A.
SATA ports43
PCI slots(x2) PCIe 3.0 x16; (x2) PCIe 3.0 x1;PCIe 3.0 x16; PCIe x16 (wired x4);
M.2 slotsN.A.N.A.
Drive bays(4x) 3.25in; (3x) 5.25in;2.5/3.5in; 5.25in(slim)
PSU525/875 W 255 W
Weight22.09 kg (48.7 lb)6.00 kg (13.22 lb)
Released20112013
Manuallinklink
Price**Check PriceCheck Price

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* Dedicated GPU warning: Check if your particular power supply model has enough power. Additionally some PSUs don't come with an auxiliary PCIe power connector and you may need to buy a SATA to PCIe power adapter.

Differences between Alienware Aurora R3 and Dell OptiPlex 9020 SFF

If you are looking for a more modern desktop, then you should go with the Dell OptiPlex 9020 SFF which was released in 2013. The Alienware Aurora R3 is older and entered production in 2011.

If you are looking for the smaller form factor the Dell OptiPlex 9020 SFF is the right one for you. It is smaller than the Alienware Aurora R3 and will fit more easily under your desk.

Processor

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 Dell OptiPlex 9020 SFF as it is running a newer generation CPU. This is not to say that Alienware Aurora R3 is bad - it can still run some powerful CPUs, albeit being an older generation.

Memory

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 Aurora R3 is using the faster 1866 MT/s RAM. The Dell OptiPlex 9020 SFF is slower by supporting RAM speeds of up to 1600 MT/s. In addition, you will be able to install the same amount of RAM in both models, and most probably 32 GB of RAM will be enough for most people. However, if you will be needing more RAM, make sure to check other desktop models too.

Ports

In total the Alienware Aurora R3 has 13 USB ports. The Dell OptiPlex 9020 SFF is inferior in this regard and packs 10 USB ports. In any case, if you miss USB ports, you can always purchase a USB hub. 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 9020 SFF has a DisplayPort. The Alienware Aurora R3 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 Aurora R3 is better equipped as it comes with 4 SATA slot(s), while the Dell OptiPlex 9020 SFF 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 Alienware Aurora R3, nor the Dell OptiPlex 9020 SFF 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!

Power Supply

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 9020 SFF comes with a decent 255 Watt PSU, but the Alienware Aurora R3 has a more powerful one rated at 875 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.

Motherboard

Alienware_Aurora_R3_motherboard.jpg motherboard layoutDell_OptiPlex_9020_SFF_motherboard.jpg motherboard layout