Alienware X51 R2 vs. Lenovo ThinkCentre Edge 72 Tower
Comparison and Differences
Differences between Alienware X51 R2 and Lenovo ThinkCentre Edge 72 Tower
If you are looking for the smaller form factor the Alienware X51 R2 is the right one for you. It is smaller than the Lenovo ThinkCentre Edge 72 Tower 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 Alienware X51 R2 as it is running a newer generation CPU. This is not to say that Lenovo ThinkCentre Edge 72 Tower is bad - it can still run some powerful CPUs, albeit being an older generation.
Both models have have equal amount of ram slots (2 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.
None of the desktops has an advantage when it comes to the speed of the RAM being used. Both models support RAM speeds of up to 1600. In addition, you will be able to install the same amount of RAM in both models, and most probably 16 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.
In total the Alienware X51 R2 has 8 USB ports. The Lenovo ThinkCentre Edge 72 Tower is inferior in this regard and packs 6 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 Alienware X51 R2 has a DisplayPort. The Lenovo ThinkCentre Edge 72 Tower 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 slots are located on the motherboard and it is where SSD, HDD and Optical Disk Drives are connected. Each of the two models being compared have 3 SATA slot(s). Keep in mind that having too few SATA slots might limit your options for connecting additional memory drives.
M.2 SSD interface allows you to transfer data with higher speeds compared to the old SATA interface. Unfortunately, neither the Alienware X51 R2, nor the Lenovo ThinkCentre Edge 72 Tower 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 Lenovo ThinkCentre Edge 72 Tower comes with a decent 180 Watt PSU, but the Alienware X51 R2 has a more powerful one rated at 330 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.