Dell Inspiron 660 vs. Dell OptiPlex 3020M
Comparison and Differences
Differences between Dell Inspiron 660 and Dell OptiPlex 3020M
If you are looking for the smaller form factor the Dell OptiPlex 3020M is the right one for you. It is smaller than the Dell Inspiron 660 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 Dell OptiPlex 3020M as it is running a newer generation CPU. This is not to say that Dell Inspiron 660 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. Additionally, if you will be needing a lot of RAM, better go for the Dell OptiPlex 3020M as it has the ability to run 16 GB of RAM. The Dell Inspiron 660 can do a bit less at max 8 GB. Most of the times, this should be sufficient for the majority of users.
In total the Dell Inspiron 660 has 8 USB ports. The Dell OptiPlex 3020M 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 Dell OptiPlex 3020M has a DisplayPort. The Dell Inspiron 660 does not have one? Don't worry though, nowadays video adapters are cheap and you can get almost any combination of conversion types.
The Dell Inspiron 660 comes with an HDMI port, while the Dell OptiPlex 3020M does not support the interface. Of course missing HDMI port is something that can be easily fixed with a good adapter (e.g. DisplayPort to HDMI).
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 Dell Inspiron 660 is better equipped as it comes with 4 SATA slot(s), while the Dell OptiPlex 3020M has 1 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 3020M, nor the Dell Inspiron 660 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 3020M comes with a decent 65 Watt PSU, but the Dell Inspiron 660 has a more powerful one rated at 300 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.