Dell OptiPlex 3050M vs. HP ProDesk 400 G3 Microtower
Comparison and Differences
Differences between Dell OptiPlex 3050M and HP ProDesk 400 G3 Microtower
If you are looking for the smaller form factor the Dell OptiPlex 3050M is the right one for you. It is smaller than the HP ProDesk 400 G3 Microtower 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 3050M as it is running a newer generation CPU. This is not to say that HP ProDesk 400 G3 Microtower 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.
The Dell OptiPlex 3050M is using the faster 2400 MT/s RAM. The HP ProDesk 400 G3 Microtower is slower by supporting RAM speeds of up to 2133 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.
In total the HP ProDesk 400 G3 Microtower has 8 USB ports. The Dell OptiPlex 3050M 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.
The DisplayPort is usually the more popular video port used with desktops and laptops, while the HDMI is used predominantly in consumer electronics. That's why, it is good to see that both of the models come with a DisplayPort.
The Dell OptiPlex 3050M comes with an HDMI port, while the HP ProDesk 400 G3 Microtower 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 HP ProDesk 400 G3 Microtower is better equipped as it comes with 3 SATA slot(s), while the Dell OptiPlex 3050M has 1 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 Dell OptiPlex 3050M. Sadly, the HP ProDesk 400 G3 Microtower 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 Dell OptiPlex 3050M comes with a decent 65 Watt PSU, but the HP ProDesk 400 G3 Microtower 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.