Dell OptiPlex 5040 MT vs. Dell OptiPlex 7050M
Comparison and Differences
Differences between Dell OptiPlex 5040 MT and Dell OptiPlex 7050M
If you are looking for the smaller form factor the Dell OptiPlex 7050M is the right one for you. It is smaller than the Dell OptiPlex 5040 MT 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 7050M as it is running a newer generation CPU. This is not to say that Dell OptiPlex 5040 MT is bad - it can still run some powerful CPUs, albeit being an older generation.
The Dell OptiPlex 5040 MT has 4 RAM slots while the Dell OptiPlex 7050M has only 2 slot(s). This is not something to worry about. Just make sure you take it into consideration when planning how much RAM you are going to use.
The Dell OptiPlex 7050M is using the faster 2400 MT/s RAM. The Dell OptiPlex 5040 MT is slower by supporting RAM speeds of up to 1600 MT/s. Additionally, if you will be needing a lot of RAM, better go for the Dell OptiPlex 7050M as it has the ability to run 32 GB of RAM. The Dell OptiPlex 5040 MT can do a bit less at max 16 GB. Most of the times, this should be sufficient for the majority of users.
In total the Dell OptiPlex 5040 MT has 10 USB ports. The Dell OptiPlex 7050M 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.
DisplayPort is crucial for any desktop machine. It is good to see that both models are featuring DisplayPorts. However, the Dell OptiPlex 5040 MT comes with 2 ports, while the Dell OptiPlex 7050M has only 1. If you are planning to use multiple monitors, the Dell OptiPlex 5040 MT is the better choice.
In case your monitor supports HDMI only, you will be happy to hear that both models come with an HDMI port.
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 OptiPlex 5040 MT is better equipped as it comes with 4 SATA slot(s), while the Dell OptiPlex 7050M has 1 slot(s).
When your goal is to have the fastest SSD transfer speeds, an M.2 interface is crucial. Thus, it is good that both models have M.2 SSD slots. Today M.2 SSDs are not much more expensive than the average SATA drives, so it really does not make sense to invest in SATA drives anymore.
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 7050M comes with a decent 65 Watt PSU, but the Dell OptiPlex 5040 MT has a more powerful one rated at 240 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.