Dell OptiPlex 5040 MT vs. Dell OptiPlex 7090 MT
Comparison and Differences
Differences between Dell OptiPlex 5040 MT and Dell OptiPlex 7090 MT
Both models have the same form factor, meaning reoughtly they have the same phiysical size and form.
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 7090 MT 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.
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 Dell OptiPlex 7090 MT is using the faster 3200 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 7090 MT as it has the ability to run 128 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 7090 MT is inferior in this regard and packs 9 USB ports. In any case, if you miss USB ports, you can always purchase a USB hub. What is nice about the Dell OptiPlex 7090 MT, is that it has 3 USB 3.1 port(s) which allows transfer of up to 10Gb/s. Unfortunately, the Dell OptiPlex 5040 MT has no such port, thus restricting your transfer speeds significantly. For people who want to use external drives on regular basis, this might be an issue.
DisplayPort is crucial for any desktop machine. It is good to see that both models are featuring DisplayPorts. However, the Dell OptiPlex 7090 MT comes with 4 ports, while the Dell OptiPlex 5040 MT has only 2. If you are planning to use multiple monitors, the Dell OptiPlex 7090 MT is the better choice.
The HDMI video interface is broadly used and the majority of the external displays support it. Thus, it is nice to see that both models have this video interface. If you are going to use multiple monitors go with the Dell OptiPlex 7090 MT which has 2 ports. The Dell OptiPlex 5040 MT has only 1 ports.
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 4 SATA slot(s). Keep in mind that having too few SATA slots might limit your options for connecting additional memory drives.
An M.2 SSD can be several times faster than a SATA one. Thus, we are happy to see that both models support the M.2 interface. However, the Dell OptiPlex 7090 MT has 1 M.2 slots while the Dell OptiPlex 5040 MT comes with just 1.
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 5040 MT comes with a decent 240 Watt PSU, but the Dell OptiPlex 7090 MT has a more powerful one rated at 500 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.