Dell OptiPlex 5050 SFF vs. Lenovo ThinkCentre M73 Small

Comparison and Differences

Dell_OptiPlex_5050_SFF.jpg case front and back pannelLenovo_ThinkCentre_M73_Small.jpg case front and back pannel
ModelDell OptiPlex 5050 SFFLenovo ThinkCentre M73 Small
Form factorSmallDesktop
CPU optionsIntel Gen6&7 i3/i5/i7; Pentium; Intel Gen4 i3/i5/i7; Celeron; Pentium;
ChipsetQ270H81
Dedicated GPU *GeForce GT 1030 Low ProfileGeForce GTX 1650 Low Profile
RAMDIMM DDR4-2133/2400 DIMM DDR3-1600
RAM slots42
RAM speed2400 MT/s1600 MT/s
RAM max64 GB16 GB
USB ports(6x) USB-A 3.0; (4x) USB-A 2.0; (2x)USB-A 3.0; (4x)USB-A 2.0;
Video ports(2x) Display Port 1.2; HDMI 1.4;DisplayPort; VGA;
Other portsSerial; (2x) PS2; RJ45; Headset; Line-Out; RJ45; Hdph; (2x) Mic; Line-Out; Line-In; Serial; (2x) PS2;
Optional portsVGA; Media Card Reader;Parallel; Serial; Media card reader (USB 2.0);
SATA ports33
PCI slotsPCIe 3.0 x16; PCIe 3.0 x4;PCIe 3.0 x16; (2x) PCIe 2.0 x1;
M.2 slotsM.2 2280/2242 M-key (PCIe 3.0 x4, SATA) N.A.
Drive bays3.5in/(2x)2.5in; 5.25in (slim); 2.5in; 3.5in; 5.25in;
PSU180 WTFX 240 W
Weight5.26 kg (11.57 lb)6.6 kg (14.55 lb)
Released20172013
Manuallinklink
Price**Check PriceCheck Price
** As an Amazon associate we earn from qualifying purchases.
* Dedicated GPU warning: Check if your particular power supply model has enough power. Additionally some PSUs don't come with an auxiliary PCIe power connector and you may need to buy a SATA to PCIe power adapter.

Differences between Dell OptiPlex 5050 SFF and Lenovo ThinkCentre M73 Small

If you are looking for a more modern desktop, then you should go with the Dell OptiPlex 5050 SFF which was released in 2017. The Lenovo ThinkCentre M73 Small is older and entered production in 2013.

If you are looking for the smaller form factor the Dell OptiPlex 5050 SFF is the right one for you. It is smaller than the Lenovo ThinkCentre M73 Small and will fit more easily under your desk.

Processor

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 5050 SFF as it is running a newer generation CPU. This is not to say that Lenovo ThinkCentre M73 Small is bad - it can still run some powerful CPUs, albeit being an older generation.

Memory

The Dell OptiPlex 5050 SFF has 4 RAM slots while the Lenovo ThinkCentre M73 Small has only 2 slot(s). Of course this is not something to worry about. Just make sure you take it into consideration when planning how much RAM will your system be using.

The Dell OptiPlex 5050 SFF is using the faster 2400 MT/s RAM. The Lenovo ThinkCentre M73 Small 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 5050 SFF as it has the ability to run 64 GB of RAM. The Lenovo ThinkCentre M73 Small can do a bit less at max 16 GB. Most of the times, this should be sufficient for the majority of users.

Ports

In total the Dell OptiPlex 5050 SFF has 10 USB ports. The Lenovo ThinkCentre M73 Small 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 5050 SFF comes with 2 ports, while the Lenovo ThinkCentre M73 Small has only 1. If you are planning to use multiple monitors, the Dell OptiPlex 5050 SFF is the better choice.

The Dell OptiPlex 5050 SFF comes with an HDMI port, while the Lenovo ThinkCentre M73 Small 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 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 limmit your options for connecting additional memory drives.

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 5050 SFF. Sadly, the Lenovo ThinkCentre M73 Small has no such slot, and you will be forced to use the SATA interface instead.

Remark: 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!

Power Supply

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 5050 SFF comes with a decent 180 Watt PSU, but the Lenovo ThinkCentre M73 Small 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.

Motherboard

Dell_OptiPlex_5050_SFF_motherboard.jpg motherboard layoutLenovo_ThinkCentre_M73_Small_motherboard.jpg motherboard layout

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