Dell OptiPlex 990 SFF vs. Dell OptiPlex 990 USFF
Comparison and Differences
Differences between Dell OptiPlex 990 SFF and Dell OptiPlex 990 USFF
If you are looking for the smaller form factor the Dell OptiPlex 990 USFF is the right one for you. It is smaller than the Dell OptiPlex 990 SFF and will fit more easily under your desk.
The two models have the same generation of Intel processors. We think that the 2 generation of Intel Processors have enough power to execute all of the home and office tasks that most people will care to do.
The Dell OptiPlex 990 SFF has 4 RAM slots while the Dell OptiPlex 990 USFF 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.
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 1333. Additionally, if you will be needing a lot of RAM, better go for the Dell OptiPlex 990 SFF as it has the ability to run 16 GB of RAM. The Dell OptiPlex 990 USFF 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 OptiPlex 990 SFF has 10 USB ports. The Dell OptiPlex 990 USFF is inferior in this regard and packs 7 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.
None of the models has an HDMI port. If your monitor supports only the HDMI interface, you will need to buy an adapter. Such adapters are cheap so nothing to worry about.
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 990 SFF is better equipped as it comes with 3 SATA slot(s), while the Dell OptiPlex 990 USFF has 2 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 990 SFF, nor the Dell OptiPlex 990 USFF 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 990 USFF comes with a decent 200 Watt PSU, but the Dell OptiPlex 990 SFF 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.