Dell Vostro 3881 vs. HP ProDesk 400 G4 Mini
Comparison and Differences
Differences between Dell Vostro 3881 and HP ProDesk 400 G4 Mini
If you are looking for the smaller form factor the HP ProDesk 400 G4 Mini is the right one for you. It is smaller than the Dell Vostro 3881 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 Vostro 3881 as it is running a newer generation CPU. This is not to say that HP ProDesk 400 G4 Mini 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 Vostro 3881 is using the faster 2933 MT/s RAM. The HP ProDesk 400 G4 Mini is slower by supporting RAM speeds of up to 2400 MT/s. Additionally, if you will be needing a lot of RAM, better go for the Dell Vostro 3881 as it has the ability to run 64 GB of RAM. The HP ProDesk 400 G4 Mini can do a bit less at max 32 GB. Most of the times, this should be sufficient for the majority of users.
In total the Dell Vostro 3881 has 8 USB ports. The HP ProDesk 400 G4 Mini 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.
Unfortunately, only the HP ProDesk 400 G4 Mini has a DisplayPort. The Dell Vostro 3881 does not have one? Don't worry though, nowadays video adapters are cheap and you can get almost any combination of conversion types.
The Dell Vostro 3881 comes with an HDMI port, while the HP ProDesk 400 G4 Mini 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 Dell Vostro 3881 is better equipped as it comes with 2 SATA slot(s), while the HP ProDesk 400 G4 Mini 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 HP ProDesk 400 G4 Mini comes with a decent 150 Watt PSU, but the Dell Vostro 3881 has a more powerful one rated at 260 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.