Dell OptiPlex 990 USFF vs. Dell XPS 8300
Comparison and Differences
Differences between Dell OptiPlex 990 USFF and Dell XPS 8300
Both computers, the Dell OptiPlex 990 USFF and the Dell XPS 8300, were released during the same year - 2011.
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 XPS 8300 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 XPS 8300 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.
The Dell XPS 8300 is using the faster 1600 MT/s RAM. The Dell OptiPlex 990 USFF is slower by supporting RAM speeds of up to 1333 MT/s. Additionally, if you will be needing a lot of RAM, better go for the Dell XPS 8300 as it has the ability to run 32 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 XPS 8300 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.
Unfortunately, only the Dell OptiPlex 990 USFF has a DisplayPort. The Dell XPS 8300 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 XPS 8300 comes with an HDMI port, while the Dell OptiPlex 990 USFF 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 XPS 8300 is better equipped as it comes with 4 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 USFF, nor the Dell XPS 8300 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 XPS 8300 has a more powerful one rated at 460 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.