Dell OptiPlex 5050 SFF vs. HP ProDesk 400 G2 Microtower
Comparison and Differences
Differences between Dell OptiPlex 5050 SFF and HP ProDesk 400 G2 Microtower
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 HP ProDesk 400 G2 Microtower 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 OptiPlex 5050 SFF as it is running a newer generation CPU. This is not to say that HP ProDesk 400 G2 Microtower is bad - it can still run some powerful CPUs, albeit being an older generation.
The Dell OptiPlex 5050 SFF has 4 RAM slots while the HP ProDesk 400 G2 Microtower 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 OptiPlex 5050 SFF is using the faster 2400 MT/s RAM. The HP ProDesk 400 G2 Microtower 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 HP ProDesk 400 G2 Microtower 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 5050 SFF has 10 USB ports. The HP ProDesk 400 G2 Microtower 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 Dell OptiPlex 5050 SFF has a DisplayPort. The HP ProDesk 400 G2 Microtower 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 OptiPlex 5050 SFF comes with an HDMI port, while the HP ProDesk 400 G2 Microtower 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 limit 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 HP ProDesk 400 G2 Microtower has no such slot, and you will be forced to use the SATA interface instead.
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 5050 SFF comes with a decent 180 Watt PSU, but the HP ProDesk 400 G2 Microtower has a more powerful one rated at 300 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.