Dell OptiPlex 3040 SFF vs. HP ProDesk 600 G4 Microtower
Comparison and Differences
Differences between Dell OptiPlex 3040 SFF and HP ProDesk 600 G4 Microtower
If you are looking for the smaller form factor the Dell OptiPlex 3040 SFF is the right one for you. It is smaller than the HP ProDesk 600 G4 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 HP ProDesk 600 G4 Microtower as it is running a newer generation CPU. This is not to say that Dell OptiPlex 3040 SFF is bad - it can still run some powerful CPUs, albeit being an older generation.
The HP ProDesk 600 G4 Microtower has 4 RAM slots while the Dell OptiPlex 3040 SFF 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 HP ProDesk 600 G4 Microtower is using the faster 2666 MT/s RAM. The Dell OptiPlex 3040 SFF 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 HP ProDesk 600 G4 Microtower as it has the ability to run 64 GB of RAM. The Dell OptiPlex 3040 SFF 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 HP ProDesk 600 G4 Microtower has 11 USB ports. The Dell OptiPlex 3040 SFF is inferior in this regard and packs 8 USB ports. In any case, if you miss USB ports, you can always purchase a USB hub. What is nice about the HP ProDesk 600 G4 Microtower, is that it has 5 USB 3.1 port(s) which allows transfer of up to 10Gb/s. Unfortunately, the Dell OptiPlex 3040 SFF has no such port, thus restricting your transfer speeds significantly. For people who want to use external drives on regular basis, this might be an issue.
DisplayPort is crucial for any desktop machine. It is good to see that both models are featuring DisplayPorts. However, the HP ProDesk 600 G4 Microtower comes with 2 ports, while the Dell OptiPlex 3040 SFF has only 1. If you are planning to use multiple monitors, the HP ProDesk 600 G4 Microtower is the better choice.
The Dell OptiPlex 3040 SFF comes with an HDMI port, while the HP ProDesk 600 G4 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 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 HP ProDesk 600 G4 Microtower is better equipped as it comes with 4 SATA slot(s), while the Dell OptiPlex 3040 SFF has 2 slot(s).
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 HP ProDesk 600 G4 Microtower. Sadly, the Dell OptiPlex 3040 SFF 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 3040 SFF comes with a decent 180 Watt PSU, but the HP ProDesk 600 G4 Microtower has a more powerful one rated at 400 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.