Dell OptiPlex 3010 SFF vs. Lenovo ThinkCentre M73 Small
Comparison and Differences
Differences between Dell OptiPlex 3010 SFF and Lenovo ThinkCentre M73 Small
If you are looking for a more modern desktop, then you should go with the Lenovo ThinkCentre M73 Small which was released in 2013. The Dell OptiPlex 3010 SFF is older and entered production in 2012.
Both models have the same form factor, meaning reoughtly they have the same phiysical size and form.
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 Lenovo ThinkCentre M73 Small as it is running a newer generation CPU. This is not to say that Dell OptiPlex 3010 SFF 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.
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 1600. Additionally, if you will be needing a lot of RAM, better go for the Lenovo ThinkCentre M73 Small as it has the ability to run 16 GB of RAM. The Dell OptiPlex 3010 SFF 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 3010 SFF has 8 USB ports. The Lenovo ThinkCentre M73 Small 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 Lenovo ThinkCentre M73 Small has a DisplayPort. The Dell OptiPlex 3010 SFF 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 3010 SFF comes with an HDMI port, while the Lenovo ThinkCentre M73 Small 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 Lenovo ThinkCentre M73 Small is better equipped as it comes with 3 SATA slot(s), while the Dell OptiPlex 3010 SFF 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 3010 SFF, nor the Lenovo ThinkCentre M73 Small 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!
Looking at the Power Supply Unit (PSU) of the two models we don't see any differences. For either of them you get a maximum power of 240 Watts. However be careful, many models have more than one power supply option. When buying your computer, it is a good idea to get a version with the most powerful PSU. This will potentially allow you to upgrade to a more powerful GPU for example.