Dell OptiPlex 7040 SFF vs. Lenovo ThinkCentre M73 Small
Comparison and Differences
Differences between Dell OptiPlex 7040 SFF and Lenovo ThinkCentre M73 Small
If you are looking for a more modern desktop, then you should go with the Dell OptiPlex 7040 SFF which was released in 2015. The Lenovo ThinkCentre M73 Small is older and entered production in 2013.
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 Dell OptiPlex 7040 SFF as it is running a newer generation CPU. This is not to say that Lenovo ThinkCentre M73 Small is bad - it can still run some powerful CPUs, albeit being an older generation.
The Dell OptiPlex 7040 SFF has 4 RAM slots while the Lenovo ThinkCentre M73 Small 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 7040 SFF is using the faster 2133 MT/s RAM. The Lenovo ThinkCentre M73 Small 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 7040 SFF as it has the ability to run 64 GB of RAM. The Lenovo ThinkCentre M73 Small 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 7040 SFF has 10 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.
DisplayPort is crucial for any desktop machine. It is good to see that both models are featuring DisplayPorts. However, the Dell OptiPlex 7040 SFF comes with 2 ports, while the Lenovo ThinkCentre M73 Small has only 1. If you are planning to use multiple monitors, the Dell OptiPlex 7040 SFF is the better choice.
The Dell OptiPlex 7040 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 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 7040 SFF. Sadly, the Lenovo ThinkCentre M73 Small 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 7040 SFF comes with a decent 180 Watt PSU, but the Lenovo ThinkCentre M73 Small has a more powerful one rated at 240 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.