Dell OptiPlex 980 MT vs. Lenovo ThinkCentre M73 Tiny

Comparison and Differences

Dell_OptiPlex_980_MT.jpg case front and back pannelLenovo_ThinkCentre_M73_Tiny.jpg case front and back pannel
Model
Form factorMini TowerMicro
CPU optionsIntel Gen1 i3/i5/i7; Pentium Dual Core;Intel Gen4 i3/i5/i7; Celeron; Pentium;
ChipsetQ57 H81
Dedicated GPU *GeForce GTX 1650N.A.
RAMDIMM DDR3-1060/1333SODIMM DDR3-1600
RAM slots42
RAM speed1333 MT/s1600 MT/s
RAM max16 GB16 GB
USB ports(10x)USB-A 2.0; (2x)USB-A 3.0; (3x) USB-A 2.0;
Video portsDisplayPort 1.2; VGA;DisplayPort; VGA;
Other portsRJ45; Hdph; (2x) Mic; Line-Out; Line-In; PS2/COM; Serial; Parallel; eSATARJ45; Hdph; Mic;
Optional portsN.A.USB-A 2.0; Serial; WiFi antenna;
SATA ports41
PCI slotsPCIe 2.0 x16; PCIe 2.0 x4;N.A.
M.2 slotsN.A.M.2 2230 (WiFi/BT)
Drive bays(2x)3.5in; (2x)5.25in;2.5in
PSU255 W65 W
Weight11.40 kg (25.13 lb)1.3 kg (2.9 lb)
Released20102013
Manuallinklink
Price**Check PriceCheck Price

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* Dedicated GPU warning: Check if your particular power supply model has enough power. Additionally some PSUs don't come with an auxiliary PCIe power connector and you may need to buy a SATA to PCIe power adapter.

Differences between Dell OptiPlex 980 MT and Lenovo ThinkCentre M73 Tiny

If you are looking for a more modern desktop, then you should go with the Lenovo ThinkCentre M73 Tiny which was released in 2013. The Dell OptiPlex 980 MT is older and entered production in 2010.

If you are looking for the smaller form factor the Lenovo ThinkCentre M73 Tiny is the right one for you. It is smaller than the Dell OptiPlex 980 MT and will fit more easily under your desk.

Processor

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 Tiny as it is running a newer generation CPU. This is not to say that Dell OptiPlex 980 MT is bad - it can still run some powerful CPUs, albeit being an older generation.

Memory

The Dell OptiPlex 980 MT has 4 RAM slots while the Lenovo ThinkCentre M73 Tiny 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 Lenovo ThinkCentre M73 Tiny is using the faster 1600 MT/s RAM. The Dell OptiPlex 980 MT is slower by supporting RAM speeds of up to 1333 MT/s. In addition, you will be able to install the same amount of RAM in both models, and most probably 16 GB of RAM will be enough for most people. However, if you will be needing more RAM, make sure to check other desktop models too.

Ports

In total the Dell OptiPlex 980 MT has 10 USB ports. The Lenovo ThinkCentre M73 Tiny is inferior in this regard and packs 5 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.

The DisplayPort is usually the more popular video port used with desktops and laptops, while the HDMI is used predominantly in consumer electronics. That's why, it is good to see that both of the models come with a DisplayPort.

None of the models has an HDMI port. If your monitor supports only the HDMI interface, you will need to buy an adapter. Such adapters are cheap so nothing to worry about.

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 OptiPlex 980 MT is better equipped as it comes with 4 SATA slot(s), while the Lenovo ThinkCentre M73 Tiny has 1 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 980 MT, nor the Lenovo ThinkCentre M73 Tiny 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!

Power Supply

Having a Power Supply Unit with high power rating is important, if you are going to use components which require extra power. The Lenovo ThinkCentre M73 Tiny comes with a decent 65 Watt PSU, but the Dell OptiPlex 980 MT has a more powerful one rated at 255 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.

Motherboard

Dell_OptiPlex_980_MT_motherboard.jpg motherboard layoutLenovo_ThinkCentre_M73_Tiny_motherboard.jpg motherboard layout