Dell Vostro 3690 vs. Lenovo ThinkCentre M900 Small
Comparison and Differences
Differences between Dell Vostro 3690 and Lenovo ThinkCentre M900 Small
If you are looking for the smaller form factor the Dell Vostro 3690 is the right one for you. It is smaller than the Lenovo ThinkCentre M900 Small 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 Vostro 3690 as it is running a newer generation CPU. This is not to say that Lenovo ThinkCentre M900 Small is bad - it can still run some powerful CPUs, albeit being an older generation.
The Lenovo ThinkCentre M900 Small has 4 RAM slots while the Dell Vostro 3690 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 Vostro 3690 is using the faster 2933 MT/s RAM. The Lenovo ThinkCentre M900 Small is slower by supporting RAM speeds of up to 2133 MT/s. In addition, you will be able to install the same amount of RAM in both models, and most probably 64 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.
Both models have the same amount of USB ports for total count of 8. If this is not enough, using a USB hub is always a viable option. 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 M900 Small has a DisplayPort. The Dell Vostro 3690 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 Vostro 3690 comes with an HDMI port, while the Lenovo ThinkCentre M900 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 M900 Small is better equipped as it comes with 3 SATA slot(s), while the Dell Vostro 3690 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 Dell Vostro 3690. Sadly, the Lenovo ThinkCentre M900 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 Lenovo ThinkCentre M900 Small comes with a decent 210 Watt PSU, but the Dell Vostro 3690 has a more powerful one rated at 260 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.