Dell OptiPlex 390 SFF
Specification and Upgrade Options
The Dell OptiPlex 390 SFF is a pre-built business desktop computer first released in 2011. Although more than five years old, it is still a viable solution for home and office. The motherboard is using the H61 chipset and supports 2th gen Intel Core processor, 8GB of DIMM DDR3-1333 memory, and a low profile GPU. You can even make a gaming PC form this machine with a proper GPU upgrade.
Dell OptiPlex 390 SFF is a Small form factor computer. The Small Form Factor (SFF) is an in-between model. It has less space for the larger form factors (Mid tower, Mini tower, and Desktop), but it is still easily upgradable. Usually the SFF come with 2x PCIe slots, so fitting a low profile graphics card is possible.
Windows 11 compatibility
No, Dell OptiPlex 390 SFF does not meet the Windows 11 hardware requirements. According to Windows 11 specification, all models with Intel 7th Gen CPU or older are not officially supported. Processor with TPM 2.0 and a UEFI Secure boot BIOS is also required in order to upgrade from Windows 10 to Windows 11 through Windows Update.
However, anyone with PC that does not pass the upgrade test can download the official Windows 11 ISO, make a bootable flash drive, and install the OS manually.
The Dell OptiPlex 390 SFF supports Gen2 Intel Core technology. Intel introduced their second generation micro architecture named Sandy Bridge in 2011. The maximum number of cores is 6 (on an i7 processor). Desktops use the 1155 LGA socket and DDR3-1066 RAM. The second generation of Intel Core is old but still sufficient for office, home tasks and retro gaming. If you plan to enjoy more recent games, a more recent CPU is required.
Best CPUs for Dell OptiPlex 390 SFF upgrade:
|Model||Cores (Threads)||Base frequency||Turbo|
|Core i5 2500||4(8)||3.3 GHz||3.7 GHz|
|Core i7 2600||4(8)||3.4 GHz||3.8 GHz|
|Core i7 2700K||4(8)||3.5 GHz||3.9 GHz|
Dell OptiPlex 390 SFF has two RAM slots. This is more than enough for most users. For those of you who need extra flexibility and RAM size, go for a model with 4 memory slots.
To cover the needs of your OS, games, and apps, Dell OptiPlex 390 SFF supports up to 8 GB of DIMM DDR3-1333 RAM. For office work, home use, and light gaming we recommend 8GB of RAM. For everything else, use 16GB or more.
Faster RAM speeds permit your processor to access the data stored inside the memory faster. This is important for the overall speed of your system. The motherboard of the Dell OptiPlex 390 SFF supports RAM speeds of up to 1333 MT/s.
Dell OptiPlex 390 SFF doesn't come with any on-board Wi-Fi support. In that case, you have two options to upgrade this model with Wi-Fi. You either use an external USB Wi-Fi adapter (wireless network dongle) or a PCIe-based wireless adapter.
The USB dongle is much more convenient and easy to install, but has less space for a decent antenna and can have thermal problems. On the other hand, the PCIe based adapter is much more powerful, more reliable, and has better antenna, but it is harder to install.
Best Wireless adapters for Dell OptiPlex 390 SFF:
|WiFi 6E (Gig+) Kit||3000 Mbit/s||2.4GHz / 5GHz||NGFF M.2 A/E Key|
|Rekong AX210||3000 Mbit/s||2.4GHz / 5GHz||NGFF M.2 A/E Key|
|Gigabyte GC-Wbax200||2400 Mbit/s||2.4GHz / 5GHz||PCIe|
|TP-Link Archer TX50E||2400 Mbit/s||2.4GHz / 5GHz||PCIe|
|TP-Link Archer T9UH||1300 Mbit/s||2.4GHz / 5GHz||USB 3.0|
Ports are important and often people don't think about them when buying a PC. For example, if you don't have enough USB ports, using external devices becomes problematic. Before you buy any system, considering your use case, check the number of external devices you are going to use and plan the number of the extension ports accordingly.
The Dell OptiPlex 390 SFF comes with eight USB ports in total. Having more USB ports is always better, but also pay attention to the version of those USB ports. Higher version ports support faster transfer speeds. Unfortunately, this model doesn't come with a USB 3.1 port. If you need a faster connection for your peripherals, like external Solid State Drive, you will need to choose another model.
The DisplayPort (DP) is now the most widely used digital interface for transmitting digital video and audio between display devices and PCs. It is unfortunate to see that the Dell OptiPlex 390 SFF doesn't have one. Check out the HDMI section and make sure that you are at least getting an HDMI port - a good substitution for the DP.
The HDMI port is another digital video port you can use to connect external display. It has very similar capabilities to the DisplayPort with few exceptions. Dell OptiPlex 390 SFF comes with one HDMI 1.2 port(s) on the motherboard. In case your monitor supports another interface, you can always use an adapter.
*Please keep in mind in order to use the video ports available through the motherboard, you need a CPU with integrated graphics card. If you have a dedicated GPU, use his ports instead.
SSD storage - M.2 sockets and SATA ports
The SATA port is one of the places where you can connect a stora gedevice. The Dell OptiPlex 390 SFF comes with two SATA port(s). Not enough SATA ports might limit your options for additional storage devices. Think about your use case and decide if the SATA ports provided by this model will be sufficient.
Unfortunately, the Dell OptiPlex 390 SFF has no M.2 PCIe soket and you have to rely on the available SATA ports to connect your drives.
The M.2 PCIe SSD connector in combination with an NVMe drive allows for higher transfer rates, compared to the old SATA interface. In some situations, NVMe device connected to the M.2 PCIe socket can be more than 5 times faster.
The Dell OptiPlex 390 SFF comes with a 240 Watt PSU. Having a power supply with high power rating is important, especially if you are doing upgrade with addtional components, like dedicated GPU and more HDDs. Will this 240 W be enough, it all depends on your specific use. Please keep in mind that some models might have more than one PSU option. Whenever possible get the most powerful one, as it might make future upgrades easier.