PC hardware--CPU & Motherboard & RAM/small tower or standard size


QUESTION: THere are 2 Dell desktop pc's I'm considering. Both have the same exact specs but one is a standard size tower and the other is a lot smaller and 3 pounds lighter. Are is there any downside or cons to getting the smaller one? I don't plan to do any upgrades except maybe to add memory. Thanks

ANSWER: Not really. If you happened to live in Arizona or Texas I wouldn't get the Small Form Factor one due to not having as good of air flow for cooling but beyond that they're basically the same PC.
If you did decide that you wanted to add a PCIe graphics card in the future all you would need to do is make sure that the card is listed as Low Profile. However there's a fairly good selection of those sized cards so that too isn't really a big deal.

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QUESTION: Mike, The standard size tower has a 300W power supply and the small form factor tower has 220W. I assume that's because it's smaller and doesn't need as much power. But will that lower wattage in any way affect the speed or performance, compared to the standard size one? Thanks again

Chances are the small form factor system uses fewer fans and a 'laptop' size Optical Drive, plus possibly a smaller hard drive, so the power difference might have no noticeable effect.
It would come into play if you do ever choose to add a graphics card through as that might not be enough power.
It's probably worth reading some reviews online before getting just to see what others have said.  

PC hardware--CPU & Motherboard & RAM

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Mike Rigsby


Areas of expertise: PC Hardware, Peripherals, Barcode Scanners, Printers, and Applications, Networking, Microsoft Applications. I am good at researching issues and have a lot of contacts in the IT industry. So, if I can't directly answer a question I can likely find the answer. Areas I won't be much help in: Apple Computers, Linux, older Networking technologies like Token Ring, or Thick/Thinnet.


I'm currently a Network Administrator for a contract circuit board manufacturer in Oregon, USA. I've been working on PCs from a hobby standpoint for better than 25 years. I've been doing it professionally for 4+ years.


A+ Certification, Network + Certification, MCP, MCDST, MCITP

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