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8 Reasons I Would Avoid a Dell Optiplex 7050 SFF Desktop

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8 Reasons I Would Avoid a Dell Optiplex 7050 SFF Desktop

Key Points

  • The Dell Optiplex 7050 SFF desktop, once considered one of the best computers for business, is facing obsolescence due to limited graphics performance, limited upgradeability, potential cooling issues, extra cost for small form factor, and noisy components.
  • The outdated connection points, risk of high maintenance costs, and incompatibility with Windows 11 are additional reasons to avoid the Dell Optiplex 7050 SFF desktop.
  • Alternative options to consider include the HP EliteDesk 800 G3 for budgets, the Lenovo ThinkCentre M710 for reliability, and the Dell Optiplex 7090 as a Dell alternative.

If you’re upgrading your office computer for expert efficiency. Among your research, the Dell Optiplex 7050 SFF desktop has possibly found its way to the top of your list. This business computer definitely makes a claim for one of the best ever made, but not for long. 

With technology developing faster than it can keep up, we’re discovering its flaws. Continue reading to learn more about the downfall of this solid, but fading, computer.

What Is the Dell Optiplex 7050 SFF Desktop?

In 2016, Dell released the Optiplex 7050 SFF desktop, a small-frame computer designed specifically for the business person. It featured plenty of processing power, all the ports you could ask for, and a sturdy frame that could fit in the smallest of spaces.

Dell created the 7050 so that everyone could upgrade it without issues. The tool-less components meant anyone, regardless of their knowledge, could replace old components with new ones.

The desktop worked as intended, and for quite a few years. It was such an incredible model that it continues to run today. However, the components of the modern age have begun to leave the 7050 behind. And as this trend continues year by year, Dell’s tiny business desktop faces obsolescence. 

Dell Optiplex
The Dell Optiplex 7050 was a great business desktop, but lack of internal space and incompatible hardware led it to its obsolescence.

Reasons to Avoid a Dell Optiplex 7050 SFF Desktop

You can still buy the Dell Optiplex 7050 SFF Desktop, but the reasons against it are starting to overcome the reasons in its favor. Let’s take a look at why you should let go of this historic model and consider something else.

1. Limited Graphics Performance

The Dell Optiplex 7050 SFF Desktop comes with an integrated Intel HD Graphics card, and it’s not exactly new. It’s enough to handle your typical applications and videos, but don’t expect to run your creative suites with it, especially if you plan on rendering.

On the same plane, this basic graphics card makes the Optiplex 7050 a poor gaming desktop. It would be great if you could package all of the necessary components for titles such as Cyberpunk 2077 into a small form factor, but you won’t find them with this particular model.

2. Limited Upgradeability

When you get a computer with such a small frame, you’ll have a difficult time loading it up with aftermarket parts. Even with the tool-less upgrades feature, there’s hardly any extra space for an updated graphics card, memory, or storage. If you’re hoping to add expansion cards, you have very few slots to work with.

3. Potential Cooling Issues

Even if you don’t add any components, they’re already packed into that tiny frame. Not only will you have to work to replace parts, but there’s hardly any room for airflow. This may cause the system to overheat, requiring more power to work those fans. Want to add an extra fan? See the above issue.

4. Extra Cost for Small Form Factor

With all of these issues surrounding small form factors, you need to consider whether it’s worth investing in a model strictly for space and portability. Nowadays, you can find a full-tower desktop with the same performance for less. Plus, guess what? Those components are going to have more space to breathe as well.

Dell Optiplex 7050 SFF
If you want Dell’s small form factor, that will cost you extra.

5. Noisy Components

Imagine you’re trying to focus on work, and a small fan starts spinning at max speed to cool down your computer. It’s buzzing and whirring and making all sorts of noise. Now you can’t focus. Now your coworkers can’t focus. No one’s happy.

That’s exactly the scenario that users constantly find themselves in with the Dell Optiplex 7050 SFF desktop. It can’t cool itself down, so the fans have to kick it up a notch every few minutes. So if you need peace and quiet to get work done, you’re going to prefer a full tower strictly for this reason.

6. Outdated Connection Points

As technology continues to advance, it slowly but surely leaves the Optiplex 7050 behind. You have the option to connect with one USB-C port, one DisplayPort, and one HDMI. Otherwise, you better hope your peripherals connect via USB-A because that’s all it has left.

7. The Risk of High Maintenance Costs

As mentioned in the last issue, the Optiplex 7050 may only have a few years left. There’s not enough space within the small form factor tower to accommodate today’s parts, and you’re hard-pressed to find the old ones as time goes on. Not only does this put you at risk of purchasing used components, but they’ll run you a hefty price for their demand.

8. It Is Not Compatible with Windows 11

Probably the biggest eye-opener of all the issues, the Dell Optiplex 7050 can’t support Windows 11. And we realize this in correlation to the system’s hardware. An old processor, outdated TPM, and firmware updates leaving the computer behind provide reasons for the Optiplex 7050 reaching its final Windows OS compatibility.

Now obviously Windows 10 is a fine operating system, and it’s bound to serve its purpose for years to come. But we’ve all seen the speed at which technology progresses lately, and it’s just a matter of time before you’ll have to buy a new computer anyway. So why put yourself in that position when you could get an updated model?

The Best Alternatives to the Dell Optiplex 7050 SFF Desktop

The Dell Optiplex 7050 SFF was a great desktop for the business professional, but its lack of internal space and quickly progressing obsolescence diminishes its value. Similar models exist that offer updated reliability, size, and price. Here are three alternatives for the small form factor model that you should consider instead. 

Best for Budgets: HP EliteDesk 800 G3

Best for Budgets
HP Elitedesk 800 G3 Mini Desktop
$118.00
  • Intel Quad Core i5-6500T processor
  • 8GB DDR4 RAM
  • 256GB SSD storage
  • Type-C, DisplayPort, HDMI, Wi-Fi, and Ethernet/LAN RJ45
  • Windows 10 Pro
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
02/11/2024 05:45 am GMT

The HP EliteDesk 800 G3 looks like the same computer with a different logo. It offers solid performance and acceptable ports in a slender frame. It even weighs slightly less than the Optiplex 7050. Unsurprisingly, it suffers from the same issues: difficult to maintain, restricted airflow, outdated hardware. 

However, the EliteDesk 800 G3 costs $100 less. That’s a major benefit; if you’re knowingly considering a computer with an expiration date, spend as little as you can. This small-frame desktop offers that.

Best for Reliability: Lenovo ThinkCentre M710

Best for Reliability
Lenovo ThinkCentre M710 SFF Desktop
$289.99
  •  Intel Core i7 7700 processor
  • 16GB RAM plus 4 slots for 4DDR RAM (64GB max)
  • 1TB NVMe M.2 SSD
  • Built-in AX200 Wi-Fi 6 M.2 network adapter card
  • Windows 10 Pro
  • Wireless keyboard and mouse pad
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
02/11/2024 05:45 am GMT

On the other hand, if your desktop could fade out of usability, you may want to have the best experience possible. Lenovo recognizes what the business person needs and accommodates it with an awesome computer. The best processor of its time in the Intel Core i7 7700, enhanced flexibility, and increased security make up the Lenovo ThinkCentre M710.

It’s slightly larger than the Optiplex 7050, and that’s fine; the bigger size gives the components room to breathe. It also makes it easier to add new components. Plus with Lenovo’s reputation, the extra cost comes with continual customer service for any maintenance issues you may experience.

Best Dell Alternative: Dell Optiplex 7090

Best Dell Alternative
Dell OptiPlex 7090 Full-Size Tower Desktop Computer
  • Intel Octa-Core i7-11700 up to 4.9GHz
  • 16GB DDR4 RAM
  • 512GB PCIe SSD + 1TB HDD
  • DVD R+W
  • Wi-Fi Adapter, Ethernet, DisplayPort, Type-C USB
  • Windows 11 Pro
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.

However, Dell makes a great computer as well. The Optiplex 7050 finds a solid balance between performance and reliability, and what better way to follow its legacy than with the latest model?

Keep in mind that you’re investing in the latest technology with the 7090. At nearly $1,000, it’s miles beyond the business desktops of the mid-2010’s. However, it comes with an octa-core i7 processor and all the ports you could ask for. Just as the 7050 was built to last a decade, you can expect this computer to work nonstop for many years to come.

Is the Dell Optiplex 7050 SFF Ever Worth It?

We’ve seen many good years with the Dell Optiplex 7050 SFF desktop. One of the best computers designed for business, we’re starting to see it wear out. Increasingly incompatible hardware and operating systems lead this model to its grave in the coming years. 

However, if you’re looking for a great deal on a capable computer, don’t count this one out just yet. Maybe Windows 11 isn’t necessary for your business. Maybe you don’t run demanding applications like Adobe Photoshop. For the average workload — analyzing data, writing reports, doing research — you can take advantage of an affordable rebuild in the Optiplex 7050 for another few years.

Reasons to Avoid a Dell Optiplex 7050 SFF Desktop

1. Limited Graphics Performance
2. Limited Upgradeability
3. Potential Cooling Issues
4. Extra Cost for Small Form Factor
5. Noisy Components
6. Outdated Connection Points
7. The Risk of High Maintenance Costs
8. It Is Not Compatible with Windows 11
  1. HP Elitedesk 800 G3 Mini Desktop
    $118.00
    • Intel Quad Core i5-6500T processor
    • 8GB DDR4 RAM
    • 256GB SSD storage
    • Type-C, DisplayPort, HDMI, Wi-Fi, and Ethernet/LAN RJ45
    • Windows 10 Pro
    Buy Now

    We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.

    02/11/2024 05:45 am GMT
  2. Lenovo ThinkCentre M710 SFF Desktop
    $289.99
    •  Intel Core i7 7700 processor
    • 16GB RAM plus 4 slots for 4DDR RAM (64GB max)
    • 1TB NVMe M.2 SSD
    • Built-in AX200 Wi-Fi 6 M.2 network adapter card
    • Windows 10 Pro
    • Wireless keyboard and mouse pad
    Buy Now

    We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.

    02/11/2024 05:45 am GMT
  3. Dell OptiPlex 7090 Full-Size Tower Desktop Computer
    • Intel Octa-Core i7-11700 up to 4.9GHz
    • 16GB DDR4 RAM
    • 512GB PCIe SSD + 1TB HDD
    • DVD R+W
    • Wi-Fi Adapter, Ethernet, DisplayPort, Type-C USB
    • Windows 11 Pro
    Buy Now

    We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is the Dell Optiplex 7050 Windows 11 compatible?

The Dell Optiplex 7050 does not support Windows 11. The latest Windows OS compatibility is Windows 10.

Is the Dell Optiplex 7050 good for gaming?

While the Dell Optiplex 7050 features quality processing, memory, and storage, its Integrated Intel HD Graphics card is not suitable for today’s gaming requirements.

Can you upgrade a Dell Optiplex 7050?

The Dell Optiplex 7050 features tool-less upgrades, making it easy for users of any tech experience to swap or replace components.

What are some of the issues with small form factor computers?

One of the issues is crowded components, which can lead to overheating. This also means SFF computers have less room for upgrades. Typically, they are more expensive as well.

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