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5 Reasons to Avoid a Dell OptiPlex 7050 Today

Dell Optiplex

5 Reasons to Avoid a Dell OptiPlex 7050 Today

What are some reasons to avoid a Dell OptiPlex 7050? The small form factor desktop PC has been gaining steady traction for business and home users. You have the power of a desktop in a size more comparable to a larger laptop. The Dell OptiPlex 7050 made quite a splash upon its release in 2017, but is it still relevant in 2023?

What Is the Dell OptiPlex 7050?

The OptiPlex 7050 is a small form factor desktop originally released in 2017. It is very much a mid-range PC for its time and comes with the expected specs of the era. The 7050 comes with Kaby Lake Intel processors, with the price accordingly shooting up if you’re getting a more powerful CPU.

You’ve got support for DDR4-2400 RAM, though some models with the sixth-generation Intel processors will underclock this to 2100 MHz. These are dependable small form factor desktops for business and home use, but they’ve lost some of their luster in 2023. Age hasn’t been kind to the components of the OptiPlex 7050, as will be discussed further on.

Specs

Dell OptiPlex 7050
ProcessorIntel Core i3, i5, and i7 for both sixth-generation and seventh-generation architectures
RAM TypeDDR4-2100 for sixth-generation processors, DDR4-2400 for seventh-generation Intel CPUs
Maximum RAM Supported64 GB
Storage OptionsAllows for a pair of 2.5-inch drives, and a single 3.5-inch drive in addition to SD cards and M.2 SSDs.
Storage ConnectorsSATA, PCI-E, M.2
GPUIntegrated Intel graphics, AMD Radeon R5 430, and R7 450 are available as optional upgrades
Wireless Standards SupportedWi-Fi 5, Bluetooth 4.2
PortsUSB 3.1, USB 2.0, Serial, Audio Out, HDMI, DisplayPort, Ethernet, Power Supply, VGA, PS/2

Reason #1: Weak Processor Options

The real area where the OptiPlex 7050 shows its age is in the limited options for the packaged processors. As a business-oriented small form factor desktop, there are natural slants towards reliability over bleeding edge performance. The seventh-generation Intel processors are still perfectly fine for most workloads but will be bottlenecked with more modern applications.

You don’t have the option of choosing a whole new processor, either, as this is a prebuilt PC. Potential buyers might find this is one of the strongest reasons to avoid a Dell OptiPlex 7050. This will be a recurrent theme for the 7050; the aging hardware really does hold it back from current use. Users could potentially purchase a brand-new small form factor desktop that is far more capable.

Reason #2: There’s Minimal Room for Upgrades

Pre-built desktops from the likes of Dell and HP are already rather slim on the options for upgrades. This goes further with the OptiPlex 7050. Budget gamers looking to slot in a GPU to an older business machine are going to be stuck with discrete graphics cards like the RTX 3050.

Intel i7-7700
Dell OptiPlex 7050 SFF Desktop PC
$270.00
  • Windows 10 Pro
  • 32GB DDR4 RAM
  • 1TB SSD storage
  • Intel Quad Core i7-7700 (up to 4.2 GHz)
  • Supports 4K (3840 x 2160) dual display
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
03/10/2024 11:36 pm GMT

You can upgrade the RAM, but the DIMMs only provide a maximum of DDR4-2400. If you’ve got the older sixth-generation CPU, you’ll be stuck with DDR4-2100. You can certainly use one of the precious PCI-E slots for an NVMe SSD. The M.2 slot is a great inclusion, and you do have a handful of SATA connectors for connecting additional drives.

Reason #3: RAM Options Are Slower

As mentioned, you’re restricted somewhat with the RAM options for the OptiPlex 7050. More modern budget desktops are going to come with support with faster standards of RAM. This becomes one of the bigger reasons to avoid a Dell OptiPlex 7050.

You could certainly slot in some of the fastest DDR4 memory on the market. However, you’ll be brought down to 2100 or 2400 MHz, depending on the processor. All budgetary constraints aside, you’re going to be better off with a modern business machine rather than trying to adapt a 2017 desktop to modern demands.

Reason #4: There Is Only One M.2 Slot

The limited upgrade paths rear their ugly head once again. Make no mistake, having an M.2 slot is a great benefit for any user. You keep your SATA and PCI-E lanes wide open while also reaping the benefits of blazing-fast storage. That said, you’ve got a single M.2 slot to use with the OptiPlex 7050. This means you’ll need to max out the storage with the best you can afford.

These drawbacks really do hold back the OptiPlex 7050 from being a sleeper purchase in 2023. While there are certainly some benefits to purchasing a refurbished or older computer, you can be firmly stuck with limited components.

Reason #5: The Included Graphics Options Aren’t Suited for 4K

You’ve got the option of integrated Intel graphics or budget Radeon GPUs. Now, these work well for 1080p monitors, and in the case of the Radeon GPUs can stand up to some light gaming. However, they really aren’t well suited for driving 4K monitors. You can certainly run a 4K monitor with the graphics options.

Both the Radeon GPUs and the integrated Intel chipset support 4K displays, after all. However, you’ll notice things aren’t running to the best of their ability. You could circumvent this by purchasing a newer GPU, like the previously mentioned RTX 3050. However, that’s quite the expenditure and could be one of the main reasons to avoid a Dell OptiPlex 7050.

Alternatives to the Dell OptiPlex 7050

Here are three of our favorite alternatives to the Dell OptiPlex 7050.

Apple Mac Mini

Serious Power at a Low Price
Apple 2023 Mac Mini
$499.00
  • M2 processor (8 CPU cores, 10 GPU cores)
  • 8 GB RAM, 1 TB SSD
  • Wi-Fi 6E, Bluetooth 5.3
  • Over 15,000 apps and plug-ins are optimized for M2
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03/11/2024 03:32 am GMT

The Apple Mac Mini is arguably the small form factor desktop PC to beat. Yes, it is even more limited in upgrades when compared to the OptiPlex 7050. You aren’t going to be swapping out the GPU, adding RAM, or slotting in additional storage. However, what makes the Mac Mini such a compelling purchase is its extreme performance.

The Apple Silicon processor in this model, the M2, is a powerful ARM-based processor that makes the seventh-generation Intel processors of the 7050 look like fossils. You can find the Mac Mini for rather affordable prices, especially around Black Friday and Back to School sales.

Acer Aspire XC-895-UR11

Intel Core i3
Acer Aspire XC-895-UR11
$555.00
  • 8 GB RAM, 1 TB SSD
  • Windows 10 Home
  • 10th Generation Intel Core i3-10100 (up to 4.3 GHz)
  •  Wi-Fi 6, Bluetooth 5.1
  •  8X DVD-Writer Double-Layer Drive
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03/11/2024 03:36 am GMT

The Acer Aspire XC is a budget small form factor PC with more modern components. You’ve got DDR4-2666 RAM, tenth-generation Intel processors, and newer wireless standards. Upgrade options are going to be significantly limited, much like with the OptiPlex 7050. However, since this is a more modern PC, you’ll have a bit more enjoyment using it on demanding applications.

The Aspire XC is built with home users and small businesses in mind. The Intel Core i3-10100 on this particular model is great for multi-tasking but does suffer when trying to run applications with heavy multi-threading needs. Then again, most office workers or home users are likely not going to be processing AI on their small form factor PCs.

Dell OptiPlex 7070 Ultra

Ready for Work
Dell OptiPlex 7070 Ultra
$649.99
  • 8 GB RAM, 256 GB SSD
  • Intel i5 Processor
  • Compact size for business use
  • Comes with Windows 10 Pro
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03/11/2024 03:41 am GMT

The Dell OptiPlex 7070 Ultra is a more modern take on the OptiPlex line. It isn’t that much newer, mind you, but still has more modern components than the 7050. You’ve got an eight-generation Intel processor, 8 GB of DDR4 RAM, and a 256 GB SSD with the selected model. Like the 7050, you can upgrade the RAM and storage as needed.

The OptiPlex 7070 Ultra is decidedly slimmer and easier to incorporate into spaces than the 7050. However, the upgrade paths for any major components are going to be severely limited. There just isn’t much room in the case to accommodate the likes of a graphics card or multiple drives without making some compromises.

Closing Thoughts

The OptiPlex 7050 is a great PC in many regards. However, the sands of time have done the same thing to any number of computers. If you’re looking to purchase an OptiPlex 7050 for work purposes, spending the extra money on a more modern PC might be worth it. The OptiPlex 7050 would serve just fine as a general desktop for daily browsing or a home server.

Reasons to Avoid a Dell OptiPlex 7050
1. The selections for processors are outdated.
2. There isn’t a ton of room for upgrades.
3. Your compatible RAM is slower than more common DDR4 types.
4. The OptiPlex 7050 only has a single M.2 slot.
5. The on-board graphics options are best suited for 1080p.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is the OptiPlex 7050 suited for Windows 11?

If you’re looking for a more modern OS, you’re going to be stuck with Windows 10 on the OptiPlex 7050. It lacks the TPM module needed for Windows 11.

Is the OptiPlex 7050 suited for gaming?

For older games, sure. If you’re expecting to run modern games, you might need to look elsewhere.

Can you upgrade the CPU on the OptiPlex 7050?

No, you’re essentially stuck with whatever processor the PC shipped with.

Can you install additional RAM on the OptiPlex 7050?

Yes, you can install up to 64 GB of DDR4 RAM on the OptiPlex 7050.

Does the OptiPlex 7050 have support for M.2 drives?

Yes, there is a single M.2 slot users can use.

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