When it comes to speed, capacity, screen size, and value for money, the Best desktop computers reign supreme over laptops. Their performance at a similar cost is hard to match. If you’re considering buying the Best desktop computer, our expert guide will help you make the right choice based on your needs.
Advantages of Best Desktop Computers
Desktops come in various forms, including the traditional tower case, mini-tower, and horizontal “form factor” models, all offering a spacious interior and easy accessibility. While some compact all-in-one models sacrifice internal space for a sleeker look, they still offer powerful components and large screens. However, be aware that certain slim models may incorporate laptop-style components like onboard graphics and smaller hard drives.
Types of Best Desktop Computers
Best Desktop computers fall into three main categories:
- Tower: The traditional desktop with a large upright case that provides excellent versatility and upgradability. Mini tower and horizontal form factor models are also available but have less internal space.
- Compact: Also known as Small Form Factor (SFF) or Mini PCs, these smaller computers offer reduced components and do not include a built-in screen.
- All-in-one: A great choice for those seeking a general-purpose desktop with a big screen and a compact size. All-in-ones integrate all components, including the monitor, into a single unit, saving space and offering a stylish multimedia option.
Advantages of Tower or Compact Models over Slim All-in-ones
Choosing a tower or compact PC offers several advantages:
- More and wider connection ports.
- Better cooling capabilities for higher-end components.
- More internal space for additional drives or a second graphics card.
- Enhanced flexibility for upgrades, extending the PC’s lifespan.
- Option to custom-tailor your desktop PC to meet specific needs and budget.
Selecting the Right Desktop PC
To choose the ideal desktop computer, consider your computing requirements and fit into one of the following categories:
- Entry Level: A budget-friendly computer for basic activities like internet browsing, email, and light office work.
- Mid-range: A versatile PC suitable for web browsing, email, office tasks, and casual gaming. May struggle with resource-intensive applications like video editing and high-level games.
- High-end: Designed for technology enthusiasts, multimedia professionals, and gamers needing superior performance for intensive tasks like video/audio editing, 3D rendering, and advanced gaming.
Most users will find a mid-range system sufficient, offering plenty of options depending on the chosen processor, graphics card, and storage.
Consider Future Needs
Look for a system that will meet your requirements for the next few years. Check for upgradability options, such as replacing the processor, graphics card, and hard drive with better ones later on.
Mini PCs – A Smaller Option
Mini PCs are compact versions of desktop PCs, offering moderate processing power similar to all-in-one desktops. They are space-saving and cost-effective, making them ideal for various uses, such as home entertainment or light computing tasks. Check for adequate USB ports and necessary connections before purchasing, as their limited internal space hinders significant upgrades.
Operating System Choice: Windows, OS X, or Linux?
The operating system (OS) is a crucial decision that will impact software choices and hardware compatibility. Consider the following options:
- Windows: Widest range of programs and works across various devices, including tablets.
- OS X: Specially designed for Apple hardware, offering ease of use and compatibility with some Windows programs.
- Linux: Generally free, an alternative to Windows that runs on various PCs.
Ensure you spend time with each system before deciding on the one that best suits your needs.
Other Key Considerations
Beware of ‘bargains’
When looking for a desktop computer, keep in mind that if a deal appears too good to be true, it may come with compromises. Extremely low prices might indicate outdated or inferior components that could affect the computer’s overall performance. For less experienced users, it’s often safer to stick with well-known brand names that offer pre-configured systems, ensuring compatibility and quality.
Is a monitor included with the computer? If so, what type of monitor is it? If not, are there any bundle deals available to save on the overall cost? This also applies to other peripherals like printers or scanners.
Make sure not to underestimate your storage needs. Ensure that the computer’s hard drive has enough room for all your current programs and files, as well as the ever-expanding collection of videos and music that many people tend to accumulate nowadays. A 1TB hard drive is a good starting point, but if possible, consider doubling that to 2TB or even 3–4 TB. If you choose a desktop tower model, you can easily add an additional internal hard drive later on, or even opt for a super-speedy solid-state drive (SSD) for enhanced performance.
CPU (Central Processing Unit):
The CPU is like the brain of your computer, and its number of cores, processing power, and price range can indicate the overall level of performance it offers. When comparing CPUs, be cautious when comparing Intel with AMD, as their quoted speed figures may not be directly comparable.
Additionally, within each brand, like Intel, there are sub-families such as the Core i3, i5, i7, i9, and M series mobile processors. These newer versions can deliver high performance even at the same quoted speed in GHz. For Intel, the general hierarchy from slowest to fastest is i3, i5, i7, and i9. While these are commonly used in consumer-level desktops, Intel also has powerful processors like the Xeon series, primarily utilized in non-consumer devices such as workstations and servers.
Comparing processors across different brands, families, and series can be complex and beyond the scope of this general buying guide. However, there are online resources available to help you make the right decision.
RAM (Random Access Memory):
Having enough RAM is crucial to keep your computer running smoothly when handling multiple or resource-intensive tasks like image processing. Aim for a minimum of 4GB of RAM, even for budget systems, but ideally, 8GB is recommended for most general-use PCs.
While entry-level and some mid-range Best desktop computers may have onboard graphics (integrated into the motherboard), more demanding tasks like high-end gaming or graphics-intensive programs greatly benefit from a dedicated graphics card. Dedicated graphics cards can also be upgraded later on. Some high-end programs may even require a dedicated graphics card to run effectively.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) for Choosing the Best Desktop Computers
A1: Best Desktop computers offer superior pace, capacity, display length, and price for money in comparison to laptops. They provide a huge range of shape elements, which includes towers, mini-tower, and all-in-one, offering spacious interiors and effective components. Certain slim fashions may additionally have laptop-fashion components but usually, computer systems reign ideal in overall performance.
A2: Best Desktop computers fall into three main categories:
Tower: Traditional desktops with a large upright case, offering excellent versatility and upgradability.
Compact: Also known as Small Form Factor (SFF) or Mini PCs, those smaller computers have reduced additives and do now not encompass an integrated display.
All-in-one: General-cause desktops with a huge display screen and a compact size, integrating all components, which includes the screen, right into an unmarried unit.
A3: Opting for a tower or compact PC offers several benefits, along with extra and wider connection ports, higher cooling talents for better-quit additives, greater inner space for added drives or a 2d pictures card, better flexibility for upgrades, and the capacity to customize the laptop PC to satisfy precise desires and finances.
A4: Consider your computing needs and fit them into one of the following categories:
Entry Level: For fundamental sports like net surfing, electronic mail, and mild office work.
Mid-range: Suitable for net surfing, e-mail, office duties, and casual gaming, but may conflict with resource-intensive applications.
High-give up: Designed for generation lovers, multimedia professionals, and gamers wanting superior overall performance for intensive tasks like video/audio modifying, three-D rendering, and superior gaming.
A5: Look for a machine to be able to meet your necessities for the next few years. Check for upgradability alternatives, which include the capability to replace the processor, pictures card, and difficult force with higher ones in a while to extend the lifespan of the PC.
Ensure that the computer has the necessary USB 3.0 and HDMI connections to suit your needs, and check that there are enough ports available for each. If you have other devices that use different ports like FireWire 800, eSATA, or Thunderbolt, you may need to add a specific card to support them.