Dell Optiplex 9020 Mini Tower Desktop PC, Intel Core i7-4770-3.4 GHz, 32GB Ram, 1TB (1000GB) SSD Drive, WiFi, DVD-RW, Windows 10 Pro (Renewed)View on Amazon
HP Pavilion Desktop PC, AMD Ryzen 7 5700G, 16 GB RAM, 512 GB SSD, Windows 11 Pro, Wi-Fi 5 & Bluetooth Connectivity, 9 USB Ports, Wired Mouse and Keyboard Combo, Pre-Built Tower (TP01-2022, 2021)View on Amazon
Acer Aspire TC-1760-UA92 Desktop | 12th Gen Intel Core i5-12400 6-Core Processor | 12GB 3200MHz DDR4 | 512GB NVMe M.2 SSD | 8X DVD | Intel Wireless Wi-Fi 6 AX201 | Bluetooth 5.2 | Windows 11 HomeView on Amazon
HP Elite 8300 Tower Desktop (Intel Quad Core i5 3.20GHz, 16GB RAM, 2TB HDD, 120GB SSD, Windows 10 Professional, WiFi, HDMI, Bluetooth) (Renewed)View on Amazon
DELL OPTIPLEX 390 DT Desktop Computer, Intel Core I3-2100 3.1GHz, 8GB DDR3, 1TB, DVD, WIFI, HDMI, VGA, Bluetooth 4.0, Windows 10 Professional 64 Bit (Renewed)View on Amazon
Dell Optiplex 7050 SFF Desktop PC Intel i7-7700 4-Cores 3.60GHz 32GB DDR4 1TB SSD WiFi BT HDMI Duel Monitor Support Windows 10 Pro Excellent Condition(Renewed)View on Amazon
Dell Inspiron Desktop, 12th Gen Intel Core i5-12400 (6-Core, 18M Cache, 2.5GHz to 4.4GHz) Processor, 12GB RAM, 256GB SSD, 1TB HDD, Wi-Fi 6, Windows 11 HomeView on Amazon
HP Pavilion Desktop Computer PC, AMD Ryzen 7 Processor, AMD Radeon Graphics, 16 GB SDRAM, 512 GB PCIe SSD, Windows 11 Pro OS, 9 USB Ports, High-Performance Wi-Fi & Bluetooth, (TP01-2062,2022)View on Amazon
Dell Inspiron 3910 Desktop Computer Tower - 12th Gen Intel Core i5-12400, 16GB DDR4 RAM, 256GB SSD + 1TB HDD, Intel UHD Graphics 730, WiFi 6, HDMI, Bluetooth, USB-C, Windows 11 Home - BlueView on Amazon
DELL 7050 Mini Tower Desktop Intel i7-7700 UP to 4.20GHz 32GB DDR4 New 1TB NVMe SSD + 2TB HDD USB Wi-Fi BT Dual Monitor Support Wireless Keyboard and Mouse Win10 Pro (Renewed)View on Amazon
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Tips for Selecting a Desktop Computer
If your current PC is struggling to run even basic tasks like Windows Solitaire, let alone video editing software, don't worry. There is positive news for computer users who are considering an upgrade: There has never been a more opportune time to purchase a new PC.
Prices are currently at an all-time low, while computers are simultaneously becoming increasingly powerful and packed with convenient features. However, choosing the appropriate computer to meet your needs and budget can be overwhelming, especially for individuals who are not tech-savvy and feel intimidated by technical jargon and pushy salespeople.
Here's a guide to help you choose the perfect computer for you.
Desktop or Laptop If portability is important to you, then a laptop (also known as a "notebook") PC is the right choice. However, if you desire the flexibility of adding a larger display or upgrading various components (such as a bigger hard drive or a better video card), then a desktop PC might be the better option.
If you decide on a desktop computer, you will also need a separate display to connect to it in order to see anything, unless you opt for an all-in-one computer like the Dell All-in-One or Apple iMac, which have the display integrated into the unit. If you choose a laptop, you need to consider factors like weight and size for portability. A larger screen is appealing, but it comes with added size and weight. The larger the screen (for example, 17 inches compared to 12 inches), the bulkier and heavier the laptop will be.
While laptops are becoming more powerful, a desktop computer is still better suited for tasks that require graphics-intensive applications such as gaming, video editing, or animation rendering. However, if portability is a priority, then laptops are the only way to go.
Other factors to consider when deciding between a laptop and a desktop computer include upfront costs, noise and cooling, and peripherals. Generally, a laptop will cost slightly more than a desktop with similar specifications since you are purchasing the display and input mechanisms together, as well as a battery. However, there are excellent budget-friendly laptops available.
Laptops are often compact, which means they tend to be noisier when the fans ramp up to keep the computer cool. While desktops can also become noisy under heavy loads such as gaming or video editing, they usually remain quieter than laptops under the same load due to improved airflow in the case. Additionally, you have the option to modify the cooling of a desktop, which is not as easy with laptops.
In terms of peripherals, desktops usually offer more ports than laptops. Therefore, if you need to connect multiple peripherals like printers, external storage, speakers, or a microphone, a desktop might be the better choice. The latest port standards to look for include USB-C and Thunderbolt 3, which provide excellent connectivity.
Mac or Windows The choice between Mac and Windows operating systems is primarily based on personal preference and experience, making it difficult to recommend one over the other. The best way to determine which one is ideal for you is to try both and see which feels more intuitive to work on and is compatible with your favorite programs. Mac computers are generally more expensive than Windows-based PCs, although they tend to offer slightly more security. With fewer macOS PCs available, hackers are less interested in creating viruses for them. Apple's closed-ecosystem approach also makes it harder to distribute malware, though not impossible.
Windows PCs provide a more robust gaming ecosystem and are particularly suited for gamers.
Outside of gaming, both macOS and Windows have excellent app ecosystems, offering a wide range of applications for various tasks. Ultimately, you need to make the decision based on your.
Looking to game on the move? Take a look at our selection of the finest gaming laptops currently available.
Storage The capacity of a hard drive or solid-state drive determines the number of programs and files it can accommodate before running out of space. Unless you're considering a Chromebook that heavily relies on cloud storage, a computer with a minimum of 500GB of space is a good starting point. If you have a large collection of games or movies to store, you might want to consider an additional drive with one or two terabytes of extra space.
Most computers today come equipped with at least one solid-state drive (SSD) for storage. SSDs are significantly faster than older hard disk drives (HDDs) with moving magnetic components, which means quicker file access and retrieval. SSDs are ideal for use as boot drives, while traditional hard drives are better suited for additional storage and secondary drives.
If you're concerned about running out of storage space, fret not. There are plenty of options to expand your storage capacity, whether you have a laptop or desktop, such as affordable external hard drives or cloud storage solutions. External drives (including external hard drives and SSDs) are excellent choices and can be as fast as internal drives thanks to technologies like Thunderbolt 4.
Wi-Fi and Bluetooth If you're in the market for a laptop, chances are it will come with integrated wireless networking features. This allows you to connect to the internet at broadband speeds when within range of a Wi-Fi network, whether at home, work, school, or various "hotspots" worldwide, such as cafes, hotels, and airport lounges. The latest laptops feature 802.11ax (Wi-Fi 6) technology, which offers a 30% to 60% speed boost compared to older 802.11ac (Wi-Fi 5) technology and provides better future device compatibility.
Bluetooth is another common wireless feature found in most laptops (and some desktops), making it easier to sync phones without cables and offering support for headsets and headphones. This allows you to move around freely during voice calls or while listening to music. Any desktop you choose should have Wi-Fi 5 or 6 wireless networking capability (either built-in or via an optional attachment) or include an integrated Ethernet port for internet connection via an Ethernet cable.
Considering Chromebook While Windows and Mac are the typical choices for operating systems, there is an alternative for new users - Chromebook. Chromebooks run on Chrome OS, a lightweight operating system designed for ultra-portable laptops.
Chromebooks offer a balance of pros and cons: they tend to be very affordable and easy to use, making them ideal for casual users, students, and those on a budget. They also have increasing compatibility with Android apps. On the other hand, they usually have limited power, minimal storage (relying on cloud storage for many activities), and limited capability to run resource-intensive software or applications without Chrome OS compatibility.
If you're interested in a lightweight laptop, we recommend checking out our Chromebooks guide and our current list of the best Chromebooks available.
Building your own computer If you're feeling adventurous and looking for something different, you always have the option to build your own computer. It's a lot of fun, and nowadays it's easier than ever to find and purchase all the necessary parts. The advice mentioned above still applies.
If you're interested in building your own computer, the best place to start is PCPartPicker. At PCPartPicker, you can compile a list of parts from various online retailers, including Newegg and Amazon. What's even better is that PCPartPicker will notify you if the selected parts are not compatible.
What sets apart a tower computer from a desktop computer?
Desktop computers are intended to be placed on a desk or table, while tower computers are designed for floor placement. Tower computers typically have a larger and bulkier form factor compared to desktops.
Expandability is another key distinction, with tower computers offering greater expandability compared to desktops.
Which is superior, an all-in-one PC or a traditional desktop?
All-in-one PCs occupy less space, allowing for additional items on your desk. Additionally, a clutter-free environment and fewer distractions can enhance focus and create a more tranquil and comfortable workspace.
Is it worthwhile to upgrade an old computer?
Upgrading your computer can provide increased speed and storage capacity at a fraction of the cost of purchasing a new one. However, if the desired speed boost cannot be achieved in an older system, it may not be worthwhile to install new components.
What are the drawbacks of desktop computers compared to laptops?
Desktop computers lack portability, unlike laptops. Additionally, there is a risk of privacy breaches through software or applications used on the computer. Moving a desktop computer from one location to another can be challenging due to its space-consuming nature.
What processor is recommended for a desktop computer?
The choice of the best CPU for your desktop depends on your specific usage. For gamers seeking maximum performance, the Intel Core i9-11900K, which is overclockable and commonly found in high-end systems, is ideal. On the other hand, creatives dealing with large media files would benefit from AMD processors with more cores, such as the AMD Ryzen 5900X and 5950X, which offer 12 and 16 cores respectively.
If your primary tasks involve working on Office files and web browsing, you can opt for cost savings without significant performance impact by scaling down to an Intel Core i5 or Core i7, or an AMD Ryzen 7 or Ryzen 5 processor.
Should a desktop have USB-C or Thunderbolt 3?
While USB-C is increasingly present in desktop builds, it is still more commonly found in laptops. Although not essential, USB-A to USB-C cables are widely available. However, if USB-C is a must-have for you, pay attention to the case of your new system, as it may or may not have USB-C as a standard feature.
Thunderbolt 3, which utilizes the USB-C form factor, offers the highest bandwidth among USB-based connections, surpassing standard USB ports in speed. However, Thunderbolt 3 is even less prevalent in desktops compared to USB-C. If you require Thunderbolt 3, you would need to choose an Intel or Apple system. In the case of Intel systems where Thunderbolt 3 is not standard on the chassis or motherboard, you can consider adding a PCI-Express add-in card with Thunderbolt 3 support.
When is the optimal time to purchase a desktop?
The best time to buy a desktop is when your current computer cannot handle the tasks you need to perform. Black Friday and Amazon Prime Day often offer the biggest discounts on desktop computers, but throughout the year, you can find deals on PCs. Keep an eye on our compilation of the best desktop deals for convenient reference when you decide to upgrade.
How can you determine whether you need a laptop or a desktop?
The decision between a laptop and a desktop depends on portability and comfort. Laptops offer mobility, but desktops provide a more comfortable experience with larger screens. Additionally, desktops offer more flexibility, allowing you to choose a preferred keyboard and mouse setup, but they are confined to a specific location.
Consider your specific usage requirements. If you prioritize gaming, a desktop is usually the better choice. On the other hand, if your tasks primarily involve email and web browsing, a laptop is likely the more suitable option.
The Acer Aspire TC-1760-UA92 Desktop When looking to buy a laptop or desktop computer, it's important to consider your specific needs and budget. Look for a computer with a processor that is powerful enough to handle the tasks you need it for, enough RAM and storage to meet your needs, and a reliable brand with good customer support options. If you plan on using your computer for gaming or video editing, a dedicated graphics card may be necessary. Additionally, consider the physical configuration of the computer case, whether it's a tower or desktop, and whether it has enough room for expansion if you plan to upgrade in the future. By doing your research and comparing different options, you can find the best computer for your needs at a price point that works for you.