It packs components peppier than the original's, and a downright stunning screen. Choosing a desktop computer that's right for you shouldn't be difficult. Similarly, a Mini PC makes dormitory life a little bit easier as these PCs can often be stored out of the way. He previously covered the consumer tech beat as a news reporter for PCMag in San Francisco and Silicon Valley, where he rode in several self-driving cars and witnessed the rise and fall of many startups. That inexpensive laptop would be subject to the vagaries of daily commuting and the occasional drop from a coffee table. All-In-One PCs are alternatives to your traditional tower and monitor setup. 3. They're bigger than the "stick"-style PCs but much more flexible. Our expert industry analysis and practical solutions help you make better buying decisions and get more from technology. If space is an issue, consider a PC with a smaller form factor. An intuitive and user friendly operating system. On all but the very tiniest of mini PCs, you should look for at least three USB 3.0 (or higher) ports, at least one of which should be the newer, oval-shaped Type-C variety if you have any compatible peripherals that plug directly into that kind of port. Create promotional products, custom business cards, custom stampers, flyers and posters to strengthen your brand. For a typical tower using a true desktop-grade CPU, mainstream users should look for an Intel Core i5 or AMD Ryzen 5; the Core i7 and Ryzen 7 are also excellent, powerful choices, but overkill for most folks who aren’t serious PC gamers, intensive multitaskers, or prosumer or pro video or image manipulators. Touch displays make them excellent choices for watching movies or serving as a multimedia hub in the kitchen or other public area of your home, though the very highest resolutions target content creators rather than consumers. Traditional tower desktops offer even more flexibility, but also a lot more bulk. That way, you'll know which are best suited for gaming, which is our favorite general-purpose all-in-one, and which is the best if all you need is a small, powerful system you can get up and running quickly. Warranty. They do come with drawbacks. For most people in the market for an inexpensive desktop tower, there's no single best time to buy. Despite these advantages, a desktop isn't necessarily better than a laptop or tablet for everyone, especially if your main computing life consists of basic typing and surfing tasks done on the living-room couch. That said, people who need copious amounts of CPU or GPU muscle (and who have a clear idea of what hardware moves the performance needle with the apps they use) should pay attention to PC-component release cycles. Again, see our deep-dive on desktop CPUs to understand the nuances of these higher-end choices. A typical configuration in this case is one 512GB SSD and two or more hard drives with at least 1TB of space on each. The display of third-party trademarks and trade names on this site does not necessarily indicate any affiliation or the endorsement of PCMag. Whether you're a gamer, a designer, a student, or simply need a desktop for … Consider choosing a fast SSD as the boot drive, and one or more large-capacity but slower hard drives for bulk storage of capacity-sapping video or games. We review hundreds of PCs every year, evaluating their features and testing their performance against peers in their respective categories. Impressively compact case with LED-lit side window. Most desktop makers offer one-year warranties on parts and labor, with extensions available for as many as five years at an additional charge. You'll have to choose based on what you plan to do with your desktop and where you plan to put it. One of the main benefits of a desktop tower is that it will use a desktop-grade CPU. You'll also typically find an HDMI output (and perhaps another video output or two, such as DisplayPort or VGA), a 3.5mm audio jack, a connector for an external Wi-Fi antenna, and a receptacle for a physical lock. The final consideration is how well a desktop PC performs. To find them, search or filter the product category pages for "off-lease" or refurbished systems. Armed with all of the knowledge and decision points above, you're almost ready to shop. © 1996-2021 Ziff Davis, LLC. Choosing a graphics card is a complex affair. When evaluating a desktop, beyond looking at what ports are present, also evaluate where they are. Most common storage device used in traditional towers. on your computer. Faster processors with four, six, eight, or even as many as 18 cores will benefit software written to take advantage of the extra cores. A graduate of Middlebury College, Tom also has a master's degree in journalism and French Studies from New York University. The cost of entry will be higher than with the least expensive PCs, however. Intel typically labels these mobile-first chip designs with a CPU name containing "U," "Y," or "H"; most desktop chips instead have a "T" or a "K," or just a zero at the end. Desktop towers have many of their own idiosyncrasies. Some buying concerns, no less crucial than the ones above, apply only to certain types of desktops. On larger towers, one or two of these should support Thunderbolt over USB-C. Also a given: an Ethernet jack for wired networking, and multiple DisplayPort and HDMI jacks on the dedicated GPU (assuming there is one) for connecting one or more external monitors. Meanwhile, creative professionals and other power users should consider the graphics-acceleration recommendations of the apps they plan to run, using the software maker's system requirements as a guide. This direct-to-consumer configuration of HP's 23.8-inch touch-screen Pavilion 24 all-in-one desktop delivers potent performance for a low $799.99. If you think you'll add storage later, it’s wise to consider how many expansion bays your desktop has. Going off-market Google 's Chrome OS is another attractive option but there are different version of internal,... Also works as smartphone-controlled Bluetooth speaker in laptops weaknesses, and a of. Your budget, know exactly what features you want for work and play it components... Math and scientific projects as intensive 3D games the nuances of these form factors consider a PC. There are exceptions is mostly a decision you ’ ll have to make if you go all-in like our... The screen and speakers are built in, and none of them for sale, be... Easier as these PCs can often be stored out of the standard warranty period up... 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