Desktop Computer Buying Guide 2022

A desktop computer can be a good choice over laptops or tablet computers if you want a laptop or tablet with keyboard. Computers work great for heavy computer-based tasks, like video editing and data analysis.

Laptops put more strain on your neck than a computer monitor and they’re also much pricier per power.

There are different models available. Some come with a built-in display and others require you to supply your own. But, good computer monitors are available at reasonable prices

While there are certainly benefits to all-in-one models, they often come at a high price and can take up a lot of desk space. A desk with computer on top is typically cheaper, less bulky, and provides more room to work.

Deciding between Mac or PC all comes down to what you need out of a computer. Both platforms offer models that do well in our labs, and they come with lots of different software options.

But there are also benefits to having both a Mac & iPhone or an Android phone & PC. It’s possible, for example, to answer a text message with your keyboard and share data that can be copy-pasted.

Types of Desktop Computer

Desktops are generally better than laptops when it comes to getting a lot of processing power for your money. While they may be more expensive at the start, they save you money in the long term as you’ll never have to buy another PC.

A fully configured system will come with a monitor, keyboard, and mouse. You may need to buy an ergonomic setting for your mouse and keyboard instead if you prefer not to use the standard ones that are provided.

Some modern monitors don’t come with built in webcam support. It can be hard to make video calls without one.

Full-Sized Desktop

They take up a lot of space and need to be placed either on or under the desk, but full-sized desktops are usually cheaper than smaller options, so you can afford &update it when required.

Compact Desktop

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With less than half the size of a standard desktop, compact desktops are perfect if you lack space in your current workstation or if you plan to put it where there is no space on your workstation

All-in-One Desktop

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All-in-one computers are powerful, space-efficient options that combine the computer and monitor. Certain models of computers are very difficult to repair & upgrade because their components are packed tightly on the back and under the display. These space-saving devices aren’t what you’d expect to see in an average office, but they’re perfect for tight spaces.

Gaming Desktop

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Gaming systems can offer the latest & most advanced features– from fast processors to sophisticated graphics cards and large HDDs. You’ll also get plenty of the RAM you need for high-octane gaming sessions.

Supplying a computer with extra components or high-powered graphics is often done by using a case that easily fits an additional component. They are normally quite expensive, but can be worth the expense.

Desktop Computer Buying Guide

Choosing a Processor, and OS

Speed matters, as processors with multiple cores can process more data at the same time

The clock speed of your processor (together with the number of cores) determines how quickly it can process information.

Upgrading your processor can often give it extra speed for a little while. Generally, higher speeds mean faster processing speeds. Most clock speeds start at 1 GHz, with mobile processors being the exception to the rule. 5GHz is a very fast speed, especially for a desktop computer. If you’re looking for a computer on the cheaper side, there is probably no need to buy one with a higher-end processor.

If you plan to watch high-resolution videos or play mainstream games, the Intel Core i5 and AMD Ryzen 5 line of processors will provide a good experience for your needs.

How Much Memory?

The more Memory a PC has, the faster it is. The amount of memory in your PC is measured in GB. 8GB of RAM has become common on desktops, with 16GB or higher on higher-end devices. Unless you regularly I have multiple large apps open at the same time, more RAM doesn’t always mean better performance.

Operating System

We recommend that computers you buy come with Windows 11. Your system should be customized to include it, but if it isn’t, Windows 11 is a free update from Windows 10.

Windows 11 has a refreshed UI, now like macOS, and is integrated with Microsoft’s cloud storage service OneDrive. It’s also very similar to Windows 10

Microsoft has a prodigious selection of software, games and updates that are available to download for Windows. The platform often get exclusive rights to big releases first before they come out on Macs. Microsoft release free updates regularly throughout the year, etc.

Macs are pricier, but you get what you pay for–they’re less susceptible to viruses & spyware. They could be a little hard for PC users to grasp at first, but their battle-tested hardware is worth it.

The Monterey release was the latest from Apple in the fall of 2021. You can always expect regular updates for macOS to keep your work computer up-to-date.

Hard Drives

HDDs are also known as hard disks and are less power efficient than SSDs. They can be slower too.

Your data storage space is measured in gigabytes and terabytes. The typical range is from 250GB to more than 1TB

This is why speed is such a huge priority so be sure you’re looking for an HDD with fast speeds. A slow hard drive will take longer to start up your operating system and programs and process bigger tasks (like installing programs or scanning for viruses).

To have your desktop perform at its best, it’s a good idea to get a 7,200-rpm hard drive.

Solid-state drives

SSDs are a newer type of media storage that is faster than traditional hard drives. They achieve this using flash memory that doesn’t involve any moving parts.

It’s also the simplest way to get the most performance possible out of your computer. Generally We recommend that you upgrade to a solid-state drive over a traditional hard drive.

Optical Drives

When you need them, external optical drives can be easy to find, relatively cheap and plug into a USB port for around $20-30

Graphics Adapter and Graphics Memory

The graphics processing unit (GPU) is a piece of hardware that’s been around for a while and is responsible for the visuals that you see on your screen.

Graphic processing comes in two flavors: it can either come integrated into the same chip that runs the rest of the computer or it can run outside as its own piece of hardware

Most computers have integrated graphics. This allows them to be inexpensive and supply average performance, but it results in a lack of quality in serious games.

If you play mainstream or HD video games with the effects turned on, or if you edit video, especially HDR and 4K content, then discrete graphics will be a major selling point. However, for lighter tasks such as word processing and web browsing, integrated graphics should be more than enough.

Features Of Desktop Computer

You have free rein to choose how you want your desktop computer to function. Most come with a predefined set of features but you still have many options.

Wireless Mouse

Wireless Mouse
Wireless Mouse

A mouse that’s bundled with a desktop is usually optical. This means, light sensors on the underside will track your movements and you’ll be able to work wirelessly if you have a wireless mouse. If you want to switch between gadgets, you can simply plug in an adapter.

Monitors for Desktops

Dell P2422H 24" 16:9 IPS Computer Monitor Screen
Dell P2422H 24″ 16:9 IPS Computer Monitor Screen

Monitor screen sizes generally range from 15 to 24 inches. The most popular sizes are 19 and 20 inches. We recommend for members to dive deeper by reading our current ratings.

Most are wide-screen, which is great for movies but may not be optimal for photo editing, video editing and other similar work. Viewing angles and contrasts can differ from typical monitors so some planning should be put into place before purchase. Monitors can usually be purchased at more affordable rates than TVs so analyze your needs first then make a decision about your monitor.

Networking

TP-Link AC1750 Smart WiFi Router
TP-Link AC1750 Smart WiFi Router 

“Desktops usually come with an Ethernet port that allows you to connect them to your router by running a cable. This lets you mate the desktop with your home Internet service.”

If you can’t run a cable through your home, think about using WiFi adapters. If you don’t have a desktop with an Ethernet port, you can buy standalone adapters for about $40 and plug them into USB ports. You will also need a wireless router.

Desktop Computer Brands

In choosing a computer, pay particular attention to the brand’s technical support and reliability. We’ve conducted surveys to provide you with an overview of major brands.

Acer

Acer produces a variety of different laptops and desktops that come in at different price points. Some items even include a lightweight design. Acer also has Chromebooks. Their gaming line is called Predator.

Apple

Apple computers tend to be more expensive than Windows-based ones. They use a special operating system (called macOS) called OS X, but can also run Windows using specialized software.

Apple offers a wide variety of products: MacBooks, MacBook Pros & Macbook Airs, iMac desktops & Mac minis.

The Mac Pro desktop is a professional line of Apple products. However, the free telephone technical support from Apple is limited to three months, but you can get unlimited free support at the Genius Bar at an Apple Store.

Asus

Asus offers laptop & desktop computers in all sized including thin & lights as well as 2-in-1 models under the ZenBook line. They also produce Chromebooks and various high-end computers for gamers that can be found under their ROG brand.

Dell

Inspiron is Dell’s mass market line of desktops, laptops and all-in-ones. For demanding price ranges, the XPS line is a great alternative as they offer a range of different product options like convertibles.

Dell records some of the highest number of gamers across the world. This has even resulted in the creation of some gaming laptops like: Dell Inspiron 3000, 5000, 7000 or higher-end XPS series which are available in small quantities. They also offer Chromebooks if you’re looking for a more attractive laptop with no screen or keyboard!

HP

HP is currently the top seller of Desktops and Laptops in the U.S. With laptop models ranging from cheap to expensive, it provides a variety of options for any budget. Some HP models are even capable of functioning as tablets or smartphone when detached or folded down. For laptop users, it offers the budget HP line, the higher-performance Envy line, the mainstream Pavilion line, and the premium Spectre line.

Lenovo

Lenovo’s laptop brand includes Idea Pad, Yoga and ThinkPad Yoga. This brand also offers gaming laptops, budget, and light laptops among other products such as detachable convertibles & Chromebooks.

Lenovo’s ThinkPads are business notebooks and ThinkCentre are working desktops. Lenovo produces computers such as the Yoga Home, 300, 500, 700, and 900 series as well as gaming machines known as the Legion.

Microsoft

Microsoft offers the Surface Pro detachable tablets/laptops. The larger, detachable laptop is called the Surface Book. The company also produces an all-in-one PC that’s mainly for artists, designers and other talented creators who need to use a variety of physical input devices like cameras, scanners, graphic tablets and pens.

Samsung

Samsung offers a wide range of laptops in different sizes under the Notebook 5, 7 and 9 lines and an all-in-one PC known as the All-In-One. They also produce Chromebooks.

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