The best desktop computers of 2017
Do you think laptops have killed the good old desktop PC? Well, No. Here’s a guide to what all you must know before you plan to choose between Laptop and Desktop PC.
Why would anyone choose a desktop PC in 2017? Well, simply put there are various computing needs that small screened devices or mobile devices such as tablets or laptops are unable to fulfill. So if you have been planning to buy a desktop PC, here’s what you need to keep in mind while shopping for one!
The Power Game
Desktop-class graphic processors and CPUs are more powerful as compared to their mobile counterpart available at the same price. Desktops give you more power to finish a task you are working on in less amount of time. Desktop components are generally less expensive. Therefore instead of investing in a $500 laptop equipped with competent Intel Atom processor, you can choose to get your hands on a $500 desktop loaded with a powerful Intel Core i5 desktop CPU.
You can also choose to buy desktops with built-in screens or the one’s that can be connected externally to a monitor. In either of the case, you will get a larger display that you can ever get in a desktop-replacement laptop. Laptops generally have 18 inches screen as the biggest screen, but you can pick up even a larger screen for your desktop. Another plus point is that expandable desktops can help you store multiple graphics cards to support two different displays simultaneously.
Even for some highly sensitive situations, investing in a desktop gives you an advantage over laptops. Buying a desktop gives you a physical control over the computer and its use. Limiting access to personal computer lets you have a control over who see the confidential business data, while a combination of desktops lets parents monitor what their children are doing online. They can keep an eye on which websites they are surfing via a quick glance.
Which Operating System and More?
You probably have an answer to this question, but still here’s a rundown to make your choice easier.
Windows 10 is the latest version of Microsoft’s Operating System. Desktops that come equipped with it and the previous versions are used by a majority of people. So by opting for a PC working on Windows operating system, you can be sure of the best compatibility and widest selection of third-party software. The same also applies to some plugins as some only work with Windows.
The current version of Apple’s operating system is the macOS Sierra. This would be an excellent choice for people if you are already in love with the Apple-centric household. The macOS Sierra interfaces seamlessly with Apple devices such as iPhones and iPads along with pairing with your iTunes purchases and subscriptions.
Chrome operating system is the latest to join the bandwagon of the alternating desktop operating systems as it is required to run the Chrome browser on a desktop. You will be required to use always-on internet service to achieve best results from the cloud-based ecosystem. This is useful as home desktops are generally connected 24/7.
It is difficult to find desktops that come equipped with Linux or android, however, both have their own set of merits. Android lets you get access to more than two million applications, but a large number of them have scaling issue in the desktop. So if you are playing some games, you can get into trouble with the lack of accelerometer to control the games.
Linux has a set of its own followers but it is more of a do-it-yourself operating system. Thus you will have to rely on your own faculties for installation, sourcing programs, and support. On the contrast, macOS, Windows and Chrome OS are certainly easier choices, if you are looking forward to using your PC right after buying one.
How Much Do You Need?
If you are looking forward to buying a PC just to surf the internet, make simple spreadsheets or to write Word Documents, then go in with entry-level desktops. Here you will have to make certain compromises in terms of graphics, power, RAM, and storage as compared to the counterparts but again it will be worth the cost. Entry level desktops generally cost less than $600.
In this category lie a wide range of Intel and AMD processors, from the budget AMD Athlon X4 and Sempron, as well as Intel Atom and Celeron up to the slightly more expensive Intel Core i3 and i5 processors. While shopping for a budget-friendly desktop, you should look for a minimum of 4GB of RAM, while 2GB is acceptable for below $300 machines.
The chrome box is a subcategory of entry-level desktops and runs on Google’s Chrome OS. It can be found for as little as $179, utilizing free and paid Google cloud services to store files, install programs, and manage digital life. If you are someone who spends a large amount of time online, it is an alternative to inexpensive Windows desktop. However, it has only 64 GB of flash storage and thus you need to have a good wireless connection to access the cloud-based storage and apps.
There are various others mid range desktops that stay functional for a long time. They possess more CPU power and speed, memory for multitasking, storage, or a larger built-in screen. However here you need to make some sacrifices, but demanding users will be able to get their hands on midrange system that will stay with them for more than five to six years. In this category, you can look for a capable AMD A8 or A10 processor, or an Intel Core i5 CPU along with 8GB to 16GB of memory, and a 1TB hard drive or 256GB solid-state-drive (SSD) storage.
There are various high-end desktops that offer top-of-the-line component. For instance, the latest CPU’s will give you all the power you need for multimedia projects, 3D graphics capability for gaming, loads of storage (a 512GB SSD or 1TB hard drive, but typically 2TB or more), or a combination of all three.
These machines are priced at about $1500 and their price can go up to $5000 and beyond based on your requirements and their specifications. While sticking to one of the three price ranges, the professionals recommend you to buy a little more than what you require, if that is possible for you. This way, you can make your purchase future-proof and there won’t be a need to replace your purchase in a short while.
What is Required?
The general purpose desktops are the typical ones that you see in a retail store. These are well suited for regular office use, video conferencing, surfing the internet and more! These PC are designed to be a jack of all trades as they are good at a majority of tasks, however, they are not designed for a special function.
On the other hand, performance PC including the multimedia machines workstations gives more power to your math or science projects and creative ideas. The faster processors that come with four, six or 18 cores make your work a lot easier. More memory means you can easily keep large images on the screen which editing a video, process a humongous spreadsheet full of numbers you have to graph, or indulge in multitasking without any lag. You’ll also find extra storage in the form of large hard drives and SSDs that will help you hold a multitude of work documents and program library files.
Business PCs – These are special machines with utilitarian appearance. It offers work-friendly features in the form of extra security, easy serviceability, and upgradation. It also offers hardware and software certification programs and software support some desktops also come with on-site technical support.
Workstations – These are machines designed to do the heavy job of high-end media creation, strenuous tasks and scientific calculations. In this category, lie the multicore Intel Xeon processors and ISV-certified graphics solutions from AMD and Nvidia.
Gaming PCs – These PCs have the fastest version of multicore processors generally found in performance PCs. Moreover, they come with a specialized 3D graphic card to make it easy for you to view and interact with the virtual world. It also includes flashy design elements such as automotive paint, multiple graphics cards viewable through Plexiglas (or sometimes real glass) case doors, and elaborate liquid cooling setups, but everything comes at a price. If you are planning to buy a gaming desktop, it can cost you somewhere near $10000, however it is capable of giving you a larger than life experience with multiple 1080p HD or 4K displays.
Size Matters A lot
Desktops have evolved a lot and they are no longer uniform metal boxes they used to be. Even the smallest PC available nowadays has enough built-in components to give competition to high-performance PCs. Picking up a desktop PC these days is all about usability and purpose.
If you work in extremely cramped quarters, then make sure to go in with an ultra-small-form-factor (USFF) or small-form-factor (SFF) desktop. USFF or the mini desktop PCs takes up very little space in the room however they don’t come with much expandability. Moreover, they contain a storage, processor, memory, and small ports to hook up keyboard, display, and mouse. They are usually highly cost-effective to run and buy, since they are equipped with power-saving components and processors. The total volume of such systems is approximately equal to a small jewelry box.
Recently, we have seen PCs that are of the size of a USB drive, for example, the Intel Compute Stick. It comes with the benefits of getting disappeared behind an HDMI equipped monitor; however, it comes with limited configuration and you may need to give up expandability. Stick PC or mini desktops are the most flexible categories of desktops as they give you a chance to access cloud computing or play internet streaming media in the comfort of your living room or conference room.
SFF desktops come with more internal space, and allow you to attach additional hard. You can even possibly attach a gaming-grade graphics card. In this category, you’ll also find more powerful CPUs, ones that come with more strenuous cooling requirements.
Traditional tower desktops, which include mini, midsize, and full-size towers, come with high internal space. This gives you an option to install multiple hard drives, have more RAM, or attach multiple graphics cards, based on your requirements. They are the most flexible, but also the bulkiest.
The all-in-one or the AIO desktops help you save some space as they come with a built-in display. Some models even come with battery power for enhanced portability. When you purchase one, you will give up expandability as compared to the traditional desktops. Screen size varies from 18 to 34 inches and it supports up to 5,120-by-2,880 resolution.
Which Desktop Should I Buy?
Here we are going to review the top 7 desktop PCS you should buy. We have evaluated their performance and their features to make sure that you get your hands on the best desktop. This way you will get to know which is the best PC for gaming, for doing office work and more! No matter what kind of desktop you’re looking for, one of these is sure to fit the bill.
Acer Predator G1-710-70001
|Apple iMac 27-inch with retina-display 2015||Asus VivoMini CV65-G042Z||Dell XPS Tower Special Edition||
Shuttle XPC Nano
|Dell XPS 27 (7760)||HP Elite Slice|
|Lowest price||$ 1,749.99||$ 1,619.00||$ 409.06||$ 922.00||$ 222.00||$ 2,449.00||$ 624.73|
|Type||Gaming, Mini Desktop PC||All-in-one||Value, Digital Entertainment System||Gaming||Mainstream, Value||All-in-one, Touchscreen All-In-One||Small Business|
|Processor Name||Intel Core i7-7700K||Intel Core i5-4590||Intel Core i5-6400T||Intel Core i5-6400||Intel Celeron J3455||Intel Core i7-6700||Intel Core i5-6500T|
|Processor Speed||4.2 GHz||3.3 GHz||2.2 GHz||2.7 GHz||1.5 GHz||3.4 GHz||2.5 GHz|
|RAM||16 GB||8 GB||8 GB||8 GB||2 GB||16 GB||4 GB|
|Storage Capacity||960 GB||1 TB||1 TB||1 TB||32 GB||512 GB||500 GB|
|Graphics Card||Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080||AMD Radeon R9 M290||Intel HD Graphics 520||Nvidia GeForce GTX 1070||Intel HD Graphics 500||AMD Radeon R9 M470X||Intel HD Graphics 530|
|Primary Optical Drive||External||External||External||DVD-RW (Minus)||External||External||External|
|Monitor Type||None||LED Widescreen||None||None||None||LCD Widescreen||None|
|Screen Size||27 inches||27 inches|
|Operating System||Windows 10||Mac OS X Yosemite||Windows 10||Windows 10||Linux||Windows 10||Windows 10 Pro|
More companies are coming up with different ways to cram bigger performers into tiny packages and Acer Predator G1-710-70001 is one of them. Though it measures only 16.46 by 4.33 by 13.70 inches, the Acer Predator is a gaming PC. Despite its diminutive stature, the Predator G1 proved a strong performer for its price. Driven by fast core CPUs, the Acer Predator G1-710-70001 makes it a winner in its category. The PC is equipped with a number of amazing features that makes it to the list of Editor’s choice.
A scintillating performer, Acer Predator G1-710-7000 also carries a strong value proposition. It is a gaming desktop that you can get your hands on if you want to spend less than $2,500.
Priced at $1999, Apple iMac 27-inch with retina is backed by a beefy Intel Core i5 processor and AMD R9 graphics. On the outside, it is difficult to differentiate Apple iMac 27-Inch With Retina 5K Display from the previous versions as the design has remained largely untouched since 2012. However, it comes with a lot of improvement. The colors just pop on this screen and the viewing angles are excellent. I/O ports are plentiful, if somewhat inconveniently placed. It does not support Target Display mode, therefore it is not possible to use the iMac’s screen as a monitor with a MacBook or an Apple Mac mini.
The latest version of Apple iMac 27-Inch With Retina 5K Display delivers 14.7 million pixels in a very sleek package to your desktop, and it’s more affordable than ever. So get your hands on one soon!!
If you are not a game freak, then Asus VivoMini VC65-G042Z is the best PC you should invest your money in. It is definitely on the smaller side, measuring about 1.9 by 7.8 by 7.8 inches (HWD) and weighs less than 5 pounds. The system can easily be mounted on the back of a TV or other display, or hidden under a desk shelf. The connectivity is excellent, as there are two USB 3.0 ports in easy reach on the front panel, a larger selection of I/O ports on the back and an SD card slot on the top.
The Asus VivoMini VC65-G042Z is your everyday desktop that packs a lot of power and expandability. It is compact enough to fit into a cubbyhole or behind a TV.
Dell XPS Tower Special Edition is one of the best gaming PC. Despite its understated design, it packs a Nvidia GTX 1070 graphics card, which translates to a computer that’s just fine for gaming. It is made up from black plastic while the overall effect gives the XPS Tower Special Edition a sophisticated look and feel. It is a feature loaded PC that comes at a budget-friendly price. It comes with four DIMM slots total, which can hold up to 64GB of memory, three 3.5-inch drive bays, and one 5.25-inch drive bay.
Dell XPS Tower Special Edition is a sleek gaming desktop that is known to deliver good performance at an accessible price. While expandability is limited, it’s a good choice for modest gamers.
Shuttle XPC Nano is a name that is familiar to PC enthusiasts. This is an inexpensive fully built ultra-small-form-factor desktop PC featuring an Intel Celeron processor, solid-state drive (SSD) storage, 2GB of system memory, and 64-bit Microsoft Windows 10 Home. While it comes packed with great features, it is small enough to disappear behind an HDTV or other large-screen monitors. Moreover, when compared to Intel computer stick, it shows excellent connectivity. The system is fairly future-proof as it comes with a free 2.5-inch internal drive bay and two SO-DIMM slots for system memory.
Shuttle XPC Nano is an inexpensive and highly appealing choice if you want to connect a PC to an HDTV, have a desire to tinker, or both.
If you love listening to music at extremely high volume or are planning to organize a concert in your room, then buying Dell XPS 27 would be the right choice. The 10 speakers are divided into the following format – two tweeters, six full-range drivers, and two passive radiators. It also has a 3.4GHz Intel Core i7-6700 processor, an AMD Radeon R9 M470X discrete graphics card, and 16GB of RAM.
Dell XPS 27 comes with a beautiful 4K touch screen, an adjustable stand, and 10 speakers. It is an all-in-one desktop, which you may be planning to buy for a long time.
HP Elite Slice is a business desktop PC that comes with a unique design. The $699 base model comes sans modules, while the HP Slice for Meeting Rooms we tested goes for $949. There are extensive connectivity options on the base unit. A headset jack and USB-C port are on the left side. On the back, there’s a DisplayPort connector, an HDMI port, an Ethernet jack, the jack for the AC adapter, a USB-C port with DisplayPort capabilities for one-cable connection, and two USB 3.0 ports.
HP Elite Slice is a modular small-form-factor business PC that can be used in conference rooms or at your employees’ desks and can be switched to different configurations in just seconds.