We just suggest ordering a more cost-effective configuration unless you're a true power user. The very smallest sizes have the benefit of disappearing behind an HDMI-equipped monitor or TV, and they contain a processor, memory, storage, and ports to hook up keyboards and mice. Add all that up, and it remains one of the best big-screen all-in-one computers for the prosumer and work-from-home crowds. Some buying concerns, no less crucial than the ones above, apply only to certain types of desktops. If you use our links to buy, we may get a commission. With a new lower starting price and Apple's straining-at-the-leash M1 CPU, the Mac mini is far and away the most polished, potent tiny desktop in its class. These are not casual purchases. CONSRAM not technically a user upgrade.No option for a 2.5-inch hard drive as internal mass storage.Scanty SSD on base model. By Matt Safford 04 June 2020. Enthusiasts who like to tinker with components but aren't interested in building their own PCs from scratch will need to pay special attention to the number and type of expansion bays and how easy it is to access power and data cables. 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. Large corporations lease fleets of desktops for a few years at a time, after which third parties refurbish them and offer them for resale on eBay, as well as via retailers such as Best Buy, Newegg, and TigerDirect. PCMag is obsessed with culture and tech, offering smart, spirited coverage of the products and innovations that shape our connected lives and the digital trends that keep us talking. 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. Such a setup can be more affordable than you might think—an SSD plus one hard drive is sometimes seen on sub-$1,000 desktop towers. Desktop computers are available in a wide range of specifications and designs. If you need a perfect desk organizer for your working place, check out our selection of the best desk organizers in 2020 in this guide. You must also take into account any peripherals you'll need, such as connector ports and optical drives. 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. Still, nearly all desktop towers have generous amounts of interior space and full-size (a.k.a. With a newly available Intel Core i9 CPU and updated AMD Radeon Pro graphics, the 2019 reboot of the 27-inch Apple iMac all-in-one is now as powerful as it is beautiful. By Consumer Reports. Best Budget Desktop Computer Under $500: Acer Aspire TC It packs components peppier than the original's, and a downright stunning screen. 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. While traditional sale holidays such as Black Friday can net you the odd bargain, when you find a system whose features, price, and performance match what you're looking for, take it home. The bar has been reset for mini PCs: With deep upgrade options and a unique internal architecture based on Intel's Compute Element, the game-changing NUC 9 Extreme brings near-tower power down to the truly small. The latter take up vastly less space than the spinning hard drives of old. While building your own computer will always get … ... Apple's iMac is an ultra-thin all-in-one desktop computer, available in 21.5- and 27-inch sizes with an array of build-to-order upgrades. PROSDeep connectivity for its size, including four Thunderbolt 3 ports.Memory is SO-DIMM, not soldered.Configurable up to six cores/12 threads.New storage (2TB) and RAM (64GB) ceilings.Top-notch pre-installed software. Shoppers looking for an all-in-one PC, meanwhile, should pay attention to announcements from Apple and Microsoft. The screen is an integral part of what you are buying, and eyes-on time matters, especially if you’re not well-versed, say, in the differences between a 24-inch and 27-inch panel, or a 1080p versus a 4K screen. KitGuru’s PC Buying Guide 2020. (This has shown more variance in recent years.). We review hundreds of PCs every year, evaluating their features and testing their performance against peers in their respective categories. Google's Chrome OS is a viable alternative to Windows and macOS, but desktops running it (called Chromeboxes) are rare and best suited to niche uses like powering a restaurant menu display. How to buy a desktop computer. PROSGreat value.Best current performance for the category.Slick design with a small footprint.Optical drive, Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth included.USB-C port. Desktop towers have many of their own idiosyncrasies. One of the desktop's most alluring promises is the value it delivers. Give some deep thought to the screen resolution, whatever the panel size. New graphics-card releases are less frequent and depend on the vagaries of technical advances—Nvidia's highly successful GeForce GTX 1000 series, for example, was the cutting edge for several years before the first GeForce RTX cards were announced. News Videos. These three forms each have strengths and weaknesses, and none of them is an obvious best choice for everyone. You'll also want to ensure your desktop has at least one M.2 slot to accept a PCI Express SSD as the main boot drive, since that will offer the fastest throughput speeds. The screen and speakers are built in, and you'll likely use a wireless keyboard and mouse, anyway. Buy: HP Envy 32 $1,999.99 13. For help choosing a motherboard, see our 2020 motherboard buying guide. The Best Desktop Computers for 2020 Whether hulking towers, sleek all-in-ones, ... Let's consider these, and a bunch of other important factors, in this guide to buying a desktop. PROSSpacious 32-inch 4K display.Intel Core i7-9700 CPU is snappy on all fronts.Gaming-ready GeForce RTX 2060 graphics.Booming sound bar also works as smartphone-controlled Bluetooth speaker.Wireless charging pad on base. HP's Z2 Tower G4 measures up to the workstation competition and then some. A typical configuration in this case is one 512GB SSD and two or more hard drives with at least 1TB of space on each. A single 500GB or 512GB SSD is fine for most users. Some AIOs, in contrast, have some of their key ports hidden behind the stand, in hard-to-reach places. A 4K or even 5K resolution makes for a breathtaking screen, especially one that's 27 inches or larger, but such resolutions often add significantly to the price. The Core i9, Ryzen 9, Ryzen Threadripper, and Core X-Series are worthwhile only if you know your workflow is being held back by too few cores or threads. Modernized for 2017, the 27-inch iMac offers the best overall combination of features and performance for folks who haven't given up on a desktop. 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. Just make sure you've got adequate time to return it, if it ends up not working out. Note that Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity, while reliably present on even the cheapest laptops and many smaller desktops, is not a given on larger towers. Our rule of thumb is that if a warranty costs more than 15 percent of the desktop’s purchase price, you're better off spending the money on backup drives or services that minimize downtime and protect precious data that you can't replace. Many AIOs and mini PCs, conversely, use the same efficient, cooler-running types of CPUs that you'll find in laptops. Screen resolution is key when buying a monitor, and should be your primary concern. Many people considering desktops in the $200-to-$500 range should also consider a refurbished machine. Nowadays, the differences between midsize and full-size towers are less well-defined, and some of the new PC case designs—from cubes to glass boxes—defy easy categorization. What you ultimately buy will depend on your budget and space limitations, but also on what you intend to use the display for and what features you prioritize over others. Anything that is less than Full High Definition (1920 x 1080 pixels) should be rejected, but you’re unlikely to find a modern day monitor with lower resolution. The best monitors in 2020. That's because of their premium warranty or support plans, as well as the possible addition of enterprise-specific silicon focused on manageability or security. The best monitors at a glance. And setting eyes on an all-in-one desktop is more crucial than with a typical tower desktop or mini PC. Starting at … If you're just looking to do some middle-of-the-road gaming on a 1080p monitor (and not looking to win any professional esports crowns), a mainstream card like those in Nvidia's GeForce GTX series will do just fine. These drives are very small, the size and thickness of a stick of gum. • iPhone: 2020 Buyer's Guide. PROSAMD Ryzen 9 3950X processor in our unit delivers blistering performance.Ready for high-refresh 1440p and 60fps 40K gaming.Bold, modern case design.Toolless access to efficient internal layout.Huge array of configuration options when ordering. Also, the typical base and boost clock speeds may be lower, and the chip may not support multithreading. These refurbished PCs are often surprisingly cheap ($150 to $250 is common), and many are desktop towers, so they're easy to upgrade or service if a component goes south. But know that the models at the truly tiny end of the scale offer no room for adding extra internal components, and their preinstalled parts are usually difficult or impossible to upgrade. With a few exceptions for business-oriented models, you will give up a lot of room for expansion in an AIO versus traditional desktop tower. Professionals eyeing workstations will want to consider Nvidia's Quadro lineup or AMD's Radeon Pro models. You might be able to excuse a relative lack of input and output ports on a sleek AIO. These products are selected based on different factors that define the credibility of the brand and the efficiency as well. They can be excellent values in certain circumstances. Cracking open an AIO for an upgrade or fix, while not impossible, is a bigger deal than opening the side of a desktop tower. But if you're not wedded to one or the other by years of habit (or the peripherals and software you own) and are open to switching, here's a quick rundown of your choices. Though you can find budget AIOs with basic feature sets, lower resolutions, and non-touch screens, many new models offer touch-enabled screens, and some AIO panels have exceptionally high native resolutions of 4K (3,840 by 2,160 pixels) or even 5K (5,120 by 2,880 pixels). Dec 21 2020. iPhone 12 Became the World's Top 5G Smartphone Within Two Weeks of Launch. They're bigger than the "stick"-style PCs but much more flexible. One of the main benefits of a desktop tower is that it will use a desktop-grade CPU. Apple iMac 27-Inch With 5K Retina Display (2019), Tom is PCMag's San Francisco-based news reporter. The Ultimate Desktop PC Buying Guide The best desktop PCs can serve as the heart of your work and entertainment setup. 1. Macs and Windows PCs are available in all three of the major desktop form factors: mini PCs that can fit on a bookshelf, sleek all-in-ones with built-in (and usually high-resolution) displays, and traditional desktop towers that are bulky but offer lots of room for expansion. All computers have a CPU, but most laptops and many cheaper desktops don't have a dedicated graphics processor, or GPU. Whether hulking towers, sleek all-in-ones, or space-saving mini PCs, today's desktops pack neater designs and more value than ever. Many towers will also have multiple audio ports, including possibly an optical output and ports for individual speaker channels in a surround-sound setup. The top desktops: ... these are the best monitors you can buy. As a result, you may want to settle for a screen with a full HD or 1080p (1,920-by-1,080-pixel) native resolution and spend money to upgrade other components instead. 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