Ever since laptops became so cheap to own, many people have stopped buying desktop PCs. However, there are two huge advantages to a home computer that you won’t get from a laptop. First, because laptops tend to travel, you run a greater risk of circuits breaking loose and frying the whole system. Second, desktops provide a central location for everyone in the family.
However, there are other benefits to owning a home computer these days. When a computer gets old, most people will look for a new one to replace it, especially if their computer is a laptop. Desktops tend to be upgradeable, allowing you to swap or replace components without much effort. Desktops are also great for many uses, from homework to entertainment. If you have a computer with an HDMI port, you can play all your games and watch your HD movies on your HD TV, turning your computer into your media hub.
We compared the best home computers based on performance, memory, design and support, and we tested them based on their ability to do work-related tasks, stream HD video and play video games. Our favorite desktops were the Dell XPS 8700, the Lenovo K450e and the Asus M32AD. If you want to know more about the desktop advantage, check out are articles about home computers.
There are many styles and designs for home computers. Some manufacturers give you several different models to choose from, while others will allow you to customize your computer. We judged our lineup of PCs on the following criteria:
All home computers come with a processor. The processor is the brain of the computer, running all operations and controlling everything you see. However, if you want stellar performance, you should look for a computer with a graphics card, although almost all computers allow you to add a graphics card after purchase. Lastly, all computers allow you to connect to the internet with a LAN cable, but it’s easier to connect with a wireless networking card.
Memory & Storage
Many people associate memory with speed, and while RAM can speed up a computer, RAM is best used for heavy tasks like editing video or broadcasting a live stream. You can judge how well a computer will handle certain tasks by how much memory it has. A computer with 4GB of RAM will do well with work and media, while 16GB of RAM is great for editing video (as long as the rest of the components are fast enough for media production). Next, look for a computer with lots of storage space. All of the computers we looked at had a minimum of 1TB, which can hold thousands of documents, songs and movies.
One of the often-overlooked parts of a desktop is its physical design. However, if you have printers, keyboards, webcams or any other peripheral, you need to make sure your PC has plenty of USB 2.0 and 3.0 ports. Although memory cards aren’t used as often, there are several tasks that need memory cards, including photography. Lastly, make sure you know what kind of monitor is compatible with the PC. Many computers are also compatible with televisions with an HDMI cable.
Help & Support
The final aspect of the computer buying experience is the amount of support that is available. Look for a computer with a long warranty, and make sure that there are options to buy a longer warranty. Also, look for free email, phone and live chat support.
We love the versatility and power of desktop PCs, and the fact that you can upgrade components years after purchase makes your computer future ready. The real hard part is picking which computer to buy, but our side-by-side comparison can make the decision easier.