Why You Should Still Opt for a Desktop PC

In the past couple of years we have seen quite a drastic shift to mobile computing. However, many old-school PC fans, gamers, and especially professionals, remain loyal to their desktop PC due to many reason; familiarity to the platform, upgradability, quality and dependable performance, and feature demands. For businesses, institutions, parents and other types of users, desktop computer have the immobility appeal. It’s more secured when it’s locked up inside the house or office and more difficult to use on the sly. But are these are more reasons why desktop PC is still a good choice for many types of users. Read this Dual Monitors Guide’s entry to know more about the rules for buying a desktop PC.

Dell Inspiron 3000s Intel G1820 Dual 2.7GHz, 4GB RAM, Windows 7, 500GB HDD Desktop Computer (image from Amazon)

Though desktop computer is no longer the center of the world of computing, many users still opt for them and many vendors still sell fully-assembled packaged sets and accessories to sustain the diversity of the market. Here are the rules you need to know and follow:

Guidelines in Buying a Desktop PC

1. Get the Best Your Budget Can Afford

This doesn’t mean getting the fanciest and most sophisticated build out there. Rather, you want something that has the features and functions you really need. The ever-evolving industry of computer technology means that today’s great PC will be paperweight tomorrow. Generally, you will only need three things in buying a PC: fast CPU, large hard drive and more RAM.

Aside from those three core components however, you need to be meticulously selective on the features you pay for. If you’re not a gamer and you don’t want to have heavy action-packed and graphics-demanding games on your PC, then you don’t need fancy graphics. The same goes to a Blu-ray drive, if you already have a Blu-ray player in your living room, or if you don’t watch Blu-ray movies, then you don’t need it.

(image from Amazon)

Dell Inspiron 3000 Small (3647) is a good example of quality budget computer. Despite its affordable price tag, it doesn’t compromise features. This slip desktop is surprisingly well-equipped; Intel Core i3-4150 dual core processor that gives it great performance boost, while 4GB comes with 1 Terabyte hard drive storage space, which is twice as much as most systems in its price range. It also offers wireless networking, which many manufacturers drop just to keep the prices of their products down. The downside of this rig is that, its slim tower makes it tough to upgrade, especially when you’re considering big graphics card for PC gaming.

Many PCs are sold with fixed parts and configurations these days, making it harder to handpick the components you want. However, many stores out there let you pick the components you want and build the CPU for you. This is a good way to save money. Also, you can always add new components and upgrade your PC post-purchase.


2. Consider All-In-One Desktop PC

All-In-One PCs and iMac-style PCs offer comes with display, are the epitome of fastest-growing desktop category. Every mainstream computer vendor has all-around computers in their store, from every price range, and in a wide selection of particulars, such as monitor size, and both with and without the touch function.

Dell XPS 27 (image from Amazon)

All-around computers are easier to setup; almost everything you need for general use are already there. It’s a great space-saver, easy to use, gets rid of cable clutter, consumes less energy, and very attractive to look in your desk. They come with the basic peripherals such as a built-in Webcam for convenience. Mac in particular, has fewer wires, keeping your workstation clean and neat. All-in-one computers also work great as an alternative home entertainment center.

Dell XPS 27 is one good example of good-quality all-in-one PC. It’s designed for multi-tasking, thanks to its 4th Generation Intel Core Processor which features Intel Turbo Boost Technology 2.0 balance power with efficiency. And 3D videos and games look better than ever. Nicely designed, smart and responsive touchscreen technology (edge-to-edge glass panel registers up to ten fingers at once) and tons of I/O ports to use.

Apple iMac 27 (image from Amazon)

The Apple brand is best known for its all-in-one computer, and the Apple iMac 27 is a good example of that reputation. It has a breathtaking design, high-end processor and graphics card, and some great set of robust features, such as Thunderbolt ports, USB 3.0 ports. Its massive 27-inch screen displays 2560 x 1440 resolution, which shows movies and images a visually stimulating experience.

Of course, all-in-one computers have their own set of limitations as well. Because everything is sort of packed into one, you can’t expect optimum performance you see in high-end computer builds. Also, all-in-one PCs lacks the upgradability. And while the display usually lasts longer, other components that make up the whole thing do not. They tend to develop issues, and if these issues start to compromise the function, you may have to get a new one.

3. Timing is Everything

If there’s anything that hurts more than missing out great deals, it’s buying a computer set only to find a new important component or CPU released in the market a few weeks later, for the same price as your newly bought computer. Black Friday can be a great time to see some great deals, but most PC vendors regularly launch their “instant rebate” programs year-round, usually at random. So look around and search for deals from major PC store sites, compare shops and don’t be afraid to put off your purchase a few weeks to see if there are better deals out there. 


Read news to ensure you get the best bung for your buck. If you’re to a certain PC brand or vendor, such as Nvidia or Intel, then you can search for news and updates about their products and latest releases. This way, you can be sure you get the latest hardware or a better deal than the previous generation.


Categorizing Your Search

PCs can be sliced in a lot of ways, by vendor, Operating System, by chassis, etc. The best way to do it though is to go by your intended use, and then price. These two parameters can make the search for the most relevant components and features of PC landscape so much easier.


General Purpose PCs

General Purpose PCs or all-around computers are great for workaday computing, web browsing, general office works, and light-duty multimedia use. You can find the best all-around computer at $1000 or less.

If you’re budget conscious, you can find lots of decent budget PC at $500 the most. Refurbished and extreme deals can go lower, but generally speaking, $500 today can go a long way.

(image from Amazon)

Asus Chromebox-M004U Desktop for example, is a compact, quick booting and loading CPU, with a very affordable price tag ($167). It comes with lots of USB ports, DisplayPort and HDMI, and syncs bookmarks and settings with Google. It’s quite a steal for its price.

(image from Amazon)

For loyal Mac fans, or for people looking for bigger hard drive space or a little more computing power, a budget of $750 or more will do. Two of your best choices are common tower desktops and Mac Mini.

(image from Amazon)

If you can stretch your budget a little more ($1000 and above), then expect a fully-loaded desktop computer; faster CPU, larger hard drive space, and good graphics. Again, understand what you need and intended purpose. If you dabble in gaming, editing videos and photos, use advanced software and multitask tons of programs, a general purpose desktop computer rarely need this much money.


Gaming Desktop PCs

(image from Amazon)

Dedicated PC gamers usually spend $1000 to $1500 for a good performance gaming computer. That’s just for a mid-range 3D card with decent CPU components. The good news however is that, most games these days runs at 1920 x 1080-pixel resolution, which means mid-range PCs can support them with very minor issues.

CybertronPC Strike-1X GM3122A Gaming Desktop is one of the cheapest high-powered gaming desktop PC you can find in the market right now. This quad-core gaming PC comes equipped with the 3rd Generation Intel Core i7-3770K, Radeon HD6670 graphics card, unlocked Processor and 8GB of fast DDR3 memory. That specs alone will give you a good idea how powerful this gaming rig. It may not be the most powerful today, but it’s certainly belongs to the upper echelon of its kind.

(image from Amazon)

CyberpowerPC Zeus Mini ZMA800A Desktop is a small-form-factor designed CPU packed with powerful components across board. This device belongs to the category-leading performance in gaming and various computing use. It’s a great space-saving desktop tower, but its small frame makes it limited expansion room.


There are computer builds out there that runs at ultra-fast load times, colossal hard drives, and lets you play with dual monitor or triple monitor setup. Their price can reach up to $5000. Having multiple monitors and doubling or tripling your screen is a good idea, but thousands of dollars’ worth of CPU seems like overkill.

Luxury Desktop PCs

Luxury PC, also referred as Lifestyle PC, is a high-end version of all-around PCs, with greater focus on media performance, more particularly in video. Most newer models of 27-inch all-around PCs falls in this category, along with other 24-inch and 23-inch models, such as higher-end towers from Dell and HP.

Luxury computer usually come with fancy high-end components, such as TV tuners, Blu-ray drives, etc. All-in-one PCs these days even come with touch screen. These PCs are usually priced $1250 and above.

(image from Amazon)

The Apple 27-inch iMac for example, is a fantastic all-in-one computer; it comes with great display, very powerful and capable of supporting 3D games with its native resolution of 2560 x 1440. It’s stylish and definitely a luxurious and professional-looking computer that stands up well against its competition. This luxury desktop is a great tool for anyone looking for more room to work with. It works with fantastic color accuracy and contrast. If you can afford a computer like this, it’s highly impossible not to fall for.


Business PC or Specialized Professional or Media PC

Professional PCs or also known as Business PCs, are not very different from the mainstream all-around PCs. They are however, specially designed to handle media editing, and various tasks that demands heavy performance and specific set of features. This type of build is usually more expensive, as it require some high-end components.

This type needs larger display paired with high-end graphics card and big storage space. The 27-inch Mac is also a good example of this type, it comes with big screen and paired with the latest processor for optimum performance. For graphics professionals, or those who need bigger storage and with enterprise-class stability, a standard tower PC can be enough. However, those hard drive and specialized graphics card may push the price up.

(image from Amazon)

Lenovo ThinkStation E32 SFF is a good example of budget professional PC. It’s a professional ISV-certified desktop computer and packed with great workstation features. It's well positioned and very powerful, something you can depend on mid-level manager task which needs regular checking of engineering or scientific work, or creative professionals in the graphic art.

Despite the rising popularity of mobile computers, desktop PC is still the unbeatable workhorse in the computer world. It continues to evolve with wider selection of customization choices, from design to performance, from extremely affordable to crazy expensive prices, different hardware brands, up to wide range of use. Today, desktop PCs are making their way to the living room, and more and more manufacturers make home theater PCs that connects easily with HDTV for complete and convenient home theater, stream Netflix for movies and TV series or play some heavy duty PC games.

Whether you’re looking for a fancy professional computer, high-performance build for gaming or a sleek all-in-one PC, Dual Monitors Guide is here to help.

Click here for Part 2.

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