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Desktop Buying Guide: How to Make the Best Choice

A man using his choice of desktop computer.

Desktop Buying Guide: How to Make the Best Choice

Looking to purchase a desktop computer? We understand the importance of a smooth computer experience and feel every buyer’s confusion in finding what’s best for them.

That’s where this desktop buying guide comes in. We will walk you through the exploration of all key considerations, including your usage requirements, price range, essential specifications, display preferences, connectivity options, operating systems, and more. 

Let’s break it down and provide key points in assessing your Desktop requirements.

Understanding Your Computing Needs and Budget

Determining your computing needs by considering how you would like to use your desktop and the tasks you require it for will help you navigate the buying process of your new computer.

Ultimately, your budget will guide you in assessing the specifications of each component you’ll need inside your PC. For instance, if you’re looking for a basic all-in-one setup, you can opt for a lower price range. 

However, if you engage in complex tasks or gaming, you’ll likely need higher specifications for your PC parts. Keeping this in mind will enable you to find a new PC companion that comfortably fits within your budget and meets your needs.

A desktop computer with a sleek and modern design.

Computing Requirements Based on Different Types of Users and Their Needs

Computing requirements vary among users. Businesses typically require high-performance laptops with powerful processing units and graphics cards to support their workflows. Home users usually need a basic computer for everyday tasks. Gamers, on the other hand, require the most advanced computers with high-performance components to handle the demanding tasks they process.

Explore the different desktop computer specifications that can suit users at various levels.

Desktop Computer SpecificationsEntry-Level or Casual UserMid-Level or Creative ProfessionalHigh-End Gaming PC for Hardcore Gamer
Processor Performance and SpeedIntel Core i3 or AMD Ryzen 3
Adequate for basic tasks andlight multitasking.
Intel Core i7 or AMD Ryzen 7/R9
Exceptional performance for demanding gaming and resource-intensive tasks.

Intel Core i3 or AMD Ryzen 3
Adequate for basic tasks and light multitasking.
RAM (Random Access Memory) RequirementsGraphics Card: Entry-level dedicated GPU or integrated graphics (e.g., NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650, AMD Radeon RX 550)
It can support casual gaming and multimedia tasks. Limited performance for demanding gaming or graphic design.
Provides smoother multitasking and handling demanding software applications.
Intel Core i5 or AMD Ryzen 5
Balanced performance for multitasking and moderate gaming
Storage Options and Capacity256GB SSD or 1TB HDDSSD offers faster boot times, data transfer, and improved overall system responsiveness.
512GB SSD or 1TB HDDFaster data access and improved system responsiveness.32GB
Ideal for intense multitasking and resource-hungry applications.
Graphics Card Considerations8GBSufficient for everyday use, web browsing, and light productivity tasks
1TB SSD or 2TB HDDAmple storage capacity for large files and games, with faster data access.Graphics Card: High-end dedicated GPU or dual GPUs (e.g., NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080, AMD Radeon RX 6900 XT)
It delivers exceptional graphics performance, supports 4K gaming and demanding VR applications, and is future-proof for upcoming games and graphics advancements.
It can be a higher price range, higher power consumption, may require additional cooling solutions, or overkill for casual or non-demanding users.
A desktop computer with multiple USB ports and connectivity options.

Budget Desktop Computers

When you’re getting a new PC, it’s natural to question whether pre-built systems are better than custom-built ones or the other way around.

In our separate article, we gave a comprehensive point on this matter.

But generally,pre-built desktops are the top choice for someone who doesn’t have the time and expertise to build their own systems.

So, these individuals prioritize convenience and affordability as pre-built systems come ready to use. Despite potential limited optimizations or features, they may not need, pre-built options offer a hassle-free experience.

Meanwhile, people with technical abilities to build their own units choose custom-made desktops. They appreciate the flexibility and the potential for upgrades that come with building their own systems. With these benefits, they can optimize performance and get more value for their money.

Here are the features and specifications to consider for budget-friendly computers:


The processor, or the computer’s brain, handles all your computing processes.

The more powerful it is, the better the performance. Consider options like the Intel Pentium or AMD Ryzen 3 family of processors. They offer decent performance for everyday tasks without straining your budget.

RAM (Random Access Memory)

RAM helps your computer run smoothly when you have multiple programs open at once. Aim for a minimum of 4GB or preferably 8GB of RAM. This ensures smooth multitasking and better overall system performance within a budget-friendly range.


Consider combining an SSD with a smaller capacity of 128GB or 256GB for faster boot times, along with a bigger HDD of 500GB or 1TB for sufficient storage space. This allows for a balance between speed and storage within a budget.

A selection of desktop computers with different specifications.


Integrated graphics, like Intel UHD Graphics or AMD Radeon Vega, are suitable for general computing tasks, light gaming, and multimedia playback.


Opt for a 1080p (Full HD) resolution display to enjoy sharp visuals while staying within a budget.


Check if the computer you choose has the necessary ports and connectivity options, such as USB ports, HDMI ports, audio jacks, and Wi-Fi capability. This ensures smooth connectivity and allows you to connect to networks, printers, and other devices.

Operating System

Consider budget-friendly options like Windows 10 Home or Linux distributions to minimize software costs.

Note: The above specifications and features are general recommendations for budget-friendly computers. Hence, due diligence in doing research is a wise idea for comparing desktop computers.

Other Considerations

Brand reputation and customer support: 

Look for reputable brands that offer budget-friendly options and reliable customer support. Read customer reviews and ratings to gauge the brand’s reputation.

Upgradeability and Future-Proofing

Consider the future compatibility of your desktop computer. Choose a configuration that will remain current for several years to come. For example, opt for a desktop with USB Type-C ports, which are becoming increasingly popular.

Optical Drive

Consider whether you need an optical drive for tasks like installing software from discs or burning CDs/DVDs. 


Before making a purchase, check if your printers and external hard drives are compatible with your new PC. Doing this is a must, especially when you have existing old peripherals.


Check the warranty on the desktop computer you choose. Finding a manufacturer’s warranty that guarantees coverage of parts and labor even for at least a year is a bonus.

desktop models for optimal performance.

Recommended Budget-friendly Computers

For pocket-friendly yet worthwhile entry-level PCs, there are several budget desktop computer options available, some of which include:

Dell: Dell offers a range of budget-friendly desktop computers under their Inspiron series. Models like the Dell Inspiron 3000 or 5000 series provide reliable performance at an affordable price point.

HP: HP’s Pavilion series includes budget desktop computers that cater to various user needs. These machines often come with decent specifications and offer good value for money.

Lenovo: Lenovo offers budget desktop options under their IdeaCentre series. These systems provide reliable performance for everyday computing tasks while being budget-friendly.

Acer: Acer’s Aspire series includes affordable desktop computers suitable for users on a budget. These systems are designed to handle basic tasks with ease.

ASUS: ASUS offers budget desktop options under their VivoPC series. These machines balance performance and price well, making them suitable for budget-conscious buyers.

Gaming Desktop Computers

Gaming PCs are where power meets performance! These robust machines are specifically designed to handle the demanding graphics, complex environments, and lightning-fast gameplay that modern games require.

With advanced hardware components, customizable options, and cutting-edge technology, gaming desktop computers provide a high-performance and immersive gaming experience. 

Join us as we explore the fascinating realm of gaming desktop computers and discover what sets them apart from their conventional counterparts.

MSI Gaming GeForce GTX 1650, a strong graphics card designed for gaming and multimedia purposes.

High-performance Components for Gaming PCs 

The secret behind a truly exceptional gaming experience lies in the heart of gaming PCs: their high-performance components. These specialized hardware elements work harmoniously to deliver the unparalleled speed, stunning visuals, and seamless gameplay that gamers crave. 

Today’s high-performance gaming PCs  components usually include the following:

– Intel Core i7 or AMD Ryzen processors

– High-end GPUs like Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 or AMD Radeon RX 5700 XT

– Solid state drive (SSD) for quick loading times

– At least 16GB of RAM

– 800-watt power supply

– Multiple cooling systems, such as liquid cooling or air cooling

– High-speed networking cards

– Multi-monitor support

– Gaming peripherals like a mouse and keyboard

– High-quality speakers for immersive sound

– A gaming cabinet to house the components.

High-performance desktop computer.

These components are essential for creating an optimal gaming experience. Many gamers may opt for custom-built solutions or add-ons such as gaming chairs, virtual reality headsets, and external storage devices.

Top Gaming Desktop Computer Recommendations

Below are the top gaming desktops that also top our list:

Alienware Aurora R11

The Alienware Aurora R11 tops the list of gaming desktops. With its Intel Core i7-10700KF processor and NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080 graphics card, it gives every user the feel of every game.

It also features a liquid-cooled CPU cooler, which can boost the confidence of every gamer as it can handle long hours of conquering battles. The 16GB of RAM gives plenty of storage options for more game collections. In addition, this model brings with it exclusive AlienFX lighting technology for enhanced aesthetics and personalization. This machine is the envy of every game that wants an all-in-one powerful gaming rig. 

Compare DELL Alienware Aurora R11 Gaming Computer Intel Core i7-10700KF 512GB Prices.

MSI MEG Trident X

The 2022 MSI MEG Trident X 12VTF-028US Enthusiast Gaming Desktop PC is a powerhouse designed for gaming enthusiasts. It features an Intel i7-12700K processor, 32GB of RAM, and a massive storage capacity with a 4TB NVMe SSD and a 2TB HDD. The graphics are handled by an impressive NVIDIA RTX 3080Ti with 12GB of dedicated memory. This desktop PC comes pre-installed with Windows 11, providing a seamless and immersive gaming experience.

CyberpowerPC Gamer Xtreme VR Gaming PC

The CyberpowerPC Gamer Xtreme VR Gaming PC in White is a high-performance system built for gamers seeking an exceptional experience. Equipped with an Intel Core i9-13900KF processor clocked at 3.0GHz, 16GB of DDR5 RAM, and a lightning-fast 1TB NVMe PCIe SSD, this PC ensures smooth gameplay and quick load times. The graphics are handled by a powerful GeForce RTX 4070 Ti with 12GB of dedicated memory, delivering stunning visuals. It comes with WiFi readiness and Windows 11 Home pre-installed, offering seamless connectivity and an optimized gaming environment.

A close-up of a high-end desktop computer.


The ROG Strix GL10DH Gaming Desktop PC, model GL10DH-AH762, offers powerful gaming performance with an AMD Ryzen 7 3700X processor and a GeForce GTX 1660 Ti graphics card. With 16GB of DDR4 RAM and a 512GB SSD, this PC ensures smooth multitasking and fast storage access. It comes equipped with Wi-Fi 5 for seamless online connectivity and runs on Windows 10 Home, providing a familiar and user-friendly operating system for gaming and everyday use.

What Gamers love about it is that plenty of expansion and customization options are available with its unbeatable value and feature set.

Dell Optiplex

The Dell Optiplex 7050 SFF Desktop PC is a high-performance workstation designed for professional use. Powered by an Intel i7-7700 processor with 4 cores and a clock speed of 3.60GHz, this PC delivers impressive speed and multitasking capabilities. With 32GB of DDR4 RAM and a 1TB SSD, it provides ample memory and storage for demanding applications and large files. The built-in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth ensure convenient wireless connectivity, while the HDMI port allows for dual monitor support, expanding your productivity. Running on Windows 10 Pro, this desktop PC offers advanced security features and efficient management tools. Its compact Small Form Factor design is space-efficient without compromising on performance or expandability. The Dell Optiplex 7050 SFF Desktop PC is an excellent choice for professionals seeking reliability, speed, and versatility in their workstations.

Dell G5 Gaming PC, Intel i5-10400F-4.3Ghz, GeForce GTX 1650 Super, 24 GB RAM

Desktop Computers for Graphic Design

These top 5 desktop computers for graphic designers offer exceptional performance, stunning displays, and the flexibility to cater to various design needs. Whether you’re working on intricate illustrations or complex 3D designs, these machines are built to deliver outstanding results.

Apple iMac 27-inch (2020)

The Apple iMac 27-inch (2020) is a top choice for graphic designers due to its stunning Retina 5K display, powerful Intel processors, and sleek design. You can have fast data processing with its setup of up to 10 cores. With excellent graphics due to its AMD Radeon Pro 5000 series. It offers a maximum of 128GB RAM, making it your reliable partner with exceptional performance in handling complex design projects.

Apple iMac 27-Inch Desktop for graphic designers.

Microsoft Surface Studio 2

Never miss the Microsoft Surface Studio 2. It is an innovative desktop computer designed for creative professionals. Its unique adjustable 28-inch PixelSense touchscreen display allows for versatile design work, while its NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 or 1070 graphics, Intel Core i7 processor, and up to 32GB RAM provide the power needed for graphic-intensive tasks.

Dell XPS 8940

The Dell series never disappoints. Its XPS 8940 series is a customizable desktop computer that caters to graphic designers with varying needs. It offers a range of powerful Intel Core processors, up to NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3060 Ti graphics, and a maximum of 128GB RAM. This makes it an excellent option for those seeking a reliable, high-performance machine with multiple configuration possibilities.

HP Envy 34 inch All-in-One Desktop PC

The HP Envy 34 inch All-in-One Desktop PC (model 34-c1050) is a premium powerhouse that combines stunning design with top-notch performance. Featuring a WUHD display, this all-in-one PC delivers breathtaking visuals with crisp details and vibrant colors.

Powered by the 12th Generation Intel Core i7-12700 processor, 32GB of RAM, and a 1TB SSD, it offers lightning-fast speeds and ample storage for smooth multitasking and efficient file management. The NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3060 graphics card ensures exceptional graphics performance, whether you’re gaming, editing videos, or working with graphic-intensive applications.

Running on the latest Windows 11 Home operating system, this all-in-one PC provides an intuitive and optimized user experience. With its sleek and modern design, the HP Envy 34 is a stylish addition to any workspace, featuring a virtually borderless display and adjustable stand for comfortable viewing angles.

The all-in-one design eliminates cable clutter and provides a streamlined setup experience. It comes equipped with various connectivity options, including USB ports, HDMI, and wireless capabilities, allowing you to connect peripherals and accessories effortlessly.

Whether you’re a creative professional, a power user, or someone who appreciates immersive entertainment, the HP Envy 34 inch All-in-One Desktop PC offers a remarkable combination of performance, elegance, and functionality.

NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080 with 10GB GDDR6X graphics ensures exceptional visual performance, allowing you to enjoy the latest games and VR experiences at their highest settings. The liquid cooling system helps keep temperatures low, ensuring optimal performance even during intense gaming sessions.

With its sleek black design, the Alienware Aurora R14 exudes a sense of power and style. It features a VR-ready build, USB-C connectivity, and runs on the cutting-edge Windows 11 Home operating system, offering a seamless and immersive gaming experience.

Whether you’re a hardcore gamer, a content creator, or a multitasking enthusiast, the Alienware Aurora R14 Liquid Cooled Gaming Desktop is designed to deliver unmatched performance and visuals, making it an excellent choice for those seeking an immersive and powerful gaming experience.

Recommended Desktop Computer Configurations for Different Uses 

Why should your PC configuration matter to you? The term “Computer Configuration” simply refers to how your PC’s hardware and software components are organized and set up.

It is important because it plays a crucial role in improving various aspects of your computer’s performance, compatibility, stability, reliability, security, and customization. Additionally, a well-configured PC enables easier troubleshooting when issues arise.

A properly configured PC ensures that the system runs smoothly, minimizes problems, and creates a computing experience that aligns with the user’s specific needs and requirements.

To help you make informed decisions, this guide provides recommended configurations for different use cases, including general use, multimedia/content creation, business/productivity, and gaming/entertainment.

Usage ClassificationsConfigurations

General Use and Everyday Computing Tasksweb browsing, word processing, and multimedia consumption

Processor: Intel Core i5 or AMD Ryzen 5 RAM: 8GB or 16GBStorage: 256GB SSD or 1TB HDDGraphics: Integrated graphics or entry-level dedicated GPUConnectivity: Sufficient ports for basic connectivityOperating System: Windows 10 or macOS
Multimedia and Content CreationProcessor: Intel Core i7 or i9 or AMD Ryzen 7 or 9RAM: 16GB or 32GBStorage: 1TB SSD or 2TB HDDGraphics: High-end dedicated GPU or dual GPUs for extreme gaming connectivity: High-speed ports for gaming peripherals and multiple expansion slotsOperating System: Windows 10 or preferred gaming-focused OS

Business and ProductivityProcessor: Intel Core i5 or i7 (preferably with vPro technology) or AMD Ryzen 5 or 7 Pro RAM: 8GB or 16GBStorage: 256GB SSD or 1TB HDDGraphics: Integrated graphics or entry-level dedicated GPUConnectivity: Sufficient ports for peripherals and external displaysOperating System: Windows 10 Pro or macOS with business-oriented features
Gaming and EntertainmentProcessor: Intel Core i7 or i9 or AMD Ryzen 7 or 9RAM: 16GB or 32GBStorage: 1TB SSD or 2TB HDDGraphics: High-end dedicated GPU or dual GPUs for extreme gaming connectivity: High-speed ports for gaming peripherals and multiple expansion slots operating System: Windows 10 or preferred gaming-focused OS

In conclusion, purchasing a desktop computer can be a daunting task, but by taking into account the aforementioned factors, you can make a well-informed decision that aligns with your specific needs and budget. When selecting a desktop configuration, it is important to consider the performance and speed of the processor, the required amount of RAM, storage options and capacity, graphics card considerations, available connectivity and expansion options, operating system choices, brand reputation and customer support, upgradeability, future-proofing capabilities, warranty coverage, and the need for an optical drive. Conducting thorough research and comparing different products, warranties, and return policies is highly recommended in order to make the best choice.


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