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WHAT MAKES A GOOD DESKTOP COMPUTER?
A good desktop computer is a computer capable of tackling any of your activities with ease and speed. Your computer needs may vary depending on what type of work you do. For example, gamers need high-performance graphics cards and fast processors, while business professionals need lots of memory (RAM) and storage space. The casual PC user may need a model with a high-resolution webcam and video streaming capabilities.
No matter how you plan to use your desktop PC, there are basic technical specs to help you get the most out of the computer you eventually choose.
The central processing unit (CPU or “processor”) is the brain of your computer. The CPU runs all of your software programs and gives instructions to the other components in your computer. You may need a speedy processor if you’re a gamer or if you run programs that require large mathematical calculations or simulations. Intel® Core™ i5 and Intel Core i7 are popular choices for both everyday tasks and creative pursuits.
A graphics card (or “GPU”) processes all of your computer’s visual elements. If you’re a gamer, video editor, or digital illustrator, you may prefer a PC with a high-performance GPU to quickly render detail-rich images. Popular choices include the AMD Radeon RX, NVIDIA® Geforce® RTX, Geforce GTX 1650, and more powerful options like the Geforce RTX 2060.
Once you purchase a computer with the right graphics card, we recommend keeping the firmware updated to ensure that the GPU runs at maximum efficiency.
Random-access memory (also known as “RAM” or just “memory”) is a type of memory that your computer relies on to process data. Your computer can process more data at once if it’s equipped with a larger amount of RAM. Memory is vital for running high-octane creative programs or running multiple software programs simultaneously.
It's not always necessary to buy all of the RAM you may eventually need upfront. You can upgrade most computers with more RAM down the road, and you can check the factory specs to see your PC's maximum RAM.
Storage is where your computer saves all your files, software programs, photos, and videos; anything you’re keeping on your computer permanently. There are two types of storage: HDD and SSD. A hard disk drive (HDD) is a storage type that utilizes a spinning disk on which your data is written. A solid-state drive (SSD) has no moving parts. HDD drives can typically store more data because the HDD is larger per dollar spent, as a general rule. However, SSDs are generally faster.
You may prefer to use HDD storage if you have many files that you don’t frequently access, like old photos and digital records. You may prefer SSD storage if you store files that you use more regularly, such as video games, photos, and videos.
Like RAM, it's possible to upgrade your hard drive storage later. You may also consider how much data you need saved to your PC and if you benefit from storing some files in the cloud. If you plan to browse the web and use cloud-based applications, you can start with less physical storage and rely more on cloud storage.
Style is important. Your home office is a part of your home and deserves a pleasing aesthetic for you and your guests. At HP®, we keep style in mind when designing your desktop computer. Our tower units and monitors are built to exude class, elegance, and power. We also make sure our desktop PCs are as compact and lightweight as possible to easily fit at your workstation or travel to or from the office.
Expandability is also important. A desktop computer is made up of more than just the tower unit. It consists of the monitor, peripherals, and external devices, like computer speakers and external hard drives. Your desktop computer needs to have all the ports necessary to plug in these computer essentials and accessories. HP desktop computers are built to be as expandable as you want them to be, and many models have the ports (such as USB-C and headphone jacks) in the front for easy access.
WHAT ARE THE ADVANTAGES OF DESKTOP PCS OVER A LAPTOP COMPUTER?
Buying a new computer? You’ve probably asked yourself whether it may be best to buy a desktop computer or a laptop (also referred to as a "notebook"). A laptop is optimal for PC users who are frequently on the go. What benefits does a desktop computer have? Here are a few reasons you may enjoy owning a desktop PC over a laptop.
Desktop PCs usually have more processing power than laptops for the price. That’s because desktop towers are larger. While you can find some gaming laptops and business notebooks with as much power as a desktop, it will be considerably more expensive for the same processing power.
PC towers are larger and can fit more (and bigger) hardware components with more processing strength than the tiny insides of a notebook. Hardcore gamers and creative professionals will enjoy the extra muscle that desktop computers offer and use the money saved to load up on accessories and games.
Looking for the highest-powered desktop computers? See our HP Z workstation computers. These computers have state-of-the-art hardware components that are powerful enough to run professional-caliber creative programs and simulation software.
Because of their size, desktop computers can typically store more data than laptops. You may prefer a desktop PC if you have lots of data to store, like:
A large number of PC games
Years’ worth of photos and videos
Large CAD, animation, or design files
Old business documents and records
Backups of other hard drives
You can find affordable desktop computers with HDD and SSD storage, giving you a versatile way to keep your prized files safe and secure.
When you shop for a laptop, you will need to work with whatever display the laptop has unless you plan to connect it to an external monitor. A tower unit allows you to choose your computer display, and you can upgrade your display as often as you like. Today's displays offer everything from 4K resolution to Bluetooth connectivity. It may also be easier to utilize multiple screens at once with a desktop PC.
Desktop displays tend to be larger than notebook displays. You can also equip your desktop computer with unique display types, like a curved display, a top pick for immersive gaming.
Technology advances quickly in the electronics world, and hardware that’s new and powerful today may become outdated in just a year or two. Notebooks are difficult to upgrade with new hardware because they’re constructed very tightly with pre-planned hardware configurations.
On the other hand, desktops are equipped with cases that are easier to open and typically have lots of space inside. It’s easier to swap out your old components with newer components. It does not take a computer expert to make these upgrades, either. You can buy new hardware for your desktop computer and install them yourself rather than buying a whole new computer.
WHAT’S AN ALL-IN-ONE PC?
All-in-One PCs (AiO) are desktop computers that combine the tower unit and display into a single, compact machine. A standard All-in-One computer typically places the tower unit on the back of the display or in the display's base, offering a vast array of form factors.
ALL-IN-ONE PC BENEFITS
An AiO PC is a great space saver. Since you don’t have multiple components like a tower and display, you can conserve more space at your workstation and prevent desktop clutter. They’re not entirely a mini PC, but they can simplify your desktop experience when paired with a wireless keyboard and mouse.
Since an All-in-One PC is a compact machine, it’s easier to carry around. You can take your computer to and from work easier than carrying a standard desktop computer with all its components.
For those who want a pure plug-and-play experience, you can't get more seamless than an AiO. It has everything you need to start using it within minutes, including speakers, a keyboard, and a mouse. If shopping for technology stresses you out, an All-in-One may be the way to go.
WHAT MAKES A GOOD DESKTOP PC FOR BUSINESS?
Looking for a great business desktop for your workplace or home office? Here are the standard features to look for if you’re shopping for work.
LOTS OF MEMORY
Your desktop PC should have lots of memory. Many business professionals use multiple software programs at once so they can multitask. More RAM will help you run simultaneous programs at faster speeds. Look for a desktop computer with at least 8GB of memory for basic computing.
If you’re a creative professional and run software that’s more taxing, or game from home, consider a business desktop with 16GB of memory.
At the very least, choose among the business desktops with expandable memory. If you need more RAM, you can always add more later.
HIGH STORAGE CAPACITY
Business professionals often have lots of data to store on their computers, including company data, client-related data, spreadsheets, videos, and business records. Look for a desktop computer with a large storage capacity. Many HP desktops have 256GB, 1TB, and even 2TB storage.
If most of the data you save is for archival purposes, you may prefer a desktop computer with HDD storage. If you frequently use your saved data or work on very large files, you may prefer a desktop computer with SSD storage. You can read more about the differences between them here.
If you need more than 2TB of storage on a desktop, an external storage device can help keep everything at your fingertips. It also serves as an excellent data backup option.
ADVANCED SECURITY FEATURES
Business desktops should have powerful security features so that you can protect all of the sensitive data that belongs to your company and your clients. HP desktop computers have strong encryption methods, firewalls, BIOS security, and password controls. Privacy and security are priorities at HP®, and you'll find both the software and hardware components follow updated protocols for a safe computing experience. They also come with a Windows 10 or 11 operating system known for being secure.
WHAT ARE GOOD GAMING DESKTOPS?
HP desktops have strong hardware components, and many are well-suited for casual and even competitive gaming. We also offer several kinds of desktop computers built for all the PC titles you want to explore.
HP OMEN DESKTOP COMPUTERS
Looking for the ultimate gaming rig? Look no further than HP OMEN gaming desktops. These super-powered desktop PCs incorporate the most powerful processors and graphics cards so you can run your favorite PC games at high graphics settings and with eSports-caliber performance.
HP OMEN gaming PCs have glowing, futuristic shells that will impress and intimidate your competitors, not to mention light up your gaming den. They also come with HP OMEN Command Center, which enables you to set controls for overclocking, network boosting, keyboard configuration, and more.
These gaming desktops can be upgraded again and again, thanks to the easy access opening on the tower. Swap out your processor, add new memory, or replace that fan with extra RGB lights. HP OMEN PCs are built to customize and will last for years.
HOW DO I CHOOSE THE RIGHT COMPUTER DISPLAY?
No desktop computer is complete without a computer monitor. HP offers a huge variety of compatible displays. How do you choose the right one? Here are a few aspects you should weigh.
Size matters. Look for a computer monitor with a larger display size if you’ll use your monitor for entertainment and want to enjoy the best graphics. Look for monitors with a medium display size if you’re going to have a dual-monitor setup or a monitor with a smaller size if you have a very tight workspace. Consider how it will look in each of your workstations.
Consider expanding. Business professionals may prefer to use more than one monitor. A multi-monitor setup gives you more screen real estate to multitask and cross-reference across different windows. For a multi-monitor setup, look for monitors with micro edges; displays that appear to have almost no screen edge. These are the best business displays because they create a seamless display transition when placed side by side.
Look for adjustability. Do you have a wide workstation, or do you need to fit multiple monitors on your desk? Look for monitors that you can tilt, swivel, or pivot. We also offer several monitors that you can switch from landscape to portrait orientations, a big advantage to those who work in creative jobs.
Optimize for gaming. Looking for a great monitor for your gaming PC? Check out our lightning-fast HP gaming displays. They have amazing refresh rates to see every brilliant detail of your game without rendering issues.
TIPS FOR CHOOSING AN AFFORDABLE DESKTOP COMPUTER
Before you start shopping, ask yourself how you'll use your PC. Are you delighted by the idea of an all-in-one desktop that doesn't come with the need for extra accessories to buy? Or do you like the idea of business desktops with all of the RAM and processing speed needed to run various math and creative programs? If you're into PC gaming and need the flexibility, look for a device with expandable ports, a robust video card, more power, and an ethernet port (not just WiFi).
You will also want to ask questions upfront so that you pick the right device the first time and avoid experiencing buyer's remorse. Restocking fees can cost up to 15% of the purchase price, and the time wasted on returning an unwanted computer can be frustrating and costly. Imagine your typical workday before you shop and buy higher specs than what you need. It's often cheaper to bundle components when purchasing a computer than to add them later.
Reviews are another great tool to use. They allow you to learn how others use their PCs at their workstations. Computers not explicitly marketed for gaming, for example, may still have the same enjoyable benefits gamers love. Search and read through shopper reviews to get insight into the practical applications of each computer model.
Read real, useful customer reviews for HP Desktops:
- HP ENVY Desktop TE01-0165t, Review
- HP ENVY Desktop TE01-0175xt, Review
- HP ENVY Desktop TE01-2265t PC, Review
- HP ENVY Desktop TE01-2275xt PC, Review
- HP ENVY x360 Convert 13-bd0031nr, 13.3", Review
- HP ENVY x360 Convert 15-ed1047nr, Review
- HP ENVY 27-b235t All-in-One PC, Review
- HP ENVY All-in-One - 32-a0055, Review
- HP ENVY All-in-One - 32-a1055, Review
- HP ENVY Curved 34-b135se All-in-One, Review
- OMEN 25L Desktop, Windows 11 Home, Review
- OMEN 30L Desktop GT13-0380t, Review
- OMEN 40L Desktop GT21-0148z, Review
- OMEN 45L Gaming Desktop GT22-0450t, Review
- OMEN by HP Obelisk Desktop875-1055xt, Review
- HP Pavilion 24-k1305st, Windows 11 Home, Review
- HP Pavilion 27-ca0276z AiO PC, 27", Review
- HP Pavilion Desktop TP01-0105t, Review
- HP Pavilion Desktop TP01-0145m, Review
- HP Pavilion Desktop TP01-0155t, Review
- HP Pavilion Desktop TP01-1055m PC, Review
- HP Pavilion Desktop TP01-2165z, Review
- HP Pavilion Desktop TP01-3025t, Review
- HP Pavilion Desktop TP01-3055xt, Review
- HP Pavilion Gaming Desktop TG01-2260xt PC, Review
- HP Pavilion Gaming Desktop TG01-2285t, Review
- HP Pavilion x360 Convertible 14-dw1098nr, Review
- HP Pavilion, 27", Windows 11 Home, Review
- HP All-in-One - 22-df0128t, Review
- HP All-in-One - 24-df0130m, 23.8", Review
- HP All-in-One - 24-df0138xt, Review
- HP All-in-One 22-df0120m PC, Review
- HP All-in-One 22-df10266t PC, 21.5", Review
- HP All-in-One 24-cb0136m Bundle All-in-One PC, Review
- HP All-in-One 24-cb0146z Bundle All-in-One PC, Review
- HP All-in-One 24-df1036xt PC, 23.8", Review
- HP All-in-One 24-dp0140z, Windows 11 Home, 23.8", Review
- HP All-in-One 24-dp0158qe, Windows 11 Home, Review
- HP All-in-One 24-dp1056qe PC, Review
- HP All-in-One 27-cb0156m All-in-One PC, 27", Review
- HP All-in-One 27-cb0176z All-in-One PC, 27", Review
- HP All-in-One 27-dp0170z, 27", touch screen, Review
- HP All-in-One 27-dp1086qe PC, Windows 11 Home, 27", Review
- HP 20-c410 All-in-One PC, Review
- HP 20-c435z All-in-One PC, Review
- HP 27-dp0188qe AiO PC, Review
- HP Slim Desktop - S01-aF0134z, Review
- HP Slim Desktop S01-aF1005t PC, Review
- HP Slim S01-pF1025se Desktop PC, Review
- HP Slimline Desktop - 290-a0035z, Review
- HP Slimline Desktop - S01-pF0145xt, Review
- HP Z4 G4 Workstation - Customizable, Review
- HP Pavilion - 15-cs3096nr touch, Review
- HP Pavilion 15-cs1067nr, Review
- HP Pavilion - 15-cs3095nr?? touch, Review
- HP Pavilion 27-a240se All-in-One PC V9B56AA, Review
- HP Pavilion All-in-One - 24-k0205st, Review
- HP Pavilion All-in-One - 24-k0220z, Review
- HP Pavilion All-in-One - 27-d0230z, Review
- HP Pavilion All-in-One - 27-d0240t, Review
- HP Pavilion All-in-One - 27-d0255xt, Review
- HP Pavilion All-in-One - 27-xa0125qe, Review
- HP Pavilion All-in-One - 27-xa0135st, Review
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