The processor in the desktop computer, called the central processing unit (CPU), is the primary processing chip in the computer. Pick the most powerful CPU you can afford in a gaming laptop desktop computer to gain excellent performance.
RAM, short for random access memory, is the temporary storage area in the computer where it holds data while it waits for the CPU to need it. The more RAM your desktop computer has (measured in GB), the faster the computer is able to perform.
Many desktop computers have an all-in-one design, which means manufacturers place the computing hardware and chips inside the display screen case. A traditional desktop computer has the computing components in a separate case from the display screen. The all-in-one occupies less physical space, while the traditional design makes it easier to upgrade individual components.
Desktop computers are available at a variety of price points. For less than $300, there are only DIY computers and microcomputers, such as Raspberry Pi. More traditional desktop computers run from $300 up to $5,000. The more processing power, amount of RAM, and storage capacity that’s available in the computer, the more you pay.
Q. Are there add-on purchases with desktop computers?
A. It depends on the model. Some ship with everything included, while others need to have a display monitor, keyboard, mouse, and/or audio speakers purchased separately.
Q. Why would I want a desktop computer instead of a laptop?
A. Desktop computers tend to have a better value than laptops for those who need extra power. They also accommodate large display screens. However, you sacrifice portability.
In-depth reviews for best desktop computers
What we like: Offers professional-level computing power in the best Apple computer to date. Extremely sharp display screen that’s perfect for picking out minute details in photographs. Able to render 3D images.
What we dislike: Expect to pay a premium for this desktop computer.
What we like: It has plenty of computer power to meet the needs of the average user. Ships with everything you need in one case, including a large display screen. Doesn’t take up a lot of space on your desk.