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Desktop Reviews

Updated: Apr 1, 2015 08:44
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#1
alaScore 100

Apple iMac (27-inch, Retina 5K, Late 2014) MF886 / Z0QX

Well would you look at that

29 expert reviews | 134 user reviews

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#2
alaScore 99

Apple iMac (21.5-inch, Mid 2014) MF883 / ME086 / ME087

Apple has always demanded a premium for its hardware, and even after a $200 price drop, that...

16 expert reviews | 474 user reviews

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#3
alaScore 99

Zotac ZBOX Sphere OI520

The ZBox Sphere is an inexpensive barebones mini PC that comes in a striking semi-spherical form...

9 expert reviews | 49 user reviews

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#4
alaScore 98

Dell XPS 27

OK, our first look at the Dell XPS One 's gorgeous display didn't leave us quite as flabbergasted...

47 expert reviews | 297 user reviews

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#5
alaScore 98

Dell Alienware AREA 51

The Dell Alienware Area-51 with its hot off the wafer fab Core i7-980 X six-core processor, put...

4 expert reviews | 2 user reviews

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#6
alaScore 97

Apple Mac Mini (Late 2014) MGEM2 / MGEN2 / MGEQ2

Whether you will want to plump for Apple's new high-end Mac mini will depend on what you want to...

3 expert reviews | 282 user reviews

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#7
alaScore 97

Asus ET2321IUTH

The Asus Eee Top ET2321IUTH is a stylish and affordable all-in-one PC with a unique Freeview TV...

8 expert reviews | 144 user reviews

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#8
alaScore 97

Intel NUC D54250WYK

When we reviewed the first iteration of Intel's NUC (Next Unit of Computing) do-it-yourself kit...

16 expert reviews | 227 user reviews

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#9
alaScore 97

Acer Aspire Z3-615

The Acer Aspire Z (AZ3-615-UR15) ($949.99) is a well-equipped, midrange all-in-one PC that gives...

4 expert reviews | 128 user reviews

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#10
alaScore 97

Digital Storm Eclipse

The Digital Storm Eclipse ($1,299 as tested) is a midrange gaming PC with a high-end Nvidia...

2 expert reviews

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#11
alaScore 98

Acer Aspire U5-620

The Acer Aspire AU5-620 is a great entertainment PC, pairing an attractive display and strong...

6 expert reviews

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#12
alaScore 96

Origin Millennium

The Origin Millennium ($7,399 as tested) is a high-end gaming desktop with a high-powered Intel...

2 expert reviews

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#13
alaScore 96

Apple iMac Core 2 Duo (Late 2009)

This is all quite a hassle considering Boot Camp has worked so smoothly on most other Apple...

333 expert reviews | 7657 user reviews

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#14
alaScore 96

Zotac Zbox Sphere OI520 Plus

ZOTAC has priced the ZBOX Sphere OI520 Plus model at Rs 32,219 whereas the non-Plus ZBOX Sphere...

8 expert reviews | 10 user reviews

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#15
alaScore 96

Raspberry Pi

Aimed at the adventurous or the learning oriented, the Raspberry Pi provides an outstanding...

30 expert reviews | 217 user reviews

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#16
alaScore 96

Digital Storm Bolt II

With its attractive copper paint job, and powerful components, the Digital Storm Bolt II ($3,489...

4 expert reviews

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#17
alaScore 96

Lenovo Horizon 2s

The Horizon 2s is a wonderful concept--a mobile desktop that you can move about the house, as...

4 expert reviews

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#18
alaScore 96

Intel NUC5i3RYH

If you take a look at our review of Gigabyte BRIX S you will pretty much have the low-down on the...

2 expert reviews | 1 user reviews

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#19
alaScore 95

Asus ROG G20AJ

i like the actual computer! hardware wise yeah... totally an upgrade from my old hp.. but the...

2 expert reviews | 152 user reviews

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#20
alaScore 95

Intel ® NUC

Our review unit, as mentioned, is currently available for online pre-order at an average price...

7 expert reviews | 6 user reviews

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#21
alaScore 96

HP Z1 G2

Need a monster device that looks as good as it performs? Give the HP Z1 G2 a look. It’s not...

9 expert reviews

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#22
alaScore 95

Acer Aspire ATC-605

The Acer Aspire ATC-605-UB11 ($599 as tested) is a solid budget desktop computer with a speedy...

1 expert reviews | 58 user reviews

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#23
alaScore 95

Asus VIVOPC-VC60-B068K

I bought my ASUS computer around 2 months ago. After three weeks the hard drive went out. It...

3 expert reviews | 8 user reviews

#24
alaScore 95

Dell OptiPlex 9030

The Dell OptiPlex 9030 Touch ($1,324.30 as tested) is a competent business all-in-one desktop...

5 expert reviews

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#25
alaScore 94

Gateway DX 430X

Gateway's recently revamped mainstream desktop has plenty of configurability and a fair price...

3 expert reviews | 1 user reviews

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    Buying Guide

    Buying Guide - Desktops

    Although other formats are gaining, desktop computers remain a popular choice for many consumers. Desktops still offer a slight advantage in price when compared to laptops, and this is an important consideration for any consumer. When it comes to the ultimate in performance, memory, and screen size for your personal computer, there is no substitute for a desktop model, and these computers will remain the biggest kids on the block for the foreseeable future.



    Contents

    Desktop Advantages

    Performance: Higher end desktops offer advantages over laptops in all areas of performance. Desktops can handle larger processors, more RAM for faster computing, expanded hard disk size for storage of a huge amount of files, and unrivaled ability to accommodate larger screen size.

    Upgrades: Desktop PCs offer the most flexibility to accommodate upgrades in hardware and software. This extends the life of the computer, and reduces the need to buy an entirely new computer to substantially enhance performance.

    Connectivity: If you have a number of different accessories, hardware add-ons, memory managers, or gaming devices, the plethora of connectivity options provided by desktops will be essential to give you an optimized computing experience.

    What to Look for in a Desktop

    PC vs. Mac – PCs are still the market leaders, but Macs have a core of enthusiastic followers that continues to grow. PCs have a huge selection of hardware and software add-ons to choose from, but the bulky operating system may require a more powerful computer in order to run smoothly. Macs are efficient and easy to use, but your choices for hardware and software are constrained to a handful of providers. Ultimately, the difference is increasingly becoming one simply of personal preference, rather than performance.

    CPU/Processor – The processor is the powerhouse of a computer, and affects all aspects of your computing experience. As the power goes up (measured in GHz), so does performance – if you anticipate needing to run a lot of high-end applications, you will need a more powerful processor, and most new mainstream and high-end PCs come with dual-core or quad-core chips in them, with six-core chips just hitting the market recent years.

    RAM – This will provide the speed of your desktop. The amount and type of memory you choose goes a long way toward dictating your system's level of overall performance. 4GB of RAM is becoming standard recently, replacing 2GB of RAM, which matches a much quicker machine. Desktops are not constrained by issues of portability, and thus have an advantage versus laptops with the ability to allow 4GB of RAM and beyond. When buying RAM, try to buy as few DIMMs (Dual Inline Memory Module) as possible to allow for future RAM upgrades if needed.

    Graphics Card – For basic computing tasks, such as emailing, browsing and watching video from the Web, and giving the occasional photo slideshow, you can get away with integrated graphics. If your video application go beyond the basics, however, you'll be best served by choosing a dedicated graphics card with its own graphics memory. Gamers, digital media makers, and anyone who wants to use more than two monitors will all benefit from adding a discrete graphics card. You should consider performance, the amount of memory on the card, output connectors and the version of Direct X supported. Those looking to play games a lot should really consider a Direct X 10 card with at least 512MB of memory onboard. The vast majority of new 3D graphics cards require a PCI Express slot. PCI Express 2.0 doubles the bandwidth, and PC Express 2.0 cards are backward compatible with PCI Express 1.0 slots. Make sure you get a card that suits your expansion slot type.

    Hard Drive – The hard drive stores all of the information on your computer. Mainstream users should aim 500GB hard drives at minimum, and will likely find a system with 640GB, 750GB, or even 1TB that fits comfortably in their price range. Desktops offer the most robust storage available, with hard drive sizes of 1TB+ becoming increasingly common for professional music, graphics, and video applications. If you demand much higher, you'll find single drives with capacities up to 2TB. In terms of speed, they are pretty much all running at 7200rpm now. A few high performance 10,000rpm drives are available. Most drives use the Serial ATA interface now for ease of installation.

    Screen Size – Desktops have a huge advantage in screen size, allowing for sizes far in excess of other formats. Based on performance and price, 22” LCD screens offer the best value, but consumers interested in the best display characteristics are upgrading to 24” and beyond. Desktops even allow for multiple screens to be used, a convenience for users who require multiple windows to be accessible at all times.

    Popular Desktop Brands

    Dell has a huge number of available desktops, and their business model allows consumers the convenience of selecting components to 'build' their computer. Lenovo, HP and Gateway are familiar names with a legacy of outstanding value, and they offer desktops at all levels of price and performance. Asus and Acer have established themselves as the place to go for entry-level models at bargain prices.

    Apple has a wide range of models in its iMac line and has something for all levels of users, from casual computer enthusiasts to dedicated media professionals who require a media design, editing, and storage machine.

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    Desktops on alaTest

    alaTest.com has collected and analyzed millions of reviews from 2916 sources to help you choose the best Desktop from top brands like Hewlett-packard, Dell, Acer, Lenovo, Ibuypower and more.

    Buying Tips Read our Buying Guide
    before you make your purchase
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