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Desktop Reviews

Updated: Apr 19, 2014 02:36
Brand
alaScore
Price
Type
CPU
Graphics Card
#1
alaScore 100

Intel NUC D54250WYK

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

13 expert reviews | 39 user reviews

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#2
alaScore 99

Asus ROG

The Asus line of gaming laptops has always offered excellent high-end configurations, along with...

4 expert reviews | 6 user reviews

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Value for money  
#3
alaScore 99

HP Envy Rove 20

The HP Rove 20-K014us ($979.99 list) is a portable all-in-one desktop PC. That means that it has...

16 expert reviews | 74 user reviews

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#4
alaScore 98

Dell XPS 27

On paper, the Dell XPS 18 all-in-one/tablet hybrid shouldn't work, with its massive 18.4-inch...

19 expert reviews | 111 user reviews

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#5
alaScore 98

Maingear Epic Rush X79

When it comes to competitive gaming, there are some things that no level of practice or skill can...

2 expert reviews

Value for money  
#6
alaScore 98

Lenovo Thinkcentre M93P

This diminutive business PC is smart enough for the office, and tough enough for the factory floor.

4 expert reviews

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Usability  
Design  
#7
alaScore 98

Lenovo FLEX 20

The Lenovo IdeaCentre Flex 20 is a 19.5-inch portable all-in-one desktop that marries ultrabook...

8 expert reviews | 19 user reviews

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#8
alaScore 97

Asus Geforce GTX760

The ASUS GeForce GTX 760 DirectCU II OC can be found for $259.99 before a $10 mail in rebate...

16 expert reviews | 1 user reviews

Value for money  
Size  
Design  
#9
alaScore 97

Zotac ZBOX ID89

The most impressive ultra-compact system we have tested to date.

5 expert reviews | 3 user reviews

#10
alaScore 97

Zotac ZBOX IQ01 PLUS

The Zotac ZBox IQ01 Plus is a superb mini PC. It may be bigger than the competition, but there's...

2 expert reviews

Usability  
Value for money  
#11
alaScore 97

Zotac ZBOX ID45 Plus

The ZOTAC ZBOX ID45 Plus is an interesting product specially because of the presence of the...

2 expert reviews

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#12
alaScore 97

Sony VAIO SVJ2022M1EWI

Sony demands a lot of money for an average laptop.

65 expert reviews | 65 user reviews

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#13
alaScore 97

Lenovo Thinkstation E32

The Lenovo ThinkStation E32 SFF is something that used to be unheard of: a professional ISV...

2 expert reviews

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Size  
#14
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...

283 expert reviews | 5622 user reviews

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#15
alaScore 96

Apple Mac Pro

There's no ignoring it, the new Apple Mac Pro (2013) is stunning. Aside from the occasional joke...

55 expert reviews | 162 user reviews

Design  
#16
alaScore 96

Dell Inspiron ONE 23

The Dell Inspiron Mini 2320 sells at a price of roughly Rs. 60,255 in the market, which makes it...

30 expert reviews | 102 user reviews

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#17
alaScore 96

Lenovo Ideacentre Horizon

This cart is a very handy accessory for Lenovo's IdeaCentre Horizon, but you'll want to be aware...

15 expert reviews | 56 user reviews

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#18
alaScore 96

Sony VAIO Tap 20

is still at their beginnings. Dell has announced the XPS 18 and Archos has the Android-powered...

35 expert reviews | 203 user reviews

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#19
alaScore 96

Getac F110 Premium, USB, BT, WLAN, Gobi5000, GPS, Tablet PC, 29,5cm (11,6)...

The $2,899 Getac F110 ($2,249 starting) is a powerful and tough tablet that can take its fair...

2 expert reviews

Design  
#20
alaScore 96

ASUS ET2702

Asus has updated its 27-inch all-in-one desktop with Intel's fourth-generation processor and a...

5 expert reviews | 1 user reviews

Usability  
#21
alaScore 95

NZXT H630 Silent Case

I'm of a hundred different minds when it comes to evaluating the NZXT H630. When I saw the...

5 expert reviews

Value for money  
Design  
#22
alaScore 95

Lenovo ERAZER X700

Lenovo's getting into the gaming desktop business, making a bold statement with the Lenovo Erazer...

5 expert reviews | 3 user reviews

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#23
alaScore 95

Dell XPS 18

More ports are only available with an external solution, which is pretty pricey at 169 Euros (~$219)

7 expert reviews | 1 user reviews

Design  
Value for money  
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#24
alaScore 95

Dell Precision T1700 SFF

The Dell Precision T1700 SFF ($994 direct) has the looks and the price of a generic business...

2 expert reviews

Value for money  
#25
alaScore 95

iBuypower Revolt A960

The iBuypower Revolt A960 (AMD A10-6800K) is undoubtedly presented as a specialized gaming rig...

2 expert reviews

Value for money  

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.

Popular Desktop products

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Desktops on alaTest

alaTest.com has collected and analyzed millions of reviews from 2663 sources to help you choose the best Desktop from top brands like Hewlett-packard, Dell, Acer, Ibuypower, Cyberpowerpc and more.

Buying Tips Read our Buying Guide
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