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Desktop Reviews

Updated: Sep 17, 2019 16:00
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alaScore
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CPU
Graphics Card
#1
alaScore 100

Raspberry Pi 4

With configurable memory amounts, gigabit Ethernet, and dual-display output, the Raspberry Pi 4...

8 expert reviews

#2
alaScore 99

Apple iMac 27" Retina 5K( 2019)

It's something of a miracle that Apple can continue to cram newer (and hotter) components into...

8 expert reviews

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#3
alaScore 99

Microsoft Surface Studio 2 (2018, 28-inch)

So is the Surface Studio 2 worth it? For a certain type of creative consumer, one who demands a...

25 expert reviews | 1 user reviews

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#4
alaScore 98

Apple Mac mini (2018)

Bought this to upgrade my 4 year old mac mini Vast improvement in performance and conectivity

19 expert reviews | 8 user reviews

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#6
alaScore 97

Lenovo Legion T730

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#7
alaScore 97

NZXT BLD Starter PC Plus

Bottom Line: Assembled entirely from aftermarket parts, NZXT's BLD Starter PC Plus midtower...

2 expert reviews

#9
alaScore 97

Amplicon Ventrix 2019

Interactive-form creation and side-by-side document comparison round out this capable PDF editor.

14 expert reviews

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#10
alaScore 97

Asus Mini PC ProArt PA90

Bottom Line: The ISV-certified Asus Mini PC ProArt PA90 manages to pack a serious amount of...

5 expert reviews

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#11
alaScore 97

Apple iMac 21,5" (2019) mit Retina 4K Display i7 3,2GHz 16GB RAM 512GB SSD...

Bottom Line: The 2019 reboot of Apple's iMac 21.5-inch is worth a look if you need a small-screen...

7 expert reviews

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#12
alaScore 97

Lenovo IdeaCentre Yoga A940

Bottom Line: Lenovo's IdeaCentre Yoga A940 is a rare convertible all-in-one desktop, with a...

2 expert reviews

#13
alaScore 96

MSI Trident 3 Arctic

Bottom Line: Clad in a snowy-white case with multiple mounting options, the MSI Trident 3 Arctic...

7 expert reviews | 2 user reviews

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#15
alaScore 96

ACER Predator Orion 9000 Series

Bottom Line: Although the Acer Predator Orion 9000 costs a pretty penny (okay, hundreds of...

17 expert reviews | 16 user reviews

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#16
alaScore 96

Intel ® NUC Kit NUC8i7BEH

Bottom Line: Intel's latest bare-bones NUC Kit offers surprisingly robust loadout options in a...

2 expert reviews

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#17
alaScore 96

Digital Storm Lynx

Shopping for a high-end gaming desktop may snag you in the all-too familiar conundrum of building...

2 expert reviews

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#18
alaScore 96

Corsair One Pro i180

Bottom Line: With a sleek post-industrial design and a tiny footprint, Corsair's One Pro i180 is...

4 expert reviews

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#19
alaScore 96

MSI Trident x

Intel Coffee Lake-S and Nvidia Turing deliver formidable power in a surprisingly small space –...

4 expert reviews

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#20
alaScore 96

Corsair One i160 Gaming PC

Bottom Line: The thoughtfully designed Corsair One i160 Gaming PC delivers outrageous RTX 2080 Ti...

3 expert reviews

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#22
alaScore 96

HP Omen X 2S

HP's Omen X 2S is a noble attempt at shoving a secondary display into a gaming laptop. But...

3 expert reviews

#23
alaScore 96

Zotac ZBox Q Series (QK7P5000)

Bottom Line: While Zotac's ZBox QK7P5000 mini workstation has remarkable graphics performance for...

2 expert reviews

#24
alaScore 96

Origin Millennium Hard Line Vice Edition

Bottom Line: Origin's all-overkill Millennium Hard Line Vice Edition is an unapologetic homage to...

2 expert reviews

#25
alaScore 95

Lenovo Ideacentre 620S

Lenovo's Ideacentre 620S is a unique-looking computer with a built-in speaker, a two-core...

4 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 2770 sources to help you choose the best Desktop from top brands like Undefined, Acer, Apple, Lenovo, Microsoft and more.

    Buying Tips Read our Buying Guide
    before you make your purchase