Once you've decided on a desktop computer setup, there are a few more questions you need to ask yourself before making a final decision. What do you intend to use your computer for? What are your size limitations? Are you looking for something with the latest technology? Evaluating what you want to get out of your desktop PC and the functions you need it to perform is a good place to start.
These computers offer dedicated graphics and high-end processors perfect for gaming, photo editing, or video production.
Operating Systems (OS)
The operating system is the foundation of the desktop computer, managing both hardware and software. While Windows PCs are the most prevalent, Google's Chrome OS is another attractive option.
This is an intuitive and user-friendly operating system. You can use Windows with a touch screen or mouse and keyboard. Windows is a great option for traditional tasks like word processing but can also tackle demanding ones, such as gaming, creative design, and video editing.
Google's Chrome operating system is the foundation of the Chromebox. These PCs feature custom apps and cloud-based programs. While Chrome is fully functional, it is best suited for less intensive activities like word processing, spreadsheet creation, email, and social media.
Also known as random access memory (RAM), memory is the foundation for helping your processor run programs. Desktop PCs allow for an easy upgrade of the included memory. While sold separately, this means that at a later point in time, you can purchase additional memory to enhance the power of your desktop.
Below are the types of memory with their corresponding speeds and transfer rates:
Storage capacity enables a desktop computer to accommodate your videos, movies, images, games, documents, and other files. Today, there are different versions of internal storage, each with its own advantages. It is critical to understand your options to determine what’s best suited for your needs.
Hard Disk Drives (HDD)
This is the most common storage device used in traditional towers. They are relatively inexpensive compared to the newer solid-state drive or hybrid drive.
Solid-State Drives (SSD)
Power up more quickly and expend less heat than traditional hard disk drives. Given that they have no moving parts, there is no rotational speed to consider.
With a hybrid configuration, the SSD can be used to support the operating system and its applications, while the HDD drive is used for data storage.
Storage Size: What Can It Hold?
There are quite a few storage options to choose from. Consider what you will be using your desktop for when deciding how much storage you will need. If the documents, images, and videos you’re creating are richer and larger in size, consider a larger hard drive to ensure plenty of storage space.
Traditional desktop PCs include integrated graphics, in which the graphics processing unit (GPU) is built into the chipset that also houses the central processing unit (CPU). Integrated graphics are adequate enough to handle general computing tasks, but for more demanding tasks, such as gaming, photo editing, or video production, you’ll want to consider a desktop with dedicated graphics.
The ports on your desktop PC offer a multitude of connectivity options, whether connecting to the internet, printer, monitor, or even your HDTV.
Common Ports Include:
• Media card slot
DisplayPort (screen resolution @ refresh rate)
DisplayPort 1.2 - capable of 3840 x 2160 (4K Resolution) @ 60Hz
DisplayPort 1.3 - capable of 7680 x 4320 (8K Resolution) @ 30Hz; or 4K @ 120Hz
DisplayPort 1.4 - capable of 7680 x 4320 (8K Resolution) @ 60Hz; or 4K @ 120Hz
HDMI (screen resolution @ refresh rate)
HDMI 1.2 - capable of 1920 x 1200p @ 60Hz
HDMI 1.3 - capable of 2560 x 1600p @ 60Hz
HDMI 1.4 - capable of 4096 x 2160p (4K Resolution) @ 30Hz
HDMI 2.0 - capable of 4096 x 2160p (4K Resolution) @ 60Hz
Which Type of Desktop Should You Buy?
Traditional towers offer the power you need to complete most basic office and home tasks. With a wide range of styles, operating systems, hard drives, and memory capacities, there are plenty of options to choose from for your home or office.
Gaming PCs offer the kind of speed and graphics that go above and beyond standard PCs. Any gamer you talk to will have an opinion about which PC is best. If you play very fast-paced games with demanding graphics, consider a gaming PC with a more powerful graphics card. Many of the features that gamers demand are also features that graphic artists and production designers may find beneficial.
All-in-one PCs are alternatives to your traditional tower and monitor setup. They offer a more compact system, combining the monitor and PC into one unit. A modern all-in-one PC with a large screen is a great way to keep all of your important spreadsheets up at once, so you know all the numbers are crunched correctly. Touch-screen options function well as an intuitive and familiar navigation method.
If space is an issue, consider a PC with a smaller form factor. Mini PCs are excellent in the modern workplace, as they produce minimal clutter. Similarly, a mini PC makes dormitory life a little bit easier, as these PCs can often be stored out of the way.
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