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The Best Desktop Computer for 2023

We’ve lined up the best desktop computers for everyday use as well as powerful ones for tasks like editing or gaming.

While laptop computers have grown in popularity over the years, desktop computers remain indispensable both at home and at the workplace. They provide more memory and storage, together with improved CPUs and graphics cards. For quicker boot times, easier file access, and more dependable storage, many desktop models come with both SSDs and conventional hard disk drives. Additionally, you can get a high-quality desktop for cheaper than a high-end or even mid-range laptop.

It can be challenging to evaluate your options with so many manufacturers and a vast array of parts and components. Whether you need a powerful system for content creation or a less expensive system for projects and education, we offer recommendations for systems that will match your budget.

How We Picked

  • OS and Updated Processing

    Windows OS is more user-friendly than Mac OS in terms of ease of use and versatility. We examined the number of core chips to determine the multitasking ability of each computer.

  • Storage and Memory

    The majority of desktops utilize the higher-capacity memory modules of the solid-state drives (SSDs) and the system memory (RAM) of 8 GB or 16 GB or higher to accommodate different users’ needs.

  • Storage, RAM, and Size of Screen

    The hard drive or solid-state drive of every desktop computer determines the storage memory. Also, the screen size of every desktop varies, and preferences vary with different users, including gamers, workers, and students.

  • Cost-Effectiveness

    Getting great value for your money is crucial for everyone. As a result, our list has something for everyone in varying price ranges, as no one wants to spend beyond their budget.

Our Top Picks

Best Pick

Dell XPS 8950

This versatile system will serve you regardless of your profession.

The XPS 8950 can be a standalone gaming PC, a productivity device, and a content-creation system all in one box. Although it is relatively expensive, you're paying extra for the case and future upgrade opportunities. It can be loaded with a 12th-generation Core i9 processor and support up to 128GB of memory and 4TB of storage.

Buy Now for $1,585.37

This standalone productivity tool offers future upgrade opportunities while providing the best performance for creators and gamers, despite being relatively expensive.

Runner Up

HP Envy 34 All-in-one

If you appreciate big screens, this premium desktop will surely be your best bet.

This is the only premium big-screen alternative left, as both Apple and Microsoft have discontinued their larger-screen all-in-one desktops. The 34-inch display is excellent, and it includes practical features like a base-mounted Qi charging pad and a webcam that can be magnetically attached. This is a conventional office setup for those who require large screens in a compact setting.

Buy Now for $2,189.00

The 16GB of high-bandwidth RAM on this high-end big-screen device allows it to run multiple applications and browser tabs simultaneously and at high speeds.

Most cost-effective

Dell Inspiron

This is the best option if you want a computer that strikes a sweet spot between price and features.

If you need a home computer but don't want to spend a lot of money, the Dell Inspiron line is the best place to start. They are nicely made and boast cutting-edge hardware, and Dell provides excellent service. There are a ton of configurations with various CPU, GPU, RAM, and storage options available within this line.

Buy Now for $720.00

This low-cost, high-quality Dell product is well-made and features cutting-edge hardware. It offers a wide range of configurations with different CPU, GPU, RAM, and storage options.

Amost made the cut

Microsoft Surface Studio 2

The high-resolution display of this desktop makes it a considerable option for digital work.

With a 28-inch, 4,500 x 3,000-pixel screen, the Microsoft Surface Studio 2 features one of the greatest displays available. This is the finest option available if you're a creative person who frequently uses Windows devices and does digital design work. The CPU is still a good model, although these days you can easily find alternatives that are quicker and less expensive.

Buy Now for $3,597.66

Its impressively large 28" PixelSense Display has one of the best displays currently available and a gorgeous touchscreen with 13.5 million true-to-life color pixels.

Everything We Recommend

Best Pick

Dell XPS 8950

This versatile system will serve you regardless of your profession.

$1,585.37

Buy Now

Runner Up

HP Envy 34 All-in-one

If you appreciate big screens, this premium desktop will surely be your best bet.

$2,189.00

Buy Now

Most cost-effective

Dell Inspiron

This is the best option if you want a computer that strikes a sweet spot between price and features.

$720.00

Buy Now

Almost mad the cut

Microsoft Surface Studio 2

The high-resolution display of this desktop makes it a considerable option for digital work.

$3,597.66

Buy Now

Who This Is For

The products advertised here are for people who need a system or setup with more power and more features than a regular laptop.

Should I buy a desktop computer?

 

Buying a desktop computer for your house is a smart decision for several reasons. They are versatile, to start with. They can store large files, and high-quality graphic games can be played with ease. Additionally, desktops can be modified to meet the demands of each user, as each household member can have their own personal profile on them. The ideal option would be to acquire a NAS to create your own network drive that everyone on your Wi-Fi can access or to attach some storage to your router (if it supports that). They can also be directly connected to your network and left on to carry out a range of “smart device” duties while consuming relatively little power while inactive. You may improve your computer’s performance by purchasing a better graphics card and adding more RAM and storage.

 

Additionally, since desktop PCs don’t use batteries, you may use them for extended periods of time before needing to plug them in and recharge. Desktop PCs are great for remote learning or homeschooling settings. They can be used for word processing during the school day and for entertainment and gaming after school.

 

There are also all-in-one computers, which are stylish machines with their components housed behind the display. They take up less desk space and are easier to move and set up because fewer wires need to be connected. They are more expensive and more difficult to upgrade than standard desktop PCs, though.

Are desktop computers good for gaming?

 

The top gaming PCs are able to run the most resource-intensive and graphically demanding video games, and they do so in the biggest, most beautiful form factor. Despite the fact that these devices have many advantages, they often have the most expensive price tags in the PC market. Despite hefty expenditures, owning a powerful gaming system has several benefits.  These pricey devices enable you to play games at ultra-high resolutions and lightning-fast frame rates, as well as manage graphic creation, animation, and 4K movie streaming on your TV.

Can I get Windows on a desktop computer?

 

Yes, you can install Windows on your desktop, to put it simply. You’ll need the following:

 

  1. Start with Windows installation media (a DVD or ISO).

 

  1. A USB flash drive with at least 5 GB of available space. (Make sure there are no important files on this drive before formatting it.)

 

  1. The Windows computer you’ll use to format the USB flash drive (technician PC).

 

  1. A computer on which you’ll install Windows (the destination PC).

 

STEP 1: Format the drive and set the primary partition as active

 

  • Connect the USB flash drive to your “technician PC.”
  • Open Disk Management: Right-click on Start and choose Disk Management.
  • Format the partition: Right-click the USB drive partition and choose Format. Select the FAT32 file system to be able to boot either BIOS-based or UEFI-based PCs.
  • Set the partition as active: Right-click the USB drive partition and click Mark Partition as Active.

 

STEP 2: Copy Windows Setup to the USB flash drive

 

Use File Explorer to copy and paste the entire contents of the Windows product DVD or ISO to the USB flash drive.

 

STEP 3: Install Windows to the destination PC

 

  • Connect a new PC to the USB flash drive.
  • Press the Esc, F10, or F12 keys to access the boot device selection menu after turning on the computer. Choose the setting that causes the computer to boot from the USB disk.
  • Once the Windows setup starts, follow the instructions, then take out the USB flash drive.

 

If your image exceeds the allowed file size, copy everything to the USB device except the Windows image file, then break the file into smaller pieces and transfer the smaller ones to the USB drive. If you name the file “install.swm,” the Windows Setup automatically installs from this file.

Why You Should Trust Us

At National Today, our editors, writers, and contributors evaluate goods and services in the real world. To offer our readers dependable, objective reporting, we have assembled teams of professionals with decades of expertise in several industries.

How We Picked

OS

 

We opted for Windows-based devices rather than a Mac, which has embedded components that can’t be removed at home and is more difficult to upgrade and customize than laptops.

 

Updated Processors

 

Your computer’s overall performance and speed are determined by its strong CPU. You should aim for a PC with a 10th-generation Intel Core i3 or AMD Ryzen 3 CPU as a minimum. If you’re a gamer or a creative professional, you should ideally have a desktop computer with an Intel Core i5 or i7 CPU from the 11th generation. 

 

Storage/Memory

 

Most people’s preferences will determine whether they use a hard disk (HDD) or a solid-state drive (SSD). Because they have moving components, hard drives are slower and more prone to malfunction, but they also provide more storage for the money. SSDs may be more expensive, but they are often a better option due to their speed and dependability.

 

RAM

 

You should get a computer with at least 4 GB of RAM, but 8 GB is ideal. By doing this, you can make sure that your computer can handle everything from web browsing to 4K video to light pictures and video editing. 16 GB of RAM is preferable for serious gamers, streamers, and creative workers.

 

Size of Screen/Display Quality

 

It’s convenient to have a touch-enabled display that supports in-plane switching (IPS) to increase viewing angles. No matter the size of the panel, give careful consideration to the screen resolution. A screen with a 4K or even 5K resolution is breathtaking, especially one that is 27 inches or greater, but these resolutions frequently come with a hefty price tag. As a result, you might want to go for a screen with a native resolution of full HD or 1080p and invest your money in upgrading other components.

 

Audio Quality

 

Mini PCs and desktop towers can only play audio through external speakers or headphones. You’ll need to spend more money to get some if you don’t already have any. For example, the Microsoft Surface Studio 2 boasts two speakers that enable Dolby Sounds technology to create rich, detailed audio.

 

Connectivity

 

We sought solutions with more than six USB ports, as well as numerous other connectivity options, including at least two HDMI ports and multiple display ports, except the incredibly tiny options like the Mac Mini. We searched for towers with at least 8GB of RAM and adjustable processing power up to much more than that, as well as at least 256GB of storage.

 

Available Programs

 

A top desktop computer should have pre-installed programs such as word processors, game programs, spreadsheets, database systems, graphics programs, web browsers, and more.

 

Price vs Quality

 

When compared to laptops, a desktop computer has a better performance-to-price ratio, which is one of its key advantages. Unless you are editing full-length feature films or engaging in intense tasks like crypto mining, you shouldn’t spend more than $4,000 on a desktop.

 

Warranty

 

The majority of desktop manufacturers provide one-year parts and labor warranties, with extensions of up to five years available for a fee. Check your credit-card account benefits guide first, though, as your issuer may provide accident coverage for a limited time after you purchase a new device and may even extend the manufacturer’s warranty.

 

Long-Lasting

 

You should get a desktop computer that is repairable, extensible, and/or upgradeable if you want it to last you more than a few years. You will be able to access the hard disk/SSD, GPU, RAM, and optical drive by opening the tower’s case.

Our Picks For You

Best Pick - Dell XPS 8950

Best Pick

Dell XPS 8950

This versatile system will serve you regardless of your profession.

The XPS 8950 can be a standalone gaming PC, a productivity device, and a content-creation system all in one box. Although it is relatively expensive, you're paying extra for the case and future upgrade opportunities. It can be loaded with a 12th-generation Core i9 processor and support up to 128GB of memory and 4TB of storage.

Buy Now for $1,585.37

Who it is for

If you want something somewhat appealing and compact that can start with a more basic configuration and be expanded as your needs evolve, this is a good option.

Why it is great

For 2022, Dell updated its high-end XPS desktop with a bigger chassis that supports a wider range of components. That means the primary advantage of a desktop over a laptop is that this midsize tower allows you room to grow and boost performance in the future. There is no requirement for a dock or hub due to the ample port selection front and back. This could serve as a discrete gaming PC, a productivity system, and a content-creation system all in one box thanks to the new power supply and liquid-cooling options.

Poential flaws

The design still falls short of XPS laptops, and the base configuration is not worth considering. You’ll also need to bring your own keyboard, mouse, and monitor.

Other features

For the XPS 8950, Dell offers a wide range of component options. You can select from unlocked K-series versions of the 12th-generation Intel Core i5, i7, or i9 processors. There are four AMD Radeon alternatives, including the RX 6900 XT, seven RTX cards up to the RTX 3090, and three Nvidia GeForce GTX graphics cards. It can accommodate a memory of up to 128 GB. Additionally, there are eight dual-drive options and four single-drive options for storage. Even the case comes in two colors: platinum, silver, and night sky. However, only the latter has tiny metal feet; the first has rubber ones. The XPS 8950 sports a new outer appearance and a larger overall case than its predecessor, with additional interior space. Aluminum feet and sides, a resin grill, and an aluminum front panel make up the silver version's exterior. Air is drawn across the GPU, power supply, and M.2 SSD storage from the front to the back by the front bezel and internal layout. The cooling system is also whisper-quiet.

Dell targets content creators with the XPS 8950, and the port selection supports that. With a headphone jack, SD card slot, USB-C port, and USB-A ports on the front panel, you are covered for speedy connections. Additionally, there are 7.1 audio ports, Gigabit Ethernet, and USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-C for quick data transfers on the back.

Runner Up - HP Envy 34 All-in-one

Runner Up

HP Envy 34 All-in-one

If you appreciate big screens, this premium desktop will surely be your best bet.

This is the only premium big-screen alternative left, as both Apple and Microsoft have discontinued their larger-screen all-in-one desktops. The 34-inch display is excellent, and it includes practical features like a base-mounted Qi charging pad and a webcam that can be magnetically attached. This is a conventional office setup for those who require large screens in a compact setting.

Buy Now for $2,189.00

Who it is for

This is for content creators who require a single device to handle everything from editing videos to viewing spreadsheets to occasionally watching videos during breaks.

Why it is great

It's a good system with a great 34-inch display and some practical features, like a webcam that can be magnetically attached and a Qi charging station built into the base. Because it uses a separate Nvidia GeForce GPU instead of the more common integrated graphics, it performs well even for mid-level gaming. It also features all the ports, RAM, and storage you'll likely need, as well as a Bluetooth keyboard and mouse.

Potential flaws

Because of the mobile GPU and display configuration, it's not great for gaming. It also doesn't offer HDR support.

Other features

The HP Envy 34 boasts a 34-inch, 5K display with a reduced blue light mode and an anti-reflective coating for more comfortable, extended use. It is factory calibrated for color accuracy. To move the magnetic webcam around or detach it totally for conference conversations, streaming, or simply putting it away when not in use. It has a Windows 11 operating system, an Intel i9 processor from the 11th generation, an Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080 GPU, and plenty of RAM and SSD ports for memory and storage expansion. To keep your phone and other gadgets charged throughout the day, the stand also has a wireless charger.

Overall, the system is well-designed. Along with the plethora of connectors on the display's back, this also features an SD card slot, two USB-A ports, and a USB-C port on the stand, all of which are decently accessible. Two-watt stereo speakers, which are decent for their low power output, a rather slow Qi wireless charging pad, and an above-average webcam that magnetically attaches to the top of the screen round out the features. It includes a respectable wireless mouse and keyboard, however, the keyboard lacks a backlight. It's wonderful that a panel on the back makes it very simple to update the storage and memory. On the other hand, finding the power button did take a while since it's flat and on the right underside of the display bezel, which is difficult to see and feel.

Most cost-effective - Dell Inspiron

Most cost-effective

Dell Inspiron

This is the best option if you want a computer that strikes a sweet spot between price and features.

If you need a home computer but don't want to spend a lot of money, the Dell Inspiron line is the best place to start. They are nicely made and boast cutting-edge hardware, and Dell provides excellent service. There are a ton of configurations with various CPU, GPU, RAM, and storage options available within this line.

Buy Now for $720.00

Who it is for

If you need a computer for your home but don't want to spend a lot of money on it, the Dell Inspiron line is perfect.

Why it is great

The Dell Inspiron has the lowest price tag on our list. Even if you're paying less for a non-premium system that nevertheless performs superbly daily, you still get the quality and customer support of a Dell device. The Inspirons are superior for straightforward internet browsing, word processing, and smaller apps that help you arrange your daily life, in contrast to the XPS PCs that come out on top of our list.

Potntial flaws

It lacks the processing power required for gaming and other demanding tasks and offers no real customization options.

Other features

The 10th generation Intel I3, I5, or I7 processor is standard on Inspiron PCs. Instead of a standalone graphics card, almost all of the PCs in the Inspiron line are equipped with integrated graphics chips. A few of the most expensive models include low-end graphics card alternatives, such as the NVIDIA GeForce GT 1030, which is adequate for some simple gaming. This computer has a memory capacity that ranges from 4GB to 16GB of DDR4 RAM. There shouldn't be a problem with storage as even the entry-level model includes a 1TB HDD storage drive. Some of the more expensive models include a dual system with a 256GB or 512GB SSD and a 1TB HDD instead, which will allow your system to function more quickly while still providing you with plenty of file storage. Depending on the model, the Dell Inspiron PCs include a 24" or 27" full HD touch screen. The computer's hardware is integrated into the monitor rather than a desktop tower.

On its website, Dell provides a significant help section that is easy to navigate and contains a lot of information. Even better, you can download and install Dell SupportAssist on your computer. This smart program continuously scans your computer in the background for hardware and software faults. A one-year hardware warranty that includes in-home servicing following remote diagnosis is included with Dell Inspiron PCs.

Almost made the cut - Microsoft Surface Studio 2

Almost made the cut

Microsoft Surface Studio 2

The high-resolution display of this desktop makes it a considerable option for digital work.

With a 28-inch, 4,500 x 3,000-pixel screen, the Microsoft Surface Studio 2 features one of the greatest displays available. This is the finest option available if you're a creative person who frequently uses Windows devices and does digital design work. The CPU is still a good model, although these days you can easily find alternatives that are quicker and less expensive.

Buy Now for $3,597.66

Who it is for

This is the best option available if you're a creative who routinely performs digital design work and prefers Windows-based devices.

Why it is great

This is one of the most impressive creative PCs available, and it's also one of the few desktops that can compete with Apple's all-powerful iMac with Pro Display XDR. Bask in the glory of this 28-inch, 4,500 x 3,000-pixel screen, one of the best on the market. A double hinge on the stand allows you to switch between an upright and shallow angle depending on what you're working on. Its stylus pen, which is great for drawing, will be appreciated by those in creative professions.

Potential flaws

It has outdated components and mediocre peripherals. It is also extremely expensive

Other features

This PC can be positioned more adaptably than any competitor because of its double-hinged stand, whether you need an upright display or a shallow angle for drawing. The stylus is also excellent, with precise and rapid performance. With its attractive black bezels and thin body (just 0.4"), the 28" display commands attention. Sleek aluminum struts link the screen to the base. The components are housed in a clever and unobtrusive square base, which explains why the display itself is so thin. The 3:2 aspect ratio and 4,500 x 3,000 resolution of the 28" display make it suitable for artistic work. The display boasts excellent contrast, astounding brightness, striking vibrancy, and color accuracy. It can operate in both color spaces because it complies with the sRGB and DCI-P3 color gamuts.

The Intel Core i7-7820HQ is the main component. The basic and boost clock speeds of its four multi-threaded cores are 2.9 GHz and 3.9 GHz, respectively.

Additionally, Microsoft offers the Surface Diagnostic Toolkit, which you may use to update the system, spot issues, and find remedies. The Surface comes with a one-year warranty if you buy it from the Microsoft Store, as well as a 60-day return policy, 90 days of no-cost support, and the chance to take free online workshops.

Care and maintenance

Check in advance if the programs you wish to use are compatible with the computer

 

It is preferable to get in touch with the app developer to inquire about operating system support. Users of Windows can download the Windows 10 Reservation App and use it to test the readiness of their system. The compatibility center should be your next port of call if the Reservation app does not indicate the status of your application. Enter the name of the program or device and hit Search after the compatibility center page has loaded. Look through the resulting list; you should notice a green checkmark or a red X to indicate compatibility.

How to set up

 

  • Unwrap your computer and all of its components. Do not plug in any existing connections, wires, or human interface devices yet.
  • Connect the monitor’s cable to your computer.
  • Connect your keyboard and mouse to the computer’s back.
  • Use the USB or audio port on your computer to connect any speakers, headphones, or microphones.
  • The power cable for your monitor should be plugged into the power port on the back of the device, and the wall socket should be plugged into an unplugged surge-protecting power strip.
  • Connect a network cable between the network port on your computer and a port that is open on your router or a network wall outlet. Skip this step if you plan to use wireless networking.
  • The computer’s power cable should be plugged into the power port and the surge protector (this should be plugged into the wall and, if necessary, turned on).
  • To turn on your monitor, press the “Power” button.
  • As your computer guides you through the setup of its operating system and software as well as its registration process, follow the instructions on the screen.

Setting up storage and backup options

 

Copying a file from one location to another, such as from a hard drive to a detachable USB flash drive, can serve as a backup strategy. But the type of backup you should employ depends on what you require in terms of redundancy, security, and access. Use software that allows you to pick and select the files you wish to save if you only need to save a specific set of data. To be secure, regularly back up entire folders to guarantee that recently updated or generated data using Windows 10 and 11 can be backed up to OneDrive and Microsoft’s online backup and synchronization service. backed up at a later time.

 

There is a ton of free software available, including a built-in function of Windows, to handle this for you. Using Windows 10 and 11, files can be backed up to OneDrive and Microsoft’s online backup and synchronization service.

Connecting to WiFi, BlueTooth, and printers

The simplest way to connect external devices (in this case, a printer) to your computer is by using a USB cable. Depending on the computer model, it includes two or four regular USB ports that can accommodate USB 2.0 and USB 1.1 devices. Connect the USB cable for the printer to the computer’s USB port to connect it to the device. When a device is recognized, the operating system will make a sound to indicate that. A computer can also add Wi-Fi by connecting a tiny little dongle to a USB port, just like you can add Bluetooth to a computer by plugging a tiny little Bluetooth dongle into its USB port.