The smartphone may have replaced the computer as the data center of modern life, but it can not keep up with the performance of a good desktop PC . If you want to be absolutely up to date – and maybe even passionate gamers – we recommend 16 to 32 GB of RAM, a fast SSD hard drive, a 4-core processor with around 4 GHz clock speed and of course a powerful graphics card. Whether it is to become a top-current gaming bolide or just a solid office PC
Purchase advice: How to find the right product in our desktop comparison 2018
Current desktop PCs convince with fast processors, powerful graphics units and huge hard disks. For sophisticated image processing and computer-aided design and gaming applications, DDR3 generation memory storage should be on board.
The choice of the housing depends on the particular application and your own taste. Desktop PCs for gaming impress with attractive lighting effects.
Minis and laptops are popular, but if you need a lot of computing power, you can get more for your money with the desktop PC.
If you want to buy a desktop PC today, you can choose between classic office computers and specialized multimedia and game PCs optimized with fast processors and hard drives, as well as high-performance graphics cards. Since the desktop PC offers more space for technology, it is usually superior to a laptop from the same price segment in terms of performance and features .
Unless mobility is required for you, the desktop computer gives you comparatively more power for your money. Which of the computers could become your personal desktop PC test winner and what you should look for when buying, you can find out in our Desktop PC Comparison 2018
1. What distinguishes the desktop PC?
A desktop PC, short Desktop is a computer in a fixed housing for stationary use, nowadays mostly as a PC tower under the desk. Structurally differentiate is the all-in-one desktop PC, in which the computer is integrated into the monitor housing.
Surf the Internet, play music, edit photos and videos: the desktop PC is an all-rounder.As a powerful business PC, he masters word processing, spreadsheets and mail programs as well as multimedia presentations. High-performance workstation computers are suitable for demanding tasks such as CAD, image processing or professional video editing.
Players have particularly high demands on computing speed and graphics performance, which is reflected in their own product category of gaming PCs. Depending on the application, other system components are in focus when purchasing the best desktop PC:
- Fast processors
- Large memory
- Big and fast hard drives
- Multimedia and gaming optimized graphics cards
2. Desktop PC types in comparison
In desktop PC tests you will find computers of different designs and equipment, such as special office PCs or compact mini-PCs. Our comparison focuses on desktop PCs for gaming and multimedia, which are among the most powerful computers .
|Gaming PC||Multimedia PC|
|On the gaming computer, you can play games with the highest resolutions smoothly. With a WLAN-enabled desktop PC or reliable LAN connection, you are ready for online games. Also, if you are looking for a desktop PC for Photoshop, the gaming PCs can convince. Transparent housings or sophisticated LED lighting already make the PC Tower an eye-catcher.||The integrated DVD burner turns the multimedia PC into the home theater of your home theater. Also for the office and image editing bring high-end desktop PCs with sufficient computing power. For games with high graphics resolution, the picture may, however, be blurred and jerky.|
3. Purchasing advice: What to look for
3.1. Which operating system should it be?
The first decision when purchasing a desktop PC is the question of which operating system you want to work with: Windows, iOS or Linux . By far the largest selection of desktop PCs are available for Windows.
In our comparison, we therefore focused on this operating system. Whether you buy a PC with Windows 7 or Windows 10 is secondary. Newer Windows PCs usually have the current system on board.
If you already have multiple devices from the Apple family, an iMac could complement your network. In this all-in-one PC, the computer is already integrated into the screen, top models also meet the needs of gamers. More powerful is the Mac Pro, Apple’s only computer that looks like a traditional desktop PC .
3.2. The processor
The processor (Core Processing Unit, CPU) is the heart of a desktop computer. Its clock speed determines how fast the PC can work. Current desktop PCs usually offer more power than would be needed in daily use. Therefore, withthe Office computer you can rather neglect the clock rate, but with the Desktop PC for gaming you should pay attention to a sufficiently high clock rate .
Leading processors for processor chipsets on Windows are Intel and AMD, which have also developed special CPU series for gaming and multimedia. In desktop PC testing, you are also confronted with terms like dual-core and quad-core. If the desktop PC has a dual-core processor, two cores are used.
In the dual-core processor, however, four cores are processed. Thus, the Intel Core i7 chip enables higher speeds than a desktop PC with i5 or i3 chip.Intel’s new X-Series delivers 18-core processors for extreme gaming and complex multimedia applications.
3.3. The working memory
The size of the Random Access Memory (RAM) in the desktop PC defines the processing power of its graphics card. If the PC does not have enough RAM available, it must transfer program and driver data to the hard disk. This noticeably delays the workflow.
In the business computer, the RAM should be at least 4 to 6 GB. Looking for a desktop PC for image and video editing, 8 GB are the minimum standard. The gaming PCs in our comparison provide at least 16 GB and are therefore suitable for graphics-intensive games.
Tip: Pay attention not only to the size, but the type of memory processed. For demanding gaming and multimedia he should wear the abbreviation DDR3 (Double Date Rata). For example, high-end PCs use DDR3 32 GB RAM.
3.4. The hard disk
The operating system, all programs and the music collection: Everything you install or download from the Internet is stored on the hard drive of the desktop PC. Even photos and videos that you copy from the digital camera, as well as all the documents you have created must be there. Therefore, a hard disk in the desktop PC can hardly be too big. An office computer should have at least 500 GB, well-tested gamer PCs have hard disks with 1000 GB and more on board.
In addition to classic HDD hard drives, high-end desktop PCs are increasingly using the faster SSD hard drives . HDD stands for Hard Disc Drive , SSD stands for Solid State Drive . By combining both types of storage, software that you want to access quickly can be stored separately. This makes the desktop PC with SSD interesting for gamers, for example. The pros and cons of SSD:
- faster access
- pleasantly quiet
- longer lifetime
- high purchase price
- lower storage capacity
Tip: You would like to put together your own desktop PC? A so-called SATA hard disk (Serial Advanced Technology Attachment) can often be installed by laymen – depending on the model as a replacement or extension of the system drive. If necessary, you can also connect an external hard drive to the desktop computer via USB.
3.5. The graphics card
The graphics card controls the image structure on the monitor. If the pictures jerky when playing or watching video, the video card is too weak. Cheap desktop PCs are often equipped with Intel HD Graphics. This is enough for business computers for writing, surfing and emailing.
If you would like to put together a cheap desktop PC, we also recommend an older graphics card from Nvidia GeForce or AMD. Gamers should look for a high quality AMD Radeon HD or Nvidia GeForce GTX model for desktop PC comparison.
3.6. Drives and connectors
The drives and ports play an important role in desktop PC testing. Most gaming computers have a DVD burner on board that not only lets you watch movies, but record them as well. If you prefer Blu-Ray, you must retrofit the PC tower accordingly.
In addition to VGA or DVI connections for the monitor, the Windows desktop PCs usually also have an HDMI interface integrated in our comparison.
Some PCs also have a modern display port installed. In addition, all PC desktops are equipped with at least 5 USB ports, including at least 2 USB 3.0 ports. The HP desktop Pavilion 560-p042ng also features a versatile USB 3.0 Type C port.
As our desktop PC comparison shows, the wireless Internet has also arrived in the PC system. Only one model relies solely on the traditional LAN connection; all other desktop computers can be connected to the Internet either via a network cable or via WLAN.
For TVs with WiFi, you can also stream images wirelessly from your desktop PC to TV. With a WLAN card, the retrofitting should succeed easily. Alternatively, a wireless stick will bring you wirelessly into the net. For a few euros, you can also connect a Bluetooth adapter.
Tip: The rapid technical development will make expandable desktop PCs fair. Look for expansion options such as free slots for network cards and drive bays for additional SSDs.
4. The most important manufacturers and brands at a glance
- Hewlett-Packard HP
- Mega port
Frequently Asked Questions about the Desktop PC
5.1. How long will there be desktop computers left?
Some critics declared the desktop PC dead years ago. But those who have been told can still live a very long time. Of course, the connectivity of game consoles is getting better, and many tasks that once could only take over a clumsy stand computer, can be done today with the desktop mini PC.
For mailing, chatting and surfing, a tablet or smartphone is enough . For demanding multimedia applications and games, there is no way around the desktop PC . Especially for gamers who want to set up their own desktop PC, consoles or compact all-in-one desktop PCs are no alternative.
5.2. Which desktop PC can I save power with?
If you buy a high-performance desktop computer, you will certainly be asking yourself about power consumption. The following average values can be estimated for a PC system:
- Tower: 400 watts / hour
- Monitor: 30 to 40 watts / hour
- PC boxes: 30 watts / hour
So for one hour of gaming or image editing, you have to expect a consumption of around 500 watts. With electricity costs of around 29 ct / kWh, one hour of gameplay costs 14.5 cents. For comparison, a notebook consumes an average of 30 to 50 watts per hour.
5.3. When is it worth buying a used desktop PC?
If you buy a used desktop PC, you have the advantage of the low price. Technically, however, used used lag behind the development. In addition, you should pay attention to whether the desktop PC of your choice has the necessary connections for current monitors, wireless keyboards and scanners.
If you decide to purchase an all-in-one second-hand PC, we recommend choosing a professionally redesigned device. For example, popular HP desktops and models like the Fujitsu Esprimo c700 usff desktop PC are available as refurbished computers.