Desktop Buying Guide: How to Buy Your Next Desktop PC

edited March 18 in Acer Corner

The desktop PC has been the stalwart of the computer industry for decades. Millions of people each year invest in desktop PCs to power their businesses, their lives, and their creative expression. And PC makers like Acer have gone out of our way to ensure we satisfy the desktop shopper who’s constantly seeking more power, better features, and an improved computing experience. 

But as the desktop PC market has grown, so too have the options. Gone are the days of choosing one desktop tower or another. Now shoppers have the option of choosing an all-in-one desktop, a traditional tower, a mini desktop, and even a Chromebox running Google’s Chrome OS operating system. And with price points all over the board and a never-ending supply of features and components to consider, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed when it comes time to buy your next desktop. 

But even with its complexity, buying a desktop is one of the more rewarding experiences you can have. After choosing the right desktop for your unique circumstance, you’ll have a powerful computer that will last you years and provide you with improved productivity. 

So if you’re ready to buy a new desktop PC, read on. The following guidelines will help you consider the important components in buying a desktop PC and ultimately aid you in finding the right computer. 

The many faces of desktop computers 

The first thing you should realize about desktop computers is that they come in all types of shapes and sizes. 

The traditional desktop tower is still among the most popular desktop PC types, but you can also find powerful desktops in mini towers, thanks to smaller components and improved manufacturing practices. Both tower and mini-tower desktops require you to attach a monitor, keyboard, and mouse to the device in order to use it.  

Some shoppers want a simpler desktop solution and opt for all-in-one PCs that combine the components and the monitor in one. Most all-in-one PCs house all of their computing components behind the screen, creating a more compact computer that can fit into tighter spaces where room isn’t available for towers. 

Software considerations 

The vast majority of desktop PCs sold today run on Microsoft’s Windows operating system. In recent months, Windows 11 has become the default in most PCs, though if you’re someone who prefers Windows 10, you can still find it in some machines. 

In recent years, Google’s Chrome OS has become an increasingly popular option among consumers. Like Windows, Chrome OS is a full-fledged operating system, but is powered by the cloud, allowing for a flexible computing experience that relies heavily on the Web. Chrome OS was popularized on Chromebooks (Chrome OS-based laptops). The desktop alternative to a Chromebook is known as a Chromebox. 

Keeping components in check 

Most desktop shoppers have a good sense of the type of desktop PC they want to buy, but they sometimes find it difficult to choose an option with all the complexity surrounding components. 

Desktops come with a host of components, including Intel or AMD processors, graphics cards from AMD and Nvidia, hard drives, solid-state drives, RAM options, and so much more. Generally, desktops with the highest-powered components have the highest prices. But choosing a computer based on components requires you to understand how much memory you really need, whether you need 1TB of storage or more (or less). Do you prefer Intel processors or is AMD your go-to option? The same goes for graphics cards — would an Nvidia RTX 3070 be best for you? 

Don’t be overwhelmed. Acer sells a range of PCs with out-of-the-box components designed specifically to the type of PC user you are. If you’re a gamer, you’ll find suitable options with high-powered graphics cards and processors. If you need a less sophisticated computing experience, consider an all-in-one with midrange processors and storage. 

Truth be told, as long as you know what kind of computing experience you want to have, you really can’t go wrong with most computers that are available. 

Ports and connectivity 

One of the great things about desktop computers is that they come with a slew of ports and connectivity options that will only improve your productivity. 

Generally speaking, the more USB, HDMI, and input ports available, the better. You don’t want to get caught up in a desktop machine that offers too few ports and requires you to buy accessories just to connect all the peripherals you want to add to your computer. 

To choose a desktop based on ports, consider all the accessories you want to plug in to the computer. You’ll need at least one monitor (unless you’re opting for an all-in-one PC), but do you want two or three? If so, make sure you go with a machine that has multiple display ports. And in addition to the keyboard and mouse you’ll be attaching to your desktop, keep in mind all the other accessories you may want to use, like an external hard drive, camera, and other devices. 

In most cases, it’s best to err on the side of more ports than fewer. 

An eye on desktop PC prices 

When you embark on your next desktop buying experience, you’ll undoubtedly discover that pricing is all over the place. You’ll find some desktops for as little as a few hundred dollars and others that cost thousands of dollars.  

That’s why establishing a budget for your desktop PC purchase is so important. It’s easy to opt for the high-powered desktop, but you’ll find that you’re spending more. And you should keep in mind that you may need to buy a monitor and other components that will increase your total purchase price. 

Before you even buy your desktop, establish a budget for all components, including monitors, keyboards, and mice, and stick to it. You can then limit the number of options you’re considering and make a more informed choice. 

Buying a desktop PC can be a rewarding experience. You can find the device that fits best in your home, offers the highest functionality, and delivers on productivity. 

So when it comes time to buy your next PC, remember to establish a budget, determine the type of desktop PC you want, ensure you have enough ports, and find the right components. If you can get all those elements right, you’ll be well on your way to enjoying your next computing experience.

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