8 Things to Consider Before Buying a Desktop PC

Desktop computers generally provide better performance and peripheral compatibility compared to most laptops. However, they can vary significantly in terms of size, cost, and processing capabilities. On a daily basis, we rely on desktop PCs to do our tasks. Therefore, we have compiled this guide to provide comprehensive information on the factors to consider when selecting the most suitable desktop PC for your requirements.

A desktop PC is a type of computer that is designed to be used on a desk or table, as opposed to being portable like a laptop or tablet.

What Is a Desktop PC?

A desktop PC is a stationary computer that is intended to remain in a fixed location. Typically, desktop computers necessitate the usage of an additional monitor, keyboard, and mouse.

Prior to purchasing a new desktop computer, it is crucial to comprehend the impact of factors such as the CPU and RAM on system performance.

8 Factors to Consider Before Buying a Desktop PC

Before purchasing a desktop PC, there are 8 important factors that should be taken into consideration.

Consider the following key factors when buying a desktop computer:

  • Requirements and Financial Constraints
  • Processor
  • Memory
  • Hard Drive
  • Optical Drive
  • Graphics Card
  • Ports
  • Monitor

Requirements and Financial Constraints

The appropriate computer requirements depend on the unique use case. The required speed of your personal computer is contingent upon the specific tasks you intend to perform with it. An expedient central processing unit, ample random access memory, and a robust graphics processing unit are among the fundamental requirements for a gaming personal computer. If your computer usage is limited to web browsing and basic productivity tasks such as word processing, a lower-end budget desktop should be sufficient.

Price RangeWhat You Can Expect
Under $200This device has the ability to browse the internet, access email, engage in video calls, stream videos, and do basic tasks.
$250 to $1,000Well-suited for internet browsing, utilizing office applications, and engaging in basic gaming.
$1,000 to $2,000Capable of handling resource-intensive tasks such as video editing software, live streaming, and a wide range of commercial software.
Over $2,000Capable of executing resource-intensive gaming and data processing applications that demand substantial computational power.

Desktop Processors

Although there is a wide variety of desktop processors or CPUs available, the majority of them are produced by only two manufacturers: AMD and Intel. Intel processors often provide superior performance but come at a higher cost compared to AMD processors. Nevertheless, the primary distinction among processors is to the quantity of cores they provide and their respective velocity.

Many manufacturers provide a performance rating system for their desktop PCs, but it can be challenging to compare across different models. To optimize your chances, it is advisable to search for personal computers within your designated budget and subsequently conduct thorough investigations on the processors to ascertain their adequacy in meeting your specific requirements.


RAM, often known as memory, has a crucial impact on the speed and efficiency of a personal computer. Increased RAM results in improved performance. It is advised by experts to have a minimum of 8 gigabytes of RAM, however, 16 GB provides superior performance. When it comes to gaming and other demanding computing tasks, it is advisable to consider a minimum of 16 GB of RAM.

While DDR3 and DDR4 memory served as the prevailing standards for desktop computers over an extended period, DDR5 has now emerged as the favored choice. When purchasing memory, it is advisable to minimize the number of DIMMs in order to facilitate future memory expansions.

Notably, dual in-line memory modules consist of one or several RAM chips mounted on a compact circuit board with pins that establish a connection to the motherboard.

Hard drives

Storage devices used in computers, often consisting of magnetic disks or solid-state memory, which are used to store and retrieve digital data.

Although a few desktop computers still use hard disk drives, the majority of contemporary PCs come with solid-state drives for data storage and caching. SSDs are superior to HDDs due to their higher speed, increased efficiency, and enhanced durability.

When buying for hard disks, it is important to consider two primary factors: size and speed. An up-to-date desktop hard disk should possess a minimum storage capacity of 1 terabyte (TB). Typically, conventional HDDs operate at a speed of 7200 RPM. However, certain green or variable-speed drives utilize less power. It is worth noting that SSDs do not have an RPM value to consider as they do not have any moving components. Nowadays, the majority of motherboards are equipped with RAID functionality, which allows for the installation of many hard drives on your computer.

Note: RAID is an acronym for Redundant Array of Inexpensive Drives or Disks. RAID solutions offer more storage capacity at a reduced expense.

Optical Drives (CD/DVD/Blu-Ray)

Optical drives, often known as CD/DVD/Blu-Ray drives, are devices used for reading and writing data on optical discs.

While a few desktop computers still include a DVD burner, the majority, particularly compact PCs, are eliminating optical drives. In order to view new movies in high definition, it is necessary to have a Blu-ray drive installed on your PC. If the desired computer lacks optical drives, get an external CD, DVD, and Blu-ray player.

Video and Graphics Cards

If you do not engage in playing PC games that involve 3D graphics, there is no need for concern regarding the necessity of a dedicated graphics card. It is advisable for gamers to choose for a graphics card that supports DirectX 12 and has a minimum of 8 GB of dedicated RAM. If you are looking to enhance the performance of non-3D tasks, get a video card that fits within your budget. Key considerations are the card’s performance, memory capacity, output connectors, and supported Direct X version.

External Peripheral Connectors

Verify the quantity and specifications of the external ports on the computer to determine their compatibility with future peripheral devices. Currently, there is a wide range of high-speed peripheral connectors that are accessible. For optimal functionality, it is advisable to acquire a personal computer equipped with a minimum of six USB ports.

However, in the event that your desired computer lacks an adequate number of ports, USB hubs are readily accessible as an alternative solution. Additional high-speed interfaces like as eSATA and Thunderbolt are particularly advantageous for external storage purposes. In addition, numerous desktop computers are equipped with SD card readers.

Desktop Monitors

Although there exist all-in-one personal computers that come with integrated monitors, it is still important to take into account the screen’s quality. The majority of displays available today utilize LCD technology, with the primary distinguishing factors being their size and cost. If you intend to utilize the desktop for graphical work, color accuracy and other characteristics may be crucial. The most prevalent LCD size is 24 inches, mostly because to its reasonable price and ability to display full 1080p high-definition content. Bigger panels, such as 27-inch LCDs and 4K displays, are also becoming more affordable.

Who should purchase a desktop computer?

Purchasing a desktop personal computer is a commendable decision if you desire a home computing device that can be utilized by the entire family. Desktop computers offer greater versatility compared to laptops due to their increased number of ports, which allow for the connection of various types of monitors, keyboards, and other peripherals. If you work in the field of graphic design or visual arts, it is advisable to have a desktop computer equipped with one or more spacious monitors.

Desktop PCs surpass both laptops and specialist video game consoles in terms of power when it comes to gaming. If you have an interest in VR games or online games that feature 3D graphics, it is necessary to possess a desktop computer and a gaming chair that provides optimal comfort.

What to Do After You Buy a Desktop PC

After you have connected all the peripheral devices and started your PC for the initial time, it is crucial to take measures to safeguard your PC against external assaults before establishing an internet connection. To provide a more dependable signal, establish a direct connection between your desktop computer and the modem. Registering your PC may be necessary if it is covered by a warranty.

Additional recommendations

While it may be tempting to get the least expensive desktop PC available, it is advisable to invest in a computer that is somewhat more robust than your requirements rather than one that is slightly less capable than what you need. It is important to consider that in addition to purchasing an all-in-one desktop, you may need to buy numerous accessories or ensure that your old gear is compatible with your new computer.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the optimal timing for purchasing a desktop PC?

If you are purchasing a computer for educational purposes, it is advisable to seek out back-to-school bargains during the autumn season. Alternatively, Black Friday and Cyber Monday are the most advantageous options.

Which tiny desktop PC is considered the top choice?

Notable tiny PCs in the market are the Razer Tomahawk, Acer Chromebox CXI3, ZOTAC ZBOX Edge MI352, MSI MEG Trident X, HP ProDesk 400 G5, and the Apple Mac tiny. If you are interested in obtaining a kit to construct your own device, you may want to investigate either the Intel NUC 9 Extreme NUC9i9QNX or the Raspberry Pi 400.

Which company produces the highest quality desktop personal computers?

The top PC brands, depending on your preferences, are Dell, ASUS, HP, and Acer.