Consumer technology is growing at an incredible pace; we now have smartphones that can do pretty much everything what a computer 10-15 years ago used to do and even much more than that. An advanced phone or tablet can replace your video and photo camera, GPS device, gaming console and with the help of hundreds of applications you can have all the information that you need. However, these devices are not that good for production, they are more suitable for consumption. As versatile as a tablet or smartphone couldn’t get, it can’t yet match the comfort and the safety of working from your desktop PC.

Of course, a laptop or netbook can be equally good, since their main contribution is that you can take your office everywhere with you. Nevertheless, most of your available time is being spent in front of your stationary personal computer. That is, if your job consists in doing so. But, let’s face it, who doesn’t spend hours in their office, working in front of a computer? It has become a vital part of our daily lives, being responsible for many of the tasks that we have to accomplish.

which-pc-to-buy


Believe me, I know how hard can it get to buy the right PC. You are bombarded by so many manufacturers, so many offers and models that searching for your computer becomes a real trouble. A big problem is probably represented by the fact that you can’t afford to buy whatever comes under your hand; that’s why you have to be extra-careful, thus making the selection process quite long. We’ve decided to ease your work and do a little research to discover which desktop PC should you buy, which low-budget but powerful computers can you get, should you expect more months before buying and many other aspects that you shouldn’t ignore when making such an important acquisition.

Make Some Extensive Research Before Buying

A beautiful thing about the Internet is that it created and scattered communities across the world. No longer can you be fooled by deceitful marketing plans as you can already ask people if the product is good or it’s just a financial hoax. And when it comes to consumer technology, oh my, there are thousands for reviewers online who are ready to share their knowledge with you. That’s why, even before thinking about the price or its use, you should stop for a moment and scout for valuable information online.

Here are some of the popular and reliable websites that do offer extensive PC reviews so that you could know what’s good and what’s wrong about your future Desktop PC:

You could also take the easy path – go to Google and scout for your desired computer model. What I would suggest is add negative words near and see how many results you get. Sure, you will get lots of negative results but you should know what’s not so great about your purchase. That may push you back from your sale or make less enthusiastic which isn’t always a good thing as it can prove to be only the effect of the brand, in some cases.

The Power of Brand and Design

Yes, there is a plethora of desktop PCs out there, and currently there are more than 160 active manufacturers worldwide. In this case, you should go for the brand names. It’s not like when buying watches or fashion items; where the price is increased only because of the glamor effect. The price of some computers is given by the fact that they are made by a company that is very careful about their product, with smart engineers, warranty plans and other benefits. That’s why you should try and make your purchase from these companies:

  • Acer
  • Alienware 
  • Apple
  • ASUS
  • BenQ
  • Dell
  • Fujitsu
  • HP
  • IBM
  • Lenovo
  • LG
  • Panasonic
  • Samsung
  • Sony
  • Toshiba

This is just my personal opinion, if you find a better computer, at a cheaper price, then nobody is going to stop you from making your acquisition. For example, if you decide on assembling your own PC, you will end up with a product that will have components from different suppliers as there are manufacturer that don’t make only brand systems (as Apple, for example), but they do sell components as well, such as motherboards or video cards.

In the beginning of the computer era, design didn’t count too much and we had pretty “ugly” devices. Now, it’s my personal belief that if you want to invest some hundreds of bucks in your machine, you should be sure to have a nice one. While, you can’t diversify pretty much your tower station, you can always have a beautiful monitor and external components. The basic look of the desktop PC is this one:

desktop-pc

What you can do is buy a beautiful monitor with a wide screen, a nice looking keyboard and mouse. You can save yourself from the hassle of plugs and buy even wireless versions. If you have enough money, you can get even a solar-powered keyboard and other gadgets to attach to your system so that it could look revolutionary too.

All-In-One, The Compromise Between Performance, Mobility and Looks

If the above basic design isn’t what you’re looking for, then you have the all-in-one PC alternative with really gorgeous looks and steal your eyes away. Again, you could lose some dollars because, first of all, it has a gorgeous design, thus a supplementary amount of work that was needed for the company to produce the machine. But, when you look at some of the below images, you become charmed by them.

You’ll have to agree with me on this one: all-in-one computers do look great indeed! I am a fan of Lenovo models, as you can see, the first two images above, from the left are Lenovo models. The price is a problem, indeed, but as there are more competitors on the market you will see how it will drop pretty soon. Not to mention that the inbuilt processors are mostly made by Intel; and we all know how fast Intel develops their processors, thanks to a legacy established by Gordon Moore and Robert Noyce.

We couldn’t forget about the iMac, even if we had wanted to. You can’t neglect Apple, a company that has grown so big that at one moment it had even more cash than the US treasury. iMac represents one of the best tech creations so far, both from the design and the performance point of views. Recently, Apple has launched a program for students, so, maybe you could take benefit of it! Just have a look at the first and latest models to see how much things have changed.

What’s The Right Price for You

Before jumping on Google and starting to look for all kind of desktop PCs, you should first know how much you can afford, at this moment, for your next computer. If you don’t have enough money, don’t worry, there will always be a good deal at a fair price for you. And if you see a tech baby that’s beyond your reach, don’t worry neither, you can gather the amount needed by putting money aside or limiting your expenses. If you manage to save $50 to $100 each month, you can be sure that it will take less than one year for you to grab the piece that you like the most.

Set your budget, be it immediate or for the long-run and wait until you have enough money to make the acquisition. Generally, these are the price categories:

  • < $500 
  • $500 – $1000
  • $1000 – $1500
  • $1500 – $2000
  • $2500+

As you can see, the increment is usually 500$, that’s why, if you’d like to buy a more powerful PC or a different brand with more impressive features, you can gather money and wait for the right moment. You shouldn’t hurry as there are plenty of computers out there, waiting for their master.

Are You Buying It For Games, Media or Work?

The second reason for your purchase is the intended use for it. Are you a hard-core gamer and media lover or you intend to use your desktop PC to improve your speed and increase productivity. Also, are you buying it for yourself or for work purposes, that is if you don’t have a default one at your office. If you don’t need a gaming or media computer and if you are not going to use it for graphic programs, such as Photoshop or AutoCAD, then you shouldn’t waste a load of money and go for a computer that could serve your work needs.

Are you going to use it when traveling as well or you’re really thinking about a desktop PC? Because, if you’re going to need to take it with you, there are the all-in-one solutions. I know that I said before that a desktop PC is better because it is stationary, thus more stable and comfortable, but sometimes you just have to take it with you. Sure, for that you have your laptop, but isn’t it a real mess sometimes with multiple devices on your head? That’s why, if you want a more “mobile” desktop PC, an all-in-one would be your solution.

Assemble Your Own PC

If you’re looking to build an unique PC, like a gaming monster or a multimedia system then maybe you should assemble your own PC. Sure, it isn’t that easy as you may think, but once you get the hang of it, it’s like buying a car and then taking care of it, replacing this or that. First of all, you need to know what what are the basic parts of it:

  • power supply unit
  • motherboard
  • central processing unit
  • RAM
  • HDD
  • optical drive
  • video card
From the most used external parts, you need to think about:
  • keyboard
  • mouse
  • monitor

It’s much easier to select keyboards, mice or monitors then to figure out the internal chemistry of your desktop PC. That’s why, you either learn how to assemble a PC on your own or you ask for help from your geek friends or the local PC store. It can get quite fun and the most important thing about this is that you will end up paying a much lower price than a custom built PC. Also, if you plan on assembling the PC on your own, my sincere advice is that you should buy components from your local retailer; it is much easier to contact them afterwards than to request for help from a stranger on eBay.

Further Diversification for Your Desktop PC

If you decide to buy separate components for your final product, then it will be much easier for you to upgrade your desktop PC and change obsolete components. That’s why, when you assemble your computer, you should know what components you will be able to replace. You should be real careful about RAM, processor unit, video card, motherboard and soundcard. You don’t have too worry that much about your hard drive, cooler fan, power supply and other secondary components.

Also, if you want your desktop PC to be complete, then you need to have a keyboard, mouse and monitor. As there is a plethora of monitors, from old ones, which I highly don’t recommend, to 3D and LED models. Having a printer, scanner and speakers is almost a must for your stationary system. Also, if you really want to give your desktop PC an unique style, then you should choose some creative cases, if you don’t go for an all-in-one version. Take a look below to see some gorgeous models.

Model Suggestions

I didn’t want to make yet another list of desktop PCs that are available out there, as technology is quickly evolving these days. Instead, I decided to give you some insight and deliver the necessary tools for your choice. However, there are some models that I could suggest, but, then again, these are only my own preferences. Presenting below, not in a particular order, 7 desktop PCs and all-in-one models that you should, at least, check out.

  1. Idea Centre B520
  2. iMac, all models
  3. Origin Genesis
  4. Arbico Elite
  5. ASUS All-In-One
  6. Acer Aspire All-In-One
  7. HP Pavilion

There are many other desktop PCs and configurations that I am sure will please you, that’s why I didn’t want to flood you with too many ideas. Be sure to follow the above ideas and I am sure that you will not fail in your choice!

 
Managing Editor

is the Managing Editor of Technically Personal. When he has some extra-time, he writes about Windows 8 apps and reviews them on Wind8Apps. Believes that technology is the main engine of civilization. Send him a tweet or make him your Facebook friend

 
 
  • Swamykant

    Excellent Guide. Is there anything similar for laptops ?

  • Radu Tyrsina

    Maybe :)

    stay tuned

  • Arvind

    Surprising why dell is not listed

    • Radu Tyrsina

      because that’s a short list of my preferences,

      Dell is listed above ;)

  • http://www.avcutie.com avcutie

    I would like to see you do the same guide for laptop. I have been using laptop exclusively since 2004 (3 laptops have served me so far).

    • Radu Tyrsina

      Yes, we will have it done by the end of the year, I guess or in the early 2012.

      thanks!

  • Ashiq Hassan

    awesome …pp

  • Ainslie Pasqual

    The best desktop is building one yourself. :P