While most computing these days happen on mobile devices, desktop computers still rule the roost when it comes to offering unlimited power and flexibility for future upgrades. Over the last year, we've seen new CPUs from Intel and AMD that have upped the ante in terms of raw processing power at relatively affordable rates. However, the same is not the case with respect to GPUs, RAM, and to an extent, even SSDs. These components were being sold at above market prices, which made anyone interested in building a custom PC, out of luck. This is where pre-built desktop PCs come in. Since OEMs get the components in bulk, they are able to pass on the savings to the customer. Most OEMs are doing a fairly good job by offering decent specs at reasonable prices along with warranty and on-site support.
If you are planning to get a desktop PC for home or office, a few pointers should be kept in mind. One should select the right CPU for the task taking into account cost vs performance. For Office work, web browsing, or even light gaming, one does not need an overclockable octa-core Intel Core i9-9900K. If gaming is what you are after, then other factors also come into the picture. Having low latency RAM and fast GPUs are important if you chase frame rates. However, for regular productivity, multimedia or even running multiple monitors at once, integrated GPUs are more than enough.
Ease of access for upgrades is another important factor to consider. You might choose to start off with a simple setup now but later choose to upgrade individual components. In that case, it is important to ensure that the desktop PC offers tool-less access or at the very least, enough space in the cabinet to fit in more powerful components.
With those factors in mind, we've made a list of the desktop PCs available in the market. So, here are our recommendations for the 8 best desktop Computers to buy in 2019.
1. Dell XPS 8930 Tower Desktop
- Specs: Intel Core i7-8700; 32 GB RAM; 256 GB SSD + 2 TB HDD
- GPU: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 Ti
- Ports: 3x USB 3.1; 6x USB 2.0; 2x USB Type-C; 1x HDMI; 1x DisplayPort; 1x DVI; 1x RJ-45 Network Ethernet 10/100/1000; Audio: 7.1 Channel
- Dimensions (W x H x D): 15.2 x 14 x 7.1 in
Fans of Dell's popular XPS laptop lineup will instantly appreciate the XPS 8930 desktop tower PC. The XPS 8930 features an Intel Core i7-8700 CPU, 32 GB of DDR4 RAM, a 256 GB SSD + 2 TB HDD combo, and an NVIDIA GeForce 1050 Ti GPU. The specs are more than sufficient for serious multitasking and productivity. The GTX 1050 Ti is a good GPU for accelerating common tasks and is also capable of gaming at 1080p at acceptable frame rates. The build quality of the XPS 8930 is excellent and offers quiet operation without any unwanted noise. There is an ample number of ports to help you connect the most common peripherals.
The best part about the XPS 8930 is that you can configure the tower to your liking and probably even start at a much lower asking price. All components are easily accessible and Dell provides extra support options apart from the standard warranty to give you peace of mind. All in all, a great all-rounder desktop PC.
- Pros: Good spec options; Stable performance
- Cons: None as such
2. HP Pavilion Desktop 590
For those who don't want to spend a huge initial amount on a fully loaded desktop computer but want the ability to upgrade components as and when desired in the future will find the HP Pavilion Desktop 590 a good choice. As a base configuration, the Pavilion Desktop 590 offers an Intel Core i7-8700 hexacore CPU, 12 GB of RAM, and a 1 TB HDD. You might look into adding an SSD as a boot drive to increase response times as the HDD can slow down the system considerably. There is no dedicated GPU offered in the base spec but you can add it later. Still, the Intel UHD Graphics 630 is not too bad and as long as you're not into gaming, it should work just fine and can even power a dual-monitor setup without hiccups.
The HP Pavilion Desktop 590 makes for a great companion for Office work or other productivity apps and despite the compact case, upgrading components is not a hassle. We only wish that it offered at least a low capacity SSD in the base spec itself.
- Pros: Great for Office apps and productivity
- Cons: No SSD included in base config
3. Acer Aspire TC-885
The Acer Aspire TC-885 is one of the best desktop PCs under $500. The TC-885 is powered by an Intel Core i5-8400 CPU, 12 GB of DDR4 RAM, and a 2 TB HDD. The choice of components helps in its affordable pricing and, out of the box, this desktop computer is no slouch when it comes to performance in day to day tasks. Of course, you can add more RAM, SSD, and a dedicated graphics card optionally if you need. The TC-885 looks great, is well built, and features built-in wireless-AC connectivity. Acer Care Center offers an easy way to keep your system up to date with respect to device drivers and BIOS updates.
While the Acer Aspire T-885 offers easy upgrade options, the built-in power supply unit will not be adequate if you want to install powerful GPUs so you will want to upgrade to a higher PSU as well. This is the desktop to consider if you are looking at more than just basic productivity but don't want to spend a lot.
- Pros: Great for productivity
- Cons: No SSD in base config; Default PSU not adequate powerful GPUs.
4. Dell Inspiron Desktop
The Dell Inspiron Desktop is another great midrange option for productivity without being too expensive. You can customize the Inspiron PC to your liking but the stock configuration isn't too shabby. You get an Intel Core i3-8100 CPU, 8 GB RAM, and a 1 TB HDD. Those looking at web browsing and Office will not complain about the offered specs. However, if you are into anything more demanding, you might want to customize the desktop to your requirements, which will shoot up the price considerably. A good thing is that at the base price, you get the keyboard and mouse included.
Overall, we think that the Dell Inspiron Desktop will be a great purchase for those who don't mind taking the extra time to properly customize it. No matter what configuration you choose, make sure to include at least a low capacity SSD as a boot drive.
- Pros: Good for Office apps
- Cons: Customization can quickly get expensive
5. iBuyPower Pro Gaming Desktop PC
The iBuyPower Pro is a powerful desktop computer which offers some cutting-edge hardware at a fairly reasonable price. You get the latest 9th generation Intel Core i7-9700K octa-core CPU that can boost up to 4.9 GHz, 16 GB of DDR4 RAM, a 240 GB SSD + 1 TB HDD combo, and an NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 GPU. This is a pretty powerful gaming PC and you will have no issues in running the latest games at 1440p in ultra settings. The tempered side-glass and the accentuated lighting further add appeal as a powerful gaming rig. Additionally, you also get a gaming keyboard and mouse included in the package.
There aren't many issues with the PC per se but those wanting to further upgrade down the line will find that there aren't too many expansion slots available. There is no SD card reader built-in and the keyboard does not feature backlighting. Network performance is on the lower side as well and the overall product could use some better QC. That said, if you're looking at a good gaming PC that is also great for stuff like the photo or video editing, the iBuyPower Pro is a worthy option to consider.
- Pros: Excellent specs and performance; Tailored for gamers
- Cons: QC issues; Limited expansion for future upgrades
6. Apple Mac Mini (2018)
Apple recently refreshed its Mac Mini computer and has made worthwhile for even Pros to take a look. The Mac Mini can be configured with a choice of Intel’s latest 8th gen Core processors, faster DDR4 RAM up to 64 GB, and fast SSD storage up to 2 TB. The overall footprint has remained the same despite the improved hardware. The new Mac Mini also comes with the Apple T2 chip that offers enhanced device security, secure boot for macOS, and on-the-fly storage encryption.
Connectivity options are well-endowed and you also have the option of configuring the Mac Mini with a 10 Gbps Ethernet port, if needed. With four Thunderbolt 3 ports on board, the Mac Mini can also be connected to an eGPU for enhanced graphics horsepower. While the Mac Mini is a great mini PC, you would need to weigh your requirements and configure it before ordering as most components are soldered and non-upgradable. You can try upgrading the RAM but accessing it would require fully dismantling the mini PC so we would advise against that unless you know what you’re doing.
- Pros: Great specs and performance; Extremely compact
- Cons: Hard to manually upgrade later
7. Microsoft Surface Studio 2
- Specs: Intel Core i7-7820HQ; 32 GB DDR4 RAM; 1 TB SSD; TPM 2.0 security chip; Windows Hello facial recognition
- GPU / Display: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060; 4500 x 3000 28-inch PixelSense touch display
- Ports: 4x USB 3.0; 1x SD card reader; 1x Gigabit Ethernet; 1x USB Type-C; 1x 3.5 mm headphone jack
- Dimensions (W x H x D): 25.1 x 8.6 x 21.6 in
The Microsoft Surface Studio 2 is the Windows equivalent of the Apple iMac Pro. The latest iteration comes with the Core i7-7820HQ CPU, 32 GB RAM, and 1 TB SSD. The 28-inch 4.5K PixelSense display supports pen and touch and works with the Surface Dial and Surface Pen. Unlike the iMac Pro, the Surface Studio 2 houses its components in a separate base, which makes the display extremely thin at just 1.3 inches.
Given the slim design, the Surface Studio 2 is also not an upgradable-friendly machine. It is a premium device that will work great for creative work in software such as SolidWorks, 3D Studio Max etc.
- Pros: Powerful specs; Extremely thin display
- Cons: Expensive
8. Dell Alienware Aurora R7
- Specs: Intel Core i7-8700K; 16 GB RAM; 256 GB SSD + 2 TB HDD
- GPU: NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080
- Ports: 3x USB 3.1; 6x USB 2.0; 1x USB Type-C; 1x HDMI; 1x DisplayPort; 1x RJ-45 Network Ethernet 10/100/1000; Audio: 7.1 Channel
- Dimensions (W x H x D): 18.6 x 14.2 x 8.34 in
The Alienware brand is synonymous with gaming and the Aurora R7 is one of the best gaming PCs available in the market today. Featuring an Intel Core i7-8700K hexacore CPU, 16 GB RAM that is upgradable up to 64 GB, and a 256 GB PCI-E NVMe SSD, the Aurora R7 has everything one expects from a gaming machine. The best part is that the Aurora was one of the first OEM gaming PCs to offer the latest NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 GPUs that feature support for Ray tracing so expect to see some of the best visuals and frame rates.
The Aurora R7 is designed to be upgraded easily and offers tool-less access to most components inside. This along with the customizable AlienFX lighting means that the Aurora R7 has not just the performance but also the looks.
- Pros: Top of the line components; Tool-less access for upgrades
- Cons: None as such
Dear reader, those were our picks for the best desktop PCs available in 2019. Remember that most budget desktop computers skip the SSD in favor of higher capacity HDDs so we'd recommend that you factor in that cost as well. Or better still, opt for a configuration that comes pre-installed with an SSD to save the hassle of moving the OS and other apps later. Also, do factor in the additional costs of peripherals such as a monitor, keyboard, and mouse while deciding on a desktop PC for a more realistic estimate of the price.
We hope that this article has helped you in deciding on a good desktop computer. As always, feel free to reach out to us if you have any doubts or would like to suggest what other laptops we should include and we will get back at the earliest.