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Best Desktop Computers for the Money

Best Desktop Computers

There are many different computers in the market. All desktop computers serve different purposes.

 

What may work for a video editor will not be necessary for somebody who occasionally checks emails. In this article we have provided the best desktop computer recommendations depending on the need of the user.

Best Desktop Computers for the Money

Computer Model Intel NUC NUC7i5DNHE Dell XPS 8930 Tower CYBERPOWER Gaming Supreme

Intended Use

Basic computing
Graphic Design/Advanced PC Use
Gaming

Picture

Intel NUC PC

Dell XPS 8930

Cyberpower Gaming Supreme

Performance Rating

4 Star Rating

5 Star Rating

5 Star Rating

Value Rating

4 Star Rating

4 Star Rating

5 Star Rating

Buy Now

Buy from Amazon

Buy from Amazon

Buy from Amazon

Price Point

$659.99
$1,728.64
$2,229.99

HD Space/Type

250 GB NVMe SSD
250 GB SSD + 2TB SATA
480GB SSD + 3TB HDD

Processor Name

Intel i5-7300U
Intel i7-8700
Intel i9-9900K

Processor Speed

Up to 3.5 GHz
Up to 3.2GHz
3.6 GHz

RAM Available

8GB
64GB
16GB

Graphic Card

Intel HD Graphics 620
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 6GB
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 8GB

Operating System

Windows 10 Pro
Windows 10 Pro
Windows 10 Home

In the table above, we have compared the best desktop computers depending on intended use. We deploy the Intel NUC and Dell XPS 8930 series to our managed clients on a regular basis.

 

One competing simple tasks will not need a complex gaming rig. On the other hand, a gamer will not fare well with the Intel NUC PC as specified above. One thing to keep in mind when purchasing a new computer: it is okay to buy more than you need, but not the other way around. If you intend on using your new PC for multiple purposes, you’d be best served to buy more than you need. 

 

Although it may cost more, the Dell XPS or the CYBERPOWER Gamer Supreme models will future proof your purchase. Below we are going to break down each desktop compared in the table above. Additionally, we will go over the things to look for when making a new purchase.

Best Desktop Computer Models

Below you will find Pros and Cons for each of the PC’s as outlined in the above chart. 

Intel NUC NUC7i5DNHE Pros

  • Small lightweight design
  • Powerful Intel i5 Processor
  • Dual monitor compatible with lightning port

Intel NUC NUC7i5DNHE Cons

  • Limited customization due to small design
  • Only compatible with 2.5 inch drives/NVME
  • Limited USB Ports available

Dell XPS 8930 Pros

  • Powerful i7 Processor
  • Power NVIDIA GPU can handle most tasks
  • Room for additional components

Dell 8930 Cons

  • Large tower, not good for small spaces
  • Cost is too high for basic PC users
  • Dell has a history of using inexpensive parts

CyberPower Gaming Supreme Pros

  • Advanced i9 Processor allows for execution of all tasks
  • Newest generation NVIDIA 2080 GPU can handle gaming or rendering
  • Great value to performance considering the CPU/GPU combo

CyberPower Gaming Supreme Cons

  • Too expensive for basic tasks
  • Very large tower, takes up a lot of space
  • High electricity usage

Best Desktop Computer Consideration #1: SSD vs HDD

In the last several years, SSD technology has advanced. This has caused the price of solid state drives to decrease. While some PC users will not notice a difference between using an SSD vs an HDD, there is a major difference.

 

SSD Drives offer a much faster read/write rate when compared to hard disk drives. This means that your computer will be able to save and open files much quicker. Even if you intend on using your desktop computer for basic purposes, the SSD will boost the performance of your PC. Files that a user will access are not the only consideration for using an SSD. 

 

It is advisable to use a solid state drive when possible for the operating system. Utilizaing an SSD for the operating system speeds up the computer. This is because hard disk drives use moving parts to access data. On the other hand, solid state drives act as flash memory, allowing the computer to instantly fetch data. 

 

Many new PC’s now feature multiple drives. Usually this would include a small SSD for the operating system, and an HDD for general storage. This allows a consumer to save money while also leveraging the faster performance of solid state technology. Check out our recent blog post comparing the differences between SSD and HDD technology.

Best Desktop Computer Consideration #2: Space availability

Since our business started in New York City, we have learned space is a major factor in a PC purchase decision. For most desktop users, it is no longer necessary to use a large tower for your computing experience. This is why our technicians are in the habit of recommending the Intel NUC series when possible for business clients.

 

The Intel NUC series is very small, about the size of an Apple TV unit. The Intel NUC will fit on or under any desk. In fact, you can also purchase a mounting bracket for the Intel NUC computers so that it can go right behind your monitor.

 

At the same time, the Intel NUC is a very powerful machine. The NUC configuration can be customized, and available with the i3, i5, and i7 Processors by Intel. Additionally, RAM can be upgraded at any time. 

 

For everyday usage, we recommend the Intel NUC variant with the i5 Processor, 8GB of RAM, and a 250GB SSD. This is the same model featured in the table at the top of the page.

 

Of course, saving space also comes with sacrifices. The Intel NUC does not support additional internal components. 

 

For a user that is not at all concerned about space, a traditional tower is likely the best choice. The Dell XPS 8930 and CyberPower models in the table above will take up a lot of space but will allow flexibility for future expansion. This also means the two tower models featured above will be easier to repair if ever needed.

Desktop Computer Purchase Consideration #3: CPU Performance

Every computer user has different needs. Intel has designed processors with that in mind. The for major lines of Intel Processors include the i3, i5, i7, and i9 series. 

 

We never recommend the Intel i3 processor to our clients. The reason for this is because the Intel i3 gets bogged down with even the simplest of tasks. Therefore, for anything more advanced than opening a web page, the i3 is not a viable CPU.

 

The Intel i5 Processor is a good choice for most users. Our technicians routinely deploy PC’s with the i5 Processor.

 

The i5 processor is great for most tasks. By purchasing a PC with the Intel i5 Processor, you will be able to easily create and edit documents, run multiple applications, and complete most business tasks with ease. 

 

The Intel i7 and i9 Processors have more cores, and can handle more strain. That is why users who intend on rendering videos or drawings should use an i7 Processor. It is also advisable to go for an i7 or i9 processor if you intend on gaming or using any intensive computer process. 

Final Consideration to Purchase the Best Desktop Computers: RAM needs

RAM is active storage on a computer. A PC will save temporary files in your RAM so that it can operate efficiently. RAM needs will vary depending on the intended use.

 

Since the price of RAM has decreased in the last few years, we rarely recommend any PC configuration with less than 8GB of available RAM. It is recommended by our technicians that a PC use less than 50% of available RAM at all times. Using more than 50% of available RAM is a common cause for a slow computing environment.

 

Only a few years ago, using 4GB of RAM was the industry standard for Managed IT Service companies. Today 8GB is the new 4GB. 8GB of RAM is enough for the typical office user. 8GB of RAM allows one to edit documents, browse the web, check emails and even perform some basic photo editing without noticing slowdowns.

 

For anybody who intends on using their PC to render videos or play games, a minimum of 16GB RAM is recommended. One thing to keep in mind is that RAM can always be upgraded. With that said, one should use larger RAM sticks to allow for easier upgrades. The reason for this is due to RAM slots being limited in a computer. Most PC’s have 4 slots, and some only have 2 slots. Buying a 4GB RAM stick could be a mistake that one ends up paying for later on.

Wrapping Up: Guide to buying the Best Desktop Computers

In this article we have compared and contrasted 3 common PC models. It is important to consider any futures uses for your new computer before making a decision.

 

If you intend on rendering videos, using more than two monitors, or gaming, the Intel NUC is not a good option. However, for most users the Intel NUC series is a good choice due to the space saved, CPU performance, and value offered by this computer.

 

For one that has a large budget, they are perhaps best suited to go for a gaming tower. A gaming tower allows optimal performance for all tasks. Purchasing a more expensive PC will future proof your setup and ensure you will receive the maximum value for your purchase.

 

It is also recommended that one considers our advice for RAM needs, SSD vs HDD usage, Space Availability, and CPU performance before making a purchase decision on a new PC.