Desktop Pcs

By: Ryan

The only knowledge you will have when you are out to buy a desktop will be the type of desk top you wish to acquire. In the desktop market however you will find wide range of configurations, different shapes and sizes and fast changing specifications of features.

Complete Review of Desktop PCs
The following guide has been prepared to ensure that you are able to arrive at the right specification of the desired features. Links are provided with each feature to arrive at variety of models available with that feature.

CPUs are the main feature which decides what you can do, how much you can do and how fast you can do with your system. Processor specification states the brand, the processor type and the processor speed. The common understanding till some time ago was that higher the processor speed better will be the performance. Not so any longer. The major processor manufacturers Intel and AMD have revolutionized the processor market with dual core and quad core processors all in a single piece of silicon.

  • Single core chips like AMD Sempron, and Intel Celeron D don't cost much and are configured in low priced desktops because of their low performance and low speed. They still run the show the reason being most software is designed for execution on a single thread (one stream of data) or processor core.
  • AMD Athlon 64 isn't fast but it satisfies all computing requirements. The price too has come down with the launch of newer processors. 
  • Dual processor is two processor cores on a single piece of silicon. The advantage of having multiple processors is ability to handle more than one thread. When multiple applications are running at a time, the multiple processors are parallel processing and this increases the speed of performance. Customers intending to multi task, 3D gaming with desktops must insist on dual core processor type.
  • AMD Athlon 64 X2
  • Intel Core 2 Duo processors are fast and power efficient and can run the most intense applications. It is configured in low end systems as well as in gaming PCs.

Processor speed
The processor executes instructions received from RAM. So if the desktop is intended for complicated calculations and drawings for graphic images and games a faster processor will be required.

  • 1.5 to 2 GHz- Processor speed in this range would suffice the needs of students or small offices. 
  • 2.2 to 2.7 GHZ
  • 2.8 to 3.4 GHz- Processors with 3 GHz and higher speeds like Pentium 4 and equivalent AMD processors are ideal for desktop multimedia and Gaming PCs. 

Memory- The next in the feature list of all desktops is the Memory. The specifications state the space and type. Space mentioned in MBs or GBs. There should be enough memory to run all the software you intend to use, so check out the requirements of the intended software before you decide on space specification of RAM. Larger the memory, faster the processor will operate as it permits larger amount of data to be transferred.

  • 4 GB of RAM gives good performance and is the minimum requirement to run Windows Vista. 4GB is the minimum requirement for multimedia.
  • 1Gb to 2Gb - Home users and Home office would require 512 MB or more 

The two types of memory are DDR SDRAM and DDR2 SDRAM. The DDR2 version is faster of the two. These memory types are categorized according to features like bandwidth and clock speed. Memory can be upgraded by Dual Inline Memory Module (DIMM).

Hard drive
Definitely you would want to store all the data you work with and create, the Operating Systems used and all your applications.

  • 20 to 40 GB- A 40 GB hard drive provides enough storage for home, family and office applications but not for the demanding gaming and multi media applications.
  • 80 to 160 GB- For gaming and digital music hard drive requirement can be within this range.
  • 250 to 320 GB- if you are dabbling with huge amounts of data like digital images and multi media files check for models in the range of 200 to 350 GB.

Higher GB up to 500GB storage drives too is available.

Desktops come with hard drives of 3.5inch size. Hard drives have an in built motor that spins in speed range of 5,400 to 15,000 revolutions per minute; most models have speed of 7200rpm. The advantage associated with higher speeds is faster access and storing of more data.

Size and Shape- Desktops come in a variety of shapes and sizes. The small form factor cases have a number of features for basic functioning however upgrading with expansion cards is not possible. The all-in-one model has both display and computer enclosed in a single box, hence ideal for space constraint situations.
The disadvantage is the computer may get obsolete before the display. The Mid tower case and Full-tower case are more popular these days because of their sleek look. Lot of interior space and slots are available for expansion and up-gradation with hard drives and optical drives. There are plenty of ports for connecting peripherals like printers and digital cameras.

Desktops by Type

Budget desktops
The budget desktops appeal to the home and student customers. Desktops within $400 come with features that serve the everyday requirement of word processing, spreadsheets, letterbox and web surfing. The processors from AMDs like the Sempron or the lower end processors of Athlon series and Intel's Pentium 4 fit into this kind of budget. Lenovo ThinkCentre A60 (9631D4U) PC Desktop
IBM ThinkCentre S50 Refurbished Intel Desktop Computer - Intel P4 2.6GHz, 512MB DDR, 40GB HDD, DVD-R (J156-4384)

If you intend to use for gaming, raise the budget say within 500 to 600$ and you can have 3 GHz processor, 512MB Memory, a thin TFT screen and 120 GB hard drive. You can even upgrade the model. Upgrading the RAM is possible with a small amount. Check these models:

Business Desktops
Business desktops need to come with a certain amount of quality, only that much that you need and that too at a competitive price. Security features, warranty details and availability of onsite service must be given priority. Desktops configured with power saving features of dual core processors by both AMD and Intel will give good value for money. You can consider these models:
Dell XPS 700 (XPS700-6366PB1) PC Desktop
Lenovo 3000 J115 PC Desktop

Gaming Desktops
You need speed to conquer your gaming opponent and Intel Core2Duo can be ideal or still better the AMD Athlon 64 X2s processors. The AMD's dual cores stand better chance because most gaming applications are not designed to take advantage of the multi threading capabilities of Intel processors. You can also opt for the high speed hard drives. Check out the models at:

Media Center and Digital Entertainment Desktops- You will need these types of desktops for storing and sharing music, photos, editing videos, creating movie DVDs and music CDs. For such peak performance the features required are fastest processors, biggest hard drives and brightest displays. And if you have deep pockets check out the models at
Dell XPS 700 (XPS700-2KX3WB1) PC Desktop
Hewlett Packard Compaq dc7600 (EH798UC) PC Desktop

Desktop by Prices
$230 to $400
In such a low range you will be surprised and satisfied to get desktops that have powerful processors and graphic cards. They have enough features to support general business tasks and office computing chores.

$400 to $600
Ideally suited for office computing, networking, home or small office users. These inexpensive desktops offer great features and performance for the money spent.

$600 to $1600
Sturdy structure, lot of options for upgrading and can fast adapt to changing business needs and good multi-media control buttons.


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