Desktop computers might feel like a thing of the past, but there are still plenty of reasons to choose a desktop model over a laptop. Often times, even base model desktop computers are far more powerful than their mobile counterparts. This makes them better suited for multimedia projects like photo, video and music editing. And if you’re looking for a machine for your work or home office, you might as well get more power and performance at a similar (or lower) price. That’s right, desktop computers are often far more affordable than premium laptops.
If you feel like you need a little more performance from your desktop down the road, especially if you’re a gamer, desktop computers are easier to customize and upgrade than laptops. It is much easier to swap out a desktop’s components and add some extra RAM compared to a laptop.
Plus, desktops are no longer behemoth towers that take up a massive amount of room. The Mac Mini put that myth to rest some time ago, and there are a lot of all-in-one desktops that don’t have a computer tower at all.
Simply put, there are a lot of reasons to invest in a desktop computer in 2020:
- Can be more affordable than laptops
- More powerful than laptops
- 2020 models are compact
- Customizable components
So whether you’re looking for a new family computer, need a desktop for video editing, or want to find the best desktop computer for small businesses, we’ve picked nine fantastic options. Keep reading for the best desktop computers of 2020 from top brands like Dell, Microsoft, Apple and HP.
BEST MAC OPTION
When it comes to content creation — video and music editing, as well as design work — it’s difficult to beat the iMac 27-inch. Especially when it comes to any type of visual creation, the true-to-life RK Retina display with 4096-by-2304 resolution is nothing short of incredible. The inner workings are equally as impressive — an 8th-generation Core i9 processor along with 5.0GHz Turbo Boost can smash through even the most intensive music and video editing projects. If you’re a content creator, this is the machine you’re looking for.
And at $1,230, this computer is more affordable than ever. While gamers and PC devotees might scoff, creative professionals shouldn’t hesitate to purchase Apple’s legendary desktop.
2. Dell XPS Tower
BEST PC OPTION
There are many ways to configure this desktop PC, but even at the ground floor, you get a powerful professional desktop that can handle any work task. The six core i5 processor with turbo boosts up to 4.1 GHz is impressive, and we’re still talking base model here. That includes 64GB of memory and 1TB of storage. And when you upgrade, you can create a desktop that is prime for gaming. It’s your choice.
3. Intel NUC 9
BEST MINI DESKTOP
When you still want loads of power, but need to save space, the Intel NUC 9 (a.k.a Ghost Canyon), is one hell of a computer in a tiny package. It’s pretty stripped down — you’ll need to bring your own operating system — but has the ability to be upgraded to one best desktops around, albeit, at a hefty price. It can hang with the best gaming computers and fulfill the needs of content creators with the ability to handle intensive programs like Photoshop and Pro Tools. Don’t let the size fool you, this thing means business.
5. Mac Mini
The Mac Mini is a gamechanger in the desktop computer realm. Although it is a bit more expensive than previous generations of the Mini, it’s by far the most impressive. The base model includes 3.6GHz quad-core 8th i3 processor that can be upgraded to a 4.1GHz six core i5 processor with 8GB of memory, making it great for office tasks, especially when there isn’t a ton of space in said office. Who says you need a computer tower to have a powerful desktop computer?
6. W5 PC Stick Intel Atom
With the W5 PC Stick, you can literally slide your desktop in your pocket. Pre-loaded with Windows 10, all you need to do is plug it into a monitor with an HDMI plug and you’re set. It features Bluetooth and Wi-Fi to easily connect a Bluetooth mouse and have a whole portable computer setup instantly. It also has two additional USB ports for thumb drives or additional hardware. It’s not powerful by any stretch, but when your work has to come with you, it’s the most portable desktop computer solution available.
7. HP Omen
The HP Omen disproves the myth that you don’t need to build your own PC to have a premium gaming rig. Even at its less pricey configurations, you’ll be able to play intensive games at 4K resolution. And when that’s no longer enough, upgrading your components is simple. There are an unbelievable amount of configurations, so let your imagination run wild. And when you’ve constructed your perfect PC, you can sit back and marvel at the inner-workings through the transparent side panel. It’s a beauty and a beast.
8. Alienware Aurora Ryzen Edition R10
Although you can turn this gaming desktop computer into a high-end machine, the base model provides plenty of power for most gamers. The AMD Ryzen 9 3950 X processor is powerful and speedy. Combine that with 1440p and 60fps gaming capabilities, and you have an ultra-smooth gaming experience. If later down the line you feel like upgrading your configuration, the no-frills layout and tool-less access makes upgrades simple. It’s an affordable choice for budget gamers.
9. CyberpowerPC Gamer Xtreme VR Gaming PC
AMAZON CHOICE FOR GAMING
This computer is ready for all of your gaming needs. Like cheese with a fine wine, the CyberpowerPC pairs great with a VR headset, but also does the trick for non-VR gaming. It features an i5-9400F chip and NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1660 graphics card to handle all of your gaming needs. On the outside, it looks more like a tower speaker you’d find at EDC than a gaming computer, but flashiness aside, the 4.5 star rating on Amazon shows it satisfies plenty of gamer’s needs.
10. HP Z2 G4 Desktop Computer
GREAT MID-RANGE OPTION
You don’t need to spend a ton of money to get a good performing desktop computer and the HP Z2 G4 is proof. This configurable tower can be beefed up to take on intensive multi-media and CAD projects. Even the base level will smash through any office project you throw its way. The cooling fans keep quiet even when going full steam. Plus, there’s a three year warranty on the computer, which should give users peace of mind they are getting a quality desktop computer.
11. Dell G5
GREAT FOR STUDENTS
Geared towards gamers on a budget, the G5 is an affordable yet solid option for a desktop computer. With 1TB of storage and a 9th gen i3 processor, there’s nothing on the syllabus that this computer won’t handle with relative ease. The base model will only run you $680, but when you max out the specifications, you can have yourself a premium level gaming computer, without premium level prices — roughly $1,600. All things considered, those are respectable price ranges depending on your needs.
12.HP Envy 32 All-In-One
GREAT ALL-IN-ONE OPTION
What’s not to like about the HP Envy 32 All-in-one desktop computer? With HDMI, USB-C and Thunderbolt support, it has plenty of connectivity. It boasts a 4K screen great for content creators or the occasional gaming session. And 16 GB of RAM can handle a multiple tasks simultaneously without a hitch in the giddy-up. About the only thing this desktop can’t do is fit in your pocket, but with exception of the W5 PC Stick, not many desktops can.
13. Microsoft Surface Studio 2
The Microsoft Surface Studio 2 is a straight-up beauty. But the incredible design comes at a price. However, if you’re looking for the best desktop computers of 2020, you have to seriously consider the Surface Studio 2, which justifies its higher price point.
For starters, this premium desktop computer provides a 4K, 28-inch touch display that’s great for multimedia editing projects and rivals the iMac Retina display. The 1080p built-in camera will make your work-from-home video conferencing calls look more life-like than the overly pixelated Zoom calls you’re used to. Plus, when you consider the i7 processor and 16GB of memory, we aren’t surprised this premium desktop computer is a little pricier than others.
14. Acer Aspire Tower
For a solid desktop computer under $800, the Acer Aspire should be towards the top of your list. According to PCMag speed testing, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a desktop computer at this price range with the same performance. It shows its prowess at handling everything from normal office work to intensive Adobe Cloud programs. And with its small footprint, you don’t need to worry if your workspace is a bit cramped. This Acer Aspire desktop computer is as affordable as it is smart.