Best Desktop PC for 2022

Just one-fifth of computer systems bought are desktops, as of late, however for those who take a look at the accessible options and storage within the extra conventional residence and workplace choices, you will see that the trusty desktop pc has lots price contemplating. There’s a lot to be mentioned for the moveable comfort of laptops and tablets, however for those who spend most of your day at a desk, it is good to have a extra ergonomic setup and a big-screen monitor — and even a kind of multiple-monitor arrays.

The most effective function of desktop PCs is the sturdiness and longevity they supply. Not solely are desktops constructed extra solidly, however not transferring round a lot contributes to far much less put on and tear than your standard laptop computer will see. And one other of one of the best desktop PC options is which you could get an honest bit extra energy and expandability than you possibly can from a laptop computer, together with a strong processor and the next high quality onerous drive or solid-state drive for storage. That processor energy and drive potential are notably essential for those who’re planning to make use of your private pc as a gaming PC or a graphics-editing powerhouse. 

A desktop pc is mostly going to return within the type of both a tower or an all-in-one (with an built-in display), although there are smaller designs for tighter areas. And whereas you could find Home windows and Macs for as little as $500 to $700, Chrome and Linux followers have loads of inexpensive choices, too. 

Whereas laptops nonetheless occupy the vast majority of our editors’ effort and time with CNET’s hands-on critiques, we have rounded up latest merchandise to carry you the easiest desktop PC choices, that are listed beneath. This checklist begins with fashions we have examined, after which strikes on to extra generic configurations. We have not explicitly examined these particular fashions within the latter batch, however the specs listed ought to ship appreciable worth for the worth, based mostly on our expertise with equally configured laptops we have examined. Until in any other case indicated, the merchandise listed beneath do not embrace a monitorkeyboardmouse or webcam. You may must carry your personal or purchase them individually. We replace this finest desktop PC checklist periodically.

Desktop PCs: Examined and really useful

These are one of the best desktop PC fashions that we have just lately examined and may suggest based mostly on our hands-on expertise.

Dan Ackerman/CNET

Apple has totally redesigned the iMac with a physique so ultrathin that it might simply be confused with a jumbo-screen iPad. It is now constructed on the identical superfast M1 chip present in Apple’s late-2020 MacBook Air and Mac Mini (see beneath), with a beautiful 24-inch display changing the earlier 21.5-inch model. The 1080p webcam is a giant improve over the MacBook’s 720p mannequin, and the rainbow of obtainable colours — hearkening again to the 1999 iMac G3 — is a welcome addition. Simply be ready to spend up for the myriad storage and accent upgrades. (Notice that the bigger 27-inch iMac has been discontinued as of March 2022.)

Learn our 2021 Apple iMac evaluate.


You are receiving value alerts for iMac M1 2021 (24-inch)

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Whereas we like all-in-ones for his or her comfort, they are not simple to improve, if they are often in any respect. Dell’s XPS Desktop is compact and quiet sufficient for a small workspace however could be loaded with a Twelfth-gen Core i9 processor, an Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080 Ti graphics card, as much as 64GB of reminiscence and 4TB of storage — and there is nonetheless room inside for extra. And when you have modest wants now, however need the room so as to add in elements down the street, the bottom XPS begins at underneath $800. Nevertheless, for those who do plan to improve down the street, spend a little bit further for its 750- or 1,000-watt energy provide. Need to spend a bit much less? Take a look at the extra inexpensive desktop pc choices really useful additional down the web page.

Learn our Dell XPS Desktop 8950 evaluate.


Lori Grunin/CNET

Each Apple and Microsoft have discontinued their bigger-screen all-in-one desktops, in order one of many sole remaining premium big-screen choices (so far as I can inform), the HP Envy 34 AIO is sort of your best option in that class by default.

It is a fantastic system with a pleasant 34-inch show and a few helpful options, like a magnetically attachable webcam and Qi charging pad within the base, though you are paying for fairly and never for efficiency (nevertheless it does have a laptop-version Nvidia 3060 GPU). I just like the HP Envy 34 AIO, and it actually appears like a pleasant residence or conventional workplace system for individuals who want massive screens in a small house. — Lori Grunin

Learn our evaluate of the HP Envy 34 right here. 

Dan Ackerman/CNET

When you’re on the lookout for essentially the most inexpensive Mac on the market, the information is nice almost throughout. Apple’s smallest desktop pc was among the many first to get upgraded to the lightning-fast M1 processor, which runs rings round comparable Intel-powered Macs when it comes to pace and efficiency. Not like MacBook laptops, the Mini boasts legacy ports like USB-A and HDMI, too. The 256GB and 512GB fashions will run you $699 and $899, respectively, on the Apple Retailer, however the excellent news is that they are now regularly on sale at different retailers for $50 to $100 much less. An increasing number of Mac apps are including compatibility for the M1 platform, and Apple’s Rosetta 2 software program runs most legacy apps in a reasonably speedy compatibility mode, however for those who nonetheless need native Intel help, a Core i5 model of the Mini stays within the line for $1,099. Want extra energy? Take a look at the Mac Studio.

Learn our hands-on expertise with the 2020 M1 Mac lineup.


Origin PC

When you’re dissatisfied with the shortage of configuration choices accessible for prebuilt gaming desktops, going with a {custom} builder is the easiest way to sate your urge for food. The $5,000-plus value of this custom-configured system is simply too wealthy for, properly, most individuals’s blood. And many individuals do not want every thing maxed out, even for gaming. However you may get affordable configurations for about half the worth of my analysis unit. 

Origin PC builds good, stable programs. Until you are on the lookout for one thing grime low-cost, you can put collectively one thing you want at a value you tolerate.

Richard Peterson/CNET

The Mac Professional has lengthy been the highest canine in Apple’s pc lineup, however the present model is an getting old Intel mannequin that begins at a whopping $5,000. By comparability, the new-for-2022 Mac Studio is powered by the most recent, best Apple silicon chips — the M1 Max or M1 Extremely — and begins at lower than half that value. It is principally a Mac Mini on steroids, and — for anybody who does not wish to look ahead to the eventual Mac Professional revision — it is your finest wager for working creative-centric Mac apps, together with animation, graphics, video-editing and audio-editing software program. Learn our Mac Studio evaluate.

You are receiving value alerts for Apple Mac Studio (M1 Max)

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Compact all-in-one desktops make good centralized household computer systems. The HP Chromebase takes it a step additional by pairing one with the easy and safe Chrome OS — the identical working system discovered on the Chromebooks your children are in all probability utilizing at college. With a 21.5-inch touchscreen connected to a grey fabric-covered base, the desktop seems to be like a supersized model of Google’s personal Nest Hub good show (and with Google Assistant baked in, you need to use it like one, too). Inside, although, is as much as an Intel Core i3-10110U processor, as much as 16GB of reminiscence and as much as a 256GB PCIe NVMe SSD. The total-HD show even rotates vertically, excellent for viewing vertical movies, following recipes or scrolling your favourite websites.

Learn our HP Chromebase AiO 22 evaluate.


Different really useful desktop PCs

We have not reviewed the particular fashions beneath, however now we have reviewed programs utilizing very related {hardware}. These normal configurations ought to serve you properly, particularly for those who store round for frequent offers.

Fundamental Home windows PC tower (beginning round $620)

The specs we would counsel for a fundamental Home windows 10 or Home windows 11 machine:

  • Intel Core i5 (Eleventh-, Twelfth-gen) or AMD Ryzen 5 (3000 or 5000 sequence)
  • Default built-in graphics (comparable to Intel 730 or baseline AMD Radeon)
  • 512GB or bigger NVMe SSD drive
  • 12GB of RAM or extra (16GB most popular)
  • 4 or extra USB 3.1 or 3.2 ports with USB-C and USB-A codecs (a minimum of one or two on the entrance)
  • Wi-Fi and Bluetooth wi-fi
  • A minimum of one PCI-E (x16) growth slot (for including a video card)
  • A DVD or Blu-ray optical drive (for those who want it for legacy software program or media)

With these specs in thoughts, it is best to be capable of discover a good PC tower from manufacturers like Dell, Acer, Asus or HP for between $500 and $600. Listed below are some that match the invoice, providing a terrific bang for the buck for those who do not want a laptop computer:

Acer Aspire TC-895-UA92 (underneath $710)
Other than a barely older Tenth-gen Intel Core i5 CPU, this configuration in any other case consists of every thing listed above, together with Wi-Fi 6 compatibility and a keyboard and mouse, too. 

HP Pavilion Desktop TP01-2040 (underneath $650)
This method presents a succesful AMD Ryzen 5 CPU, and HP throws in a mouse and keyboard.

PC tower for mild gaming and artistic duties (beginning round $900)

Need to do some PC gaming, or do you spend time enhancing images or video? You may wish to degree up the previous configuration with extra RAM and higher graphics choices. Count on value factors to be between $800 and $1,200 — and even larger for those who go for a extra bleeding-edge video card.

  • Nvidia GTX/RTX or AMD Radeon RX graphics card (GPU)
  • 16GB of RAM or extra
  • 350-watt (or extra) energy provide

Searching for a gaming pc with extra muscle? Take a look at our checklist of finest gaming PCs.

HP Pavilion Gaming Desktop (underneath $1,000)
This HP rig boasts an Eleventh-generation and Nvidia GeForce GTX 1650 GPU and 16GB of RAM. 

Fundamental Home windows All-in-One (begins round $800)

An “all-in-one PC” (also referred to as AIO PC) is principally a Home windows model of an iMac. Meaning the PC “guts” are basically constructed right into a monitor or its base. Not like the PC towers listed above, all-in-ones typically supply no potential to improve the graphics card, and perhaps not even the storage or RAM. The benefit is having fewer cables, nonetheless, since every thing is built-in into the physique.

Really useful specs for an all-in-one are principally much like the fundamental tower above, albeit with compromises due to house concerns. Do not count on an optical drive, as an example, and know that efficiency is commonly a step down from “actual” desktop fashions as a result of some all-in-ones use laptop computer elements to higher maximize accessible house. You may need a big display with good decision. The candy spots we would counsel are:

  • 24 inches at 1,920×1,080 pixels (aka 2K or 1080p)
  • 27 inches at 2,560×1,440 pixels (aka 1440p)
  • 32 inches at 3,840×2,160 pixels (aka 4K)

The 24-inchers are good for teenagers, however adults ought to in all probability go for 27 inches and up. Count on to pay a minimum of $800 at that latter dimension, particularly if you wish to keep away from underpowered Intel Core i3 or AMD Athlon CPUs. The HP Envy 32/34 and Apple iMacs are examples of excessive finish all-in-one computer systems, however here is a extra moderately priced different.

Acer Aspire C27-962-UA91 ($995)
Whereas the display on this Acer Aspire mannequin is a spacious 27 inches, decision is just 1080p (also referred to as 2K) — however that is par for the course beneath the $1,000 value level. This mannequin additionally lacks a DVD drive and USB-C ports. That mentioned, you get a Tenth-gen Intel Core i5 CPU, on-board Nvidia MX graphics (not so good as a GTX or RTX card, however higher than common), half a terabyte of SSD storage and a built-in webcam (together with a keyboard and mouse).

HP All-in-ones (really useful fashions beginning at $800)

Again in early 2020, we reviewed the HP Envy 32, a Home windows tackle the fundamental iMac design. At the moment, it had considerably dated specs: a ninth-gen Intel CPU and a spinning onerous drive backing up the 256GB solid-state drive. The 32-inch mannequin seems to have been discontinued, however HP maintains a secure of present fashions in 22- to 27-inch display sizes, with a brand new $2,000 34-inch HP Envy 34 now dwelling on the prime of the road.

What a couple of Mac Professional?


James Martin/CNET

Whilst you’re paying a giant premium for the Apple identify, an iMac is mostly a terrific possibility for Apple followers who need an all-in-one pc with a superior show. And now that the 24-inch iMac has gotten a pleasant overhaul, full with the M1 chip, that is a terrific place to begin. And whereas the 27-inch iMac isn’t any extra, the brand new Mac Studio begins at $2,000, and presents some critical energy, particularly for those who ramp as much as the M1 Extremely chipset. 

Want much more energy? Whereas Apple has a Mac Professional dwelling on the prime of its desktop line, the present mannequin is an getting old Intel design, which the corporate has already pledged to interchange with an Apple Silicon model. If the Mac Studio cannot deal with your high-end Apple wants, we would strongly suggest steering away from the Mac Professional till that new model hits. 

Chromebox, Mini PCs and different area of interest choices

On the subject of desktop PCs, towers and all-in-ones characterize the overwhelming majority of the market. There are alternate options, however within the 2020s, they often characterize more and more slim slices of that market.


Left to proper: The HP Mini, Acer Revo, Intel Compute Stick and Apple Mac Mini. The Mac is the one one which’s been just lately up to date.

Sarah Tew/CNET

Mini PCs: Following the debut of the Mac Mini in 2005, Home windows PC makers experimented with equally tiny designs. Within the wake of likable small fashions just like the Acer Revo One and HP Pavilion Mini, we even noticed (woefully underpowered) “PC on a stick” choices beginning in 2015, however curiosity appears to have ebbed since then. Exterior of specialty distributors like Beelink, one of the best decisions on this mini PC dimension are in all probability the Intel NUC (Subsequent Unit of Computing), most of that are bought as hobbyist choices, requiring some BYO additions like user-supplied storage, RAM and different elements — together with the working system. See extra bare-bones Mini PCs at Newegg.

Chromeboxes: When you’re on the lookout for very fundamental computing — looking the net, e mail, social media, YouTube and the like — the Chrome working system is essentially the most inexpensive route for residence computing. This Google working system successfully is little greater than the Chrome net browser. That makes it simple for a number of customers (solely a Gmail handle is required to log in), and — as a result of there is not any heavy working system past the browser — viruses aren’t actually a difficulty. Colloquially referred to as “Chromeboxes” (versus a “Chromebook” laptop computer), these programs do not have beefy CPUs, RAM or storage necessities. That mentioned, for those who want any software program past browser-based net apps, or if you do not have wonderful broadband, you will wish to stick to Home windows or Mac choices above. Now, earlier than you spend any cash, it is best to take a look at the free model of the working system referred to as ChromeOS Flex, which you’ll set up on most aged PCs (together with working it from an connected USB drive). But when that is not an possibility and also you wish to purchase new, count on to pay between $200 and $500 for a Chrome-based desktop. Nevertheless, the nearer you get to that $500 value level, the extra it is best to contemplate stepping as much as a Chromebook laptop computer or a fundamental Home windows tower (see above) for only a bit extra. See Chromebox choices at Newegg.

Linux PCs: No, Home windows, Mac and ChromeOS aren’t your solely working system choices. There is a huge world of Linux working programs on the market, a lot of that are successfully free. You may get PCs with Linux preinstalled, however the higher, extra inexpensive possibility might be putting in it (or dual-booting) on a used Home windows PC. See Linux PC choices at Newegg.

Raspberry Pi: You’ll have heard of a small pc that is no larger than a paperback ebook, and could be had for about $150. That is the Raspberry Pi, and it is 100% actual and really cool — for those who’re a hobbyist seeking to construct your personal Lego-style pc and set up your personal {custom} Linux working programs. We simply would not suggest it as a main pc for those who’re seeking to run mainstream software program. See the Raspberry Pi 4 package at Amazon.

The most effective laptops in each class

The evaluate course of for laptops, desktops, tablets and different computer-like units consists of two elements: efficiency testing underneath managed circumstances within the CNET Labs and in depth hands-on use by our professional reviewers. This consists of evaluating a tool’s aesthetics, ergonomics and options. A last evaluate verdict is a mixture of each these goal and subjective judgments. 

The checklist of benchmarking software program we use modifications over time because the units we take a look at evolve. A very powerful core exams we’re presently working on each appropriate pc embrace: Primate Labs Geekbench 5, Cinebench R23, PCMark 10 and 3DMark Fireplace Strike Extremely. 

A extra detailed description of every benchmark and the way we use it may be present in our How We Take a look at Computer systems web page. 

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