PC Buying Guide: Which HP Desktop is Best For You?
September 22, 2022
While laptops offer optimal portability, new desktop computers have a slew of handy benefits. From extra-large screens to enhanced ventilation and added affordability, the desktop remains a top pick for office workers, families, and work-from-home professionals.
But not every desktop is suitable for every user. To help you find the ideal model for your needs, we’re covering what to look for in a laptop and the difference between the two primary desktop types.
We’ll then review five of our favourite HP desktop PCs, including suggestions for which desktop is best for you.
Desktops versus laptops
A laptop is a top option for users on the go. But that doesn’t mean it’s ideal for everyone.
The avid gamer needs the extra airflow of a bulky tower PC to cool their piping hot CPU and GPU. Meanwhile, professionals and multimedia consumers appreciate the spacious on-screen real estate you get with a sizeable desktop machine.
Everyone can cherish the enhanced affordability of a desktop PC. While laptops must cram high-end hardware into a tiny package, a roomy desktop can forgo these expensive, space-saving innovations to offer better specs for a lower price.
What to look for in a desktop
There’s no point paying top dollar for a state-of-the-art desktop that dramatically exceeds your needs. Likewise, you don’t want to purchase an underpowered PC that struggles to cope with your everyday tasks.
The trick is the right balance between power and price. Consider the following factors when shopping around for your new desktop computer.
As processors become more advanced, operating systems and applications demand more power. That’s why decade-old tech struggles to keep up with simple, everyday use.
The early-gen Intel® Core™ i3 processors of yesteryear won’t cut it today. Today, users should spring for a late-generation Intel i5 or the AMD equivalent. Gamers and professionals with heavy computational requirements — think data processing, animation rendering, software development, etc. — need even more juice, ideally an i7 or i9 (or a similar CPU).
RAM lets your processor store data as temporary files, then wipes it when you reboot your PC. This rapid, short-term storage solution is far more efficient than writing data to your hard drive.
Extra RAM is essential for browsing multiple tabs at once or running memory-intensive applications and games. Everyday use warrants at least 8GB, though memory-hungry users should opt for 12GB or more.
Screen size and resolution
A larger screen is one of the major benefits of desktop computing. Rather than straining your eyes on a tiny laptop screen, the desktop user can see everything clearly on its luxurious, extra large display. Desktop screen sizes span 19 to 34 inches, though most users aim for 22 to 27 inches.
When purchasing a desktop tower, consider the cost of a monitor, which is typically sold separately.
The GPU renders graphics and generates a feed of output images to display on your monitor. However, it’s one of the most costly components in your PC. That’s especially true now in the cryptocurrency age, with Bitcoin miners creating a massive surge in demand.
Everyday office and home users can make do with a cost-effective integrated graphics card, which can run videos, standard applications, and simple games. Gamers, animators, and video producers need a beefy dedicated graphics card, preferably with 4GB or more.
Hard disk space determines how much data you can store on your PC, from movies to Microsoft Office files and MP3s. With most multimedia now streamed on the cloud, the average modern-day user doesn’t need a massive hard drive
256GB gives you plenty of room to store your operating system, applications, and extra odds-and-ends. Gamers and professionals with high storage requirements — data analysts, video editors, etc. — should get 1TB or more. Spend a little extra on a Solid State Drive (SSD), which has no moving parts and can read and write data much faster.
Tower versus all-in-one PCs
Once you’ve worked out your hardware requirements, it’s time to weigh the pros and cons of a tower and an all-in-one desktop PC.
The benefits of a tower desktop
The tower desktop is the traditional PC type where the hardware resides inside a rectangular box, and the monitor is plugged in separately. The case usually sits upright, hence the “tower” name, although some units lie horizontally on the desk.
As the tower has plenty of space, there’s ample room for ventilation and advanced cooling systems. This functionality prevents the PC from overheating while gaming or performing other high-intensive tasks.
Tower desktops are easy to repair and upgrade. Unlike a sealed, all-in-one PC, the owner can insert and remove components as required.
The benefits of an all-in-one desktop
The all-in-one desktop incorporates its computational components inside the monitor, either behind the screen or within the stand. The sleek, space-saving design occupies less room on your desk, a huge boon for users working in a confined space.
If you opt for a Bluetooth keyboard and mouse, the power cord is the only cable you’ll need. Compare that to a tower desktop, where a jungle of cords links its various components together.
All-in-one desktops are much more portable than tower computers (though less mobile than laptops). The user can quickly unplug the computer and move it around with less effort than a cumbersome tower PC.
The Best HP Desktop Computers in 2022
From high-spec gaming rigs to affordable all-in-ones, here are five of our best desktop computers in 2022.
The cream of the crop for gamers, the OMEN by HP 45L boasts a late-gen Intel i7 processor, a whopping 32GB of RAM, and a blazing fast NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 with 8GB. The massive 2TB SSD gives you ample space to store multiple AAA-title games and slashes loading times for levels.
Designed with gaming in mind, the desktop features a Cryo Chamber™ liquid radiator that maintains a safe operating temperature by pulling in cool air from the outside. While it’s not our cheapest desktop, these top-end specs mean you won’t need to upgrade anytime soon.
Students seeking a cost-effective yet fit-for-purpose study machine should invest in the HP All-In-One 24 PC. Despite the modest price point, this slick standalone unit has sufficient specs to handle all your everyday tasks.
Browse multiple tabs simultaneously, run Microsoft Office and other apps, and store all your digital essentials on the speedy 512GB SSD. Well-placed ports reduce cord clutter, while the three-sided micro-edge display optimises screen space.
Unlike other all-in-ones, it’s got a removable back panel to upgrade your hardware and future-proof the device. Video production and animation students should opt for a desktop with a better graphics card, such as the HP Z1 G9 Tower Desktop PC.
Crush your essential computational tasks with the powerful yet affordable HP Pavilion 27. A late-gen Intel i7 processor, 16GB of RAM, and a powerful NVIDIA GPU work together flawlessly to create a fast and reliable system suitable for many users.
In addition to everyday tasks, this powerful mid-range machine is more than capable of handling processing-intensive chores like data analysis and file compression. The 4GB NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 runs mid-tier games, as well as demanding video editing and animation apps.
With booming Bang & Olufsen sound and a crisp QHD (2560 x 1440) display, it also offers an immersive multimedia experience. Consumers can also opt for an option 4K display for an even more pristine picture.
Best for video & animation: HP Z1 G9 Tower Desktop PC
Custom-built with 3D designers and video producers in mind, the HP Z1 G9 Tower Desktop PC gives you ample power to run your favourite high-intensity apps. From 3D CAD to video editing and VR content creation, its late-gen Intel i7 processor and 16GB of RAM will accelerate even the most demanding workflows.
HP collaborates closely with industry-leading applications like Revit®, AutoCAD®, and SOLIDWORKS® to guarantee a seamless 3D design experience. Its 4GB NVIDIA T400 GPU will run mid-tier games, providing ample entertainment during your downtime.
Graphic designers, illustrators and other creative types will get good use out of this powerful yet cost-effective all-in-one. The crisp quad high-definition (QHD) 2560 x 1440 display lets you focus on your content with ease, while the i5 processor and generous 16GB make multitasking a breeze.
Premium collaboration tools powered by HP Presence enhance virtual conferencing and streamline team projects. The HP EliteOne 870 G9 All-In-One offers a well-rounded system for non-graphics-intensive tasks in a sleek 27-inch package.
For top-end performance and an enormous 34-inch screen, creatives could consider our new HP envy desktops instead.
Finding the best HP desktop PC for you
We’ve covered some of the top desktop PCs from HP in 2022. But the question remains: which is the ideal option for you?
Weigh up your hardware requirements and consider the pros and cons of a tower versus an all-in-one device. With that information, you can browse our suggestions to find the best desktop PC for 2022.
About the Author: Harry Stewart is a Canberra-based freelance writer covering everything from travel to tech.
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