Finding the Best All-Purpose Desktops

Last Edited: June 18, 2017 by

The best all purpose PCs

Welcome on our weekly updated list of the best desktop computers based on extensive market research, consumer feedback and expert reviews.

It can be a real chore deciding which desktop computer to purchase. In order to make the process easier for you as you shop we have created this guide to help you choose the perfect desktop for you. It contains the best desktops on the market based on price, usage, specs, sales, critic reviews and user feedback. This guide will help you find the right desktop computer for you to get the most out of your applications and workflow. To determine what desktops made the list, we looked carefully at ergonomics, style, design and power. If your work requires you to have a machine that can handle animation, 3D rendering, design, video editing, sound design/production or processing complicated equations, or if you are on a tight budget and want to know the best of the best budget desktops for the price, then you have landed in the right place. It can be a daunting task deciding on a machine to suit your needs and we hope this guide eases the pain of making your purchasing decision a little easier.

Premium >> Under $1000 >>

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Best Desktop Computers Under $1000

ASUS VivioPC K31CD-DS71ASUS VivioPC K31CD-DS71

PCs have become an integral part of our everyday life and owning a good all-purpose PC can mean the difference between flawless performance and hair tugging frustration. The ASUS VivioPC K31CD-DS71 is a powerful computer that has been designed for the home or office space. It features the latest seventh generation Intel Core i7-7700 processor, 16GB of DDR4 RAM, and a large 2TB hard drive. This gives the ASUS VivioPC K31CD-DS71 the edge when it comes to everyday tasks and will never leave the system feeling sluggish under normal use. It is even powerful enough to run more intensive applications such as Adobe Premiere Pro and Sony Vegas, however you will need to add a dedicated graphics card for video editing. The ASUS Sonicmaster Audio offers a good mix of hardware and software tuning controls in order to offer richer sound than some of the competing PCs, however, this will also come down to the speakers or headset that you will be using. The ASUS VivioPC K31CD-DS71 also ships with built-in WiFi and this will mean that you won’t have to search for a LAN cable or purchase an extra Wi-Fi card or dongle to get you connected to the Internet. One of the limiting factors is the amount of ports that the ASUS VivioPC K31CD-DS71 offers. With only six USB ports, a single VGA port and an HDMI port, this PC lags behind the competition slightly. However a good powered USB hub and an adaptor will sort out some of these limitations.

  • Windows 10 Home 64-Bit
  • 13.7 lbs

Pros

  • Fast i7 processor
  • Healthy amount of memory
  • Large amount of storage space
  • Great audio

Cons

  • Limited amount of ports
  • No SSD
  • Not for hardcore gamers

Summary

The ASUS VivioPC K31CD-DS71 is an extremely powerful all-purpose PC that offers a good amount of storage space. However, it is a bit scarce in the ports department and you might find those USB ports filling up quickly.

ASUS VivioPC K31CD-DS71
$759.00
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from BHPhotoVideo
(as of 18-06-2017 19:33 UTC) Details

Dell Inspiron i3650-3756SLVDell Inspiron i3650-3756SLV

The Dell Inspiron i3650-3756SLV is an upgraded version of the Dell Inspiron i3650-3111SLV. You get the same sleek case as the Dell Inspiron i3650-3111SLV, which means you will get the same vertical DVD tray which feels flimsy when you open it. But this is not a deal breaker as DVDs and CDs are slowly being phased out in favor of online content. Powered by a sixth generation Intel Core i5-6400 processor and 12GB of DDR3L RAM, the Dell Inspiron i3650-3756SLV will easily cope with web browsing, word processing and Skype. With double the RAM of the Dell Inspiron i3650-3111SLV, you will also be able to run more intensive apps and heavier multitasking. The 1TB hard drive offers ample storage space for all of your multimedia files and work documents. You can install additional storage drives or even a faster solid state drive if you please, but the unit is warranty sealed and this will void your warranty with Dell. While it is not designed for gaming, the Intel HD Graphics 530 GPU will allow for some casual gaming, and you can install an entry level graphics card in the empty PCIe 16x slot. However adding a dedicated graphics card will void the unit’s warranty, and is at your own risk. To connect to the net, the Dell Inspiron i3650-3756SLV comes with both Gigabit Ethernet and standard b/g/n WiFi. You also get Bluetooth 4.0 to connect all of your Bluetooth devices without having to purchase a separate USB device. You get a total of six USB ports, but only the front two ports are USB 3.0. If you are after a solid desktop for home or office use, then the Dell Inspiron i3650-3756SLV is well worth considering for your next upgrade.

  • Display not included, pixels
  • Windows 10 Home 64-Bit
  • 16.50 lbs

Pros

  • Intel i5 processor
  • Sleek design
  • Healthy amount of RAM
  • Built in WiFi

Cons

  • Warranty sealed
  • Flimsy DVD tray
  • Only two USB 3.0 ports

Summary

The Dell Inspiron i3650-3756SLV offers great performance for both home and office use. You can upgrade it with a decent graphics card, but this will void its warranty. You also only get two USB 3.0 ports.

Dell Inspiron i3650-3756SLV
$549.00
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from Amazon.com
(as of 25-06-2017 19:44 UTC) Details

Dell XPS 8900-3131BLKDell XPS 8900-3131BLK

A professional desktop at its core, the Dell XPS 8900-3131BLK delivers a huge amount of computing power thanks to the 6th Generation Skylake Intel Core i7-6700 Processor, 16GB of the latest 2133MHz DDR4 RAM and a spacious 2TB 7200RPM hard disk drive. While the XPS 8900 does feature a discrete NVIDIA GTX 745 graphics card, it’s not exactly a hardcore gaming PC as the GTX 745 is more of an entry to mid-level graphics card. You can upgrade the graphics card, but this will mean upgrading the 460-Watt power supply too. So for the extra money that you will need to spend, you might as well look at a gaming desktop from our Best Gaming Desktop Computer guide. The chassis features the classic Dell design and a stylish black finish. The XPS 8900 features ample connectivity ports such as Gigabit Ethernet, USB 3.0, HDMI, DisplayPort as well as built in Wireless and Bluetooth 4.0. While Windows 7 Professional comes pre-installed there is a free upgrade to Windows 10 bundled with this machine. This machine is geared toward the professional user who needs the raw power for tasks such as photo and video editing, music production or design.

  • Display not included, pixels
  • Windows 10 Home 64-Bit
  • 30.4 lbs

Pros

  • Intel Skylake i7 processor
  • Sleek design
  • WiFi and Bluetooth
  • 10 USB ports
  • 2TB HDD

Cons

  • Price
  • No Dual Band AC WiFi
  • Mid-level graphics
  • 460-Watt PSU

Summary

The Dell XPS 8900-3131BLK offers great specs for power users, but the supplied graphics card will not offer the necessary performance for hardcore gamers.

Dell XPS 8900-3131BLK
$924.11
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from Amazon.com
(as of 25-06-2017 19:44 UTC) Details

ASUS M32CD Desktop

ASUS M32CD Desktop

ASUS has become somewhat of a household name for gamers but the M32CD, while a very capable desktop computer that is able to run even the most demanding of applications, would need a discreet graphics card to be added before it could truly be called a gaming rig. However at this very attractive price a medium range graphics card could be added to make the M32CD an affordable gaming PC. ASUS has included the Skylake series i5-6400 Quad-Core CPU, 8GB DDR3 RAM and a spacious 1TB hard drive as well as blazing fast WiFu thanks to the Wireless AC compatible Wlan card. The chassis is stylish and practical thanks to the elegant brushed metal look and includes easily accessible front connectivity ports which include an SD card reader, two USB 3.0 ports and audio ports. Windows 10 is pre-installed and runs incredibly well thanks to the high specs and is mostly free of bloatware. The only possible issue users may find with this machine is that upgrading it at home rather than taking it to a professional may void your warranty. Other than that this is a fantastic, affordable machine which will perform incredibly well and with a graphics card upgrade would run most new games on an acceptable graphical level.

  • Windows 10 Home 64-Bit
  • 18.3 lbs

Pros

  • 6th gen Intel Core i5 processor
  • Ample storage
  • Generous amount of RAM
  • Stylish chassis
  • Super fast wireless AC
  • Bluetooth 4.0

Cons

  • User upgrading may void warranty

Summary

An affordable desktop PC by ASUS that packs an unexpected punch.

ASUS M32CD Desktop
$549.99$458.67
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from Amazon.com
(as of 25-06-2017 19:40 UTC) Details

Apple-Mac-Mini-MGEN2LL-A

Apple Mac Mini MGEN2LL/A

The Mac Mini MGEN2LL/A is the ideal desktop for people looking to experience OS X or anyone who wants a cheaper but equally capable alternative to a Macbook Pro. It is essentially a small, slender and display-less rendition of the iMac. However in terms of size, efficiency and design the Mac Mini is in a class of its own. It boasts a powerful Intel Core i5, 8GB RAM and a 1TB hard drive. You can get similar configuration for cheaper but in a much larger package that is going to need a lot of space on your desk. This is a desktop that is just as powerful as a typical mid-range tower desktop but light enough to be carried if needed thanks to a 1.4 inch thick body weighing just 2.7 pounds. There is also hardly any other small desktops that can beat Mac Mini’s elegant aluminum unibody chassis. Other features that sets this machine apart from other small form factor PC’s are its specs to size ratio, a Apple proprietary Thunderbolt port capable of achieving speeds of up to 10Gbps as well as its award winning and easy to use Mac OS X operating system. The Mac Mini also sports four USB 3 ports and an SD card reader. The Mac Mini is designed for the new Mac user who just switched from a PC. Because of this, it does not include a keyboard or mouse but is designed to work with any standard USB keyboard and mouse. The MGEN2LL/A is also a great option for Windows users to get a taste of the Mac ecosystem without it causing a dent in your wallet.

  • Mac OS X 10.10 Yosemite

Pros

  • Premium metallic design
  • Small form factor
  • Thunderbolt connectivity
  • Great price
  • Good performance

Cons

  • Weak GPU
  • Connectivity ports are in an awkward place

Summary

Another finely crafted device from Apple with great performance except for gaming. Connectivity ports would be better in the front.

Apple Mac Mini MGEN2LL/A
$669.00
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from BHPhotoVideo
(as of 18-06-2017 19:42 UTC) Details

Dell Inspiron i3847-5846BKDell-Inspiron-3847-i3847-6934BK-Desktop-0-0

Dell has been around since the 80’s and they have had a long track record with building top quality personal computers and servers. The Inspiron range is targeted for home and small businesses but is built with the same care and attention to detail as their higher end products. The black tower chassis is solid but resembles the modest desktops that often grace office rooms and library halls. Despite its inconspicuous look, the Inspiron i3847-5846BK is a sturdy, stable and quiet machine with great specs featuring an Intel Core i5 4460 processor, 12GB of DDR3 RAM and a 2 TB hard drive for ample storage. The machine runs the latest Windows 10, which combines the advanced features of Windows 8 with the simple interface of Windows 7 operating system. With a built-in wireless b/g/n card, there is no need to run a cable for Internet connectivity plus the integrated Bluetooth lets you connect and share files between your PC and your smartphone or other Bluetooth devices. Other features include HDMI, Ethernet, a tray loading optical drive, and a USB keyboard/mouse combo which is bundled with the package. The i3847-5846BK is a great home desktop and at just over $600, it’s quite the bargain. While it has lots of expansion slots for adding hard drives or extra RAM modules, power users should opt for a more future proof machine like the Dell Inspiron i3847-3000 whose default configuration includes a faster Core i7 processor and double the amount of storage and memory.

  • Windows 7 Professional 64-bit

Pros

  • Good performance
  • Great build quality
  • Ample connectivity options

Cons

  • poor gaming performance
  • only 2 USB 3.0 ports

Summary

A well built desktop computer that excels at day-to-day tasks however falls short in the gaming department.

Dell Inspiron i3847-5846BK
$909.00
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from Amazon.com
(as of 25-06-2017 19:38 UTC) Details

Dell-XPS-8700-X8700-1751BLK

Dell XPS X8700-1751BLK

Dell is well known for its reliability, sturdy build and competitive pricing without making any unacceptable trade-offs in performance. The Dell XPS X8700-1751BLK lives up to this reputation with its powerful Intel Core i7 processor, 8GB of RAM and a dedicated Nvidia GeForce GT 720 graphics. Featuring a mix of high and medium end hardware, it delivers high performance in home and office related tasks. While the entry level graphics does well with basic image editing and HD video streaming, it isn’t built for modern gaming. Dell has also made sure transferring data from cameras, flash drives and smartphones is easier than ever with its built in 19-in-1 card reader and 6 x USB 3.0 ports. Also built-in are wireless options like Bluetooth and Wi-Fi, an HDMI output and a High-Definition 7.1 channel audio output. In the front, there is a tray loading optical drive that can read and write to CD/DVD. While it runs the old Windows 7 Professional operating system, upgrading it to Windows 10 is very easy and doesn’t cost a dime. The XPS is a fine example of Dell’s elegant and stylish design while being simple and effective with its smooth lines and curves. The machine runs cool and quiet and is capable of running most media editing software or other hardware intensive applications with ease and will be a pleasure for day-to-day use as a family or office machine. The XPS X8700 is designed with a broader computing use in mind, although, it is capable of handling casual gaming as long as you aren’t expecting the highest graphical detail and high frame rates.

  • Intel Core i7-4790 processor (8M Cache, up to 4.00 GHz) [View Benchmarks]
  • Nvidia GeForce GT 720 1GB DDR3 [View Framerates]
  • 8GB DDR3 RAM
  • 1024GB 7200 RPM
  • Windows 7 Professional 64-bit
  • 22 lbs

Pros

  • Great performance
  • Nvidia graphics
  • Built in Wireless and Bluetooth
  • Ample storage

Cons

  • Mediocre gaming performance

Summary

A high powered workhorse that can even be used for gaming provided graphical settings are on medium.

Dell XPS X8700-1751BLK
$879.99
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from Amazon.com
(as of 25-06-2017 19:37 UTC) Details

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Best Premium Desktop Computers

Apple Mac Pro ME253LL/A

Change thisThe Mac Pro ME253LL/A is the latest workhorse from Apple. At its core its a rendering machine designed to handle complex tasks such as 3D animation or video editing but it also delivers so much more. Its small form factor and light weight saves you on precious desk real estate while still somehow maintaining all the power you would expect from a Mac Pro and more! The Mac Pro allows up to three 4K HD monitors simultaneously and will run them at 60Hz without even breaking a sweat. Engadget was even so bold as to play games and mine bitcoin at the same time with stable performance. This machine is really the cream of the crop when it comes to workhorse machines and is more than capable of running multiple applications at 4K HD resolution simultaneously.

  • Mac OS X 10.10 Yosemite
  • 13.8 lbs

Pros

  • Incredibly powerful specs
  • Stylish minimalist black metal design
  • Ample connectivity
  • Powerful rendering twin GPUs
  • Generous amount of RAM
  • Silent and cool performance

Cons

  • Expensive

Summary

An incredibly powerful super computer by Apple designed for HD video editing, animation and other rendering tasks with Dual Fire Pro graphics and an Intel Xeon processor.

Apple Mac Pro ME253LL/A Desktop
See Price at Retailer
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from Amazon.com
(as of 07-04-2017 07:12 UTC) Details

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Conclusion

This brings our list of the top all-purpose desktop computers to a close. If you are after a budget friendly option to upgrade your current setup at home, then head over to our Best Budget PCs guide where you might find your next PC upgrade. For those who are after a desktop computer that is designed for gaming, then head over to our Best Cheap Gaming PCs guide if you have a tighter budget or our Best Gaming PCs guide for those who have a bigger budget.

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