PC Desktops and All-in-Ones: A Guide to Super-Fast Systems

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PC Desktops and All-in-Ones: A Guide to Super-Fast Systems

Today, many people use laptops both for work and entertainment. While laptops are suitable for mobile lifestyles because they can be easily taken anywhere, PC desktops and all-in-one computer systems are perfect for home use. PC desktops and all-in-ones are bigger, but this also means that they are more powerful. Booting up, installing new software, and surfing the web is relatively faster with a PC desktop or an all-in-one. These stationary computers are best for building a home cinema system, thanks to having impressive sound cards and picture quality that laptops can rarely offer due to their small size. PC desktops and all-in-ones are available from high-street electronics shops, but can also be conveniently purchased from the comfort of one's home, as they are sold on online auction sites, such as eBay.

The features on PC desktops and on all-in-ones are similar, and both offer superior performance. They mainly differ in terms of form factor, with all-in-ones being compact and taking up less space. After studying the main features, an informed decision can be made in order to acquire a super-fast system for home computing.

Comparison of PC Desktops and All-in-Ones

All-in-one PCs are designed to combine the best features of a laptop and a desktop PC. While PC desktops consist of many boxes, because the monitor and the computer are separate, an all-in-one PC has all the components packed into a compact body. Thanks to its compact size, the all-in-one is easy to set up, because only the mouse, keyboard, and power need to be plugged in for the computer to work. A PC desktop requires more cables, and connections have to be made between the PC unit, the monitor, the mouse, the keyboard, and any other accessories, such as speakers. PC desktops and all-in-ones differ from each other mainly in terms of their shape, because this influences many features found on them. The following chart lists the main differences between the PC types.

Computer Type

PC Desktop



Takes up more space



Separate PC unit, monitor, mouse, and keyboard

Monitor and PC unit integrated, separate mouse and keyboard


Can be replaced with another size

Cannot be replaced; may have a touchscreen


Easy to upgrade

The slots may already be full

Optical Drives

More likely to be included

Few models have Blu-ray drives

Upgrading the System

Easy to open up and upgrade

Access restricted; possible to upgrade memory

As the all-in-one computers are smaller, their components are also smaller. Therefore, their performance is slightly lower than that of traditional desktop PCs. All-in-one PCs feature components designed for notebooks, and these do not offer the full power that specific desktop PC components do. The drives, memory, and processors on all-in-ones are similar to those used in notebooks.

Features to Consider When Buying a PC

Be it either a desktop PC or an all-in-one computer, they both have several features in common. The operating system, RAM capacity, storage space, networking, and graphics all influence the system speed.

Operating System on PC Desktops and All-in-Ones

The operating system on a PC desktop or an all-in-one is usually either Windows or Linux-based. Both are efficient, easy to use, and attractive, so the choice comes down to personal preferences. Opting for one or another operating system also largely depends on the existent operating systems on other devices. Windows phone users probably benefit more from a Windows operating system. Linux is suitable for advanced users.

RAM on PC Desktops and All-in-Ones

RAM, also known as random access memory, is integrated in all computers, and it can be accessed randomly, as its name implies. This means that any byte of this memory can be used at any time without the preceding bytes. Programs installed on computers use RAM in order to operate. The more RAM a computer has, the faster it performs and the more programs can be open at the same time. In order to keep all applications running smoothly, it is worth having at least 4 GB of RAM. The computer's need for RAM also depends on its type.

Storage Space on PC Desktops and All-in-Ones

The storage space of a PC is used in order to accommodate the operating system, documents, photos, films, music, and programs. It is advisable to buy a large hard drive, because files are getting larger, especially because of higher picture resolutions and more demanding applications. When choosing a drive, not only its capacity, but also its speed should be noted. The speed refers to the data transfer rate and is a matter of how quickly files can be read or written. The drives on which data can be stored are either traditional hard disk drives or solid state drives. Solid state drives are becoming more popular because they have no moving parts and thus offer better performance, as well as durability. However, hard disk drives are generally cheaper, and this also influences the price of the PC.

Networking on PC Desktops and All-in-Ones

In order to acquire a super-fast system, it is important to pay attention to the networking type used. Today, PCs usually use wireless connections instead of the traditional cabled Ethernet. 802.11n is a preferred Wi-Fi standard, because it covers long distances and the signal can travel even through thick walls. In any case, a compliant router is also required. The faster the connection, the quicker pages load, and the easier it is to surf the Web.

Graphics on PC Desktops and All-in-Ones

There are many options for a graphics card when it comes to PCs. The choice mainly depends on the purpose for which the computer is required. If the computer is to be used for gaming and watching HD quality videos, then a better graphics card is needed. The more cores the card has, the more powerful it is, while its speed value also plays a significant role. Today, it is also worth considering whether the graphics card needs to display 3D content besides the traditional 2D. Often, the graphics cards can be replaced on PC computers in order to boost performance. This is generally easier to do on PC desktops, so an all-in-one should be purchased with a high-performance graphics card already installed.

Types of PC Desktops and All-in-Ones

PC desktops and all-in-ones may differ in their shape and the amount of space they take up, but they share the main types. The types are determined by how the computer is to be used, and the features are selected accordingly. Gaming and multimedia computers are generally more fast and powerful, and put an emphasis on audio-visual performance, while less powerful computers can nevertheless be perfectly adequate for daily use.

Gaming PC Desktops and All-in-Ones

Gaming computers are all about speed and performance. Therefore, a gaming PC desktop or all-in-one has a fast processor and lots of RAM in order to run the games smoothly. The graphics or video card also plays a major role and it should be able to run demanding games. As gaming PCs are used extensively, they also need a proper cooling system, so that they do not overheat. Gaming PCs generally come equipped with multiple fans, dust filters, and large heatsinks, and liquid cooling systems are also often used. The monitor of a gaming PC should offer the best colour quality and vivid images, as well as fast response time. A gaming PC may also have a specialised mouse and keyboard. These are usually wired because wired devices are more responsive.

Multimedia and Performance PC Desktops and All-in-Ones

A good multimedia and performance PC desktop or all-in-one has a fast processor that runs multiple applications effortlessly in order to allow the users to view and edit videos and photos and listen to music. In order to enhance the multimedia experience, several inputs and outputs are required, and these include HDMI, USB, and VGA ports, which allow users to connect the computer to other media devices. A DVD or Blu-ray player and reader are also common features on multimedia computers. At least 4 GB of RAM and 500 GB of storage space are essential in order to run the processes and accommodate all media files.

Everyday PC Desktops and All-in-Ones

The requirements for an everyday PC desktop or an all-in-one are modest compared to those of gaming and multimedia computers. The processor, RAM, and graphics card do not have to be the best, because it is possible to surf the Web and read e-mails with slower components as well. The storage capacity depends on individual needs. The networking type should nevertheless be fast, such as the 802.11n, because this allows users to surf the Web quickly and efficiently accomplish everyday tasks.


PC desktops and all-in-one computers are popular for home or office use because they are more powerful and faster when compared to portable laptops. PC desktops are heftier than all-in-ones because the monitor is separate, while all-in-one computers house all the components in one unit. The monitor of a PC desktop can easily be replaced, and upgrading this type of system is easier, but all-in-ones are also great computers because they help to save on space.

When buying a PC, there are several factors to consider. The choice of an operating system is usually between Windows and Mac and depends on other devices already owned. For better performance, it is always advisable to opt for lots of RAM as well as more storage space, especially when buying a computer for viewing and editing multimedia. When choosing a storage medium, its speed should also be noted, because this determines how quickly the content is accessed. The graphics card plays a significant role in gaming and multimedia PCs, while the networking type may also influence the performance, because more advanced networking helps one to surf the Web effortlessly. Be it a desktop PC or an all-in-one, the type should be chosen based on what it is to be used for: gaming, multimedia, or everyday use.

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