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Best Desktop Deals | PCMag

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Though the portability of a laptop is enticing, you can’t beat the bang-for-your-buck of a desktop computer. If you’re reading this, then you probably agree. For those who are more hands-on, a desktop is endlessly customizable, allowing you to swap out parts as your needs change and even add in your own lighting. 


Best Home and Office Desktop Deals

Our current best value pick is the all-in-one Dell Inspiron 24 5415 with a Ryzen 5 processor, a 512GB SSD, and 8GB of RAM built into a 23.8-inch 1080p display. Speaking of small form factors, the Lenovo IdeaCentre is worth a look for a miniscule footprint with plenty of power. For a full-size tower with more muscle, check out the Dell XPS 8960 with an Intel Core i7, an RTX 4070 GPU, and dual storage.

Best Home and Office Desktop Deals for February 2024

*Deals are selected by our commerce team

Best Gaming Desktop Deals

Our midrange recommendation is the HP Victus 15L, which includes a 13th Gen Intel i7 CPU and an RTX 3060 GPU as well as a dual storage solution for all your games and game captures. Those searching for a gaming powerhouse should take a look at the Alienware Aurora R15 with an RTX 4080 GPU and an Intel i7 CPU.

Best Gaming Desktop Deals for February 2024

*Deals are selected by our commerce team


Best Home and Office Desktop Deals

Dell Vostro 3020

(Credit: Dell)

Dell Vostro 3020 Desktop (Intel i7/512GB SSD/16GB RAM) 

The Dell Vostro desktop is ready to go to work. Featuring a 13th Gen Intel Core i7 processor and Windows 11 Pro, this configuration is streamlined for productivity. Also included is a 512GB SSD and 16GB RAM, which is plenty for work related tasks like document processing and web browsing. Also included is a Dell multimedia keyboard and optical mouse, so all you have to worry about is sourcing a monitor


Dell XPS 8960 Desktop

(Credit: Molly Flores)

Dell XPS 8960 Desktop (Intel i7/RTX 4070/Dual Storage/32GB RAM) 

In our review of a similar configuration, the XPS 8960 earned our Editors’ Choice award and our reviewer called it “a rig with the looks and chops for both work and play.” The sleek, modern tower houses a speedy 13th Gen Intel Core i7 processor, a huge dual storage solution of a 1TB SSD and 2TB HDD, plus  32GB of RAM. This powerhouse configuration has all of your computing needs covered.


Dell Inspiron 24 5420 AIO Desktop

(Credit: Dell)

Dell Inspiron 24 5420 AIO Desktop (Intel i7 MX550/1TB SSD/16GB RAM) 

This all-in-one PC is a great solution for content creators with limited desk space. An Intel i7 CPU, MX550 GPU, and 16GB of RAM built into a 24-inch 1080p display make for powerful tools. With its small footprint, this desktop can fit into most workspaces and the inclusion of a wireless mouse and keyboard make this purchase an all-in-one affair, too!


Dell Optiplex 7010 Micro

(Credit: Dell)

Dell Optiplex 7010 Micro Desktop (Intel Core i5/256GB SSD/8GB RAM)

Small, but mighty, the Dell OptiPlex 7010 desktop is ready to go to work. Featuring a 13th Gen Intel Core i5 processor and Windows 11 Pro, this configuration is streamlined for productivity. Also included is a 256GB SSD and 8GB RAM, which is plenty for work related tasks like document processing and web browsing, and a wired mouse and keyboard to complete your setup.

Recommended by Our Editors


Best Gaming Desktop Deals

HP Victus 15L

(Credit: HP)

HP Victus 15L (13th Gen Intel i7/RTX 3060/Dual Storage/16GB RAM)

This HP Victus 15L can do it all whether you’re gaming or working. The 13th Gen Intel i7 processor is snappy and multitasks well, plus the 16GB of RAM will easily handle resource-intensive programs and games. The RTX 3060 graphics card will run a gamut of modern day titles at their highest settings and the dual storage solution of a 1TB HDD and 512GB SSD will boot quickly plus hold all your important files. Also included is the HP 310 white wired keyboard and mouse combo. All of this for less than a grand? Now that’s a good deal.


Alienware Aurora R15

((Credit: Molly Flores))

Alienware Aurora R15 (Intel i7/RTX 4070/1TB SSD/16GB RAM)

Our expert gave an Alienware Aurora R15 with similar specs an “excellent” score, applauding it for its performance and flashy design. This configuration includes a 13th Gen Intel Core i7 processor, a RTX 4070 graphics card, a 1TB SSD, and 16GB of RAM. Liquid cooled to keep your hardware at peak condition, this configuration also includes a clear side panel so you can see the internal bits hard at work.


Lenovo Legion Tower 5i

(Credit: Best Buy)

Lenovo Legion Tower 5i (Intel i7/RTX 4070/1TB SSD/16GB RAM)

When we reviewed the eighth-generation Legion Tower 5i, we said it was “a well-rounded tower that does little wrong and only needs a sale to set it soaring.” Now is your chance to lock in that sale price and get your hands on a tower that offers reliable 1440p performance and sports a premium case loaded with RGB lighting. Featuring an Intel 13th Generation Core i7 processor and 16GB of RAM, this configuration can handle pretty much any current-gen game you can throw at it.

FAQ

How much should I pay for a desktop computer?

Your money goes further with desktop PCs and their components versus laptops. You can find complete mini PCs for less than $400, and perfectly serviceable small towers for $400 to $600. Gaming desktops with dedicated graphics cards start at around $500 to $600. You can also find all-in-one (AIO) desktops, with the display and all of the computing components built into a single device, starting at around $400. The sky’s the limit once you get into high-end gaming PCs and business-workstation power desktops, but the prices above are the right range for most mainstream buyers.

Is it better to get an all-in-one computer or desktop?

Traditional tower desktops offer the most upgrade and power flexibility, at the cost of bulk. Most towers have generous interior space and full-size motherboards, so you can install one or more (sometimes, many more) secondary storage drives, more RAM in empty slots on the motherboard, and a video card (if the PC doesn’t come with one). PC gamers will want to stick with a traditional tower.

An all-in-one desktop’s big appeal is saving you lots of space, since the PC is built right in, with the components living behind the display. It comes down to how much you care about the desk area your PC uses up, and whether you happen to be shopping for a desktop monitor at the same time. Budget AIOs with basic feature sets are common, but spending more can gain you some combination of a touch-enabled screen, a panel with a high native resolution, roomier storage, and a more muscular processor. Higher-end AIO desktops tend to cater, though, to content creators and productivity-app power users, not gamers.

Is it cheaper to build a PC or buy one right now?

It depends, largely, on the kind of desktop you are looking to buy or build. At the low end, economies of scale for the components, plus the cost of single Windows 10 or 11 licenses, tend to make buying a prebuilt PC a better deal. It’s when you get into the $1,000-and-up zone that building your own starts to make more sense, especially if you can reuse parts from an existing PC build. For the last few years, the inflated cost of graphics cards made building your own PC a lot less attractive. That price pressure has relented in 2023, though.

How much does a good budget PC cost?

Expect to pay a solid $400 to $500 for a basic, competent small tower for day-in/day-out productivity and web work. You’ll find plenty of models below $400, especially in the mini PC class, but you should insist on at least 8GB of system memory for any Windows machine, and, for anything beyond very basic productivity work, a Core i3 or Ryzen 3 processor.

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