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BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and all opinions about the products are our own. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.Read more 
Bottom line
Pros
Cons
Best of the Best
Dell XPS Desktop Special Edition
Dell
XPS Desktop Special Edition
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Feature-packed
Bottom Line

Versatile, customizable and powerful machine for those who need to work, play, browse and stream.

Pros

With 8 cores, the 11th Gen Intel Core i7-11700 processor powers this robust desktop to allow for a range of high-demand, multitasking activities. Features Windows 11 and the latest AMD RTX graphics, ideal for creative endeavors. White exterior is modern and elegant.

Cons

Not ideal for serious gamers.

Best Bang for the Buck
Dell Inspiron Desktop
Dell
Inspiron Desktop
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Best for Everyday Use
Bottom Line

The tiny desktop footprint and fast performance make this a top option for staying productive at your home office.

Pros

Affordable. Dependably speedy. Compact design. Wide array of ports. Easy to connect smartphone for making calls and getting notifications. Includes mouse and keyboard.

Cons

Not meant for gaming.

Dell Alienware R10 Gaming Desktop
Dell
Alienware R10 Gaming Desktop
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Expert Recommended
Bottom Line

This powerful gaming machine easily plays modern games at high visual settings and is easy to upgrade down the road.

Pros

Optimized for immersive gaming and multitasking with 12-core AMD Ryzen 9 5900. Runs cool under pressure. Easy to upgrade as needed. VR ready. Futuristic design backed by signature Alienware logo and color. Custom RGB lighting. Includes mouse and keyboard.

Cons

Pricey. Best for serious PC gamers.

Dell XPS 8940 Desktop Computer
Dell
XPS 8940 Desktop Computer
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Most Versatile
Bottom Line

This versatile mid-range Dell desktop computer is a worthy long-term investment for workplace professionals.

Pros

Powerful performance backed by 11th Generation Intel Core i7. Optimized for productivity, gaming and multitasking. Ready for 4K graphics; lightning fast WiFi offers reliability. Runs cool and quiet. Modern design with 10 USB ports. Easy to upgrade. Sleek keyboard and mouse.

Cons

May want to upgrade keyboard and mouse.

Dell Inspiron 5400 AIO Desktop
Dell
Inspiron 5400 AIO Desktop
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Best for Small Spaces
Bottom Line

Thrifty PC buyers will appreciate the speed and array of useful features squeezed into this Dell desktop computer’s tiny form.

Pros

Inexpensive. Slim and glare-free FHD touchscreen display. Retractable webcam. Immersive audio. Lightning-fast wi-fi. Small desktop footprint. Many ports. Includes wireless mouse and keyboard.

Cons

Touchscreen suffers from slight input delay.

HOW WE TESTED

We recommend these products based on an intensive research process that's designed to cut through the noise and find the top products in this space. Guided by experts, we spend hours looking into the factors that matter, to bring you these selections.

32
Models
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188
Consumers
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22
Hours
Researched
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Buying guide for Best Dell desktop computers

With so many powerful mobile computing options available now, desktop computers aren’t as prominent as they once were. Still, if you really need the greatest level of performance for your dollar, a desktop computer is the answer, and you can’t go wrong with a Dell desktop computer.

From its start in the mid-1980s, Dell is now one of the world’s biggest brand names in computing. Though the company has undergone significant operational changes over the past decade, desktop computers remain important to Dell’s success. Dell desktop computers are available in multiple configurations aimed at basic home use, business use, and gaming. If you haven’t purchased a desktop computer in a while, you’re going to be impressed by the level of performance and value you get with a Dell model.

If you’re in the market for a new Dell desktop computer, we’ve put together this buying guide that can help you figure out the components you need. Take a look at our favorites, too.

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Bluetooth is a newer feature found on some Dell desktop computers. It’s a great way to gain wireless connectivity for headphones, keyboard, and other items.

Key considerations

Finding the right desktop computer for your needs starts with understanding the computer’s key components and knowing which ones offer the power and working speed you need.

CPU

The central processing unit (CPU) is the primary processing chip in a Dell desktop computer. Intel and AMD are the two largest manufacturers of CPUs. The majority of Dell desktop computers use Intel CPUs.

CPU power is measured in the number of cores, which determines the computer’s ability to multitask. CPU speed is measured in clock speed in gigahertz (GHz). Look for larger numbers for both of these measurements. Buy the most powerful CPU you can afford up front, because this is the hardest component to upgrade later; in fact, it’s nearly impossible.

RAM

Random access memory (RAM) is the temporary storage area where computers hold the data they’re currently using. Holding software instructions and data in RAM allows the computer to work faster versus constantly pulling this data from a hard drive. You can upgrade RAM or add more RAM to most Dell desktop computers relatively easily.

RAM is measured in gigabytes (GB), such as 4 GB or 8 GB. RAM is also measured in clock speed in megahertz (MHz). A larger number means better performance in both of these measurements.

Storage

Dell computers use either a hard disk drive (HDD) or a solid-state drive (SSD) as the permanent storage option. Some Dell desktop computers use both technologies, taking advantage of the best features of each.

HDD: A hard disk drive, a traditional storage medium for desktop computers, uses spinning platters to store data. They are less expensive to build than solid-state drives, but they are also quite a bit slower.

SSD: The solid-state drive is a newer storage technology that delivers excellent data retrieval speed. It doesn’t use moving parts, so it’s less susceptible to breakage than a hard disk drive.

Features

Here are some other features to consider when purchasing a Dell desktop computer. Depending on the way you use your computer, these components may be important features for you.

GPU

The integrated graphics processing unit (GPU) is a chip on the motherboard. An integrated GPU isn’t as powerful as a graphics card, but if you aren’t a gamer, you can probably save money by opting for an integrated GPU.

Graphics card

A Dell desktop computer may have a graphics card with a GPU on it. The graphics card is a separate card that plugs into the motherboard. It’s more versatile than the integrated GPU, providing the power gamers need.

Form factor

The form factor refers to the size and shape of the Dell desktop computer case. A full-size tower case is common. It is a large, rectangular box that leaves plenty of room to add components and upgrades in the future. Slim, micro, and mini towers are also available from Dell. These are quite a bit smaller than the full-size tower case.

Ports

Dell desktop computers offer quite a few ports, such as USB, HDMI, and Ethernet, allowing you to plug in various devices. Gamers need quite a few ports to plug in gaming controllers and other items. Non-gamers can survive with fewer ports.

"The Dell desktop computer case can be placed on a desk or on the floor, as long as you have free space for airflow around it."
STAFF
BestReviews

Dell desktop computer prices

Inexpensive

The least expensive new Dell desktop computers cost between $150 and $400. These are basic machines that are adequate for web surfing, word processing, and social networking. If you want to save even more money, some refurbished Dell desktops cost as little as $100.

Mid-range

You can find fast and powerful Dell desktops for $400 to $800. These machines allow you to run almost any business software and have quite a bit of storage space, which is nice for photographers.

Expensive

Gamers who need the ultimate in speed and performance can expect to spend anywhere from $800 to $2,000 for a Dell desktop computer. These computers have the newest and fastest processors, RAM, and graphics cards. They also have fast-performing SSDs for storage or a combination of SSDs and HDDs.

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Did you know?
One advantage of a Dell desktop computer versus a laptop is that you can more easily upgrade the components inside the desktop.
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Tips

  • Protect your computer with a surge protector. Should your home experience some sort of electrical surge, a desktop computer plugged into a wall outlet could be damaged. Plug a surge protector into the outlet and then plug the computer into the surge protector.
  • Make sure the fan is running. All Dell desktop computers have at least one fan inside that encourages airflow inside the computer case and helps to cool the components. Overheated components eventually lead to computer failure. Periodically check that the fan is running.
  • Leave free space around the case. You’ll notice some vents built into the Dell desktop computer case. These vents allow the fans to pull room-temperature air into the case and expel heated air. Don’t block the vents by tucking the case into a tight space with no room for air to move around it.
  • Organize the cables. Desktop computers always have quite a few cables plugged into them. Make sure the cables are organized so that no one will trip over them and possibly damage the computer.
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Many Dell desktops have a large number of USB ports, which simplifies the process of adding items like an external CD/DVD drive and external hard drive.

FAQ

Q. Why are some Dell desktop computers better for gaming than others?

A. Gaming computers require a high-powered graphics card and GPU to meet the needs of gaming software. If the computer lags because of poor graphics rendering, your gameplay will suffer. Having plenty of RAM with a fast clock speed is also helpful in a desktop computer aimed at gamers.

Q. Are there hidden costs with Dell desktop computers?

A. Oftentimes, you’ll need to spend some extra money beyond the cost of the desktop computer itself. If you buy the case alone, you’ll need to purchase a display monitor, speakers, and perhaps a keyboard and mouse separately. The majority of Dell desktops ship with an operating system preinstalled, but you might have to buy other software separately.

Q. What operating systems can I purchase with a Dell desktop?

A. The vast majority of Dell desktop computers ship with the Windows operating system preinstalled. However, you can occasionally find a Dell computer with ChromeOS or Linux preinstalled instead, although this is more common with laptops than desktops.

Q. What other computing hardware does Dell sell?

A. Beyond selling desktop computers, Dell also sells laptops, all-in-ones, workstations, and servers. In the computer accessory market, Dell offers display monitors, audio speakers, docks, keyboards, mice, and various cables and adapters.

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