Powerful performance. Easily play modern games at highest visual settings. Easy to upgrade as needed. Optimized for multitasking. Variety of ports. Slick RGB lighting.
Runs fairly warm.
Contains 8 GB of memory. Made to help you quickly and easily update hardware. Built with AMD Athlon Processor and AMD Radeon Graphics.
A couple of customers noted the keyboard and mouse are pretty generic.
Compact size makes it easy to find any space to place the desktop. Multiple front ports meet every gamer’s needs. Outputs plenty of power for high-quality gaming. Desktop is upgradable to place in newer GPUs or CPUs.
Upgrading will require some extra tools.
Big 31.5-inch display. Tenth-gen Intel i7 processor. Fast 7200 RPM hard drive. NVMe SSD drive. USB-C, USB-A, and Thunderbolt 3 ports. NVIDIA GeForce graphics. Bang & Olufsen speakers. Retractable front-facing camera.
A big and expensive all-in-1 computer.
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While they’ve been steadily losing market share over the years to their more mobile laptop and handheld brethren, desktop computers still have a sizable following. With their larger screens, increased power, and enhanced storage capabilities, desktops are a must for those into gaming, those who work with multimedia, or those just searching for a stable computer system they can set up in their home or office.
You can’t go wrong with a desktop computer from Hewlett-Packard (HP), one of tech’s original giants. However, like the majority of computers, HP computers are expensive, so you should pay close attention to what you’re paying for.
This guide will walk you through the different types of HP desktops, in addition to some of the features and specifications to consider. We’ll also give you an idea of how much you should pay for an HP desktop. For our five favorite HP desktop computers, check out the matrix.
Some desktop computers are all-in-one systems. These computing systems feature a monitor and computer rolled into one unit. They should also ship with a mouse and keyboard to provide you with everything you need to be quickly up and running. All-in-ones feature fewer wires and less clutter than other systems, and they are easier to fit into tight spaces. However, because they are closer to laptops in terms of construction, they can also be limited in terms of expansion options.
Tower systems are the traditional boxy computers you are probably familiar with. They have the space to include more powerful components and are often used for gaming and multimedia tasks like editing video. They do take up more space, may or may not ship with a monitor, and are often more expensive than other desktop types.
Mini systems are small tower systems. Their compact size is a plus where space is an issue, but that size also means they are less powerful and harder to expand. These models are generally best for less intensive, day-to-day computing.
For all-in-one systems, you are set to go. For other desktops, know what you are buying. Does the computer ship with a monitor or will you need to supply one yourself?
All desktop bundles should include peripherals, such as a mouse and keyboard, but know what you are buying. Are they wired or wireless? Is the mouse wheeled or optical? Is the keyboard standard-size and what is the quality like? Make sure you know exactly what is bundled with an HP desktop computer before buying.
HP computers use the Windows operating system. By design, the majority of Windows computing systems are pretty easy to set up. You simply plug in the computer, attach the wires, and push the power button. With fewer wires, all-in-one systems are even easier to start up right out of the box.
Every HP computer will run you through a setup program, which will provide you with a personalized base to start from. It is then recommended that you run Windows Update so that you will have all the latest patches for your operating system in place before you use your computer.
If your HP desktop system doesn’t include a monitor, you are going to need to provide one yourself. Monitors exist in a wide array of sizes and configurations. A larger screen will allow you to work with more windows open at a time. A higher resolution is best for working with video and graphics. Some monitors also offer a touchscreen option, so you can work with the screen much like you would the screen of a tablet or smartphone.
A faster processor – particularly one with multiple cores – will allow you to smoothly run more programs. This is a big plus for multimedia or if you need to run a variety of programs simultaneously.
RAM (random access memory) can also affect computing speed. The more RAM you have, the faster your computer will be. On the other hand, low RAM can result in sluggish speeds, particularly if you are running a computing-intensive program or several programs at once.
The hard drive is where your files and programs are stored. The larger it is, the more you can store on your computer. This is a particularly big factor if you do a fair amount with video, photos, or graphics.
If you are into gaming or work with multimedia, you should have a graphics card, and the more advanced, the better. This is particularly important for gaming, which usually does poorly with a computer’s integrated graphics capabilities.
Does the HP desktop computer include a DVD-RW or DVD writer? Can you use memory cards like SD, SDHC, or SDXC with it? These drives are important for everything from backing up files to moving them around more easily.
Does the HP desktop computer you’re considering have internal speakers, and what is their quality like?
Desktop computers vary greatly in price due to the nearly endless ways they can be configured and upgraded. The pricing for HP desktop computers ranges from around $600 to over $1,000.
At a higher price point, you can expect a faster processor, larger hard drive, more RAM, and other advanced features. A more expensive system is also more likely to be bundled with a monitor.
Conversely, a cheaper desktop may suddenly seem like less of a bargain when you find out you need to purchase a monitor for it.
You should also verify what kind of warranty is included with the HP desktop computer.
Q. If I’m into gaming, what computer system elements should I concentrate on?
A. Serious gaming computers are a breed apart, but you can still pull together a decent system by upgrading certain aspects of standard HP desktop tower systems. You should go with the fastest processor you can find, as much RAM as you can install, and a large hard drive. It is also vital to invest in a superior dedicated graphics card. Upgrading your system fans to keep the system from overheating is also recommended. Finally, a high-resolution monitor and fast internet connection are also advisable.
Q. What is the difference between a USB 2.0, a USB 3.0, and a USB 3.1 port?
A. These are different standards for USB ports that are largely based on transfer speed. Roughly speaking, USB 3.0 is 10 times faster than USB 2.0, while USB 3.1 is twice as fast as USB 3.0. These are theoretical speeds as you still need devices capable of using USB 3.0 to realize this speed. They are also backward compatible, so you can use a USB 3.0 device in a USB 2.0 port, although it will be bottlenecked down to the port’s speed.
Q. What are the benefits of an optical mouse over a standard mouse?
A. An optical mouse uses light instead of a wheel, which provides a number of benefits. There are no moving parts in an optical mouse, so there are fewer parts to wear out. No moving parts also lead to a smoother response. And since the optical mouse is sealed, there is no way for dirt and other debris to collect inside it.