Unrestrained by battery life or portability, desktop computers can pack immense functionality, power and storage into their box designs.
Most suitable for heavy-duty workloads, desktops offer bigger screens and are more comfortable than laptops for long working days, thanks to their separate adjustable monitor, keyboard and mouse.
- Are the most powerful, consisting of a separate monitor and tower. Probably the most enticing feature of tower desktop PCs is the ability to upgrade the internal components depending on your needs. This means your desktop could last a very long time and the performance can always be improved if you should require more memory, storage, optical drives or graphics.
- Are built to save space with all the components including speakers, fitted into the screen. These machines are ideal if you have limited space or simply want a compact, tidy and sleek looking workspace.
- Have long been the preferred choice for creative professionals because of their design-friendly interface and beautiful designs.
Thin clients and terminals
- Are simplistic computers that form part of a broader computer infrastructure in medium to large offices where the main computer functioning takes place on a central server.
The processor drives the desktop PC, determining its speed and performance. With regards to processor speed, 2.5GHz should be sufficient for general business use. More speed will be needed if you are downloading or working with large amounts of data or graphics programs. Single core processors are suitable for basic activities like emailing and web browsing. Dual core processors are better for multi-tasking. Powerful quad core processors are best for demanding workloads and working with multimedia like photo editing or design.
Memory / RAM
Random Access Memory (RAM) affects the speed at which your programs run and how many tasks you can work on simultaneously. 2-3GB of working memory is suitable for handling the everyday computing tasks in most businesses. 4GB or more is better for heavy-duty multitasking, memory-sapping work like design and working with large databases.
The hard drive is the computer’s built-in storage. If your business doesn’t have a server, it’s worthwhile considering more built-in storage for all your digital files, images and videos. Generally desktops have a good amount of internal storage as well as lots of connections for external storage devices like USB sticks and SD cards. You can also upgrade the built-in hard drive of your desktop at a later stage should you need to increase the storage capacity.
Integrated graphics are sufficient for standard video and everyday tasks, but if you’re looking for a desktop PC for design work, animation, photo editing or watching high definition video, especially if you’re getting a large screen model, dedicated graphics are preferable. The more dedicated memory (1.5GB or more), the smoother and faster your graphics programs will run.
Other things to consider:
• Monitor– a screen size of 17/19” should be sufficient for general office use, but 22” or more is better for design or other media-related work
• Operating system – the operating system determines how you go about navigating and using your desktop PC. Microsoft Windows is the most popular – Windows Home Premium is generally sufficient for most small businesses. Apple desktops have MacOS
• Optical drive– CD or DVD drive to transfer data to and from discs
• Webcam – useful for video-conferencing