The thing is, there’s just so much choice…
And, with specifications changing so often, it can be difficult to know what desktop PC is right for you.
But, don’t worry. The Comet team has put together some handy tips below.
Choosing your desktop computer
So, what should you look for when choosing a desktop computer for your home? The first step should be to consider something called ‘form factor’.
Form factor refers to the shape, dimensions and general physical appearance of a desktop PC.
Desktop PCs have traditionally taken the form of rectangular boxes that sit either horizontally and vertically on a flat surface. However, these days, things have changed.
Tower PCs, all-in-one PCs, small form factor PCs, mini-tower PCs, the choice is practically endless…
Which form factor will be best for you will depend largely on considerations of space. If you’ve only got a small desk, then consider buying a small compact mini PC.
Blessed with plenty of space? Then the sky’s the limit! Go for a full size tower computer that you can marry to a large monitor.
Bear in mind, however, that the form factor of a PC can sometimes be closely linked to its performance. For example, only larger PC cases can accommodate the latest (and largest) graphics cards such as the NVIDIA GeForce RTX 4090.
In other words, if you’re looking for a maxed-out PC for gaming, then be prepared to buy a full size tower PC.
Windows or macOS? That’s one of the main choices you’ll have to make selecting a PC.
While both have their pros and cons the main difference is that you’ll only find macOS on Apple hardware. Buy something like an Apple Mac Mini, and it’ll be using the macOS operating system.
On the other hand, Windows is found on a truly massive range of PCs from brands such as Acer, HP, and ASUS. What’s more, the Windows ecosystem allows you to use those programs that are most commonly used in workplaces and schools such as Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint (however, it is possible to buy Mac-compatible versions of these programs).
Ultimately, however, the choice comes down to personal preference…
Even if you’re not old enough to remember those old ‘Intel inside’ adverts, you’re probably aware of the importance of a computer’s processor (also known as the CPU).
The CPU acts as a computer’s ‘brain’, routing instructions from one system in the computer to another.
You’ll find that desktop computers use either an Intel processor or an AMD processor.
When browsing desktop computers, there are three main CPU factors you want to check:
- Clock speed.
The next two things to check are the processor’s cores and threads. The cores are the parts of a CPU that do the actual processing. Traditionally, CPUs would only have one core. Today, it’s possible to buy CPUs that have multiple cores.
Basically, if you want to do lots of multitasking and run multiple programs at once; then select a CPU that has as many cores as possible (each core can then be assigned a different task to work on).
But, what about threads? This refers to a process whereby individual cores are divided into multiple virtual threads. This allows a single core to run more than one program at a time (provided the programs aren’t running the same type of instruction).
Putting aside the technical talk for a moment, this simply means that if you want a powerful, capable PC, you want one that has a multi-core, threaded processor (from either Intel or AMD).
Here at Comet, we sell a variety of desktop PCs with powerful processors, including Intel Core i5 and Intel Core i7 CPUs which are multi-core, threaded processors which are capable of supporting multitasking, gaming and more.
Memory and storage
So, what next? Memory and storage.
These are two distinct, but related components that are an essential part of a desktop computer.
Memory (which is also referred to as RAM (Random Access Memory)) is a computer’s short term memory.
For example, if a computer is running a program and needs to quickly access data to help keep the program running, it will be stored on the RAM.
If you don’t have enough RAM on your computer (in proportion to the programs you are running), you can find that performance becomes ‘throttled’. In other words, things start to get really slow…
At this point you’re probably wondering how much RAM you need. The answer depends on what you’ll be using your computer for; however, for general purpose tasks 8GB of RAM is considered sufficient. For gaming, you’re going to want at least 16GB of RAM.
Note - it’s important to remember that RAM is available in different ‘generations’. These generations are based on ‘double data rate’, and are denoted as DDR3, DDR4 etc. The latest generation of RAM is DDR5, however the majority of pre-built desktop computers currently available use DDR4 RAM.
And, now we come to storage. Storage refers to the ‘hard drive’ of your computer. This is where everything from the operating system and programs to files and media are stored.
Desktop PCs typically use one of two types of storage:
- HDD - hard disk drive. This is an older form of storage that literally ‘writes’ data onto a spinning disk.
- SSD - solid state drive. This is a newer type of storage that uses ‘flash memory’ to store data. Because they don’t have any moving parts, SSDs are typically much faster and more robust than HDDs.
How much storage you want will depend on a variety of factors, particularly how many programs you are using (and the size of those programs) and how many files (e.g. audio, video and text files) you’ll be saving on your computer.
Here at Comet you’ll find desktop computers with storage ranging from 240 GB all the way up to 1 TBB and beyond.
Are you buying your desktop PC for gaming? Then a graphics card is a must!
Most AAA titles require a dedicated graphics card (also known as a GPU) in order to operate at their highest graphics settings.
The two most popular graphics card manufacturers on the market are NVIDIA (which is famous for its GeForce range of RTX GPUs) and AMD (which is known for its Radeon RX range of GPUs).
Which graphics card is right for you is very much dependent on what you’ll be doing with it. If you intend to play the very latest games at the highest settings, or do 3D animation and motion rendering, then choose a PC with the most recent, highest-spec GPU you can afford. For example, here at Comet, we sell gaming PCs that are equipped with powerful RTX 3060 graphics cards that are more than capable of playing the latest games at 1080p.
Naturally, if you’re looking for a new desktop PC, you’ll probably want to upgrade your keyboard and mouse at the same time.
Here at Comet, you’ll find keyboards of all kinds, ranging from budget business keyboards to premium mechanical gaming keyboards.
As for a new computer mouse, your choice is practically endless! Wired, wireless, business, gaming, discover your perfect mouse at Comet now.
Compute with Comet!
Buying a computer from Comet all adds up. Why? Because not only do we have the best PCs, at the best prices, from the best brands - but we make buying your new computer super easy.
With Klarna Pay in 3 or PayPal Credit you can spread the cost of your new computer over three interest-free payments. We also offer express delivery options, so you can start enjoying your new computer asap.