Desktop Computers


Desktop Computers

Whilst almost everyone and their dog now owns a laptop, desktop computers are a long way off being redundant. A popular choice for work, entertainment, or gaming, desktop models are ideal for anyone who likes to maintain a dedicated computer space.

On PriceRunner you’ll find deals on nearly 2000 desktop computers, ranging from affordable Dell PCs for the family, to coveted Apple iMacs, suitable for both personal and professional use. As well as Dell and Apple, you’ll find numerous models from the likes of Acer, HP, and Lenovo, in a huge variety of specifications. For some comprehensive but clear advice on picking out a new desktop computer, consult our handy Buying Guide on the tab above.

How to choose a Desktop Computer

The vitals

Desktop computers are mainly used for office or domestic purposes. They're a sensible option if you'd like a stationary unit, or if you need more than one screen for designing, writing, programming or gaming. There are some great value all-in-one packages out there, but you might still need to buy your monitor, keyboard, mouse and other external hardware separately. Assembling your own PC is also an option, but you will need someone to show you how if it's your first time. Doing so will usually result in a better performing and longer lasting machine, as long as you choose a good motherboard.

Some desktops have the operating system (OS) and other applications preinstalled. They issue with pre-installed desktops from leading brands is that they are usually designed to be compatible with parts manufactured by the same brand (RAM, etc.) and that the manufacturer may not make drivers available for later operating systems. In essence, they are more "disposable" than a self-assembled PC because a separate motherboard will usually have drivers for 2 or more operating systems and will be more likely to receive firmware and driver updates. To save on costs, ready-made computers are not always equipped with the highest quality components: you get what they give you.


Desktop packages can start from £100 and go up to £5,000, leaving a large margin for your budget. A really good deal for decent speeds and performance, with all the basics included, is around £300 without the screen. All-in-one solutions tend to be cheaper than buying everything separately, although they do limit you to just one manufacturer and you do not control what's in the box. Self assembly will allow you to hand-pick components. Some stores will let you choose the components and then will assemble the computer for you. This can be a good alternative for newbies.



The processor is the brains of any computer. Its power is primarily indicated by its speed, which is measured in gigahertz (GHz). However, now processors have 'cores' (extra processors inside them) and this may be a better indication of speed than the actual clock speed. In other words, a 6 core processor running at 3 Ghz would likely perform better than a 2 core CPU running at 3.5 Ghz.
Main processor manufacturers include Intel and AMD. These days, you need to aim for at least a quad core CPU running at 2.5 Ghz or higher. Even phones have quad cores these days!

Memory (RAM)

Random Access Memory (RAM) temporarily stores your data while you're using it. The more RAM your desktop has, the faster the computer is likely to run. Desktop RAM on a PC running Windows 7 or higher should never be below 4 GB, and you should prefer 6-8 GB as a starting point. If you are into recent 3D games, get a PC with 16 GB of RAM and make sure it can be expanded to more later, ie the motherboard should be able to run 32 or 64 GB and should have spare slots for more RAM..

Operating Systems

There are two main models of desktop computers: PC and Mac. These run on different operating systems (OS), which are frequently updated to prevent hacking and viruses. There are anti-virus and firewall applications that are available to support your OS. The main other OS is Linux, which is Open Source (free), but is rarely found pre-installed on a store-bought computer.


Hard drive storage is measured in terms of size and speed. A hard drive with a larger data storage capacity and a higher operating speed gives you with a smoother operating performance. Nowadays, flash memory SSDs are starting to replace regular mechanical hard drives because they are up to 10 times faster. They are, however, still a lot more costly.

Most hard drives operate at a speed of 7,200 revolutions per minute (RPM) and can store 500 gigabytes (GB) or more as standard. The best way to add storage capacity to an existing desktop computer is through the addition of an internal hard drive, or an external USB model. You can snap up 4 TB (4000 GB) NAS, for example, for rather a reasonable cost.

Our recommendation : get at least 500 GB of storage and prefer more if you are going to be saving lots of video or photos. Also see our hard drive guide for more tips.

Internet Connectivity

For a basic internet connection, you'll need a modem to connect to by cable or wirelessly. Most desktops have Ethernet ports, FireWire ports are very rare now, and multiple USB network ports has become the norm. Any processor available these days will suffice for fast internet surfing, while the faster models will let you do more with multimedia tasks like video editing or gaming.


There are standard components that make up a desktop – monitor, keyboard, mouse and printer – but you can also get a USB hub to let you run several USB connections off one USB port on your computer. Some peripherals can run wirelessly, reducing the number of wires around your machine and giving you a more flexible working space. There's a wide variety of peripheral models, including ergonomically-shaped keyboards, wide LCD monitors and touch-pad mice. You can also invest in audio output like speakers, headphones and a webcam.

Think about the space where you'll be keeping your desktop – it should be well-ventilated, stable place with easy access to at least 4 sockets and preferably more.

Energy Efficiency

A powerful desktop can consume a lot of electricity (way over 200 Watts) and so you should consider using a power saving mode when you do not need it to run at full speed. In Windows, this mode will make your processor run at quarter speed, for example, while allowing it to run fast when needed. Your screen will turn off after a few minutes of your absence, and your computer may go to sleep when you are way.
If you use your PC a lot or use multiple screens, get LED screens: these use 3 to 5 times less electricity than LCD screens.

Our most popular Desktop Computers

More products under ad




Processor Cores

Hard Drive Type

HDD Size

SSD Size

Optical Drive

Graphic Card

Graphic Card Memory



Touch Screen

USB Total

USB 3.0



Pages: 1 2 3 4 5    

Total number of pages: 75