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Desktop Computer Overview

It’s a good idea to consider how you will be using your desktop computer. A variation of tasks may warrant specific devices and functions of your desktop computer. Some people use their computers for basic needs such as emailing and composing documents, while others address many needs on their computer such as downloading videos, modifying pictures, etc. More intensive tasks will require more memory and higher processor speeds.


Basic information about desktop computer components.

Computer Monitor

The monitor is your computer screen. A huge factor in choosing a monitor is the associated native resolution of the images appearing on screen. Like a television, most consumers want to view the best possible picture. The images on screen will improve in reference to a higher number of resolution. In addition, think about a desired size. Monitors are measured diagonally (like TVs), so choose a size that is aligned with your desires.



A desktop’s case refers to the structure which holds internal working and hard drives. Cases come in different shapes and sizes, so it is important to think about where you would like the case to rest. Some people prefer to place the case on top of a desk next to their monitor, while others place their case on the floor. The decision is up to you, but it is important for the case to receive proper ventilation and rest safely away from any hazards (such as liquids).


In addition, think about choosing a case that will allow for upgrades since computer technology is constantly advancing. Opting for a lower-grade model may limit your upgrade options.



Better running speeds and smooth usage is contingent on a desktop computer’s memory. It is very easy to upgrade a desktop’s memory after an initial purchase, yet it is easier (and more economical) to purchase a desktop computer with enough memory to address immediate needs, while keeping future needs and interests in mind.



Think about all the functions/components you want your desktop computer to address/use before choosing a motherboard. You will want your desktop’s motherboard to have at least two USB ports, which enables connection to printers and external hard drives. Higher-end models and multimedia-focused models should have audio/visual inputs and FireWire ports within easy reach.


Hard Drives

Hard drives refer to information stored in your desktop computer. If you’re going to store a lot of files, pictures, and music on your computer, then you will want to purchase a computer with a large hard drive. While memory helps the speed and fluidity of applications, hard drives store all necessary, used information. Hard drives with 200GB (giga-byte) - 500GB space is optimal for most desktop computer users.



Processors facilitate a desktop computer’s interaction with leveraged applications (such as WordPerfect, video games, DVDs, etc.). Dual-processors allow for faster multitasking and speedier performance in reference to particular kinds of graphics and video games. For most, basic functions, just about any processor will be sufficient.


Desktop Computer Buying Tips

  • Many people choose to shop online for desktop computer because online suppliers may offer better prices. They do not have to compensate for related brick and mortar costs such as salespeople, rent, and utilities. Many online suppliers, such as Sam’s Club, offer the same quality, brand-name computers (such as Dell desktop computers, Acer desktop computers, and HP desktop computers) you will find in brick and mortar stores.

  • Utilize the internet to research specific models and brands prior to making a purchase. Review processor types, memory, warranties and more.

*Windows Offer Details

Yes, free! This upgrade offer is for a full version of Windows 10, not a trial. 3GB download required; standard data rates apply. To take advantage of this free offer, you must upgrade to Windows 10 within one year of availability. Once you upgrade, you have Windows 10 for free on that device. Windows 10 Upgrade Offer is valid for qualified Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 devices, including devices you already own. Some hardware/software requirements apply and feature availability may vary by device and market. The availability of Windows 10 upgrade for Windows Phone 8.1 devices may vary by OEM, mobile operator or carrier.

Devices must be connected to the internet and have Windows Update enabled. Windows 7 SP1 and Windows 8.1 Update required. Some editions are excluded: Windows 7 Enterprise, Windows 8/8.1 Enterprise, and Windows RT/RT 8.1. Active Software Assurance customers in volume licensing have the benefit to upgrade to Windows 10 enterprise offerings outside of this offer. To check for compatibility and other important installation information, visit your device manufacturer’s website and the Windows 10 Specifications page. Additional requirements may apply over time for updates. Security and features are kept automatically up-to-date which is always enabled. See the Windows 10 How to Upgrade page for details.