The 7 Best Desktop PCs of 2020

Shop for the top desktop PCs for your home

Our editors independently research, test, and recommend the best products; you can learn more about our review process here. We may receive commissions on purchases made from our chosen links.

Our Top Picks

Best Overall: Alienware Aurora R9 at Amazon

"The heftiest configuration available can run your favorite games at up to 280 frames per second (fps)."

Best for Photo Editing: Microsoft Surface Studio 2 at microsoft.com

"The ultimate solution for digital artists, architects, and other serious content creators."

Best for Gaming: Dell G5 Gaming Desktop at Amazon

"VR ready to either kickstart or upgrade your virtual reality gaming experience."

Best for Video Editing: Lenovo Yoga A940 at Amazon

"A convertible all-in-one desktop that offers a touch screen you can tilt upward to act as your monitor."

Best Portability: Acer Aspire Z3 at Amazon

"With battery life listed at five hours, you can carry it around the house like a large tablet."

Best for Home Use: Dell Inspiron 22 3000 All-in-One at dell.com

"The 21.5-inch 1080p IPS panel provides you with supreme display options and interactive qualities."

Best Apple: iMac 21.5 4K at Amazon

"Puts its best display forward with 21.5 inches of screen real estate and eye-popping 4K visuals."

Our Top Picks

Best Overall: Alienware Aurora R9

When you need an absolute powerhouse of a computer for gaming, graphic design, or video rendering, look no further than the Alienware Aurora R9. This desktop PC packs a ton of power into a small package. It features an Intel i9-9900K CPU that can be overclocked to run at 5GHz for superior processing speed. You can customize your Aurora R9 build to have up to two GeForce RTX 2080 Super 8GB video cards, a 2TB M.2 SSD, 2TB HDD, and up to 64GB of DDR4 HyperX Fury RAM. 

The heftiest configuration available can run your favorite games at up to 280 frames per second (fps) and is VR ready to help you take the leap into the next generation of gaming. The tower features tool-less expansion slots and a locking power supply swing arm to make upgrading and cleaning a breeze. The Aurora R9 is backed by a one-year hardware warranty and in-home service.

Best for Photo Editing: Microsoft Surface Studio 2

Microsoft Surface Studio 2
3.1

The Surface Studio is designed to be the ultimate solution for digital artists, architects, and other serious content creators who count on an all-purpose touch- or stylus-based display. It doesn’t aim to match the performance of gaming or workstation-level desktops, but the second generation of Microsoft’s unique machine does make many improvements to its inner workings. With an Intel Core i7 CPU on all models, improved Nvidia GTX graphics cards, and faster solid-state drives of 1TB or 2TB capacity, your creativity can flow through it at a quicker pace than ever.

What remains unchanged in this iteration is the Surface Studio’s position as the top digital drafting table out there. It all revolves around the gorgeous and massive (yet thin) 28-inch PixelSense display, with 4500 x 3000 pixels of resolution that now boast 38 percent more brightness and 22 percent higher contrast ratio. You can work with ten points of touch or the included Surface Pen stylus that attaches magnetically to the sides when not in use. Then there’s the Zero Gravity hinge, which lets you smoothly and effortlessly adjust the screen’s angle from vertical to flat to anywhere in between. 

Best for Gaming: Dell G5 Gaming Desktop

If you take gaming seriously, you need the Dell G5 gaming desktop. This PC delivers top performance with all but the most demanding of games. You can customize your build to include an Intel i9-9900K CPU, an Nvidia GeForce RTX 2070 8GB video card, up to 64GB of DDR4 RAM, and a 1TB M.2 SSD. The G5 has additional slots available for adding more traditional hard drives and an extra M.2 SSD. 

The top-end build is VR ready to either kickstart or upgrade your virtual reality gaming experience. A 95-watt air cooler is available to help keep all your components running at optimal temperatures. The G5 utilizes Alienware's proprietary Command Center program to adjust system settings, cooling, and even to help set up custom gaming profiles for smoother play. The compact design is great for offices and game rooms that are short on space as well as for taking your PC to a friend's house or a LAN party. The G5 comes packaged with a wired optical mouse and mechanical keyboard.

Best for Video Editing: Lenovo Yoga A940

The Lenovo Yoga A940 is a convertible all-in-one desktop that offers a touch screen you can tilt upward to act as your monitor. It includes a stylus, Precision Dial, full-size keyboard, and mouse to ensure you're ready to go as soon as you unpackaged the system. Its super-slim 27-inch IPS touch display panel features native 4K resolution, which looks fantastic whether you're sketching out design ideas or enjoying your favorite show or movie.

It comes packing an 8th-gen Intel Core i7-8700 hexa-core processor, 16GB of DDR-2666MHz RAM, dedicated AMD Radeon RX 560 graphics with 4GB of GDDR5 VRAM, and a 256GB Samsung PCIe M2 SSD as well as a 1TB Seagate HDD, delivering astounding performance and storage capabilities. Its flexibility, space-saving format, and various use cases make it a fantastic option for desktop users who want a little variety from their setups. 

Best Portability: Acer Aspire Z3

We don’t often talk about portability when it comes to desktop computers, since laptops, tablets, and even laptop-tablet convertibles usually have that space covered. But the Aspire Z3 (model number AZ3-700-UR11) by Acer is an all-in-one desktop that’s designed to move. The 17.3-inch 1080p touchscreen is 0.61 inches thin and weighs 4.4 pounds. With battery life listed at five hours, you can carry it around the house like a large tablet. You can also lay it down flat or with a slight tilt and use the touchscreen or a passive stylus (not included). When you want it to serve as a traditional desktop, you can prop it up on its two rear kickstands and use the included wireless keyboard and mouse.

The downside to the unique build, though, is fairly limited hardware that can lead to some sluggish performance. Its 4GB of RAM is essentially the minimum for modern PCs—upgrading to 8GB may be a good idea. Even then, it probably doesn't have the right level of power for extensive gaming. The Aspire Z3, with its nice touchscreen and affordable price, is at its best when passed around among family members to watch movies and browse the web. 

Best for Home Use: Dell Inspiron 22 3000 All-in-One

Dell Inspiron 22 3000

Ideal for any home work station, the Dell Inspiron 22 3000 all-in-one PC is our pick for your home office. The computer, monitor, and speakers all existing within one unit limits the amount of space this PC takes up on your desk. Complete with an edge-to-edge touchscreen, the 21.5-inch 1080p IPS panel provides you with supreme display options and interactive qualities. In addition, the built-in Dell Cinema features enhance audio and video quality even further.

As for hardware, the 3000 is equipped with 4GB RAM, 1TB hard drive, and up to a 2.3 GHz Intel Pentium dual-core processor, which suit day-to-day office work perfectly. The selection of inputs include three USB 3.1 ports, one HDMI port, and a universal headphone jack.

To help with home office needs, the Inspiron 22 3000 is available with a discounted one-year McAfee Safe Connect Security subscription to help keep your work encrypted and protected. You can also opt for a business-oriented configuration with a year of Dell’s ProSupport service bundled in. 

Best Apple: iMac 21.5 4K

If your heart is set on keeping your desktop within the network of your other Apple devices, then look no further than the new iMac 21.5 4K. As the name suggests this desktop puts its best display forward with 21.5 inches of screen real estate and eye-popping 4K visuals emanating from its sleek and stylish frame. At just 12.5 pounds, this desktop is both compact and lightweight, and the setup is as simple as plugging it in and turning it on.

As far as performance is concerned, our reviewers tell us that this machine is impressive for an all-in-one device. The iMac 4K can be configured with up to an Intel Core i7 processor, 32GB of DDR4 RAM, and 1TB of storage to suit your daily computing needs. The desktop also comes equipped with two USB-C ports plus four USB 3 ports to keep all your devices easily connected. The iMac 4K is far from the cheapest desktop on the market, but its unique combination of style and power in one compact unit makes it well worth your consideration.

How We Tested

We bought and tested five top-rated desktop PCs. Our reviewers spent 180 hours doing work, playing games, and streaming videos. We asked our testers to consider the most important features when using these computers, from their display to their power. We’ve outlined the key takeaways here so that you, too, know what to look for when shopping.

What to Look for in a Desktop PC

Monitor - If you buy an all-in-one computer, the monitor comes packaged in. However, if you’re customizing your setup yourself, there are a few points to consider, like size and resolution. Twenty-four-inch monitors are most common now, but if you want a multi-screen setup or don’t have much space, you might want to deviate from that. Most monitors also use LCD technology, which has support for full 1080p high-definition video.

Processor - AMD and Intel are the two main manufacturers you have to choose between, with the former being better for efficiency and budget, while the latter is better for performance. After that, it comes down to how many cores each processor has, and their relative speeds — the more cores and the faster the speeds, the more powerful the processor. Depending on your use, though, you may not need the most powerful processor out there.

RAM - For years, desktops used the standard DDR3 memory system, but many are now upgrading to DDR4. DDR4 is more expensive but also hits much higher clock speeds. We recommend at least 8GB of memory, although 16GB will perform better over long-term use.

Was this page helpful?