When it comes to the iMac, Apple offers two distinct versions of its desktop computer: the 21.5-inch and 27-inch iMac, and the all-new 24-inch M1 iMac. With the colorful design changes introduced in M1 iMac this year, the differences between the two versions of the iMac are a bit easier to spot.
With the 24-inch iMac replacing the lower-end 21.5-inch iMac, this guide is now focusing on deals for the new 24-inch iMac and all of its configurations. Otherwise in this guide, you'll find the best currently available prices for the iMac at major Apple resellers including Adorama, Amazon, B&H Photo, Best Buy, and MacMall (which is now integrated with TigerDirect). We'll be tracking the best prices for all iMac models, focusing on the newest iterations of each computer.
If you're looking to buy a new computer sometime soon, you may well wonder how to properly time your purchase to get the best deal. Are there certain times of the year that are better for buying a new computer
That said, while tax holidays can be an advantageous time for students and adults to buy a desktop or laptop, there are sometimes limits on how much the computer can cost to avoid sales tax. You may get a sales tax holiday on a $1,000 laptop but not a $3,000 desktop, for instance.
For much of the early 2020s, the best time to buy a desktop computer, laptop or whatever electronic device you wanted was immediately. If you were in need, and you found one with a good price, you were advised to get it, then and there.
When shopping for a new computer, prioritize what you're looking for: Do you want the best price or the newest product While you can find discounts for desktop and laptop computers during the holidays for all brands, you may want to buy an Apple computer at a different time if the goal is to get the lowest price. In other words, if a new Apple product comes out, you'll want to look at what the new desktop or laptop replaced. You may want to buy an older version, which is likely to be offered at a steep discount.
As for the best time to buy an Apple desktop or laptop, Brown suggests typical shopping holidays and holiday weekends. That said, she says she has had particular luck getting good deals on Apple laptops and desktops during Black Friday.
If you're interested in a Microsoft laptop, it's best to stick to shopping holidays and the aforementioned times of year. Brown says that if you don't end up buying a desktop or laptop during the holidays, you'll have plenty of other chances to get a good deal.
Brown says that used Apple computers and desktops are often a great deal. \"Like comparably priced PCs, Apple hardware is high-end and has a long life. For this reason, refurbs from the Apple store site can be a great option,\" she says.
Finding the best desktop computer is no easy task, but there are some great options in 2023. Our top pick for the year is Dell's XPS Desktop 8950 with its powerful Intel and AMD CPU options, as well as discrete Nvidia GPUs. There are still great desktop PCs from HP, Apple, Lenovo, and less-known brands like Falcon Northwest too, though.
We've extensively tested dozens of desktop computers to find the best PC for gaming, your home office, and everything in between. If you want to score a deal, make sure to keep our roundup of the best cheap desktop deals handy.
The best overall desktop PC is the one that will work for the most people, and that's the Dell XPS 8950. It's understated in all the right ways, reasonably priced considering the power you can pack inside, and comes in a variety of configurations to suit work, gaming, or both. Choosing the highest-rated PC isn't easy, but the Dell XPS 8950 gets rid of that issue.
Regardless of what configuration you choose, you'll find something that matches your needs. That's because Dell builds them custom ordered, which is the best feature of the XPS 8950. The options are nearly endless, with prices ranging from $750 to over $3,000 depending on the parts you choose. Some of the desktops come without a discrete graphics card, meaning they're more suited for work than games. However, you can get one of the more expensive ones that include a discrete graphics card.
Dell is offering this new XPS desktop with Intel Alder Lake and DDR5 RAM for those who are in search of the best gaming PC. You can add up to an RTX 3090 graphics card as well, which is a serious amount of power considering the size of the machine. Powerful hardware means more heat, but the XPS 8950 gets rid of it well with optional liquid cooling and a case with plenty of room for airflow.
Outside of new components, this new version also supports DDR5 memory, which can make a big difference in gaming performance. If you want the best gaming desktop without the fuss, the HP Omen 45L can deliver.
The base M2 model is a big upgrade over 2020's Mac mini M1, but the updated desktop really shines with the M2 Pro chip. That takes the Mac mini from being a MacBook without a screen to a full-fledged creator machine capable of tackling the most demanding tasks you can throw at a computer today.
The best thing to do is look at individual desktop reviews rather than relying on what someone says is the \"best brand.\" Some brands come out with excellent PCs one generation and poor desktops the next, so it's important to check in on reviews when you need to upgrade.
The best CPU will depend on how you're using your desktop. Gamers who want the utmost performance will want an overclockable Intel Core i9-11900K found on most high-end systems, while creatives looking at juggling large media files will want something with more cores. That means AMD, which offers 12- and 16-core chips in the form of the AMD Ryzen 5900X and 5950X.
The best time to buy a desktop is when your current computer isn't able to handle the applications you want to use. Black Friday and Amazon Prime Day usually bring the steepest discounts on desktop computers, but the reality is that you can score a deal on a PC almost any time during the year. Make sure to keep our roundup of the best desktop deals handy for when you want to upgrade.
While laptops are becoming more powerful, a desktop is still better suited for graphic-intensive applications such as computer gaming, video editing, or animation rendering. But if portability is a priority, then laptops are the only way to go.
Other things to keep in mind when deciding between a laptop and a desktop computer include upfront costs, noise and cooling, and peripherals. You should expect a laptop to cost a bit more than a desktop of similar specifications, as you're buying the display and input mechanisms at the same time, as well as paying for a battery -- though there are great budget laptops out there.
Laptops are also often very compact, which means they are more likely to be noisier when the fans ramp up to keep the computer cool. While desktops can also get noisy when under heavy loads like gaming or video editing, they tend to still be quieter than laptops under the same load due to the improved airflow in the case -- and you can always modify the cooling to improve it. That's not so easy with laptops.
Personal preference and experience dictate the operating system of choice more than anything, making it hard to recommend one over the other. The best way to tell which one is ideal for you is to try both out to see which one feels more intuitive for you to work on, and which one will work with your favorite programs. Mac computers are generally more expensive than Windows-based PCs, though they tend to be a little more secure. With fewer macOS PCs out there, hackers are less interested in making viruses for them. The closed-ecosystem approach Apple employs for its products also makes it harder to distribute malware -- though not impossible.
Today, most computers have at least one SSD, or solid-state drive, for storage. SSDs are much faster than older HDDs (hard disk drives with moving, magnetic parts), which means you can open and find files faster. SSDs are your best bet for a boot drive, with traditional hard drives best suited as additional storage space and secondary drives.
If you're interested in building your own computer, the best place to start compiling a parts list is PCPartPicker. At PCPartPicker you can compile a list of parts from various retail websites including Newegg and Amazon. What's even nicer is if you pick parts that aren't compatible, PCPartPicker will let you know.
A desktop computer is generally going to come in the form of either a tower or an all-in-one (with an integrated screen), though there are smaller designs (sometimes called \"small form factor PCs\") like the Mac Mini for tighter spaces.
Though laptops still occupy the majority of our editors' time and effort with CNET's hands-on reviews, we've rounded up recent products to bring you our top desktop computer options, listed below. This list starts with models we've tested, and then moves on to more general configuration suggestions that we haven't specifically tested, but the specs listed should deliver considerable value for the price, based on our experience with similarly configured PCs.
Unless otherwise indicated, the products listed below don't include a monitor, keyboard, mouse or webcam. You'll need to bring your own or buy them separately. We'll update this best desktop computer list periodically.
While we like all-in-ones for their convenience, they're not easy to upgrade, if they can be at all. Dell's XPS Desktop is compact and quiet enough for a small workspace but can be loaded with a 12th-gen Core i9 processor, an Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080 Ti graphics card, up to 64GB of memory and 4TB of storage -- and there's still room inside for more. And if you have modest needs now, but want the room to add in components down the road, the base XPS starts at under $800. However, if you do plan to upgrade down the road, spend a little extra for its 750- or 1,000-watt power supply. Want to spend a bit less Check out the more affordable desktop computer options recommended further down the page. 59ce067264