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Should I Buy a Desktop Computer?

What Kind of Computer is Best for My Family?


Dad and Daughter with Desktop Computer

Enjoying the Desktop Computer

Huntstock/Getty Images

Desktop computers are full-size machines, typically with separate keyboards and monitors, meant to remain in a single location in the home or office. Best for gamers, families, children non-traveling employees.

Compare with Laptops and Netbooks


  • Reasonably priced
  • Easy to upgrade meaning more value over time
  • Separate components save money and make repairs easier (i.e monitor breaks, you still have the rest of the computer)
  • Great for hard-core gaming, video editing and other system-intensive tasks
  • Sturdier design


  • Take up more space
  • Not as portable


  • Do buy a desktop that surpasses your current needs, as your budget allows. You'll be using it for a long time before needing an upgrade.
  • Do perform regular maintenance on it to remove dust and dirt and protect your investment.

Guide Comments

Although desktop computers aren't as trendy as ultra-light machines, they remain the gold standard for value and computing power. Desktop machines are getting smaller, as are monitors, so they no longer require large amounts of real estate in your home and are typically compact enough for occasional travel by car. Desktop machines are far and away the best choice for families, heavy gamers, and anyone who doesn't require a machine to go wherever you are.

Compare with Laptops and Netbooks
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