Why on Earth would you want to buy a desktop PC or Mac in 2017? Simply put, there are computing needs that mobile devices like laptops and tablets can’t fulfill as well as the stalwart desktop. Here’s what to consider when deciding on your next desktop PC.
Desktop-class CPUs and graphics processors are simply more powerful than their mobile counterparts for the same money. They give you the power to finish whatever task you’re working on in less time. Desktop components are less expensive in general, so instead of buying a $500 laptop with a competent Intel Core m3 processor, you can buy a $500 desktop with a powerful Intel Core i5 desktop CPU in it.
Which OS? Windows? Mac? Other?
You probably already know the answer to this question, but here’s a quick rundown of your choices:
Windows 10 is the latest iteration of Microsoft’s operating system. Desktops that use it and previous versions of the OS are what most people typically use, so you’ll be assured of the best compatibility and widest selection of third-party software. This also applies to browser plug-ins, since some only work with Windows.
The current version of Apple’s operating system is macOS Sierra. It’s an excellent choice if you’re already in an Apple-centric household, since it interfaces seamlessly with devices like iPads and iPhones, and with all your iTunes purchases and subscriptions. The updated version of macOS, High Sierra, will be released in the fall.
Chrome OS has the best buzz of the alternative desktop operating systems, since it essentially runs the Chrome browser on desktop PC hardware. You’ll need to use always-on Internet service for the best results from this cloud-based ecosystem, but homebound desktops are usually connected 24/7.
Desktops with Android and Linux are harder to find, particularly in retail configurations, but both have their merits. Android lets you use more than two million apps, but in practice many have scaling issues on desktop screens, and you’ll definitely run into problems with the lack of an accelerometer while controlling some games.
While it has its fans, Linux is more of a do-it-yourself operating system, where you’ll have to rely on your own faculties for installation, sourcing programs, and support. Chrome OS, macOS, and Windows are certainly easier choices if you simply want to buy a desktop and use it right away.