Computers & Electronics

Looking for a Basic Desktop Computer

  • Last Updated:
  • Jan 24th, 2022 1:59 am
[OP]
Jr. Member
Dec 17, 2008
170 posts
41 upvotes

Looking for a Basic Desktop Computer

I've been out of the hardware game for over 15 years and looking to pick up a decent desktop that will do all the basics and maybe a bit of gaming. I'm not concerning about maximum framerates but more about cost per smiles. I have monitors already so just need a tower.

My needs are:
  • Windows preloaded
  • SSD HD for OS
  • 7200rpm HD if SSD is small
  • Unsure if it's worth investing in a graphics card or just onboard GPU
  • The regular USB 3.0 / gigabit ethernet / standard connections
  • Budget: Between $500-$1000

I'm open to buying from anywhere. Thanks!
19 replies
Deal Expert
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Oct 13, 2002
19344 posts
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Non-new (off-leased) computers ?
Member
May 27, 2012
328 posts
153 upvotes
Whitehorse, YT
i highly recommend buying a laptop with SSD

hook that up tp external monitor and wireless keyboard/mouse.

for basic computer use, this setup has served me very well as its portable and also can be used at home as a desktop environment
[OP]
Jr. Member
Dec 17, 2008
170 posts
41 upvotes
I'd rather put money that would go into a screen, a la laptop screen, into better desktop hardware. Even if I could dock it, I'd rather not have it lying around on my desk. I'm sticking to a tower I can tuck away.
Deal Guru
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Mar 13, 2004
12628 posts
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Ontario
If you just need a basic desktop that would be a good idea. But like he said he may want to play some games so depending on the games a dedicated video card may be needed. Does not look like this mini pc can accept a decent video card, also future upgrades are likely limited.

scoper wrote: Instead of the clunky towers go with a Mini PC like this 1. This Asus 1 can be hard to find but it looks fantastic, has all the necessary ports and takes up very little space.

https://www.bestbuy.ca/en-ca/product/as ... h/15829310
Member
Sep 25, 2020
291 posts
153 upvotes
Recommend dell xps desktop.

Wait for a sale to appear + create a new email address to get extra 10%). Best time to buy is back to school, holidays, black Friday or Christmas. Or find del coupon codes online to lower the price.

Bought mine for 799.99. Ssd. Fully loaded with decent graphic card. Replaced my 12 year old computer last year after replacing power supply 2-3 times and speed just got slower and slower).

So yeah. If you are like me who work full time job but occasionally use a computer after work hours and on weekends, then dell xps is a good choice.

I'm the kind of guy that buy a good desktop and use it for 10 years. If you are a technical person and like latest technology then you should build one yourself.
Member
Sep 25, 2020
291 posts
153 upvotes
One thing I should also mention is get a ssd hard drive and not 7200.
It is night and day.

Ssd hard drive fast boot up. Press power button in 5-10 seconds you are prompted with login screen. You will save precious time. Cost a bit more but worth it.
Deal Fanatic
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May 11, 2009
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Debtario
I thought I posted but it seems I never hit reply, or maybe because I was going to suggest a laptop or lenovo tiny PC route but OP already shot that down.

Anyway, there are some decent deals on BNIB Dell XPS 8940/G5 towers with scavenged GPUs for around $400 to 500, almost went that route myself but there are a lot of gotchas in regards to the proprietary components. Everything except the CPU and RAM is proprietary, so if you are looking at keeping it long term or upgrading it you are stuck with the proprietary power supply (not just form factor, it's a weird 12VO pinout), case, and motherboard with all the limitations those entail. The cases have terrible airflow, the heatsink is garbage, and the included RAM is some single rank chip or two on a DIMM bargain bin special Dell got from Samsung.

If you want the most flexibility, it may be worth it to build a system yourself if you have the patience to wait for deals as they come on components. At least that way you can control component quality and have something you can build upon for future expansion. A decent GPU is out of the question for a reasonable price right now, you could stick with intel integrated graphics or AMD ryzen G series with onboard radeon vega for light gaming.

And yes, SSD is a must on any modern system. There is absolutely no reason anybody should be using a slow mechanical hard drive in 2022 for anything other than mass storage. Having an SSD as your boot drive is a night/day difference to any computer, new or old.
"I possess a device, in my pocket, capable of accessing the entirety of information known to man. I use it to look at pictures of cats and get in arguments with strangers"
Deal Expert
Aug 2, 2004
35143 posts
8553 upvotes
East Gwillimbury
If you’re going with the higher end of your budget, you can get a decent custom built machine for 1000$

If you want to stick to the lower end of the budget, then go with something off lease or the Dell XPS that was ravaged for the graphics card. The problem with the Dell is the proprietary case, power supply and motherboard.

How many monitors are you planning on using with this desktop?
Member
Mar 27, 2021
384 posts
466 upvotes
adnanakhtar wrote: i highly recommend buying a laptop with SSD

hook that up tp external monitor and wireless keyboard/mouse.

for basic computer use, this setup has served me very well as its portable and also can be used at home as a desktop environment
+1 This.

I went with Lenovo Yoga and it's super fast with SSD, turns on and ready to go in less than 10 seconds. Power consumption is really low compared to desktop PC so cost savings there!

As for gaming, it's amazing how modern Ryzen/Radeon APU's do. I get solid 30-60fps......but I play games that are 5-15 years old and there's plenty out there.
Long Time RFDer / restarting life
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Nov 1, 2017
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restartRFD wrote: +1 This.

I went with Lenovo Yoga and it's super fast with SSD, turns on and ready to go in less than 10 seconds. Power consumption is really low compared to desktop PC so cost savings there!

As for gaming, it's amazing how modern Ryzen/Radeon APU's do. I get solid 30-60fps......but I play games that are 5-15 years old and there's plenty out there.
Laptops aren't magically more power efficient than desktops (unless we're talking about 11th gen Intel)

You're usually trading CPU performance for that power saving.


OP, get a custom rig or buy something used on Kijiji.
I wouldn't buy anything AMD below the 3000 series or anything older than Intel Haswell.
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Aug 2, 2004
35143 posts
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East Gwillimbury
PerformingAzura wrote: I wouldn't buy anything AMD below the 3000 series or anything older than Intel Haswell.
I hate laptops

Desktop are all I use now. There is no need for a notebook

Ryzen 3000 and above or Skylake and above, I would skip Haswell. No reason to buy any computer than uses DDR3

If you want native Windows 11 support, you will need 8th gen Intel or better and Ryzen 3000 and above
Deal Fanatic
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Dec 6, 2006
5320 posts
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Toronto
I am looking for something similar to OP but could go up a bit more in price.

Prefer something for day to day use, some gaming with a good size SSD and ram. I had my last desktop for about 15 years. Any suggestions appreciated.
Newbie
Mar 1, 2014
38 posts
18 upvotes
Gee wrote: I hate laptops

Desktop are all I use now. There is no need for a notebook
Somehow. I prefer full tower desktops myself and among them, yes I have a Dell XPS (i7 of yore) ...2014. I upgraded it with 16Gb RAM / SSD and a strong power hungry GTX1660 video card to support MS Flight Simulator my dual 27" display... I don't feel the need to buy anything else ... until a power supply is needed somehow (I will just replace the PS). Also have a 2011 Acer i3 based desktop for less demanding apps.... runs A1.
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Aug 2, 2004
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East Gwillimbury
Saintor wrote: Somehow. I prefer full tower desktops myself
I use to prefer full size motherboards (ATX) and I use mid tower cases

But I am getting old and we no longer need expansion slots (other than video and maybe a WiFi card). There is no need to get a full size board, I much prefer ITX boards now. I want to find the smallest possible case so it is easy to move around if necessary.

I also like NUCs and Lenovo Tiny machines, but they are using low powered CPUs and run at half the speed of a desktop processor.
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May 11, 2009
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Debtario
Gee wrote: I use to prefer full size motherboards (ATX) and I use mid tower cases

But I am getting old and we no longer need expansion slots (other than video and maybe a WiFi card). There is no need to get a full size board, I much prefer ITX boards now. I want to find the smallest possible case so it is easy to move around if necessary.

I also like NUCs and Lenovo Tiny machines, but they are using low powered CPUs and run at half the speed of a desktop processor.
Same here. Loved having expansion options, that was when I had 5.25" drives, several 3.5" drives, and onboard WIFI, sound card, etc. were non existent or crap. Now with huge external drives, most expansion available as USB devices, and tiny MVME SSDs I find my full ATX tower is just a box of hot air.
"I possess a device, in my pocket, capable of accessing the entirety of information known to man. I use it to look at pictures of cats and get in arguments with strangers"

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