The best desktop computers for 2022: Dell, HP, Apple, and more
MezoSoftDotNetDecember 11, 20220
If you're looking for the best desktop PC, we recommend theDell XPS Desktop 8950. It's the best Dell desktop you can buy, sure, but its powerful Intel processor and optional discrete Nvidia or AMD graphics make it a perfect home computer no matter if you're gaming or getting some simple office tasks done.
Dell isn't the only desktop brand, though, and there are several other great options from HP, Apple, and even less-known brands like Falcon Northwest. We've included picks below for heavier tasks like gaming or video editing, as well as some mini-PC andall-in-oneoptions, which are ideal for those with limited space. If you want to save some money, you can also take a look at some of thebest desktop dealswe've found.
Why you should buy this:The XPS 8950 is a highly-customizable desktop PC with some impressive performance potential.
Who it’s for: Families, students, budget-conscious buyers.
What we thought of the Dell XPS 8950:
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 $900 to over $3,000 depending on the parts you choose. Some of the desktops come without adiscrete 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 thebest gaming PC. You can add in 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.
Why you should buy this: The Omen 45L is easier to upgrade than most DIY PCs, and it comes with flagship hardware.
Who it’s for:PC gamers who don't want to build their own system.
What we thought of the HP Omen 45L:
The HP Omen 45L takes what made theOmen 30Lso special and expands on it. Just like its smaller sibling, the Omen 45L comes with a tool-less case design that allows you to upgrade any of the components inside. HP likes this design so much, in fact, that it now sells the Omen 45L case on its own.
Part of the reason why is the innovative Cryo Chamber design. Theall-in-one liquid cooleris separated from the main chamber, allowing it clear access to air on both sides. This leads to much lower temperatures in the Omen 45L, as well as less fan noise.
Prices start at $1,800 for an AMD Ryzen 7 5800X and Nvidia RTX 3060, but you can scale much higher. At the top end, you can spend as much as $4,000 or more with an Intel Core i9-12900K and Nvidia RTX 3090. The great thing is that HP offers the Omen 45L with an AMD or Nvidia graphics card, as well as an AMD or Intel processor.
For the latest Intel chips, the Omen 45L doesn't support next-gen DDR5 memory, but it doesn't make a big difference. If you want thebest gaming desktopwithout the fuss, the HP Omen 45L can deliver.
Why you should buy this: Apple's 24-inch iMac is a powerful all-in-one desktop computer that makes for a stunning and compact addition to any office.
Who it’s for:Professionals and home users looking for compact, beautiful, and powerful all-in-one computers.
What we thought of the Apple iMac M1 (24-inch):
Apple is more of a laptop than a desktop brand, but the iMac is an exception. It's a balanced computer that has power where it counts and looks that are unmatched.
When it comes to Apple, a portion of the charm lies in the aesthetic. The 24-inch iMac is no exception. Coming in up to seven colors — blue, green, pink, white, yellow, orange, and purple — the iMac offers the ability to choose a look that fits you. It's also shockingly thin, measuring at a mere 11.5mm, making it thinner than any other all-in-one desktop on the market.
The 24-inch (or 23.5-inch, to be precise) version of the iMac is not just a pretty package with little to back it up. Equipped with Apple's signature breathtaking 4.5K Retina display, this is a powerhouse for both professionals and home users who value display quality. Prices start at $1,299 for the base model with Apple's M1 chip — an 8-core processor that is also found in theMacbook Air— but you can spend up to $2,499 if you want extra RAM and storage.
Outside of raw power, the iMac M1 is a great desktop because it's easy to use. Setup is seamless thanks to the no-nonsense macOS operating system, and you don't need to worry about finding a space for a hefty desktop. It's a fantastic option for everyday use, but the M1 chip still provides enough power to run creative apps like Logic and Final Cut without breaking a sweat.
We're still waiting on the iMac to get the M1 Pro and M1 Max chips inside thenew MacBook Pro, but with theM2 MacBook Airalready making the rounds, we may not see a new iMac until the M2 version is out.
Why you should buy this:It's a solid budget gaming PC in a time when options are few and far between.
Who it’s for:Students and entry-level gamers
What we thought of the HP Pavilion Gaming Desktop:
Dell discontinued our previous pick for this slot —the G5 Gaming Desktop— and there aren't a lot of gaming PCs for around $1,000 right now. The only exception is the HP Pavilion Gaming Desktop. Although not as powerful as a machine with top specs, this Pavilion machine has power where it counts — and it's as cheap as $700.
Unlike similar machines, this desktop PC comes with an AMD Ryzen APU regardless of your configuration. The base model starts with an AMD Ryzen 3 5300G and AMD RX 5500. If you can extend your budget, you can pick up the Pavilion Gaming Desktop with an Nvidia GeForce GTX 1660 Super or AMD Radeon RX 5500. You're also getting an operating system right from the get-go, saving some extra bucks.
It's a fantastic option for students and1080p gamersthat don't want to go broke buying a PC — especially with how graphics card prices are right now. Most competing machines are less powerful and cost more, and some lack a discrete graphics card altogether. The HP Pavilion Gaming PC doesn't make a lot of compromises considering its price, and that's tough to find these days.
Why you should buy this:Tiny but mighty, the Mac Mini M1 is a great full desktop replacement.
Who it’s for:Budget- and space-restricted Apple fans.
What we thought of the Apple Mac Mini M1:
With a $699 starting price, Apple's Mac Mini PC got a big refresh with a major brain transplant to give it even more power in a compact package. It featuresApple's M1 chip, which is probably the best feature. It's the same chip inside new iMacs andMacbook Pros, offering you the same power as other Mac computers — just in a smaller package.
Size is the obvious standout feature of the Mac Mini. True to its name, it's a square that measures 7.7 inches long and wide, and only 1.4 inches tall. It only weighs 2.6 pounds, too, so you can easily throw it in a backpack if you want some serious computing power on the go. It easily beats thebest mini PCyou can buy in the balance of size and performance.
The combination of power and size is why the Mac Mini M1is the best PC for your home office. It might be small, but the M1 processor at the heart of the machine transforms the machine into a quality desktop computer capable of going up against high-end PCs that cost twice as much (or more).
If you need more power,Apple's new Mac Studiois basically a supercharged Mac Mini. It comes with the much more powerful M1 Ultra processor, making it ideal for creative pros.
Although the Mac Mini M1 is still a great option, rumors suggest we'll see a fasterM2 Mac Minilater in 2022. It may be worth waiting to see what comes later this year, if for nothing else than to score thebest Mac Mini deal.
Why you should buy this:It's a massively powerful all-in-one that allows for upgrades in the future.
Who it’s for:Remote workers who need a powerful PC without the extra clutter.
What we thought of the HP Envy 34 All-in-One:
The HP Envy 34 All-in-One packs flagship hardware behind a screen. If you're looking for a Windows iMac alternative, the HP Envy 34 is your best option. It features a beautiful 34-inch ultrawide display, which you can open toolless-ly in the back to upgrade memory and storage.
For specs, you can pack up to an eight-core Intel Core i9-11900 processor behind the screen, along with up to an Nvidia RTX 3080 discrete GPU. The Envy 34 is a great day-to-day machine, but it has enough power for creative pros and even gamers.
Outside of raw power, the Envy 34 has a slew of quality-of-life features. It includes a detachable webcam, which you can position at five different points around the screen, and the stand supports wireless charging for your phone. The ports are built directly into the stand, too, offering quick access to everything you need.
All-in-one PCs are a dime a dozen, but the HP Envy 34 manages to stand out. If you want to keep your desk clean while still having a powerful PC, the Envy 34 is for you.
Why you should buy this:Powered by a powerhouse of a processor, this is a workstation capable of tackling most tasks you'll want to throw at it.
Who it’s for:Creatives, scientists, machine-learning enthusiasts, and other notorious multitaskers who need a powerful workstation.
What we thought of the Lenovo ThinkStation P620:
The Lenovo ThinkStation P620 is a workstation in every sense of the word. This is a desktop designed to perform the most resource-heavy tasks out there. Created specifically for engineering, data science, machine learning, 3D modeling, video editing, and more, the ThinkStation is the kind of PC that will find uses across many fields, aiding professionals in their daily tasks.
Lenovo offers different configurations, but all of them have one feature in common -- the absolutebest processorsAMD has to offer. At the heart of every system is one of the latest AMD Ryzen Threadripper Pro chips, from the 12-core Threadripper 3945WX to the obscenely powerful 64-core Threadripper 3995WX.
The processor alone is enough to make the ThinkStation P620 worth considering, but there's more. This workstation comes with one of Nvidia's Quadro series cards. These cards were designed specifically to support computer-aided design (CAD), digital content creation, machine learning, and other challenging tasks. If you need access to high-power computing, you should buy the ThinkStation P620.
While the Lenovo ThinkStation P620 only comes with an SSD (up to 2TB) and no additional storage, you can customize it to add an extra drive. You can also increase the amount of RAM up to 64GB, upping the price, but also the performance.
Why you should buy this:It's one of the smallest gaming PCs you can buy, and it still manages flagship performance without thermal or noise issues.
Who it’s for:Gamers and creative professionals that don't mind paying extra for longevity.
What we thought of the Falcon Northwest Tiki:
Falcon Northwest is one of the few true boutique PC builders left, and the Tiki explains why. It's one of the smallest gaming PCs you can buy, and it still manages to pack in flagship hardware. More importantly, the Tiki does both without sacrificing heat or thermals, which is the biggest pitfall for small form factor machines.
It's expensive, but Falcon Northwest's attention to detail still manages to stand out. From premium component selection to a detailed dossier of every aspect of your build, the Tiki goes beyond being just a shell for high-end components.
Falcon Northwest offers the machine with AMD or Intel configurations, paired with up to an RTX 3090 GPU. Although the Tiki is clearly a gaming PC first, Falcon Northwest also offers it with Nvidia's professional GPUs.
Why you should buy this:It's a super tiny PC that packs much more power than its size would suggest.
Who it’s for:Professionals who want the form factor of a Mac Mini for Windows.
What we thought of the HP Z2 G9:
HP's Z2 G9 is a remarkable mini PC that punches way above what its size would suggest. It's only 2.7 inches thick and about 8.5 inches long and wide. Despite that, it can pack the most powerful processor Intel offers today and a professional Nvidia RTX graphics card.
You can configure up to a Core i9-12900K in the machine, and it's not a mobile part. You're getting the full, fat 16 cores available to the desktop CPU. Combine that with up to an Nvidia RTX A2000 GPU, 64GB of DDR5, and 8TB of total storage, and you have one of the most powerful home desktops you can buy right now. And you can fit it in a backpack.
It comes at a price, though. Although the Z2 G9 is an excellent machine with some of the most powerful you can buy today, you can spend several thousand dollars depending on your configuration. That said, if you're a pro, or just need a high-end desktop with a small footprint, the HP Z2 G9 is an excellent choice.