Best Desktop Computer for 2023

These are TechBitBlitz editors’ top picks for best desktop computers (both Macs and Windows PCs), plus advice on what you should look for in your next desktop.

What is the best desktop computer overall?

If you're looking for the top all-in-one desktop for most ordinary blokes and birds, Apple's new M3-powered iMac takes the biscuit. It's an all-singing, all-dancing beauty with a cracking 24-inch high-resolution display built right in, powered by Apple's spanking new M3 processor. This little beastie is a real pearler, churning through anything you throw at it with ease. And if you're after a bit more elbow room than your laptop offers, the 24-inch iMac gives you plenty of space to work and play. Yet, this little marvel is surprisingly nippy to move around the flat, thanks to its compact design and snazzy magnetic power cable. Oh, and did I mention it comes in seven jolly colours, with matching accessories to boot? Blimey, Apple really knows how to tickle the fancy!

Other Desktops for Different Strokes

Now, if you're not fussed on the all-in-one lark and fancy a traditional tower or a smaller machine, I haven't forgotten you. We've got cracking recommendations for those too, whether you're a Windows whizz or a ChromeOS champion.

Hands-on and Tested Recommendations

While laptops tend to hog the limelight here at TechBitBlitz, desktops still strut their stuff in the CNET Labs from time to time. We base a fair few of our current recommendations on tried-and-tested versions we've reviewed in the past. We also dish out general PC configuration advice, even if we haven't specifically tested that exact setup. Trust me, our experience with similar computers means we know what's what. These guidelines should be a right handy guide if you're after the best bang for your buck when building your own custom PC. And of course, we'll keep this "best desktop computer" list spick and span with regular updates.

How We Test Desktops

We evaluate desktops in two steps – a bit like a cracking two-course meal. First up, they get a good grilling in the TechBitBlitz Labs under controlled conditions. We throw all sorts of tests at them, like Geekbench, Cinebench R23, PCMark 10, and 3DMark, to see how their muscles hold up. And if it's a gaming rig, we'll give it a workout with Guardians of the Galaxy, The Rift Breaker, and Shadow of the Tomb Raider.

The second course is all about hands-on experience. Our reviewers use the desktop like they would their own, giving it a thorough test drive. They judge how everything fits together, from the design and features (screen, camera, speakers) to the manufacturer's software. We also consider the price point, looking for where corners might have been cut or upgrades made.

Of course, just like our tastes change, so do the tools we use for testing. As new kit emerges, we update our list of benchmarks and comparison points. If you're curious about the full menu, you can find all the gory details on our "How We Test Computers" page.

So, there you have it – the TechBitBlitz way of putting desktops through their paces! Now, where did I put that cup of tea?

Factors to consider when buying a desktop computer

Right then, mates, let's chinwag about picking the best desktop for your needs. Whether you're a spreadsheet soldier or a graphics guru, there's a PC out there waiting to be your trusty tech sidekick. Buckle up and let's navigate the maze of specs and jargon!

Price: What's Your Budget, Bruv?

For most everyday tasks, you can snag a decent tower PC from Acer, Asus, Dell, or HP for around £400-£500. These bad boys will chug along happily for years, handling web browsing, emails, and even a dab of light gaming. Here's what we recommend for a basic Windows 11 rig:

  • Processor (CPU): Intel Core i5 (12th or 13th gen) or AMD Ryzen 5 (5000, 6000, or 7000 series)
  • Graphics: Integrated graphics like Intel UHD or Iris, or baseline AMD Radeon (unless you're a gaming fiend)
  • RAM: 16GB or more – keeps things zippy!
  • Storage: 512GB or bigger NVMe SSD drive – snappy and spacious
  • Ports: Plenty of USB 3.1 or 3.2, including USB-C and USB-A (one or two on the front for easy access)
  • Wireless: Wi-Fi and Bluetooth – ditch the wires, embrace the freedom!
  • Expansion Slot: At least one PCI-E (x16) slot for future upgrades, like a beefier graphics card

Fancy yourself a gamer or a photo/video editing whizz? You'll need to level up the specs and expect to pay between £650-£950 (or even more if you want a bleeding-edge graphics card). Think:

  • Graphics card (GPU): Nvidia RTX or AMD Radeon RX – unleash the graphics beast!
  • RAM: 16GB or more – multitasking like a boss
  • Power supply: 450 watts (or more) – feed the power hog!

Operating System: Windows vs. Mac (and the Odd Chromebox)

Microsoft Windows and Apple's macOS are the main contenders, both doing similar things but in different ways. Unless you need a specific app that only runs on one, go with the one you feel most comfortable with. Most desktops run Windows, while Apple's iMac, Mac Mini, Mac Studio, and Mac Pro use macOS. There's also the odd Chromebox running Google's ChromeOS, which is cheap and easy to use but can't run Windows or Mac software.

Processor: The Brains of the Operation

The CPU is the brainy bit that runs the show. Intel and AMD are the big names in Windows desktops, offering a dizzying array of processors. Head to their websites to pick one that suits your needs. Intel's current lineup is the 13th-gen Core chips, with 14th-gen on the horizon. AMD's latest chip is the Ryzen 7000 series. Generally, the faster the clock speed and the more cores, the better the performance. Macs take a simpler approach, with the Mac Mini sporting an M2 or M2 Pro chip and the new iMac rocking the M3. The Mac Studio gets fancy with either an M2 Max or M2 Ultra, and the Mac Pro is the ultimate powerhouse with the M2 Ultra. Again, more cores often mean better performance.

Graphics: Rendering Reality, One Pixel at a Time

The GPU handles all the visual wizardry, displaying what you see and speeding up graphics-heavy tasks (and even AI stuff these days). Macs have the GPU integrated with the M2 and M3 processors. For Windows desktops, there are two types: integrated (iGPU) and discrete (dGPU). iGPUs are built into the CPU, while dGPUs are separate chips with dedicated memory (VRAM) for extra oomph.

iGPUs are great for smaller PCs like all-in-ones and SFF rigs but aren't as powerful as dGPUs. Some games and creative software won't even run without a dGPU or enough VRAM. But for everyday tasks like browsing, streaming, and basic productivity stuff, an iGPU will do just fine. If you're a video editor, gamer, streamer, designer, or anything else that demands graphics muscle, you'll need a dGPU. Nvidia and AMD are the main players, with Intel offering some Xe-branded iGPU options.

Memory: Keeping Things Ticking Over

For keeping your mind (the computer's, that is) working tip-top, we recommend at least 16GB of RAM. That's where it stores all the open tabs, spreadsheets, and games you're juggling at once. If it only has 8GB, things can get sluggish, like trying to do the washing-up with one hand behind your back. Imagine having to swap plates back and forth between the sink and a muddy puddle – that's what happens when the RAM fills up and starts using the slower storage drive.

Tower PCs usually have extra slots for adding more RAM like topping up your toolbox, but all-in-ones and those smaller fellas might not. And even if they do, reaching those slots can be like trying to untangle Christmas lights after a sherry-fuelled party.


You might find budget PCs clinging to clunky hard drives like last year's Christmas cake, but fancy ones and gamers have mostly gone solid-state (SSD) now. They're like switching from a clapped-out banger to a sprightly little sports car – much faster! Cheaper ones can still be a bit sluggish, like that old banger trying to climb a hill, especially if you only have 8GB of RAM and it starts swapping data back and forth.

Get the biggest one you can afford, but 512GB should be enough for most folks. If you're a film buff or a gamer storing epic libraries, aim for 1TB or more. Tower PCs usually have room for adding another drive internally, like building an extension onto your garage. All-in-ones and those smaller ones might need an external drive or that fancy cloud storage to keep everything tidy.


All-in-ones are neat space-savers, with the screen and all the bits and bobs tucked behind it. But you give up some upgrade options for that convenience. As for the screen itself, aim for a big one with a decent resolution. Think of it like getting a huge telly for the telly room – the bigger and sharper, the better! Here's a rough guide:

  • 24 inches with 1,920x1,080 pixels (that's 2K, or 1080p)
  • 27 inches with 2,560x1,440 pixels (1440p)
  • 32 inches with 3,840x2,160 pixels (the granddaddy, 4K)

Best desktop computers of 2023


January: Bargain Basement Bounty and Techy Tidbits First up, January. Not only can you bag yourself a steal after the festive frenzy fizzles out, but CES, the big tech shindig, usually happens around this time. Manufacturers love to show off their shiny new gear with flashy new components, but don't get too trigger-happy. These whizz-bang models take until spring to grace the shelves, giving you time to save your pennies and ponder. Come spring, you'll not only find these latest bells and whistles, like swanky Intel and AMD CPUs and Nvidia and AMD GPUs, but you can also snap up discounts on the previous generation models. They're not exactly antiques, mind you, just gently nudged aside by the new kids on the block. July: Back-to-School Bonanza Next stop, July! Retailers get back-to-school fever, which translates to tasty desktop deals all through August and even into September. Perfect timing if you're after a student-friendly rig or just fancy a good ol' bargain. The Ever-Open Sales Bazaar Now, don't think you have to wait for these special occasions to nab a bargain. Big names like Dell, HP, and Lenovo have sales spinning in their websites like the wheels on a double-decker bus. And online giants like Amazon, Best Buy, and Newegg? They've got weekly discounts that'll make your wallet sing. Just keep your eyes peeled and you'll never be stuck paying full whack.
Remember those tiny terrors like the Mac Mini and Acer Revo One? They were all the rage back in the day. But much like flared trousers and dodgy haircuts, their popularity seems to have faded. These days, your best bet for a mini marvel is probably the Intel NUC. Think of it as a DIY desktop in miniature – you add your own storage, RAM, and even the operating system. Sure, it's a bit more fiddly than a plug-and-play job, but for hobbyists who like to tinker, it's a cracking little option. So, there you have it! Your handy guide to finding the perfect desktop deal, no matter which month the calendar throws your way. Now, off you go and bag yourself a bargain!
If your computing life leans towards web browsing, email, social media, and a fair dollop of YouTube, then Google's ChromeOS might be your cup of tea. It's essentially the Chrome web browser in a box, making it a doddle for everyone in the household to use (just a Gmail address is needed to log in). And because there's no hefty operating system chugging away in the background, viruses are as rare as a decent pint in an American bar. These mini marvels, known as "Chromeboxes" (not to be confused with their laptop cousins "Chromebooks"), don't need the muscle of a prizewinning athlete in terms of processors, memory, or storage. But if you need anything beyond what your browser can handle, or if your internet is about as speedy as a snail with gout, then Windows or Mac are your better bet. Before you splash any cash, give ChromeOS Flex a go. It's a free version you can install on most old PCs, even running it from a USB drive. If that's not an option and you're after something new, expect to pay between £200 and £500 for a Chrome-powered desktop. However, the closer you get to that £500 mark, the more tempting it becomes to level up to a Chromebook laptop or a basic Windows tower (see above) for just a bit more. So, there you have it. ChromeOS: the perfect pick for those who keep their computer use strictly on the light and breezy side. Easy to use, secure, and kind on the wallet, it's the ideal companion for a bit of web-based fun. But if you need to flex your digital muscles for anything more demanding, you might want to explore other options.
Don't get bamboozled, mate, Windows, Mac and ChromeOS aren't the only operating systems out there. Linux offers a whole whack of alternatives, many of them as free as a cuppa in the park. You can get PCs with Linux already installed, but if you're savvy (and don't mind a bit of tinkering), installing it yourself (or alongside Windows) on a second-hand machine is probably the more affordable option. Check out Newegg for a cracking selection of Linux-ready PCs.
Ever heard of a computer smaller than a paperback and cheaper than a pint? Yep, that's the Raspberry Pi, mate, and it's not some bloke's pipe dream, it's the real deal! Perfect for tech tinkererers like yourself, it's like a Lego set for building your own computer and putting whatever custom Linux flavour you fancy on it. Just don't expect it to replace your trusty laptop for everyday tasks, mind you. See what Amazon has to offer in Raspberry Pi 4 kits, they're a right giggle!
For most folks, 16GB of RAM and 512GB of solid-state storage is the bare minimum. If you're a creative type or a die-hard gamer, doubling that to 32GB RAM and 1TB SSD would be a wise move. The extra RAM gives graphics-hungry apps and 3D games a bit more oomph, and the extra storage space lets you hoard all your photos, videos, and game files without worrying about running out of room. Now, bigger desktops usually have space for you to add more memory and storage later, but with small-form-factor PCs and all-in-ones, you're usually stuck with what you get, so choose wisely!