The best PCs pack more power now than ever before. They’ve evolved to the point of packing eight-core processors and super high-end graphics cards, some of which offer real time ray tracing – things that were not possible only a few years back. Staying on the cutting edge means getting one of the best PCs included on this list, even if most of what you’ll do is browse Facebook and surf the internet.
The good news is, the best PCs available right now are also more affordable than ever, which means that regardless of what your budget might be, you'll find one that's not ideal for you and your needs, but can also keep you on the cutting edge. You can pick up a solid PC or even an all-in-one desktop for around $500 (about £390, AU$715), for example.
In addition, many of the best PCs will last you a lifetime as they are upgradeable. It’s easy to keep them up to date by fitting in new and improved PC components, like fast SSDs, more RAM and possibly even the best graphics card.
With so many options to choose from, deciding on the best PC for you, your needs and your budget can get confusing. So we gathered all the best computers on the market, paying close attention to those that hit that sweet spot between price and performance.
Here are our top picks for the best PCs on offer. Peruse the list and pick out what you like.
The Dell XPS Tower looks unremarkable, like that PC your parents used to have hidden away underneath the desk when you were a kid. However, its no-nonsense chassis hides quite a selection of exciting internals. One of the best PCs right now, the Dell XPS Tower is packed with up to an RTX 2070 graphics card, a 9th-generation Intel Core processor, and a large hard drive and/or SSD. This special edition PC configuration is only available in the US. However, UK and Australian readers can grab the regular Dell XPS Tower and then add similar upgrades, though there are some limitations such as the graphics card options topping out with the GTX 1060.
The Surface Studio 2 isn’t going to compare well against most PCs, but that’s only because it was never designed to compete with them in the first place. This device is meant for the digital artist or other visually-focused content creators, and even with aging parts, it’s still the most robust digital drafting table on the market. It boasts a bright, vibrant display, and improved specs next to its predecessor. If you’re a digital artist or a content creator who’s visually-focused, this is the best computer for you.
If you want an excellent desktop experience, but don’t have a lot of desk space, then Intel Hades Canyon NUC may just be ideal for you. This small bare-bones PC has an absurdly fast 8th-generation Intel Core i7 processor and discrete-class AMD Radeon graphics. Adding some RAM and storage to the mix, and you will be conquering the best PC games without breaking a sweat. It won’t compete against a full-sized desktop, but when you’re short on space – or you want a PC that looks like a set-top box – this is one of the best PCs to consider.
While costing a pretty penny when souped up, the Alienware Aurora R8 has all the makings of a powerful gaming PC, including 9th-generation Intel Core chips and some of the best Nvidia GTX and RTX graphics for gaming. This model has been succeeded by the Alienware Aurora R9, which boasts a cool-looking exterior, but their specs are practically comparable. Only, the R8 will set you back a couple of hundred dollars/pounds less, giving you more for your money. Get ready to be impressed by this PCs’ 1440p gaming performance.
If that cool, slimline design and that Corsair One name aren’t enough to convince you to upgrade to this latest offering, then the Corsair One Pro i180’s breathtaking performance should. This is among the most powerful desktop computers we’ve ever had the pleasure of testing, albeit the most expensive as well – so get a hammer and break that piggy bank. This will more than handle your favorite AAA games, as well as see you through your creative workload quietly and without breaking a sweat. And, it’s reasonably upgradeable as well, making it future-proof.
It’s easy to think of Apple computers as overpriced, but your bank account will be spared if you jump on the Mac mini bandwagon. The Mac mini 2018 is a small form-factor PC that looks adorable and also packed tight with high-end desktop parts. And, that’s all for a much more accessible price than any other Mac on the market, making it a great buy for anyone who already has a slew of Mac-ready peripherals or for a Mac fan who doesn’t have the budget for a Mac Pro. What’s more, unlike many of Apple’s recent products, the Mac mini is relatively upgradeable – you can boost your memory up to 64GB of RAM.
Some people have issues with desktop PCs, as they’re often rather bulky. The Intel Core Compute Stick has made that irrelevant. Looking more like a thumb drive than an actual computer, this tiny renegade can connect to any monitor with an HDMI input. Its base starts with a lowly 1.33GHz Intel Atom processor running Linux, but can be configured up to an Intel Core m5 processor. This is one of the best PCs, but one that you can literally slip in your pocket, whether you need to get some work done during your daily commute or squeeze in some PC time while you’re traveling.
Bill Thomas and Gabe Carey have also contributed to this article
Image Credits: TechRadar