The Best Desktop Computers for 2020

here at PC Mag we review hundreds of

desktop computers every year evaluating

their features and testing their

performance against peers in their

respective categories these are our

current favorite desktop PCs the Acer


represents the best combination of price

build and performance of any budget

desktop PC we've tested so far in 2020

it doesn't exactly have any standout

features but it crucially avoids any

obvious errors you don't shop in this

price tier for fancy extra features

anyway so we give it top marks for doing

the essentials better than the rest at a

good price some alternatives cost

slightly less but the Aspire outperforms

these as well as more expensive

competitors while still hitting that

sweet spot for price there's virtually

nothing to complain about for the cost

as it's peppy Intel Core i5 CPU 12

gigabytes of RAM and 512 gigabyte SSD

will have you zipping through your daily

home tasks as quickly as it zipped to an

editor's choice in this category while

the 2017 iMac delivered faster

components newer ports and a brighter

display than his 2015 predecessor the

2019 version offers only the first on

that list thanks to the core i9 and

Radeon Pro Vega 48 it's a significant


but at more than $3,000 it's also an

expensive one still competitors like the

surface studio 2 can be even more

expensive and offer less computing

performance at least in the

configurations that we reviewed on a

performance per dollar basis then the

iMac holds its own in a way that Apple

computers frequently haven't done in the


Apple chose to only update the IMAX

processors memory and storage but these

components aren't the only basis on

which to select a computer of course the

iMac is lucky to excel in several other

areas such as head-turning styling a

gorgeous screen and an excellent

software complement but it falls short

with no touch support and little stand

flexibility it's basic design is also 4

years old which isn't it

impersonal tech years these deficiencies

ultimately aren't major enough for us to

withdraw from recommending the 27-inch

iMac as one of the best all-in-one

computers that you can buy for four

years the Apple Mac Mini had been the

last true egalitarian entry-level map

since its last major rework in 2014 it

came in configurations priced as low as

$499 that scaled up from there the 2018

reboot rethinks the Mac minis innards

but also lays a new or it's your price

floor despite the price bump with a move

to eighth generation Core CPUs PCI

Express SSDs and a new roster of

connectivity the Mac Mini remains a

compelling desktop space saver for Mac

OS users looking for a home theater PC a

desktop workstation or a music and video

editing sprinter what tips it into our

editor's choice zone is Apple's deep

included software set which lets you do

a tremendous amount right out of the box

like office work presentations music

dabbling and even movie editing you'll

pay a premium for the trim dimensions

and expandability is all external but

rest assured that the Mac Mini is the

same dynamos ever now with 20 18

trimmings that do justice to a classic

design big even by our standards this

high-end single CPU system offers

configuration choices for almost any

budget and application it's impressive

expansion capabilities include up to 6

storage drives 8 memory slots and 2

professional-grade GPUs as well as up to

an 18 core processor the primary drives

even support hot swapping much like a

servers well equipped for our review

with an 8 core Xeon CPU and an NVIDIA

Quadro RT X 4000 GPU the precision

rocketed through our benchmarks with

just about every feature a workstation

or an IT department could need it's our

top choice for a deluxe single CPU

workstation all-in-one desktop PCs

aren't too common compared to their

traditional tower counterparts but we've

seen plenty of strong entries over the


apple imac set the bar in this category

ages ago while Microsoft's surface

studio too has its own touch screen

advantages HP is bridging the gap

between these two icons with the new env

32 all-in-one it's a premium Windows

machine like the surface studio but like

the Apple iMac it bears no touch screen

and has a chip rather than a mobile

processor for better performance than

most windows all-in-ones

best of all it's much less expensive

than the iMac is and it still offers

features such as a 4k screen resolution

superior graphics and a super sound bar

the env 32 can do everything well even

gaming and it delivers some nice extras

at a pretty reasonable press the HP z2

tower g4 is a fine choice for a mid

tower desktop workstation entry-level it

may be by workstation standards but it's

nearly endless configuration options

allow it to be tailored for almost any

usage it's budget-friendly - thanks to

its availability with intel core class

processors that unlike some xeon chips

don't require ECC memory

it also offers very high end GPU options

like the nvidia quadro r-tx 5000 card in

our review sample which is decidedly

unlike an entry-level workstation that

said the endless configuration options

for this tower can be their own worst

enemy despite being well equipped for

just about everything our test unit

missed some basics like a USB C port and

a flash card reader the z2 tower g4 in

our as-tested guys is powerful quiet

serviceable and for a tricked out

workstation it's relatively affordable a

standard three-year on-site warranty on

even the least expensive configuration

seals the deal and makes this HP our top

pick for a mid tower workstation the

surface studio 2 hasn't changed too much

from the original and that's a big point

in its favor all that applied then

applies now it's an elegant combination

of a drawing display and a fast computer

in one device now faster internal

components pack

more grunt for demanding workloads this

includes a lightning-fast MDOT -

solid-state drive a newer processor and

a potent nvidia geforce gtx 1060 or 1070

graphics card though the biggest thing

we'd change would be to make the

processor beefier for the price after

all the base portion contains the

motherboard and CPU and honestly it

could be thickened to house a more

robust desktop grade chip rather than a

mobile one it's not like the hottest

running parts need to fit in a narrow

thermal envelope behind the screen

anyway in any configuration the surface

studio 2 is no doubt expensive with the

premium down to the unique design and

the ultra fine screen that said if you

genuinely need the touch input and the

pen functionality know that dedicated

pro-grade drawing tablets alone like

those from Wacom can cost thousands of

dollars by themselves as a result if

you're considering the surface studio 2

you ought to need or really want that

hybrid functionality and if you don't

you can easily find more cost-effective

all-in-one desktops out there that said

for artists architects engineers and

creative professionals whose needs

uniquely aligned with this superb

all-in-one there really is no substitute

the Aurora r10 which comes in an AMD

Rison edition variant is a performance

beast as configured thanks largely to

its NVIDIA GeForce RTX 20 atti graphics

card and the brand new AMD Rison 939 50x

processor the latter is virtually

unmatched in CPU heavy tasks like

content creation but while effective

it offers diminishing returns on gaming

we would recommend a less expensive chip

for those who will mostly be gaming on

this desktop an alien wears wide array

of configuration options fortunately has

you covered if you're not set on the

look though competitor is like the main

gear vibe and the velocity Microraptor


offers similar advantages there isn't

much default from a huge range of

component options to a moderate sized

customizable lighting relatively quiet

fans and efficient interior


it's somewhat difficult to compare our

super high-end model to the

configurations that most shoppers will

end up with though and it's no surprise

that ours is this fast at this price

still we like the desktop itself if you

want to make a bit of a statement the

Aurora r10 gives you that conversation

piece and premium feel even if you order

it with more modest components doesn't

quite snag an Editors Choice Award as

there are some great boutique desktops

out there that are beautiful to look at

and can match the Aurora r10 performance

but it does come with our recommendation

if you're drawn to the look Corsairs one

pro eye 200 is the latest in its line of

compact desktop workstations it raises

the CPU ante over the companies one pro

I 180 with a new 14 core 28 thread Intel

Core I 9 processor giving it carte

blanche for even the most extreme tasks

and gaming isn't out of the question

either like other Corsair 1 models the

one pro I 200 impresses with elegant

modern looks minimal operating noise and

an incredibly compact footprint it's not

a by-the-book workstation in the sense

that it lacks a Xeon CPU

professional-grade GPU options and

independent software vendor

certifications for specialized apps

however it is a top quality choice for

creative professionals looking for

something with more power per inch than

anything else the Dell g5 gaming desktop

is a straightforward compact system with

a fast CPU and plenty of power for full

1080p gaming it offers solid value in a

space-saving design looks pretty good

for the price and it's highly

configurable if you're a semi serious

gamer but not a performance hound or

shopping for a desktop for your kids to

play the most popular games with no fuss

this is a great pick especially if you

prefer to stick to one of the major

manufacturers check out the full roundup

of all of our desktop reviews at PC Mag