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Best Desktop PC 2024: The top 6 home computers you can buy

There is a stunning range and variety of desktop PCs on the market in 2024. A laptop or tablet isn’t right for everything, and a desktop option provides that reliability at home. Here are our top desktop PC picks right now.

Just like laptops, the capabilities of desktop PCs is broad. You can get wonderfully small models made for simple tasks or, still, impressively small models that can handle creative tasks, like Apple’s Mac Mini. Then, there’s desktops made for some serious power, whether you’re after a gaming titan or a something for intensive production work, the likes of the Apple Studio or powerful Windows devices are on hand.

To work out the top desktop PC options around, the Trusted Reviews team of experts have reviewed many of these devices over recent years. Following our thorough reviews, desktop PCs that have been awarded a 4-star Recommended badge from us will then grace this list, helping you to find top models that work for you.

So, how do we decide? Our reviewers spend time using these desktops as their daily drivers and, along with drawing from their regular experience, we use industry-standard tests so we can compare and contrast benchmarking results between different products. In this particular guide, you’ll find both PC and Mac options.

Once you’ve spent time scouring this list, whether you’re a gamer, Mac fan or looking for something else, if you’re still considering a different kind of option, like a laptop, you can check out our other best lists. These include best laptop, best budget laptop, best student laptop and best gaming laptop roundups.

Best Desktop PC at a glance:

How we test

Learn more about how we test desktop PCs

Every desktop PC we review goes through a series of uniform checks designed to gauge key things including build quality, performance and screen quality where applicable.

These include formal synthetic benchmarks and scripted tests, plus a series of real world checks, such as how well it runs the most frequently used apps.

We also make sure to use every desktop PC we review as our primary device for at least a week to ensure our review is as accurate as possible.

iMac (2021, 24-inch)

Best all-in-one PC
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  • Fantastic design
  • Excellent webcam, speakers and microphones
  • Bright and sharp screen


  • No SD card slot
  • Can’t adjust the height

Buying the likes of a keyboard and monitor on top of a new computer can be an expensive outlay, which makes the idea of an all-in-one desktop PC significantly more appealing. The Apple iMac 2021 is the best desktop PC you can buy that fits into this category.

The latest iMac is powered by the M1 chip, which our benchmark tests show to offer fantastic speeds for basic productivity workloads, while also being competent enough to handle more complex tasks such as Photoshop work.

Apple has also given it a lovely redesign for the latest iteration, with vibrant colour options and narrower bezels so your eyes are drawn to the screen. This new iMac isn’t just a product to plonk down on a desk and leave there; it’s designed to be the centrepiece of your modern workspace. We think the 24-inch display is gorgeous too, with an ultra-sharp 4480 × 2520 resolution that provides top-notch detail to images and video.

Apple has also given it a lovely redesign for the latest iteration, with vibrant colour options and narrower bezels so your eyes are drawn to the screen. We think the 24-inch display is gorgeous too, with an ultra-sharp 4480 × 2520 resolution that provides top-notch detail to images and video.

You get both a keyboard and mouse bundled with the iMac, as well as an integrated webcam, ensuring you don’t need to buy any more accessories. The iMac 2021 is such a fantastic desktop PC that we’d even recommend it to those who don’t typically buy Apple products. And if you’d prefer a more portable device, then we recommend checking out the MacBook Air M2 and MacBook Pro.

Reviewer: Max Parker
Full Review: Apple iMac 2021 Review

HP Pavilion AIO 32

Best all-in-one Windows PC
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  • Fast productivity performance
  • Bright 4K display
  • Spacious 1TB storage
  • Stand has built-in wireless charger


  • Poor adjustability options
  • Subpar bundled accessories

The Apple iMac provides a pleasing and standout addition to your home furnishings, but the HP Pavilion AIO 32 provides a strong alternative on the Windows side of things.

Performance is the most eye-catching coup of the Pavilion AIO 32, comfortably topping the iMac. Inside, you get a 13th Gen Intel Core i7, discrete Nvidia RTX graphics, up to 32GB RAM and up to 1TB SSD storage. That’s a lot of horsepower for a relatively compact machine. This device won’t just suit your productivity needs but offers basic gaming and creative capabilities too.

The display is a stunner too, offering a 32-inch 4K resolution. We had a great time watching Netflix and other videos on this machine, with detailed visuals and lush colours. It gets pretty bright to at a strong 442 nits. For creators, the accuracy is solid too.

You’re well rewarded with the Bang & Olufsen speakers as well. HP’s speakers often don this branding and don’t always stand up to the high-end audio moniker, but these absolutely do. The six-speaker system is fantastic, with bags of volume and a pleasing overall sound. You won’t find bags of bass though.

Reviewer: Ryan Jones
Full Review: HP Pavilion AIO 32 Review

Apple Mac Studio (2023)

Best desktop Mac
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  • Very good performance
  • Smart port selecion and positioning
  • Quiet
  • Small size makes it easy to place into exisiting setup


  • Very expensive to upgrade
  • Parts not easily upgradable

If you’re willing to pay up for a premium desktop experience then there is arguably no better option than the Apple Mac Studio (2023). It’s a small, slick machine that can be easily placed into existing setups without demanding too much space. It comes in two variations, with the M2 Max or M2 Ultra chip. 

We reviewed the M2 Ultra version with a 24‑core CPU, 76‑core GPU, 128GB, and 4TB SSD. The performance of the Mac Studio was stellar across the board, beating out the iMac (2020) and Mac Mini (2023) in our Geekbench 5 multi-core tests. It also scored higher than the Razer Blade 16 – a £4500 laptop aimed at creatives and gamers with an Intel Core i9-13950HX – in our PugetBench for Adobe Premiere Pro test, making it a leading option for creative professionals. Moreover, the 2023 version of the Mac Studio opted to support Bluetooth 5.3 and Wi-Fi 6E – fantastic news if your router supports it. 

Depending on the version you opt for, you will be treated to two USB-C ports or Thunderbolt 4 ports on the front of the device. The back of the Mac Studio comes with even more connections, including four Thunderbolt 4 ports, a 10 gigabit Ethernet connector, HDMI, two USB-A ports and a 3.5mm headphone jack. 

As you might expect from an Apple device, the Mac Studio is a pricey machine, especially if you opt for the M2 Ultra variation. However, it is a lot more affordable than the larger Mac Pro (2023) and scored similarly in a lot of our tests.

Overall, if you need your desktop to pack a lot of power, the Mac Studio (2023) is a great option. The M2 Ultra version is expensive but has more than enough grunt for creative professionals and the boxy design means you can easily slot it into your existing set-up without too much hassle. 

Reviewer: Max Parker
Full Review: Apple Mac Studio (2023)

Raspberry Pi 400

Best value desktop PC
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  • Simple all-in-one computer
  • Handles cooling well
  • GPIO port


  • No camera or display interface

The Raspberry Pi 400 may look like a keyboard, but remarkably, it actually has a computer built inside its tiny frame. Simply plug it into a power source and monitor, and you’re good to go.

You can pick it up in two configurations; a base model which is £60 and comes with the computer only, or spend an extra £35, and you get a mouse, power supply, HDMI cable, 16GB microSD card preloaded with Raspbian, and a ‘getting started’ book. Whichever way you cut it, the Pi 400 offers some amazing value for money.

This dinky desktop PC runs on Raspberry Pi OS rather than Windows, but lets you do all the basics such as surfing the web and catching up on your emails. Our testing shows that the Pi 400 isn’t particularly powerful, which is no surprise given it uses an Arm chip and 4GB of RAM. But again, you should be fine as long as you stick to simple workloads. 

The device features ports for Gigabit Ethernet, USB-A, USB-C, HDMI and a microSD card slot, which offers some great connectivity for casual computing and basic workloads. Even in 2024, gigabit ethernet on more of an affordable machine is a lovely port to have. We also found the keyboard to be pretty good, although arguably doesn’t have good enough feedback for typing out large documents on a daily basis. 

The main benefit of the Raspberry Pi 400 is undoubtedly the affordable cost, making it one of the best value all-in-one computers on the market and a great choice for children hoping to learn how to code.

Reviewer: David Ludlow
Full Review: Raspberry Pi 400 Review

Apple Mac Mini (2023)

Best budget desktop Mac
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  • Easily fits into existing setups
  • Powerful, and with plenty of options to make it more powerful
  • Very quiet


  • No SD card slot
  • Higher-end M2 Pro models get close to Mac Studio’s price

If you already have a display, mouse and keyboard but want a speedy Mac that’ll offer excellent performance and longevity, the latest iteration of the Mac Mini is our pick. Available in either a wallet-friendly M2 version (the same chip that powers the MacBook Air) or a faster M2 Pro variant, this is a capable machine whichever option you choose.

We reviewed the faster M2 Pro model and it can easily handle 4K video editing along with running intensive apps. If you require even more power, both in the CPU and GPU, the Mac Studio is the one for you.

The Mac Mini is a simple machine visually. It comes in one silver colourway and all the models offer HDMI, at least 2x Thunderbolt 4 ports, Ethernet and a couple of older USB-A ports. All you need to do is provide the monitor and you’re ready to go.

With the Apple M3 having now been announced, we’d expect a new model of the Mac Mini to be dropping some time over the next year or so. But, for now, this model remains the best budget desktop Mac.

Reviewer: Max Parker
Full Review: Apple Mac Mini Review

Surface Studio 2

Best desktop PC for digital artists
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  • Great display
  • Excellent screen
  • Great to draw on


  • Uses an old CPU

Microsoft’s Surface Studio 2 is a fairly unique desktop PC, allowing you to tilt the screen back and use it like a giant drawing tablet. This makes it a great option for digital artists that require more screen space and power than what a portable tablet will offer.

We found its hinge to offer smooth operation and the Studio 2 to be generally robust in its construction. There is stylus support too in the form of Microsoft’s Surface Pen, which proved pretty accurate, especially thanks to support for 4096 pressure points and 12-gram actuation force, which is enough for pencil sketching and inking.

The screen itself is great too, with our tests showing it to have a high brightness of 500 nits and great contrast. The 4500 x 3000 pixel resolution also ensures on-screen pictures and videos look incredibly sharp with oodles of detail.

But since this desktop PC launched back in 2018, the specs do look outdated compared to the competition, with a 7th Gen Intel Core chip, and Nvidia’s 10-Series GPU. We reckon they’re still decent enough specs for basic video editing and the like, but our testing does show you can now find more powerful machines by spending less money, be it in the form of other desktops or the many excellent laptops we’ve tested.

The Surface Studio 2 is also difficult to find now, with Microsoft no longer selling it via the official website. You may want to hold off on a purchase anyway, with the Surface Studio 2 Plus model confirmed for release in the near future. The new model will have more up to date specs, increasing the performance to a more competitive pace. Keep an eye on Trusted Reviews, as we’re planning to review it in the coming weeks.

Reviewer: Alastair Stevenson
Full Review: Microsoft Surface Studio 2 Review

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How much RAM is enough?

It really depends on what kind of workloads you’ll give your PC. 8GB of RAM is speedy enough for a productivity PC, but you may want 16GB or higher for gaming or content creation.

What should I look for when buying a desktop computer?

The processor is one of the most important specs for any computer, while you’ll want to make sure your PC has a discrete PC (typically from AMD or Nvidia) if you want to play demanding games or engage with intensive content creation. RAM is also important for performance, while the storage space shouldn’t be ignored if you plan on saving lots of files on your PC.

It’s also worth looking out for all-in-one PCs if you want the entire setup in one package. But just be aware it will be more difficult to upgrade components in an all-in-one PC compared to a more conventional PC.

Specs compared

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Why trust our journalism?

Founded in 2003, Trusted Reviews exists to give our readers thorough, unbiased and independent advice on what to buy.

Today, we have millions of users a month from around the world, and assess more than 1,000 products a year.

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Editorial independence means being able to give an unbiased verdict about a product or company, with the avoidance of conflicts of interest. To ensure this is possible, every member of the editorial staff follows a clear code of conduct.

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We also expect our journalists to follow clear ethical standards in their work. Our staff members must strive for honesty and accuracy in everything they do. We follow the IPSO Editors’ code of practice to underpin these standards.

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