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Choosing the Right All-in-One PC for Your Needs

Also referred to as all-in-one desktops, all-in-one (AIO) computers are desktops that have the system components and computer case all integrated into the monitor to form a single unit. They have the advantage of being smaller than the conventional desktop. With this PC, you also won't have to deal with clutter beneath your desk that arises from too many cables. Among the many manufacturers of all-in-one PCs is Dell. The line up for desktops here includes models such as XPS, Inspiron, and Alienware.

How do Intel Core, Celeron and Pentium processors differ?

All-in-one PCs use either mobile or desktop processors. There are basically two manufacturers of these processors, that is, AMD and Intel. AMD's line of processors includes Sempron, Athlon, and Phenom while the Intel line-up comprises Celeron, Pentium, and Core. Intel processors have several advantages over their AMD counterparts.

  • Pentium - Produced in 1993, these processors were popular in the earlier years, facing high competition from AMD devices. They, however, became less powerful when Core processors came about. There are four generations of these processors. They do not include features such as hyperthreading and virtualization found in the latter brands such as Core. Even still, you will find some Dell Inspiron all-in-one desktops with this type of processor.
  • Celeron - This brand started in 1998 after the Pentium. The Celeron chip is based on a Pentium 4 core. It is less powerful than the other two Intel processors due to less cache and lower clock speeds. However, a modern Celeron would do better than an old generation Pentium.
  • Core - This is the highest in the category when it comes to performance. The Intel Core processors hierarchy goes from i3 to i7. Advanced processors in this category have multiple cores, more threads, higher cache, and faster speeds.

What key things should I look out for in all-in-one desktops?

  • Display - Consider the display technology, size, and graphics resolution. In terms of the display technology, an all-in-one computer having an in-plane switch (IPS) or plane-line switching (PLS) based LCD screen is better than that utilizing twisted nematic (TN) technology. Be sure to choose one with a full HD for quality images. Some all-in-one PCs have as high as 4K HD resolutions. When it comes to screen size, the bigger, the better since you will not need to carry the PC around. The sizes range from around 23 inches to 27 inches.
  • Storage - All-in-one desktops will usually use mobile hard drives instead of solid-state drives for the primary storage. In this case, you will find them with storage capacities as high as 8 TB. However, some few PCs will have SSD for faster performance.
  • Memory - One of the most important things you want to think about before buying any computer is the memory. This will determine the overall performance of the device. Look for a PC with at least 6 GB to 8 GB for average performance. You can add the memory whenever you need as most all-in-one PCs offer a straightforward memory expansion.
  • Connectivity - This includes the network connection such as Wi-Fi. Most AIO PCs will come with the Wi-Fi adapter integrated. If not, you can always get a USB adapter. Confirm that the desktop supports Bluetooth.
  • Keyboard - Some PCs will have the keyboard and mouse as the only separate units. Some will have the touchscreen feature. Whatever you choose will depend on what is comfortable for you when it comes to operating the desktop.
  • Power Supply - Determine how you are going to power the computer. Voltage, amperage, and wattage requirements are important in this case.