Some people prefer to have a desktop computer over a laptop for their home office. If you are one of these people, and you are in the market to buy a desktop, here are some of the key things that you should consider.

PC or Mac?

I am going to say this upfront, I do not like Mac. I have always been a PC guy. The main reason is that I like having the capability with my PC to add better parts as new technology comes out. With Mac, you are stuck with what you get.

Going the PC route can be beneficial if you are on a budget and can’t afford top of the line parts out of the gate. You can always buy better parts later down the line. Moreover, technology evolves at such a quick rate, after a few years, your computer can easily have out of date parts. Having the flexibility to update your desktop to get better performance is why PC biased guys like me exist.

However, I have met a lot of people that like Macs. If you are just looking for a computer for the home to use the internet, reply to emails, then I could see why you would want a Mac. However, that doesn’t mean that Macs can’t be used for gaming or other things that require greater processing power. There are plenty that can do it, but they will cost you quite a bit of money. I believe the best option is always a PC.

Prebuilt PC or build your own?

Not everyone is tech savvy when it comes to computers. Those who aren’t typically will look at prebuilt computers. You can get an affordable prebuilt PC that will do the things that you want, but you will need to have some knowledge of computer components to ensure that what you are buying will meet your needs. At that point, you might as well build a computer and get what you want.

That is exactly what I did. And what is nice about building your own computer is that you can buy the pieces over time, spreading out the cost so you don’t take a heavy hit upfront. I have included a list below of the basic parts you will need along with my recommendations based on the computer I recently built:

  • Processor: I am one of those people that believe Intel Processors are superior to AMD.
  • Motherboard: I went with an MSI motherboard and it has severed me well.
  • Memory: I recommend the G. Skill Ripjaws V Series.
  • Graphics Processing Unit: I am running a Nvidia GTX 960. However, there are a lot of other brands that make GPUs. And I built mine for gaming, so you might not need a gaming GPU.
  • Storage: I went with a solid-state drive instead of a hard drive. I did this for better loading time, but you don’t have to go this route.
  • Power Supply: I am using a power supply made by Corsair, a well-known brand in the industry.
  • Case: I wanted a case that came with a few fans to keep my computer cool while running demanding video games. I too went with Corsair again.
  • CD/DVD Drive: I bought a simple CD/DVD drive. I knew I wanted something cheap but also had decent ratings. You can get something that is better quality and has Blu-Ray capability.

I bought all of my parts on Newegg, which allowed me to build my computer over time without having to go into a store. However, if you do not know much, I recommend talking to a family member or a friend that does to help you through the process.

If you do not know anyone that can help you, you can search for a local retailer in your area that specializes in computers and electronic devices, such as Micro Center, so you can go in and talk to a staff member to help you buy all the parts for your new desktop.