A desktop is the best computer for small business owners who need to balance performance and price. Desktops deliver excellent performance per dollar compared with other PCs. They can serve every need, from straightforward computing to high-performance applications. A wide range of form factors, including towers, All-in-ones (AIO), and mini PCs, let you choose desktops that fit your business perfectly.
Small Business Desktops
Desktops have been the brawn of small business computing for decades—and for good reason. Today, they remain the preferred machine for processor-intensive applications. But what is the best desktop for a small business? It all depends on your unique needs.
Architects, engineers, analysts, and video editors are all examples of workers who need desktops that can perform a multitude of activities, often all at once. Workstations are the go-to tools they need to:
- Perform big data analytics
- Conduct economic or financial analysis
- Create and edit video and audio
- Draft technical or engineering documents
- Develop and program applications
But desktops are also ideal for call center and help center representatives, retail workers, and other employees who need to handle less compute‒intensive tasks throughout the day. These employees often share desktops where they help customers, place point of sale transactions and orders, view and create documents and spreadsheets, and manage stored files. In other words, desktops are one of the most versatile small business PCs you can purchase to support any use case.
Most small businesses replace desktops only when the business need becomes clear: the device fails, the company grows, or Microsoft ends support and security updates for the Windows operating system. That last situation became a reality in January 2020. Pairing migration to Windows* 10 with a new desktop is a cost-effective and efficient way to upgrade.
And if your employees are clamoring for higher performance for more demanding applications, it’s time to upgrade. Desktop performance-to-price ratios continue to improve.
Desktop computers deliver the unprecedented performance and responsiveness vital in today’s fast-paced world.
Benefits of Desktop PCs
When you select a new business desktop, you’ll enjoy several key benefits.
- Physical security. Small businesses depend on desktops for their most sensitive data. Since desktops can be physically secured, they can help make company data more secure.
- Performance. Desktops can pack in a great deal of compute performance, especially if they’re powered by the latest Intel® Core™ processors. You can configure a desktop to meet the needs of power users, creators, or anyone with exact needs. Desktop devices that feature a 10th Gen Intel® Core™ i5 series processor can give you up to 48% faster photo editing1 and 2.2x faster 4k video editing than a five-year-old PC.2
- Cost. Desktops deliver great performance per dollar and typically cost less than other form factors, such as laptops. They also have low life-cycle costs. You can also readily repair or upgrade desktops.
- Familiarity. Some businesses or government organizations choose desktops simply because employees have used them before. A familiar device can make employees much more comfortable.
Business Desktop PC Buying Tips
The desktop components most critical to performance are the processor (CPU), memory (RAM), and storage. But you’ll also want to consider the operating system, especially if you haven’t yet migrated to Windows* 10. Some businesses may want to consider the graphics and display for visual applications as well.
1. Pick the right processor (CPU)
To give employees the performance they want, start with a powerful processor. The CPU gives the desktop its brainpower. The processor core receives instructions and performs calculations. Not surprisingly, the more cores a processor has, the faster it can get your work done.
Most PC manufacturers offer a range of desktops with the latest Intel® Core™ i3, i5, and i7 processors, which help ensure they’ll meet even stringent technical requirements. The best processor also makes the most of the memory (RAM) to stretch performance that much more.
2. Buy ample memory (RAM)
RAM is a desktop’s short-term, working memory. This is where the data for the task you’re currently working on gets stored. With more RAM, you can run more programs at once with faster response.
If you’ve selected the right processor, you may already be satisfied with your desktop’s performance. But you can make it even better, especially for heavy workloads, by choosing more RAM.
This will help improve the speed with which employees create, work with, and save files. Employees will also be able to work quickly and effectively across multiple apps.
3. Max out desktop storage
You can never have too much storage on a desktop. Storage is where your permanent data, operating system, and software applications reside. When it comes to performance, it’s no place to skimp. But storage speed can make as big a difference as storage size.
You can choose either a hard disk drive (HDD) or Intel® Solid State Drive or Intel® SSD for storage. The HDD will cost less, but works using mechanical parts that impact the speed of your computer when it accesses data. Intel® SSDs are smaller, lighter, faster—and more expensive.
4. Upgrade the operating system
If you’re still running your desktops on Windows* 7, you’re missing a chance to improve performance and security. Since Microsoft ended support for Windows* 7 in early 2020, you can no longer receive patches and security updates, and the performance and functionality of programs are likely to decline. Still, you should wait until you upgrade your desktops to install Windows* 10. Running the new operating system on older PCs may not give you the full benefits.
A new Windows PC with the latest Intel® Core™ processor helps employees be more productive and creative. Employees will be able to open and use Windows apps quickly and have greater peace of mind thanks to built-in security features and automatic updates. Desktop devices that feature a 10th Gen Intel® Core™ i5 series processor can give you up to 56% better Windows application performance than a four-year-old PC.3
5. Optimize graphics and display
The way your PC handles graphics can affect user experiences, especially when it comes to photo, video, and image editing. This role falls to the graphics processing unit (GPU). Many desktops use a discrete graphics card, which will give graphic and web designers, video editors, engineers, and architects the performance they need for high-end visual applications.
Small Business Desktop Form Factors
Small business desktops come in a variety of form factors, letting you choose the ones that fit your business and office space best. You’re probably already familiar with the large towers popular with businesses and the smaller towers that have become increasingly dominant. All-in-ones offer go-to performance in sleek and stylish designs, while mini PCs such as the Intel® NUC make the most of small spaces. Here’s a closer look at two popular form factors.
Small Business All-in-Ones (AIO)
All-in-ones combine a computer and full-size screen in one powerful, streamlined, and stylish device with a space-saving footprint. Upgrading to an AIO with the latest Intel® Core™ processor gives office-based employees efficiency-enhancing features and tools.
AIOs are also ideal for fixed-site, multiuser situations, like kiosks, point of sale (POS) systems, and huddle rooms. Employees enjoy instant startups and benefit from broad hardware and software compatibility to run popular apps. When you couple a new AIO with Windows* 10 performance, productivity can soar.
Small Business Towers
Towers offer the greatest flexibility of all form factors, with the bonus that almost every employee is familiar with them. A generous number of slots let you expand the CPU, RAM, or storage to meet performance needs. They also include many ports for every device you may want to plug in.
New models with Intel® Core™ processors provide built-in features to help enhance security. And if you choose a small form factor tower, you’ll get high performance in a package that’s easy to fit even into tight office spaces.
Make It Count with Intel
Whichever small business desktop computer is right for you, make sure it’s powered by the latest generation of Intel® Core™ processors. You’ll know you’re getting a PC built to support the latest workloads and connectivity standards, like Wi-Fi 6. As a result, your PCs will be better equipped to support your employees both today and in the future.