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IT Show 2013 - Notebooks/Systems, Networking & PC Accessories Buying Guide

Desktops

Desktop Systems Buying Guide

Despite the popularity of tablets and other mobile computing devices, the cornerstone of home computing has always been a desktop system. At IT Show 2013, there are a myriad of choices that run the gamut from high-end gaming PCs to All-in-One PC systems. Browse further for more tips on selecting the right system, together with some star deals we have managed to uncover on the show floor.

DESKTOP SYSTEMS TODAY

For the home consumer, there are two broad categories of desktop systems; namley, traditional desktop PCs and All-in-One (AIO) PCs. The traditional desktop PC usually comprises a computer chassis, bundled with a monitor, keyboard and mouse; however, some deals only include the chassis itself. For an AIO PC system, it isn't about a space-saving anymore as with the commercial availability of Windows 8, the AIO PC with multi-touch capabilities make more sense to the consumer who is likely to be familiar with touch interfaces offered by smartphones and tablets.

 

 

 

Desktop PCs usually comprise a chassis to house its components, while the input devices as well as video displays usually in the form of a LCD monitor are attached to it. There are some manufacturers who offer the chassis with the computing components tailored to the needs of the consumer, and leaves the choice of input and display devices entirely to the discretion of the informed consumer.

 

 

All-in-One PC systems are akin to a large tablet mounted on a desktop stand, and feature HD screens with AV connectivity options like HDMI and audio jacks. They also offer standard ports like USB 3.0 ports or even Thunderbolt ones. Just image all these hardware offerings in a footprint no larger than your traditional desktop display monitor!

 

WHAT TO LOOK OUT FOR

Core Components: Most desktop systems use Intel processors; however, there are some that feature AMD processors or Accelerated Processing Units (APUs). For consumers looking at high-end gaming desktop PCs that sport third-generation Intel Core processors like the top-end Intel Core i7-3770K CPU. For such systems, they are usually coupled with a high-end graphics card that feature NVIDIA GeForce GTX 680 graphics chip or AMD Radeon HD 7800 series GPUs. For users who don't have such demanding computing requirements, there are mini desktop PCs that  feature the AMD Trinity desktop APUs and they don't require the need for a discrete graphics card. Their chassis are much smaller and can be as compact as a small paperback novel.

For AIO PCs, the considerations are about the same; consumers need to take note of the processor power the rig as well as whether the AIO features on-die graphics processing capabilities, courtesy of the CPU, or such graphical tasks are handled by an onboard graphics chip that will work in tandem with the CPU.

Screen Size: For desktop PC systems that ship with a LCD monitor, please don't settle for anything less than 21.5-inch in display size with a resolution of 1920 x 1080.  A larger display will mean less scrolling about when viewing a document or a web page. It may improve the efficiency of your productivity tasks as the user is able to line up documents side-by-side for multi-tasking purposes. For AIO systems, the acceptable display size is 21.5-inch with a full HD resolution of 1920 x 1080. It is definitely better to settle for displays that are able to support full HD content for a more enjoyable visual feast. 

Windows 7 or Windows 8 OS: Most current desktop systems operate Windows 8; however, some may still offer Windows 7. As a precautionary measure, it is better to ask about the version of the Windows OS that is installed on the system.

Check out the latest desktops at our HardwareZone Desktop Systems Product Guide.

 

Desktop Deals at the Show

Here are some highlighted desktop deals at the IT Show this year.

ASUS ROG CG8890

This desktop PC gaming system features a heavy-industry look with equally powerful components like an Intel X79-based board with an Intel Core i7-3960X CPU, coupled with an ASUS GeForce GTX 690 graphics card. Such a high-end system will definitely meet the requirements of most hardcore gamers!

IT Show 2013 Offer

  • IT Show Price: $6,199 (Usual Price: $6,999)
  • IT Show Promotion: A pair of movies passes, Assassin Creed 3 game, Trend Micro Internet Security (worth $39), ASUS 32GB Webstorage, ROG mechanical keyboard and gaming mouse, trolley
  • Brochure

Location

Level 1, Booth 1205 and 1317

Alienware X51

This Windows 8 compact gaming system from Dell sports a NVIDIA GeForce GTX 660 graphics card with 1.5GB of video memory. The rig is powered by an Intel Core i7-3770 'Ivy Bridge' CPU, with 8GB -DDR3-1600 system memory and a 1TB HDD. No monitor is included in this package though.

IT Show 2013 Offer

  • IT Show Price: $1,699 (Usual Price: $1,799)
  • IT Show Promotion: McAfee Security Center (15-mth version), Accidental damage coverage, $100 Capitaland Mall vouchers, 2nd year limited hardware warranty
  • Brochure

Location

Level 1, Booth 1305

HP Envy Phoenix h9-1380d

This gaming system features a liquid cooling system and sports an Intel i7-3770 CPU. With 8GB of DDR3 system memory, coupled with an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 660 graphics card, this Windows 8 system is the highest-end desktop PC system at the HP booth.

IT Show 2013 Offer

  • IT Show Price: $1,999
  • IT Show Promotion: Enjoy 10% off HP accessories, Takashimaya shopping voucher worth $40
  • Brochure

Location

Level 1, Booth 1221 and 1225

HP Envy 20-d038d TouchSmart AIO Desktop PC

This AIO sports a 20-inch multi-touch screen with a resolution of 1600 x 900 pixels. Powered by an Intel Core i5-3330S rated at 2.7GHz, it operates on Windows 8, with an NVIDIA GT 610M graphics chip  with 1GB of video memory. For storage, it sports a 1TB HDD.

IT Show 2013 Offer

  • IT Show Price: $1,399
  • IT Show Promotion: Enjoy 10% off HP accessories, Takashimaya shopping voucher worth $40
  • Brochure

Location

Level 1, Booth 1221 and 1225

Acer Predator G3620 (i347MR81T)

This gaming system comes bundled with a 23-inch full HD LED monitor, unlike the other gaming systems that come without any display options. This Windows 8 system is powered by an Intel Core i5-3470 CPU. Though its NVIDIA GeForce GT 630 graphics card may not be the most powerful on the market, this system makes an ideal rig for the casual gamer without exceeding his budget.

IT Show 2013 Offer

  • IT Show Price: $1,299 (Usual Price: $1,599)
  • IT Show Promotion: Free Microsoft Office 2010 Home and Student Edition (Product Key Code)
  • Brochure

Location

Level 1, Booth 1205

Acer Aspire 7600U (i363MR81TV)

Aesthetically speaking, this AIO system is one of the most pleasing to the eye. It is powered by an Intel Core i7-3630QM processor, and it sports 8GB of system RAM with 1TB HDD for storage. It also features a Blu-ray combo drive, allowing to enjoy Blu-ray content on its 27-inch full HD screen, which also supports 10-point multi-touch inputs.

IT Show 2013 Offer

  • IT Show Price: $2,599 (Usual Price: $2,799)
  • IT Show Promotion: Free Microsoft Office 2010 Home and Student Edition (Product Key Code)
  • Brochure

Location

Level 1, Booth 1205

 

IT Show 2013 Desktop Systems Portal