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Quad Core Desktop Best Buy

Unlike previous APU offerings from AMD, the Ryzen 7 5700G is far more of a jack-of-all-trades chip because we are talking about an eight-core Zen 3 CPU component with 16 threads and a powerful Vega-based GPU to back it up. That makes this a chip that's almost up there with the best of the Ryzen 5000-series CPUs in processing power, but with the graphical grunt to deliver 1080p gaming on low settings in some seriously demanding titles.

quad core desktop best buy

That's not always the right move. Desktops aren't facing extinction, and they're doing anything but standing still. For consumers and businesses alike, these are the most cost-effective and customizable desktop computers for 2023, as shown by our favorite examples from recent reviews. Check them out, then read on to learn everything you need to know about finding the best desktop for you.

We've reviewed an impressive variety and capability of desktops above, right? We don't deny that a laptop or tablet is a better pick for people who depend on business travel, or whose computing consists mostly of basic surfing and typing from the living-room couch. But for small offices, families, creative pros, gamers, and tech tinkerers, desktops are often the best choice and the best value.

Google's ChromeOS is a viable alternative to Windows and macOS, but desktops running it (called Chromeboxes) are rare and best suited to niche uses like powering a restaurant menu display. A fourth option is to buy a desktop with no operating system at all and install an open-source one of your choosing, such as Ubuntu Linux. We don't recommend going this route unless you're technically savvy, willing to experiment, and okay fixing software compatibility issues and other quirks.

Macs and Windows PCs are available in all three of the major desktop form factors: mini PCs that can fit on a bookshelf, sleek all-in-ones with built-in (and usually high-resolution) displays, and traditional desktop towers that are bulky but offer room for more or less easy expansion. These three forms each have strengths and weaknesses, and none of them is an obvious best choice for everyone. You'll have to choose based on what you plan to do with your desktop and where you plan to put it.

A desktop CPU gives you more power for complex content-creation work, PC gaming, or math and scientific projects. Faster processors with four, six, eight, or even as many as 18 cores will benefit software written to take advantage of the extra cores. The desktop version of a given CPU will consume more power and generate more heat than versions designed for laptops, which must be incorporated into environments that have less thermal and power-delivery leeway. A desktop CPU also has greater wiggle room to incorporate a key feature, multithreading, that allows each of the CPU's cores to address two processing threads at a time instead of just one. Multithreading (which Intel calls "Hyper-Threading") can deliver a major performance boost when engaged with suitably equipped software.

Many AIOs and mini PCs, conversely, use the same efficient, cooler-running types of CPUs that you'll find in laptops. Intel typically labels these mobile-first chip designs with a CPU name containing "U," "H," or "P"; most desktop chips instead have a "T" or a "K," or just a zero at the end. A mobile CPU might have the same number of processor cores as its desktop counterpart (four- and six-core chips are common in both), but its maximum power consumption will often be far lower. Also, the typical base and boost clock speeds may be lower, and the chip may not support multithreading. That said, many desktop PC buyers will be fine with these lower-powered CPUs for everyday work, and a little more.

For most people in the market for an inexpensive desktop tower, there's no single best time to buy. While traditional sale holidays such as Black Friday can net you the odd bargain, when you find a system whose features, price, and performance match what you're looking for, take it home.

This is where return policies come in handy. If you find a desktop with your ideal specifications online but can't audition it locally, a seller with a liberal return policy is your best friend. Just make sure you've got adequate time to return it, if it ends up not working out.

Armed with all of the knowledge and decision points above, you're almost ready to shop. The final consideration is how well a desktop PC performs. We review hundreds of PCs every year, evaluating their features and testing their performance against peers in their respective categories. That way, you'll know which are best suited for gaming, which is our favorite general-purpose all-in-one, and which is the best if all you need is a small, powerful system you can get up and running quickly.

AMD's Ryzen 7 7700 is arguably the best-value mainstream processor that the chip maker currently offers, with strong performance and an appealing price. This chip has eight CPU cores with thread-doubling SMT support, and it can hit speeds of up to 5.3GHz. The processor is also equipped with a low-end integrated graphics processor (IGP) that isn't up to running games but works fine for any non-gaming display task.

AMD's Ryzen 5 5500 is priced aggressively, given its MSRP, but you can find it often on sale for far less than that. The chip is equipped with six CPU cores that are clocked at 4.2GHz. Having this many cores at this price significantly undercuts AMD's Ryzen 3 and Intel's Core i3 processors, which leaves the Ryzen 5 5500 with little in the way of competition. It's a stretch to say it has none at all (it certainly does), but from our time testing the Ryzen 5 5500, it stands out as the best AMD option in its price range...if you own a video card.

If you're looking to build a budget PC, you should consider the Ryzen 5 5500, which is best for everyday tasks like homework, web browsing, and media consumption. But it's also more than up to the job of handling complex spreadsheets and doing some image editing work. The Ryzen 5 5500's test scores in games, paired with a high-end discrete GPU, were a bit lacking due to the processor's smaller pool of L3 cache, but 1080p gamers on a tight budget would likely be more than satisfied. Plus, being on the older AM4 platform, motherboards and memory have a better chance of being bargain-priced. Just bear in mind the lack of graphics on this chip, and keep an eye on the price of the Ryzen 5 5600G.

If you want to build a PC around an AMD processor capable of the best possible performance that AMD has to offer, regardless of the cost, then the Ryzen 9 7950X is the right option for you. At the moment, it is unquestionably AMD's fastest consumer-oriented processor, packing 16 CPU cores, 32 threads, and a blistering-fast 5.7GHz clock speed. It's also on AMD's new AM5 platform, the first socket revision for AMD desktop chips in many years, and thus can bring the benefit of DDR5 memory on compatible boards.

Anyone who wants the best performance possible from a desktop PC should consider buying an Intel Core i9-13900K. Know that it's overkill, to an extent, for gaming PCs unless you own a dedicated graphics card on the level of AMD's Radeon RX 7900 XTX or Nvidia's GeForce RTX 4080. However, if you do have one of these graphics cards, or something in their elite neighborhood, then it's arguably the best option for you as a gamer, too.

Intel Core X-Series, which typically offered more cores and a more robust platform (in terms of CPU lanes and bus characteristics) than the mainstream chips of its time, was the longtime head of what was known throughout the '10s as HEDT (for "high-end desktop"). The last real kingpin Intel HEDT chip on Core X, though, was 2019's Core i9-10980XE Extreme Edition. In 2023, the lines have seriously blurred between HEDT and the best mainstream processors, especially with the rise of Intel Core i9 and AMD Ryzen CPUs with massive core counts that rival HEDT chips at their best.

Inside all mainstream desktop processors today are multiple CPU cores. In the past, processors only had one CPU core, but as technology has improved, more cores have been pressed into processors to increase performance. Each CPU core operates as a semi-independent component inside of the processor and is capable of completing tasks.

Core count contributes greatly to a processor's overall performance, but this alone does not determine whether one processor is faster than the other. It's entirely possible for a quad-core processor to be faster than an octa-core processor, and vice versa.

Just like with core count, thread count doesn't tell you enough alone to determine which processor is best, but it can give you an idea as to which processor is better in a given line. A processor with more threads may well have a performance advantage over one that has fewer threads supported, in applications that can take advantage of the technology. But as we said with the core count, all of these factors need to be taken into consideration to know for sure.

In truth, this description is inaccurate, as some operations require multiple clock cycles (multiple hertz) to complete, and this is where architecture comes in, coming full circle. When comparing processors that are part of the same generation and product line, it's safe to think the one with the most cores and the highest clock speed will perform the best. Comparing across different architectures and product lines, however, this is not always the case.

Each of the desktops ranked in our chart--which also includes new PCs from Alienware and Gateway--boasts an overclocked CPU. The key benefit of buying such a machine: Left at its stock settings, the revved-up chip is covered under the system's warranty--a safety net you don't enjoy when you overclock the CPU in a gaming rig you've built yourself. Our Best Buy, CyberPower's Gamer Infinity Ultimate, is equipped with a quad-core 2.66-GHz Core 2 Extreme QX6700 processor (set to 3.46 GHz). The system earned a score of 129 in WorldBench 6 Beta 2, the highest result achieved by any PC we've tested to date. The Gamer Infinity Ultimate may lack the customized touches you'll see from boutique vendors such as Alienware and Voodoo, but it packs a lot of value for gamers and power users who need speed, storage, and the ability to upgrade. 041b061a72


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