What is a Desktop Computer?

Javed Ali Javed Ali
What is a Desktop Computer?

Desktop computers are the most popular computational devices of the age. In the quarter of a year, millions of units are sold. Major manufacturers like Lenovo, Dell, and HP continue to thrive due to the ever-rising demand for computers in businesses. Since its invention and commercial availability, desktop computers have followed a similar theme where the computer is placed in an ergonomic position and provides productivity enhancements. Companies have almost always opted for desktop computers as they are durable, repairable, upgradable, and offer larger storage capacities. You might wonder, What is desktop computer? Why are desktop computers so popular? Are laptops more durable? We will cover answers to these questions.

Desktop computer overview

Desktop Computers are of three types: Full Size, Compact, and All in One (AIO). A full-size desktop has a large room inside, and we can easily upgrade or replace any part per our requirement. Every component is separately attached to the motherboard via cable or slot connection. These computers have a powerful processor because large power supply units have enough juice to pump into the processor. It requires a bigger cooling fan inside the case to remove heat because a more powerful processor generates more heat. Usually, gamers use a full-size desktop computer because they can easily replace graphic cards and add RGB lighting to improve the aesthetics of the assembly.

A Compact size desktop has very little room inside. It is smaller than a full-size desktop and is called a Small Form Factor (SFF) PC. Due to the space constraints, the components selected are not high-end, and storage capacity is also limited.

The primary purpose of this type of desktop computer is to fulfill low-power applications like web browsing, watching movies, typing documents, or any other purpose that doesn’t require a CPU running at high frequencies. All-in-one desktop computers take less space than full and compact desktop computers. All in One desktop computers are higher priced than the above two because of their advanced and latest features. All the components of AIO computers are built into a single case that acts as a monitor, and you can easily place it anywhere due to its very compact size. In AIO desktop computers, we cannot upgrade the parts; it serves the same as a laptop but is bigger than a Laptop.

When did the first desktops appear?

The first ever computer for commercial purposes was introduced in 1974 by Micro Instrumentation and Telemetry Systems (MITS). People called it the Altair 8080 because it had an 8-bit Intel 8080 CPU. Altair BASIC uses a Microsoft-based programming language for its operation. This item was the first ever computer to gain the term personal computer (PC), which aimed to revolutionize how work was carried out and enhance human productivity. It acted as the first step to approaching modern-day desktop computers. Altair was compact enough to sit over a desk or underneath it. It had ergonomics that considered physical well-being and proved that computers had applications beyond the walls of a university.

Where should I place my desktop computer?

As the name suggests, desktop computers were primarily designed to be placed on top of a desk. Computers at the time were bulky and massive in dimensions. It was not possible to place a full-sized computer on a desktop. The first commercially available PC Altair was a minicomputer at the time. The other computers were as large as a refrigerator and couldn’t be placed on the desktop. Now desktop computers carry the name, but they do not essentially need to be set on the top of the desk. There are various popular configurations, and they depend on the user’s requirements and taste. As we discussed earlier, gaming computers are also made aesthetically appealing, so they are usually placed where they are visible. We will discuss the advantages and disadvantages of different desktop computer placements.

Desktop computer on the floor

Typically tower PCs are placed on the floor due to numerous advantages. Tower PCs are rectangular sheet metal or plastic boxes which house hardware such as motherboard, graphics card, RAM, power supply, and other components. The longer dimensions stand vertically, which is the defining feature of a tower PC. Modern desks feature a small heightened section from the floor to place your PC, keeping it above your carpet to reduce dust accumulation.



Desktop computer on the desk

Users can place a Tower, SFF, Desktop, or any other computer type on the top of their desk. Typically aesthetically pleasing PCs are preferred to be placed on top of the desk. A desktop computer has a longer dimension that spans horizontally. It’s easier to put on a desktop and has more physical stability than tower computers. They are preferred where kids' interaction is expected.



Desktop computer in a drawer or cabinet

A drawer or cabinet is usually available with desks. Modern desks do not feature a specific enclosure for computer placement as it can affect the PC’s performance. However, it could have certain advantages if you can get airflow into a cabinet like in most industrial applications.



Does anyone still use a desktop computer?

Desktop computers are still the biggest sellers when it comes to types. Now that you know What is Desktop Computer? Learning how they gained market strength is vital. Laptops gained massive numbers post Covid-19, but due to their unavailability, desktop computers again gained market strength. Millions of computers are sold within a quarter of a year. Laptops cannot match the reliability of a desktop computer. Desktop computer hardware components are easy to replace. Usually, a simple latch mechanism exposes all the hardware inside the PC, and simple tools lead to the release of hardware components. Due to their massive size and no battery operation, they are long-lasting and often designed to operate 24/7. Their size and weight add to security as they cannot be stolen easily. Overall, desktop computers are superior in performance, durability, reliability, and safety.

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