Desktop Computers

An Overview of Desktop Computers

Desktop computers, also known as personal computers, are computers that are designed for individual workspaces and are intended for use at a single location. They are not to be confused with laptops or portable computers. Before the advent of the laptop, desktop computers were all that were available. Throughout the late 1980s and 1990s, desktop computers became very popular worldwide and became a staple, or necessity, for nearly every home and business.

Desktop computers were designed for many different reasons and functions. They were first designed to lie horizontally on the desk and the monitor was placed on top; however, for the past few years the dominant form of the desktop computer has been vertical, or a tower. A desktop computer may be a tower, also known as the CPU (central processing unit), or an all-in-one machine such as some Macintosh computers. Desktop computers do not have their own battery and, therefore, must be connected to a power source at all times. Desktop computers also include built-in peripherals such as a CD/DVD burner, a modem, a hard drive, RAM (random access memory), and a motherboard. If the desktop computer is not an all-in-one machine, peripherals (input devices) must be used for full functionality. Common peripherals for a desktop computer include, but are not limited to:

Desktop Computers
  • Computer Mice
  • Keyboards
  • Printers
  • Scanners
  • Webcams

There are a multitude of brands of desktop computers, but certain ones have and still remain dominant in providing innovative desktop computers. Compaq and IBM had been main providers of the home desktop computer from the late '80s up until 2005, when Dell, HP, and Lenovo overtook the two brand giants to become the most popular CPU providers with the largest PC market share to date. Other notable companies that provide desktop computers include Acer, Toshiba, and Packard Bell NEC.

There was a point in time where the desktop computer was the preferred home computer amongst the population. This was largely due to price and customization. First, the price of a desktop computer was much cheaper than a laptop computer. Second, desktop computers were easier to customize and upgrade. In addition, they also used to be more up-to-date with technology. Newer motherboards and processing technology was first released for desktop computers, and were later released for laptops. Nowadays, the preferred home computer is no longer the desktop computer, as laptops have become increasingly cheaper in price and carry the same technology available for CPUs. Though not as popular as before, the desktop computer is still in use as office computers and gaming computers.