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A desktop computer (often abbreviated desktop) is a
personal computer A personal computer (PC) is a multi-purpose microcomputer whose size, capabilities, and price make it feasible for individual use. Personal computers are intended to be operated directly by an end user, rather than by a computer expert or techn ...
designed for regular use at a single location on or near a
desk
desk
due to its size and power requirements. The most common configuration has a case that houses the
power supply A power supply is an electrical device that supplies electric power to an electrical load. The main purpose of a power supply is to convert electric current from a source to the correct voltage, electric current, current, and frequency to power ...
,
motherboard A motherboard (also called mainboard, main circuit board, mb, mboard, backplane board, base board, system board, logic board (only in Apple computers) or mobo) is the main printed circuit board (PCB) in general-purpose computers and other expand ...

motherboard
(a
printed circuit board A printed circuit board (PCB; also printed wiring board or PWB) is a medium used in Electrical engineering, electrical and electronic engineering to connect electronic components to one another in a controlled manner. It takes the form of a L ...

printed circuit board
with a
microprocessor A microprocessor is a computer processor where the data processing logic and control is included on a single integrated circuit, or a small number of integrated circuits. The microprocessor contains the arithmetic, logic, and control circu ...

microprocessor
as the
central processing unit A central processing unit (CPU), also called a central processor, main processor or just Processor (computing), processor, is the electronic circuitry that executes Instruction (computing), instructions comprising a computer program. The CPU per ...

central processing unit
,
memory Memory is the faculty of the mind by which data or information is Encoding (memory), encoded, stored, and retrieved when needed. It is the retention of information over time for the purpose of influencing future action. If Foresight (psycholo ...
, bus, certain peripherals and other electronic components),
disk storage Disk storage (also sometimes called drive storage) is a general category of storage mechanisms where data is recorded by various electronic, magnetic, optical, or mechanical changes to a surface layer of one or more rotating disks. A disk drive is ...
(usually one or more
hard disk drive A hard disk drive (HDD), hard disk, hard drive, or fixed disk is an electro-mechanical data storage device that stores and retrieves digital data using magnetic storage with one or more rigid rapidly rotating hard disk platter, platters ...

hard disk drive
s,
solid state drive A solid-state drive (SSD) is a solid-state storage device that uses integrated circuit assemblies to store data Persistence (computer science), persistently, typically using flash memory, and functioning as secondary storage in the Computer ...
s,
optical disc drive In computing, an optical disc drive is a disk drive, disc drive that uses laser light or electromagnetic waves within or near the visible light spectrum as part of the process of reading or writing data to or from optical discs. Some drives ...
s, and in early models a floppy disk drive); a
keyboard
keyboard
and
mouse A mouse (plural, : mice) is a small rodent. Characteristically, mice are known to have a pointed snout, small rounded ears, a body-length scaly tail, and a high breeding rate. The best known mouse species is the common house mouse (''Mus mus ...

mouse
for input; and a
computer monitor A computer monitor is an output device that displays information in pictorial or textual form. A discrete monitor comprises a electronic visual display, visual display, support electronics, power supply, Housing (engineering), housing, electric ...

computer monitor
, speakers, and, often, a printer for output. The case may be oriented horizontally or vertically and placed either underneath, beside, or on top of a desk. Personal computers with their cases oriented vertically are referred to as
towers A tower is a tall Nonbuilding structure, structure, taller than it is wide, often by a significant factor. Towers are distinguished from guyed mast, masts by their lack of guy-wires and are therefore, along with tall buildings, self-supporting ...
. As the majority of cases offered since the mid-1990s are in this form factor, the term ''desktop'' has been retronymically used to refer to modern cases offered in the traditional horizontal orientation.


History


Origins

Prior to the widespread use of microprocessors, a computer that could fit on a desk was considered remarkably small; the type of computers most commonly used were
minicomputers A minicomputer, or colloquially mini, is a class of smaller general purpose computers that developed in the mid-1960s and sold at a much lower price than Mainframe computer, mainframe and mid-size computers from IBM and BUNCH, its direct competi ...
, which, despite the name, were rather large and were "mini" only compared to the so-called " big iron". Early computers, and later the general purpose high throughput « mainframes», took up the space of a whole room. Minicomputers, on the contrary, generally fit into one or a few refrigerator-sized racks, or, for the few smaller ones, ''built into'' a fairly large desk, not put ''on top'' of it. It was not until the 1970s when fully programmable computers appeared that could fit entirely on top of a desk. 1970 saw the introduction of the
Datapoint 2200 The Datapoint 2200 was a mass-produced programmable computer terminal usable as a computer, designed by Datapoint, Computer Terminal Corporation (CTC) founders Phil Ray and Gus Roche and announced by CTC in June 1970 (with units shipping in 1971) ...
, a "smart"
computer terminal A computer terminal is an electronic or electromechanical computer hardware, hardware device that can be used for entering data into, and transcribing data from, a computer or a computing system. The Teleprinter, teletype was an example of an e ...
complete with keyboard and monitor, was designed to connect with a
mainframe computer A mainframe computer, informally called a mainframe or big iron, is a computer A computer is a machine that can be programmed to carry out sequences of arithmetic or logical operations (computation) automatically. Modern digital ele ...
but that didn't stop owners from using its built-in computational abilities as a stand-alone desktop computer.Lamont Wood
"Forgotten PC history: The true origins of the personal computer"
, ''Computerworld'', 8 August 2008
The HP 9800 series, which started out as programmable calculators in 1971 but was programmable in
BASIC BASIC (Beginners' All-purpose Symbolic Instruction Code) is a family of General-purpose programming language, general-purpose, high-level programming languages designed for ease of use. Dartmouth BASIC, The original version was created by John ...

BASIC
by 1972, used a smaller version of a
minicomputer A minicomputer, or colloquially mini, is a class of smaller general purpose computers that developed in the mid-1960s and sold at a much lower price than Mainframe computer, mainframe and mid-size computers from IBM and BUNCH, its direct competi ...
design based on ROM memory and had small one-line LED alphanumeric displays and displayed graphics with a plotter. The Wang 2200 of 1973 had a full-size
cathode-ray tube A cathode-ray tube (CRT) is a vacuum tube containing one or more electron guns, which emit electron beams that are manipulated to display images on a Phosphorescence, phosphorescent screen. The images may represent electrical waveforms (osci ...
(CRT) and cassette tape storage. The
IBM 5100 The IBM 5100 Portable Computer is a portable computer (one of the first) introduced in September 1975, six years before the IBM Personal Computer, and eight before the first successful IBM compatible portable computer, the Compaq Portable. It ...
in 1975 had a small CRT display and could be programmed in BASIC and APL. These were generally expensive specialized computers sold for business or scientific uses.


Growth and development

Apple II The Apple II (stylized as ) is an 8-bit computing, 8-bit home computer and one of the world's first highly successful mass-produced microcomputer products. It was designed primarily by Steve Wozniak; Jerry Manock developed the design of Appl ...
,
TRS-80 The TRS-80 Micro Computer System (TRS-80, later renamed the Model I to distinguish it from successors) is a desktop microcomputer launched in 1977 and sold by Tandy Corporation through their Radio Shack stores. The name is an abbreviation of ''T ...
and
Commodore PET The Commodore PET is a line of personal computers produced starting in 1977 by Commodore International. A single all-in-one case combines a MOS Technology 6502 microprocessor, Commodore BASIC in read-only memory, keyboard, monochrome monitor, an ...
were first generation personal home computers launched in 1977, which were aimed at the consumer market – rather than businessmen or computer hobbyists. ''Byte'' magazine referred to these three as the "1977 Trinity" of personal computing. Throughout the 1980s and 1990s, desktop computers became the predominant type, the most popular being the
IBM PC The IBM Personal Computer (model 5150, commonly known as the IBM PC) is the first microcomputer released in the IBM PC model line and the basis for the IBM PC compatible de facto standard. Released on August 12, 1981, it was created by a team ...
and its clones, followed by the
Apple Macintosh The Mac (known as Macintosh until 1999) is a family of personal computers designed and marketed by Apple Inc., Apple Inc. Macs are known for their ease of use and minimalist designs, and are popular among students, creative professionals, and ...
, with the third-placed Commodore
Amiga Amiga is a family of personal computers introduced by Commodore International, Commodore in 1985. The original model is one of a number of mid-1980s computers with 16- or 32-bit processors, 256 KB or more of RAM, mouse-based GUIs, and sign ...
having some success in the mid-1980s but declining by the early 1990s. Early personal computers, like the original
IBM Personal Computer The IBM Personal Computer (model 5150, commonly known as the IBM PC) is the first microcomputer released in the IBM PC model line and the basis for the IBM PC compatible de facto standard. Released on August 12, 1981, it was created by a team ...
, were enclosed in a "''desktop case''", horizontally oriented to have the display screen placed on top, thus saving space on the user's actual desk, although these cases had to be sturdy enough to support the weight of CRT displays that were widespread at the time. Over the course of the 1990s, desktop cases gradually became less common than the more-accessible tower cases that may be located on the floor under or beside a desk rather than on a desk. Not only do these tower cases have more room for expansion, they have also freed up desk space for monitors which were becoming larger every year. Desktop cases, particularly the compact form factors, remain popular for corporate computing environments and kiosks. Some computer cases can be interchangeably positioned either horizontally (desktop) or upright (mini-tower). Influential games such as '' Doom'' and '' Quake'' during the 1990s had pushed gamers and enthusiasts to frequently upgrade to the latest CPUs and graphics cards ( 3dfx, ATI, and
Nvidia Nvidia CorporationOfficially written as NVIDIA and stylized in its logo as nVIDIA with the lowercase "n" the same height as the uppercase "VIDIA"; formerly stylized as ''n''VIDIA with a large italicized lowercase "n" on products from the mid 19 ...
) for their desktops (usually a tower case) in order to run these applications, though this has slowed since the late 2000s as the growing popularity of Intel integrated graphics forced game developers to scale back.
Creative Technology Creative Technology Ltd. is a Singaporean multinational technology company headquartered with overseas offices in Shanghai, Tokyo, Dublin, and Silicon Valley (where in the US it is known as Creative Labs). The principal activities of the compa ...
's
Sound Blaster Sound Blaster is a family of sound cards designed by Singaporean technology company Creative Technology (known in the US as Creative Labs). Sound Blaster sound cards were the de facto standard for consumer audio on the IBM PC compatible system pl ...
series were a ''
de facto ''De facto'' ( ; , "in fact") describes practices that exist in reality, whether or not they are officially recognized by laws or other formal norms. It is commonly used to refer to what happens in practice, in contrast with '' de jure'' ("by l ...
'' standard for sound cards in desktop PCs during the 1990s until the early 2000s, when they were reduced to a niche product, as OEM desktop PCs came with sound boards integrated directly onto the motherboard.


Decline

While desktops have long been the most common configuration for PCs, by the mid-2000s the growth shifted from desktops to laptops. Notably, while desktops were mainly produced in the United States, laptops had long been produced by contract manufacturers based in Asia, such as
Foxconn Hon Hai Precision Industry Co., Ltd., trading as Hon Hai Technology Group in China China, officially the People's Republic of China (PRC), is a country in East Asia. It is the world's List of countries and dependencies by population, ...
. This shift led to the closure of the many desktop assembly plants in the United States by 2010. Another trend around this time was the increasing proportion of inexpensive base-configuration desktops being sold, hurting PC manufacturers such as
Dell Dell is an American based technology company. It develops, sells, repairs, and supports computers and related products and services. Dell is owned by its parent company, Dell Technologies. Dell sells personal computers (PCs), Server (computin ...
whose build-to-order customization of desktops relied on upselling added features to buyers. Battery-powered portable computers had just a 2% worldwide market share in 1986. However, laptops have become increasingly popular, both for business and personal use. Around 109 million notebook PCs shipped worldwide in 2007, a growth of 33% compared to 2006.Worldwide notebook shipments grow 33% on year in 2007, says IDC
31 January 2008, Yen Ting Chen, DigiTimes, retrieved at 12 September 2011
In 2008, it was estimated that 145.9 million notebooks were sold and that the number would grow in 2009 to 177.7 million.Analysis: Did Intel underestimate netbook success?
, Accessed at 10 January 2009
The third quarter of 2008 was the first time when worldwide notebook PC shipments exceeded desktops, with 38.6 million units versus 38.5 million units.Notebook PC Shipments Exceed Desktops for First Time in Q3
isuppli.com, accessed at 13 January 2009
The sales breakdown of the
Apple Macintosh The Mac (known as Macintosh until 1999) is a family of personal computers designed and marketed by Apple Inc., Apple Inc. Macs are known for their ease of use and minimalist designs, and are popular among students, creative professionals, and ...
has seen sales of desktop Macs staying mostly constant while being surpassed by that of Mac notebooks whose sales rate has grown considerably; seven out of ten Macs sold were laptops in 2009, a ratio projected to rise to three out of four by 2010. The change in sales of form factors is due to the desktop iMac moving from affordable G3 to upscale G4 model and subsequent releases are considered premium all-in-ones. By contrast, the MSRP of the MacBook laptop lines have dropped through successive generations such that the MacBook Air and MacBook Pro constitute the lowest price of entry to a Mac, with the exception of the even more inexpensive Mac Mini (albeit without a monitor and keyboard), and the MacBooks are the top-selling form factors of the Macintosh platform today. The decades of development mean that most people already own desktop computers that meet their needs and have no need of buying a new one merely to keep pace with advancing technology. Notably, the successive release of new versions of
Windows Windows is a group of several Proprietary software, proprietary graphical user interface, graphical operating system families developed and marketed by Microsoft. Each family caters to a certain sector of the computing industry. For example, W ...
(Windows 95, 98, XP, Vista, 7, 8, 10 and so on) had been drivers for the replacement of PCs in the 1990s, but this slowed in the 2000s due to the poor reception of Windows Vista over Windows XP. Recently, some analysts have suggested that
Windows 8 Windows 8 is a major release of the Windows NT operating system developed by Microsoft. It was Software release life cycle#Release to manufacturing (RTM), released to manufacturing on August 1, 2012; it was subsequently made available for downl ...
has actually hurt sales of PCs in 2012, as businesses have decided to stick with
Windows 7 Windows 7 is a major release of the Windows NT operating system developed by Microsoft. It was Software release life cycle#Release to manufacturing (RTM), released to manufacturing on July 22, 2009, and became generally available on October 22, ...
rather than upgrade. Some suggested that Microsoft has acknowledged "implicitly ringing the desktop PC death knell" as Windows 8 offers little upgrade in desktop PC functionality over
Windows 7 Windows 7 is a major release of the Windows NT operating system developed by Microsoft. It was Software release life cycle#Release to manufacturing (RTM), released to manufacturing on July 22, 2009, and became generally available on October 22, ...
; instead, Windows 8's innovations are mostly on the mobile side. The post-PC trend has seen a decline in the sales of desktop and laptop PCs. The decline has been attributed to increased power and applications of alternative computing devices, namely smartphones and tablet computers. Although most people exclusively use their smartphones and tablets for more basic tasks such as
social media Social media are interactive media technologies that facilitate the Content creation, creation and information sharing, sharing of information, ideas, interests, and other forms of expression through virtual communities and Network virtualization, ...
and casual gaming, these devices have in many instances replaced a second or third PC in the household that would have performed these tasks, though most families still retain a powerful PC for serious work. Among PC form factors, desktops remain a staple in the enterprise market but have lost popularity among home buyers. PC makers and electronics retailers have responded by investing their engineering and marketing resources towards laptops (initially
netbook Netbook was a commonly used term that identified a product class of small and inexpensive laptop computer, laptops which were sold from 2007 to around 2013. These machines were designed primarily as cost-effective tools for consumers to ...
s in the late 2000s, and then the higher-performance
Ultrabook Ultrabook is a marketing term, originated and trademarked by Intel, for a category of high-end laptop computers. They were originally marketed as featuring ultra thin form factor and light weight design without compromising battery life or perf ...
s from 2011 onwards), which manufacturers believe have more potential to revive the PC market than desktops. In April 2017, StatCounter declared a "Milestone in technology history and end of an era" with the Android operating system more popular than Windows (the operating system that made desktops dominant over
mainframe computer A mainframe computer, informally called a mainframe or big iron, is a computer A computer is a machine that can be programmed to carry out sequences of arithmetic or logical operations (computation) automatically. Modern digital ele ...
s). Windows is still most popular on desktops (and laptops), while smartphones (and tablets) use Android,
iOS iOS (formerly iPhone OS) is a mobile operating system A mobile operating system is an operating system for mobile phones, tablet computer, tablets, smartwatches, smartglasses, or other non-laptop personal computing, personal mobile computin ...
or
Windows 10 Mobile Windows 10 Mobile is a discontinued mobile operating system developed by Microsoft. First released in 2015, it is a successor to Windows Phone 8.1, but was marketed by Microsoft as being an Windows 10 editions, edition of its personal computer ...
.


Resurgence

Although for casual use traditional desktops and laptops have seen a decline in sales, in 2018, global PC sales experienced a resurgence, driven by the business market. Desktops remain a solid fixture in the commercial and educational sectors. In addition, gaming desktops have seen a global revenue increase of 54% annually. For gaming, the global market of gaming desktops, laptops, and monitors is expected to grow to 61.1 million shipments by the end of 2023, up from 42.1 million, with desktops growing from 15.1 million shipments to 19 million. PC gaming as a whole now accounts for 28% of the total gaming market as of 2017. This is partially due to the increasing affordability of desktop PCs.


Types


By size


Full-size

Full-sized desktops are characterized by separate display and processing components. These components are connected to each other by cables or wireless connections. They often come in a
tower A tower is a tall structure, taller than it is wide, often by a significant factor. Towers are distinguished from masts by their lack of guy-wires and are therefore, along with tall buildings, self-supporting structures. Towers are specifi ...
form factor. These computers are easy to customize and upgrade per user requirements, e.g. by
expansion card In computing, an expansion card (also called an expansion board, adapter card, peripheral card or accessory card) is a printed circuit board that can be inserted into an electrical connector, or expansion slot (also referred to as a bus slo ...
. Early extended-size (significantly larger than mainstream ATX case) tower computers sometimes were labeled as "deskside computers", but currently this naming being quite rare.


Compact

Compact desktops are reduced in physical proportions compared to full-sized desktops. They are typically small-sized, inexpensive, low-power computers designed for basic tasks such as web browsing, accessing web-based applications, document processing, and audio/video playback. Hardware specifications and processing power are usually reduced and hence make them less appropriate for running complex or resource-intensive applications. A
nettop A nettop (or miniature PC, Mini PC or Smart Micro PC) is a small-sized, inexpensive, low-power, Legacy free PC, legacy-free desktop computer, desktop computer designed for basic tasks such as Web navigation, web browsing, accessing web applicat ...
is a notable example of a compact desktop. A laptop without a screen can functionally be used as a compact desktop, sometimes called a "slabtop".


All-in-one

An ''all-in-one'' (AIO) desktop computer integrates the system's internal components into the same case as the display, thus occupying a smaller footprint (with fewer cables) than desktops that incorporate a tower. The All-in-one systems are rarely labeled as desktop computers.


By usage


Gaming computer

Gaming computers are desktop computers with high performance CPU, GPU, and RAM optimized for playing video games at high resolution and frame rates. Gaming computer peripheries usually include mechanical keyboards for faster response time, and a gaming
computer mouse A computer mouse (plural mice, sometimes mouses) is a hand-held pointing device that detects two-dimensional space, two-dimensional motion relative to a surface. This motion is typically translated into the motion of a pointer (user interface ...
which can track higher dots per inch movement.


Home theater

These desktops are connected to home entertainment systems and typically used for amusement purpose. They come with high definition display, video graphics, surround sound and TV tuner systems to complement typical PC features.


Thin client / Internet appliance

Over time some traditional desktop computers have been replaced with thin clients utilizing off-site computing solutions like the cloud. As more services and applications are served over the internet from off-site servers, local computing needs decrease, this drives desktop computers to be smaller, cheaper, and need less powerful hardware. More applications and in some cases entire virtual desktops are moved off-site and the desktop computer runs only an operating system or a shell application while the actual content is served from a server. Thin client computers may do almost all of their computing on a virtual machine in another site. Internal, hosted virtual desktops can offer users a completely consistent experience from anywhere.


Workstation

Workstations are advanced class of personal computers designed for a user and more powerful than a regular PC but less powerful than a server in regular computing. They are capable of high-resolution and three-dimensional interfaces, and typically used to perform scientific and engineering work. Like server computers, they are often connected with other workstations. The main form-factor for this class is a Tower case, but most vendors produce a compact or all-in-one low-end workstations. Most of tower workstations can be converted to a rack-mount version.


Desktop server

Oriented for
small business Small businesses are types of corporations, partnerships, or sole proprietorships which have fewer employees and/or less annual revenue than a regular-sized business or corporation. Businesses are defined as "small" in terms of being able to ap ...
class of servers; typically entry-level server machines, with similar to workstation/gaming PC computing powers and with some mainstream servers features, but with only basic graphic abilities; and some desktop servers can be converted to workstations.


Non-common types


Quantum technology

On January 29, 2021 Shenzhen SpinQ Technology announced that they will release the first-ever desktop quantum computer. this will be a miniaturized version of their previous quantum computer based on the same technology (nuclear magnetic resonance) and will be 2 qubit device. Applications will mostly be educational for high school and college students. the company claims SpinQ will be released to the public by the fourth quarter of 2021.


Comparison with laptops

Desktops have an advantage over
laptop A laptop, laptop computer, or notebook computer is a small, portable personal computer (PC) with a screen and alphanumeric keyboard. Laptops typically have a Flip (form), clam shell Form factor (design), form factor with the computer scr ...
s in that the spare parts and extensions tend to be standardized, resulting in lower prices and greater availability. For example, the size and mounting of the
motherboard A motherboard (also called mainboard, main circuit board, mb, mboard, backplane board, base board, system board, logic board (only in Apple computers) or mobo) is the main printed circuit board (PCB) in general-purpose computers and other expand ...

motherboard
are standardized into ATX, microATX, BTX or other form factors. Desktops have several standardized expansion slots, like
conventional PCI Peripheral Component Interconnect (PCI) is a local bus, local computer Computer bus, bus for attaching Computer hardware, hardware devices in a computer and is part of the PCI Local Bus standard. The PCI bus supports the functions found on a Sys ...
or
PCI Express PCI Express (Peripheral Component Interconnect Express), officially abbreviated as PCIe or PCI-e, is a high-speed serial communication, serial computer expansion bus standard, designed to replace the older Conventional PCI, PCI, PCI-X and A ...
, while laptops tend to have only one mini-PCI slot and one
PC Card In computing Computing is any goal-oriented activity requiring, benefiting from, or creating computer, computing machinery. It includes the study and experimentation of algorithmic processes, and development of both computer hardware , hardwar ...
slot (or ExpressCard slot). Procedures for assembly and disassembly of desktops tend to be simple and standardized as well. This tends not to be the case for laptops, though adding or replacing some parts, like the
optical drive In computing, an optical disc drive is a disk drive, disc drive that uses laser light or electromagnetic waves within or near the visible light spectrum as part of the process of reading or writing data to or from optical discs. Some drives ...
,
hard disk A hard disk drive (HDD), hard disk, hard drive, or fixed disk is an electro-mechanical data storage device that stores and retrieves digital data using magnetic storage with one or more rigid rapidly rotating hard disk platter, platters ...
, or adding an extra memory module is often quite simple. This means that a desktop computer configuration, usually a tower case, can be customized and upgraded to a greater extent than laptops. This customization has kept tower cases popular among gamers and enthusiasts. Another advantage of the desktop is that (apart from Green computing, environmental concerns) power consumption is not as critical as in laptop computers because the desktop is exclusively powered from the wall socket. Desktop computers also provide more space for cooling fans and vents to dissipate heat, allowing enthusiasts to overclock with less risk. The two large microprocessor manufacturers, Intel and AMD, have developed Notebook processor, special CPUs for mobile computers (i.e. laptops) that consume CPU power dissipation, less power and lower heat, but with lower performance levels. Laptop computers, conversely, offer portability that desktop systems (including small form factor and all-in-one desktops) can not due to their compact size and clamshell design. The laptop's all-in-one design provides a built-in keyboard and a pointing device (such as a touchpad) for its user and can draw on power supplied by a rechargeable battery. Laptops also commonly integrate wireless technologies like WiFi, Bluetooth, and 3G, giving them a broader range of options for connecting to the internet, though this trend is changing as newer desktop computers come integrated with one or more of these technologies. A desktop computer needs a Uninterruptible power supply, UPS to handle electrical disturbances like short interruptions, blackouts, and spikes; achieving an on-battery time of more than 20–30 minutes for a desktop PC requires a large and expensive UPS.Cost of AP
Back-ups-1500VA-230V
/ref> A laptop with a sufficiently charged battery can continue to be used for hours in case of a power outage and is not affected by short power interruptions and blackouts. A desktop computer often has the advantage over a comparable
laptop A laptop, laptop computer, or notebook computer is a small, portable personal computer (PC) with a screen and alphanumeric keyboard. Laptops typically have a Flip (form), clam shell Form factor (design), form factor with the computer scr ...
in computational capacity. Overclocking is often more feasible on a desktop than on a laptop; similarly, hardware add-ons such as discrete graphics co-processors may be possible to install only in a desktop.


See also

* Desktop replacement computer * Gaming computer * Home computer * Legacy ports * Operating system * Single-board computer * Software * x86 and x86-64, the most common architecture in desktop computers


References


External links


Computer Tour
of major components of a desktop computers at HowStuffWorks {{DEFAULTSORT:Desktop Computer Classes of computers Personal computers Office equipment