What are Desktop Computers?

By: Dusty Arlia
Published on September 12, 2011
Last Updated on Friday, July 17, 2015 at 11:26 PM
Total Updates: 4

One of the most common types of computer is the desktop computer, but what makes a desktop a desktop?

The word "desktop" comes from the size implied by the word desktop. Before the desktop computer came along computers were a lot larger. These large computers were the size of rooms. As technology developed the size of computers shrank. Computers which used to take up full rooms could now be placed on top of desks, hence the name desktop.

Desktop computers today are usually more powerful than typical laptop computers. The reason for their higher performance is directly related to the hardware installed on desktops. Most of the time desktops are equipped with larger hard drives and more memory. The reasons for desktops getting these additional system resources is usually related to the work desktops are expected to perform. Most often desktop computers are used in a work environment and high performing computers are a must.

Along with the business cost involved with having a fast performing computer, desktops are inherently better equipped to hold more memory. The number of expansion slots is greater on desktop computers because of their size. Adding more memory or installing a new hard drive is a lot easier on a desktop computer.

The actual desktop computer itself typically takes the shape of a box and might also be referred to as a "tower". The computer manufacturer Apple has been building a desktop computer called the iMac that actually has the "tower" built into the monitor. Desktop computers are starting to be built-in to the monitor as a side-effect to the success Apple has had with its iMac.

Price-wise desktops can run cheaper than a laptop if the desktop is sold as just the tower itself. On the other side of the spectrum, desktops can get very expensive. The cheapest iMac is $1,199.00.

If you considering purchasing a desktop, the main thing you have to be certain of is that you will not need your computer with you when you travel. Desktops are not meant to be mobile. They don't have built in batteries like laptops do. So if you decide to go with a desktop make sure your computer will be stationary as they are not supposed to be moved frequently.