The 10 Most Reliable Desktop PCs You Can Buy

The desktop PC scene is much different today than it used to be. You get a whole lot of power in smaller sizes than before, and you can pick and choose from a host of available options. It all comes down to a combination of the sort of user that you are and the requirements you have for your future PC.

When it comes to buying a desktop PC, a fully-assembled PC is the smarter and more reliable option for the average user. While putting together a PC yourself is great, it takes a lot of patience, and research to ensure that you're making the right decisions picking the parts, and putting them all together. Even then, reliability will vary from part to part, and in case of issues, you will need to chase RMAs and warranties for individual components.

On the other hand, pre-assembled desktop PCs are the more reliable option for most folks and are easier (and often cheaper) to get repaired. While the average pre-built PC used to have poor value for money a few years ago, that's not the case anymore.

Apple iMac 24-inch (M1, 2021)

Apple's iMac has always been among the most reliable desktop computers you can buy. With the 2021 version which brought a long overdue design refresh to this favorite, the iMac is now an even better option as the best desktop PC for most people. The new design gives it a fresh style, and although the chin still stays, the computer itself is astonishingly thin, and packs in quite a lot of power for its size.

The iMac 24-inch packs in a 4.5K resolution Retina display, and the internals of the iMac, powered by the Apple Silicon M1, are all integrated behind the display. You can get up to 16GB of unified memory (RAM), and up to 2TB of storage. Apple includes a Magic Mouse and a Magic Keyboard, and the latter can be upgraded to a model with Touch ID built right in. Apple has also moved away from the typical silver and gray aesthetic of the iMac with this version, and you now get a bunch of bright pastel color options.

In our Apple iMac 24-Inch review, we said that it was the right Mac for most people. For folks looking for a reliable, no-nonsense desktop. If you want some performance out of it, the M1 is plenty capable too, and it's very power efficient. It's not for everyone, but it will be perfect for a lot of folks. The Apple iMac 24-inch ranges between $1,299 to $1,699, but can go higher as per the configuration you pick.

HP Envy 34 All-in-One (2022)

The HP Envy 34 All-in-One is one of the best Windows desktops you can buy, especially if you want an all-in-one computer running Windows. The star of the show is the massive 34-inch ultra-wide display with 5K resolution and color accuracy of up to 98% DCI-P3. Being an all-in-one, it packs in the hardware behind the display, which means no separate PC tower taking up extra space.

On the hardware side, you get some beefy specifications, going up to 11th Gen Core i9 and an RTX 3080 Mobile. Of course, it carried a hefty price tag, but as we had previously said, the HP Envy 34 All-in-One is a good choice for professionals. It's just not for professionals, though, and will make for a great desktop PC for many folks, backed by HP's reliability.

Tom's Guide's HP Envy 34 All-in-One review called it a legitimate iMac competitor, and that holds true. It trades blows with the iMac and can be a great alternative for folks looking for a Windows option similar to the iMac. The HP Envy 34 All-in-One starts at $1,999, and can go upwards of $3,000 depending upon your configuration.

Intel NUC 12 Extreme (Dragon Canyon)

The Intel NUC 12 Extreme (Dragon Canyon) is a different kind of desktop PC, but it is a great option for enthusiasts that want a compact little machine with plenty of power. Intel's NUC has come to be a platform that rivals Apple's Mac mini (and now Mac Studio) while showing off the capabilities of the latest generation of Intel's Core processors. The Intel NUC 12 Extreme (Dragon Canyon), as the name suggests, packs in a bunch of power.

This is a barebones system, though, which means that it doesn't come with RAM, storage, or a GPU installed. You have to pick and add these components yourself, as this system is aimed at enthusiasts looking for a reliable desktop PC. If you have the patience to do a tiny bit of assembly (which isn't really difficult), this machine can be a heck of a computer with a lot of power despite its compact size. You get a 12th Gen Intel Core i9-12900 processor that supports up to 64GB DDR4 3200 MHz RAM. You get one PCIe 5.0 slot for GPU, three M.2 NVMe PCIe 4.0 SSD slots, and even Thunderbolt 4 built-in.

PCMag's Intel NUC 12 Extreme review called it mini-PC excellence, noting that it offers great performance for its size, and "won't make you wish you bought a bigger tower." This is one for enthusiasts that love assembling PCs but don't want a full-sized system while keeping some of the thrills of PC building. It starts at $1,749 for the Core i7 model and $1,979 for the Core i9 model.

HP Chromebase All-in-One 22

It's not all Windows and Mac when it comes to reliable desktop PCs. Chrome OS has options too. The HP Chromebase All-in-One 22 is a part of a new class of devices. Although Chromebases have existed for a while — since January 2014, to be precise — they've not really taken off well. That is, until HP debuted the Chromebase All-in-One, bringing its expertise in making excellent AIOs, and combining it with the now-matured Chrome OS platform. The result is a reliable and refined home computer that makes for a solid desktop option.

Chromebooks are great computers for users that mostly use web applications, like students, and for folks that want a secondary computer that doesn't cost a lot and does the basics well. The HP Chromebase All-in-One 22 brings that to the desktop. There's nothing crazy here, and you get up to an Intel Core i3-10110U processor, 8GB of DDR4 RAM, and 256GB NVMe SSD for storage. Making the user experience complete is the rotating 21.5" full HD touchscreen, paired with dual B&O 5W speakers. This is a low-end machine, but it is a reliable desktop PC that will make for a smart purchase for many folks. It is elegantly designed too.

In their HP Chromebase All-in-One 22 review, XDA Developers called it a one-of-a-kind and exceptional machine, especially for folks shopping for a back-to-school PC. It is a great system for younger or inexperienced users and brings a lot to the table. HP is offering this at a starting price of $600.

Apple Mac mini (M1, 2020)

The advent of Apple Silicon was a breath of fresh air for the Mac mini, giving the compact computer a new lease on life. The M1 Mac mini now is one of the best value-for-money desktop computers you can get. The chip is incredibly capable and power efficient. It is the most affordable path into Apple Silicon, and you even get active cooling, so you're getting the best out of that M1 chip.

From a design standpoint, nothing has really changed in this device's outward look over the past few generations. The Mac mini still looks like the older Intel version that preceded it. This design reuse has let Apple release the M1 Mac mini at a great price, and it remains a great deal even today, nearly two years after its launch. 

In our Apple Mac mini M1 review, we called the improvements delivered by Apple Silicon "legitimately astonishing." This is the best value-for-money reliable desktop computer you can buy right now.

On the negative side, you need to purchase the monitor, keyboard, and mouse separately. You also need to make sure to buy the memory and storage configuration you want upfront since you can't upgrade those later. It will cost you $699 for the base configuration with 8GB unified memory and 256GB storage, with options to pick higher memory and storage at additional cost.

Corsair One a200

Corsair has been a big name in the gaming PC business for a while, and the Corsair One a200 is the culmination of the company's experience in the field. It is the best pre-assembled gaming PC you can get, and it uses some of the best hardware on the market, including Corsair's own. All of that is packed into a chassis that is compact and aesthetically pleasing, complete with Corsair's reliability.

Corsair has put in AMD Ryzen 5000 processors, combined with Nvidia RTX 30 series GPUs. That's not the latest hardware, but Corsair has kept the One lineup updated with the latest since the company first launched it in 2018. Regardless, even with the current hardware on offer, this is a very powerful system. You even have liquid cooling inside, so you don't have to worry about the thermals with the compact form factor.

Of course, this comes at a price, starting at $2,600 and going over $3,000, but it's near appropriate for something with this much power. Tom's Hardware's Corsair One a200 review said it was easy to recommend because of its " impressively compact shell, quiet operation, and top-end performance in both gaming and productivity." You can find it for cheaper right now due to the reduced component prices, and a refresh may also be on the way. This is a great HTPC option for folks that want to use a PC like a console.

MSI MEG Aegis Ti5 (2022)

If you want a fully decked-out gaming PC that's reliable, you'll want to take a look at a very capable system called the MSI MEG Aegis Ti5. It carries an over-the-top gamer aesthetic that may not be everyone's cup of tea but surely has its takers. It looks like something out of Tron, as we previously pointed out.

Whether you like the looks or not, this system packs in quite a punch. You get up to Intel Core i9-12900K CPU, and up to an RTX 3090 GPU. A ton of performance is on offer with this hardware, and this system is perfect for gamers looking for the best and most reliable gaming PC out there with fully-maxed out specifications. It can cost a pretty penny, especially since it only has higher-end configurations, but MSI's guarantee makes it a pretty solid buy.

TechRadar's MSI MEG Aegis Ti5 review said that this was the company's best gaming PC yet, and we'd have to agree. You can expect this system to get upgraded with Intel's 13th Gen Core chips and RTX 40 series GPUs soon, too. You can buy the MEG Aegis Ti5 starting around $3,500, with some configurations costing up to $5,000.

Apple Mac Studio

Apple gets a total of three entries on this list, and for good reason. It makes some of the most reliable desktop computers you can buy, and with Apple Silicon now, they're among the best performing as well. The Apple Mac Studio is the most powerful Mac workstation desktop you can buy right now, and it is powerful enough to sometimes outperform the Mac Pro that Apple currently has available.

This is the best workstation desktop PC you can buy right now, especially if you have a workflow that already uses macOS or can move to macOS with ease. It is powered by the Apple Silicon M1 Max or M1 Ultra and carries a design very similar to the Mac mini, except taller. It packs in amazing power for its size and has some great features that make it a great computer for creative professionals.

Tom's Guide's Apple Mac Studio review said that the M1 Ultra variant proves that Apple Silicon can compete with the best of Intel and AMD. The Mac Studio is the way to go if you want a capable workstation backed by the reliability of macOS for complicated workloads. The M1 Max version starts at $1,999, while the M1 Ultra version starts at $3,999.

Lenovo ThinkStation P620

If a Mac workstation isn't to your liking, you'll do well to look to the Lenovo ThinkStation P620 — running Windows. You get proper workstation hardware with this one. Lenovo is going with the latest generation of professional-grade Ryzen Threadripper Pro processors here, coupled with the Nvidia RTX and AMD Radeon professional GPU options. This isn't your average desktop PC, it is one of the most reliable workstations you can buy.

It comes in a full-size chassis, and a rather muted and professional-looking design. You also get space for two professional graphics cards, five 3.5-inch storage bays, and up to 1TB of RAM. There's plenty of front-panel connectivity as well, with a card reader built right in. Lenovo lets you configure the entire system while ordering it, with the price starting around $2,600, and you can quickly take it well over $30,000.

PC Mag's Lenovo ThinkStation P620 review said that "scalable to the nines" aptly describes this machine. It packs in every bit of performance you need in a professional workstation. Keep in mind, though, most users don't need this much power, and this one is exclusively for professionals.

HP Z2 Mini G9

If you want a workstation that's not all-out with expensive professional-grade hardware, nor as big in size, the HP Z2 Mini G9 is the perfect workhorse for you. It packs in a ton of great hardware in a rather compact chassis. It gets the desktop-grade Intel 12th Gen Core processors, but you get the option to add Nvidia's professional GPUs.

It comes with all the bells and whistles you can expect from a workstation of this size. You can add up to 64GB DDR5-4800 RAM and up to 8TB PCIe 4.0 SSD storage. Of course, it is somewhat limited by its form, but it is a reliable option for folks looking for a compact workstation that has ample power and can be carried around if needed. While it's a compact option that only takes in low-profile GPUs, this machine can still be great for a lot of professional workflows, especially those that have space limitations.

While this is another smaller form-factor desktop PC option on this list, it is aimed toward professional workflows. Windows Central's HP Z2 Mini G9 review said that the computer is capable of punching way above its weight. It's a niche solution, but one that will work reliably where deployed. It starts at $2,200, although HP offers a hefty discount of slightly over 50% on the base configuration.