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What are the best desktops for IT professionals? The IT (Information Technology) sectors of the various companies all around the world work tirelessly to keep infrastructures running.
This is one of those professions that is constituted of multiple roles and employs millions of people.
For example, it ranges from customer assistance to network security and has a role to play regarding software development too.
So, IT professionals have different kinds of jobs to do depending on where they are employed. Most of these are done on computers, some not as average as the others.
Those working in the graphics department require a specific set of specs in their PCs where more focus is on the graphics.
Other desktops focus more on raw computing power, hence using server-grade CPUs.
But not all of them are highly expensive, and there are some basic PCs too that are more suited for the tasks of an IT official.
So today we have put together the 5 best desktops that you, as an IT employee or a manager of an office, may choose.
A special focus has been given so that you can have a device that can keep your department running smoothly.
These are ranged in different price segments and for various purposes, while some of these can serve multiple ones.
So, while you can save some time and buy on directly, we also have a buyer’s guide at the end so that one can evaluate his needs more comprehensively.
Make sure to give that a read as well.
- Desktops for IT Professionals – Price
- Minimum & Recommended System Requirements for IT Professionals
- 5 Best Desktops for IT Professionals:
- Things to Know Before Buying Best Desktops for IT Professionals
Desktops for IT Professionals – Price
Minimum & Recommended System Requirements for IT Professionals
While these aren’t extremely taxing on the system resources, certain hardware aspects necessarily have to be taken care of.
But this depends on the kind of work an individual employed in an IT office does.
Lighter tasks on a desktop include software troubleshooting or client handling for example. However, certain IT departments have more demanding tasks to perform.
For running these varied kinds of tasks and more, take a look at the suggested system requirements listed below.
Recommended System Requirements: AMD Ryzen 5 Pro 3400GE or better processor │ Integrated Graphics or NVIDIA GTX 1660 Super GPU (if dedicated GPU is needed at all) │ 16 GB or more RAM │ 512 GB SSD and 1 TB HDD
5 Best Desktops for IT Professionals:
1. HP Envy TE01 Desktop – Best Overall
Bottom Line: The HP Envy fits a lot of IT job profiles, and hence can be a very useful machine for you if you are in the IT industry. It has got great features to bring out your best every day at work.
- Processor: Intel Core i7-10700F
- Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1660 Super
- OS: Windows 10 Home
- RAM: 32 GB RAM
- Storage: 512 GB SSD + 1 TB HDD
- Sleek design
- Several configurations to choose from
- Latest connectivity features
- Upgrading the PSU can be a problem
- Expansion options are limited
- Single PCIe x16 slot might be a problem for some
The HP Envy desktop sits at the top for more than one reason, and its utility in any IT-related environment is excellent.
Firstly, the Envy looks better than a typical tower desktop. While things like this come secondary for an IT professional, it still deserves some appreciation.
This variant of the HP Envy comes with a 10th gen Core i7 processor, 32 GB of RAM, and a GTX 1660 Super GPU that can handle quite an amount of graphics-related workload.
There is also a 512 GB SSD, and a 1 TB hard drive for storage. The expansion options in the desktop might be limited, but it gets the job done.
The kind of specs that the Envy possesses make it suitable for a variety of work, especially the creative kind. Be it work on Illustrator, UI design, or anything as such, you can rely on this desktop to handle it without much trouble.
2. Apple Mac Mini – Runner up
- Processor: Intel Core i5
- Graphics: Integrated Intel Graphics
- OS: Mac OS
- RAM: 8 GB
- Storage: 512 GB SSD
- Very compact
- Great performance and superior optimization
- Ample ports
- Not very upgradeable
- Can get pricey
- Does not come with peripherals
An IT office houses lots of computers, and in many cases, there is a severe shortage of space, given so many desktops, desks, and such.
If you own such an office or are planning to work in a smaller workspace, the Apple Mac Mini could solve your problems.
But its size is not the only thing that sets it apart from any other desktop here. With Mac OS installed, you do not have to endure irrelevant bloatware, ads, or the general inconveniences of the Windows OS.
Now you might be wondering why is this older-gen Mac Mini here instead of a newer M1-powered one?
Well the M1-powered Mac Mini, or any Apple device, in that case, can out-perform most Core i5 equivalent systems, in every aspect.
However, the compatibility of the silicon chip with other software or Windows is not yet that great.
That, and the fewer number of ports is why this previously launched version is still better for folk at IT.
Should there be any improvements (which most probably aren’t very far), then you might have to think twice. Check out Apple Mac Mini Desktop Review.
3. AsusPro D641SC Desktop – Sleek and Compact
Bottom Line: It may not look much, but the Asus Pro Desktop has a lot of flexibility that is sure to come in handy for IT staff. With the minimalistic looks, this might not be a very fancy desktop, but it’s worth it.
- Processor: Intel Core i5-9400
- Graphics: Integrated Graphics
- OS: Windows 10
- RAM: 8 GB
- Storage: 512 GB SSD
- Slim and durable design
- Good storage
- Decent performance
- Limited Upgradability
- Not always available
- Not enough airflow for dedicated GPUs
For those concerned about limited space, we have the Asus Pro desktop that may be slim in size but doesn’t compromise on performance.
Now, this may not be as powerful as the other towers mentioned here, but depending on what uses you have it could be very useful.
The reason it is mentioned here is not because of its performance, but rather its size.
The desktop has a 9th gen Core i5 CPU and 8 GB of RAM that can handle mid-range coding, and with the discrete NVIDIA GPU option, you may use it for network monitoring purposes as well.
But instead of superior raw performance, it has some other advantages like multiple display support.
The Asus Pro desktop comes with integrated graphics which is more than enough for any task that you may have to do on your job.
GPU upgrades, although possible, are a limited few only. But multi-tasking and coding for the average IT worker are comfortable.
Also, maintaining the PC or swapping out the parts is very easy and time-saving. These features are especially important for IT officials.
There are entry-level PCs that you can buy without having to spend much and this device from Asus is one of those.
But a thing to consider is the poor customer support that has been criticized by many when a problem arose. Check out AsusPro D641SC Desktop Review.
4. Lenovo ThinkStation P520C – ECC Memory and Configurability
- Processor: Intel Xeon W-2123
- Graphics: No GPU present by defualt
- OS: Windows 10 Pro
- RAM: 16 GB
- Storage: 512 GB SSD
- Decent Performance
- ECC supported memory
- Compact frame
- Does not have Integrated Graphics
- Not the latest processor
- Does not use mainstream motherboard
For those engaged in any IT Profession that has work relating to user data, should know that ECC memory is an inseparable tool.
It makes the overall system reliable and restricts the potential loss of data.
So here is the Lenovo ThinkStation 520C desktop that can be of great use to an IT employee handling sensitive data.
It comes with a Xeon W-2123 processor, 512 GB of SSD storage, and 16 GB of RAM.
The processor is not a hardcore server-grade CPU but has all the necessary features that one needs.
And don’t forget the general reconfigurability and expansion options.
The main drawback, if you ask, is that the CPU does not include integrated graphics, so you’d have to use at least an entry-level GPU to start working.
Now those of you needed a dedicated video card anyway, it shouldn’t be much inconvenient.
There are very few options like this that can offer these features in such an affordable price tag and don’t undermine it just because it misses graphics out-of-the-box. Check out Lenovo ThinkStation P520c Review.
5. Lenovo ThinkCentre M75q Desktop – Value for Money
- Processor: AMD Ryzen 5 Pro 3400GE
- Graphics: Integrated AMD Vega Graphics
- OS: Windows 10 Home
- RAM: 16 GB
- Storage: 500 GB SSD
- Compact design
- Decent specs
- Several configurations to choose from
- Only two RAM slots
- Not the latest connectivity features
- Cooling issues
While Intel has some business or IT-related facilities of their own on some of their CPUs, AMD has an entire line-up of processors designed for such purposes.
The Ryzen Pro series of CPUs from the brand has some added features that could be of use to you if you’re engaged in any IT profession.
Now the Lenovo ThinkCentre M75q-1 brings not just a Ryzen 5 Pro quad-core processor, but that too in an extremely slim form factor.
In an office where many desktops are needed, it both saves space and provides performance.
The variant has also got 16 GB of RAM and a 500 GB SSD, so it’s quite responsive and speedy from the very first boot-up.
There is also Radeon Vega 11 integrated graphics in the desktop that may not be as good as a dedicated GPU but can handle any graphics-related task relevant to any IT establishment.
Also, there’s a 3-year warranty on this that makes sure that you can provide consistent service to your clients, without having to worry about the hardware on your desktop.
There are various other configurations available for the M75q Tiny other than this one, and you may choose any of these that serve your needs best. Check out Lenovo ThinkCentre M75Q Desktop Review.
Things to Know Before Buying Best Desktops for IT Professionals
Choosing a desktop as an IT worker may not be as exhaustive as the tasks that you might have to do daily, but they still require some amount of patience.
To make things a bit easier, we have prepared this guide that should help you in this matter.
Every aspect of a PC has been given attention, and we have kept in mind even the basics.
Here we will be talking about what specs can bring the best performance, what sort of connectivity you would require, and what other things that you must keep in mind when you are buying a desktop.
Not only for pre-built ones but if you plan on taking the extra step and building a PC for yourself, this guide is sure to be helpful.
Now before going into the details, you must realize that every IT department has some requirements of its own, and there isn’t a special configuration that can satisfy all of them.
But make sure to keep lots of extra RAM and if possible invest in a processor that supports ECC memory, like Intel’s Xeon.
Let’s see what factors like these are to be given the utmost attention when a desktop for IT-related purposes is in question.
In general, a lot of the upgradability of your PC depends on its size. The size decreases as you move from large towers to SFFs (Small Form Factor) desktops and so does the upgradability.
For smaller desktops, you’d find fewer storage bays, fewer PCIe slots, and so on. On the bright side, they would save a lot of space.
Whether or not you can sacrifice upgrades for having more desktops in a given space is something that only you will know best.
What size you prefer is also something that you’d have to choose. But to add more CPUs and GPUs, a PC with an ATX or EATX board would be the best option.
Not every IT department does the same work, and while some need the extra expansion provisions, others don’t.
So the size of the desktop is one of the personal choices that you, as an IT professional, would have to make.
The Operating system on which you prefer to work on is closely related to the budget.
The choice of the OS won’t matter when you choose any other brand, but as you move towards Apple, a massive change takes place.
But it has prominent limitations too, which is the very reason why people need to use Windows or Mac OS.
The Mac OS is what comes pre-installed in the Apple devices, and when buying a pre-built option, you have no other choice but to spend more.
But the extra expense is worth it for an IT executive since the Mac OS itself has some advantages like more Virtualization facilities, smoother system experience, and so on that you won’t find on a Windows desktop.
On the other hand, those with Windows are cheaper and very flexible with better software support.
All these things are important for an IT worker, but not equally, so you should know what your preferences are.
The budget you have depends on a more serious question: What position of an IT profession are you in?
The needs that a student studying for IT has would be largely different from those of someone who is a ranking official in a software development company.
Also, the kind of office you would be (or already are engaged in) has a role to play here.
In simple terms, those who are software developers would have to keep a higher budget since they might also need a decent GPU. This is also the case for IT engineers.
Others who are more into coding would need a better CPU since they have little to do with graphics.
When you are considering a Windows machine, the minimum amount that you should be ready to spend is about $700 – 1000, and that can easily go up to $3000 or more.
But if budget isn’t a big concern, you can always buy an iMac that should tend to most of your needs.
Also, keep in mind that as you traverse more down this road, you would have to make multiple upgrades to your PC.
So make sure to invest, some extra if needed, for upgradability and expansions.
Before anything else, you must make sure that you have the right processor present on the desktop.
Unless you need to do a lot of graphics work, this is the part of the PC that would mostly define what it can and cannot do.
The minimum CPU recommendation if you’re an IT employee is an Intel Core i5 or Ryzen 5 as an AMD alternative, but there isn’t a higher limit here.
For heavy work, we would suggest you buy these at least, even if you’re a beginner in the field.
Although it may be costly in the beginning, it would be able to save you some money in the long run.
When the PC needs to do a lot more than simple data processing, there comes a need for multiple cores.
The right option in these cases would be a Xeon from Intel or one of AMD’s Threadripper.
These may not be the fastest processors, but have certain advantages like ECC memory support that would make sure you can use the PC for longer durations without having to restart it.
Also, among all those processors that are built for handling CPU-intensive tasks, these are the best.
There are many of those IT workers who even require more than a single processor, and thus a PC with two CPUs should also be considered.
But these require both special hardware and a bigger budget.
Unless you are working with extreme levels of computing, a single processor should be enough.
Graphics is the next thing that you would have to give attention to after you are done selecting the CPU.
The overall performance of any computer depends largely on the graphics.
Depending on your needs, you would have to decide whether Integrated graphics could be enough for the tasks you do, or would you require a dedicated GPU.
Now mostly, IT management, be it server or network management requires coding and such software that works fine with Integrated Graphics. So, a dedicated video card may not be needed at all.
Regarding dedicated GPUs, there are both GTX and RTX types from NVIDIA, while AMD has the Radeon series.
We aren’t going into many details, but if you have ray-tracing requirements, you probably know what an RTX video card is.
The best in this segment are the RTX 3000 series from NVIDIA. But for even more power, you’d have to opt for Quadro or Titan GPUs.
Not all IT officials require expensive GPUs and most are fine with a basic discrete video card or just the integrated one.
Also, make sure your PC has enough PCIe slots so that you could make an upgrade when needed.
Desktops used in the IT profession are known to have a lot of RAM, even though not all of it may be utilized in certain cases.
This is to make sure that there is never a shortage of memory when a higher workload comes up.
The CPUs used in your desktop would need lots of memory to function quickly, and hence a minimum of 16 GB memory is suggested.
The most can be 128 GB, but those are for highly powerful workstations. But anything above 16 GB would be good, and at times the more you can have the better it is.
Modern motherboards support dual or quad-channel memory by default so you need not worry about memory configuration much.
Just make sure to use more than a single RAM stick as that will improve performance slightly, while also boosting reliability.
If you’re using a CPU that supports ECC memory, then why not use it? ECC RAM modules come slightly expensive and are a bit slower than ordinary ones. But they have some strengths of their own.
The most relevant one is that they minimize system crashes, and a stable system is of utmost importance in this field.
With sufficient RAM, what you’d also need is a good amount of storage.
The PCs present here all have decent storage spaces, and based on the type of work you do as an IT executive, you have to decide the storage configuration as well.
When considering hard drives, do remember that although cheaper, these are quite slow at reading or writing data.
Even with a high-end system, you would notice sluggishness if only hard drives are used for storage.
SSDs, though expensive, are much faster and usually more reliable than hard drives, which can benefit an IT worker.
No matter what your preference, at least 512 GB of storage must be present, along with the option to add more storage drives when necessary.
You can also try hybrid storage, using both a hard drive and an SSD.
The ports present on a computer aren’t useful exclusively for any particular profession.
These are necessary for both the basic and the high-end user.
But the types of ports do make a difference. In this case, the count of USB 2.0 and USB 3.0 ports are to be taken care of.
There would be the need of connecting printers and scanners too if you have a business of some kind, so make sure there are spare slots for those.
Even though they aren’t used as widely anymore, you might as well look for a DVD writer.
Some video ports for adding more monitors could also be useful for more productivity or when you are running virtualization software.
Along with this, wireless and internet connectivity should also be present.
In case you have more computers in a single room, then more routers and switches would also be necessary.
Upgradability and Maintenance
Then comes the upgradability of an IT, business, or Workstation desktop. A good IT PC doesn’t need to be replaced very easily, and part of it is because these are easily upgradable.
There has to be enough space for adding more storage drives, and PCIe slots for adding more GPUs.
Unless your line of work is restricted to light computing, it is important to have the scope of upgrading your desktop over the years.
And with the ease of upgradability matters the ease of maintenance as well.
So, they need stable computers that can support them continuously and consistently. And it is best if maintaining these isn’t much of a trouble.
For every Corporate Office or the MNCs especially, the IT department works like a backbone.
Without reliable IT support, the day-to-day business of these offices would be hampered.
The computers mentioned here are what we think would be the best for office usage, and improve the IT workforce. All of these are stable devices that would last long unless there are drastic changes in your work pattern.
We hope this buyer’s guide would be very useful, and do comment if you have any better alternatives of your own.