What are the best desktops for zoom meetings? The COVID-19 pandemic has brought many changes to our lives, but the most notable of these is how we communicate with people.
Although there isn’t a serious lockdown in most places anymore, the way we interact with people hasn’t yet normalized, and hence video conferencing is still as important.
Now video calls are possible on desktops only through software dedicated for the same, like Skype, Google Meet, Zoom, the list never ends.
For all students, professionals, and casual users, software such as these often serve to be the sole medium through which they can be as close as possible to the respective audiences.
So here are 5 of the best desktops that you can use to attend the Zoom meetings of your workplace, school or family group.
We have not focused on any one form factor since each has some strengths and drawbacks, and so you’ll see desktops of various shapes and sizes here.
For further information, make sure to check out the guide we have provided at the end.
- Desktops for Zoom Meetings – Price
- What is Zoom?
- Minimum & Recommended System Requirements for Zoom
- 5 Best Desktops for Zoom Meetings 2021:
- Things to Know Before Buying Best Desktops for Zoom Meetings
Desktops for Zoom Meetings – Price
What is Zoom?
Zoom is one of the most used video-conferencing software of today’s time through which its users and even large groups of them connect and communicate over audio and visual means.
It is a cloud-based service, so the video being streamed by one is shared with the others through a server, which is quite fast.
It is thus different from other platforms where a connection is made between two IP addresses directly, with no server in-between.
This is the cheaper way to go, but Zoom excels in other aspects like better audio and video quality, recording the meetings, and much more.
For the average student or home user, Zoom is free and all that one has to do is sign up on it (some may need to download the software).
However, for businesses and companies which conduct calls with a huge number of members, there are paid plans as well that start from $149.90 a year per license. These add more features like company branding, further secure video calling, etc.
And presently, this software is supported by a majority of the operating systems like Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, and so on so you need not worry about if yours or the receiver’s computer, or smartphone, would be able to run Zoom.
Not only that, there are both free and paid plans with features suitable for webinars, rooms, and such so even the subscription fee is worth it if you have the needs.
Minimum & Recommended System Requirements for Zoom
For a lower number of participants and single monitor usage, a dual or quad-core CPU with at least 2 GHz frequency is recommended.
It has to be supplied with about 4-8 GB of RAM, and an SSD in your computer system is preferred over a hard drive.
When the number of participants is huge, or 2-3 monitors are being used, the needed configuration goes up to a Core i7 or equivalent AMD processor and about 16 GB of RAM. Again, the size of the SSD can vary, but its presence is what matters.
In either case, you wouldn’t need dedicated graphics, unless you are looking for the tiny amount of boost that one may provide.
For stutter-free virtual meetings, consider having the following specs:
Minimum System Requirements: Core i5-9400T or better processor │ 8 GB or more RAM │ Integrated Intel UHD 630 or AMD Vega 3 Graphics │ 256 GB or bigger SSD
Recommended System Requirements: Core i5/similar Ryzen or better processor │ 12 GB or more RAM │ Integrated Intel UHD 630 or AMD Vega 3 Graphics or a dedicated GPU (depends on other requirements) │ 512 GB or bigger SSD
5 Best Desktops for Zoom Meetings 2021:
1. Dell XPS 8940 – Best Overall
No products found.
- Processor: Intel Core i7-10700
- Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1660 Ti
- OS: Windows 10 Home
- RAM: 16 GB
- Storage: 512 GB SSD + 1 TB HDD
- Good specs
- Has all the necessary ports
- Efficient cooling setup
- PSU limits GPU upgrades
- The motherboard is a non-standard one
- Can get expensive when higher variants are considered
An SFF or AIO might be better than a regular desktop in a few of the aspects, but when overall usefulness in a budget is in question, none of them are close enough.
There are all the ports that you’d need, along with audio ports at the back and two video ports (one HDMI and one DisplayPort). And with the GTX 1660 Ti GPU, you can easily run more monitors and utilize RTX voice, something we have talked about later on.
The Dell XPS 8940 also comes with other dedicated GPUs, and the GPU in this variant is a decent one for the use of Zoom.
You may add one after-market, but in that case, make sure you choose a better PSU at the time of buying the desktop.
This is because Dell uses a non-standard PSU in this, and it’s almost impossible to find a replacement from any other brand. Check out Dell XPS 8940 Review.
2. Dell OptiPlex 7070 – Runner Up
Bottom Line: Buying a desktop for Zoom is not always about the best specs, and even with minor drawbacks, the OptiPlex 7070 ranks second. Its slim design, varied configurations, and VESA mount support are what you’d be treated with should you choose this, among other things.
- Processor: Intel Core i7-9700T
- Graphics: Integrated Intel UHD Graphics 630
- OS: Windows 10 Pro
- RAM: 16 GB
- Storage: 256 GB
- Highly configurable
- Decent connectivity
- Easy to store
- Not very good for graphics-related tasks
- Limited Upgradability
- Better configuration increases price sharply
The best alternative, especially if you’re a Dell fanatic, is the brand’s Optiplex 7070, and the variant we have chosen comes with specs capable of running as many as 3 monitors on Zoom as well.
The specs available on this are a good choice if you are to manage several video conferences throughout the day, each consisting of many members, while some other software runs in the background.
The Core i7 CPU has got 8 cores and 8 threads and a maximum clock rate of 4.3 GHz. There is 16 GB of memory accompanying the CPU, which can easily be increased.
There is 256 GB of SSD space as well, while there are other options with more storage than this. With both hard drive and SSD configurations present, you need not make the sacrifice between budget and local storage.
Now it may not have additional SSD slots, but it does allow you to use SATA drives using the free 2.5-inch bay.
It comes with a VESA mount too which helps you to store it more conveniently.
With almost similar specs, this desktop comes cheaper than the HP option that follows but has some weaknesses too.
So, there are few ways one can be considered better than the other. Check out Dell OptiPlex 7070 Review.
3. HP EliteDesk 800 G6 – A Solid SFF Competitor to Dell
Bottom Line: These newer EliteDesks from HP are exactly the kind of desktops for you if you prefer a desktop with the latest specs and minimalist design for Zoom. It has several configurations too, but a high variant might just give you second thoughts.
- Processor: Intel Core i7-10700T
- Graphics: Integrated Intel UHD 630 Graphics
- OS: Windows 10 Pro
- RAM: 16 GB
- Storage: 512 GB SSD
- Good connectivity features
- Great performance
- Small and compact form factor
- Major Graphics upgrades are not possible
- Higher variants get pricey
- Limited expansion options
As we have talked about later too, you don’t need a desktop that takes up too much space to use Zoom.
The EliteDesk 800 G6 is one such desktop that has special importance when we are considering Zoom as the primary software to be used. There are multiple reasons why, so read on!
The EliteDesk 800 G6 is a small form factor desktop, and its dimensions are 6.97 x 6.89 x 1.35 inches (width, depth, and height).
The reason we mention this is not because it is the slimmest SFF that you can buy, but because it is still very easy to store.
The variant we have here has got a Core i7-10700T processor, 16 gigs of RAM, and integrated graphics, which should be enough for running Zoom, even heavily. This is an 8 core, 16 threaded CPU which offers enough potential.
If not, you may opt for a better option, and there are quite many variants available as well as those with dedicated graphics, which makes it suitable for a variety of users.
With this comes good connectivity, so that the addition of monitors, speakers, and mics is never an issue.
In the Wireless department too, you’d be getting WIFI 6 and Bluetooth out-of-the-box, so it’s ready to be used as soon as you unpack it. HP also provides options for Intel VPro support, should you need it.
4. Apple Mac – Performs at Par, or Even Better
- Processor: Intel Core i5
- Graphics: Integrated Intel UHD 630 Graphics
- OS: Mac OS
- RAM: 8 GB
- Storage: 512 GB
- Good performance
- Impressive connectivity
- Highly compact
- Quite pricey
- Small storage space
- Graphics performance is not very satisfying
While buying a Mac solely for Zoom conferencing seems to be a questionable decision, it isn’t so if you have other CPU-intensive things to do. This list has many compact desktops, but neither is as small as the Mac Mini.
This may look and weigh as much as a small box, but make no mistake about the punch it packs. This variant has got a Core i5 processor, but with the Mac OS, it is much more capable than any Windows alternative.
There is 8 GB of memory that is more than sufficient for the average Zoom user, but the same isn’t true for the 512 GB of storage space.
The storge is fast no doubt, but not upgradable, which makes it a little less convenient to depend on it entirely.
This isn’t the latest version, but even then this Mac Mini has got a lot of features that you can use. This includes especially the Thunderbolt ports, which have tons of functionality, like adding more monitors or storage.
You’d have nothing to complain about the performance of this little desktop, but the fans might get noisy. Also, the price at which the higher variants are available doesn’t make it something suitable for everyone.
5. Acer Aspire Z24-890-UA91 AIO – Value for Money
Bottom Line: Using an AIO desktop for Zoom meetings has its advantages, which are amplified when using one like the Aspire Z 24. Its sleek design, integrated webcam, and decent specs make sure that all you need to get started on video conferencing is to plug it into an Internet source.
- Processor: Intel Core i5-9400T
- Graphics: Integrated Intel UHD Graphics 630
- OS: Windows 10 Home
- RAM: 12 GB
- Storage: 512 GB SSD
- Sleek design
- Attractive features
- USB Type-C port is present
- Fixed webcam
- Not very expandable
- Does not have a touch-screen variant
All other desktops in the list are different from the other in one or more ways, but none provide everything that you need to immediately start using Zoom.
Not their fault though, since things like dual digital microphones and 1080p webcam are only available in few laptops or All-in-One desktops like this one.
One may argue that these aren’t as good as dedicated ones, but for basic usage, these are a tested solution.
The Acer Z24 is far from being the ideal AIO, but even then, it has enough to offer. The narrow-bezel 23.8-inch FHD display, for instance, has better colors than most AIOs we have reviewed.
The entire unit is quite thin, and even though it is priced like a budget machine, you’d feel like using a more premium desktop.
These should assist you to go through the video call sessions of school, University, or place of work.
The Acer Z24 is a complete package, for some at least, with the optional peripherals also being provided along with the AIO unit.
We would have preferred, however, if it had a pop-up webcam like other brands offer. Check out Acer Aspire Z24-890-UA91 AIO Review.
Things to Know Before Buying Best Desktops for Zoom Meetings
Be it for Zoom, or any other video conferencing software, your computer needs to have a certain kind of configuration so that it does not slow down while you’re in the middle of an important meeting.
Laptops might be the better option because of the added mobility, but here we would be focusing on desktops only.
Now as long as you have decent internet connectivity, and aren’t on any primitive OS, any average desktop can be used to run the software.
That can be a tower, SFF, a mini desktop, and a personal suggestion being an AIO since they are well-equipped to handle the general tasks every computer has to do, including video conferencing.
But does that mean that you wasted your time coming here? Not at all. We have prepared this guide so that you may learn all that you need to know, before you purchase a desktop solely to attend meetings on Zoom, and otherwise.
Following are the general aspects that must be catered to, and the accessories that you’d need to use Zoom, though they may not be immediately necessary for everyone here.
The form factor of the desktop may not have a direct relation to how Zoom performs, rather it has more to do with your convenience.
The AIO form factor, for example, comes with everything that you need for using Zoom and is the closest alternative to a laptop.
However, the quality of the webcam and camera is often not up to the mark, and people end up buying these separately.
You do not need an extra-large case to store huge components that can run Zoom.
Even a mini PC, as long as it has the right specs and connectivity can be chosen. Any form factor in-between, would thus also work.
Now if you have specific needs like you play games or need upgrades down the road, then a mid-tower or a bigger desktop would be suitable.
The budget and the other requirements you have would then help determine the final choice.
Now you might be thinking why would the choice of the OS matter if Zoom is for video conferencing? It doesn’t, as long as you are the average user whose usage is limited to creating or joining meetings.
But Zoom is not just any other video calling platform, and instead, it offers a lot more features that can only be utilized by the proper operating interfaces.
Zoom is supported by the most popular operating systems, Windows, Mac, and numerous Linux-based ones.
And although there isn’t an official mention of the Chrome OS, you can still use it on your Chrome-based AIO or desktop. However, you won’t have access to all the features it has.
For advanced users, the choice remains between either Windows or Mac. The latter is better optimized which can be a deciding factor at times, but it is expensive.
Windows also takes the lead when it comes to upgradability and software compatibility.
That being said, while Windows is much cheaper, it is not as efficient as the Mac OS.
Also, a Windows PC often lacks the superior connectivity that a Mac desktop or a Mac Mini possesses, like Thunderbolt ports.
There are many such differences between the two, but what matters most is which you feel comfortable with.
Now surely you have other things to do on your desktop rather than just using Zoom, and based on those you’ll have to select the OS accordingly.
If you are an average user, the choice of the processor in the desktop, in this case, is dependent on what other software you intend to use along with Zoom.
Since video conferencing isn’t too heavy on system resources, it would be wrong to think that the most expensive CPU can provide the best video calling experience.
For most users, other factors like the camera quality and the internet bandwidth, are the things that make the most difference.
But that doesn’t mean that you should go and buy the cheapest processor out there. Zoom may be cloud-based, but even then, it takes up a considerable amount of system resources which might be a problem with a low-end system.
Things get troubling when one has to fit in a lot of participants in a single call session, say in a Zoom room.
Basic calling between two people takes up much less of the CPU than this, and so if you intend to use a subscription for conferencing professionally, it might be right to invest in a better CPU.
And not just Zoom, your desktop has to run other software alongside it, and some streamers often use some OBS with Zoom, which adds to the workload of the CPU.
Depending on your usage, for simple video calling and the kind, you can opt for a dual or quad-core CPU. Multi-threading would be even better so that your desktop can handle the extra work.
For the heaviest of needs, you’d require no more than 8 cores, and an Intel Core i7 would do just fine. You might as well use 2-3 monitors then since CPUs such as these can handle those without hiccups.
You might be wondering what on earth would a GPU have to do with video conferencing? Well, a super-expensive video card may not be needed, but whatever gets displayed on the monitor in front of you is due to graphics, albeit the basic kind.
Video conferencing is not as resource-intensive as live streaming, but even then, there is still a lot of data that needs to be processed.
This is especially when you are using multiple high-resolution monitors. Smooth processing of data ensures that there are fewer lags, something that is very important in a professional environment.
So, to make sure that the processor and RAM of your desktop need not take up the extra workload, you may add a lightweight GPU to it. You can manage without one, just as most Zoom users do.
But a dedicated GPU might help you using other software and gaming, which does come in handy. If you are ready to spend, some GPUs, especially those of NVIDIA might just make your experience better.
These can be used to process video and audio, and NVIDIA’s Maxine technology makes things swifter.
It uses AI to make the visuals smoother, as well as adding other features like noise cancellation, gaze correction, face alignment, and much more.
This is however still better for developers, and mainstream users seldom need such a level of utility.
But with the addition of RTX voice to the GTX video cards, the company has finally brought something in this regard that the average user can have.
What the RTX voice feature does is that it removes any unwanted background noise, which I must say, is done excellently.
This means that the people you are talking with do not have to bear with the typing sounds coming from your keyboard, or your dog barking nearby.
All you need to do is download some software, and starting from GTX 600 cards to even the newest additions, almost every NVIDIA GPU has this feature now.
Then comes the RAM, and since we are talking about CPU processing here, it is obvious that system memory is something that has to be kept in abundance.
And again, more RAM would benefit you in Zoom itself, other software, and general multitasking too.
Zoom uses servers to connect one user to the other, which means that the CPU has to handle a lot of data at the same time.
It thus needs memory to keep those software needing an Internet connection stable, as well as handle the other tasks already running.
Now if you hover about the official recommendations, you’d see that 4 GB has been mentioned as a minimum. But in real-time, that hardly proves to be enough for normal usage, let alone run Zoom and any other task along with it.
So, it would be best for you to keep 8-12 GB of memory if you are a student or a working professional, while up to 16 gigs of it might be needed if you’re adding hundreds of participants in the same room.
The way that you’d use Zoom matters here, and so there isn’t a fixed amount of memory that we can suggest to every one of you.
However, making sure that there is free memory in the system might just solve some issues one may have while using Zoom.
The Zoom software, no matter what OS you use, wouldn’t take up much storage space on your desktop.
However, it does tend to fill up memory quickly as you record the call sessions, a feature that is useful to certain individuals and groups.
The official website doesn’t even have a storage recommendation, and so it can be safely said that one doesn’t have to buy extra storage just to use Zoom.
So basically, the storage requirement would depend on what other work you do on your desktop and the kinds of files you store.
At this point, there isn’t either a specific size or kind of drive that we can suggest, so consider buying a moderately sized SSD or a hard drive, depending on your budget.
A standard 512 GB-1 TB of storage space should just be enough, and you may as well use both an SSD and a mechanical drive to save money and still have enough space on the desktop.
The connectivity for any Zoom user is something of very high importance, and we are talking about both the wired and wireless connections here.
Since Zoom offers a very high quality of visuals, it also uses up a lot of your internet bandwidth.
The amount of data consumed per hour can reach up to 1.62 GB for one-on-one calls, and up to about 2.4 GB for group calls, depending upon the quality you choose.
Hence a good internet plan is mandatory, which can be through Ethernet or WIFI, depending on whichever is convenient for you.
And not just the internet, you’d need to connect other devices as well (check out the accessories section for more info), for which spare USB ports, video, and audio ports would be needed.
Also, these become more necessary if you choose to add more monitors to the setup.
Zoom meetings would be impossible to attend without the right accessories, and you’d be needing more than just a keyboard and mouse to get started.
With an AIO, you may have things like an inbuilt mic, speakers, and a monitor, but these are often average and people still choose to buy external ones for a better experience.
These need not be wireless or very expensive, since there are plenty of cheaper options too that get the work done.
One other thing that you must ensure is light, be it the natural or artificial kind dedicated for the purpose. Video calling is all about visuals, so it’s important that the people you talk to, can see you properly.
So before wrapping up for today, let’s see what sort of accessories you should be looking for.
If you have to do regular video calling, then you must know that the display you have determines the comfort with which the task can be done.
A bigger screen means that you won’t have trouble managing video conferences, while some prefer dual or triple monitors for the most productivity.
There is no point in buying high-resolution monitors unless you have other uses for them since Zoom only supports video quality up to 1080p.
A bigger, better monitor might harm the call quality, so it’s better to stick with any standard FHD panel.
Then comes the webcam, which is instrumental in deciding the call quality of both the sender and the receiver.
Some desktops come with inbuilt webcams, while you always have the option of buying these separately and connecting them via USB or wirelessly.
A separate webcam becomes very important for those who are concerned about the visual quality in the Zoom meetings, and it doesn’t cost much either.
External webcams come in different shapes, sizes, and budget ranges, and you may buy one as per your preference.
Along with a webcam, you’d also need a microphone, which too often comes inbuilt if you’re choosing an AIO desktop. For other form factors, however, you’d have to use external ones.
The microphone works similarly to the webcam, but instead of video, it transmits audio from the sender to the receiver. These are also made and sold in different sizes and price tags, depending on which you prefer.
Inbuilt microphones are good enough for basic Zoom usage, but they may not always be very clear. So in any case, external ones or those that are present on the earphones that you use would be preferred.
This brings us to headphones, which offer the functionality of both speakers and a microphone, and depending on the brand and budget, there are some great options available.
People prefer headphones or earphones as well since they are more private and provide better sound quality. If you don’t have these already, a decent pair would be great.
And finally, the average Zoom setup would be complete only when you add speakers to the desktop. This would help you hear what the other person is saying when not using earphones. You can also use them for other things like listening to music or watching videos, and so on.
What computer is best for zoom meetings?
Any decent computer today, be it a desktop or a laptop, notwithstanding the brand can run Zoom and let you join meetings being conducted on it. However, if you were to choose the best among them, a few of the options are:
Dell XPS 8940
HP EliteDesk 800 G6
Acer Aspire Z24-890-UA91 AIO
How much RAM do I need for Zoom?
This depends on the kind of video conferencing that you do. Our opinion would be to keep anything from 8-16 GB of RAM installed on your desktop so that you have no issues whatsoever. Any less than that would not be enough, while any more would simply be excess most of the time.
Does Zoom run on Windows 10?
Zoom at present supports a lot of operating interfaces, and yes, Windows 10 is among them. Feel free to buy a Windows PC if you feel like it would be suitable, and as long as there are enough system resources, Zoom is supposed to run smoothly on it.
Video conferencing itself has been a very useful invention and was useful even before the pandemic hit, just as it will be long after things get back to usual. But with software like Zoom, video conferencing gets very flexible and easy to manage.
Moreover, the wide variety of platform support makes it all the more worth it, even if you buy a subscription.