Best desktop PCs to buy in 2014

Published 
11 Sep 2014
Best desktop PCs to buy in 2014

The very best desktop PCs around, from all-in-ones to hardcore gaming rigs

Discover what PCs to buy in 2014 and read our in-depth PC reviews, as rated by our team of expert reviewers. Not sure if a computer is right for you? We've got something for everyone here, from compact computers you can hide behind your monitor or television, to the overclocked gaming PCs and space-saving all-in-one PCs from all the major brands.

You don’t even have to spend a lot of money on a PC to get decent performance with plenty of budget options available as well. A lot of the systems we review come with or without a monitor so you can always use your old one, so now is a great time to pick up a new PC. Our always up-to-date list can help you make your choice. Click through to our full reviews for all the information you'll need.

Scan 3XS Z97 Performance GTX

The Z97 Performance GTX's high-end Core i5 processor and great gaming performance make it a Best Buy-winning PC

Scan 3XS Z97 Performance GTX front angle

Our Expert Opinion The Scan 3XS Z97 Performance GTX strikes a good balance between scintillating application performance and gaming punch thanks to its combination of Intel's Core i5-4690K 'Devil's Canyon' CPU and Nvidia GeForce GTX 770 graphics card. The system is also incredibly well assembled and includes a dedicated sound card to boot. There's also decent scope for upgrades and the system is equipped with 8GB of fast memory. This all makes the 3XS Z97 Performance GTX a great mid-range gaming PC and excellent value.

Price when reviewed: £1,200. Read our full Scan 3XS Z97 Performance GTX review for details.

Key specs
Processor Quad-core 4.7GHz Intel Core i5-4690K
RAM 8.00GB
Front USB ports 4
Rear USB ports 6
Total storage 256GB SSD, 2TB Hard disk
Display N/A
Operating system Windows 8.1
Warranty Three-year (one-year onsite + two-year RTB)
Details http://3xs.scan.co.uk/
Part Code 3XS Z97 Performance GTX

Chillblast Fusion Slipstream

New hardware and outstanding performance make this a great gaming PC

Chillblast Fusion Slipstream

Our Expert Opinion The mid-range gaming PC market is hotly contested so you need to be extra special to get noticed. The Chillblast Fusion Slipstream includes a lot of the latest generation hardware to make it stand out from the crowd. It has an overclocked Core i5-4670K running at 4.2GHz so has plenty of power and a GeForce GTX 760 graphics card means it's got decent gaming capabilities as well. You get good upgrade potential thanks to its quality motherboard that has lots of free SATA ports and memory slots available. The system is also reasonably priced but offers fantastic performance in both desktop applications as well as 3D games, so it's an all-round great-value system. 

Price when reviewed: £699. Read our full Chillblast Fusion Slipstream review for details.

Key specs
Processor 4.2GHz Intel Core i5-4670K
RAM 8.00GB
Front USB ports 2
Rear USB ports 6
Total storage 120GB SSD + 1TB hard disk
Display N/A
Operating system Windows 8.1
Warranty five-year (two-year collect and return and parts, plus three-year labour only RTB)
Details www.chillblast.com
Part Code Fusion Slipstream

Palicomp AMD Kaveri Evolution

This excellent AMD Kaveri PC performs brilliantly in games and applications, and comes with a great 24in monitor

Palicomp AMD Kaveri Evolution

Our Expert Opinion It's always a joy to see manufacturers push the boundaries of what you can expect in a budget PC and this is what Palicomp have achieved with the AMD Kaveri Evolution. We've been massively impressed by the capabilities of the AMD's Kaveri processors, and this budget PC shows them off to great effect. It has a powerful processor that's been capably overclocked and offers reasonable upgrade potential. You also get a big, good-quality 24in monitor that lets you enjoy movies and games comfortably. It also uses a 1TB SSHD that uses 8GB of NAND cache to help Windows feel responsive and bootup and shutdown super swiftly. This system offers a wonderful combination of application and gaming performance that makes it a good all-round home PC. This is quite simply one of the best PCs you can get for £500. 

Price when reviewed: £500. Read our full Palicomp AMD Kaveri Evolution review for details.

Key specs
Processor 4GHz AMD A10-7700K
RAM 8.00GB
Front USB ports 3
Rear USB ports 4
Total storage 1TB SSHD
Display 24in widescreen LCD
Operating system Windows 8.1
Warranty three-year RTB
Details www.palicomp.co.uk
Part Code KAV1

 

Scan 3XS Z87 Vengeance SLI

Very expensive but immensely powerful and really beautifully built - you'd be mad not to covet this PC

Scan 3XS Z87 Vengeance SLI

Our Expert Opinion The Scan 3XS Z87 Vengeance SLI is very expensive but it's also extremely well built and incredibly capable. If you're looking for a gaming PC as your main source of entertainment and you have the money to spend, you won't go far wrong. It wipes the floor with most graphically challenging games and will keep you at the cutting edge for years to come thanks to its immense specifications. Featuring liquid cooling, dual graphics cards and a powerful CPU, this PC has some serious power. It even made handling Crysis 3 at high resolutions look like child's play. The system also comes with some great Corsair peripherals including a mechanical keyboard and laser mouse which were a joy to use. 

Price when reviewed: £2,699. Read our full Scan 3XS Z87 Vengeance SLI review for details.

Key specs
Processor 4.6GHz Intel Core i7-4770K
RAM 8.00GB
Front USB ports 4
Rear USB ports 6
Total storage 256GB SSD + 2GB hard disk
Display 27in widescreen LCD
Operating system Windows 8.1
Warranty three-year RTB (one-year onsite)
Details www.scan.co.uk
Part Code Scan 3XS Z87 Vengeance SLI

Palicomp Intel Haswell i5 Commander

A powerful graphics card makes this one of the best value gaming systems around

Palicomp Intel Haswell i5 Commander

Our Expert Opinion Palicomp has assembled a great selection of components, and we particularly like the AMD Radeon R9 270X graphics card. It's ideal if you want to buy something that can play the latest games at the highest, or very nearly the highest, quality without spending a lot of money. You also get a 60GB SSD as well as a 1TB hard disk for storage, and the SSD in particular made Windows 8 feel super responsive although its actual storage capacity is low. The Palicomp Intel Haswell i5 Commander is a great combination of both value and performance.

Price when reviewed: £650. Read our full Palicomp Intel Haswell i5 Commander review for details.

Key specs
Processor 4GHz Intel Core i5-4670K
RAM 8.00GB
Front USB ports 3
Rear USB ports 6
Total storage 60GB SSD + 1TB hard disk
Display N/A
Operating system Windows 8.1
Warranty three-year RTB
Details www.palicomp.co.uk
Part Code HAS6

Scan 3XS NUC N16

With its powerful hardware and large hard disk, this is a great-value mini PC that gets everything right

Scan 3XS NUC N16

Our Expert Opinion The Scan 3XS NUC is based on one of Intel's NUC Kits and they've adapted it into a well-designed PC. It is incredibly quick for its size, squeezing a large amount of storage space into its tiny chassis. Small enough to place out of the way or mount behind your monitor. The only thing it lacks is more connectivity which can be excused considering it comes in such a tiny package. It strikes a perfect balance between price, performance and features, making it an excellent Best Buy. 

Price when reviewed: £650. Read our full Scan 3XS NUC N16 review for details.

Key specs
Processor 1.3GHz Intel Core i5-4250U
RAM 8.00GB
Front USB ports 2
Rear USB ports 2
Total storage 1TB hard disk
Display N/A
Operating system Windows 8.1
Warranty three-year RTB (one-year onsite)
Details www.3xs.scan.co.uk 
Part Code 3XS NUC N16

Apple 27-inch iMac

The latest version of this 27in all-in-one is powerful, stylish and stands up well to its upstart rivals

Apple 27-inch iMac

Our Expert Opinion You know what to expect from an Apple iMac: a powerful all-in-one computer with a fantastic display and looks to shame a supermodel, but a slightly wince-inducing price. This late 2013 version of the 27in iMac is all of those things. It's also very powerful and capable of playing 3D games at its native 2,560x1440 resolution. The display itself is also phenomenal and especially useful if you need a lot of room to work with. It also has fantastic colour accuracy and contrast. If you can afford the iMac, it's impossible not to fall for.

Price when reviewed: £1,909. Read our full Apple 27-inch iMac review for details.

Key specs
Processor 3.4GHz Intel Core i5-4670K
RAM 8.00GB
Front USB ports 0
Rear USB ports 4
Total storage 128GB SSD + 1TB hard disk
Display 27in widescreen LCD
Operating system MacOS X 10.9
Warranty one-year RTB
Details www.apple.com
Part Code Z0PG2B/A

Yoyotech Warbird RS1

A powerful graphics card and processor make this powerhouse PC ideal for gamers

Yoyotech Warbird RS1

Our Expert Opinion With a 3GB Nvidia GeForce GTX 780, powerful Core i5 processor, and 1TB hybrid hard disk, this is a gaming system with plenty of power. It breezed through our benchmarks and played Crysis 3 smoothly at Very High quality. It's surprisingly compact for a well-specified gaming PC that remained quiet even when under heavy load. The inclusion of a 1TB SSHD hybrid drive keeps everything running smoothly while leaving you space for your games and media. The Warbird RS1 is a solid gaming PC for the money.

Price when reviewed: £1000. Read our full Yoyotech Warbird RS1 review for details.

Key specs
Processor 4.2GHz Intel Core i5-4670K
RAM 8.00GB
Front USB ports 2
Rear USB ports 6
Total storage 1TB SSHD
Display N/A
Operating system Windows 8.1
Warranty three-year RTB (one-year parts, three-year labour)
Details www.yoyotech.co.uk 
Part Code Warbird RS1

Braebo Selene

This highly capable gaming PC could do with an SSD but has everything else you’ll need

Braebo Selene

Our Expert Opinion The Braebo Selene is a well-equipped PC with a good graphics card and Haswell Core i5 processor that make it ideal for gaming. Although it has a hybrid HDD rather than an SSD, it comes with plenty of RAM and its performance speaks for itself. It uses an eye-catching Cooler Master case which you'll either love or hate. The real star of the show is the AMD Radeon HD 7870 graphics card that performed impressively.

Price when reviewed: £799. Read our full Braebo Selene review for details.

Key specs
Processor 4.2GHz Intel Core i5-4670K
RAM 16.00GB
Front USB ports 2
Rear USB ports 6
Total storage 1TB hard disk
Display N/A
Operating system Windows 8.1
Warranty three-year RTB
Details www.braebo.com
Part Code Selene

 

Scan 3XS Mirage AIO245

This all-in-one PC isn’t the most attractive, but it’s well specified and reasonably priced

Scan 3XS Mirage AIO245

Our Expert Opinion The Scan 3XS Mirage AIO245 isn't the best looking all-in-one PC you'll ever see but his powerful all-in-one PC's Core i5 processor and dedicated GPU make it a phenomenal all-rounder, capable of playing the latest games at very high graphical quality. Meanwhile, the 23.6in touchscreen display is one of the best we've seen that takes advantage of Windows 8 and made navigating the operating system a real pleasure. There's also plenty of USB3 ports and a built-in 802.11n dual-band wireless adaptor that make this a great all-in-one option.

Price when reviewed: £1,149. Read our full Scan 3XS Mirage AIO245 review for details.

Key specs
Processor 2.9GHz Intel Core i5-3470S
RAM 8.00GB
Front USB ports 0
Rear USB ports 6
Total storage 2TB hard disk
Display 23.6in widescreen LCD touchscreen
Operating system Windows 8.1
Warranty two-year collect and return
Details www.scan.co.uk
Part Code 3XS Mirage AIO245

  

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