All-in-One PC vs Desktop – Which is Better for You?


All-in-one PCs have grown in popularity lately. They’re slim, good-looking, have a decent screen, and come with their own keyboard and mouse. So the question arises, are they ready to replace our Desktops? Or is it just a nice piece of technology that looks great on your desk? In this article, we will answer all your questions. We’ll do all-in-one pc vs desktop computer, and see what is best for you.

What are all-in-one personal computers?

All-in-one or AiO PCs are nothing but all the components of your desktop packed into a smaller form factor. Desktop computers have a separate monitor and processor, but AiO monitors have built-in processors. Plus, most AiOs come with their own Bluetooth keyboard and mouse, so you won’t have to buy them separately. Because of these elements, AiOs are much smaller and consume less power than your average desktop computer.

Unlike desktop PCs, AiOs lack the normal components; instead, most of them are shrunken down to fit a smaller chassis. This significantly reduces performance because there is not enough room to add a cooling system. However, few users will notice the difference in performance; it’s only when you try to push the system to its extreme that you’ll notice thermal throttling and a drop in performance.

After that, we are going to discuss the difference between All-in-One PC and Desktop and compare them on several parameters to find out which one is right for you.

all-in-one pc vs desktop computer

In this All-in-One PC vs Desktop battle, we will make the comparison based on the following parameters.

  1. Aesthetic
  2. Performance
  3. Touch options
  4. Price

Let’s talk about it in detail.


All-in-one PCs are made to look good. They have this slim monitor stuffed full of all the CPU components; Plus, the keyboard and mouse follow this slim form factor. On top of that, since there aren’t many ports, cable management is easier and therefore makes the whole setup clean. This in no way means that desktops look bad. You can find good RGB-filled processors and good quality monitors these days. That being said, most people will appreciate the slim form factor of all-in-one PCs. So they take the cake in this round.


This is the area where the desk shines the most. That’s pretty common sense, you need big powerful internals and best in class cooling, you’d need a big chassis to fit them all in. However, you must first know the demand for your workflow. Most people won’t need the best GPU and super-powered processor if they’re just creating Word documents and checking email. But if you are a power user, for example, you need to play games on your computer or edit 4K videos, then a full-fledged desktop computer is what you need.

All-in-one PCs do not have the same cooling system as a desktop computer, which is why your system may experience thermal throttling. Also, they are highly unlikely to have the best in class GPU due to lack of space.

If we talk about raw performance, the desktop PC is far superior to all-in-ones, but most people don’t need top-tier performance.

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3]Touch Options

The touch screen is not a necessity, but a luxury for most PC users because all versions of the Windows operating system are optimized to work with a laptop and a mouse. As for desktop computers, the touch option depends on the monitor, if you want a touch screen, attach a suitable screen. AiOs, on the other hand, come in regular and touch options. But the problem with desktop computers is that you’ll end up paying extra to get the touchscreen.

If you are an artist or graphic designer and want a touchscreen to use the monitor as a backdrop, keep in mind that since the AiO has all of its components behind the monitor, the degree of flexibility will be less per compared to that of a real monitor that you get in Desktop PC.

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The price is where things start to get interesting. AiOs are generally more expensive than a tower PC. So you’ll get a far superior desktop PC for the price of a lower all-in-one. There are several reasons for this, to build an AiO requires exceptional engineering, you can’t just stack components like you would in a tower processor, due to lack of space. Additionally, you get a full-fledged computer in AiO, which would include a monitor, speakers, mouse, keyboard, and sometimes even a webcam.

You should therefore calculate the price of both devices before making a decision. Yes, tower PCs are relatively inexpensive, but add the price of each device and then decide.

Are desktops better than all-in-ones?

In terms of performance, Desktop outperforms all-in-ones on every level. It usually has a more powerful chipset, a better cooling system and if you feel like upgrading your hardware, a tower PC will make it easier for you. But when it comes to being better overall, that’s just personal preference, if you want a slim computer that’s good looking, but not that powerful, get an AiO. On the other hand, if you are a power user and do a lot of editing and gaming, get a full-fledged desktop computer. It all depends on your needs and desires.

What are the disadvantages of all-in-one computers?

All-in-one computers have the following disadvantages.

  • They lack power and cooling system; therefore, they cannot perform any demanding title or intensive tasks.
  • Generally, they are not scalable. And while they’re upgradable, it won’t be as easy as on a desktop computer.
  • You’ll end up paying more for an AiO for the same specs as a desktop computer.

That being said, AiO is by no means a bad option and should be considered for users who don’t require the highest specs.

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all-in-one pc vs desktop computer


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