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All-in-one computers have proven a strong category in the declining PC marketplace over the last 5 years. While overall sales dropped, the AIO got ground, and manufacturers aren’t complaining around that. AIOs have tendency to be much more expensive than conventional desktops.

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The very nice one of all-in-one equipment is easy to understand. Castle condense and simplify computer into a single, elegant style that says goodbye come annoying, ugly wires. Yet that comes through sacrifices that may haunt you a couple of years under the road.

Paying in performance

Despite what you may have heard, power is quiet important, also in desktop computer computers. In fact, the gap in between the quickest and slowest equipment is greater than ever before before. Even basic activities, like internet browsing, become much more demanding over time, therefore the performance of your pc at purchase can impact how long it will be useful.

All-in-ones room at a disadvantage since they’re built to it is in thin. That means less room for components and cooling. As a result, the AIO sector is complete of desktops that have actually low-power versions of desktop computer processors, or even mobile processors inside.


The all-in-one isn’t a an excellent platform for upgrades.


The best-selling Lenovo C50 is a an excellent example. According to Newegg, that is most famous incarnation is $730 and packs a main point i5-4210U. It is a dual-core chip v a basic clock of 1.7GHz and also a best Turbo boost of 2.7GHz.

Let’s i think the display screen brings around $150 of value to the system, offering you $580 to spend on a comparable tower. Also at that low price, friend can conveniently snag a core i5 quad-core with a basic clock that 3.2GHz. It’s no an exaggeration come say the classic PC is double as quick.

The space only gets worse as prices increase. A thousands bucks will certainly barely to buy a quad-core all-in-one v a 1080p display, however the very same price will quickly net girlfriend a desktop with a core i7 Quad, gobs of RAM and also discrete graphics. And, in ~ the high-end, the AIO segment merely disappears. No AIO can defeat a $2,000 tower PC.

Expect obsolescence

Since an all-in-one is slow to start with, you’ll need to upgrade it more quickly. Today’s computer systems last a really long time, yet after 4 or 5 years many start to present their age, and also that’s especially true for systems that no cutting-edge to begin with.

Unfortunately the AIO, i m sorry will likely feel sluggish sooner than a tower, no a great platform for upgrades. Almost every computer in the group has a ball grid array (BGA) processor. A chip designed because that BGA is soldered to the motherboard, for this reason it can not be changed or upgraded by the user. The same is almost always true the discrete graphics, if it was offered in ~ the time the device was purchased.

You likewise can’t upgrade the display screen or the speakers. When both tend to age far better than a processor, they do at some point go obsolete. A common monitor sold a decade back had a 19-inch display with 1,280 x 768 resolution. Today’s 1080p displays will seem similarly out of style in 2025. A great pair the speakers can last a te or much more — however most all-in-ones only offer mediocre sound, at best.

What deserve to you upgrade? The RAM and also the hard drive, usually, despite some equipment don’t even enable this. And also even here, your options are limited. Many AIO solution ship through two lamb slots and also a single hard drive bay, both that which are filled to capacity. Upgrading way entirely replacing this components, i m sorry is more expensive and much more of a hassle than including additional a brand-new hard journey or RAM an currently tower setup.

When something goes wrong, it every goes wrong

Poor upgradability also way poor reparability. Everything in the mechanism is designed just so come make certain it deserve to work with each other within a minimal footprint. The an outcome is a sleek pc that’s hampered the minute any major component dies.

The screen is the obvious example. A broken monitor suck if you have a tower PC, but it’s simple to replace. Simply buy a new one, plug in the cord, and also you’re good. With an all-in-one, though, a damaged display renders the entire system worthless. Girlfriend may have the ability to have the serviced, but the expense will be numerous times the price that a brand new monitor.

Other contents that are easy to replace in a tower PC, yet not in one all-in-one, incorporate the optical drive, speakers, wireless adapters, and ports of all sorts. Replacing components such as these is a ten-minute project if you own a conventional tower. AIO owners, though, have the right to expect come spend hrs doing the work at home, or an expensive fix bill.

That only adds to the lifetime expense of the all-in-one, i m sorry was more expensive to start with. Include in a single significant repair, and also you could be looking at a life time bill that’s dual an old-fashioned tower PC.

Conclusion and also alternatives

I recently defined all-in-ones come a co-worker seeking purchase advice together “terrible, hateful, overpriced things complete of regret.” lock far an ext likely 보다 a tower to leave you suddenly in require of a brand-new PC a couple of years down the road.

Yet I recognize the allure of going cord-free. Fortunately, you deserve to do the very same with a tower desktop. Every you should do is purchase a system with inner Bluetooth and also use a compatible keyboard and also mouse. Or you can buy a wireless keyboard/mouse bundle that operates off a mutual USB dongle. In either situation you’ll have just 2 cords to chaos with; the power cord, which an all-in-one will likewise have, and also the screen cable.

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In fact, I’d introduce buying a laptop and also using it through an exterior monitor end an all-in-one. At least in that instance you get something — portability — that a tower computer can’t offer. The AIO requirements sacrifice there is no compensating the owner, and ultimately supplies zero benefit in the house or office.