I compiled this guide for Desktop PCs without any monitors or peripherals. A range of manufacturers has come out with some amazing PCs in terms of storage, speed, and design. It seemed only fair to check out the reviews, specs, and prices and compare mano a mano separating the men from the boys for this review guide.
Researching reviews and prices from the giants of TechRadar, pcmag, hellotech, and tomsguide these 3 won the battle for fastest and most reliable PC workhorses compared with their price range and hardware specs of their fellow counterparts.
Budget – Acer Aspire TC-330 under $500
If your looking for a fast and reliable pc to put your DAWs on for approximately $500, then look no further then the Acer Aspire TC-330. Released by Acer in 2020, this pc ranks with others in the mid category for its price range.
Dual-core AMD A9-9420 CPU running at 3.6GHz, 8GB of DDR4 RAM, and a 1TB hard-disk drive (HDD), which combined is more than enough power to help you record and process your DAW’s memory needs. It’s all contained in a relatively compact chassis that you can easily hide under a desk or display next to your monitor. The ports and slots for this PC are as follows:
- DVD-RW optical drive you can use to read and burn
- 2x USB-A 3.1 (Gen 1)
- 1 3.5mm audio jacks
- SD card reader for a smooth transfer of files
- 4x USB-A, HDMI, Ethernet, and VGA ports. There is no dedicated graphics card (GPU) for gaming, though you can upgrade RAM and storage after purchase.
Mid-range – Dell Precision 5820 approx. $1300
Dell, known by their standards, their quality of products, and not only in my opinion but in the PC world are renowned for sheer performance, reliability, precision, and quality. You just can’t go wrong with a Dell PC. I would have put the Dell Precision 3630 in this review under budget however the Aspire just outranked it in terms of price and hardware.
Going into benchmarks was a little beyond the scope of this review but compared with price and hardware the Aspire came out on top. Getting back to the beast that is the Precision 5820, you are able to manage and spec your own hardware configurations and I specked it at a midrange level that for price and performance is just insane.
4 core Intel Xeon Processor W-2223 running at 3.6GHz. For graphics, we have the NVIDIA® Quadro® P1000, 4GB, 4 mDP (5820T). For RAM I chose 16GB, 2x8GB, DDR4 2666MHz RDIMM ECC Memory. We then have a 3.5″ 1TB 7200rpm SATA Hard Drive.
With these specs and Dell’s configurations there is not much more you need in terms of power, speed, and storage unless you have money burning a hole through your pocket and you want to lay waste to sense and reason. Did I mention it also comes with windows 10? This PC will run any DAW almost perfectly without loss of resources. Taking a look at the ports and slots the 5820 comes with these:
- Power button/Power light
- Drive activity light
- SD card slot
- USB 3.1 Gen 1 ports
- USB 3.1 Gen 1 Type-C port with PowerShare
- USB 3.1 Gen 1 Type-C port
- Headset port
- 5.25 inch bay (optional)
- Optical drive
- Drive access release latch
- Drive carriers
- Microphone/Line-in port
- PS/2 Mouse port
- USB 3.1 Gen 1 ports
- Discrete graphics card slot (optional)
- Padlock ring
- Security cable slot
- Power cable connector
- Line-out port
- Serial port
- PS/2 Keyboard port
- Network port
- USB 3.1 Gen 1 port (supports smart Power-On)
- Expansion card slots
Flaunt Your Dollar Range – Corsair One Pro i180 approx. $4000
One of the best PC’s without peripherals has to be the Corsair One Pro i180. I remember when Corsair was starting out and was just a peripherals company. Now they make some of the best PC’s in the business and here is one to top most of its competitors.
The design of the i180 is not like your standard-issue desktop tower and it will take your breath away when you look at it and try to figure out is it a concept design or is it actually real? All versions of Corsair’s One-series PCs have the same dimensions: 15 by 6.9 by 7.9 inches (HWD). Let’s look at the hardware specs crammed into this tiny powerhouse.
Boasting an Intel Core i9-9920X CPU, a NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 Ti GPU 4x8GB DDR4-2666 of RAM and liquid cooling with a 960GB M.2 NVMe SSD and a 2TB 5400RPM 2.5” HDD. It’s simply incredible for its size and weight. Windows 10 Pro also comes standard with your purchase. There is not much more you need in terms of speed, storage and performance and this powerhouse will crush the resource needs of any DAW. The slots for this bad boy are as follows:
- 2x USB 3.1 Gen 1
- Combo Headphone/Mic
- HDMI 2.0a
- 2x USB 3.1 Gen 2 (Type-A and Type-C)
- 4x USB 3.1 Gen 1
- 7.1 Audio
- 2x Ethernet
- 3x DisplayPort