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A desktop computer is a personal computer designed for regular use at a single location on or near a or table due to its size and power requirements. The most common configuration has a that houses the power supply, (a printed circuit board with a as the central processing unit (CPU), , bus, and other electronic components), (usually one or more hard disk drives, optical disc drives, and in early models a floppy disk drive); a keyboard and for input; and a , speakers, and, often, a printer for output. The case may be oriented horizontally or vertically and placed either underneath, beside, or on top of a desk.


History

Origins
Prior to the widespread use of microprocessors, a computer that could fit on a desk was considered remarkably small; the type of computers most commonly used were , which were themselves desk-sized. Early computers took up the space of a whole room. Minicomputers generally fit into one or a few refrigerator-sized racks.

The very first "programmable calculator/computer" was marketed in the second half of the 1960s, starting with the machinery Programma 101 (1965) computer at typewriter size. More desktop models were introduced in 1971, leading to a model programmable in in 1972, from Olivetti itself, followed by . This kind of computers used a smaller version of a design based on (ROM) and had small one-line alphanumeric displays. They could draw computer graphics with a plotter.


Growth and development
, TRS-80 and were first generation personal launched in 1977, which were aimed at a consumer market – rather than businessmen or computer hobbyists. Byte magazine referred to these three as the "1977 Trinity" of personal computing. Throughout the 1980s and 1990s, desktop computers became the predominant type, the most popular being the and its clones, followed by the , with the third-placed Commodore having some success in the mid-1980s but declining by the early 1990s.

Early personal computers, like the original IBM Personal Computer, were enclosed in a "desktop case", horizontally oriented to have the display screen placed on top, thus saving space on the user's actual desk, although these cases had to be sturdy enough to support the weight of CRT displays that were widespread at the time. Over the course of the 1990s, desktop cases gradually became less common than the more-accessible (Tower was a trademark of NCR created by ad agency Reiser Williams deYong) that may be located on the floor under or beside a desk rather than on a desk. Not only do these tower cases have more room for expansion, they have also freed up desk space for monitors which were becoming larger every year. Desktop cases, particularly the compact form factors, remain popular for corporate computing environments and kiosks. Some computer cases can be interchangeably positioned either horizontally (desktop) or upright (mini-tower).

Influential games such as Doom and Quake during the 1990s had pushed and enthusiasts to frequently upgrade to the latest CPUs and (3dfx, , and ) for their desktops (usually a tower case) in order to run these applications, though this has slowed since the late 2000s as the growing popularity of Intel integrated graphics forced game developers to scale back. Creative Technology's series were a standard for sound cards in desktop PCs during the 1990s until the early 2000s, when they were reduced to a niche product, as OEM desktop PCs came with sound boards integrated directly onto the motherboard.


Decline
While desktops have long been the most common configuration for PCs, by the mid-2000s the growth shifted from desktops to laptops. Notably, while desktops were mainly produced in the United States, laptops had long been produced by contract manufacturers based in Asia, such as . This shift led to the closure of the many desktop assembly plants in the United States by 2010. Another trend around this time was the increasing proportion of inexpensive base-configuration desktops being sold, hurting PC manufacturers such as whose build-to-order customization of desktops relied on upselling added features to buyers.

Battery-powered portable computers had just 2% worldwide market share in 1986. However, laptops have become increasingly popular, both for business and personal use. Around 109 million notebook PCs shipped worldwide in 2007, a growth of 33% compared to 2006. Worldwide notebook shipments grow 33% on year in 2007, says IDC, 31 January 2008, Yen Ting Chen, DigiTimes, retrieved at 12 September 2011 In 2008, it was estimated that 145.9 million notebooks were sold, and that the number would grow in 2009 to 177.7 million. Analysis: Did Intel underestimate netbook success?, Accessed at 10 January 2009 The third quarter of 2008 was the first time when worldwide notebook PC shipments exceeded desktops, with 38.6 million units versus 38.5 million units. Notebook PC Shipments Exceed Desktops for First Time in Q3, isuppli.com, accessed at 13 January 2009

The sales breakdown of the have seen sales of desktop Macs staying mostly constant while being surpassed by that of Mac notebooks whose sales rate has grown considerably; seven out of ten Macs sold were laptops in 2009, a ratio projected to rise to three out of four by 2010. The change in sales of form factors is due to the desktop iMac moving from affordable (iMac G3) to upscale (iMac G4) and subsequent releases are considered premium all-in-ones. By contrast, the MSRP of the MacBook laptop lines have dropped through successive generations such that the MacBook Air and MacBook Pro constitute the lowest price of entry to a Mac, with the exception of the even more inexpensive Mac Mini (albeit without a monitor and keyboard), not surprisingly the MacBooks are the top-selling form factors of the Macintosh platform today.

The decades of development means that most people already own desktop computers that meet their needs and have no need of buying a new one merely to keep pace with advancing technology. Notably the successive release of new versions of (Windows 95, 98, XP, Vista, 7, 8, 10 and so on) had been drivers for the replacement of PCs in the 1990s, but this slowed down in the 2000s due to the poor reception of Windows Vista over Windows XP. Recently, some analysts have suggested that Windows 8 has actually hurt sales of PCs in 2012, as businesses have decided to stick with Windows 7 rather than upgrade. Some suggested that Microsoft has acknowledged "implicitly ringing the desktop PC death knell" as Windows 8 offers little upgrade in desktop PC functionality over Windows 7; instead, Windows 8's innovations are mostly on the mobile side.

The has seen a decline in the sales of desktop and laptop PCs.2013 PC Sales Decline The decline has been attributed to increased power and applications of alternative computing devices, namely smartphones and tablet computers.Why sales declined in 2013 Although most people exclusively use their smartphones and tablets for more basic tasks such as and , these devices have in many instances replaced a second or third PC in the household that would have performed these tasks, though most families still retain a powerful PC for serious work.

Among PC form factors, desktops remain a staple in the enterprise market but have lost popularity among home buyers. PC makers and electronics retailers have responded by investing their engineering and marketing resources towards laptops (initially in the late 2000s, and then the higher-performance from 2011 onwards), which manufacturers believe have more potential to revive the PC market than desktops.

In April 2017, StatCounter declared a "Milestone in technology history and end of an era" with Android operating system more popular than Windows (the operating system that made desktops dominant over mainframe computers). Windows is still most popular on desktops (and laptops), while smartphones (and tablets) use Android, (Apple products) or Windows 10 Mobile.


Types

All-in-one
An all-in-one desktop computer integrates the system's internal components into the same case as the display, thus occupying a smaller footprint (with fewer cables) than desktops that incorporate a tower.

The all-in-one form factor was popular during the early 1980s for personal computers intended for professional use such as the , Osborne 1, TRS-80 Model II and . Many manufacturers of like Commodore and included the computer's motherboard into the same enclosure as the keyboard; these systems were most often connected to a set for display. Apple has manufactured several popular examples of all-in-one computers, such as the original Macintosh of the mid-1980s and the of the late 1990s and 2000s. Some all-in-one desktops, such as the iMac G4, have used laptop components in order to reduce the size of the system case. By the mid 2000s, many all-in-one designs have used flat panel displays, and later models have incorporated displays, allowing them to be used similarly to a mobile .

Like most laptops, some all-in-one desktop computers are characterized by an inability to customize or upgrade internal components, as the systems' cases do not provide convenient access to upgradable components, and faults in certain aspects of the hardware may require the entire computer to be replaced, regardless of the health of its remaining components. There have been exceptions to this; the monitor portion of 's Z1 workstation can be angled flat, and opened like a vehicle hood for access to internal hardware.


Mainstream
These desktops are used as home PCs but have a heavy price tag. They are equipped with powerful processors, graphic cards and huge RAM capacity over and above having many complex factors. It is very common for them to have multiple hard drives as they are mostly used for gaming.


Full-Sized
These desktops are very common and quite budget friendly compared to others in the market. It comes with separate display component and processing component. The components are connected by cables or wireless connection to execute command from each other. These computers are easy to customize and upgrade as per our requirement.


Home Theater
These desktops are connected to home entertainment systems and typically used for amusement purpose. They come with high definition display, video graphics, surround sound and TV tuner systems to compliment typical PC features.


Compact
These desktops are same as Full-Sized desktops but the only different is its size. These are almost half of them and cost, performance same as Full-Sized desktops. Compact desktops are very difficult to customize and upgrade.


Comparison with laptops
Desktops have an advantage over in that the spare parts and extensions tend to be standardized, resulting in lower prices and greater availability. For example, the size and mounting of the is standardized into , , BTX or other form factors. Desktops have several standardized , like or , while laptops only tend to have one slot and one slot (or slot). Procedures for assembly and disassembly of desktops tend to be simple and standardized as well. This tends not to be the case for laptops, though adding or replacing some parts, like the , , or adding an extra is often quite simple. This means that a desktop computer configuration, usually a , can be customized and upgraded to a greater extent than laptops. This customization has kept tower cases popular among and enthusiasts.

Another advantage of the desktop is that (apart from ) power consumption is not as critical as in laptop computers because the desktop is exclusively powered from the wall socket. Desktop computers also provide more space for cooling fans and vents to dissipate heat, allowing enthusiasts to overclock with less risk. The two large microprocessor manufacturers, and , have developed special CPUs for mobile computers (i.e. laptops) that consume less power and lower heat, but with lower performance levels.

Laptop computers, conversely, offer portability that desktop systems (including small form factor and all-in-one desktops) can not due to their compact size and clamshell design. The laptop's all-in-one design provides a built-in keyboard and a pointing device (such as a ) for its user, and can draw on power supplied by a rechargeable battery. Laptops also commonly integrate wireless technologies like , and 3G, giving them a broader range of options for connecting to the internet, though this trend is changing as newer desktop computers come integrated with one or more of these technologies.

A desktop computer needs a UPS to handle electrical disturbances like short interruptions, blackouts and spikes; achieving an on-battery time of more than 20–30 minutes for a desktop PC requires a large and expensive UPS. APC BackUPs UPS SpecsCost of APC Back-ups-1500VA-230V A laptop with sufficiently charged battery can continue to be used for hours in case of a power outage and is not affected by short power interruptions and blackouts.

A desktop has an advantage over a when you need to minimize power consumption and heat output. This means that you will never be able to overclock it to the sort of performance levels achieved by Cyberpower's Gamer Infinity PC, nor will you be able to fit a laptop with the kind of graphic cards found in most of these desktop systems. You may find a laptop with high-definition Blu-ray drives, but you may not get much benefit if you're watching a Blu-ray film on a screen that's 17in or smaller. In contrast, the smallest monitor supplied with these £1,299 PCs was 19in, with more than one 24in monitor included as well. These monitors are great for watching films, as well as for performing tasks such as video editing or multi-track music recording.If you are looking for a really powerful PC, then these desktop computer still hold an edge over the modern laptops.


See also


External links
  • Computer Tour of major components of a desktop computers at HowStuffWorks

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