Are desktops preferred to all-in-one PCs?

I will be buying a new PC. My current one is starting to act up. (I am abandoning an old thread I had started last year because I had software + hardware questions in the same thread.) The PC needs to be able to handle 4k video editing, 3D, and audio making. The refresh rate needs to be very good so it doesn’t bug me on my nerves. My preference is all-in-one PC, so I can reduce the number of cables and hardware around me. Any recommendations for which kind?
Are there enough USB ports from the all-in-one PC for let’s say audio hardware, scanner, printer, drawing tablet, monitors?
Also, is the screen monitor on the all-in-one color calibrated well?
Or, should I give up on that idea and buy a desktop and monitor separately? And if so, do you have particular suggestions? Is RAM the most important issue here, and how much RAM? I can’t assemble anything myself; it needs to be pre-assembled PC. Thanks.

cough iMac cough

Is the cough suggestion for iMac or suggestion to stay away from it? I can get the same performance out of a PC, can’t I?

It was a quiet sideways suggestion that you consider an iMac but I anticipate a lot of advice from other posters about how a Windows machine will be better and cheaper (yet to be proven to my satisfaction).

Really? Same processor, even better, choice of up to top end processors up to thread rippers and overclock processors.

Add more ram without it costing quarter the Pryce of the computer.

Dedicated graphic card of choice.

All for cheaper than a Mac

To answer the op query. Go for a desktop far more upgradeable. Choice of monitor, huge benefit.


I do like the simplified buying of the Mac - it’s easy to buy. And you pick your add ons and see the price. Far less fuss in buying a Mac.

But you can get more bang for your buck with a PC - it’s just a fact.

Macs are expensive. That’s not a slaying of them, if anything it’s a compliment, simplified no-fuss buying, only one manufacturer - it’s a premium product, at premium prices. Which is perfectly fine.

If you are able for it - building a custom PC is a great choice. I’ve been doing it for many years. I get far better quality, longevity, upgrading etc. from a PC.

They can be ugly though - Macs are nice and shiny - some PCs are terrible.

Have a look on PC Specialist (not sure if they ship to the US? But it’s somewhere i use frequently.

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This might help;

You are going to be running some heavy duty softwares there.
The few pros I know doing high-end music video editing and animation are all using Desktop PCs for two reasons. 1. They are relatively poor musicians so need to get the best bang for buck and 2. they need to be able to upgrade with their software for as long as possible, for as little money as possible. Granted one of them shot an entire music video on their iPhone (at the time it was a ‘low light’ issue,) but all post was done on their desktop PC unit.

An all-in-one can have varying degrees of internal accessibility. For instance be sure RAM is not welded in and has the capacity to at least double. Check if you need special tools to open the case for hard drive or other internal upgrades. I like being able to get my fingers in a machine so would opt for a desktop unit to make upgrades faster. For post-production I wouldn’t recommend anything under 16gigs of RAM anyway. Then there is the monitor…glossy or matte? Be SURE before you buy. And if it’s a touch screen figure wear and tear. Is it gonna give out before the machine hardware does?

Think about off-unit storage. You want a fairly large hard drive but you also want to keep what could be some fairly large files representing hours of work backed up on an outboard drive. We have a RAID drive here where I work. Cloud storage has lag times that RAIDs don’t. There are issues with RAIDS should the actual enclosure interface fail, (buy two! and keep a spare drive for swapout,) but they have saved our butts 3 times over the past decade.

As for cable management, come on… that part is all on you, not the machine you buy. There are any number of cable management solutions out there that make everything all neat and tidy.

Having ‘de Ja Vu’ here - *Limited Edition* 3440 X 1440P 34 inch CURVED ULTRA-WIDE 10TH GEN AIO ALL IN ONE (NVIDIA POWERED) - Inside Tech

Remember this one?

Really big curved monitor. I know someone with one of those - not sure if it’s that model and not going to go check. A Twitch gamer/streamer. Twitch is blocked here at work.

That’s a lot of desk real estate (and probably too close) to use as a desktop monitor. At least IMO, LOL. I have 2 monitors (27"ers.) That’s plenty.

Genuinely I don’t think many PC manufacturers are doing the All in One PC anymore that is high end for production work.

The few I used to look at with envy are gone off the market altogether.
I don’t think there is a legitmate rival to the iMac - except the few I find here and there - like the one I posted earlier.

Apple make fine computers - again just a premium price for a guranteed off the shelf solution - pick your price and away you go.

Buying High End pc with lots of choices is cumbersome. I pity people who don’t know what they are looking for. It’s far easier to just say i want to spend £2000 and just click and buy.

It’s far more difficult when you have 20 choices for each component and you’re not sure what is the best for what you want.

I’d go desktop all the time - cos I am happy that I know what I am doing.

Yes - I’d prefer more monitors above having a massive screen.

A dedicated PC seller should be able to help out anyone who wants to configure a PC. If you have $2K to spend, and $150 of that goes toward an expert opinion… You do the math.

Another thing that needs to be mentioned. iMacs are now slimmer, and running the M1 chip. If you buy a new iMac, check your software update timeline. Things are not going very swimmingly with Adobewares. Just sayin’

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I’m not pushing PC by the way. I could care less. Just some observations from the industry.

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Well the Adobe software specficiation page says Intel or AMD processors - nothing about M1 Apple Silicon chips (yet I don’t think).

People buying computers and not checking if they are compatible with their needs.
Like me buying a Chromebook running ChromeOS and bitching to Adobe cos it doesn’t work - makes no sense.

(which I’ve seen by the way)

It’s not just Adobe that have issues - a lot of softwares are struggling to adapt their software to the M1 chip.

Apple should really make their Rosetta emulation better… but this is a whole other conversation.

Only the 24 inch iMac has the M1 - I think.
And then you pay extra for extra USB ports/ethernet port - it’s like over €200 extra for extra ports and an ethernet port… FFS!
256gb storage (brutal)
8gb RAM (brutal)

Next up from that is priced at almost €2000
To get 16gb of RAM in this costs a whopping €230!!!
512gb storage (nowhere near enough) to increase to 1tb it’s another €230.

This is what drives me mad about Apple.

That’s why I didn’t wait for an iMac to get a test unit. The Mac Mini has all the ports you could ever need. Since it is usually used as interface hardware rather than a pretty desktop unit, it still comes with all those “ugly holes.”


How many cables would you be eliminating anyway? Two? The cable connecting the display to the computer and the power cord? That seems like a relatively minor concern given that a desktop tower can set on the floor under your desk and out of the way. Narrowing things down to an all-in-one machine also greatly narrows your options while reducing your future upgrade options.

You’ve listed tasks that call for high-end specs. Without the right specs, you’ll be spending hours waiting for videos to encode and 3d models to render. You could easily spend upwards of $10,000 for the right machine, but I’m guessing you don’t want to do that.

Even so, yes, video cards, processors, memory, and storage space are critical with video and 3d modeling. Spend as much as possible on each if you’re serious. If it were me, I’d be looking at 64GB of memory, but you could get by with 32. I’d also be looking at external storage because high-resolution video files are huge.

Again, it depends on your budget, but if it were me, I’d be considering a small RAID for storage. 4K and 8K video files can quickly add up to many terabytes of data. A RAID or not, you won’t want these files sitting around on your computer’s SSD.

It really boils down to whether you’re a professional or a student or a hobbyist and how much money you have to spend. Seriously, the number of cables should be the least of your concerns.

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Apple seems to be all about reducing the number of “holes” that ruin their sleek exterior case designs. I mean, who needs anything more than two thunderbolt connectors, right? And heaven forbid they put a USB port on the front of the desktop unit where you can jam a thumb drive or quick-attach a seldom used peripheral, should such a thing be necessary.

I don’t want to be running
2 monitors, a USB tablet, a USB kensington pro mouse, a USB scanner, a USB superdrive, a printer hub, a cabled ethernet access, a USB flash card reader/thumb drive dock, and sometimes you would like an HDMI port and maybe a sound input jack,…all thru two connectors. At least with the mini, there are some dedicated ports still. Now whether or not they still all go thru the same bus? We’ll find out by how hot it gets I guess. So far so good, but some of that list isn’t connected to the test unit yet.

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