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Form Factors

Desktops come in a variety of shapes and sizes; these varied dimensions are known in the industry as "Form Factors".
To help you decide which Form Factor is right for you, we will run through the pros and cons of each option:

Tower/Mini Tower
This is the largest size of desktop, and often, the name "desktop" can be misleading; due to their size, this style of desktop would likely to be more at home beneath your desk. This type of desktop is ideal if you wish to have plenty of room to upgrade your computer in the future, and space is not an issue.
  • Pros: This is the most expandable of desktops; the larger case provides plenty of room for extra hard drives, internal expansion cards and more.
  • Cons: If storing the desktop underneath your desk is not an option, you mightn't want your valuable desk real estate monopolized by one of these monoliths.
An example of a tower form factor
Small form factor (SFF)
Despite its name, this style of desktop is closer to a medium size. Smaller than the tower style desktop, it fits unobtrusively into most workspaces, either stationed vertical next to your monitor or placed horizontally beneath your monitor to free up extra room. This is the Form Factor most commonly found in offices throughout the UK.

  • Pros: This is a good "middle-ground" option. There is room for some expansion (though less than a tower), but the unit will not dominate your desk.
  • Cons: Less expansion options.
An example of a small form factor
Ultra Small-Form Factor (USFF)
This is one of the smallest desktop types commonly available. Expansion options on this style are limited; the aim of the USFF desktop is to build a computer into as compact a chassis as they can. These are useful where space is at a premium or in situations where you would prefer the desktop to remain unseen (some can even be bolted onto the back of your monitor via the "VESA mount": the interface on the back of your monitor used to mount your monitor onto a wall or arm)
  • Pros: Tiny in size, can fit into even the most cramped of workspaces, and is aesthetically unobtrusive.
  • Cons: Very limited expandability and upgradability. In most, only the RAM can be
    upgraded, or the hard drive can be swapped out. Also generally lower spec than other Form Factors.
An example of an ultra small form factor

Additional Points to Consider

  • The physical dimensions of these "Form Factors" are not universal across all manufacturers, so always remember to take a look at the physical dimensions (this is available under the tab, "Tech Specs" on our product pages) to ensure the desktop you choose will be the right size for where you intend to use it.
  • Smaller PCs (I.E. Small and Ultra Small Form factor) can be more energy efficient, but not always. Make sure to take a look at the Environmental Standards to be certain. (This can also be found under the "Tech Specs" tab on our product pages).

 

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