Why do desktops generally offer better value than laptops at similar price range?

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Why do desktops generally offer better value than laptops at similar price range?

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12 Answers

Anonymous 0 Comments

It’s more expensive to make things smaller, and laptop parts have to be more energy and heat efficient because of the size of case they’re used in.

Ergo it’s easier to get more performance at the same price out of a desktop where things can be bigger.

Anonymous 0 Comments

Desktops can put more into memory, storage, and performance because they need not consider things important to laptops.

Laptops need to provide a battery power system, with monitoring and charging. Laptops require durability; you’ll be tossing it in backpacks, bumping it, etc.

Laptops need to be light and compact and yet remain cool. So they need more attention to layout, part choice, and cooling options.

All of that adds cost that a desktop need not consider,.

Anonymous 0 Comments

Desktops don’t have the significant size, cooling, and power restrictions that laptops do.

Their components can be larger and cheaper to manufacture for the same performance.

They can have more efficient cooling that makes components cheaper, more effective, and more powerful.

They don’t require a battery and can draw hundreds of watts of power whenever they feel like it, providing much more computational power.

Anonymous 0 Comments

As well as the components being larger, which makes them cheaper, they don’t need to be custom designed to fit a particular form factor. There’s a lot of empty space in a desktop tower. The cases and form factors are relatively standardized and as long as the component fits inside that space then there isn’t any additional consideration needed. Plug in your new GPU and it’s ready to go.

Laptop manufacturers are in a constant battle to minimize weight and volume, so every component needs to be carefully designed to fit within that space, often requiring custom form factors, custom connectors, and all-in-one boards. That’s extra money spent on R&D, and extra money spent because the economy of scale isn’t as beneficial.

Anonymous 0 Comments

Making everything small is expensive. You have to custom design a lot of stuff.

On the other, everything being highly modular leads to low prices. I can choose from thousands of power supplies in my desktop, and thousands of cpus, disks, graphics cards

Case in point, the (internal) monitor cable in my macbook broke. Several hundred bucks for the custom one-off cable assembly and its installation.
On the other hand, when my desktops monitor cable broke: unplug the old one, and just grab another one from the big pile of cables at work.

Anonymous 0 Comments

Size of components, heat mitigation, battery/power-supply usage.

It costs more to make the same performance of components into smaller forms. The smaller you go, the more difficult the engineering and manufacturing. So smaller components will cost you more, or for same price the components will be worse performance. A desktop can have much bigger components and that’s cheaper to make so at the same budget the components are better performance.

Heat! Heat is a major problem in computing. The more performance you push out, the more heat generated. For a big modern desktop this is less of an issue, it has 6+ fans, you may have liquid cooling, etc. lots of space inside the box for heatsinks, and lots of airflow to radiate that heat out and draw cool air in. So desktops can really push performance and control the heat. Laptops dont have a big open air interior, doesn’t have the same size or amount of fans, doesn’t have the liquid cooling, etc. laptops jam all their components together to save space, so they have to throttle some performance to avoid overheating and damaging components. 

Power/battery. On pure battery, high performance items will drain it in minutes not hours, and plugged in you still deal with power output causing heat… so they really have to throttle performance to their design maximums.

So at any price point, the laptop will always have worse performance than a well built desktop, assuming all else equal. Laptops you pay a premium for the form factor and mobility, so if you keep the price the same, performance goes down. If you keep performance mostly the same, price of laptop goes up above the desktop comparison

Anonymous 0 Comments

Just imagine if they made a ps5 into a laptop size. Would cost way more time and money to make it compact and be as efficient as it’s counterpart.

Anonymous 0 Comments

More power and the ability to switch parts easily. Laptop form Factors limit parts you can use. Desktops are highly customizable.

Anonymous 0 Comments

Laptop includes a display and battery that a desktop doesn’t generally include. A desktop can be sold without input devices as well, which are always included with the laptop.

[edit] I suppose you could cross-shop an M2 MacBook Air 13″ and an M2 Mac Mini

An 8-core CPU, 10-core GPU Mac Mini with 8GB of RAM and 512 GB SSD is $799
An 8-core CPU, 10-core GPU MacBook Air 13″ with 8GB of RAM and 512 GB SSD is $1199

The latter has a 13.6″ display, a webcam, a battery, a built in keyboard and touchpad that the former doesn’t have (though the former does have a few more ports on it, and those certainly have some value)

Anonymous 0 Comments

A desktop is generally easy to design and build.

If you look at the majority of desktops, they mostly use standard sized motherboards and standard components. Very few components are specifically designed for that particular PC, aside cosmetic things.

So they can acquire components at a large scale and will be cheaper.

Likewise, since a desktop is much larger and roomier, they can tolerate heat better, so you don’t have to spend a lot of R&D effort into cooling.

You can also use a lot of off the shelf peripherals like monitor, keyboard, ect…

Laptops, on the other hands, most of it is specifically designed for that laptop model. Sure, they use some standard components like memory and SSD. However, the motherboards are specially designed for that model of laptop. And they have to be designed to handle heat in a small package.

At the same time, the peripherals are also built
In, so there’s cost to design and implement those peripherals.