Why all-in-one PCs suck at gaming (plus one that doesn't!)

18.01.2013, von Alex Cocilova

PC gamers fear me. They scowl when they boot up Far Cry 3 only to see my stuttering frame rates, low resolution, and lack of antialiasing. Just name it--if it's a critical graphics setting, I've disabled it.

I may look pretty on the surface, and I may be practical, but my gaming performance is almost always disappointing. I am the all-in-one desktop PC.

Duc Dang, Toshiba's Senior Product Manager, says all-in-one PC sales have grown 32 percent in the last couple of years, making them a major focus in the evolving PC ecosystem. The success should come as no surprise, as all-in-ones can make ideal family machines. By integrating a display and PC in a single, slender chassis, they eliminate desk clutter and reach relatively low prices.

Unfortunately, however, most all-in-ones do so at the expense of gaming performance--which is not only back-burnered, but usually taken off the stove completely. Cheap, integrated graphics and low-performance CPUs may be perfect for super-thin all-in-ones (which, from an engineering standpoint, have more in common with laptops than desktops), but they don't foster great PC gaming.

Yet there is hope for all-in-ones thanks to one manufacturer serving a very vocal, niche market. 

The first of its kind