New Desktop - what specs? (Apr 2010)

  straygoat76 18:54 26 Mar 2010

Hi everyone,

I currently use a 3 year old lap top and am thinking of getting a desktop later this year. Trouble is, I'm not 100% sure of what specs to go for.

My budget is £500-£550 max and that needs to include the monitor, so not expecting miracles. I've been told that I should be looking for a hard drive that is 7200 rmp and 4gb RAM or more for that price. What I really don't have a clue about is graphics cards, audio, motherboards etc.

Ideally, what I would like is a PC that I can easily upgrade with bits and bobs as and when needed. For example, maybe fit a bluray drive at some later stage, additional memory etc.

I don't need a massively powerful PC, but would like something that is quick, good for watching video, and capable of handling photo packages and football manager!

What sort of spec should I be looking out for and what brands? Any advice on where to buy from? I prefer to buy online.


  natdoor 22:19 26 Mar 2010

Some useful general background information was in the news section here a few days ago click here&.
Hopefully this will provide some initial guidance. I apologise if you have already seen it.

  ame 22:26 27 Mar 2010

Start here click here and look for similar or better.

  TipTop20 13:31 29 Mar 2010

Straygoat76 what will you be using the computer for. If you will not use it for gaming then you dont really need to worry about the graphics card, however if you do a lot of gaming then you may struggle with that budget especially if you are wanting a good graphics card.

There are plently of companies to choose from. Dell, DinoPC, Cube247. I Have bought from various companies, my last couple of computers have been from Cube247. If you are buying a computer with the view to add upgrades at a later stage then these are a good company to buy from. They allow customer to 'fiddle' with their computers, ie adding memory, swapping to graphics card without affecting their warranty. With a lot of companies you warranty is voided if you simply open the case.

You definately want a minimum of 4GB Ram. They have a few budget systems, just had a look at their website to suggest a few, and since my last order they must have launched a completly new site. System look really good. If you will be playing a few games i would recommend the Pulsar GT2 system, if not maybe the Tucana GT2 system. Both good system within your budget, and I believe they are both avaliable for next day delivery, although i would check this with Cube as not 100% sure.

If you are not looking for a pc urgently then at least you have time to compare companies and get some quotes. I hope this helps!

  straygoat76 14:20 29 Mar 2010

Hi, thanks for the replies. I've been looking into the CyberPower Ultra Athena pcs that are recommended and they seem promising...looks like lots of scope to upgrade as and when. But I will check out the Cube247 ones too.

What will I be using the PC for? The following things, in order:

1. Web browsing
2. Football Manager
3. Word Processing
4. Digital Photography
5. Small amount of video editing.
6. Possibly watching DVDs, maybe blurays at a later stage.

It would be nice to be able to play some games on it, but I have a PS3 and XBox 360, so most gaming will be on those.The mrs likes RPGs, so PC gaming might be good for her. An average graphics card with the ability to upgrade later would be the best option.

I realise I probably don't need a massive spec, but I'd like to have a decent spec and a bit of future proofing so that I can upgrade rather than buy everything again. That's why I don't want another laptop.

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