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Thread: £300 Desktop Recommendation

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    £300 Desktop Recommendation

    Looking for a new desktop for my Dad, to replace is current one which is probs getting on for 10 years old! He only needs something basic, quad core, mostly used for internet browsing, word processing and online streaming. Not to bothered about loads of storage, as he has a few HDD's in his current machine that he is just going to move over to his new one. Perhaps a small SDD for OS?

    The reason for him wanting to upgrade is that his now one is just too slow. He likes to have lots of browser windows open, and is finding if he has more than a handful it is grinding to a halt and even crashing completely.

    Any recommendations greatly appreciated.
    Main Rig: BOARD: Gigabyte GA-Z77-D3H / CHIP: 3rd Generation Intel® Core™ i5 3570K 3.40GHz / RAM: Crucial Ballistix Sport 8GB (2x4GB) DDR3 / DRIVES: Seagate 1TB ST1000DM003 + Samsung 128GB SSD / CASE: Zalman Z9-U3 Mid / PSU: OCZ ZS Series 550W / GRAPHICS: 2GB XFX Radeon HD 7870 Core Edition, 4800MHz / MONITOR: ViewSonic VIE 23 IPS 1920x1080 6MS
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    Re: £300 Desktop Recommendation

    How about a cheaper RAM upgrade?

    I got my dad one of the cheap zoostorm machines off ebuyer a few years back. Very basic and a bit flimsy but he has had no problems with it, and should be well within budget.

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    Re: £300 Desktop Recommendation

    Had mentioned upgrading RAM to him, but he is wanting something new rather than just upgrading it. He has upgraded a few times over the years, but with the age of it its just struggling to cope in general these days.

    Will have a look at the zoostorms though, cheers.
    Main Rig: BOARD: Gigabyte GA-Z77-D3H / CHIP: 3rd Generation Intel® Core™ i5 3570K 3.40GHz / RAM: Crucial Ballistix Sport 8GB (2x4GB) DDR3 / DRIVES: Seagate 1TB ST1000DM003 + Samsung 128GB SSD / CASE: Zalman Z9-U3 Mid / PSU: OCZ ZS Series 550W / GRAPHICS: 2GB XFX Radeon HD 7870 Core Edition, 4800MHz / MONITOR: ViewSonic VIE 23 IPS 1920x1080 6MS
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    Re: £300 Desktop Recommendation

    What can you re-send? Are the HDDs SATA? Do you need a copy of Windows?

    I would probably look at an A8 7600 for the CPU.


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    Re: £300 Desktop Recommendation

    yes SATA HDD's, about 4 or 5 I believe, so needs plenty bays! Doesn't need a copy of windows. I know most builds come with them as standard, but doesn't need a DVD drive either, as he is happy to re-use the one he has.
    Main Rig: BOARD: Gigabyte GA-Z77-D3H / CHIP: 3rd Generation Intel® Core™ i5 3570K 3.40GHz / RAM: Crucial Ballistix Sport 8GB (2x4GB) DDR3 / DRIVES: Seagate 1TB ST1000DM003 + Samsung 128GB SSD / CASE: Zalman Z9-U3 Mid / PSU: OCZ ZS Series 550W / GRAPHICS: 2GB XFX Radeon HD 7870 Core Edition, 4800MHz / MONITOR: ViewSonic VIE 23 IPS 1920x1080 6MS
    Photography: Body: Nikon D3200 / Lenses: Nikkor 18-55mm Kit Lens, Nikkor 55-200mm f/4-5.6G / Filters: Haida 10 Stop ND Filter, Misc CPL Filter


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    Re: £300 Desktop Recommendation

    Quote Originally Posted by CAT-THE-FIFTH View Post
    What can you re-send? Are the HDDs SATA? Do you need a copy of Windows?

    I would probably look at an A8 7600 for the CPU.
    Quote Originally Posted by dankellys View Post
    yes SATA HDD's, about 4 or 5 I believe, so needs plenty bays! Doesn't need a copy of windows. I know most builds come with them as standard, but doesn't need a DVD drive either, as he is happy to re-use the one he has.
    http://www.ebuyer.com/735891-zoostor...p-pc-7260-5189
    A8 7600, 8Gb RAM, 1TB HDD no OS. Seems fairly good for 200 notes. Not many internal bays, but you could probably transplant the guts in to your dads existing case, or find a better case with the leftover £100 from your budget.

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    Re: £300 Desktop Recommendation

    Quote Originally Posted by dankellys View Post
    He only needs something basic, quad core, mostly used for internet browsing, word processing and online streaming.
    Almost all the quad cores in your budget are slower than dual cores. An i5 at the very top of your budget would be faster. If he's already got a Q6600, Phenom II X4 or similar then I would definitely upgrade the memory and add an SSD as they're still perfectly capable CPUs.

    Is he streaming to or from the computer? If he's broadcasting video then you may want to discount AMD CPUs as well as VCE unfortunately isn't terribly well supported next to quicksync.

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    Re: £300 Desktop Recommendation

    Came across this one with 8gb RAM and an AMD Quad Core. However, he uses is current PC for both online streaming and broadcasting. He is in the process of ripping his entire DVD collection, and has a Plex and Chromecast setup for streaming from his PC to his main TV.

    http://www.ebuyer.com/641792-cyberpo...ng-pc-ecc01194

    Case looks a little bigger than the one Virtuo posted, and appears to have more bays from the photo, although they aren't mentioned in the description.
    Main Rig: BOARD: Gigabyte GA-Z77-D3H / CHIP: 3rd Generation Intel® Core™ i5 3570K 3.40GHz / RAM: Crucial Ballistix Sport 8GB (2x4GB) DDR3 / DRIVES: Seagate 1TB ST1000DM003 + Samsung 128GB SSD / CASE: Zalman Z9-U3 Mid / PSU: OCZ ZS Series 550W / GRAPHICS: 2GB XFX Radeon HD 7870 Core Edition, 4800MHz / MONITOR: ViewSonic VIE 23 IPS 1920x1080 6MS
    Photography: Body: Nikon D3200 / Lenses: Nikkor 18-55mm Kit Lens, Nikkor 55-200mm f/4-5.6G / Filters: Haida 10 Stop ND Filter, Misc CPL Filter


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    Re: £300 Desktop Recommendation

    Limited SATA ports will also be an issue you run into for budget pre-builts. That machine has 4 SATA ports which after the SSD and DVD drive only leaves 2 for hard drives instead of the 4 you want. You may have to allow for an SATA card in budget as well as 5.25" to 3.5" bay adapters.

    For such a video heavy usage I'd definitely be going for the Intel equivalent of a G4400/G4500 over a A10-7850k. Plex are dragging their heels with Quicksync support, but it's pretty common everywhere else and the Intel chips being newer have HEVC encoding and decoding hardware which I guess he's using if he's waited this long to rip his DVD collection.

    The only thing I can think of that would benefit you from going the AMD route is that some of their chipsets support 8 SATA ports instead of the 6 that's standard across Intel's range. At this price though it'll be more limited by the motherboard/system manufacturer.

  10. #10
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    Re: £300 Desktop Recommendation

    http://www.ebuyer.com/751881-zoostor...p-pc-9873-0188

    Depending on whether you need an OS, this is not a bad deal as far as I can see. i5, 8gb and 3TB HDD. £299.99

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    Re: £300 Desktop Recommendation

    Quote Originally Posted by EndlessWaves View Post
    Almost all the quad cores in your budget are slower than dual cores.
    I had both the Core i3 2100 and A6 3670K for example a few years ago and the same "dual cores are faster" stuff was SAID back then - it really wasn't especially if you disabled HT on the cores.

    That A6 3670K even NOW is good enough for day to day usage and it was a £60 CPU.

    For general purpose stuff I would not touch a pure dual core any more,especially as in general day to day smoothness,4 reasonably fast threads seems better.

    People forget that most reviews are testing stuff on clean systems,with very little background software running.

    It was something I even noticed going from a much higher clocked Core2 duo to a Core2 quad - the Core2 quad system just felt smoother in day to day usage.
    Last edited by CAT-THE-FIFTH; 01-08-2016 at 10:10 PM.


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    Re: £300 Desktop Recommendation

    Quote Originally Posted by CAT-THE-FIFTH View Post
    No they are not.
    Other than an i5 point me to a quad-core computer in budget that's faster than an i3-6300.

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    Re: £300 Desktop Recommendation

    Quote Originally Posted by EndlessWaves View Post
    Other than an i5 point me to a quad-core computer in budget that's faster than an i3-6300.
    You said a dual core G4400 was faster than an A8 or A10.

    Where is the Core i3 6100 system for £200 or the Core i3 6100 for £65??

    Considering that I actually know people with some of these CPUs,and those with SB,IB,Haswell and Skylake ones,thats interesting??

    I am sorry but I would not be recommending a pure dual core if someone intends to be streaming and doing other tasks at the same time.

    Even going back a decade,even my E6300 running at nearly 1GHZ more than my stock Q6600 felt less smoother when I was multi-tasking.

    Plus having had much newer dual cores after that,has not changed my viewpoint. I would not recommend a basic non-HT dual core for multi-tasking.

    Reviews are using clean systems not loaded down with software - they are best case scenarios.

    Just like their poxy CD encoding ones where they rip things to RAM disks beforehand,etc and when its the drive and the interface which is the biggest bottleneck in the first place.

    Edit!!

    That Core i5 PC is a decent deal - the only thing is the Zoostorms and similar PCs come with very basic PSUs. The Zoostorm ones usually uses a 250W FSP unit and the Core i5 one a low end Thermaltake 350W one - most likely a very low end CWT but I expect both use crap caps,but probably be fine if not using a £100+ card.
    Last edited by CAT-THE-FIFTH; 01-08-2016 at 10:44 PM.


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    Re: £300 Desktop Recommendation

    OK,I tried to do better than that Core i5 deal.

    CEX has secondhand Core i5 CPUs for sale and they have at least one year warranty(although apparently they might be two years now but I am not sure on that).

    You can get a Core i5 4460 for £95:

    https://uk.webuy.com/product.php?sku=SCPUINTI54460A

    A Gigabyte B85 motherboard with 4 RAM slots instead of the H81 in the prebuilt system which has two:

    https://www.cclonline.com/product/12...R3-IN/MBD0749/

    Some other bits:

    https://www.cclonline.com/product/10...00MHz/RAM0863/
    https://www.cclonline.com/product/76...ooler/CLR0413/
    https://www.cclonline.com/product/16...-Case/CAS1648/

    If you have Scan free postage I would get this PSU:

    https://www.scan.co.uk/products/430w...ps-haswell-rea

    Scan sell the Corsair CS450M for around £5 more.

    There is this Integral 120GB SSD for £24.99:

    http://www.mymemory.co.uk/SSD-Drives...INCH-SSD-Drive

    That should come to around £277.35 if you use free postage.

    What is the speed of the DVD drive you are using in the old build??


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  15. #15
    I really don't care Dashers's Avatar
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    Re: £300 Desktop Recommendation

    I tend to think at the bottom of the barrel end of the market it is usually harder to buy components individually if you can't buy at trade prices.

    If you need a full rig: http://www.pcworld.co.uk/gbuk/comput...46063-pdt.html

    If you just need the base unit: http://www.pcworld.co.uk/gbuk/comput...41354-pdt.html

    Comes with warranty and support from a walk-in shop that anybody can use. Sure we wouldn't buy our custom-built rigs from there, but that's not who you're buying for.

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    Re: £300 Desktop Recommendation

    Quote Originally Posted by CAT-THE-FIFTH View Post
    You said a dual core G4400 was faster than an A8 or A10.
    I said he shouldn't dismiss dual cores because the vast majority of quad cores in budget are using a different and slower design rather than being the same CPU with more cores.

    I suggested a G4400 might be a better choice than a Kaveri A8/A10 because it comes with dedicated HEVC video encoding/decoding hardware so if he's using that video format the CPU usage would be much lower during video usage and videos would also convert faster.

    Quote Originally Posted by CAT-THE-FIFTH View Post
    Even going back a decade,even my E6300 running at nearly 1GHZ more than my stock Q6600 felt less smoother when I was multi-tasking.
    Even assuming you were swapping between them in the same system then you're not comparing like for like. The Q6600 has twice as much cache per core. Given that cache is all about preventing longer waiting times that could very well have been a bigger factor than the extra cores.

    Plus it was a different situation to the current one. Even with your 2.8Ghz E6300 the Q6600 still had much more total processing power. Here we're comparing similar amounts of overall processing power but split into two stronger cores or four weaker ones.

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