0CoolerMaster Elite 335 PC CaseBudget desktop PC comparison 2011 to 2012

Each year, around xmas, I pub­lish a recom­men­ded budget PC art­icle. This year I’m doing it slightly early, but decided to dir­ectly com­pare the spec and price this year with last year to see how things have developed.

1. The ulti­mate budget sys­tem

Com­pon­ent2011 Product2011 Price2012 Product2012 PriceCom­ments
CPUE350 1.6GHz£0E450 1.65GHz£0A 50MHz increase. Feeble!
Mother­boardAsus E35M1-M Pro£99Asus E45M1-M Pro£106Not much change in a year
RAMKing­ston 4GB DDR3-1333 kit£20Cor­sair 8GB DDR3-1333 kit£28Double your RAM for £8? Why not…
Stor­ageCru­cial M4 64Gb£80OCZ Agil­ity 4 128Gb£80Double the SSD capa­city and add some speed for the same money — excel­lent
Optic­al driveDVD–RW£17DVD-RW£13Non-BD drives con­tin­ue to fall in price
Power sup­plyCor­sair CX430 V2£35HuntKey Jump­er 300£39A high­er qual­ity PSU for nearly the same money
CaseCool­er­mas­ter Élite 335£28Cool­er­mas­ter Élite 334U£34A slight increase for an equi­val­ent piece of kit, but not sig­ni­fic­ant
Total:£279Total:£300A 7.5% increase in price.  Over­all the sys­tem is sig­ni­fic­antly faster thanks to the extra RAM and SSD.  The PSU is also more effi­cient.

2. The budget gam­ing sys­tem

Com­pon­ent2011 Product2011 Price2012 Product2012 PriceCom­ments
CPUIntel Core i3 2100 3.1GHz£95Intel Core i3 3220 3.3GHz£97Basic­ally the same price for an extra 200MHz.  Slow pro­gress!
Mother­boardAsus P8Z68-V LX£82Asus P8Z77-V LX£79No real change, but thats fair enough
RAMCor­sair 8GB DDR3-1333 kit£37Cor­sair 8GB DDR3-1333 kit£28Memory con­tin­ues to fall.  16Gb is almost attain­able!
Stor­ageCru­cial M4 64Gb£80OCZ Ver­tex 4 128Gb£90SSDs have shown remark­able pro­gress — a doub­ling in size and a per­form­ance boost for nearly the same money!
VideoAMD HD6670 1Gb GDDR5£69AMD HD7750 1Gb DDR5£88A min­im­um of 50% faster across the board — a reas­on­able improve­ment
Optic­al driveBD–ROM / DVD–RW£40BD–ROM / DVD–RW£50A 25% increase for the same kit — very poor
Power sup­plyCor­sair CX430 V2£35HuntKey Jump­er 300£39A high­er qual­ity PSU for nearly the same money
CaseCool­er­mas­ter Elite 335£28Cool­er­mas­ter Élite 334U£34A slight increase for an equi­val­ent piece of kit, but not sig­ni­fic­ant
Total:£466Total:£504An over­all increase of 8% in price.  But over­all you get a lot more for your money, thanks to the SSD and GPU

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