0CoolerMaster Elite 335 PC CaseBudget desktop PC for xmas 2011

Anandtech have a handy guide to budget PCs for the xmas 2011 period.  Below is my own take on what I’d recommend.

I’m always interested in getting the best performance with low power consumptions.  For a truly budget system I’d opt for an AMD E350 system, however, such a system isn’t capable of gaming seriously.  For a more powerful system I’d look to Intel as their systems are more efficient, so below I’ve based my second recommendation on the anandtech Intel system, with a few tweaks, including a pricing in sterling…

1. Ultimate budget system

ComponentProductPriceComments
CPUE350£0Built-in to the system
MotherboardAsus E35M1-M Pro£99Offers more than some other E350 systems e.g. USB3
RAMKingston 4GB DDR3-1333 kit£20Budget 4Gb kit
StorageCrucial M4 64Gb£80With the recent jump in HDD prices, SSDs are looking far better value. I would build with an SSD and for bulk storage either reuse an old HDD, or buy one in a few months when prices fall back.
Optical driveDVD-RW£17Cheap optical drive
Power supplyCorsair CX430 V2£35As good a recommendation as any.
CaseCoolermaster Elite 335£28A decent enough case, with full ATX support
Operating systemNone£0The OS your choose to run is up to you. I could price a standard Windows 7 install here, but many people will have old licences, or will be able to buy upgrades or student licenses which are considerably cheaper.
Total:£279

2. Budget gaming system

ComponentProductPriceComments
CPUIntel Core i3 2100£95About double the price of the Anandtech CPU, but it has a 30% higher clock speed, and hyperthreading.
MotherboardAsus P8Z68-V LX£82Double the price of the Anandtech board.  But for that you get: Crossfire support, USB3, SATA 6Gbps, and Virtu
RAMCorsair 8GB DDR3-1333 kit£37With RAM so cheap, 8Gig is worth having.
StorageCrucial M4 64Gb£80With the recent jump in HDD prices, SSDs are looking far better value.  I would build with an SSD and for bulk storage either reuse an old HDD, or buy one in a few months when prices fall back.
VideoAMD HD6670 1Gb GDDR5£69A generation newer than Anandtech’s recommended HD5670, up to 50% faster, lower powered and only £6 more.
Optical driveBD-ROM / DVD-RW£40 BluRay is a must have in a new PC IMHO
Power supplyCorsair CX430 V2£35 As good a recommendation as any.
CaseCoolermaster Elite 335£28 A decent enough case, with full ATX support
Operating systemNone£0The OS your choose to run is up to you.  I could price a standard Windows 7 install here, but many people will have old licences, or will be able to buy upgrades or student licenses which are considerably cheaper.
Total:£466

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