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 Élite 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 Élite 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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