OC3D Recommended System Builds
It's the debate that rages in pubs across the land, and we're no different here at OC3D. Any time you get more than two tech-heads in the same place, the same question always crops up.
"If you had to spend your own money on a system, what would you buy?"
That's a hard question. Getting maximum value for money is something we're constantly evaluating. Whenever we get a new item of hardware in, we always look at how it performs compared to how much it costs. Equally is there something that performs at a similar level but for far less money. There is a level at which we don't worry about the price, because you're talking about the enthusiast end of the market where money is no object.
Back with the majority of our readers, and indeed ourselves, we also are aware that if anyone you know (even tenuously) knows that you have computer knowledge, they will come to you for advice. Friendly, family, your uncles cousins wifes brothers sisters flatmates all come asking if you can fix their computer, what they should buy to upgrade it, is this particular system worth it, blah blah blah. We've lost track of the amount of "it's a bit slow can you have a look at it" that we've done and discovered people trying to run Windows 7 on a 486DX.
So with that all in mind we've put together three systems which we feel cover the main bases.
We have a £500 system that will provide a decent gaming experience, isn't compromised in looks or quality, and hasn't got one major component sucking up all the budget. It's pointless having a 1GHz dual-core CPU and a GTX680. So if you are on a limited budget but still want a PC that doesn't cause you to rend your garments, that's the first one up. Squeezing everything in at our £500 price caused endless adjustments to the specification, but we think you'll be amazed at what you can get for the money.
Our second system proved the hardest to build. When you double the initial budget up to £1000 there is a HUGE range of hardware to choose from. Retaining the key point of a balanced system, and yet one that actually gave you sufficient extra performance for the money, caused a lot of beer to be quaffed as the debate raged. It's so easy to think "if I spend another £20 on this and £30 on that I can get something much better, but the budget quickly grows far beyond your initial budget. In the end we're extremely happy with our choices, and think that you'll struggle to better our specification.
The final one is the easiest. Without fiscal constraints the world is your oyster, and even the most casual reader will have an idea of what they would buy if they won the lottery. So rather than just do the obvious we tried to retain the value aspect. PC hardware changes so fast that a £5000 system will be worth half that in six months, and in two or three years you'll be looking to upgrade again. So we've spent a lot, but haven't gone mad and kept it attainable at £3000.
Enough preamble. You're as desperate to see what we've put together as we are to share our thoughts with you. Onward.