This has been a little while in the making, university and some very unpredictable prices thanks to mining meant any accurate pricing is very hard to do. I can’t leave it any longer, it will be Christmas before I finish!
This will follow a similar format to the previous Summer of Computing post, this time there will only be two builds; Home Theatre PC (HTPC) and gaming.
This week will look at 1080p for both categories. The vast majority of gamers and media streamers will use a 1080p monitor, TV or even projector view the content. Luckily the 1080p market hasn’t really taken a hit due to the current boom in mining, so prices shouldn’t be ridiculous, but let’s find out.
OverclockersUK (OcUK) prices have had more consistency with prices over the last few weeks, so I will continue using it for prices.
OverclockersUK started out in 1999 as a small company set to change the overclocking world by offering CPUs with a known overclocking performance. As the company gained traction it steadily grew until in 2012 it was bought out by German company Caseking where it has grown further.
Home Theatre PC
Really last weeks build will suffice for 1080p streaming, it could have done with a SSD to really perk the whole system up, but that was about it.
So a move away from outdated AMD base components to the newest Kaby Lake based Intel CPU and Motherboard. The biggest and most notable addition to this build is the graphics card, it’s not really required to push out 1080p content, but it does take the strain from the CPU to let it run at its peak.
I’ve chosen to keep the keyboard and mouse combo, it works very well for what it is and lends itself well to media streaming.
This is starting to turn into the base of a good gaming/ media PC and something most people would happily have as their gaming rig.
There is a cheaper option to this, ditching a few key components can save a few pennies here and there.
I didn’t want to strip too much from this, the SSD I would say is a requirement just as much as the hard drive. All of the latest base components are still here, so it can be upgraded slowly over time.
Things are starting to get more difficult to find the best “bang for buck” for components, especially with gaming in mind.
Ryzen is overkill for this system, but you can’t argue for 8 threads at £150! This will be the base system I would consider for being a streamer. The 8 threads are under powered compared to Intel, but at this price point, it can’t be beaten.
A modular power supply has been introduced to save some space inside the case and a GTX 1050 will smash almost every game at 1080p with reasonable settings.
The price may seem steep at just over £900, but remember this includes EVERYTHING to get started up.
Personally I would scrap windows and opt for Steam OS and throw the money at a better graphics card, but I know most users will use this computer as their main PC and will do work and other tasks also. Around £100 can be saved by moving from Windows and removing the optical drive.
Drop down to a 22″ monitor and move to an Intel i3-7100 can save just over £160. Probably my preferred route as this can now be upgraded more easily to the unlocked Kaby Lake processors.
So that’s it, the mainstream section of building a PC and where most people would probably aim their first builds. My first PC was around this specification, albeit 10 years ago.
We’re now at the point in the specification road map where parts won’t really change drastically, but just become more powerful, for example changing the i3-7100 to the i5-7600k while keeping the rest of the build nearly the same. What I’ve shown here isn’t the best of the best, but it will play games and content at 1080p at 60fps without burning out.
If you are deciding to build a PC in the near future, I would take a look at the second hand market, Ethereum mining is starting to yield less and miners are selling their graphics cards for relatively cheap prices.
Wondering why component prices have risen in the last 12 months (mining excluded)? Check out my post here.
Next time, Week 3: 4k!
NB: Prices were correct as of 12pm 16/07/2017.
Yes I know these haven’t been released in “weeks”, it bugs me too….
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