All-round Deluxe PC - October 2016
The all-round Deluxe PC will last you a few years without requiring any upgrades. It is a bit more expensive, but is very complete as well. Using the internet, gaming, business applications, photo and video editing - all of these are possible on a good all-round PC, and you should never feel that you are lacking in performance for any of those activities.
This means a good processor and graphics card from the upper mid-range segment. Fast, yet affordable. You also need enough RAM and storage space, not to mention an attractive chassis and reliable power supply that can last several years. Of course you need a quality monitor, mouse and keyboard, as these are used very frequently.
This PC will cost more than the standard all-round PC, but it is also more powerful and has higher-end components. If this exceeds your budget somewhat, then you can have a look at out standard All-round PC instead.
Please note: the PC Buyer’s Guide is compiled based on independent component tests performed by Hardware.Info. If no new, superior products are released that should replace one or more of the components, then the component(s) will remain the same as the previous month.
If you want to know more about how we compile our PC Buying guides, have a look at this article.
If you aren't going to overclock - and let's be fair, that's not really necessary anymore for the average user - a mid-range Core i5 delivers more than adequate performance. You can read all about Intels new Skylake generation in our review.
The i5 6500 is lower clocked than the i5 6600K and lacks an unlocked multiplier, so you can't overclock it. Also, the GPU clock is a tad lower. For an All-round Deluxe PC, that's not a problem.
The switch to DDR4 memory is necessary with the Skylake platform. Most kits are already cheaper than DDR3. We choose a basic set with two 4 GB modules, which together form a 8 GB kit. Higher clock frequencies or lower latencies don't add a lot. Do consult our price comparison engine: as long as you look at the bigger brands, it matters little which kit you buy if price is the main concern.
For running virtual machines, video editing and other memory-hungry tasks, it might be useful to go with 16 GB.
Arctic delivers a very good CPU cooler for the price with its Freezer i32. The special thing is that it works semi-passively: the fan will stop spinning under low processor loads. While surfing over the web or typing a document, you won't hear anything.
When the fan turns on, the actual cooling performance is also very good. It almost beats the best CPU coolers available. In combination with its competitive price, that makes the Arctic Freezer i32 an excellent choice for a Deluxe PC.
In our review of no less than 28 Skylake mainboards, the ASUS H170 Pro Gaming is the best affordable choice. This motherboard has luxury features like USB 3.1 ports and a fast M.2 slot, while it also offers an excellent audio quality and five PWM fan connectors.
The only thing you don't get when choosing the H170 chipset, is support for overclocking. We don't see that as a major disadvantage, since the CPU multiplier is already locked.
Gaming isn't the main goal of the All-round Deluxe PC, but comfortably playing a game from time to time should be possible. The AMD Radeon RX 470 is an excellent choice, which will enable you to play at high settings in almost every game.
In our round-up, MSI went home with all the prizes. The RX 470 Gaming X is very silent, performs well and also comes with an attractive price.
There isn't much difference in performance between SATA600 SSDs these days. Due to its 'weird' capacity of 525 Gigs, you get more storage for the same price as the competition with the Crucial MX300. That's more than enough for all your software and games. If you don't need much storage or use a NAS for file storage, you could even consider to drop the harddisk from this system.
The data disk doesn't need to be fast: quiet, efficient and affordable are key. Based on those criteria, Western Digital's Blue series is according to our latest comparison test the best choice. We opt for the 3TB version, which has plenty of space for the future. The new Blue series is the successor of the old WD Green.
Optical drive -
We don't recommend an optical drive anymore, but we tested a lot of DVD drives, Blu-ray burners and memory card readers in the past months. So if you wanna buy one of those devices, we have a list of best choices:
Internal DVD burner: Samsung SH-224FB
Internal Blu-ray burner: LG BH16
External DVD burner: LG GP70NS50
External Blu-ray burner: ASUS SBW-06D2X-U
Card reader: Kingston FCR-HS4
The Define series from Fractal Design are famous for their high-quality finished and whisper quiet cases. The Define R5 is no exception and is able to accommodate up to eight 3.5" disks. In general, this case is a bit more solid than the Corsair 330R, by example.
The Straight Power 10 series from Be quiet! is 80Plus Gold certified and uses a Silent Wings 3 fan, which is very quiet and uses a quality FDB bearing. Thanks to the two PEG connectors, you can easily connect a high-end graphics card.
Since the case has a closed side panel and offers extensive possibilities for cable management, we don't care that much for the lack of modularity. However, if you still want a modular PSU, you could opt for the Corsair RM550x.
We can't call the Cherry MX-Board 3.0 feature-rich, but this keyboard brings the type comfort of mechanical keys to a really low price level. MX Red switches from their own factories are used to detect your key strokes. Lighting, a palm rest and media controls (except for volume) aren't available, but if you want all of that in a mechanical keyboard, you'll have to spend a lot more.
The MX Master mouse from Logitech went home with gold in our review. The unique features keep coming: the ergonomical design, the flywheel mode, the horizontal scroll wheel, the possibility to switch between three wirelessly paired devices - via Bluetooth, by example. Its price has dropped a bit since its launch, and while it still is an expensive rodent, we think it's worth it.
In our recent test of PC speakersets, the Edifier Studio R1280T impressed us. The two solid bookshelf speakers produce an excellent stereo sound, virtually without distortion. For listening to music, this is one of the best choices for its price, but if you're looking for impressive, thunderous explosions you'll still have to choose for a 2.1 set with a subwoofer, such as the slightly more expensive Logitech Z623.
We can't call a Full HD monitor 'Deluxe' anymore in the year 2016. We choose the popular Dell U2515H, a WQHD monitor with a relatively modest diagonal of 25 inches and as a result a high pixel density. It offers you a lot of workspace, which will certainly help you to be more productive. Also, games and (4K) videos will be displayed way sharper than on a normal 1080p screen.
In our tests, the UltraSharp U2515H performed really well on almost all aspects. The viewing angles are excellent, the contrast is very high for an IPS panel and the color temperature is almost ideal. The color reproduction is very good too. And for its specs, this Dell display is even priced pretty friendly!
|Processors||Intel Core i5 6500 Boxed||$194.85|
|Memory modules||Kingston HyperX Fury Black 8GB DDR4-2400 CL15 kit||–|
|CPU coolers||Arctic Freezer i32||–|
|Motherboards||ASUS H170 Pro Gaming||$89.99|
|Graphics cards||MSI Radeon RX 470 Gaming X 4GB||–|
|Hard disks/SSDs||Crucial MX300 525GB||$149.99|
|Hard disks/SSDs||Western Digital Blue 3TB||$84.99|
|Cases||Fractal Design Define R5 Black||$99.99|
|Power supplies||Be quiet! Straight Power 10 400W||–|
|Keyboards||Cherry MX-Board 3.0 Red (US)||–|
|Mice||Logitech MX Master||–|
|PC speaker sets||Edifier Studio R1280T Brown/Black||–|
|Monitors||Dell UltraSharp U2515H||$404.66|
|Save as your own wish list||Average total price:||$1,024.47|