All-round Deluxe PC - November 2017
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.
Intel takes the mainstream to six cores with its Coffee Lake processors. For less than 200 GBP/USD, you can get yourself a Core i5 8400. This CPU performs excellent in games as well as in multi-threaded workloads. It's a true all-rounder for the years to come - the only downside is that you can't overclock it.
AMD has a good alternative with its Ryzen 5 1600, but Intel offers better performance in less multi-threaded tasks and still is less picky about compatibility.
DDR4 memory is a necessary choice with the Coffee Lake platform. We choose a basic set with two 8 GB modules, which together form a 16 GB kit. 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.
You could save a few more bucks by opting for memory strips without a heatspreader, but that's not really 'Deluxe' in our opinion.
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.
We need a motherboard with the Intel Z370 chipset for our Coffee Lake processor. The ASRock Z370 Extreme4 is an excellent all-round choice with all features you want as a gamer, like good audio, networking solutions and a very solid PWM. USB 3.1 is supported too and you can also mount a fast M.2 SSD.
There are some alternatives for a bit less, but we like the ASRock the most because it supports DTS Connect, a feature that allows sending 5.1 surround signals through an optical audio output. Also, it offers an excellent power circuit.
It goes without saying on occasion you'll want to play your games in Full HD. The Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 is an excellent choice, which will enable you to play at high settings in almost every game.
Unfortunately, the Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 6GB has increased in price due to the mining craze. However, it's way more future proof than the 3GB version. This particular model from Gigabyte has reasonable stock levels and pricing, so that's why we choose it. One could argue for an AMD Radeon RX 580, to benefit from the Freesync enabled monitor, but they're out of stock almost everywhere.
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.
We don't need many words to describe the performance of the Seasonic Focus Plus Gold: it's excellent. The voltage stability, efficiency, ripple and noise production are all very good. The ripple of the Focus Plus Gold is just a tad higher when compared to the Corsair RMx, but the difference is really small. However, Seasonics offering is considerably cheaper.
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 2017. We go with the Iiyama ProLite XUB2792QSU-B1, that combines a 27" IPS panel with Freesync support and a WQHD resolution. 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.
On our tests, we were impressed by its high contrast and maximum brightness. Also, the response times are great for its class. The only thing we could want to see a little better, is the color reproduction. If that's important to you, you could invest a few bucks more in a AOC Q2775PQU, by example.
|Processors||Intel Core i5 8400 Boxed||$179.00|
|Memory modules||Crucial Ballistix Sport LT Grey 16GB DDR4-2666 CL16||$162.99|
|CPU coolers||Arctic Freezer i32||–|
|Motherboards||ASRock Z370 Extreme4||$148.99|
|Graphics cards||Gigabyte GeForce GTX 1060 G1 Gaming 6GB||$309.99|
|Hard disks/SSDs||Crucial MX300 525GB||$129.00|
|Hard disks/SSDs||Western Digital Blue 3TB||$99.00|
|Cases||Fractal Design Define R5 Black||$99.99|
|Power supplies||Seasonic Focus Plus Gold 550W||$70.93|
|Keyboards||Cherry MX-Board 3.0 Red (US)||–|
|Mice||Logitech MX Master||–|
|PC speaker sets||Edifier Studio R1280T Brown/Black||–|
|Monitors||Iiyama ProLite XUB2792QSU-B1||–|
|Save as your own wish list||Average total price:||$1,199.89|