Budget All-round PC - February 2018
The all-round PC is a PC with comprehensive features for around $800 - $900 that can do a little bit of everything. It should have enough speed and capacity to meet your needs for some time. Currently it can run all applications, and you're able to upgrade it with small future investments when you need more power or storage capacity.
Surfing, gaming, business applications, photo and video editing should all be possible on the all-round PC without giving you the feeling that it's lacking in performance.
This means a fast processor and graphics card with an excellent price/ performance ratio, in combination with more than enough memory and storage space. Let's not forget a good computer case and a power supply that will remain energy efficient and silent enough for some years to come. Since the monitor, mouse and keyboard will be used daily you should definitely not skimp on these peripherals.
It's essential that an all-round PC is balanced. It's less important that you picked the fastest components than that they work well together and are on the same level of performance. If you have bigger budget, than you could have a look at our All-round Deluxe PC as well.
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.
AMD's latest generation of APUs are particularly interesting for our Budget All-round PC. AMD continues to offer the fastest integrated GPUs, while the CPU performance is adequate now, too - thanks to the Zen cores, of course. An additional advantage: you can use a much cheaper motherboard than a Z370 model required for an Intel Core i3 8100, for example.
The Ryzen 3 2200G is only slightly slower than the Ryzen 5 2400G, but it retails for significantly less. Therefore, it's our new choice for this PC Advice.
CPU cooler - AMD Boxed Cooler
Unless you're gonna overclock, AMDs boxed Wraith Spire cooler will be sufficient for this system. If you still want a quieter system under load, you can always invest in an affordable, decent after market model like the Gelid Tranquillo Rev.4 B.
An APU uses your RAM as video memory, so the selected processor benefits a lot from fast working memory. This kit by Corsair combines everything you need for this purpose: dual-channel, high clock frequencies and relatively low latencies. Because the chosen motherboard has four memory slots, you can always upgrade to 16GB.
The Gigabyte A320MA-M. 2 is not the cheapest socket AM4 motherboard available, but still a lot more affordable than most B350 boards. All basics are included, like four DDR4 slots and an M.2 slot, while you also get a fast usb 3.1 port.
If you want to overclock, it's better to spend a little more on a motherboard that is designed for that purpose. Please be aware that you need at least BIOS version F10 in order to make use of the selected APU - check with your store if that is the case. Otherwise, you can usually have it updated by them to the latest version, possibly for a small fee.
With an SSD, the boot times of your pc will be shorter and all software will run faster. You'll also get a noticeable improvement in its 'responsiveness'.
Crucial offers lots of storage for little money with its MX500 SSDs, which actually perform quite good. The 5-year warranty is a good thing, too.
The model name of this 2TB drive is not the prettiest, but the price is. The performance offered for the averge price of 65 euro is more than decent. Moreover, the noise level is kept to a minimum and the power consumption is acceptable.
Optical drive -
We don't recommend an optical drive anymore, but we tested a lot of DVD 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: LG GH24NSD1
External DVD burner: LG GP70NS50
Card reader: Kingston FCR-HS4
With the N200, Cooler Master delivers a compact Micro-ATX chassis with an attractive price. In the review, we were especially satisfied by the good cooling performance and the, for its price, extensive feature set: one USB 3.0 port and two USB 2.0 connectors at the front panel.
Be quiet's System Power 8 400W is a fine PSU, efficient and with low noise production. Nonetheless it is affordable and thus recipient of a Great Value award. Thanks to the PEG connector, you'll be able to use a mid-range discrete graphics card.
Many affordable desktopsets feature a 'travel model' mini mouse, but the Microsoft Wireless Desktop 900 comes with a decent sized mouse. It's good to know that the signal cannot be eavesdropped, since the keyboards uses AES encryption. According to Microsoft, both keyboard and mouse run for two years on one set of batteries.
Unless you're a gamer or frequently watch movies on your PC, you're better off with a 2.1 (stereo + sub) set than a 5.1 speaker set. The Creative Inspire T3250W also comes with a built-in Bluetooth receiver. That can be practical for streaming music from your phone or tablet. It's reasonably priced, and in our test, we were positive about the balance between the lows and highs. The most important downside is the lower maximum volume.
It's quite impressive how much monitor BenQ manages to deliver for the small price of this display. The GW2470H has a fine AMVA panel, which provides excellent contrast and good color reproduction. It lacks luxury features like Freesync and height adjustability, but that's not what you buy this monitor for.
If you want a smaller display, the 21.5" BenQ GL2250HM is an even cheaper option.
|Processors||AMD Ryzen 3 2200G Boxed||$97.99|
|CPU coolers||AMD Boxed Cooler||–|
|Memory modules||Corsair Vengeance LPX Black 8GB DDR4-3000 CL15 kit||–|
|Hard disks/SSDs||Crucial MX500 250GB||$52.99|
|Hard disks/SSDs||Toshiba DT01ACA200 2TB||$69.99|
|Cases||Cooler Master N200||$42.99|
|Power supplies||Be quiet! System Power 8 400W||–|
|Keyboards||Microsoft Desktop Wireless 900||–|
|PC speaker sets||Creative T3250W||–|
|Save as your own wish list||Average total price:||$263.96|