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I don't know how to build a PC. I don't care what kind of processor I have or how this graphics card compares to this other one with a name that's got a slightly higher digit in it somewhere. All I want is a reputable source to buy it from at a decent price. I know what my budget is and how much I'm (broadly) willing to spend considering how much use I'll get from it. Where should I get one from? Can anyone recommend a site?

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28 minutes ago, Miguel Sanchez said:

I don't know how to build a PC. I don't care what kind of processor I have or how this graphics card compares to this other one with a name that's got a slightly higher digit in it somewhere. All I want is a reputable source to buy it from at a decent price. I know what my budget is and how much I'm (broadly) willing to spend considering how much use I'll get from it. Where should I get one from? Can anyone recommend a site?

Your local PC shop will have some cheap workstations from the last time a local business upgraded their office PCs.

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I used Chillblast to get my boy's PC for Christmas, The trustpilot reviews are really good and even some of the reddit posts say they're not too bad price wise compared to building it yourself. Touch wood we've had no issues so far 

You can start with a suggested build and then tweak parts as you see fit. They build it for you and ship it within a couple of weeks. 

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Your post doesn't really help much. What do you need the graphics card for? Would you be using it for gaming or intensive graphical tasks? If not, then you don't require a graphics card. A CPU with integrated graphics will do for general PC tasks.

What about size of the system? Are you looking for a full size desktop PC or something across the lines of a compact system or mini PC?

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16 minutes ago, StellarHibee said:

Your post doesn't really help much. What do you need the graphics card for? Would you be using it for gaming or intensive graphical tasks? If not, then you don't require a graphics card. A CPU with integrated graphics will do for general PC tasks.

What about size of the system? Are you looking for a full size desktop PC or something across the lines of a compact system or mini PC?

Not really bothered about the size. The one I have is sitting behind a 24 inch monitor and I can't even see the speaker sitting on top of it. I've had a mini PC before and the heat/subsequent noise from it was unbearable, although admittedly that was about ten years ago.

I might need graphics. I'd like to stream some games, I'd like to make a massively successful Football Manager thread on here, but I realise you can basically spend an unlimited amount of money on this and in my case it'd probably be a case of diminishing returns. I currently have this

l.png.cb54615c3e86fc5cd8f5ebfb8c6e6bc1.png

I can't even really use it for streaming video any more, the RAM goes nuts and it takes an age to actually load the stuff in the first place.

25 minutes ago, Fuctifano said:

I used Chillblast to get my boy's PC for Christmas, The trustpilot reviews are really good and even some of the reddit posts say they're not too bad price wise compared to building it yourself. Touch wood we've had no issues so far 

You can start with a suggested build and then tweak parts as you see fit. They build it for you and ship it within a couple of weeks. 

I hadn't heard of this one, the only site like that I'd really looked at was PC Specialist. I'll have a look, thanks.

48 minutes ago, BFTD said:

Your local PC shop will have some cheap workstations from the last time a local business upgraded their office PCs.

If I go to such a place (no idea if I have one) I'll resemble this when I walk in:

Tom Rennie on Twitter: "Marc Cucurella for £50m is the type of transfer  that agents convince rookie owners to do. Boehly is the biggest pigeon in  the game right now. A lot

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What type of budget are we talking about here?

When you say you want to stream games, do you mean playing games then streaming the footage over something like youtube or twitch? Or do you mean having the game footage streamed to your PC as you play? (Using a service like G-Force Now for example).

If it's the former, then you're definitely going to require a dedicated GPU that supports encoding and a CPU that ideally has at least 6 cores for managing the gaming and streaming side of things simultaneously. Particularly if you want to game and stream at 60fps or more.

If it's the latter and you're using a service that streams the game footage to your PC while you play, then you don't require a dedicated GPU at all, as you're using the services own GPU over their network server. A 4 core CPU with decent integrated graphics can get the job done.

Edited by StellarHibee
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7 hours ago, Miguel Sanchez said:

I don't know how to build a PC. I don't care what kind of processor I have or how this graphics card compares to this other one with a name that's got a slightly higher digit in it somewhere. All I want is a reputable source to buy it from at a decent price. I know what my budget is and how much I'm (broadly) willing to spend considering how much use I'll get from it. Where should I get one from? Can anyone recommend a site?

The Tom’s Hardware Forums pages are a goldmine of advise, especially if you outline what you want, what you want to spend, what country and that you will only buy prebuilt. 
 

https://forums.tomshardware.com

Look in “Prebuilt and Enterprise”

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9 hours ago, StellarHibee said:

What type of budget are we talking about here?

When you say you want to stream games, do you mean playing games then streaming the footage over something like youtube or twitch? Or do you mean having the game footage streamed to your PC as you play? (Using a service like G-Force Now for example).

If it's the former, then you're definitely going to require a dedicated GPU that supports encoding and a CPU that ideally has at least 6 cores for managing the gaming and streaming side of things simultaneously. Particularly if you want to game and stream at 60fps or more.

If it's the latter and you're using a service that streams the game footage to your PC while you play, then you don't require a dedicated GPU at all, as you're using the services own GPU over their network server. A 4 core CPU with decent integrated graphics can get the job done.

Realised after I posted (and went to bed) that I meant the latter. I think I over-estimated how graphically intense that is so that's a plus. 

Budget-wise I've actually been surprised at how expensive things are since I last bought one in 2018, but fair enough. £500 would have been my starting point but based on what I've seen since making these threads I'd be willing to go to 600-700.

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2 hours ago, Miguel Sanchez said:

Realised after I posted (and went to bed) that I meant the latter. I think I over-estimated how graphically intense that is so that's a plus. 

Budget-wise I've actually been surprised at how expensive things are since I last bought one in 2018, but fair enough. £500 would have been my starting point but based on what I've seen since making these threads I'd be willing to go to 600-700.

Honestly. I'd recommend a mini PC with something like an AMD Ryzen 2400GE CPU. It's a 4 Core hyperthreaded CPU with integrated RX Vega 11 Graphics and it's only 35 watts so it won't run too hot in a small form factor case. It will handle stream gaming with ease, even at 4K. It will also handle some light gaming directly from your system on older games and works really well for emulation if you're into that. 

In terms of RAM, you ideally want 16GBs of RAM running at 3200 or 3600 mhz. But instead of opting for one single stick of 16GBs or RAM, you're best going with 2 x 8GB sticks, as this allows the RAM to run in what's known as 'dual channel', this will further boost performance of the on board graphics on the CPU.

For storage, always opt for a Solid State Drive rather than a standard Hard Disk Drive. It's one of the biggest upgrades that can be made to any system and it doesn't break the bank.

I'm sure you know this anyway. But be sure to use an Ethernet cable directly from the system into your router to avoid latency and input lag when using game streaming services, as it tends to be pretty poor over a wireless connection.

You should be able to get this sort of system together for no more than £300.

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1 hour ago, StellarHibee said:

Honestly. I'd recommend a mini PC with something like an AMD Ryzen 2400GE CPU. It's a 4 Core hyperthreaded CPU with integrated RX Vega 11 Graphics and it's only 35 watts so it won't run too hot in a small form factor case. It will handle stream gaming with ease, even at 4K. It will also handle some light gaming directly from your system on older games and works really well for emulation if you're into that. 

In terms of RAM, you ideally want 16GBs of RAM running at 3200 or 3600 mhz. But instead of opting for one single stick of 16GBs or RAM, you're best going with 2 x 8GB sticks, as this allows the RAM to run in what's known as 'dual channel', this will further boost performance of the on board graphics on the CPU.

For storage, always opt for a Solid State Drive rather than a standard Hard Disk Drive. It's one of the biggest upgrades that can be made to any system and it doesn't break the bank.

I'm sure you know this anyway. But be sure to use an Ethernet cable directly from the system into your router to avoid latency and input lag when using game streaming services, as it tends to be pretty poor over a wireless connection.

You should be able to get this sort of system together for no more than £300.

I can't do an ethernet cable, but I've not had any problems with the wifi in the time I've been here.

You have been very reassuring, thank you.

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11 hours ago, Miguel Sanchez said:

Realised after I posted (and went to bed) that I meant the latter. I think I over-estimated how graphically intense that is so that's a plus. 

Budget-wise I've actually been surprised at how expensive things are since I last bought one in 2018, but fair enough. £500 would have been my starting point but based on what I've seen since making these threads I'd be willing to go to 600-700.

Sarden84 on hotukdeals knows his stuff. I built my own system but he recommends stuff for people who don't want to build themselves. These may be overkill for your needs though?

Ryzen 5 AM4 Range - RTX 3060 - - B550M - 650W - 480GB SSD (1tb +35) from £679.99 + free delivery at AWD-IT

https://www.hotukdeals.com/share-deal-from-app/4099792

Ryzen 5 AM4 Range - AMD 6650XT - B450/B550M - 650W - 480GB SSD (1tb +35) from £639.99 + free delivery at AWD-IT

https://www.hotukdeals.com/share-deal-from-app/4100654

They are both from AWD-IT. Palicomp are another option I've seen him suggest.

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9 hours ago, Miguel Sanchez said:

I can't do an ethernet cable, but I've not had any problems with the wifi in the time I've been here.

You have been very reassuring, thank you.

There is an inherent weakness with WiFi and security, especially if you don’t control the modem. I have a router that is connected via Ethernet to the modem, and the modem WiFi is off simply because the basic security of the equipment that ISP’s give out is crap, and the stuff you buy from big box stores isn’t much better unless you understand how to set it up properly.

Of course, if someone else controls the router, they can use something like Wireshark to intercept all your communications. Hell, my financial computer is jacked directly into the router to avoid a wireless spill.

I would also invest in a backup drive (or two…they are cheap)  or a couple of big flash drives. If you’ve gone digital for pictures, video , music and documents, you should be backing them up. I have a pretty good sized backup that I keep up to date, and every six months I do a backup and take the copy to my back where I have a safe deposit box. There I put the most recent backup in the box and take the other (old) backup out. Then I take the old one home and make a fresh backup and keep it for the next six months. Is it over kill, perhaps, but I’ve lost very little data when my hard drive kills the bucket…and if the house burns down or flood, I still have a recent backup at the bank.

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14 hours ago, Trogdor said:

Sarden84 on hotukdeals knows his stuff. I built my own system but he recommends stuff for people who don't want to build themselves. These may be overkill for your needs though?

Ryzen 5 AM4 Range - RTX 3060 - - B550M - 650W - 480GB SSD (1tb +35) from £679.99 + free delivery at AWD-IT

https://www.hotukdeals.com/share-deal-from-app/4099792

Ryzen 5 AM4 Range - AMD 6650XT - B450/B550M - 650W - 480GB SSD (1tb +35) from £639.99 + free delivery at AWD-IT

https://www.hotukdeals.com/share-deal-from-app/4100654

They are both from AWD-IT. Palicomp are another option I've seen him suggest.

I was going to suggest this. The sarden84 lad normally has a variety of different deals to pick and choose from. His posts can be a little hard to follow at times but you will normally find a good deal to suit your budget from his deals.

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It's amazing to me how many skills I have lost in this regard. Back in around 2000ish, me and my pals were always upgrading our computers. Take the cover off the tower, make sure you weren't all static-y, replace the part and bingo. You now have a 56k modem instead of a 14.4k one - or RAM, or Hard drive. Pretty much any component we would swap out for an upgrade. Used to but the bits and bobs from the Silicon Group in Alloa. They are still going.

Can I do this now? No chance. Computer architecture has changed so much, and gone so micro, I'd be hopeless now.

Anyway, best of luck Miguel. The best laptop I ever got was from Tesco Direct. That is the sum of my wisdom now.

 

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1 hour ago, scottsdad said:

It's amazing to me how many skills I have lost in this regard. Back in around 2000ish, me and my pals were always upgrading our computers. Take the cover off the tower, make sure you weren't all static-y, replace the part and bingo. You now have a 56k modem instead of a 14.4k one - or RAM, or Hard drive. Pretty much any component we would swap out for an upgrade. Used to but the bits and bobs from the Silicon Group in Alloa. They are still going.

Can I do this now? No chance. Computer architecture has changed so much, and gone so micro, I'd be hopeless now.

Anyway, best of luck Miguel. The best laptop I ever got was from Tesco Direct. That is the sum of my wisdom now.

 

To be honest, simply knowing to ground yourself is enough to build a computer these days, once you know the correct components…and that’s pretty simply with all the online knowledge sources. I bought a prebuilt system recently because I scored a pretty decent deal on a computer that would be replaced in a few years, so upgradability wasn’t a factor.

To address the original post/question…there are plenty of decent deals out there, but a prebuilt system often suffers from poor upgradability. The manufacturers use proprietary hardware like power supplies and motherboards that are not as flexible (or as high quality, if you choose correctly) as off the shelf solutions available to you. You can nearly always build a better and cheaper system yourself, if you have the time, inclination and ability (minor skills needed). That being said, if you want simple and easy, buying a prebuilt system during a sale isn’t a bad choice, just buy more than you NEED to make sure it will work for a few years.

On prebuilt, I would never buy a system that wasn’t designed around/built with a standalone video card, as the systems using onboard video are often too underpowered to ever support a video card upgrade, and that’s the most common area people need to upgrade.

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Grow up, stop being a woos and build your own one. You need screwdriver and that's it. It's just a jigsaw puzzle for adults. Its honestly not difficult at all and requires zero experience, not something anyone should be afraid of. All you need to do is use a website to make sure the parts are compatible, and the rest is a piece of piss.

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I think @scottsdad would be in for a surprise if he tried to build another PC. It's literally never been simpler; all you need to do is research parts to make sure you're getting the best value, but if you're just using it for work and/or simple games, you can skip most of that too and just pick up some cheap stuff. It's like doing a very expensive jigsaw.

I do occasionally miss the days of setting a million DIP switches on everything and hoping the instructions were accurate, but then I give myself a shake. I had a college instructor who said he missed the days when you'd buy hardware and had to code the drivers yourself in assembler based on the manufacturer's photocopied technical documentation, but I think he was kidding himself too. Some IT people are really weird for being nostalgic for more difficult times.

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  • 1 year later...
  • 4 weeks later...
On 11/03/2023 at 20:52, Miguel Sanchez said:

I don't know how to build a PC. I don't care what kind of processor I have or how this graphics card compares to this other one with a name that's got a slightly higher digit in it somewhere. All I want is a reputable source to buy it from at a decent price. I know what my budget is and how much I'm (broadly) willing to spend considering how much use I'll get from it. Where should I get one from? Can anyone recommend a site?

Laptops Direct have some gaming PC Affordable 

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