Budget All-round PC - June 2018
The all-round PC is a PC with comprehensive features for around £650 - £750 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.
The Ryzen 3 2200G is only slightly slower than the Ryzen 5 2400G, but it retails for significantly less. Therefore, it's our choice for this PC Advice.
An APU uses your RAM as video memory, so the selected processor benefits a lot from fast working memory. Because the chosen motherboard has only two memory slots and our desire to keep the possibility for an upgrade to 16 GB, we can't opt for dual-channel ram. However, we are choosing a relatively quick stick of RAM in order to fully utilise the potential of the integrated graphics.
Recently we tested six AMD A320 motherboards. The MSI A320M Grenade is a stable, affordable option with an additional fan header and VRM cooling as key advantages compared to the competition.
If you want to overclock, you'll have to spend a bit more on a motherboard with the B350 chipset. Be aware that you need BIOS version 7A39vA8 or newer to be able to use the chosen APU with this board - check with your store if that is the case. Otherwise you can usually have it updated to the latest version by the shop, 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.
The System Power 9 400W is the successor to the popular System Power 8. You still don't have to expect any special performance, but it's a stable and very affordable PSU. Be quiet! equipped the power supply with two PEG connectors, so you can easily connect a mid-range 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||£89.59|
|CPU coolers||AMD Boxed Cooler||–|
|Memory modules||Corsair Vengeance LPX Black 8GB DDR4-3000 CL16||£87.09|
|Motherboards||MSI A320M Grenade||£61.40|
|Hard disks/SSDs||Crucial MX500 250GB||£65.95|
|Hard disks/SSDs||Toshiba DT01ACA200 2TB||£57.28|
|Cases||Cooler Master N200||–|
|Power supplies||Be quiet! System Power 9 400W||£43.70|
|Keyboards||Microsoft Desktop Wireless 900 Black (US)||£48.66|
|PC speaker sets||Creative T3250W||–|
|Save as your own wish list||Average total price:||£558.66|