TechSpot

TechSpot PC Buying Guide: 2016 Update

By Julio Franco
Oct 3, 2016
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  1. The TechSpot PC Buying Guide offers an in-depth list of today's best desktop PC hardware, spanning five budgets that go from an affordable ~$500 PC capable of medium workloads, a couple of well-balanced enthusiast-oriented machines, a luxury high-end build and finally a dream extreme machine that disregards price-to-performance value altogether with a focus on the biggest and baddest hardware available, period.

    Whether you're a first time builder seeking guidance or a seasoned enthusiast, we have you covered.

    • Decent performance • Good for everyday computing • Gaming with add-on GPU
    • Good performance • Fast for everyday computing • Casual gaming
    • Excellent performance • Great Multitasker • Perfect for gaming
    • High-end performance • Heavy multitasking • High-quality gaming
    • Workstation-like performance • Extreme multitasking • Extreme gaming
     
  2. tgr8db

    tgr8db TS Rookie

    I don't understand, in the extreme edition , why the lack of DDR4 RAM ?

    Editor's reply: That was just a typo, the recommendation is indeed G.Skill's TridentZ 64GB (8 x 8GB) DDR4 3200
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 3, 2016
    Win7Dev likes this.
  3. Win7Dev

    Win7Dev TS Evangelist Posts: 567   +174

    I'm also not sure why you shouldn't get better SSDs and better than an i3 for $1000.
     
  4. tgr8db

    tgr8db TS Rookie

    According to me , that was because the i3 won't be a bottleneck to the 1060 , thereby saving us some bucks for other components... SSD ; I think that a better SSD ( Crucial MX300 525GB - 120$) could be accommodated at this price point.(I.e. 966 $ + 50 $)
     
  5. Burty117

    Burty117 TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,920   +687

    Techspot, why isn't the RX480 in every single bracket?
    I mean, Nvidia's 1080 "might" be good enough for the budget system but come on, the RX480 is just soo future proof I don't understand why you wouldn't choose it, check this benchmark out:

    *link to Doom benchmark @ 4K @ 21fps*

    See how it beats all of nvidia's offerings by a single frame?

    /end sarcasm
     
    Last edited: Oct 3, 2016
  6. Julio Franco

    Julio Franco TechSpot Editor Topic Starter Posts: 7,059   +646

    Evidently you can mix and match between builds. We adhere to certain budgets and try to make well-rounded choices for each machine, but nobody is stopping you from pairing a Core i3 with a GTX 1080 for a beastly gaming experience where the GPU takes most of the allocated budget if pure frame rates is what you want. And that same analogy could be used for other components (storage, audio, case/build, etc.)
     
    condelio, amstech, Raoul Duke and 2 others like this.
  7. amstech

    amstech TechSpot Enthusiast Posts: 1,457   +606

    So when I can win the Extreme or Luxury build? :D
     
    Darius Moon and Squid Surprise like this.
  8. Adhmuz

    Adhmuz TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,653   +523

    These systems are invalid anyways, they don't incorporate the new Zen processors from AMD, with it's AM4 platform it'll surely be the most future proof system platform possible, you'll be able to upgrade your CPU every two weeks for the next 4 years! Naturally combine that with the fabulous Polaris architecture and boom, the perfect system. Intel and Nvidia should be worried by how future proof this power house will be, even with Nvidia and Intel paying off all the developers AMD will be king in no time.

    Techspot clearly has something against AMD and are totally Nvidia fanboys sponsored by Intel, none of their suggestions are based on factual testing, much like that Tom's Hardware site which they are easily comparable to these days.

    Because Sarcasm
     
  9. mosu

    mosu TS Guru Posts: 422   +48

    It looks like it's really bad for Nvidia , just look at your latest .Prepare to be worst, when the stupid trend of "deep learning" will end and the bubble will burst on behalf of autonomous driving. By then will have better products from AMD, better DX12 and Vulkan implementation of games and hopefully a shrinking market for Nvidia garbage.
     
  10. Tribalcheetah

    Tribalcheetah TS Rookie

    Why would you go with a brand new, current gen, system for a budget build?

    The best idea would be to go back one generation, which costs considerably less, for any "budget" build, because your dollar will go further.

    "Casual" gaming does not need the latest and greatest...anything.

    Using older tech, you end up with the same or better performing parts for the same price.

    $1k with an i3?

    If you are worried about future proofing, that's nonsense. Except for early adopters or "extremists" (who are not building budget builds), most people don't upgrade their current rigs to the newest releases, they build or buy every 4 years or so, by which time, if you want to upgrade, your buying at least last gen, if not older, by then anyway.

    Just look how long it takes people to upgrade to the last generations of Windows.
     
  11. NightAntilli

    NightAntilli TS Addict Posts: 106   +77

    Good article. Although I'd argue you're better off with an RX 470 and a FreeSync monitor for the entry-level rig rather than a GTX 1060 3GB, considering a decent 27" FreeSync monitor costs you $195.

    Believe it or not, the most interesting part for me was the speakers and the mice.
     
    HardReset likes this.
  12. Squid Surprise

    Squid Surprise TS Guru Posts: 867   +277

  13. Raoul Duke

    Raoul Duke TS Guru Posts: 930   +354

    Definitely cheaping out on sound (card and headphones) on 'luxury' and 'extreme' builds. On the luxury build the cpu cooler costs the same as the sound card! Those headphones are certainly not extreme in any universe. Thanks though I really enjoy comparing all the builds to each other, what I have, what I think about
     
  14. Squid Surprise

    Squid Surprise TS Guru Posts: 867   +277

    Not sure how much better you can get on sound without going for professional stuff - in which case (as the article said), you already know what you want and this article isn't going to be of much help...

    And the built-in sound on the Godlike case is actually pretty damn good... possibly as good or better than the discrete soundcard....
     
  15. treetops

    treetops TS Evangelist Posts: 1,953   +162

    That 1400$ monitor doesn't have 120 hz? I'd be pretty frustrated if I spent 8k and didn't have at least 120 hz with gsync.
     
    Forebode and Peter Farkas like this.
  16. Peter Farkas

    Peter Farkas TS Addict Posts: 214   +67

    Good guide! I like this kind of stuff. Thanks Techspot!
     
    Steve and Raoul Duke like this.
  17. Wendy Oltman

    Wendy Oltman TS Booster Posts: 128   +16

    Nice informative read. Always looking forward to such pieces.
     
  18. Technosense

    Technosense TS Rookie Posts: 23

    I'm in the process now of rebuilding a video editing workstation, I passed on the Crucial MX300 ONLY because the warranty was just 3 years and that worried me. Anyone see this as a concern? I went with the Intel 600p which has issues too.
     
  19. fktech

    fktech TS Booster Posts: 121   +39

    I want the extreme machine on a budget. In 10 years the extreme will be at a garage sale and then affordable for $20.
     
  20. Squid Surprise

    Squid Surprise TS Guru Posts: 867   +277

    lol... and it won't be able to run any of the current software.... Can I offer you a Pentium III for $20? I somehow doubt it...
     
    fktech likes this.

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