TechSpot's PC Buying Guide - April 2009 update

Julio Franco

Posts: 8,556   +1,446
Staff member
Whether you are a first time builder seeking guidance or a seasoned enthusiast lacking the time it takes to compare the seemingly endless pit of hardware available, we've got you covered. Our buying guides provide an in-depth list of today's best hardware, ranging between three unique and yet typical budgets.

Entry Level Box ( $500 & $800 )
Mid-range Enthusiast's PC ( $1,500 )
High-end Luxury System

Read the complete guide:

Please leave your feedback here. Thanks!


Posts: 3,379   +53
Read the article. Great choices for all ranges of pc's, BUT. I disagree with the i7 940 for the high end bracket. Only because anyone who has the knowledge to put a pc together should have the ability to press "delete" to get into bios and change a 920 into a 940 with presets already available to you. The 200 usd can be put to good use elsewhere. Like a better psu, or just to play around with peripherals.


Posts: 4,305   +553
TS Special Forces
There are also people like me who have done the oveclocking thing in the past and now refuse to overclock anything. I'll be getting a 940 in the next month and that thing will stay at stock speeds.


Posts: 5,403   +40
Nicely done. :)

I however would have recommended the GA-EX58-UD3R instead of the MSI board as a much better buy. With the rebate, you can get it below $190 most of the time. Plus the Gigabyte board has a better PCB and better NB cooling too, both of which will help OCing.

Also, Corsair has a 6GB DDR3 1333MHz XMS kit that is selling for around $90, so that would be a nice alternative to the higher-clocked OCZ kit. I do not know how much of a perfomance difference there would be between the kits though, so maybe you guys made a better overall choice.

Lastly, I have heard of the P6T Deluxe having issues with waking up from sleep mode. Has that been fixed?

But otherwise, the rest is stuff I would have recommended to anyone who wanted to build a system with a specific budget in mind
Again, great job guys! :grinthumb


Posts: 79   +1
First off . . . not sure why this is suddenly linking to the forum group from the front page . . . but ok! The three levels of PC's are decent choices I suppose. However, they are not exactly what I would have chosen and I think a lot of people would probably swap out this for that in many instances. Still the selections are arguably pretty good ones. The problem with such undertakings is there are so many choices and so many opinions on what is ideal for any given price range. It's not really a matter of what is right or wrong . . . just personal choice. Thanks for sharing!

Julio Franco

Posts: 8,556   +1,446
Staff member
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #6
Sorry I couldn't get back to your feedback any earlier though that probably gave enough time to spur some discussion back and forth as was the case regarding our high-end pick of the Core i7 940 over the 920. Of course, if you are an overclocker the 920 is the better choice for obvious reasons, but many prefer to just run stock nowadays.

Besides that I wanted to reiterate as I've done in previous versions of the buying guide, this is not meant to be "the ultimate guide" to strictly follow for your own build, but rather we try to give you the better possible components in three well differentiated target markets.

Mixing and matching components from the guides based on your own interests and priorities is probably the best way to go in many cases. Whether it's a gaming rig that you want to build or a powerful workstation or a cheap build for your mom.

In my particular case, for example, if I wanted a new gaming/workstation PC for myself today I'd pick components from the mid-range and luxury builds. I wouldn't want to spend as much on a soundcard or speakers or blu-ray, so I'd probably buy the 920 with 6GB RAM, the fastest single GPU graphics card available (GTX 285), I'd spend lots of money on a big monitor or two and high-end input devices. And well, those newer SSDs sure look sexy... ;)


Posts: 3,379   +53
Thanks for getting back to us Julio. Again great article, and I to built an htpc some months back. I also think mixing parts in your build can yield "happiness" as long as you put the majority money where it can be utilized the most.

I opted for a 40" samsung lcd monitor because we needed a tv in the living area, and it would make sense to spend the 200 dollars for blue ray capabilities. We wound up only using a 4830(in which i purchased because a previous article here) but that's enough to get the job done of simple browsing and movies.

We look forward to more articles and reviews :)


Posts: 648   +1
I've always loved the buyer guides here. Thanks for bringing it up to date!
I've got a suggestion though, inspired by the link in your luxury guide on the recommend motherboard. If you could link to item comparisons that support each item in its category, that would be spectacular. For instance, the SSD recommended in the guide should have a link to the recent SSD comparison done here. I'm sure the task of doing comparisons on all the different PC components would likely be daunting, but perhaps linking to external comparisons could be considered. I think it'd make the guide the one stop location for building your next PC and would save guys like me hours of time trying to research components and weed out all the nonsense websites that are advertising products instead of comparing them.


Posts: 79   +1
I agree, but I think you have to realize this thread is from two years ago! (2009). There were NO 120hz monitors then :)


Posts: 5,269   +103
This thread is dedicated to the refresh we performed in April 2009 (one year ago), however, the above links still lead to our main PC buying guide page, which is updated every couple weeks. It was updated just this past Sunday. You can find the latest discussion here.

As for the recommended display, thanks, we'll look into it :).