Some indications for selecting or building a desktop computer by spending between 250 and 1,000 euros. It is often optional to pass out with the latest motherboards and processors to get a high-performance desktop PC that suits your needs. Whether you want to assemble a new PC from scratch or buy a pre-assembled one, it is always good to keep up to date with the market’s components and the new technologies available.
This is a rather arduous task, especially for those who need to get used to following the continuous evolution of processors, memories, motherboards, video cards, and so on. This article will provide a few ideas for identifying a good desktop computer, otherwise known as a desktop PC, for office activities, design, and gaming.
The market and the prices of the individual components are constantly changing: suggestions for creating or choosing a complete desktop computer must therefore be taken with a grain of salt. Having done a little research to show how it is possible to create a complete computer for between 250 and 1,000 euros, the following are some proposals for creating a system that meets various needs without spending a fortune.
Desktop Office Computer: What Are The Important Aspects
Desktop PCs for office use for usual activities such as surfing the Internet, using not particularly demanding management software, Office suites, and viewing multimedia content are not particularly demanding. Essential, of course, is to install an SSD unit for the operating system: for the rest, it is possible to “pack” a desktop PC for around 270 euros, including a solid-state unit, case, and power supply (excluding input peripherals such as mouse and keyboard as well as the monitor ).
Let’s take a simple Intel Pentium Gold G6400 processor for over 70 euros. Launched in mid-2020, it is a processor with few ambitions, which from 2023, would become part of the Intel Processor family intended for entry-levels. Packing that processor with a GIGABYTE H510M S2H V2 motherboard (still based on the H510 chipset for entry-level PCs ) and 8GB of G.
Skill Aegis DDR4-2400 RAM, you can quickly create a system that is adequate for working in a company with the most common applications, at least in the vast majority of cases. Without spending too much, always staying within 400 euros, you can buy an ASUS PRIME H610M-K D4 motherboard with a “battle” processor, such as the new twelfth generation Intel Core i3-12100 dating back to the first months of 2022.
A quad-core (8 logical cores) made at 7 nm can go up to 4.3 GHz in turbo boost. It is also possible to combine 16 GB of Corsair Vengeance LPX DDR4-3200 CL16 RAM (two modules of 8 GB each). In another article, we have seen how to choose RAM and what the abbreviations used to describe them mean (memory standard, working frequency, and timings).
Three Base Systems For Designers: AMD Ryzen With Integrated GPU
For those involved in 3D design and planning, more than a basic computer is required. AMD Ryzen processors are the ones that offer the best value for money for this type of need. In the desktop environment, using a dedicated graphics card is often essential unless you work almost exclusively with 2D CAD.
Not all designers have the same needs and usually subject the machine to the same workloads: those who often work on video export need a better graphics card, even if this depends on many factors, such as the resolution. 3D designers need an even more powerful graphics card, with more VRAM depending on the number of polygons to be processed and managed.
In these cases, it may be necessary to focus on the range of professional graphics cards such as the NVIDIA Quadro. An inexpensive system can be created using the ASUS B550M-K Prime motherboard. It is a dual M.2 motherboard based on the AMD B550 chipset: announced in 2020, it helped spread the use of the PCIe 4.0 interface.
Alternatively, you can choose the Gigabyte B550M DS3H. By mounting the AM4 socket, it is possible to opt for a processor such as the Ryzen 5 5600G: on sale from August 2021. It is a six-core, 12-thread that works at 3.9 GHz base frequency and 4.4 in boost.
Spending a little more, you can choose the Ryzen 7 5700G, equipped with eight physical and 16 logical cores with clock frequencies of 3.8-4.6 GHz (bass-boost). You can combine 8 GB of G.Skill Aegis DDR4-3000 RAM, which is cheap and ensure good performance, or, for example, two Corsair Vengeance LPX DDR4-3600 CL 18 modules of 8 GB each for a total of 16 GB of RAM.
Adding a case, a 450W power supply, and an SSD of at least 240GB, a system that costs no more than 460 euros can be assembled. By choosing Ryzen 7 5700G and Corsair Vengeance memory, the price rises by about one hundred euros to 560 euros. In this case, the graphics performance is limited by relying on the GPU integrated into the AMD Ryzen 5 5600G processor.
As a dedicated graphics card, you can combine a Radeon RX 550 with 4 GB of VRAM and obviously “improve” the power supply by choosing a 650W Corsair. In another article, we underlined the importance of wisely choosing the PC power supply, considering the energy efficiency aspect. You can choose the Asrock B550 Phantom as a motherboard or the excellent and complete Gigabyte B550 AORUS PRO AC. In this case, the final price can rise to 700-900 euros.
Desktop Computer For Gaming Without Spending A Heresy
To demonstrate how a gaming PC can be obtained with just an investment of 500 euros, it is sufficient to keep in mind that it is not necessary to buy the “latest fashion” motherboard and processor. For example, it is enough to have an Intel Core i3-10100F, which costs less since it dates back to the last part of 2020, and with integrated GPU disabled, a motherboard such as the Asus PRIME H410M-E or similar to invest in a graphics card 200 euros as XFX SPEEDSTER QUICK 210 RADEON RX 6500 XT.
As RAMs, you can keep the Corsair Vengeance LPX DDR4-3200 CL16 (16 GB) previously seen. Adding a 500W power supply, case, and basic 240GB SSD, such a machine costs no more than 500 euros. If you want a system capable of performing well in Full HD (100 fps) or QHD at 60 fps, you can fall back on systems similar to those presented below.
As a base, you can use the ASUS PRIME H610M-K D4 motherboard seen previously or the ASUS PRIME B660M-K D4 by inserting a recent processor such as Intel Core i3-12100F in the socket: it is one of the best CPUs for value for money despite being in the i3 segment. Keeping the usual Corsair Vengeance LPX DDR4-3200 CL16 (16 GB) RAMs, you can instead invest more in the video card, for example, a Sapphire Radeon RX 6600 Pulse. Such a system costs around 750 euros.
Using a 600W power supply such as the excellent BE QUIET! SYSTEM POWER 9, you can choose a better performing video card like the XFX SPEEDSTER SWIFT 210 RADEON RX 6600 and a processor like the Intel Core i5-12400F. With such an endowment, even using a 250 GB Samsung 980 SSD, the cost is at most 1,000 euros.
As we have seen in the article in which we explain what the cores of a processor are, there is an online service that allows you to compare the performance and characteristics of the processors with a ranking that is updated daily. It is also good to be wary, for example, of pre-assembled PC offers in which all the characteristics of each hardware component need to be clarified. In the case of processors, we have seen how to interpret the meaning of the abbreviations of Intel processors and learned about the abbreviations of AMD processors.