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  1. #1
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    Buying a new pc - recommended retailers / shops?

    So I have a bit of a confession: I'm a lapsed pc gamer. My desktop pc is old and cranky and my laptop is underpowered. I got completely fed up of dealing with hardware/driver issues and general 'pc' crap that I've kinda migrated away from big pc gaming (fortunately gog and the indie scene has given me a backlog I'm still working through).

    No longer! Dishonoured and Xcom are calling and they want me back.

    So I'm after a new desktop pc. Here's the snag - I have no interest in pouring over hardware specs sheets, gpu acronyms, motherboard compatibility lists etc. etc. People are going to say 'build it yourself it's easy and cheaper' but I don't care. I have terrible luck with pcs and somehow always choose the obscure combination of hardware that falls over every hour because of some driver conflict that no-one wants to admit to. I value stability more than bleeding edge performance and cheapness.

    The short version: Where can I go to buy a complete desktop with medium-to-good performance that's solid as a rock and with decent build quality? Bonus points if they'll let me customise it a bit.

    Edit: and delivery within the uk.

    Thanks.

  2. #2
    Well I have heard some very positive things about http://www.chillblast.com and the prices look pretty neat.

    There are sometimes some spectacular specs for not very much on here too http://www.dell.co.uk/outlet/ but I don't know about the build quality

  3. #3
    Activated Node Hirmetrium's Avatar
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    I'll shout-out scan.co.uk as well, as their prices tend to be reasonable.

  4. #4
    Activated Node Sidian's Avatar
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    I've recently ordered a system from Scan. For a relatively small price you get them to build it all for you with no hassle, no chance of having to send back parts, etc. You get a 3 year warranty, and they'll even overclock it for you. All of that costs a premium of like 50-70 which is well worth it for the lack of hassle and not having to waste hours of your precious time, in my opinion. I share your frustration with people always INSISTING that you must build it yourself.

    So yeah, have a look at their 3XS systems. If you want parts that aren't listed, they have no problem building a fully custom PC for you; just make a basket and send them a query with the link to it and they'll happily make it for you at no extra cost. The only thing that I should say though, is that they do take awhile to build it and send it to you - I ordered my computer on the 1st or 2nd of this month and they estimate that it will be built on the 19th, delivered on the 24th.

    I'm not sure what your budget is but I'll go ahead and recommend the following in case you wanted further advice:

    Case: Any decent one will do. For (relatively) cheap but really good ones I recommend the Storm Enforcer or the NZXT Phantom 410
    CPU: Intel 3570k. Very easy choice.
    GPU: Either an Nvidia GTX 670, or an AMD 7950. Two great cards that aren't that much worse than their much more expensive bigger brothers (the 680 and the 7970, respectively).
    PSU: Just as long as it's a good brand it's fine. Antec Earthwatts 550w, Corsair 600w gamer series, or if you plan to add another card later on or etc, I recommend any Corsair 750w, probably TX750 as it's the cheapest.
    Motherboard: Asus P8Z77-V LX or Asrock Z77 Extreme4
    RAM: 8GB 1300-1600mhz any good brand, Corsair, Geil, Gskill, etc
    SSD: If you plan on getting an SSD hard drive, which can really help with loading times and read/write speed, I'd recommend the Samsung 830 256GB or the new Neutron 240GB. SSDs have come down a lot in price recently and are well worth it in my opinion.

    But if you can't be bothered or your budget is significantly lower or higher, I'm sure any of the 3XS gaming systems within your budget will be really good.
    Last edited by Sidian; 12-10-2012 at 04:30 PM.

  5. #5
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Wolfenswan's Avatar
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    CPU: Intel 3570k. Very easy choice.
    If you can get a 2500k or 2550k for cheap and the thought of a little OC in the future doesn't scare you get it. It'll serve you longer than the 3570k.

    Motherboard: Asus P8Z77-V LX or Asrock Z77 Extreme4
    Or Gigabyte GA-Z77-D3H (ZX-77 if you want SLI)

    SSD: If you plan on getting an SSD hard drive, which can really help with loading times and read/write speed, I'd recommend the Samsung 830 256GB or the new Neutron 240GB. SSDs have come down a lot in price recently and are well worth it in my opinion.
    Samsung 830 or Crucial M4, whichever is cheaper. 128 is plenty enough if you only want your OS + software on it and a few select games that really profit from it.

    Case: Any decent one will do. For (relatively) cheap but really good ones I recommend the Storm Enforcer or the NZXT Phantom 410
    Xigmatek Midgard II is a great budget case. Fractal Define R4 or Corsair Carbine is what you want if you got a bit more cash to spend.

    PSU: Just as long as it's a good brand it's fine. Antec Earthwatts 550w, Corsair 600w gamer series, or if you plan to add another card later on or etc, I recommend any Corsair 750w, probably TX750 as it's the cheapest.
    750 is overkill if you don't plan on doing SLI. 550 is fine, 650 will last you longer. Try to get modular for better cable management.

  6. #6
    Activated Node Sidian's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wolfenswan View Post
    If you can get a 2500k or 2550k for cheap and the thought of a little OC in the future doesn't scare you get it. It'll serve you longer than the 3570k.



    Or Gigabyte GA-Z77-D3H (ZX-77 if you want SLI)



    Samsung 830 or Crucial M4, whichever is cheaper. 128 is plenty enough if you only want your OS + software on it and a few select games that really profit from it.



    Xigmatek Midgard II is a great budget case. Fractal Define R4 or Corsair Carbine is what you want if you got a bit more cash to spend.



    750 is overkill if you don't plan on doing SLI. 550 is fine, 650 will last you longer. Try to get modular for better cable management.

    Why do you think those will last you longer than the 3570k? If you can get them for much cheaper, sure. But otherwise..

    128GB is fine yeah, I personally wanted the extra space of 256GB but most people probably won't.

    I personally prefer the cases I listed. This is really good round-up of a bunch of budget cases, including the Midgard II and the ones I mentioned.

    And yeah, I mentioned only go 750w if he planned on adding another card.
    Last edited by Sidian; 12-10-2012 at 05:16 PM.

  7. #7
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Wolfenswan's Avatar
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    Missed the part about the other card, my bad.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ivy_Bridge_(microarchitecture)#Heat_issue_when_ove rclocked


    On paper Ivy Bridge is better but the shitty heat managment doesn't make it a prime choice for OC like the 2500k is. Obviously there are no long time studies if that issue affects the CPU if it's run on it's normal clock and tbh. I'd doubt it does.
    Last edited by Wolfenswan; 12-10-2012 at 07:45 PM.

  8. #8
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Sakkura's Avatar
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    The thermal paste under the IHS of the 3570k does not "prevent overclocking". It hampers it a little bit, yes, but all that means is the 3570k doesn't stomp all over the 2500k. It's still serving up comparable or better performance when overclocked. With similar prices, the 3570k is a fine choice.

  9. #9
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Wolfenswan's Avatar
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    You're right, I phrased that badly. Corrected.

  10. #10
    Activated Node Sidian's Avatar
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    Huh, never knew that about Ivy Bridge. That's a real shame, especially since a 3570k will be in my new build. Still seems to be a slight increase in performance but that heat issue really holds it back from being as good as it should be.
    Last edited by Sidian; 13-10-2012 at 03:50 AM.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hirmetrium View Post
    I'll shout-out scan.co.uk as well, as their prices tend to be reasonable.
    My last desktop was from scan, and while it was decent build quality it was expensive and noisy as anything. Plus I didn't really get the performance I felt I should have given the specs - I dunno why, maybe some kind of odd bottleneck on the motherboard that I could never track down.

    That was 5+ years ago though, so I'll give them another look.

  12. #12
    Activated Node Hirmetrium's Avatar
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    Fair enough OrangyTang, but I had heard good things about them from friends and I always include them in my price comparisons. They do not come out the "cheapest", but they fitted well within the OP's requirements of UK delivery, reasonable price, customizable build.

    Unfortunately, nowhere is perfect. Ebuyer for example, is the cheapest site for components, but they use ShittyLink (whom are completely unable to deliver when you want, and especially not on the day they say they will that you have booked off on holiday, and paid a small premium for delivery on) and have crap customer service whom seem unable to do anything right.

  13. #13
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    Hi dear there are many shops to purchase the PC you just go to the any computer market and there is a lot of computers shop and you can purchase the PC or you can also purchase this PC from the scrap shop by finding the single parts and make a PC on cheap price or from whole sale dealer you can take idea this shop by looking at the shop front because the computer shop owners are make the mirror display of their shop and display the some computers in this display you can purchase this PC from this kind of retail or scrap shops....

    Last edited by Alexis; 27-11-2013 at 10:10 AM.

  14. #14
    It all depends on what computer you want, either scan.co.uk or Overclockers.uk are good choices.

  15. #15
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus sonson's Avatar
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    I'm getting my next one this week from Chillblast, because the last one they build me has only just started to creak after five years. Two years collect and return warranty as standard, support over the phone and the terms of their warranty also allow you to poke around in the guts of the machine without voiding it. Exemplary customer service, and prices are as cheap as I've found them.

  16. #16
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    I think the most important thing when choosing a retailer is how they will treat you if things go badly/wrong.

    Unfortunately, nowhere is perfect and there are horror stories about everywhere.

    In my personal experience:
    Overclockers have very prompt and very good support. Unfortunately DPD in the UK seem to be renowned for being crap and deliberately not delivering parcels.
    Scan support is hit and miss. Some excellent encounters and some diabolical ones.
    Pixmania is generally good, but sometimes it seems a different person is answering every message you send them and they end up getting quite confused.
    Aria are useless, incompetent and I would not recommend them to someone I hated.

    I just had a quick look at ocuk and you could have a nice i3, HD 7870, 120gb SSD+2TB HDD, 8gb ram system for under 1000. I recently built a similar system (except it was mini itx, ivybridge i3\ 256gb Samsung SSD) for around 900 and added a DGM 27" monitor to it for another 320.

    Like you, I hadn't had a decent PC in a very long time (7 years for me!) and it's absolutely incredible.

  17. #17
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Sakkura's Avatar
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    SSDs are nice, but I'd recommend getting an i5 with a 128 GB SSD over an i3 with a 256 GB SSD.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sakkura View Post
    SSDs are nice, but I'd recommend getting an i5 with a 128 GB SSD over an i3 with a 256 GB SSD.
    I wasn't suggesting such!
    Though imho, very very few games are CPU limited these days so going for an i5 over an i3 is a waste, you'll pay a 50% premium for a 2500k over an i3 3220 and you certainly won't see even a 10% increase in FPS under 60.

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