Desktop PCs




My desktop PC is eight years old now and is grinding to a halt on a regular basis. It’s a Dell machine running Windows Vista. It’s served me well, but I’ve tinkered with it as much as I can and don’t think I can eek out any more from it.

So I’m looking for a new one. Who makes good desktop PCs these days? I only need a tower unit (I have monitors, keyboard, mouse, printer etc), and it’s unlikely that I’ll be playing many games on it, however, I will be using CAD/graphics programmes, so it’ll need a bit of beef in that department.

Ideally, I’d like to keep it below £500. I could build one myself, but I’d need a fair bit of advice on the components and their compatibility.

I may be able to salvage some bits from my current machine. Would this be worth it?

Any links or articles that would help me would be much appreciated too!



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Build one yourself. It’s basically Lego.


Used these guys for my last two desktops, been v happy both times


As I say, I think I could physically build it myself, but I have no idea what components are compatible with other components, so any online guides for this kind of thing would be appreciated.


Sweet. Will give them a look!


I think I used a build guide from an old WoW site I used to read, of all places, called mmo-champion. Alternatively, places like ebuyer (etc.) sell bundles of compatible mobos/RAM/CPUs.


Yeah, ebuyer looks like a good bet too.


Would definitely recommend building one yourself in order to save the cash. Those “Build Your Own PC” options on Arbico seem pretty decent, though they don’t include Windows unless you ask for it (and add an extra few quid on top), assuming you want Windows.

If you end up getting the parts seperately and want some help with butting it together I’ll be happy to offer some advice. As Epimer said it’s certainly doable! Seems like you should be able to get what you want for £400 max too.

I wouldn’t recommend salvaging much from your current machine, definitely not the hard drive. The DVD/CD drive you could reuse though, and the case but obviously you’ll be gutting the whole thing out.


I think automatically filters components as you pick them, so e.g if you choose a i5 processor it will only show you motherboards that are compatible


My girlfriend and I bought a big HP desktop, their equivalent to an iMac. It looks v nice and has a touch screen etc, but it’s also a total dick. We had to send it back for repair within two months of buying it, as it was turning itself off at random, and even now we’ve got it back sometimes it just refuses to do anything.

So I’d probably say not to buy an HP…


Yes! That’s the kind of thing I want.