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Any computer whizzes? Need help please!!

I would love to buy my husband a pc for christmas but have around 400 Max to spend which I know isn't much but its a lot to us. My husband likes making short films and the packages he uses make his current PC sound like its going to explode, but it IS seven years old!

we have a monitor.

I used to know what I was talking about regarding PC spec but its all alien to me now, I've finally become my mum!

please can someone help me find a good PC for my money? I can't even tell you how much I'd appreciate your help!

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15 Comments

Have a check on EBuyer for a PC within your budget. They've been going for years and I've always found them reliable.

P.S if you've got a monitor you can find plenty of Base Units on there at EBuyer.

Other or two other notable PC builders that spring to mind are:

PC Specialists
Dino PC's

Dell Is your best bet. Support and quality. I know you are looking specifics computers
but I have been out of the IT game as well so hopefully someone else will come
and post specific computers in your budget and value for money.

Totally agree with the above.
If you have a monitor yourself then you can save quite a bit.
Plus, you can use an ordinary television with an HDMI input as a monitor.
I work as a cameraman/editor and regularly have a television hooked up to the edit suite. It has several benefits where video editing is concerned.

With regards to the base unit, I was looking for a budget PC purely for gaming purposes and used a company in Leicester called Arbico. I don't know about the inner workings of PC's but I explained what I wanted and what purpose the PC would be used for and they built a computer for me. As a customer, I am very, very pleased with it and would recommend them on the basis of my purchase.

Just avoid Currys/PC World and eBay as their computers that appear to be cheap are so for a good reason!

These 2 are on eBuyer
eBuyer Zoostorm Windows 8.1 £399.99
eBuyer Zoostorm Windows 7 £389.99

Both Have and Intel i5 processor (3.2GHz), 8GB of RAM and 2TB of hard drive space.
As far as I can tell, just the operating system is different.


Dell have this one: Inspiron 3000
Its got a 1GB nVidia video card, rather than a built in Intel one but it does have 1TB less hard drive space

With regards to video editing, maybe later down the line you can plug in a more powerful graphics card and add more memory.
Edited by: "jai47" 14th Dec 2014

jai47

These 2 are on eBuyereBuyer Zoostorm Windows 8.1 £399.99eBuyer Zoostorm … These 2 are on eBuyereBuyer Zoostorm Windows 8.1 £399.99eBuyer Zoostorm Windows 7 £389.99Both Have and Intel i5 processor (3.2GHz), 8GB of RAM and 2TB of hard drive space.As far as I can tell, just the operating system is different.With regards to video editing, maybe later down the line you can plug in a more powerful graphics card and add more memory.

The PSU at just 250W is what lets these down as you'd need a new PSU for a more powerful graphics card.

Hmm - £400 is pushing it for something able to handle Video encoding especially if we assume you need a Windows license.
For example, at Novatech your £400 would only get an Intel i3 with 4GB RAM and integrated graphics. Better than what he has but not really suitable for video processing.
For an i5 with 8GB and dedicated GPU you are looking at £550+.
Having said that, just looked on the HP store and they have an AMD system bang on budget that might fit the bill - here. AMD A8, 8 GB, 2TB disk and a budget GPU (R7 240).
Do you know anyone that can build systems? Building from components usually works out better value.

Original Poster

I used to build systems myself but that was fifteen years ago and a lot has changed! (wow, feel old now!)

I forgot about the graphics card needing to be decent and preferably not onboard - so much to think about!

I'm going to look through the links posted above now and just wanted to say a huge thank you to everyone that took time out of their day to help. Really appreciated!

pinkladymel

I used to build systems myself but that was fifteen years ago and a lot … I used to build systems myself but that was fifteen years ago and a lot has changed! (wow, feel old now!)I forgot about the graphics card needing to be decent and preferably not onboard - so much to think about!I'm going to look through the links posted above now and just wanted to say a huge thank you to everyone that took time out of their day to help. Really appreciated!



uk.pcpartpicker.com/ is a really good website if you are considering building it yourself. I'd go the AMD route if I was you on a £400 budget, check out the FX 6300. Others will say Intel though, it's all obviously personal preference.

If you built yourself before, go with that. The only real changes are connectors I.e sata instead of ide It's just being methodical and there are plenty of YouTube videos and how too online. 1) You'll get a better system
2) Extra bonus points saying you built it for them.

I'd follow rikkif's suggestion and go AMD because it's cheaper and video work is multi threaded so the extra cores in fx6300 will help.

A decent quality case with good airflow
A 80 plus psu around 500 to 600 watts, xfx or corsair are good.
FX6300 AMD Cpu
8gb of memory
motherboard
1TB plus hard drive
gfx card may be 750 or 270
copy of windows if required

then for future birthday or Christmas a ssd and or bigger hard drive as upgrades.

Lots of conflicting information here.

Generally speaking £400 is a good budget for a desktop base unit these days. It'll certainly get you something comfortably mid-range. £400 is usually only tight when extra niche hardware needs to be added like a powerful graphics card.

You haven't told us exactly which bit of the process your current PC is struggling with or when it's making loud noises. With video editing once you've finished the video you have to compress (encode) it into a standard format to make it small enough to store/transfer. All PCs will run at full speed during this stage, faster ones will simply finish in a quicker time, so the noise they make is dependent on the fans rather than whether they're struggling or not. Fans do age and get noisier over time.

The noise they make and how snappy they are when editing the video will depend on the speed of the processor, disk, memory etc as well as how noisy the disk and fans are.

I'm not much of a video editor myself but I believe that as a rule graphics cards aren't heavily used in that area. Unless the packages your husband uses demand one then you may find that spending the money elsewhere will bring better returns.

The other area of hardware worth paying attention to these days is the disk. At the moment we've got the old traditional hard disk drives as well as the replacement technology for them called Solid State Drives. SSDs are better in every way except price. They're currently around ten times the price, about £30 per 100GB for SSDs and £30 per 1000GB for hard drives.

These days I wouldn't touch any system without an SSD, they just make the system snappier generally. I believe video editing needs a lot of space though so you'll probably end up with the common compromise of a 100-200GB SSD for windows and programs and a big hard drive for storing the uncompressed video data on.

CPU-wise an i5-4___ is powerful but an i3-4___ or A10-7___ are perfectly good choices. Memory-wise 8GB is sensible now, 16GB will probably be needed at some time in the next seven years.

Original Poster

I'm thinking that perhaps I won't have the time to build one myself before Christmas once parts have been sourced and delivered? wish I'd thought of the idea sooner!

its Adobe After Effects he uses primarily and these are the system specs
After Effects CC (2014) system requirements and language versions

Windows

Intel Core2 Duo or AMD Phenom II processor with 64-bit supportMicrosoft Windows 7 with Service Pack 1, Windows 8, or Windows 8.14 GB of RAM (8 GB recommended)5 GB of available hard-disk space; additional free space required during installation (cannot install on removable flash storage devices)Additional disk space for disk cache (10 GB recommended)1280 x 1080 displayOpenGL 2.0–capable systemQuickTime 7.6.6 software required for QuickTime featuresOptional: Adobe-certifi ed GPU card for GPU-accelerated ray-traced 3D rendererInternet connection and registration are necessary for required software activation, validation of subscriptions, and access to online services.*

I feel like an absolute dunce!

Would take you couple of hours at most to build. But if you want pre build the zoo storm or maybe dell outlet option might do, then you can replace PSU as you go on in future.

Give Him an IOU and buy aftef christmas. thats what I'm doing. (not buying your husband a xmas pressie just waiting till after xmas to buy )
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