Building PC/desktop help or alienware aurora i7

22
Found 20th Nov 2017
my boyfriend is looking to buy me a PC for Xmas and he was looking at an alienware aurora i7 which costs about £1500.
I've been looking at what you guys say about building your own and we quite like the idea (with the help of YouTube)
i won't be using it for gaming it'll be for downloading movies,shopping,YouTube & general web searching.

I would like it to be as future proof as possible & fast that's it really.

does anyone have any advice on which PC to get(better than aurora for specs and price)

or should we build one?
if so which parts are best for us?

really hope someone can help us decide
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1500 is a good amount for a gaming pc. About 3x too much for a non gaming pc.

A celeron will run what you want if for comfortably . You will waste money on an i7
Genuinely, if he wants to spend that much on it and you only want it for what you've stated then buy a MacBook Pro or an iMac if you want a desktop.

If you want to stick with Windows, then you could get a laptop that will do what you want for around 2/3rds of that budget easily, probably a lot less and a desktop for a similar amount.
Original Poster
I really hate Apple because of itunes, and we wanted a PC that won't slow down in a few years.
He already has an alienware laptop that he uses for gaming but I'm not allowed to touch it lol.
We'd like it to last 10ish years if poss without having to update much.
I also have the problem of my boyfriend being a bit of a geek & every time i mention getting a £600ish PC he says they're rubbish grr
Edited by: "lillyluvit" 20th Nov 2017
Building a pc is great fun - I taught myself and rebuild mine with new components every 4 years or so. I enjoy reading the magazines and working out which bits are best value for money. The only real tricky bit is seating the professor on the motherboard and getting a cooling fan on it.

In terms of cost - you can buy a decent case and high end components for around £600-700 plus a monitor and keyboard for another £120 or so.

Future proof...well the computer I build 6-8 years ago would still run but I wouldn’t want to use it. Best think about building your own is the ability to swap a new professor and motherboard in after a couple of years or more RAM or add an extra HD.
lillyluvit2 h, 33 m ago

I really hate Apple because of itunes, and we wanted a PC that won't slow …I really hate Apple because of itunes, and we wanted a PC that won't slow down in a few years.He already has an alienware laptop that he uses for gaming but I'm not allowed to touch it lol.We'd like it to last 10ish years if poss without having to update much.I also have the problem of my boyfriend being a bit of a geek & every time i mention getting a £600ish PC he says they're rubbish grr

Paying for gaming hardware that won't be used isn't future proofing. A geek would probably know what fit for purpose meant
Original Poster
bryanhaines39922 m ago

Paying for gaming hardware that won't be used isn't future proofing. A …Paying for gaming hardware that won't be used isn't future proofing. A geek would probably know what fit for purpose meant

Exactly what I've been telling him haha
lillyluvit3 h, 0 m ago

I also have the problem of my boyfriend being a bit of a geek & every time …I also have the problem of my boyfriend being a bit of a geek & every time i mention getting a £600ish PC he says they're rubbish grr


He doesn't sounds like much of one if that's his response. It sounds like he's more part of the hardware enthusiast set that like ever better hardware.

In fact Alienware are gaming PCs and spend hundreds on the graphics card. If you're not doing any gaming or other 3D intensive work (e.g. CAD) then that money is completely wasted. Generally graphics limitations for normal use are in the technology, not the amount of power.


Computing power grows exponentially. That means a PC that's twice as powerful doesn't last twice as long, but only long enough for the computing power to double. That's traditionally every two years, so if a normal PC lasts you six years something twice as powerful will last eight years, not twelve.

The actual numbers involve predicting the future which is very difficult.


AMD's Ryzen processors are very good but they don't have built in graphics. As Intel's built in graphics are miles ahead of cheap graphics cards in terms of technology support the AMD option doesn't make any sense in this case.

Your inclination is probably the correct one. Buy yourself an i5-7### processor, 240GB+ SSD and 8-16GB of memory for sub-£600.

You can build one yourself if you fancy the experience. You'll end up spending more, everyone does, but you get to pick the case and so on so the end result can be nicer. I'd start at a similar place. i3-8100, 240GB SSD, 8-16GB of memory.
Original Poster
bluep1 h, 34 m ago

Building a pc is great fun - I taught myself and rebuild mine with new …Building a pc is great fun - I taught myself and rebuild mine with new components every 4 years or so. I enjoy reading the magazines and working out which bits are best value for money. The only real tricky bit is seating the professor on the motherboard and getting a cooling fan on it.In terms of cost - you can buy a decent case and high end components for around £600-700 plus a monitor and keyboard for another £120 or so. Future proof...well the computer I build 6-8 years ago would still run but I wouldn’t want to use it. Best think about building your own is the ability to swap a new professor and motherboard in after a couple of years or more RAM or add an extra HD.

Awesome thanks.
Would you have any idea which bits to get?
I've been reading on here about parts picker but i have no idea where to start
I know I'd like an ssd & a 2 or 3tb hard drive for my movies.
I already have a nice screen,mouse & keyboard on my PC now so i don't need to buy those.
I've been looking on YouTube and online for some help but it all seems to be about gaming PCs
Original Poster
Thanks for all your info
you guys have helped me make my mind up on building one.
I hate wasting money on things I'm not going to utilise & this sounds like it's going to be great fun finding all the parts
lillyluvit8 h, 9 m ago

Awesome thanks.Would you have any idea which bits to get?I've been reading …Awesome thanks.Would you have any idea which bits to get?I've been reading on here about parts picker but i have no idea where to startI know I'd like an ssd & a 2 or 3tb hard drive for my movies.I already have a nice screen,mouse & keyboard on my PC now so i don't need to buy those.I've been looking on YouTube and online for some help but it all seems to be about gaming PCs


Okay, so:
- definitely a good SSD for your ops sys - bigger is better to future proof but they get expensive over a certain size. I got a 240GB one for mine and that does me fine

- case - up to you as to look but if you go for a smaller/condensed one it’s more difficult to build. Check the mobo you are thinking of will fit...as some don’t! I got one with a rack/tray kind of approach to the HD bays so it’s easy to swap them in and out. Plus pick with good cooking system - lots of fans and quiet...

- mobo and processor - I haven’t looked at these for a while but a quick google search on which processor is best bang for your buck should bring up a number of reviews..:then you can look at what mobos fit it...then narrow down mobos by again best bang for your buck...more RAM slots obviously better, then how many graphics card slots, USB ports and other connectors you need. Most will do a perfectly good job if you go with a well known brand but have slightly different tweaks to pick from. Again spend money on a good cooling fan for the processor - these are the trickiest thing to fit in the whole build and you’ll need a good cooling paste too.

- HD sounds like you are like me - I have 4x1TB discs for storage. Read up on RAID for mirroring HDs and protecting yourself if one fails. Make sure your case has enough bays for what you want.

- power supply - modular (ie the cables swap in and out). And again as beefy as you can afford and will fit in your case (upgrading these at a later stage is costly) - I’ll check when I get back home but I always go with one brand..

- RAM - again match with your mobo, the more the better or leave slots for upgrade if you can’t afford now. RAM works in matched pairs and reviews will have tested performance etc.

- graphics card (GPU) - you don’t need he most amazing one if you aren’t gaming but I wouldn’t rely on any built in mobo graphics. Pick your budget and buy the best performing one you can at that budget. It will be outdated in a year or two and you can always slot a new one in.

You can buy kits of mobo, processor and RAM which are already all matched - my local supplier Overclockers are very helpful (they are a well known national internet order business too) and will seat the processor on the board if you phone up and chat through your order (or at least they used to)

- cables - again I’d buy mid range quality ones rather than cheap and don’t forget a surge protector for your power supply

- don’t forget budget for an ops sys as well.

- you’ll need a little pc tool kit including a wrist strap that earths you so you don’t kill any components.

Custom PC magazine often do a first time build article, Micromart magazine is good for suppliers and component reviews. WH Smith’s often have a “build your own” special magazine guide.

Actually slotting the bits together isn’t that difficult (just the mobo can be fiddly) but planning which bits all go together is a process - you either find this fun or not!! There’s a forum online called Tom’s Hardware or something similar where people post their planned builds and others comment on how best to tweak them or use different components...plus they will help with technical build issues if you just can’t get something working..

I love building mine - I look forward to when I can justify needing to overhaul it...which reminds me...time is coming up soon!!

Enjoy!!!
Edited by: "bluep" 21st Nov 2017
Original Poster
bluep3 h, 30 m ago

Okay, so:- definitely a good SSD for your ops sys - bigger is better to …Okay, so:- definitely a good SSD for your ops sys - bigger is better to future proof but they get expensive over a certain size. I got a 240GB one for mine and that does me fine- case - up to you as to look but if you go for a smaller/condensed one it’s more difficult to build. Check the mobo you are thinking of will fit...as some don’t! I got one with a rack/tray kind of approach to the HD bays so it’s easy to swap them in and out. Plus pick with good cooking system - lots of fans and quiet...- mobo and processor - I haven’t looked at these for a while but a quick google search on which processor is best bang for your buck should bring up a number of reviews..:then you can look at what mobos fit it...then narrow down mobos by again best bang for your buck...more RAM slots obviously better, then how many graphics card slots, USB ports and other connectors you need. Most will do a perfectly good job if you go with a well known brand but have slightly different tweaks to pick from. Again spend money on a good cooling fan for the processor - these are the trickiest thing to fit in the whole build and you’ll need a good cooling paste too.- HD sounds like you are like me - I have 4x1TB discs for storage. Read up on RAID for mirroring HDs and protecting yourself if one fails. Make sure your case has enough bays for what you want.- power supply - modular (ie the cables swap in and out). And again as beefy as you can afford and will fit in your case (upgrading these at a later stage is costly) - I’ll check when I get back home but I always go with one brand..- RAM - again match with your mobo, the more the better or leave slots for upgrade if you can’t afford now. RAM works in matched pairs and reviews will have tested performance etc.- graphics card (GPU) - you don’t need he most amazing one if you aren’t gaming but I wouldn’t rely on any built in mobo graphics. Pick your budget and buy the best performing one you can at that budget. It will be outdated in a year or two and you can always slot a new one in.You can buy kits of mobo, processor and RAM which are already all matched - my local supplier Overclockers are very helpful (they are a well known national internet order business too) and will seat the processor on the board if you phone up and chat through your order (or at least they used to)- cables - again I’d buy mid range quality ones rather than cheap and don’t forget a surge protector for your power supply- don’t forget budget for an ops sys as well.- you’ll need a little pc tool kit including a wrist strap that earths you so you don’t kill any components.Custom PC magazine often do a first time build article, Micromart magazine is good for suppliers and component reviews. WH Smith’s often have a “build your own” special magazine guide.Actually slotting the bits together isn’t that difficult (just the mobo can be fiddly) but planning which bits all go together is a process - you either find this fun or not!! There’s a forum online called Tom’s Hardware or something similar where people post their planned builds and others comment on how best to tweak them or use different components...plus they will help with technical build issues if you just can’t get something working..I love building mine - I look forward to when I can justify needing to overhaul it...which reminds me...time is coming up soon!!Enjoy!!!

Oh wow, you're the best, thanks for explaining it all to me..you've made it all really understandable.
Thanks so much
Original Poster
Pitch^^27 m ago

A quick rough list

Wow that's really cheap, i was never expecting to build my PC at that price.
Thanks
lillyluvit28 m ago

Wow that's really cheap, i was never expecting to build my PC at that …Wow that's really cheap, i was never expecting to build my PC at that price.Thanks


Needs a case and windows . Other than that's it's good to go.
Pitch^^5 m ago

Needs a case and windows . Other than that's it's good to go.


This is where the fun starts - I tend to prefer the slightly higher range mobos (usually £70-80 buys you better value), I’d double the RAM to 16GB, increase the power supply for future proof (again £80 or so should buy a modular higher powered one that you don’t have to replace), I’d go for i7, plus can’t see a GPU on there? That’s probably £100 for something not gaming standard but good enough for most things.
Really made me want to rebuild mine now!!
Original Poster
bluep39 m ago

Really made me want to rebuild mine now!!

Haha, wish you lived near me you could do mine lol
bluep2 h, 36 m ago

This is where the fun starts - I tend to prefer the slightly higher range …This is where the fun starts - I tend to prefer the slightly higher range mobos (usually £70-80 buys you better value), I’d double the RAM to 16GB, increase the power supply for future proof (again £80 or so should buy a modular higher powered one that you don’t have to replace), I’d go for i7, plus can’t see a GPU on there? That’s probably £100 for something not gaming standard but good enough for most things.


Your wasting money.

16gb ram. 6c/12t CPU . Are wayyyyyy over kill for what the computer will be used for.

Motherboard.... Depends what features they will likely want. Won't be over clocking so H chipset is perfect.

No need for a higher powered PSU . TDP of these things is only getting lower so an upgrade would more than likely use less TDP .
Modular is a waste of money for someone that propably won't even have a windowed case.

The CPU has Intel's 630 iGPU . Will playback 4k videos . Will not struggle with YouTube videos. A dedicated GPU is for gamers and some workstations.

The upgrades you have listed would cost more than an extra 100 that just wouldn't be utilised.

An i7 with 16gb ram and a GPU , is pretty much a high end gaming PC (GPU dependant).
Original Poster
Pitch^^21st Nov

A quick rough list


How does this look?
Could i change anything to make it better?

uk.pcpartpicker.com/use…r7P
Edited by: "lillyluvit" 22nd Nov 2017
lillyluvit6 h, 45 m ago

How does this look? Could i change anything to make it better? How does this look? Could i change anything to make it better? https://uk.pcpartpicker.com/user/inkaworld/saved/Mzgr7P



Intel - EXPI9301CT PCI-Express x1 10/100/1000 Mbps Network Adapter - Dont need that at all


And unless your playing games on this PC, its way overkill, and your wasting a lot of money on parts you dont need, but i feel that your already convinced you need to spend way more than you need to...

so sure its great !
Given the OP started at spending £1500 for an Alienware Aurora I think they are going in the right direction. They wanted fast and as future proof as possible, not as cheap as possible. The two things I’ve ended up shelling out on are more RAM and replacing my power supply - wish I’d bought a higher capacity one to start with rather than spend twice.

I suggest posting on Toms Hardware forum in their proposed build section. Those guys really know their stuff and will be able to advise where you are getting good future value versus wasting cash.
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