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PC Hardware Buyer's Guide, June 2010

Posted on 15th Jun 2010 at 13:08 by Clive Webster with 19 comments

Clive Webster
Regular readers of the site will have noticed that our Hardware Buyer's Guide has been stuck on May despite it being mid-June already. There is a reason for this...

Nothing's changed.

That might sound flippant, but we haven't seen any new products in the last six weeks or so that have changed our minds on what the best hardware to buy is. If you're looking for advice on what to put in your next PC, the PC Hardware Buyers Guide, May 2010 is still the best place to go.

There are a couple of products which have launched in the last fortnight that we're still in the process of testing though - looking at all the shiny new things at Computex 2010 stole a lot of our time. However, there are reasons why these products are still on the to-do list.

Intel's Special K - the most obvious pun ever?
The Intel K-series CPUs and their fully unlocked multipliers might make you pause when considering your new processor, but we're sceptical that they'll change things much. The 3.2GHz Core i5-655K costs £185, while the 3.33GHz Core i5-661 (and its faster integrated GPU) is £170. As the i5-661 also Turbo Boosts to higher frequency (3.6GHz rather than 3.46GHz), it's hard to see the unlocked multiplier and slightly lower TDP (73W versus 87W) of the new i5-655K giving it much appeal. Perhaps it'll turn out to be an epic overclocker, which is why we've got it testing at the moment.

The Core i7-875K is just as odd. This LGA1156 CPU costs £290 and is clocked at 2.9GHz. For £110 less you can get a Core i7-920, with the difference in price offsetting the cost of a decent LGA1366 motherboard and 6GB of triple-channel RAM.

Click here to compare the four CPUs I've talked about (and marvel at Intel's CPU comparison tool).

No GTX 465?
The other big (non)event to happen in the last couple of weeks has been the launch of the GeForce GTX 465. Launch is probably too strong a word, but we've finally persuaded someone to send us a card to test, and we'll bring you the review soon. It would be presumptuous to say that as we weren't sent a card for the launch there's little confidence in the new card, so we'll wait till the testing numbers are in before delivering a verdict.

Stay tuned for these articles (and more) in the coming weeks, and normal buyer's guide service will be resumed next month.

19 Comments

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Instagib 15th June 2010, 14:16 Quote
"That might sound flippant, but we haven't seen any new products in the last six weeks or so that have changed our minds on what the best hardware to buy is."

True.
memeroot 15th June 2010, 14:25 Quote
how about expanding the guide with a media pc or something?
Zero_UK 15th June 2010, 14:28 Quote
A media rig isn't a bad idea to be honest...
shah 15th June 2010, 14:56 Quote
Media PC would be a nice addition.
Rob Lang 15th June 2010, 15:56 Quote
Would love to see some Media PC rigs. Like you do for gaming PCs - a budget, enthusiast and SUPER-MEGA-TURBO-DESTROYER-OF-WORLDS one that will set your wallet alight.
trig 15th June 2010, 17:46 Quote
with all of the all in one media centers hitting the market it doesnt seem like a worthy investment to do a media pc these days. can see why they dont do one on the hardware guide.
SuicideNeil 15th June 2010, 18:13 Quote
What exactly constitutes a media PC anyway? Its a SFF PC with a decent graphics & sound card, and lots of HDD space for all the movies & music you'll be storing on it = pretty much a normal PC then, nothing amazingly different that requires a whole seperate catagory. Unless Im missing something :-/
deathtaker27 15th June 2010, 19:19 Quote
did you update the prices on the may one then, to reflect their current trend or not?
Rsaeire 15th June 2010, 20:22 Quote
I echo the other users' sentiments of expanding the guide to include a HTPC.

What would be ideal would be a computer that has a sufficient CPU, PSU, ram and motherboard, ideally mini-ITX, an adequate sized HDD, possibly a Blu-ray drive, a good enough GPU that offers full handle hardware acceleration of all HD codecs as well as Vector Adaptive deinterlacing and all in a svelte and appealing case.

While building such a computer may appear to be easy, the real genius of such a build is in finding components that work well together, use power efficiently, are good value for money and are near silent as possible, all while keeping temperatures low.
crazyceo 15th June 2010, 20:45 Quote
You're watching the World Cup aren't you? Just because every monitor in the office is watching the lunch time and afternoon games, you can still do a little work in the morning!
The Infamous Mr D 15th June 2010, 20:53 Quote
I'd argue that a media PC has more specific requirements for hardware than a generic PC. Low power, low noise but providing just enough grunt to cope with HD content or a good price? A concise feature on the best hardware around for home theatre duties?

That I would like to see on B-T.
PopcornMachine 15th June 2010, 20:59 Quote
I've noticed that the sites that did not review the first fermis the way NVIDIA wanted them to (were completely honest) did not receive a GTX 465 for review.

Speaks volumes about them. They refuse to admit they have a broken GPU, and arrogantly think they can control everyone's perspective of it.

Just amazing.
Penfold101 15th June 2010, 21:02 Quote
Was reading an old issue of CPC the other day - they had a Media PC spec'd in at at the front along with the others...
Burdman27911 16th June 2010, 00:47 Quote
So we're asking for something like the Home Theater PC Buyer's Guide, like this: http://www.bit-tech.net/hardware/buyers-guide/2009/02/04/q1-2009-htpc-buyers-guide/1 ?

I thought it was supposed to be updated every quarter or something, but that's the most recent one I could find.
Aracos 16th June 2010, 03:56 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Burdman27911
So we're asking for something like the Home Theater PC Buyer's Guide, like this: http://www.bit-tech.net/hardware/buyers-guide/2009/02/04/q1-2009-htpc-buyers-guide/1 ?

I thought it was supposed to be updated every quarter or something, but that's the most recent one I could find.

Talk about the good old days, the first page has 4GiB of RAM for £32.....
void 17th June 2010, 07:55 Quote
+1 for a HTPC build.

But I reckon they can get away with 6 monthly updates, low performance hardware in a HTPC doesn't change much unless new tech is released.
Burdman27911 18th June 2010, 03:42 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by storm20200
Talk about the good old days, the first page has 4GiB of RAM for £32.....

I know! I really wish I would have jumped on upgrading all my PCs to 8GB :(
Bindibadgi 18th June 2010, 05:38 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by SuicideNeil
What exactly constitutes a media PC anyway? Its a SFF PC with a decent graphics & sound card, and lots of HDD space for all the movies & music you'll be storing on it = pretty much a normal PC then, nothing amazingly different that requires a whole seperate catagory. Unless Im missing something :-/

This.

We tried it before and everyone complained it wasn't what they wanted - they either wanted small and low power (underclocking, no underclocking?), or lot of hard drives for storage, or TV recording, TV streaming or internet stream TV?, transcoding capacity or not - if so, CPU or GPU?, HDMI or older connections?, blu-ray/no blu-ray, mini-ITX/micro ATX - some people think mini is too small, others not, etcetc

If you want something to play video and audio on your TV, just buy an AC Ryan PlayON :p

It's not that we're not listening, it's just the boundaries for a "HTPC" are just too big, so it's just not going to happen.
Rozzy 21st June 2010, 12:34 Quote
I'd love to see a HTPC buyers guide but it does really make sense that there are so many different options that different people may or may not want that it will be impossible to please even the majority.

One thing I would like to see back again though is the monitors section. Again, I know it's an area that different people want different things but like when it used to be included, just 3 monitors for 3 different price brackets would be brilliant. When looking for a new, or another, monitor I can never tell where to go or who to go to so any help from you guys at bit-tech would be awesome :D

Ross
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