Premium Player August 2013

Our Premium Player system represents all the finest components that combine to build an enviable PC. Whether you're into super-high resolution gaming, video editing or rendering, this PC has the horsepower to deal with the most demanding tasks. Of course there isn't just raw power available here either. Our components are hand-picked to make the PC stable, quiet and great-looking too.

PC Hardware Buyer's Guide August 2013 Premium Player August 2013
Click to enlarge

 ProductUK Price (inc VAT)US Price (ex tax)
CPUIntel Core i7-4770K£274$360
MotherboardGigabyte GA-Z87X-UD3H£144$160
Memory8GB 1,600MHz DDR3£50$58
Graphics CardNvidia GeForce GTX 780 3GB£500$650
PSUAntec High Current Pro 850W£120$188
CPU CoolerCorsair H80i£70$78
CaseSilverStone FT02B£185$250
Optical driveSATA DVD-RW£15$20
Storage (HDD)1 x 3TB Hard disk£90$240
Storage (SSD)Samsung SSD 840 Pro 256GB£180$230
Sound CardCreative Sound Blaster Z£75$100
 Overall Price:£1,703$2,334

New This Month

Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

With a sizeable, but not ridiculous budget available here, our choices are sensible rather than outlandish. Starting with the CPU, anyone that throws a smattering of rendering or video editing tasks at their PC should be thinking about Intel's Core i7-4770K - it's simply the most powerful consumer processor currently available, and is of course unlocked for easier overclocking.

Gigabyte GA-Z87X-UD3H is still the motherboard to choose although if you're after something smaller, we'll be taking a look at some LGA1150 micro-ATX and mini-ITX boards very soon. The GA-Z87X-UD3H offers a great layout, oodles of features, a brilliant and easy to use EFI and doesn't cost the earth.

Our choice of graphics card was a tricky one. The GeForce GTX 770 2GB and AMD Radeon HD 7970 3GB GHz Edition are certainly way up there when it comes to high resolution gaming in our tests, but the GeForce GTX 780 3GB is noticeably faster when you rise above 1,920 x 1,080 - nearly twice as fast as the GTX 770 2GB in some cases.

However, its price is a steep one (although it's still far cheaper than Nvidia's Titan), and you won't be looking at much change from £500. As such, if you only game at 1,920 x 1,080 or thereabouts, consider the cheaper options mentioned above as you'll save a sizeable amount.

PC Hardware Buyer's Guide August 2013 Premium Player August 2013
Click to enlarge

We've added Corsair's H80i as our Premium Player CPU cooler. It's quiet, offers awesome cooling and is easy to install. It also has even better fan control software than Antec's Kuhler H20 920 (new coolers are inbound from Antec), so slots in as our favourite all-in-one liquid cooler.

With 3TB hard disks now commonplace it makes sense to take advantage of the increased storage space and reduce you number of hard disks. To partner this, we've opted for one of the most desirable SSDs currently on the market - Samsung's SSD 840 Pro. It offers some of the fastest read and write speeds available and is our firm choice as a premium SSD.

However, depending on your storage needs, another option is to drop the hard drive (using a NAS for mass storage perhaps) and go for a 500GB (£290) or even 750GB (£400) Samsung SSD 840 Evo SSD. The step up to 500GB in particular means many users will once again be able to store all their games, programs, documents, music and pictures on one drive, leaving perhaps only their video collection for slower storage. In contrast, with 256GB SSDs it doesn't take all that large a game/music/picture collection to fill the drive up forcing you to have to shuffle your data around.

Finally, we've added Creative's Sound Blaster Z sound card to the fray, which you can read all about here.

As ever, don't forget to factor in the cost of a copy of Windows.
Discuss this in the forums