What Hardware Should I Buy? - July 2009
Summer has certainly arrived here in the UK, or, at least in our central London offices where I've personally resorted to shorts and flip flops this week!
Rather than my dress sense, as far as PC hardware and technology goes, the yearly Computex trade show last month hasn't proved a launch for anything that has affected our guide and won't until September. That said, prices have changed and there have been a number of new products running through the labs; bit-tech
has been looking at some new AMD CPUs, while the Custom PC team has had motherboards abound in the labs, not to mention the latest round of SSDs to pass through Harry's fingers.
As usual, we've spent plenty of time considering and cogitating to bring you our monthly recommendations of the very best enthusiast hardware to suit any budget, although, as usual, thanks to the ever changing map of hardware prices it's best to check your favourite online stores for bargains at the time of purchase.
We've gone back to four systems this month too - the price gap has been increased to accommodate the super budget conscious (Affordable All-Rounder), the Overclocking Enthusiast who wants to squeeze the most performance (although not necessarily the most
MHz) for his or her money, the Gaming Workhorse, which offers supreme performance for the heavy multitasker, while keeping under the grand mark, and finally, our Premium Player package for those who want the latest, highest performing kit, but without going way into the thousands.
As always, all recommendations made in the guide are based entirely on either our personal experiences with hardware or our own reviews (both on bit-tech
and in Custom PC) and occasionally positive feedback and suggestions we receive from our ever-growing community. With such a huge amount of experience and product knowledge behind our recommendations, you can rest assured any product listed will be a quality choice, but not the absolute and only answer, as you will clearly have your own personal preferences.
Free Delivery on Orders over £50!
Again this month we've partnered with popular online retailer CCL
to get you can also get free delivery
on any orders over £50 at CCL (not just what we recommend here) if you quote BIT50
when you order. We've still been free to list the products we wanted to as well, and we've worked with CCL to make sure its prices are competitive.
As the components are now available from one retailer, if you're ordering quite a lot of kit, you'll be able to get it from one place, which is more convenient and will save you money on shipping even if you don't spend as much as £50. Under the specs for each PC, you'll find two new buttons and here's what they do:
Takes you to a shopping basket on CCL filled with all the components of the PC, so you can build it yourself.
Takes you to a shopping basket on CCL for the components pre-built as a fully working PC by CCL
We asked CCL to introduce themselves to you, and here's what they said:
"CCL Computers Ltd is an award winning IT company based in West Yorkshire, UK. CCL began trading in May 1995 and currently employs 65 people operating from a 25,000 sq ft warehouse just off junction 27 of M62, between Bradford and Leeds. It has an annual turnover of £21M and over 400K unique visitors read cclonline.com every month. Specialising in low price computer systems, notebooks, components, printers and upgrades, with next day delivery as standard, CCL has been voted the Best Online Retailer for the past three years running by the readers of bit-tech’s sister publication PC Pro."
We take our buyer's guide seriously here at bit-tech
, and will continue to update it on a monthly basis, with up-to-date pricing and revised selections – a necessity when you factor in the ever fluctuating prices that make the enthusiast hardware market so volatile. However, do bear in mind that prices are fluid and while we do our best to find the very best deals on individual components at the start of every month, prices and availability can change at any time.