New pc - off the shelf or have it built


Standard Member

Current pc is 10 years old, slow and concerned about hard disk coming to end of life. 3GB RAM and 120GB hard disk (almost full)

Looking for 500GB to 1TB hard disk (photo files in RAW starting to take up a lot of space), 4 to 8 GB RAM, Windows 7, needs to run Photoshop Elements 10, MS Office.

I have a non-logical desire for a solid state drive for the operating system (about 60GB) - will it make much difference to the user experience?
Also seeing USB3 coming and think I should get something with that to speed up back ups.

Not in to gaming, more of a multi tasker.

Should I just buy an HP or Dell off the shelf and forget about the SSD and USB3 or should I get Overclockers or the like to build it for me? Will the version built for me have better quality components than an off the shelf unit?

I cannot see me changing the pc again within 5 years or more.

Thanks for your thoughts. Happy New Year.


Standard Member
Blimey - that's a coincidence, I placed my thread just after you and my needs and questions are very similar to yours - so will keep an eye on your thread.


Novice Member
Well I wouldn't be so concerned about whether it's a Dell or HP, it all depends on the components inside and whether it's a good deal, SSD + USB 3.0 will make a huge difference and if you want it future proof for a few years then it's definitely the way to go, but don't pay for an SSD to come pre installed, cheaper if you buy it separately and install it yourself (if capable, someone on here would instruct), wouldn't go about buying a HDD yet until the prices drop a little more, unless you can get one second hand on here without bad sectors. Can you get a windows 7 key? If not amazon sell them for around £70. (You only need Home Premium, Professional/Ultimate offer no benefit). If you get a USB 3.0 PC then bear in mind you'll need to get a USB 3.0 pendrive etc (depending on size and speeds, could be looking £200 for a decent one, but can get usb 3.0 32gb's for around £30). I'd think an i3 2nd gen would do you just fine, if your feeling you need a little more go for an i5 2500k, best one around for the price range, don't think you need to stretch to a 2600k/2700k. Normally if you buy a PC from PCW etc they will slack on components, some will be slowest speeds(ram), but if you got someone to build exactly what you want, it might cost a little to build but it'll be exactly what you want, and it'll save you removing parts and upgrading later.
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