Trying to NOT buy an all-in-one - but what alternative?

Discussion in 'Desktop Hardware' started by Jeffsteez, Aug 12, 2017.

  1. Jeffsteez

    Jeffsteez Notebook Consultant

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    I want to buy/build a new PC for my downstairs living area - will be used as a family computer. Kids aren't quite old enough for 'gaming' so not inclined to build it specifically around that, but I imagine their interest will only grow. I so a lot of high-resolution photography, retouching and occasion 4K video editing.

    My wife wants something slimline that looks good. I figure i can get better performance with something only a bit bigger than an AIO with some sort of small-form-factor setup where the 'box' is hidden behind the screen. Needs to be quiet/silent.

    Been looking at a couple of models e.g.: Dell OptiPlex 7050 Small Form Factor, but thinking building my own might be a better route. Suggestions of systems/cases pre-built or otherwise really appreciated.

    Approximate Purchase Date: e.g.: Now
    Budget Range: £1200 (approx $1500)
    System Usage from Most to Least Important: video and photo editing, surfing internet, watching videos, playing games.
    Are you buying a monitor: Yes, minimum 24", ideally 4K, good colour rendition for photo work.
    Parts to Upgrade: Buying everything new.
    Do you need to buy OS: No.
    Preferred Website(s) for Parts: Don't mind, but buying from UK.
    Location: City, State/Region, Country: London, UK
    Parts Preferences: None.
    Overclocking: Maybe, but probably not.
    SLI or Crossfire: No.
    Your Monitor Resolution: Ideally 4K
    Additional Comments: Want something that from most angles will look like an all in one. Thinking a small-form-factor case, with no fan, or quiet fan, hidden behind monitor on a stand or vesa mount set-up. Will be in the living area. Wife adamant that she doesn't want a 'massive' computer, but keen to get more bang-for-my-buck than an AIO offers. Would prefer SSD for OS and regular HD for files built in. If cost is prohibitive could survive with just SSD perhaps.
  2. kojack

    kojack Notebook Deity

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    Building your own will be a little more expensive but you have much better components in the end. You can get very silent cooling in mini cases now. Small SSD for programs and OS, and large HDD for storage is a great way to go. I use that config a lot.
  3. StormJumper

    StormJumper Notebook Virtuoso

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    Get a Desktop prebuilt to your specs or one you build and you will be more then happy you did that.

    Get a powerful close to gaming 15" laptop if she wants small form with power to use. AIO is about worthless as the junk taken to recycle.

    I would recommend build your own that way you know what your asking it to do.

    Builds on a quick schedule isn't a good plan to start. Plan before starting will save you time and effort.
    Budget Range: £1200 (approx $1500)[/QUOTE]This should be a good start-alot will depend on the GPU specs that will be the other big price factor. i.e. Nvidia GTX1080Ti will cost 700USD maybe and 2 will run at least 1400USD assuming prices don't rise because of demands. So you can see where this will eat your budge for a 3 meal course.
    If Nvidia anything above 1060 6G or 1070 starting will do just fine here. I've had good luck with MSI GPU and now running a 1060GTX 6G and it runs good.
    I go at least 27" and 4k monitors will not be cheap so read the specs carefully for the resolution your looking to get for 4K. And sometimes it requires i.e. two 1080Ti to achieve 4k with stable fps.
    If your PS or Case fits use those and if the HDD is still good make that the backup storage and get a SSD or NvME depending on your board specs as the Main boot drive to improve access and performance.
    No O/S means your the computer is get Windows 10 Pro - I am using it now and it is about close to Windows 7 as you can get and plus most new Boards will only have Windows 10 drivers so you won't have a choice here whether you like it or not.
    Check NewEgg of UK if they have them there and you can find some good deals on there.
    Going cheap will not do get mid or high level hardware but alot will depend how much you have left a GPU or 2 GPU and board and CPU (intel or AMD).
    Get a iNtel with K or AMD X either of which can auto OC that will cost slight more but give your more flexibility for power uses if you choose to use it. I know some gone close liquid cooling but my fan setup hasn't hammpered my usage. I have a CoolerMaster 212 for my previous iNtel i5 setup that now is on a AMD R5 1500X and it works fine. Noise isn't that much of a problem.
    Expect a arm and leg for this above your budge especially if your monitor gets bigger. And research the 4K monitors carefully to see if it is what you want before buying not all 4K are equal here.
    Anything without no fan will never be a power system FYI. If she wants power get a Gaming Spec laptop for her with at least a 1060 6G system or something like this and she will be more then a powerful gal. AIO doesn't offer your bang-for-my-buck you give them your money for sure but you will get no bang in return.

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