APR ENT-12 Desktop PC rig
Pros: Affordable entertainment desktop, great performance, life like sound and picture
Cons: Need to assemble it yourself.
Where to buy
Building a great entertainment desktop under $700 is a challenge. But we have recently surveyed and searched many computer products and decided to go with the following parts to give you the best possible PC configuration at lowest possible price. We have included high quality motherboard, processor, RAM, hard disk, graphics card, casing, 21.5-inch full HD monitor, and a remote controlled 5 channel audio system and manged to keep the price under $700. This Desktop PC rig will not only save you a fortune but also give you a great satisfaction of use.
The core component in a PC that gives you the ability to adapt to new components is the motherboard. If you have provisions to upgrade your processor in near future then the first you should do is pick a motherboard that supports a wide variety of processors. We picked the ASUS P8H61-M LX motherboard. It can support up to third generation core i7 processors. You can buy it on Amazon.com.
We have selected the third generation dual core processor by Intel, the Pentium G620 with 2.6 GHz speed and 3MB cache. Surprisingly, in some cases, we found it to outperform the core i3. When it comes to stability, multi-tasking and entertainment, this affordable processor is a better choice. However, if you are more inclined at gaming, then Intel Pentium G620 could be somewhat disappointing. It is available at Amazon.com.
Definitely you need a reliable and large storage for your data. Given our budget, the best we can go for is 1TB Hard Disk. However, two internal hard disks are better than a single internal hard disk even though most hard disk manufacturers provide three years warranty. But remember the warranty does not cover loss of data. So, we went for two Hard Disks: Samsung Sata 80GB and Western Digital Cavier Blue 500 GB. Having two Hard Disks will ensure data safety and make backup recovery easy. You can buy WD HDD on Amazon.com SATA III 7200 RPM 16 MB Cache and Samsung HD080HJP 80GB Hard Drive for on Amazon.com.
RAM is vital for speedy operation of your computer. We decided to go for 4GB RAM. We picked the Transcend JetRam 4 GB 240-Pin DDR3 Desktop DIMM 1333 MHz. It has been a good choice for the overall performance boost too. You can get it on Amazon.com.
An entertainment desktop is never complete unless it is good enough for playing some decent games. That is where we picked an affordable gaming graphics card with moderately good graphics abilities. It’s Sapphire Radeon HD 6450 with 2 GB DDR3 (1GB built-in, 1 GB shared). It would not make your PC a monster gamer, but Sapphire HD 6450 will surely turn into a decent one. If you cannot find Sapphire Radeon HD 6450 2GB, then go for the Sapphire Radeon HD 6450 1GB dedicated DDR3 memory. If you are going to have only 4GB RAM, then it will not consume the extra share from your RAMS. Sapphire Radeon HD 6450 1GB is available on Amazon.com.
Obviously the days of optical drives have come to an end with the revolution of internet media and high capacity pen drives. Buying a Blu-Ray is just a waste of money. We picked ASUS Internal 24X SATA Optical Drive DRW-24B3S, because, it will let us install different programs from DVDs and CDs. It is available at Amazon.com.
You need not spend a whole lot on wireless keyboard or on a gaming keyboard. You can rather buy A4Tech KL-5 Mini Slim Compact Keyboard. It is cheap, and uses less real estate on your desk. You can get it Amazon.com.
Well, when it is about an entertainment desktop, you need more comfort of handling it. You need a remote control. That is why we picked a wireless mouse. We picked the Logitech Wireless M185 mouse. It is precise, and you can control your computer from 30 feet (10 meters) away. The single removable battery lasts for about a year. It is light weight and perfectly fits in your hand. You can get it on Amazon.com.
We picked the Deluxe ATX case for our entertainment PC. It turns out that it was a good pick. Deluxe ATX has enough room inside and still it maintains to be small enough. It comes with 400W power supply which is reasonably good. It is not such a fancy one, but it still looks attractive. Deluxe ATX case costs about $20. However, if you cannot get it on your local or online store then go for Onyx Elite Micro ATX mATX Mid Tower Computer Case. You can buy it on Amazon.com.
We picked the Asus VH222H 21.5-Inch Full-HD LCD Monitor. You would be lucky to get it in a store. However, Asus VH242H 23.6-Inch Full-HD LCD Monitor is even better. It’s a good monitor with loveable details and contrast ratio. It is true HD. You can get it on Amazon.com.
We were lucky to stumble upon the F&D F6000 in one of our colleagues’ apartment. It’s a 5:1 remote control speaker system manufactured by Fenda. The sound detail it produces is surprisingly deep given the price. Cinematic surround sound and deep base are true pleasure to your ears. It costs about $120. However, if you don’t get it in your local store, you can go for an equally good 5:1 speaker system such as the Logitech X-540 5.1 Surround Sound Speaker System. You can get it on amazon.com.
We went for the affordable Gadmei XGA TV Tuner Box TV2810E. It supports NTSC, PAL and SECAM. Plus it supports TV resolution on your monitor up to 1920x1080p true HD resolution. It is available for only $25. However, if you cannot get it in a local or online store, you can go for an even better TV Tuner, the AverMedia. Similar TV tuner is available on Amazon.com.
We have found a great home entertainment experience from the given configuration. We played different high-end games such as NFS Hot Pursuit 2011, Dirt 2 in moderate details. Movie experience is overwhelming even in the only 21.5 inch monitor. This entertainment PC has a good overall computing speed, clear sound, breathtaking picture quality and crash free using experience.
On Windows 7, different component was rated as shown in the picture.