New Desktop PC query - go for Review specs or Custom Build?

GeorgeA

New member
Hi all

I am starting to do my research for a potential new PC purchase, with a budget in the region of £2k.
I noticed that there is sometimes a big discount available for going for a 'Review' spec, compared to the exact same specification when custom build.

For example, the Obsidian 1 model from the 3rd November TechAdvisor review costs £1900, but the exact same spec seems to be £2133 if you want to use it as a starting point for any customisation.

So even if there are some changes to make to the spec to make it a bit better, would this be worth losing out on the £233 discount you get from sticking to the Review specs? If I was to buy a Pc with a budget of £2k (for 1440p ultrawide or 4k gaming - depending on spec), do you have a suggested spec that would perform better than the below model, at a reasonable price?

----------------------
Case
LIAN LI LANCOOL II GAMING CASE
Processor (CPU)
Intel® Core™ i7 Eight Core Processor i7-10700KF (3.8GHz) 16MB Cache
Motherboard
ASUS® ROG STRIX Z590-E GAMING WIFI (LGA1200, USB 3.2, PCIe 4.0) - ARGB Ready
Memory (RAM)
16GB Corsair VENGEANCE RGB PRO DDR4 3200MHz (2 x 8GB)
Graphics Card
10GB NVIDIA GEFORCE RTX 3080 - HDMI, DP, LHR
1st Storage Drive
1TB SEAGATE BARRACUDA SATA-III 3.5" HDD, 6GB/s, 7200RPM, 64MB CACHE
1st M.2 SSD Drive
1TB SAMSUNG 970 EVO PLUS M.2, PCIe NVMe (up to 3500MB/R, 3300MB/W)
Power Supply
CORSAIR 750W RMx SERIES™ MODULAR 80 PLUS® GOLD, ULTRA QUIET
Power Cable
1 x 1 Metre UK Power Cable (Kettle Lead)
Processor Cooling
PCS FrostFlow 240 Series RGB High Performance Liquid Cooler
Thermal Paste
ARCTIC MX-4 EXTREME THERMAL CONDUCTIVITY COMPOUND
LED Lighting
2x 50cm ARGB LED Strip
Sound Card
ONBOARD 6 CHANNEL (5.1) HIGH DEF AUDIO (AS STANDARD)
Network Card
10/100/1000 GIGABIT LAN PORT
USB/Thunderbolt Options
MIN. 2 x USB 3.0 & 2 x USB 2.0 PORTS @ BACK PANEL + MIN. 2 FRONT PORTS
Operating System
Windows 11 Home 64 Bit - inc. Single Licence [KUK-00003]
Operating System Language
United Kingdom - English Language
Windows Recovery Media
Windows 10/11 Multi-Language Recovery Image - Unlimited Downloads from Online Account
Office Software
FREE 30 Day Trial of Microsoft 365® (Operating System Required)
Anti-Virus
BullGuard™ Internet Security - Free 90 Day License inc. Gamer Mode
Browser
Microsoft® Edge (Windows 10 Only)
Warranty
3 Year Standard Warranty (1 Month Collect & Return, 1 Year Parts, 3 Year Labour)
Delivery
STANDARD INSURED DELIVERY TO UK MAINLAND (MON-FRI)
Build Time
Standard Build - Subject to stock availability on pre-order products
Price: £1,899.00 including VAT and Delivery

Unique URL to re-configure: https://www.pcspecialist.co.uk/saved-configurations/intel-z490-pc/rzbJTxrTRq/
 

GeorgeA

New member
Any thoughts on the above? Let me know if you need more information about my requirements.

I'm flexible on the monitor, i'm intending to buy a new one according to what my new PC would be able to handle (either an ultra-wide 1440p one with high frame rate, or a good 4k one if I decide to go that route)

So really I would like a well-optimised spec for around my budget, where all the components support each other well and that will last me for a good few years before I'd need a new one.
 

RichLan564

Well-known member
Any thoughts on the above? Let me know if you need more information about my requirements.

I'm flexible on the monitor, i'm intending to buy a new one according to what my new PC would be able to handle (either an ultra-wide 1440p one with high frame rate, or a good 4k one if I decide to go that route)

So really I would like a well-optimised spec for around my budget, where all the components support each other well and that will last me for a good few years before I'd need a new one.
What exactly is this 'Review" spec you are referring to ?
 

Rakk

The Awesome
Moderator
What exactly is this 'Review" spec you are referring to ?
You can see all the review machines here: https://www.pcspecialist.co.uk/reviews/
They have all been reviewed in various places (the review is linked on that page) and have discounts but are set-specs - if you change the specs you lose the nice discount (you can change things like accessories and wireless options and stuff like that but not the main specs)

This looks to be the spec of that one: https://www.pcspecialist.co.uk/configure-review/467/
 

RichLan564

Well-known member
You can see all the review machines here: https://www.pcspecialist.co.uk/reviews/
They have all been reviewed in various places (the review is linked on that page) and have discounts but are set-specs - if you change the specs you lose the nice discount (you can change things like accessories and wireless options and stuff like that but not the main specs)

This looks to be the spec of that one: https://www.pcspecialist.co.uk/configure-review/467/
Ahh, OK, i see, never seen that before
 

JUNI0R

VALUED CONTRIBUTOR
Hi all

I am starting to do my research for a potential new PC purchase, with a budget in the region of £2k.
I noticed that there is sometimes a big discount available for going for a 'Review' spec, compared to the exact same specification when custom build.

For example, the Obsidian 1 model from the 3rd November TechAdvisor review costs £1900, but the exact same spec seems to be £2133 if you want to use it as a starting point for any customisation.

So even if there are some changes to make to the spec to make it a bit better, would this be worth losing out on the £233 discount you get from sticking to the Review specs? If I was to buy a Pc with a budget of £2k (for 1440p ultrawide or 4k gaming - depending on spec), do you have a suggested spec that would perform better than the below model, at a reasonable price?

----------------------
Case
LIAN LI LANCOOL II GAMING CASE
Processor (CPU)
Intel® Core™ i7 Eight Core Processor i7-10700KF (3.8GHz) 16MB Cache
Motherboard
ASUS® ROG STRIX Z590-E GAMING WIFI (LGA1200, USB 3.2, PCIe 4.0) - ARGB Ready
Memory (RAM)
16GB Corsair VENGEANCE RGB PRO DDR4 3200MHz (2 x 8GB)
Graphics Card
10GB NVIDIA GEFORCE RTX 3080 - HDMI, DP, LHR
1st Storage Drive
1TB SEAGATE BARRACUDA SATA-III 3.5" HDD, 6GB/s, 7200RPM, 64MB CACHE
1st M.2 SSD Drive
1TB SAMSUNG 970 EVO PLUS M.2, PCIe NVMe (up to 3500MB/R, 3300MB/W)
Power Supply
CORSAIR 750W RMx SERIES™ MODULAR 80 PLUS® GOLD, ULTRA QUIET
Power Cable
1 x 1 Metre UK Power Cable (Kettle Lead)
Processor Cooling
PCS FrostFlow 240 Series RGB High Performance Liquid Cooler
Thermal Paste
ARCTIC MX-4 EXTREME THERMAL CONDUCTIVITY COMPOUND
LED Lighting
2x 50cm ARGB LED Strip
Sound Card
ONBOARD 6 CHANNEL (5.1) HIGH DEF AUDIO (AS STANDARD)
Network Card
10/100/1000 GIGABIT LAN PORT
USB/Thunderbolt Options
MIN. 2 x USB 3.0 & 2 x USB 2.0 PORTS @ BACK PANEL + MIN. 2 FRONT PORTS
Operating System
Windows 11 Home 64 Bit - inc. Single Licence [KUK-00003]
Operating System Language
United Kingdom - English Language
Windows Recovery Media
Windows 10/11 Multi-Language Recovery Image - Unlimited Downloads from Online Account
Office Software
FREE 30 Day Trial of Microsoft 365® (Operating System Required)
Anti-Virus
BullGuard™ Internet Security - Free 90 Day License inc. Gamer Mode
Browser
Microsoft® Edge (Windows 10 Only)
Warranty
3 Year Standard Warranty (1 Month Collect & Return, 1 Year Parts, 3 Year Labour)
Delivery
STANDARD INSURED DELIVERY TO UK MAINLAND (MON-FRI)
Build Time
Standard Build - Subject to stock availability on pre-order products
Price: £1,899.00 including VAT and Delivery

Unique URL to re-configure: https://www.pcspecialist.co.uk/saved-configurations/intel-z490-pc/rzbJTxrTRq/
Hi there! It's an okay spec, but there's things I'd change and we could get a better balance for £2,000.

I think the main thing is Intel 10th gen. Ryzen 5000 gives more performance and now Intel 12th gen is out, 10th gen isn't close to the best performance you can get from Intel- although as a brand new platform 12th gen isn't the cheapest.

It's up to you, if you'd rather go Ryzen or Intel- let us know what you'd rather and we'd be happy to help either way!
 

GeorgeA

New member
Hi there! It's an okay spec, but there's things I'd change and we could get a better balance for £2,000.

I think the main thing is Intel 10th gen. Ryzen 5000 gives more performance and now Intel 12th gen is out, 10th gen isn't close to the best performance you can get from Intel- although as a brand new platform 12th gen isn't the cheapest.

It's up to you, if you'd rather go Ryzen or Intel- let us know what you'd rather and we'd be happy to help either way!

Hi, thanks for your reply. Honestly, the main thing about Intel is that I'm familiar with them from owning Intel PCs in the past.
But reading these forums I understand that in recent years AMD has been outperforming them in terms of quality and value.

I am quite open to go with a Ryzen equivalent (something like 5800X or 5900X, I guess).
If I was to go for a custom spec, I'd also probably want to optimise the disk space (with a super fast M2 SSD for the operating system stuff, normal-fast SSD for gaming, and something like 4TB HDD for storage.

My main concern is whether the additional benefits gained by optimising the spec are going to offset the value-add of the discount from choosing a pre-set review spec. From the replies, i get the impression that it will.

So yeah, assuming that I am looking for a good gaming PC for a budget of £2k (and I can go a bit higher if it is worth it), what would you go for? Happy to get answers for either 1440p ultrawide 144Hz gaming spec, or perhaps a spec that can handle 4k gaming at a decent refresh rate.
 

AgentCooper

An Absolute Savage
Moderator
This is round the ballpark of what you’re looking for, it’s a little over budget thanks to the standard 3070 being unavailable. So you’re paying a slight premium for a Strix version. But it’ll do ultrawide 1440p without breaking sweat and give you a good base for further upgrades 👍

Case
LIAN LI LANCOOL II GAMING CASE
Processor (CPU)
AMD Ryzen 7 5800X Eight Core CPU (3.8GHz-4.7GHz/36MB CACHE/AM4)
Motherboard
ASUS® STRIX B550-F GAMING (DDR4, USB 3.2, 6Gb/s) - ARGB Ready!
Memory (RAM)
16GB Corsair VENGEANCE DDR4 3200MHz (2 x 8GB)
Graphics Card
8GB ASUS ROG STRIX GEFORCE RTX 3070 - HDMI, DP, LHR
1st Storage Drive
2TB SEAGATE BARRACUDA SATA-III 3.5" HDD, 6GB/s, 7200RPM, 256MB CACHE
1st Storage Drive
2TB SEAGATE BARRACUDA SATA-III 3.5" HDD, 6GB/s, 7200RPM, 256MB CACHE
1st M.2 SSD Drive
500GB SAMSUNG 980 PRO M.2, PCIe NVMe (up to 6900MB/R, 5000MB/W)
1st M.2 SSD Drive
1TB INTEL® 670p M.2 NVMe PCIe SSD (up to 3500MB/sR | 2500MB/sW)
Power Supply
CORSAIR 850W RMx SERIES™ MODULAR 80 PLUS® GOLD, ULTRA QUIET
Power Cable
1 x 1 Metre UK Power Cable (Kettle Lead)
Processor Cooling
Corsair H100i RGB PRO XT Hydro Series High Performance CPU Cooler
Thermal Paste
STANDARD THERMAL PASTE FOR SUFFICIENT COOLING
Sound Card
ONBOARD 6 CHANNEL (5.1) HIGH DEF AUDIO (AS STANDARD)
Network Card
10/100/1000 GIGABIT LAN PORT
Wireless Network Card
WIRELESS INTEL® Wi-Fi 6 AX200 2,400Mbps/5GHz, 300Mbps/2.4GHz PCI-E CARD + BT 5.0
USB/Thunderbolt Options
MIN. 2 x USB 3.0 & 2 x USB 2.0 PORTS @ BACK PANEL + MIN. 2 FRONT PORTS
Operating System
Windows 10 Home 64 Bit - inc. Single Licence [KUK-00001]
Operating System Language
United Kingdom - English Language
Windows Recovery Media
Windows 10/11 Multi-Language Recovery Image - Unlimited Downloads from Online Account
Office Software
FREE 30 Day Trial of Microsoft 365® (Operating System Required)
Anti-Virus
NO ANTI-VIRUS SOFTWARE
Browser
Firefox™
Warranty
3 Year Silver Warranty (1 Year Collect & Return, 1 Year Parts, 3 Year Labour)
Delivery
STANDARD INSURED DELIVERY TO UK MAINLAND (MON-FRI)
Build Time
Standard Build - Approximately 14 to 17 working days
Price: £2,222.00 including VAT and Delivery

Unique URL to re-configure: https://www.pcspecialist.co.uk/saved-configurations/amd-am4-gen3-pc/XvUpZ3Req8/
 

JUNI0R

VALUED CONTRIBUTOR
This is round the ballpark of what you’re looking for, it’s a little over budget thanks to the standard 3070 being unavailable. So you’re paying a slight premium for a Strix version. But it’ll do ultrawide 1440p without breaking sweat and give you a good base for further upgrades 👍

Case
LIAN LI LANCOOL II GAMING CASE
Processor (CPU)
AMD Ryzen 7 5800X Eight Core CPU (3.8GHz-4.7GHz/36MB CACHE/AM4)
Motherboard
ASUS® STRIX B550-F GAMING (DDR4, USB 3.2, 6Gb/s) - ARGB Ready!
Memory (RAM)
16GB Corsair VENGEANCE DDR4 3200MHz (2 x 8GB)
Graphics Card
8GB ASUS ROG STRIX GEFORCE RTX 3070 - HDMI, DP, LHR
1st Storage Drive
2TB SEAGATE BARRACUDA SATA-III 3.5" HDD, 6GB/s, 7200RPM, 256MB CACHE
1st Storage Drive
2TB SEAGATE BARRACUDA SATA-III 3.5" HDD, 6GB/s, 7200RPM, 256MB CACHE
1st M.2 SSD Drive
500GB SAMSUNG 980 PRO M.2, PCIe NVMe (up to 6900MB/R, 5000MB/W)
1st M.2 SSD Drive
1TB INTEL® 670p M.2 NVMe PCIe SSD (up to 3500MB/sR | 2500MB/sW)
Power Supply
CORSAIR 850W RMx SERIES™ MODULAR 80 PLUS® GOLD, ULTRA QUIET
Power Cable
1 x 1 Metre UK Power Cable (Kettle Lead)
Processor Cooling
Corsair H100i RGB PRO XT Hydro Series High Performance CPU Cooler
Thermal Paste
STANDARD THERMAL PASTE FOR SUFFICIENT COOLING
Sound Card
ONBOARD 6 CHANNEL (5.1) HIGH DEF AUDIO (AS STANDARD)
Network Card
10/100/1000 GIGABIT LAN PORT
Wireless Network Card
WIRELESS INTEL® Wi-Fi 6 AX200 2,400Mbps/5GHz, 300Mbps/2.4GHz PCI-E CARD + BT 5.0
USB/Thunderbolt Options
MIN. 2 x USB 3.0 & 2 x USB 2.0 PORTS @ BACK PANEL + MIN. 2 FRONT PORTS
Operating System
Windows 10 Home 64 Bit - inc. Single Licence [KUK-00001]
Operating System Language
United Kingdom - English Language
Windows Recovery Media
Windows 10/11 Multi-Language Recovery Image - Unlimited Downloads from Online Account
Office Software
FREE 30 Day Trial of Microsoft 365® (Operating System Required)
Anti-Virus
NO ANTI-VIRUS SOFTWARE
Browser
Firefox™
Warranty
3 Year Silver Warranty (1 Year Collect & Return, 1 Year Parts, 3 Year Labour)
Delivery
STANDARD INSURED DELIVERY TO UK MAINLAND (MON-FRI)
Build Time
Standard Build - Approximately 14 to 17 working days
Price: £2,222.00 including VAT and Delivery

Unique URL to re-configure: https://www.pcspecialist.co.uk/saved-configurations/amd-am4-gen3-pc/XvUpZ3Req8/
This build is an absolute beaut! And that Strix is a fantastic card, although worth noting that the 3070TI is about £50 cheaper. It'd save you money and get you better performance (although arguably you wouldn't need that performance until you stepped up to 4K)
 

AgentCooper

An Absolute Savage
Moderator
This build is an absolute beaut! And that Strix is a fantastic card, although worth noting that the 3070TI is about £50 cheaper. It'd save you money and get you better performance (although arguably you wouldn't need that performance until you stepped up to 4K)
@JUNI0R is correct, I saw the 3070Ti as ‘pre order only’ and assumed it’d be unselectable. That’ll teach me not to do the old click and check, won’t it?

Totally agree, if the Ti is available, it’s the way to go 👍👍👍
 

JUNI0R

VALUED CONTRIBUTOR
@JUNI0R is correct, I saw the 3070Ti as ‘pre order only’ and assumed it’d be unselectable. That’ll teach me not to do the old click and check, won’t it?
It's weird, 3070TI and 3080 are Pre-order and selectable but the 3070 is pre-order but unselectable- makes total sense! 🤷‍♂️ 😂
 

GeorgeA

New member
Many thanks for this spec. I will probably hold fire until Black Friday/Cyber Monday in case there is some deal from PC Specialist.

I had a few more specific questions:
- When I went to Save Quote, the PC Specialist message told me that my spec would require only 650W power supply. Is it a good idea to go for 850W still? Is this to give me scope to upgrade in the future?
- Is there any reason why to go with two 2TB HDD drives, instead of one 4TB (which comes out a bit cheaper)? On second thought, I already have a spare 2TB HDD from my old PC, which I might add to the new one so I may end up ordering a 2TB one. I presume there is space in the case to easily install a second 3.5'' HDD drive ?
- Anyone have any idea of how long the pre-order wait for the 3070Ti might end up being? (are we talking weeks? couple of months?).
 

JUNI0R

VALUED CONTRIBUTOR
- When I went to Save Quote, the PC Specialist message told me that my spec would require only 650W power supply. Is it a good idea to go for 850W still? Is this to give me scope to upgrade in the future?
Indeed. This build would be perfectly happy with a 750W, but with GPU power requirements only going up, it's not a bad idea to get a bit of a buffer in there for a future upgrade

- Is there any reason why to go with two 2TB HDD drives, instead of one 4TB (which comes out a bit cheaper)? On second thought, I already have a spare 2TB HDD from my old PC, which I might add to the new one so I may end up ordering a 2TB one. I presume there is space in the case to easily install a second 3.5'' HDD drive ?
Speed. Modern hard drives (if you can call them that) spin up to 7200RPM where as for some reason the ones that are 4TB and above only go up tp 5400RPM. If you thought a normal HDD was slow, a 5400RPM drive will be even slower 😂 If you think you could suffice with a 3TB drive, they're still 7200? I also wouldn't recommend the Iron Wolf Pro's if you're eying up them- as server drives, they'll be pretty loud

And yes you can, the Lancool II will have a dual hard drive caddy thing with space for 2 HDD's, you'll just need to slot it in under or above then lead a SATA DATA cable there, there should already be a power cable near powering the first drive

- Anyone have any idea of how long the pre-order wait for the 3070Ti might end up being? (are we talking weeks? couple of months?).
The fact there isn't a dedicated forum thread for them yet (like there is with the 3080 and 60TI) is a good sign 😂 although we don't know. It's best to contact PCS and ask, although they generally give safe estimates to avoid unhappy customers so I'd imagine it'd be a bit sooner than they say touch wood

I will probably hold fire until Black Friday/Cyber Monday in case there is some deal from PC Specialist.
Quick note on this, I believe PCS do have Black Friday deals, although they tend to be on pre-set specs so it's unlikely you'll get the exact PC you want for 10% off for example. No harm in waiting though!
 
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