Advice for a new desktop.



My laptop just died after nigh on 4 years of very heavy use and abuse.

It’s an alienware mx18. Large, ungainly and uncomfortable to carry, but mostly fun.

In the last 6 months plus it’s been playing up, overheating when playing games it used to run smoothly, long boot times and long load times for stuff.

It even rebooted a few times playing Starcraft 2.

Anyway, that was 2013-2017.

Before that I had another laptop 2011-2013.

Basically I’ve been moving around a lot.

The last desktop I bought was in 2009 or 2010.

I have a budget of about £1000 and I want something fairly powerful, that can run Warhammer total war with full bells and whistles.

Not to concerned about a good looking tower.

I do fancy building it myself though but may get lazy and get a pre assembled unit.

My laptop screen was 18 inches which is large for a laptop, but I’d like some thing considerably larger and easy on the eyes. It’s likely the computer will double as a home entertainment hub for movies blah blah.

So, suggestions as to:

Cpu (Intel i7 is the current top right?
Motherboard (am clueless as to good models. I do know what they do though lol…more or less )
GPU (Nvidia Titan 970 something is a beast right, wih a beastly price tag?)
RAM (the more the better right)

I’ve had experience removing and replacing graphics cards but not much else.

Edit: probable typos. Using a phone to write is not much fun.


Dude, look into Ryzen.


I shall.

I don’t think I’ve ever had an AMD before.


Acer 21 X?


I imagine you need to present a ballpark budget so folks can provide recommendations.


Agreed, give a target budget and maybe the amount of wiggle room you’ll allow (ie., you can go $100 higher if you can jump a video card tier or whatever). Though Enidigm was just being funny, you’ll get much better responses with a number. It is easy to build the “best” system. A little more effort goes into “best for $xxx”.

Also, You can find example builds there, and I suspect a lot of help here will link to builds there.

EDIT: I can’t read. You already set a budget. Sorry.


I built my current desktop in 2010 on a similar budget, and so am following this topic with great interest (and also would like to play Warhammer: Total War with all the bells and whistles).

Do you still have the monitor / case from the 2010 desktop and are they re-useable?


To be honest, £1000 would be overkill for playing Warhammer: TW (at least the first one - is the second that much higher?). I can play it mostly maxed out on a i3570k + GTX960 which is a far cry from up to date. Even if the second one has higher requirements, that kind of budget seems like you could pretty much go nuts.


Don’t just think about today, think about 3 years from now!

I think a Ryzen R5 1600 is a really solid base. 16GB of DDR4, a GeForce 1060, a 512GB SSD (Crucial, nearly as fast as the Samsung drives, but a good bit cheaper), don’t go crazy on the mobo, case or power supply, and you’ll have a good bit left over for a nice big monitor and speakers.


Of course, good luck getting a 1060 these days… Goddamned coin miners.


Errrr :P

EDIT: I was being snarky until I realised you’d already edited your post ergo my snark is inappropiate and actually rude. Apologies.

I’m not sure if I am supposed to edit the entire post to reflect this, or leave it standing with this explanation.

Etiquette (question mark - appears that key isn’t working right now:()


I have the entire computer system from 2010. However that’s in England. It works well enough. Can play most games on reduced budget. Not a ad investment for £600 in 2010. Then again it’s been dormant for a while. It’s my emergency computer so to speak.

£1000 is a ballpark figure. I can probably go to 2000 euros (or about £1600) but that will require a bit of thinking and planning to do that for around about Christmas time, or my birthday next March.

£1000 is what I can drop today.

Anyway, an interesting thing happened this morning.

On a whim, I tried turning the laptop on, and it turned on, but in a low resolution and with the narrator set as default, meaning every time I pressed the enter button the narrator spoke.

Very annoying.

Several cycles of rebooting cleared up the resolution but the start window kept popping up, ad wouldn’t let me type anything in it, or in any other window.

Eventually I managed to ctrl-shift-esc, run a powershell with administrator privileges, put in:

$manifest = (Get-AppxPackage Microsoft.WindowsStore).InstallLocation + ‘\AppxManifest.xml’ ; Add-AppxPackage -DisableDevelopmentMode -Register $manifest

closed powershell and rebooted it.

Now it seems to be working ok, as I am typing this message on it.

I am very confused.

Some background info:

the cpu has been heating up constantly recently and powering off the computer, and apparently it’s a known problem with Alienware that Dell refuse to fix. Their fan speeds are set too low or something, so when the temperature rises, the fans don’t speed up until long after the temperature has hit the threshold.

Solution is hwinfo64 and setting the fan speeds to a default higher setting, so they are cooling from earlier. I was looking into doing that when it crashed yesterday.

I think I have managed to do it.

Anyway, tldr:

  • laptop functional but I have little faith in it.

  • will continue to look for a desktop, but the immediate pressure is off

  • you guys are awesome.


I know thou doth jest, but the Alienware was only marginally less expensive when I bought it. I had the spare cash after a long period of hard work so I decided to treat myself, and I had been dreaming of an Alienware literally since 1999 or 2000, which is when this gaming (and by extension computing) hobby started.

I think however the phase of wanting something so powerful yet carriable is over for me now.


Check these out, maybe in the future.

Dell has a gaming Inspiron lineup now, and they tend to be significantly cheaper than their Alienware lines. Stuff like the Corsair One look even better but are outside of your budget.

The only thing I don’t like with these are the AMD GPUs.

This one is a better deal on paper (specs/price), but not sure about Lenovo or the seller.


No worries, I totally missed it!


I recently upgraded as well. I went with a Asus Z270-P motherboard, a Core i7-7700K (and a fan) and 16GB RAM. That cost me around $800. Then I decided to get a GPU and bought a GTX1060 at a premium price (sad) and it turns out to be too long for my old case. And I have to buy a new case (Fractal R5). So I ended up spending more. Looking back, maybe it will be cheaper if I stay with GTX1050 but I’m extremely happy with the Fractal case ( wouldn’t have discovered this if I didn’t have to change my case). I think 1000 pound is probably about right.


The snark was deserved. I hate people that post without having read closely, so being berated when doing the same is fair game :)


I am actually looking into parts to build a new (high end) gaming PC. I built a great one in 2014 I’m using right now, so I’m really only building it because I like to not because it’s really necessary. It’s going to be higher than your budget (maybe not by much, I just noticed you are using fancy English dollars) but one thing I think is awesome is this case, for $180.


Fractal Design’s latest case is pretty nice looking, too:


Very nice indeed. I’m glad they are doing away with those pesky drive bays and I like that thing to conceal the cables at the bottom! But with just 315mm for the GPU length, is that enough for a 3 fan GTX cards? Can’t remember what was my GPU length.

This case would be a really good size for a small workspace.