New Year 2018 Desktop PC Buying Guide

2018 Desktop PC buying guide

We saw a lot of good products in past months. The competition in free market is bringing great hardware for all of us. Whether it is PC or smartphone, good stuff is getting cheaper. We can also say that technology is getting very good. Many people buy new PC, hardware on Black Friday, Christmas and New Year. We are also planning to buy a new desktop PC this year. So in order to share our analysis and recommendation we have made this guide for 2018.

In  this guide, we are going to tell you about the system that you should buy now to get best value. Also we will talk about next upcoming hardware that might be worth waiting. At time of writing this article, we are still using our desktop with 1st Gen Core i5. It is about eight years old. We do 4k video editing on this and we are totally milking it out.

Our view on hardware is to get maximum value from investment. Now it is time to upgrade for us and many of you. Some of you also might be first time builders. We usually look at price of almost all major economic regions. In our view, USA has the cheapest hardware price. We recommend consumers of USA to look out for deals and buy at that time. The difference in other market is that price are higher but they don’t fluctuate much. It is both good and bad.

Current Time Buying Guide

We are going to break this buying guide mainly into three parts. Basic Entry Level and Mid Range system are main focus. Enthusiast and high end builders usually have few option because there is only one top of the line product. Mid range buyers have lots of confusion and choices actually The bracket is wide open for others. Without further lingering, lets jump into specs.

Basic Entry Level System: For anyone stepping into computing for work or game, we recommend at least 4 thread processor. RAM price are very high than previous time but bare minimum is what we will set here. Below is the minimum required system property or hardware for mos basic desktop PC set.

  • Intel Pentium G4560
  • 4 GB RAM
  • 1 TB HDD (500 GB if sufficient)
  • H110 Motherboard
  • 400W PSU

In 2018, hardware below this is not recommended. This is the cheapest you should go with to be safe for about 4 years. We do recommend getting quad processor to everyone now. If you want to game with this setup, then you can add cheap Nvidia Geforce GT 1030 to enjoy few new titles. Adding SSD as boot drive will help to speed your computer incredibly.

Mid Level System: We find that biggest number of our readers are from this group. These are people who have mid range system to play at 1080p resolution. These system handle mid range tasks with very ease. Our recommendation for this this tier of setup is minimum quad core. Thanks to AMD’s competitive Ryzen, we have 4 core processors from Intel at cheap. This is our recommended system for users.

  • Intel Core i3 8100 / Ryzen 3 1200 (Standard)
  • Intel Core i5 8400 / Ryzen 5 1600 (Best Value)
  • 8 GB RAM – 16 GB RAM
  • Z370 Motherboard for 8th Gen Intel Chips
  • B350 Motherboard for AMD Ryzen Processors
  • 2 TB HDD
  • 128 GB M.2 SSD or SATA SSD
  • 550W PSU
  • GTX 1050 Ti 4 GB (Standard) / GTX 1060 6 GB (Best Value)
  • AMD RX 570 4 GB (Best Value)

The above system will provide you flawless 1080p gaming experience with standard setup. While the best value setup with 6 core processor and GTX 1060 will provide gaming up to 1440p. The Core i3 and Ryzen 1200 has 4 cores 4 threads which is great. Intel will provide better gaming experience but Ryzen aces on other applications.

In case of Ryzen 1600, it has 6 cores and 12 threads but i5 8400 only has 6 core 6 threads. So multi threaded application will benefit from Ryzen but gaming is still good on Intel. At this time, price of AMD graphics card is sky high due to bitcoin mining. If you get a good card at MSRP then brilliant.


High End System: For these builders, sky is the limit. These systems can cost a fortune for some people as they can have many graphics card, lots of storage and RAM. We are not going to talk about enthusiast system with X299 chipset and Extreme processors or Titan cards. This sample set is for people who bit high to spend and want good computer for long time.

  • Intel Core i7 8700k/ AMD Ryzen 7 1800X
  • Intel Z370 Chipset / AMD X370 Chipset
  • 32 GB – 64 GB RAM
  • Geforce GTX 1080
  • 650W PSU

For storage, we recommend 7200 rpm drive and M.2 SSD. This system is meant for 4K gaming and video editing. Intel’s i7 8700k is only 6 cores and 12 threads but Ryzen 7 1800x is 8 core and 16 threads beast. Both are superior processors in market providing optimum performance. GTX 1080 Ti is our best recommended graphics card for 4k gaming at highest setting and enjoyable FPS. Users can get GTX 1070 Ti or 1060 if they choose to save a bit of money.

Future Analysis

The biggest challenge we always face is uncertainty for decision making. The current time is always best time for buying a PC if we don’t consider price hike and crisis. Obviously technology will get better each year and each quarter. There are few news and rumors that is still making us hold our purchase.

New Intel 9th Gen processor or Canon Lake will have 10 nm architecture. This will be more power efficient and much faster. We assume that current 300 series board won’t support them due to new power delivery and architecture needs. Also new processors could have double threads for i5 and i3. This means a lot for buyers if they can wait for few more months or a year.


Nvidia also might release Volta Gaming graphics card which will surely be better than current Pascal offerings at same price bracket. The biggest uncertain wait is RAM price drop. Industry sources hint that DDR4 RAM price may drop to previous reasonable rates. But no one knows when and it is not certain also. New AMD processors are also coming very soon. Also new Intel chips will now have AMD graphics which will be very interesting for people who don’t want dedicated GPU.

These are our expectations and predictions according to news and rumors. We hope you find our PC build and buy guide interesting. Do tell us your thoughts and enjoy your system.

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About the Author: Abhishek Chand

Structural Engineer by profession. Computer and smartphone enthusiast. Tech-savvy blogger and former Gadget reviewer of AP1 HD TV and TechnoNepal.

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