How fast a PC do you really need?

When sizing up a new PC, it’s tempting to opt for the best possible specification you can afford. But are you merely wasting money on that superfast processor, ridiculous amount of RAM and speedy SSD? Could you actually make do with a model with mid-range or budget components?

How fast a PC do you really need?

Contrary to what you might think, top-of-the-line hardware may not even be necessary to run more demanding tasks, such as editing video or playing the latest 3D games.

To help make the most of your budget, we’ve tested four key components using an extensive mix of our own Real World Benchmarks and some everyday tasks – such as converting a HD video or encoding a set of music files – to give you a firm idea of how much different grades of hardware will affect your day-to-day computing.

We reveal which components will make a real difference when editing photos, transferring data, rebooting your PC – and playing Crysis.

Which components to upgrade:

Disk drives

Below, you’ll find a table comparing the performance of five sample PCs – from an Atom-based tablet to a custom-built gaming PC – that reveals exactly how much time you’ll save on a series of key tasks, helping you to make the right choice the next time you upgrade your PC.

Disclaimer: Some pages on this site may include an affiliate link. This does not effect our editorial in any way.

Todays Highlights
How to See Google Search History
how to download photos from google photos