PC buying guide: Picking the right storage solution and monitor

You might have selected the best core components for your budget and needs, but there's still some work to do. Which storage solution is the best for you? And then there's the monitor, which is easily one of the most important aspects of building a rig. Here's what you should look out for when upgrading your storage solution or buying a new monitor.


After you have selected the five main components, storage is the next most important aspect. After all, the hard drive or solid state drive (SSD) breathes life into your system and houses your operating system, applications and data. Hard drives / SSDs come in various capacities and each company has well-defined segments for their HDDs and SSDs. So should you go for a hard drive or should you spend more for an SSD? Let us take a look at the various use cases.

Let us first get one thing out of the way - SSDs are meant to improve the performance of your system and should not be compared with HDDs purely on the basis of capacity and cost per GB. SSDs will always have a higher cost per GB than an HDD.


For the entry-level user, SSD is out of the question. A 500GB - 1TB  drives are more than enough to store your OS, applications, games and your data. Go for higher capacities only if you are going to use the PC for storing high-res multimedia files. Agreed, we always need more space, but you also need to keep an eye on the budget. WD Caviar Blue costs around Rs 3,400 for 500GB and Seagate Barracuda 500GB drive is for Rs 3,460 for 500GB capacity which are great for an entry-level rig. If you have a lot of movies and games, then you need to go for a higher capacity drive such as the Seagate Barracuda 1TB drive which makes more sense than the WD Caviar Green 1TB, as the Seagate drive at 7200RPM is speedier than the 5400RPM WD Green drive. Both drives are priced at the same Rs 4200 price point. WD has a Black series drive which offers 7200RPM and 64MB cache but is prices closer to Rs. 5900. For those feeling that 1TB is also not enough, the 2TB drives start from Rs. 6000 onwards.

WD Caviar Green

WD Caviar Green is good enough for entry-level buyers




For a gamer who is willing to spend around Rs 40,000 on the core components, there are a couple of ways to go about storage. If you don’t want to spend much, go for a 1TB drive. Those looking at higher capacities can check out the 2TB drives from Seagate or Western Digital which start from Rs. 6,000. Faster 2TB drives - which have higher cache memory for speedier transfers - from both Seagate and WD cost more than double, starting at Rs 13,000 onwards.

So, if you want a fast system, you can either go for the brand new Seagate Desktop SSHD, if it's available in your market, or get a cache drive such as the SanDisk ReadyCache 32GB SSD. The cache drive from SanDisk costs around Rs 3,000 and it caches your most frequently used programs such that they are accessed faster on subsequent operations. At the moment, this is the best way for you to get a value for money system with a slower HDD and a cache drive which improves application loading time at the same time keeping your budget under check. So instead of spending Rs 13,500 on a faster 2TB drive, you are much better off spending Rs 9,000 (Rs 6,000 for a regular 2TB HDD and Rs 3,000 for the SanDisk cache drive).

In case you want to go even faster and want your entire OS on flash storage, then invest in a 64GB SSD such as the ADATA Premier SP600 for Rs 4,300 or a Kingston V100 for Rs 4,400 and pair it with your regular HDD.


When it comes to gamers and multimedia users, as well as enthusiast users just a high capacity hard drive does not cut it. At these budgets your use case scenarios will be much different from all the categories above. So you are best served by going for a 120GB or 240GB SSD plus a higher capacity HDD. If you want the absolute best in terms of performance and capacity check out Corsair Neutron GTX 240GB at Rs 16,200 and Samsung 840 Pro 256GB SSD at Rs 16,100. Pair these with a 2TB regular Seagate or WD drive (approx Rs 6,000) and you have a high capacity as well as speedy performance. If you don’t feel like spending so much on a high-capacity SSD opt for their lower capacity counterparts - Samsung 840 Pro 128GB SSD at Rs 9,875, Corsair Neutron 128GB at Rs 8,300 or the SanDisk Extreme Series 120GB SSD at Rs 8,600. Entry level 3TB drives from WD and Seagate start from Rs. 8,500 onwards in case you are looking at massive capacity drives.


Samsung's 840 Pro SSD is a great pick in the high-end category

Samsung's 840 Pro SSD is a great pick in the high-end category




Monitors is one category that has many contenders as there are many aspects to consider such as size, brand, native resolution, panel technology and so on. Buying the right one is an ardous task and there is no such thing as a perfect monitor. Based on your needs and budget we will narrow down some options from which you can take a pick.


Monitors within the entry-level user budget will be within a reasonable price bracket – think Rs 7,000 and under. Basically monitors in this segment need not have a high resolution, as the tasks expected out of these monitor do not demand that kind of resolution. Also the size needs to be around 20-inches and under, as anything higher than that and you will need to stretch your budget considerably. Most monitors at this budget will have the TN panel and will come with only the tilting mechanism. You cannot adjust the height and most monitors will only come with the D-Sub or VGA connector.

Options worth a look: AOC E1660SW (15.6-inch) at Rs 4,500, Acer S191HQL (18.5-inch) at Rs 5,400, Dell IN1930 (18.5-inch) at Rs 6,020 and BenQ G2025HDA (20-inch) at Rs 5,300


Entry-level (gaming)
Entry-level gamers can look at monitors over 20-inches and having full HD resolutions. Of course, the price point is also important. A budget of around Rs 10,000 is enough considering your core component total should be around Rs 25,000. Of course, you can go for higher priced models if you so desire, but we will stick to this price point. Ideal screen size should be about 20-22 inches and make sure you have at least a DVI port along with the D-sub port.

BenQ GW2250 is a great option on a budget

BenQ GW2250, a good option for those on a budget


Some models worth checking out: Philips E-line 21.5-inch IPS LED monitor at Rs 8,999, BenQ GW2250 at Rs 7850, Dell S2240L at Rs 9450


Mid-range (gaming and multimedia)
Mid-range gamers and multimedia users need to go for a 24-inch monitor with all three connectivity options such as D-Sub, DVI as well as HDMI. Budget can be anywhere from Rs 13,000 to Rs 20,000 or even higher for those looking at specialised gaming monitors. Almost all monitors in this segment (except Dell UltraSharp U2412) will feature the 16:9 aspect ratio as that lends well to gaming as well as watching movies. Also look out for monitors which have USB hubs which ensures easy connectivity for other peripherals.

Some models worth checking out: BenQ RL2450H at Rs 13,800, ASUS VS247H at Rs 15,100, Dell S2440L at Rs 13,800 and Dell Ultrasharp U2412M at Rs 18,900


High-end gamers and enthusiasts need to look for monitors which cost upwards of Rs 15,000. Setting an upper limit here is pointless as users in this range will be looking for specific needs to be fulfilled. A gamer will look at the best gaming monitor whereas an imaging professional will look at monitors with higher colour accuracy. Gamers will most likely look at higher resolution monitors with a 27-inch and over screen size which have various presets for gaming and which may also include 3D functionality. For imaging professionals features such as wider colour gamut, colour adjustment, higher resolutions, height adjustment play an important role. So we will make suggestions for these two different kinds of users.

Asus PA246Q is a great pick for editing professionals and high-end gamers

Asus PA246Q is a great pick for editing professionals and high-end gamers


General use: BenQ GW2750HM at Rs 19,000, BenQ EW2740L at Rs 21,200, ViewSonic VX2753MH at Rs 22,000 and AOC E2795VH at Rs 19,100

Gaming: BenQ XL2420T 3D gaming monitor at Rs 24,500, BenQ XL2720T at ASUS VK278Q at Rs 24,400, ASUS VG278H 3D at Rs 41,000

Professionals: ASUS PA 246Q at Rs 29,000, NEC EA273WM at Rs 53,400, NEC PA2471W at Rs. 87,700

Published Date: Nov 13, 2013 15:42 PM | Updated Date: Nov 13, 2013 15:42 PM