Gamer's Hardware Guide, Fall '08: Page 8

(Page 8 of 8)


Page 1 Introduction and Case
Page 2 Processors and Cooling
Page 3 Motherboards and Memory
Page 4 Hard Drives and Optical Drive
Page 5 Video Card, LCD Display and Audio
Page 6 Mouse, Keyboard & Controller
Page 7 Communications, Operating System, etc.
  • Page 8 Price Roundup and Closing Remarks

    Price Roundup


    Intel Core 2 Duo System:

    Case: CM Stacker 830 - $239
    Power Supply: Corsair CMPSU-1000HX 1000W - $240
    CPU: Core 2 Duo E8500 Retail Box - $189
    Cooling: Thermalright IFX-14 - $72
    Fan: 3x Scythe S-Flex 1200RPM - $45
    Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-X48-DS4 - $225
    Memory: OCZ PC2-8500 Reaper HPC 4GB - $122
    Hard Drive: 2 x Seagate Barracuda 7200.11 1TB - $280
    Optical Drive: LG GGC-H20L - $150
    Graphics: 2x Radeon HD 4870 X2 2GB - $1,100
    Monitor: BenQ G2400WD - $400
    Audio: X-Fi Platinum Fatal1ty Champion Series - $180
    Speakers: Logitech Z-5500 5.1 Digital - $250
    Mouse: Logitech G9 Laser - $75
    Keyboard: Logitech G15 - $80
    Game Pad: Logitech Cordless Rumblepad 2 - $30
    NIC: Included - $0
    Floppy Drive: None
    OS: Vista Ultimate-OEM - $170
    UPS: OPTI-UPS ES1500C - $155

    Total: $4,002


    AMD Athlon 64 X2 System:

    Case: CM Stacker 830 - $239
    Power Supply: Corsair CMPSU-1000HX 1000W - $240
    CPU: Phenom X4 9950 Black Edition - $180
    Cooling: Thermalright IFX-14 - $72
    Fan: 3x Scythe S-Flex 1200RPM - $45
    Motherboard: ASUS M3A32-MVP Deluxe- $200
    Memory: OCZ PC2-8500 Reaper HPC 4GB - $122
    Hard Drive: 2 x Seagate Barracuda 7200.11 1TB - $280
    Optical Drive: LG GGC-H20L - $150
    Graphics: 2x Radeon HD 4870 X2 2GB - $1,100
    Monitor: BenQ G2400WD - $400
    Audio: X-Fi Platinum Fatal1ty Champion Series - $180
    Speakers: Logitech Z-5500 5.1 Digital - $250
    Mouse: Logitech G9 Laser - $75
    Keyboard: Logitech G15 - $80
    Game Pad: Logitech Cordless Rumblepad 2 - $30
    NIC: Included - $0
    Floppy Drive: None
    OS: Vista Ultimate-OEM - $170
    UPS: OPTI-UPS ES1500C - $155

    Total: $3,968


    Closing Remarks

    Overall, our AMD and Intel system configurations both offer superior gaming performance, mostly due to the extravagance of running dual Radeon HD 4870 X2 2GB cards in CrossFireX. This is serious business, and not only required us to use up almost all of our budget, but upgrade both the power supply and UPS to compensate for the higher power draw. Other notable system upgrades included shifting to the top-speed Phenom X4 9950 Black Edition, and getting a bit more MHz with the Core 2 Duo E8500.

    Both motherboards received a boost as we changed over to the Intel X48 and AMD 790FX chipsets. We also shifted the hard drive selection a bit, moving from a quad 320GB setup to a more expansive dual 1TB combination. Also on the storage end, the addition of the LG GGC-H20L added both Blu-ray and HD-DVD playback, while maintaining the standard DVD and CD writing capabilities. We shifted gears to the BenQ G2400WD display, while tweaking the guide a bit by adding the Logitech G9 Laser Mouse.

    We are looking forward to a few trends for our next Extreme Guide, foremost among them continued price drops on the CPU and graphics front. We expect the dual Radeon HD 4870 X2 configuration to make a return visit, but would love to see prices continue to fall. It's the same with processors, and the prospect of adding a lower-priced 3.0 GHz or higher Core 2 Quad is a very attractive one. Otherwise, we don't expect to see a major shift in the landscape, but more a settling where our budget can be shifted around as required.

    * Please note that prices do not include variable charges like taxes or shipping. The prices in our guide reflect market availability - generally the second or third lowest we found - in an attempt to minimize the financial burden associated with choosing multiple vendors.


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    Tags: video, Intel, AMD, nVidia, gaming PC


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