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Sharky Extreme : Monthly Extreme Gaming PC Buyer's Guide October 4, 2008





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    July Extreme Gaming PC Buyer's Guide
    By Thomas Soderstrom :  July 31, 2007

    Price Roundup


    Intel Core 2 Duo System:

    Case: CM Stacker 830 - $240
    Power: Ultra X3 1000W - $260
    CPU: Intel Core 2 Duo E6850 Retail - $300
    Cooling: Thermalright Ultra 120 Extreme - $60
    Fan: 3x Scythe S-Flex 1200RPM - $45
    Motherboard: ASUS Striker Extreme - $300
    Memory: Crucial Ballistix PC2-8500 2x1GB Kit - $160
    Hard Drive: 4x Seagate 7200.10 320GB - $300
    Optical Drive: Lite-On LH-20A1S - $30
    Graphics: 2x GeForce 8800 GTX 768MB - $1,000
    Monitor: Samsung SyncMaster 215TW - $450
    Audio: Creative Labs X-Fi Fatal1ty FPS - $180
    Speakers: Logitech Z-5500 5.1 Digital - $280
    Mouse: Logitech G5 Laser - $45
    Keyboard: Logitech G15 - $64
    Game Pad: Saitek P3000 - $30
    NIC: Included - $0
    Floppy Drive: "Major Brand" depending on vender - $7
    OS: Windows XP Pro SP2-OEM - $139
    UPS: OPTI-UPS ES1000C - $110

    Total: $4,000


    AMD Athlon 64 X2 System:

    Case: CM Stacker 830 - $240
    Power: Ultra X3 1000W - $260
    CPU: AMD Athlon 64 6000+ Retail - $180
    Cooling: Thermalright Ultra 120 Extreme (with AM2 mounting kit) - $67
    Fan: 3x Scythe S-Flex 1200RPM - $45
    Motherboard: ASUS Crosshair - $240
    Memory: Crucial Ballistix PC2-8500 2x1GB Kit - $160
    Hard Drive: 4x Seagate 7200.10 320GB - $300
    Optical Drive: Lite-On LH-20A1S - $30
    Graphics: 2x GeForce 8800 GTX 768MB - $1,000
    Monitor: Samsung SyncMaster 215TW - $450
    Audio: Creative Labs X-Fi Fatal1ty FPS - $180
    Speakers: Logitech Z-5500 5.1 Digital - $280
    Mouse: Logitech G5 Laser - $45
    Keyboard: Logitech G15 - $64
    Game Pad: Saitek P3000 - $30
    NIC: Included - $0
    Floppy Drive: "Major Brand" depending on vender - $7
    OS: Windows XP Pro SP2-OEM - $139
    UPS: OPTI-UPS ES1000C - $110

    Total: $3,827


    Closing Remarks

    Intel's latest price cuts have dropped AMD out of the running for serious performance fanatics, and even the AMD system's $173 cost savings is not much of a consolation. It's extremely unfortunate for the long-term performance market that AMD has not been able to bring its latest generation of processor technology to fruition, and the failure of its ATI subsidiary to impress us with the latest Radeon HD 2900XT graphics cards could spell an upcoming market disaster. Perhaps well-intentioned AMD fans will make the ultimate sacrifice and buy slower parts.

    In terms of performance, the addition of GeForce 8800 GTX cards in SLI mode is the obvious upgrade, although moving to the 3.0 GHz Core 2 Duo E6850 is a distant second. With Vista still floundering we were forced to go with Windows XP Pro and retain the dreaded floppy drive as an easy way to install RAID drivers during installation. Advanced users would rather "slipstream" their RAID drivers into an image made of their XP disks, and others may simply dig out an old drive whenever it becomes necessary.

    * 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.


    Page 1 Introduction and Case
    Page 2 Processors and Cooling
    Page 3 Motherboards and Memory
    Page 4 Hard Drives and DVD-R/RW
    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

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