CPU Prices

RAM Prices

Compare Prices

Sharky Extreme : Monthly Extreme Gaming PC Buyer's Guide October 5, 2008

Be a Marketplace Partner

 Advertising Info

About the Double-Underlined Links

 - Most Active Threads
 - Technical Support
 - CPUs & Overclocking

Latest News

- Crucial Unveils the Ballistix Tracer DDR3-1333 Modules
- Diskeeper Unleashes the SSD+ Optimizer with Hyperfast Technology
- Samsung Introduces Three New Super-WriteMaster DVD Burners
- Elpida Shrinks Down its 65nm 1-gigabit DDR2 Chips
- Albatron Downsizes with the KI780G Mini-ITX Motherboard
News Archives


- SharkyExtreme.com: Interview with Microsoft's Dan Odell
- SharkyExtreme.com: Interview with ATI's Terry Makedon
- SharkyExtreme.com: Interview with Seagate's Joni Clark
- Half-Life 2 Review
- DOOM 3 Review

Buyer's Guides

- September Extreme Gaming PC Buyer's Guide
- July High-end Gaming PC Buyer's Guide
- May Value Gaming PC Buyer's Guide


  • CPUs

  • Motherboards

    - AMD 790GX Chipset Review
    - Gigabyte GA-MA790FX-DS5 Motherboard Review
    - AMD 780G Chipset Review

  • Video Cards

    Be a Commerce Partner

    Internet News
    Small Business
    Personal Technology

    Search internet.com
    Corporate Info
    Tech Jobs
    E-mail Offers


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


    The biggest news in the four months since our previous Extreme PC Buyer's Guide is price cuts. Intel has followed the most drastic of these, pricing its fastest dual-core at half of what the next model down had previously cost. Another surprise is that AMD has yet to counter Intel's performance moves, instead relying on huge price reductions in its own line, but with no increase in speed. This translates into great news for our $4,000 budget, as the totality of savings has left room for an SLI configuration, but which one would we choose? Read on to see how far this system has advanced from earlier efforts!

    Case: Cooler Master CM Stacker 830 Evo

    Current Cost: $240
    Consecutive Guides: 3
    Price Change: $0

    That Cooler Master's classic Stacker 830 has made it through three consecutive guides is a testament to both its good design and the "form before function" attitude of the brand's competition. Things that keep the Stacker 830 on top include its four 120mm side panel fan mounts, in addition to top, front and rear mounts, plus its traditional motherboard/power supply layout when used its more common "ATX" configuration.

    Nine 5.25" bays support a wide variety of drives thanks to Cooler Master's inclusion of a 3x 5.25" to 4x 3.5" adapter cage, and lining the entire front panel with large bays opens the option of using alternative multi-drive racks.

    Several other cases were considered for the guide, but came up short. Without picking on any particular brand, many put the power supply at the bottom where it can't draw warm air away from the CPU. Of course, that's better for power supply longevity, but it hurts CPU cooling where power supplies are generally more durable. Though a few competitors add an extra lid-mounted fan in the same place, the added fan does nothing that a power supply fan would not have... except make the system noisier.

    Using the traditional "upright" layout for ATX boards allows motherboard heat pipes to work with the assistance of gravity. We've been told that some motherboard heat pipes purely gravity fed and lack the wicks needed to make them work upside-down, but haven't cut any apart to find out.

    Power Supply: Ultra X3 1000W

    Current Cost: $260
    Consecutive Guides: New
    Price Change: N/A

    We normally consider a component based upon its primary function, but this time we added convenience to something normally considered just a little boring. Conveniences such as a modular design using flat cables for easier cable management, and a 135mm bottom-mounted intake fan that draws warm air away from the top of a motherboard.

    Not that form is preceding function, as the X3 delivers a whopping 70 amps (840W) to its single 12V rail, a rail that can supply any device with the maximum required power and without the limitations normally imposed by multi-rail designs. Ultra also rates its X3 at 85% peak efficiency, a very impressive number considering the losses many modular power supplies take due to the slight added resistance on the extra connections.

    We haven't found any proof that the X3 is the "best" 1000W power supply for use at the edge of its rated capacity, but our system doesn't actually need 1000W. Our former PC Power & Cooling 750W choice was certainly enough, and buyers who would rather save a few dollars and buy from a company with the industry's best reputation, might consider it:

    PC Power & Cooling's Silencer 750 Quad delivers the same performance as it did when selected for our March Extreme Gaming PC Buyer's Guide, and best of all, its price has fallen to around $200.

  • 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

    Copyright(c) 2008 Jupitermedia Corporation. All Rights Reserved. Legal Notices | Licensing , Reprints , & Permissions | Privacy Policy




    Jupitermedia Corporation has two divisions: Jupiterimages and JupiterOnlineMedia

    Jupitermedia Corporate Info

    Legal Notices, Licensing, Reprints, & Permissions, Privacy Policy.

    Advertise | Newsletters | Tech Jobs | Shopping | E-mail Offers

    Whitepapers and eBooks
    Intel Article: Using Power & Display Context in the Intel Mobile Platform SDK
    Internet.com eBook: Real Life Rails
    IBM SCA Center Article: Simplifying Composite Applications with Service Component Architecture
    Intel PDF: Quad-Core Impacts More Than the Data Center
    Internet.com eBook: The Pros and Cons of Outsourcing
    Go Parallel Article: Scalable Parallelism with Intel(R) Threading Building Blocks
    Intel PDF: Analysis of Early Testing of Intel vPro in Large IT Departments
    Internet.com eBook: Best Practices for Developing a Web Site
    Intel PDF: IT Agility through Automated, Policy-based Virtual Infrastructure
    IBM CIO Whitepaper: The New Information Agenda. Do You Have One?
    Microsoft Article: BitLocker Brings Encryption to Windows Server 2008
    Microsoft Article: RODCs Transform Branch Office Security
    Go Parallel Article: James Reinders on the Intel Parallel Studio Beta Program
    Avaya Article: Advancing the State of the Art in Customer Service
    IBM Whitepaper: How are other CIOs driving growth?
    Adobe Acrobat Connect Pro: Web Conferencing and eLearning Whitepapers
    Avaya Article: Avaya AE Services Provide Rapid Telephony Integration with Facebook
    Go Parallel Article: Getting Started with TBB on Windows
    HP eBook: Storage Networking , Part 1
    Go Parallel Video: Intel(R) Threading Building Blocks: A New Method for Threading in C++
    HP Video: Is Your Data Center Ready for a Real World Disaster?
    HP On Demand Webcast: Virtualization in Action
    Go Parallel Video: Performance and Threading Tools for Game Developers
    Rackspace Hosting Center: Customer Videos
    Intel vPro Developer Virtual Bootcamp
    HP Disaster-Proof Solutions eSeminar
    HP On Demand Webcast: Discover the Benefits of Virtualization
    Downloads and eKits
    Actuate Download: Free Visual Report Development Tool
    Red Gate Download: SQL Backup Pro
    Microsoft Download: Silverlight 2 Software Development Kit Beta 2
    30-Day Trial: SPAMfighter Exchange Module
    Red Gate Download: SQL Toolbelt
    IBM SCA Download: Start Building SCA Applications Today
    Iron Speed Designer Application Generator
    Microsoft Download: Silverlight 2 Beta 2 Runtime
    Tutorials and Demos
    IBM IT Innovation Article: Green Servers Provide a Competitive Advantage
    Microsoft Article: Expression Web 2 for PHP Developers--Simplify Your PHP Applications
    Featured Algorithm: Intel Threading Building Blocks - parallel_reduce