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Monthly High-end Gaming System Buyer's Guide

July 2006 High-end Gaming PC Buyer's Guide - Page 8

By Vince Freeman July 8, 2006

Price Roundup

AMD Athlon 64 X2 System

Case: Cooler Master WaveMaster TAC-T01-E1C w/Antec 550W PSU - $230
Processor: Athlon 64 X2 4400+ AM2 Retail - $460
Cooling: Retail HSF - $0
Motherboard: Asus M2N32-SLI Deluxe - $208
Memory: 2x1GB Corsair XMS2-6400 (TWIN2X2048-6400C4) - $248
Hard Drive: Seagate Barracuda 7200.10 320GB SATA - $113
Video Card: ASUS GeForce 7900GT TOP 256MB - $310
Monitor: Samsung SyncMaster 204B 20" LCD - $350
Sound Card: Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi XtremeMusic - $115
Speakers: Logitech THX Z-5300e 5.1 Speakers - $140
DVD-/+RW: Pioneer 16x DVD+RW/-RW DVR-110D OEM - $43
Communications: None or (optional Intel Pro/1000 T or USR External v.92) - $0
Mouse: Logitech G7 Laser Cordless Mouse - $63
Keyboard: Microsoft Natural Ergonomic Keyboard 4000 - $44
Operating System: Windows XP Pro - $140
Floppy: Generic - $5

Total: $2,469


Intel Pentium D System

Case: Cooler Master WaveMaster TAC-T01-E1C w/Antec 550W PSU - $230
Processor: Intel Pentium D 950 (3.4GHz) Retail - $324
Cooling: Thermalright XP-90C w/92mm Fan - $60
Motherboard: ASUS P5N32-SLI Deluxe - $200
Memory: 2x1GB Corsair XMS2-6400 (TWIN2X2048-6400C4) - $248
Hard Drive: Dual Seagate Barracuda 7200.10 320GB SATA - $226
Video Card: ASUS GeForce 7900GT TOP 256MB - $310
Monitor: Samsung SyncMaster 204B 20" LCD - $350
Sound Card: Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi XtremeMusic - $115
Speakers: Logitech THX Z-5300e 5.1 Speakers - $140
DVD-/+RW: Pioneer 16x DVD+RW/-RW DVR-110D OEM - $43
Communications: None or (optional Intel Pro/1000 T or USR External v.92) - $0
Mouse: Logitech G7 Laser Cordless Mouse - $63
Keyboard: Microsoft Natural Ergonomic Keyboard 4000 - $44
Operating System: Windows XP Pro - $140
Floppy: Generic - $5

Total: $2,498


Closing Remarks

This month was another good one for our high-end buyer's guide, and included a nice selection of upgrades. The move to AMD's new AM2 platform allows a more future-proof system, even if the Athlon 64 4400+ processor remained constant. The move to the Pentium D 950 allows for a 3.4 GHz dual core injection to our Intel system, and if prices continue to drop like this, it may be our choice for a value system in a few months. The Samsung SyncMaster 204B 20" LCD was another nice change, and gives us more screen real estate and even faster response times. Other upgrades allowed more incremental improvements, such as the Seagate Barracuda 7200.10 320GB drive, the overclocked ASUS GeForce 7900 GT TOP 256MB video card, and the Logitech G7 Laser Cordless Mouse.

In terms of the future, the biggest news will come in the form of the Intel Core 2 Duo release, which may come as early as August. This may have serious repercussions on our Intel system, and if so, we will try to post an updated high-end guide that reflects the new Intel world order. AMD is also looking to move to 65nm production later in 2006, so that's another thing to watch, and it's never too long before both ATI and NVIDIA will enter into another graphics card war. Stay tuned, as it should be a very exciting 2006.

Please note that the prices in our guide do not include shipping costs or taxes. The final system price also reflects a "best case" scenario of finding an online vendor that stocks the majority of internal components, or having access to a number of local computer retailers for system quotes and comparison shopping. Also, throughout the compilation of this guide, we have made every attempt to ensure availability and realistic street pricing of the included components.


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  • Page 8 July 2006 High-end Gaming PC Buyer's Guide

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