CPU Prices

RAM Prices

Compare Prices

Sharky Extreme : Monthly Value Gaming System Buyer's Guide March 17, 2008

 Advertising Info

About the Double-Underlined Links

 - Most Active Threads
 - Technical Support
 - CPUs & Overclocking

Latest News

- The NZXT Tempest: An Affordable System Case for PC Enthusiasts and Gamers
- OCZ Upgrades DDR3 Modules to 2.0 GHz, Optimized for the nForce 790i Ultra
- PNY Unveils the XLR8 GeForce 9800 GX2 1GB Graphics Card
- OCZ Offers a SATA II Solid State Drive for Mobile Computing
- OCZ Introduces the High Efficiency Vendetta 2 CPU Cooler
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

- March Extreme Gaming PC Buyer's Guide
- January High-end Gaming PC Buyer's Guide
- November Value Gaming PC Buyer's Guide


  • CPUs

    - Back in Black: Phenom 9600 Black Edition Review
    - Intel Skulltrail Performance Preview
    - AMD Phenom 9900 Performance Preview

  • Motherboards

    - AMD 780G Chipset Review

  • Video Cards

    - PNY XLR8 GeForce 8800 GTS 512MB Review
    - Sapphire HD 3850 Ultimate 512MB Review

    Be a Commerce Partner
    Economy Server Racks
    KVM over IP
    Boat Donations
    Business Software
    Cell Phones
    Phone Cards
    Imprinted Gifts
    Best Price
    Logo Design
    Web Hosting
    Holiday Gift Ideas
    Shop Online

    Internet News
    Small Business
    Personal Technology

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


    September Value Gaming PC Buyer's Guide
    By Vince Freeman :  September 21, 2005

    Video Card: GeForce 6600 GT 128-MB - PCI Express

    Current Cost: $143
    Months on list: 2
    Price Change: -$20

    The GeForce 6600 GT 128-MB is a video card tailor-made for our value system, and the day we moved to this mainstream powerhouse represented a significant milestone. It is a serious gaming speed demon for its class, and is the perfect sub-$150 gaming card on the market. Of course, we're always looking to upgrade, and although we did give both the GeForce 6800 128-MB and Radeon X800 128-MB cards a good look, there is still nothing in this price range that offers the same mix of performance and value.

    The GeForce 6600 GT 128-MB is an exceptional video card for the money, and easily outperforms the last-generation GeForce 5900 and 5950-based cards. The NV43 core is a stripped-down version of the NV40 used with the GeForce 6800 GT and Ultra models, with the GeForce 6600 GT featuring 8 pixel pipelines and a 128-bit memory path. This may sound drastic, but NVIDIA has really pumped up the volume, and the standard 500 MHz core and 1 GHz memory speeds really push the framerates. Overall performance is extremely high for the class, especially using newer games and with anti-aliasing and anisotropic filtering enabled.

    The GeForce 6600 GT core is manufactured on a 0.11-micron process, and ensures that it runs cooler than the 0.13-micron core found in the GeForce 6800-based cards, and leaves a bit of overclocking headroom in reserve. The 0.11-micron core also pays dividends in terms of power requirements, as although the AGP interface makes an extra Molex connector a necessity, the PCI Express versions do not require external power.

    Due to fluctuating supplies, we haven't selected a specific model, but at this price range, GeForce 6600 GT 128-MB PCIe cards from MSI (pictured above), XFX, Apollo, AOpen, eVGA, and Chaintech (shown below) are readily available.

    We are continuing to list an ATI video card alternative at the same price range. After all, just like AMD and Intel processors, some people feel more comfortable with a video card from either NVIDIA or ATI.

    ATI has positioned the Radeon X700 Pro as the direct competitor to the GeForce 6600 GT, but for our money, the Radeon X800 128-MB PCI Express is the best ATI deal in this class. Basically, it is a lower-clocked Radeon X800 Pro (12 pipes) with 128-MB of 256-bit GDDR3 memory, that sells at around $140-$150 for a basic model. Some retailers have even started labeling the card as an "X800 GT" in order to get the point across. A PowerColor model is pictured below, but similarly-priced cards can be found from Sapphire and MSI.

    Monitor 19": Envision EFT920

    Current Cost: $148
    Months on list: 4
    Price Change: +$7

    The $1,000 budget, combined with our mandate of creating the fastest gaming system for the money, brings with it a few issues on the monitor side. We cannot use too much of our budget in a given area, and the best strategy is to distribute it evenly through the component list. Due to this, we're limited in our selection, as even 15" and 17" gaming LCDs are out of our league, while rising prices and the low availability of CRT monitors makes it even worse. The choice of monitor has never been more difficult, and given that it is a highly personal selection for many (and a non-issue for those with existing monitors), this month we're going with a basic recommendation, along with a few secondary options.

    Over the last few updates we've gone with the Envision EFT920 19" FST monitor as our main selection, and its combination of low price and great features brings it back for another month. The Envision monitor has support for up to 1600x1200 at 76 Hz, and a nice 85 Hz refresh at the standard 1280x1024 resolution. The aesthetics also score high for a value 19" FST monitor, and the Envision EFT920 features a nice, two-tone silver/black casing. Most other 19" flat screen monitors have moved well above the $200 level, and it is becoming very difficult to get the right mix of features, screen size, and price. Clearly, LCDs are the wave of the future.

    If the money is available, then we would recommend moving to a 8ms-16ms 17" LCD. Many of these 17" units have exceptional features and at approximately $190-$230, are really not that much more expensive than a 19" CRT. LCDs are more visually appealing displays, and with a 12-16ms response time, even high speed gaming will show minimal (if any) ghosting, and be much easier on the eyes. The best overall value is currently with the 17" models, and LCDs from BenQ, CMV, LG, Envision, Viewsonic, and even Samsung are available in this price range.

    Please keep in mind that when buying any type or brand of monitor, there is always the slight chance of receiving a defective unit or a flat-screen with convergence issues, so be certain to purchase only from a vendor that offers liberal return and replacement options. This also is important for LCDs, and be sure to check the vendor's Dead Pixel Replacement Policy and investigate any further protection you can buy.

    Page 1 Introduction and Case
    Page 2 Processors and Cooling
    Page 3 Motherboards
    Page 4 Memory, Hard Drive and CDRW/DVD-ROM
  • Page 5 Video Card and Monitor
    Page 6 Soundcard, Speakers and LAN
    Page 7 Input Devices and Operating System
    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 eBook: Managing the Evolving Data Center
    IBM Whitepaper: Enterprise Information Integration: Deployment Best Practices for Low-Cost Implementation
    Intel Clients PDF: Improve Security and Control of your PCs
    Microsoft Article: Managing Virtual Machines with Microsoft System Center
    Intel Mobility PDF: Wireless Technologies and e-Learning--Bridging the Digital Divide
    Avaya Article: How to Begin Developing with Avaya's Event Processing Language
    Intel Multi-Core PDF: Comparing Multi-Core Processors for Server Virtualization
    Avaya Article: Deep Dive--Event Processor Offers Familiar Tools for Creating Event-Driven SOA Apps
    Intel Whitepaper: A Methodology for Threading Serial Applications (PDF)
    HP eBook: Storage Networking , Part 1
    F5 Whitepaper: Deploying SharePoint 2007? BIG-IP LTM with WebAccelerator Can Speed it up by 8x
    Quest Whitepaper: Improving Oracle Database Performance Using Real-Time Visual Diagnostics
    ServerWatch.com Article: Tip of the Trade--IP Address Management
    Avaya Article: Event Processing Demands Real-Time Response for Communications-Enabled Business Applications
    ITChannelPlanet.com Article: Enterprise Fixed-Mobile Convergence Can Be Lucrative
    StoreVault Whitepaper: Introduction to Networked Storage
    Intel Article: Transitioning Software to Future Generations of Multi-Core
    Oracle eBook: Implementing Business Intelligence in Your Organization
    Hoovers Article: Boost Employee Morale without Breaking the Bank
    SAP Whitepaper: A Corporate Guide to Better Decisions Through IT
    Microsoft Article: Solving Data Center Complexity with Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager 2007
    IBM Whitepaper: Transforming Legacy Apps into SOA
    Internet.com eBook: All About Botnets
    Intel Article: 8 Simple Rules for Designing Threaded Applications
    Symantec Whitepaper: E-Mail Discovery--Worst-Case Scenarios Versus Best Practices
    Ipswitch Whitepaper: Secure File Transfer In the Era of Regulatory Compliance
    Symantec Whitepaper: A Unified, Proactive Approach to Endpoint Security
    Intel Whitepaper: Best Practices for Developing and Optimizing Threaded Applications
    Symantec Whitepaper: Emerging Trends in Fighting Spam
    Microsoft Partner Program Article: How to Market Your Technology Solutions
    Avaya Article: Opening Telephony to Microsoft Developers
    Symantec Whitepaper: Best Practices for IM Archiving & Compliance
    Intel Article: The Challenges of Developing Multithreaded Processing Pipelines
    Symantec Article: Guarding the Corporate Gateway
    Intel Video: Foundations of Parallel Programming, Part One
    Microsoft Web Seminar: Windows Mobile 6.0 Training for ISV Developers
    IBM Webcast: Asset Reuse Strategies for Success--Innovate Don't Duplicate!
    HP Video: Page Cost Calculator
    HP Webcast: Storage Is Changing Fast - Be Ready or Be Left Behind
    Epicor Webcast: Requirements to Consider When Looking at ITSM Tools
    Intel Video: Three Must-Knows for Parallelism
    Microsoft Partner Program Video: The Secrets to Partner Success
    Rational Asset Manager: Succeed with Asset-based Development
    Microsoft Silverlight Video: Creating Fading Controls with Expression Design and Expression Blend 2
    Downloads and eKits
    Red Gate Download: SQL Backup Pro and free DBA Best Practices eBook
    Red Gate Download: SQL Compare Pro 6
    IBM eKit: IBM Rational Systems Development Solution
    IBM eKit: Rational Asset Manager
    IBM Developer Kit: Web 2.0
    IBM Download: Data Studio v1.1
    NXPowerLite: Desktop Edition Software Trial
    Iron Speed Designer Application Generator
    Symantec IM Detection Utility
    Tutorials and Demos
    Intel Servers/Workstations Demo: Dual-Core Intel Itanium 2 Processor
    Flash Demo: IBM Information Server Blade
    HP Demo: StorageWorks EVA4400
    IBM Demo: Adding Security to your Web Services Digital Signatures
    IBM Demo: Deployment Tracking with Rational ClearQuest and ClearCase
    IBM Overview Video: Next Generation Data Warehousing
    IBM Tutorial: Intro to XML User Interface Language (XUL) Development
    Microsoft How-to Article: Get Going with Silverlight and Windows Live