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Sharky Extreme : Monthly Value Gaming System Buyer's Guide July 7, 2009





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    May Value Gaming PC Buyer's Guide
    By Vince Freeman :  May 18, 2007

    Price Roundup

    AMD Athlon 64 X2 System

    Case: Antec Sonata II (with 450W PSU) - $88
    CPU: AMD Athlon 64 X2 5600+ (2.8 GHz) Retail - $176
    Cooling: included Retail HSF - $0
    Motherboard: Biostar TForce 570 SLI AM2 - $90
    Memory: Corsair XMS2 DDR2-667 2x1-GB- $67
    Hard Drive: WD Caviar SE 200GB (8-MB) SATA 3.0 Gb/s - $56
    Video Card: GeForce 8600 GTS 256MB (PCIe) - $185
    Monitor: 17" LCD with 8-12ms Refresh - $145
    Sound Card: 8-Channel Integrated - $0
    Speakers: Logitech X-530 6-Piece Speaker System - $48
    CD/DVD-ROM: Samsung SH-S182D 16X DVD Writer - $27
    Communications: Onboard LAN - $0
    Mouse: Logitech MX310 - $23
    Keyboard: Microsoft Multimedia Keyboard - $15
    Operating System: Windows XP Home or Vista Home Basic- $76

    Total: $996


    Intel Core 2 Duo System

    Case: Antec Sonata II (with 450W PSU) - $88
    CPU: Core 2 Duo E6420 (2.13 GHz) Retail - $184
    Cooling: included Retail HSF - $0
    Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-965P-DS3 (P965) - $90
    Memory: Corsair XMS2 DDR2-667 2x1-GB- $67
    Hard Drive: WD Caviar SE 200GB (8-MB) SATA 3.0 Gb/s - $56
    Video Card: GeForce 8600 GTS 256MB (PCIe) - $185
    Monitor: 17" LCD with 8-12ms Refresh - $145
    Sound Card: 8-Channel Integrated - $0
    Speakers: Logitech X-530 6-Piece Speaker System - $48
    CD/DVD-ROM: Samsung SH-S182D 16X DVD Writer - $27
    Communications: Onboard LAN - $0
    Mouse: Logitech MX310 - $23
    Keyboard: Microsoft Multimedia Keyboard - $15
    Operating System: Windows XP Home or Vista Home Basic- $76

    Total: $1,004


    Closing Remarks

    Our latest Value Gaming PC Buyer's Guide is much more than the usual fine-tuning exercise, and represents a significant performance and features improvement in the two prime areas. The recent AMD and Intel price drops allowed us to upgrade our processors quite significantly, especially on the AMD side with the move to a 2.8 GHz Athlon 64 X2 5600+. The graphics component also got a nice shot in the arm, as we move to a fully DirectX 10-compliant GeForce 8600 GTS 256MB video card. There were changes in other areas, such as the 2GB of Corsair DDR2-667 and the new 200GB WD hard drive, and we managed to upgrade each of the performance components this month.

    Both the AMD and Intel systems continue to show very high performance levels, although we might have to give the slight edge to the super-charged AMD system. As we like to say each month, it is surprising what kind of PC you can put together for a cool $1K. Our value gaming systems come complete with impressive Core 2 Duo and Athlon 64 X2 processors, PCI Express motherboards, 7200 RPM SATA 3.0 Gb/s hard drives, CD and DVD writing capabilities, and a very fast GeForce 8600 GTS 256MB PCIe video card. If overall value is your main goal, these AMD and Intel gaming PCs certainly deliver, and both offer a noticeable price-performance advantage over our higher-end buyer's guide configurations.

    * 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.


    Page 1 Introduction and Case
    Page 2 Processors and Cooling
    Page 3 Motherboards
    Page 4 Memory, Hard Drive and DVD Writer
    Page 5 Video Card and LCD Display
    Page 6 Soundcard, Speakers and LAN
    Page 7 Input Devices and Operating System
  • Page 8 Price Roundup and Closing Remarks


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