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  • rudreshsj - Monday, June 16, 2008 - link

    the last buyers guide was way back in november the market has substantially changed after that ... pls post a newer updated guide.
  • imperator3733 - Friday, November 30, 2007 - link

    On page 2 in the part on the QX9650, you say that the QX9650 has "2x6MB vs. 2xMB on the Q6xx0". It should say "2x4MB", not "2xMB". Reply
  • ac3shi6h - Monday, November 26, 2007 - link

    Just upgraded, everything from Newegg.Under $400
    GIGABYTE GA-M57SLI-S4 - $89
    AMD Athlon 64 X2 5000+ Black Edition $129
    MSI NX8600GTS Diamond Plus GeForce 8600GTS 256MB $149 -$20= $129
    Patriot Extreme Performance 2GB DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 PDC22G6400LLK 79 - 40= $39
    Total = $389,-
    Can't beat this value in upgrading from 939 x2-4200+ with a 7800gs
    3dmark = 6932
    3d cpu = 6095

    New (cpu @ 3ghz 15x multiplier)
    3dmark = 12234
    Cpu = 7422

    Now I probably would have gotten better scores if I spend a little more, but at a 400 dollar budget I don't think I could have gotten any better then this. The only thing I forgot to order was a heatsink.. that bumped me up to 409,-... still though.. I couldn't find any sli capable deal for anything less...


  • strikeback03 - Monday, November 26, 2007 - link

    We need to build a new computer to interface with our microscope for the lab. Don't need 3D capabilities to speak of, but does need to be able to run a pair of CRTs at 1600x1200 and have Firewire. I checked out the Gigabyte motherboard suggested with the Intel build, but the Gigabyte website says the DVI output cannot be used with an adapter to D-Sub. Can you confirm if this is true, or recommend any other boards that might fit the bill? Or should we just look for a discrete card for either graphics or Firewire? Reply
  • tshen83 - Saturday, November 24, 2007 - link

    I agree that the 8800GT is in short supply. However the Radeon HD3870 is also in short supply, if not worse than the 8800GT.

    Look at the MSRP. AMD advertised 219 as the MSRP, however, newegg and both raised the price to 269. And you still cannot buy them.

    It looks more and more that the HD3870 is here for benchmark purposes, whereas the HD3850 is really what AMD wants to sell. But the Radeon HD3850 is really slow, in my mind, not worth 180 dollars when the 8800GT 512MB is selling for $208:">;dgc=C...

  • JarredWalton - Sunday, November 25, 2007 - link

    We actually aren't too surprised, but the text was written last week when supply of 3850/3870 cards was better. That's why we state, "While we're on the topic of availability, we must say that we don't know how long AMD will continue to keep up with demand for the Radeon HD 3850/3870. As with the NVIDIA GeForce 8800 GT, many resellers are now backordered and we wouldn't be surprised to see prices begin climbing." Reply
  • JarredWalton - Sunday, November 25, 2007 - link

    On a related note, Dell currently has a killer deal on an 8800 GT 512MB card. How long will it last, and how long will it take to get the card if you order right now? Well, those are questions we don't have answers to right now. Still, if you're interested in an 8800 GT card,">here's the link

    (I don't know if that's the correct way to link, and the link buttons appear to be broken. Anyway, you should at least be able to see the URL; go to and search for 8800GT if you need to.]
  • FrankM - Friday, November 23, 2007 - link

    Am I the only one feeling that there's a bit of a gap between the IGPs and the ~$200 mainstream cards that you called "budget"? I sort of agree that there's not much worth getting between these extremes for current games, but 8600GT @ ~$100 runs OK on medium resolutions and settings, and also offloads HD-media from the CPU.
    Also, calling ~$200 cards "budget" is a bit weird. Not so long ago, that was mainstream, with budget being sub-$100...
  • JarredWalton - Friday, November 23, 2007 - link

    Well, we did mention them: "There are cheaper graphics cards that provide adequate performance and DirectX 10 support, but the difference in performance between the $100 you might spend on the Radeon HD 2600 XT 256MB/GeForce 8600 GT 256MB and the HD 3850 is substantial. Let's not even get into a discussion of performance requirements for Crysis, Hellgate: London, or Unreal Tournament 3. Needless to say, there are plenty more titles coming out where $100 graphics cards will need to drop down to lower resolutions and medium detail settings in order to provide adequate performance." Reply
  • Chubbbs - Thursday, November 22, 2007 - link

    "the G35 is next week"

    Yes, finally!! This is the platform I've been patiently waiting for. Not all enthusiasts are gamers. Some of us want a superior workstation without the cost, power consumption, acoustics, and binary blobs associated with discrete graphics. All we ask is for is modest composite and decode acceleration and a digital output (two would be nice). But that doesn't mean we don't want a premium ATX board with 8 SATAs, solid caps, and effective chipset radiators.

    There *is* a retail market for a $150-200 motherboard with integrated graphics. In fact, if we're going to pay $200 or more for a motherboard, shouldn't we expect it to include onboard graphics? It's not like it precludes adding discrete graphics, and it offers a much lower power mode for those rare moments when you're not gaming. I look forward to AT's in-depth analysis of Intel's long-overdue foray into integrated graphics for the midrange performance market.
  • guptasa1 - Thursday, November 22, 2007 - link

    Any chance I can get a clarification on this?

    Planning to buy soon (possibly this friday) and actually like the looks of the X38T - what's inferior about it to the Asus? (Asus was my second choice.) If it's just benchmarks, BIOS updates may address that, but if it's being revised due to a problem or something, I'd like to know. Thanks. (Great roundup btw.)
  • vailr - Wednesday, November 21, 2007 - link

    Fry's BF ad has a Q6600 + ECS motherboard combo priced at: $198. "Limited to 1 per customer. No substitutions, no rainchecks."">
  • Jodiuh - Wednesday, November 21, 2007 - link

    "...but new buyers will prefer to experience the goodness of two 8800 GT cards running Crysis."
    I would like to experience this goodness, but I've gotten bsod's and poor performance in Vista x64 and 2 frames more in XP when NOT using SLI. :( Guide! Guide!!
  • CrystalBay - Wednesday, November 21, 2007 - link

    Crossfire 3850's smoke despite their 256 Vram disadvantage... Reply
  • Le Québécois - Wednesday, November 21, 2007 - link

    On page 5 : " Let's not even get into a discussion of performance requirements for Crysis, Hellgate: London, or Unreal Tournament 2007. "

    Epic has changed the name to Unreal Tournament 3 for a while now.

    Also on page 5: " We showed in our recent HD 3870 article that CrossFire performance roughly matches what you get from a single 8800 GTX "

    If I remember correctly, Anand stated that he could only test the HD 3850 in Crossfire and almost had to beg to receive ONE HD 3870 from AMD. If Crossfire HD 3850 is more or less equal to a single 8800GTX, can't we expect Crossfire HD 3870 to be more powerful than that?
  • JarredWalton - Wednesday, November 21, 2007 - link

    Updated. I actually missed that it was 3850 CF vs. the 8800 GTX. Of course, we still have to deal with the fact that CrossFire often doesn't work properly on new games until a driver update. AMD is working to address that concern apparently, and we should see profiles in their drivers (finally!) at some point soon. Reply
  • SerpentRoyal - Wednesday, November 21, 2007 - link

    P35 Neo2-FR is $100 after rebate. Abit has an equivalent in the form of IP35 for $95 after rebate. IP35 is identical to IP35-E, plus six SATA ports, 1394a, heat pipe cooling, and ICH9R for on-board RAID. LAN port sits on PCI-E.

    IP35 and IP35-E share the basic power module section found in the IP35 Pro. Their on-board CPU and fan headers can also control the speed of a 2-wire fan. The stock 11 BIOS is stable and can easily hit 490MHz FSB with a capable CPU.

    I'll make it easy for the editor to pick the winner. Let's compare the P35 Neo2-FR against the two Abit boards. Abit IP35-E has been selling for $65 to $70 after rebate since September 2007. It's 30% cheaper than the MSI because it doesn't come with RAID, eSATA. Board has four SATA ports instead of five on the MSI. Abit IP35 adds RAID, 1394, and six SATA ports. IP35 lacks eSATA, but it's $5 cheaper than the P35 Neo2-FR.">
  • kd4yum - Wednesday, November 21, 2007 - link

    " some of our suggestions might indicate we do not like our friends or family members. " this one.
  • pauldovi - Wednesday, November 21, 2007 - link

    Where is the GA-P35-DS3L and GA-P35-DS3R in the motherboard sections. The DS3L is a $85 motherboard that is amazing. The -R is the same with with RAID capability. They easily match those $200 range boards.

    G.Skill has a 4GB kit on newegg for $120. If that isn't a deal I don't know what is.
  • retrospooty - Wednesday, November 21, 2007 - link

    "Where is the GA-P35-DS3L and GA-P35-DS3R in the motherboard sections."

    Ummm... Page 4? ;)">
  • mcnabney - Wednesday, November 21, 2007 - link

    Something you might want to know.

    The 2x2GB G.Skill kit also has a $40 mail in rebate, so the price is really $80 for a 4GB setup.
  • kleinwl - Wednesday, November 21, 2007 - link

    While we are on the holidays, why not a few HTPC recommendations? mATX boards, video capture cards, etc. Otherwise, great article.

    BTW: are you planning on doing a crysis cpu comparison?
  • JarredWalton - Wednesday, November 21, 2007 - link

    "We're going to break this Buyers' Guide into a couple parts, in order to keep things manageable. We'll start today with the major system components: processors, graphics cards, motherboards, and memory. The second installment will cover the remaining components and accessories."

    We did include at least a few mATX motherboards that would work well.

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