System Buyers Guide: $800 to $1800

by Wesley Fink on 4/7/2009 4:00 PM EST
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  • jmvillafana - Tuesday, April 14, 2009 - link

    The article is excelent. Still if you could run benchmarks with the presented systems we could compare what $1,800 Vs $800 provide.
    Reply
  • Googer - Monday, April 13, 2009 - link

    I must disagree with your selection of Seagate 7200.11 drives after all the problems they have had with failure reminiscent of the IBM Deskstar (deathstar) 75GXP days. Instead, I'd advise users to go with a WD Velociraptor or WD Black edition or a Nice SSD. Reply
  • Leyawiin - Thursday, April 09, 2009 - link

    I haven't done a ground up build in years. There's always something you can recycle from a previous build if you do this regularly. I was pricing an i7 940 build with a 300GB Velociraptor, 4GB of DDR3 2000, X58 mobo, Coolermaster V8 HS/fan and a GTX 285. Very strong system and using the still good Cooler Master case, X-Fi sound card, DVD drive and case fans it will be less than $1,700. I might be able to pare it down further. Reply
  • Leyawiin - Thursday, April 09, 2009 - link

    Oh and please can the "this is useless unless you live in the US" crap. They can't cover all the international pricing variances - the guides can at least be used as a starting point in your overpriced, uncompetitive locales. Reply
  • papapapapapapapababy - Friday, April 10, 2009 - link

    Buyers Guide. Buyers. not -USA- Buyers Guide, or System builders guide. so, yes, is kinda useless 2 me.

    also, the "Intel Value" config is total crap. stock cooler? XD here, nubcake...



    1)

    XIGMATEK HDT-S1283 120mm Rifle CPU Cooler $36.99

    2)

    Intel Core 2 Duo E7400 $119.99 > @ 3.4 GHZ (FASTER + lower temps, noise, price)


    also just one hdd? then that mobo is an overkill


    3) g31 mobo (ASUS P5KPL-AM) just $37.50 ! thats value (GREAT MOBO, in mot kiding, rock solid, ocs like mad, great sound)



    4) GTX 260 896MB for $159.99 + a real psu not that pos

    my system >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    >>>>>>>>>><< anand "tech"


    Reply
  • papapapapapapapababy - Thursday, April 09, 2009 - link

    useless guide unless you live in the usa. ( im sorry 4 you)
    btw, this is why i always laugh at those American console users, "but the 10.000 computer" " comfy couch" " consoles offer more value" type of guys. they just fail to realize that consoles are super overpriced retro garbage compared to ANY pc . Yes, total garbage, example? console cpu: even a dino like a amd64 3000, or hell even a slow ass barton xp is faster that the " xbox triple core" or the potato of " cell".
    Reply
  • edgardavids - Thursday, April 09, 2009 - link

    Why do you suggest DDR2-1066 for mid range AMD system? The board can support DDR2-1066 with AM2+ CPU only, X3 720 is a AM3 processor. Is it considered a waste to invest on DDR2-1066? Reply
  • JarredWalton - Thursday, April 09, 2009 - link

    See above: AM3 CPUs work with DDR2, and performance wise there's not a huge difference between DDR2 and DDR3 AMD systems. DDR3 is slightly more expensive, but you also need a DDR3 motherboard. Ultimately, the AM2+ boards seem to offer a nice balance of price, performance, and features - whether you use an AM2 or an AM3 CPU. Reply
  • taruncharles - Wednesday, April 08, 2009 - link

    Hi,

    Nice article once gain. I am planning on using the same kinda rig for my mid-range value PC.

    In the mid-range value setup, you have used DDR2 1066 with Biostar TA790GX 128M. But, I noticed that the specifications for this motherboard say that it supports DDR2 1066 only for AM2+ CPUs. Whereas the CPU in your setup is AM3..
    Will this work properly here. Or should I be using 800Mhz DDR2 with X3 720 and Biostar TA790GX 128M?..

    Thanks
    Reply
  • Wesley Fink - Wednesday, April 08, 2009 - link

    DDR2-1066 and higher speed memory will always work fine at lower speeds and normally faster timings. It is rated 1066 but will definitley work slower if that is necessary, whcih I doubt. Reply
  • NARC4457 - Wednesday, April 08, 2009 - link

    I'm really surprised that you are recommending that Seagate 1TB drive. Just following the link to Newegg shows how many people have had problems with it.

    The price is great, but I've not seen many products that have that low a rating. You only need to spend about $10 more to get a quality drive instead of rolling the dice on this one.
    Reply
  • strikeback03 - Thursday, April 09, 2009 - link

    The Newegg reviews are since the drive was released, supposedly it is all better with the current firmware.

    That said, I spent the extra $10 to get the WD Black 1TB.
    Reply
  • cfaalm - Wednesday, April 08, 2009 - link

    Like always I enjoy reading the buyers guides. I can remember when people asked for HTPC to be included in these guides and now it's there.

    I was thinking of yet another class to include: Home Server. Since it requires an intricate balance of features like any other purpose built PC I can imagine it being interesting for AT readers.

    Am I speaking for myself or are others of you also interested? Maybe there is already a website that goes deep on this subject. I'm a bit of a noob here ;-)
    Reply
  • lopri - Wednesday, April 08, 2009 - link

    I've been planning an AMD build and almost set on 790GX platform, then I saw a new wave of 790FX boards coming out. I was looking forward to a review or a round-up of those.

    Gigabyte apparently ported their 'Ultra Durable' design to AMD boards and MSI's new 790FX board is uber sexy (at least its appearance is). ASUS and DFI have updated their line-up as well, it seems. To be honest I didn't know anything about that Foxconn board till now.

    Are you planning to review these new 790FX boards? Also, will there be new chipset from AMD in near future? 790FX has been out for a while.

    In any case, thank you much for the guide. The combinations are near perfect and I couldn't have planned better ones. (like that's a surprise. haha..)
    Reply
  • DaRube - Wednesday, April 08, 2009 - link

    The Biostar TForce TA790GX3 A2+ mentioned in the article is listed as deactivated by Newegg. Could we get a backup recommendation? Reply
  • Wesley Fink - Wednesday, April 08, 2009 - link

    Biostar has a number of motherboards named Biostar TForce TA790GX?, with just the last letter or number changed. We have revised the Guide description and link to show the currently available TA790GX, which has all the features of th TA790GX3 and is currently selling for $105 with a $10 rebate. We have revised the pricing to reflect this.

    If you can find the $110 GX3 version buy it instead for the better quality on-board components. However, the one we recommend performs essentially the same.
    Reply
  • JarredWalton - Wednesday, April 08, 2009 - link

    Not sure, but how about http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTool...">this Biostar? Gary would have to provide his input on the difference between the various Biostar TA790GX[?] boards. Reply
  • Jaramin - Wednesday, April 08, 2009 - link

    Only the GX3 variant has all solid caps. Reply
  • JarredWalton - Wednesday, April 08, 2009 - link

    On second thought, that one doesn't have CrossFire support. http://www.amazon.com/Biostar-TFORCE-TA790GXA2-Mot...">This one does, though again I don't know if it's as good as the GX3. Reply
  • taruncharles - Wednesday, April 08, 2009 - link

    The specifications of above mobo which u have suggested says that it supports 1066 DDR2 only with AM2+ CPUs..Also the mobo which the author has used says the same. But X3 720 is AM3, isnt it?..will this combo work with 1066 DDR2?..
    Reply
  • Wesley Fink - Thursday, April 09, 2009 - link

    Our Motherboard Editor, Gary Key, tested DDR2-1066 memory in the recommended Biostar board. It worked fine at DDR2-1066 speed, and of course faster memory will work fine at slower speeds and faster timings than rated if that is needed. That was not necessary though, as DDR2-1066 worked fine at rated speed.

    I suspect the Biostar spec was written BEFORE the AM3 chips were introduced, and should more properly read AM2+ or LATER required for DDR2-1066 support.
    Reply
  • JarredWalton - Thursday, April 09, 2009 - link

    AM3 CPUs will work in AM2+ motherboards, but AM2+ CPUs can't work in AM3 motherboards. The AM3 CPUs have both DDR2 and DDR3 controllers, which is why they're backwards compatible. Reply
  • MagicPants - Wednesday, April 08, 2009 - link

    You shouldn't include rebates in the price of a system unless you've actually bought that system and received the rebate. They are such a crapshoot it's a little dishonest to use them in an article. Reply
  • strikeback03 - Thursday, April 09, 2009 - link

    I've probably filed for close to 100 rebates on computer equipment, and only failed to receive 1. That was from MSI on a video card, they required the Newegg Invoice that is emailed to you instead of the order confirmation that everyone else accepts. It once took a year and a couple resubmissions to get a Seagate rebate, but I did get it. Reply
  • Wesley Fink - Wednesday, April 08, 2009 - link

    Right now it is hard to NOT use rebates in pricing, since they are everywhere in component pricing. We hate rebates also, and much prefer a reduced price. We have listed the current rebate amount in the description to disclose as much info as possible. That seems a fair way to do it.

    Rebates are NOT dishonest and they are certainly legal, but it is frustrating for most to pay more up front and then have to wait months for their price reduction checks. Personally I have received every rebate I ever claimed, but it sometimes took way too much time to get the check.
    Reply
  • Wesley Fink - Wednesday, April 08, 2009 - link

    NOT paying rebates for valid claims IS illegal. If that happens to you contact the company and ask why you haven't received the rebate. You should also keep copies of everything you send them in case you have to resubmit. It that doesn't work file a complaint with your State Attorney General's office.

    If all this is too much for you as a buyer shop for components with up-front price reductions. NEVER buy an item for the good Rebate price if you find mailing rebates is too much trouble. Manufacturers normally DO pay rebates, but they count on a lot of people never sending in the paperwork. Those that send in rebates are subsidized by buyers that don't.
    Reply
  • v12v12 - Wednesday, April 22, 2009 - link

    Agreed it's consumer FRAUD... the problem with these rebates and the like is that the law regarding them and internet related based deals is, the complete lack of law-enforcement. They are so behind the times regarding cyber "crime," that the actual pursuit of your money, cost MORE than you'd receive. I've got a rebate from Spectre 22" monitor that I filed 3yrs ago that never came. I complained blah blah... nothing. Pursuing was fruitless, for $35. To me it wasn't, but to the Inspect gen etc... they aren't going to do a thing for anything less than near class-action. Reply
  • BPB - Wednesday, April 08, 2009 - link

    Did you pick the Xigmatek Dark Knight because of its price? If so, what would you have chosen for somebody willing to spend more? I'm hoping you say spending more isn't necessary with the 940. Reply
  • Wesley Fink - Wednesday, April 08, 2009 - link

    The Xigmatek cooler tested very well in lab systems and is one of the better coolers you can buy. The fact it is also reasonably priced is just a nice plus. I personally use a Thermalright Ultra 120 Extreme with a Scythe S-Flex fan, but I find the Xigmatek nearly as effective and I have no probelm recommending it. Reply
  • BPB - Wednesday, April 08, 2009 - link

    Thanks. I have the Thermalright Ultra 120 Extreme in my Intel case, and am looking to get a nice cooler for my AMD CPU. Now I have to decide, I'm leaning toward the Xigmatek. Reply
  • 7Enigma - Thursday, April 09, 2009 - link

    I have the Xigmatek on my recent C2D build and it is fantastic. The pushpin design sucks, but if you opt for them the price is closer to the other more expensive designs (Ultra120, etc.). Reply
  • talozin - Wednesday, April 08, 2009 - link

    If the Dark Knight (aka 1283V) is anything like the original 1283, it'll be a superb choice. SPCR reviewed the 1283 and found that it cooled essentially as well as a TRUE while being substantially lighter and cheaper. Reply
  • BPB - Wednesday, April 08, 2009 - link

    Thanks. I think I'll pick up one of these puppies. Reply
  • zagood - Wednesday, April 08, 2009 - link

    @iAURA: note the addition of monitor, OS, speakers etc. The core system is still around $500.

    I've been looking at memory a lot lately and I'm surprised by the DDR2 choice. There are other kits out there for around the same A/R price with better timings at lower voltages, just seems like you went with a generic choice, not necessarily the best "bang for the buck" as with the other components.
    Reply
  • Wesley Fink - Wednesday, April 08, 2009 - link

    I'm extremely puzzled by your comment. If you search DDR2-1066 you will not find a single DDR2 kit at Newegg rated better than the 5-5-5 timings of the OCZ and Patriot DDR2 kits. You CAN find faster DDR2-800 kits, but keep in mind that a 5-5-5 rated DDR2-1066 kit can normally run at much faster timings at DDR2-800. So your comment that faster kits are available is simply not correct.

    Second, anyone shopping for memory knows that OCZ Reaper, Corsair Dominator, and Patriot' DDR2 are NOT generic memory choices. The kits we selected are good values, but also great memory kits.

    You need to UNDERSTAND how memory works - not just compare specs that aren't even apples to apples.
    Reply
  • zagood - Wednesday, April 08, 2009 - link

    doh! no edit button. re-looked at the pricing and it's not even close to $500 - for the average "enthusiast" though you can usually save on the cost of optical drive, HDDs, etc. pulled from a previous system. Reply
  • Griswold - Wednesday, April 08, 2009 - link

    Even (or especially) the 550W for a value mid range is overkill. I'd go for no more than 400W in those and the 550W (at most) in the performance box. CF/SLI "future proofing" is a silly thing to do for most people. Reply
  • poohbear - Wednesday, April 08, 2009 - link

    $1800 is midrange??? wow, u sure do have money to burn. That's not mid-term on my salary.:0 Reply
  • Wesley Fink - Wednesday, April 08, 2009 - link

    As mentioned in the article, if we exclude the stretch to a system with the lowest cost Intel Core i7 our range is $800 to $1600 for a complete system or $740 to $1060 for the basic mid-range box without peripherals. The problem is we would have a difficult time recommending a $1600 Core 2 quad system to a buyer when that is so close to the cost of a well-balanced and better performing Core i7 920 system.

    We also buy and build systems, so we strongly believe the buying context and competitive environment should be strongly considered in a system purchase. If the $1800 Core i7 system is too rich for you then look at the Value Mid-Range systems at less than $800 for the box and about $1150 for a complete system with US and a 24" 1080p LCD. You may also want to take a look at the recent Under $800 system guide with basic boxes at $300 to $500.


    Reply
  • Wesley Fink - Wednesday, April 08, 2009 - link

    With OS that is - a complete system with Operating System and LCD monitor and speakers and keyboard/mouse. Reply
  • Lokinhow - Tuesday, April 07, 2009 - link

    Good article, but.....a GIGABYTE GA-MA790XT-UD4P paired with Phenom II X4 940?
    How did you manage that?
    It's impossible to put a AM2+ CPU on a AM3 motherboard.
    Reply
  • Wesley Fink - Wednesday, April 08, 2009 - link

    The AMD Performance Mid-Range has been corrected with the Phenom II 940, Foxconn 790FX AM2+/AM2 motherboard, and OCZ Reaper DDR2-1066 memory.

    With the 945/925 Socket AM3 upgrades due in the near future we also asked the question of whether it made sense to wait for the upgraded Phenom II processors. Performance will not likely be faster, but with all the new AMD AM3 boards appearing and DDR3 memory prices dropping fast, choosing DDR3 is no longer such an expensive option.
    Reply
  • whatthehey - Wednesday, April 08, 2009 - link

    Obviously the CPU needs to work with the motherboard, but you'd be far better off with a different mobo in my opinion. Foxconn just has a lot of problems, from questionable QA to a messed up BIOS and random incompatibilities. I think the Gigabyte GA-MA790GP-UD4H would have been the better overall choice. The Foxconn has an amazing price after the rebate ($85!?), but then I have to wonder WHY the price is so low. Seems like they might be trying to clear inventory and stop supporting the board rather than addressing remaining issues. Also, my one experience with Foxconn support was enough to make me never want to buy another one of their products. Just my two cents, though. Reply
  • Wesley Fink - Tuesday, April 07, 2009 - link

    You are absolutely correct. We know the 945 is on the way and projected ahead. There were also a couple of motherboard changes made after the writing was complete. That combo slipped through the cracks. We will correct the AMD Performance choices. Reply
  • Depeche - Tuesday, April 07, 2009 - link

    When are the 945/925 processors going to be in stores? Reply
  • Wesley Fink - Tuesday, April 07, 2009 - link

    We are expecting additional Phenom II choices in about 2 weeks, but that is always open to revisions in release dates. Reply
  • Depeche - Tuesday, April 07, 2009 - link

    Are they just releasing the 945/925 or are they releasing others? Reply
  • zshift - Tuesday, April 07, 2009 - link

    I like how soon you published this article after the one done just a few months ago, but it shows just how much has changed in a few months. Had I been patient I might have been able to get away with the i7 system you recommended, but the system I have now is so fast I doubt I would notice a difference other than benchmarks. right now i have the following: intel core 2 quad q9300 @3.52GHz@1.38V, asus p5q-e mobo, 2x2gb mushkin pc6400 kit running 935MHz@2.1V/5-5-5-18 (best ram ive ever bought. it was recommended in the holiday memory guide and i can easily hit 1066 on these, only running in 935 due to fsb/ratio limits :/) have an asus eah4870 dk top 512 running 835MHzgpu/1085MHzmem (wish i woulda waited for better prices on 1gb version or for the 4890), wd 750gb caviar black, wd 500gb caviar, lite on 22xdvd burner sata.

    Also, I really like the small push for linux and no-cost operating systems. I currently have vista ult. x64 on my 750gb hdd and ubuntu 9.04 alpha x64 on my 500gb. ubuntu literally boots (with the ext4 filesystem) in under 6 seconds from posting to login. i cant imagine how fast it would be with my black edition drive or with an ssd. and drivers arent a problem because it recognized everything from my build, the only thing i needed to do was approve the download of the propietary ati driver (which ubuntu detected itself) and all was working perfectly.
    Reply
  • garbageacc3 - Tuesday, April 07, 2009 - link

    no one asked you what your specs were.

    your comp isn't that great, and the value gaming wise isn't that great.

    why the hell are you bragging about your comp in this article anyway?

    you should have spent less money on q9300 or other things and gotten the 1 gb 4870.

    the q9300 is a terrible processor for overclocking, low and locked multi = always fsb bound.

    i have a q6600 and 260gtx 216 that i'm sure spanks your rig at gaming(vantage gpu score = ~12300)
    Reply
  • bill3 - Wednesday, April 08, 2009 - link

    3Dmark is useless so only noobs qoute a vantage score like it means anything. Especially since with the physx portion only in Nvidia the Nvidia score is very inflated. AKA your brag of 12,300 score is stupid. In actuality his 512MB 4870 will toast your 260 in most games.


    That said yeah, 1GB is much better for the future.
    Reply
  • garbageacc3 - Wednesday, April 08, 2009 - link

    retard, that was my GPU score, not VANTAGE score. learn to read.

    and offical vantage score = physx OFF

    where on earth do you get that 4870 512 > 260gtx 216 ?

    only retards think that.

    260 gtx 216 = 4870 1gb

    each wins at some games


    my 260 is clocked at 810/1620/1323. i'd like to see his wimpy ass 4870 512 beat it in any game (@1080p res which i game at)
    Reply
  • mesiah - Thursday, April 09, 2009 - link

    Dude you are pathetic. All the guy said was he wishes he waited to build his system but he is still happy with it and it is still plenty fast for him. Then you come in flexing your E-peen talking smack about his component choices and how your computer would crush his because you ran some benchmarks and think you are the sh!t. Give it a break, nobody cares are your piece of junk 260 gtx or your benchmark scores. there are plenty of better ones out there. So, 2 things.

    1.) In a mid-range computer build its not about having the fastest thing in town, its about having a computer that does everything you want it to smoothly, and still not breaking the bank.

    2.) Normally when people get so excited by their computers that they feel the need to touch themselves, its because of whats on the screen, not whats in the box. So put it back in your pants romeo.
    Reply
  • Sunsmasher - Thursday, April 09, 2009 - link

    HaHaHaHaHa!
    Great comeback!
    Reply
  • ifkopifko - Thursday, April 09, 2009 - link

    Maybe... you should get some help, man... Reply
  • just4U - Wednesday, April 08, 2009 - link

    I like his system as well. He picked a great motherboard. Not to pricey but not the cheap P5Q with the cheezy heatsinks. Reply
  • Depeche - Tuesday, April 07, 2009 - link

    I personally like his rig. Don't you have anything better to do that criticize people? Reply
  • Depeche - Tuesday, April 07, 2009 - link

    That's a (than) not a that.

    Correction: I personally like his rig. Don't you have anything better to do than criticize people?


    Wish I didn't say that though :O
    Reply
  • garbageacc3 - Wednesday, April 08, 2009 - link

    i don't mind crappy spelling or crappy grammar, but one thing i do care about is syntax.

    DOUBLE CORRECTION:

    I personally like his rig. Don't you have anything better to do than to criticize people?
    Reply
  • chrnochime - Thursday, April 09, 2009 - link

    And I'm sure few if any care about what you have either.
    Does that make you feel better? LOL
    Reply
  • chrnochime - Thursday, April 09, 2009 - link

    BTW, my comment was in response to garbageacc3. Reply
  • RadnorHarkonnen - Wednesday, April 08, 2009 - link

    Don't be Pedantic. Chill Out mates.

    I have a X2 4800+ OCed to 3Ghz. I game on it, i have a small file server on it, an exchange server always rolling, I GIMP some fotos, use sum torrentz, test like things i have fun with on my VMware, the wife is always seeing a movie of some sort (Desperate housewives or sex in the city, or some crap like that) plugged via HDMI to my TV. And much more...

    A bit of this, a bit of that.

    I personally like his rig. I wouldn't buy one like his, but hey there are other priorities. Maybe in the summer ill buy another for crossfire.
    Reply
  • Wineohe - Tuesday, April 07, 2009 - link

    Hmm. Not sure I get 1TB Barracuda. Sometimes price isn't everything. I guess you gotta spread the love. Reply
  • Wesley Fink - Wednesday, April 08, 2009 - link

    The Seagate is now quite reliable and fast. The speed is a true 7200rpm, and not a "green" 5200rpm. Cache is 32MB, and not 16MB like many competing drives.

    Warranty is reduced to 3 years from the previous 5 years, but warranty service and replacement is very easy directly with Seagate. Seagate still offers the Enterprise version of this drive with 5-year warranty for $140, but if truth be know it is the same drive with a longer warranty and a higher price to pay for the longer coverage.

    You can pay more for the same features and specifications. As we have said many times, you are generally safe with an HD from the major players and you can shop on price as long as specs are the same. There are good WD choices as well.
    Reply
  • MadMan007 - Wednesday, April 08, 2009 - link

    Seriously? Did you just say it's a great drive based upon paper specs? Features and specifications do not equal real world performance. Seagate drives after the 7200.10s should not be recommended. Supposed reliability issue aside the firmware is heavily slanted toward reads and the drives perform middle of the pack overall when looking at a wide range of real world uses. I understand for an article like this there's a need to stick to a strict price point but anyone who wants a 7200RPM 1TB drive ought to look elsewhere (WD drives are great atm) or if they don't need the space they'd be better served by a 7200RPM 640GB WD drive. Reply
  • Wesley Fink - Wednesday, April 08, 2009 - link

    We use both the recent Seagate and WD 1TB drives. Both have performed well in the labs. Reply
  • MadMan007 - Wednesday, April 08, 2009 - link

    Then you aren't testing them well enough but that's ok I've never read Anandtech for HD reviews. Heck the last non-SSD review is almost a year old and that was the V-Raptor, before that there is a 1TB drive review which is thoroughly outdated. Obviously in fairlyland everyone has only SSDs by now, the SSD articles are intriguing but don't reflect what people actually buy for storage as your own guides show. Reply
  • MadMan007 - Wednesday, April 08, 2009 - link

    Sorry the above reads more rantishly than I meant it. Anyway my point was that quoting a bunch of paper specs doesn't mean much. Reply
  • erple2 - Friday, April 10, 2009 - link

    Some thing that seems to get lost a lot is the question for the normal user:

    "How much faster is this drive in the stuff I care about?"

    Benchmarks are good, I suppose, but they're also ridiculously non-linear. a two fold increase in sequential read performance in HD Tach doesn't translate into a two fold reduction in windows boot up time (or application startup time).

    Maybe they are linear, but only with extenuating circumstances - If I have an old drive that loads application X in 20 seconds, getting a more recent drive could reduce the load time by 2 seconds. Getting a drive that's "twice" as fast as the slower new drive may reduce the application loading time by twice the increase, not half the time - the app now loads in 16 seconds rather than 18 seconds.

    I dunno. It seems that the more I look at "real world" scenarios (which I understand are very hard to quantify and benchmark - they're essentially wall clock timings), the difference between 2 drives of the same rotational speed are marginal. Heck, even the difference between a 7200RPM drive and a 10k drive seems awfully marginal.

    How often do I copy a single huge (on the order of 1 gigabyte) file that's stored sequentially? I dunno. Most of my data is lots of files that are smaller than 10 MiB (music and pictures), with significant numbers that are in the < 1 MiB range (everything else that isn't MP3's or pictures).

    Huh.. Now I sound like I'm ranting.

    However, if Anandtech is using the drives all the time in their test systems (and they haven't failed), then I'd believe that they're at least reliable. They may not be faster than a couple of Raptors in Raid 0, but from what else I've read, that's a total waste of time and money for my usage patterns (which don't include running a heavily used database, or other server application).
    Reply
  • marc1000 - Tuesday, April 07, 2009 - link

    wow, while I read the article I lost the 1st comment spot.. hehe

    well, I read a lot of these guides here at AT, and should shay the components choices are generally good. too bad I live in a country other than USA or England, so I can never buy those parts with the "real" pricing, instead I always pay higher for newer parts... it's a joke for us.......

    anyway, I would like to say to anyone interested that these new CPUs and GPUs are really terrific performers. Today I have a fairly simple Core2Duo e7200 (2.6ghz 3mb cache) paired with a Radeon HD3850 and 4GB RAM. I never could completely stress this simple system... even gaming, I can run almost all games at a very good quality (22" LCD monitor with 16x10res), except for CRYSIS of course (but I don't like it anyway).


    Reply
  • ssj4Gogeta - Wednesday, April 08, 2009 - link

    "too bad I live in a country other than USA or England, so I can never buy those parts with the "real" pricing, instead I always pay higher for newer parts"

    same here. :( Especially when a new graphics card is launched. The price is as high as 2x the price in the US.
    Reply
  • marc1000 - Wednesday, April 08, 2009 - link

    yes! and the prices remain at the level of the launch, so we never will have a Radeon4850 for $130... it will always cost $170 or even more! Reply
  • raWill - Wednesday, April 08, 2009 - link

    I totally agree. In Australia even when the USD and AUD was $1 for $1 we were still paying higher prices. The PC, Console and games entertainment market is just as huge here as everywhere else.

    You dont need to go past the CPU's to see just how vast the difference in price is. AMD Phenom II X3 720 BE is USD$145. Here in Oz it's AUD$229 (cheapest pf the cheap). Factor in exchange rates 0.70/1 = $160. Problem is (exchange rates aside) An AUD here in Oz is practically the same as a USD for the USA. Cost of food, cars, movie ticket, etc.

    Gigabyte GV-R485ZL-512H - Newegg USD$135 / Here AUD$224.
    After exchange rates same card costs USD$157 here. Injustice!
    Add in lack of decent hardware warranty support. Leadtek for example requires you to ship products to a central location in OZ which in turn are shipped bulk to Taiwan for repair or replacment (round trip 2+ months).

    With regards of Laptops the price gap is tremendous. We don't even get the latest mobile graphics cards, everything, even from dell is outdated hardware (in most cases the P8600 is the top of the line). If you want a gfx card you will pay through the nose. A Dell w/9800 is in excess of AUD$3000. Something that can be sourced from newegg for much less than $2000 (eg. MSI GT725-075).

    Rant over. Great guide though.
    Reply
  • iAURA - Tuesday, April 07, 2009 - link

    It seems just like yesterday when I was spending less than $500 to build a decent rig, my my, times have changed.

    Good article.
    Reply

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