As we detailed in our last few Guides, the guides for High End System and Overclocking System will now come from Wesley Fink, AnandTech's Motherboard, Memory and Chipset Editor. Once the new schedule is in full swing, Wes will have a new guide for each area once a month. Evan Lieb will continue the Entry and Mid-Level Buyer's Guides. Evan will also add some new guides, with the goal of a new Buyer's Guide every week once the new guides are launched. The final Buyer's Guide additions are still in the works, so if you have a recommendation for Evan for a Buyer's Guide that you would like to see, then email your ideas to Evan.

Overclocking recommendations are really quite different from High-End recommendations. We would not recommend a 2.8GHz P4 CPU for a High-End system, but it might be a natural choice for an OC guide if that 2.8 routinely reached 3.8GHz on air cooling. There are really two points to overclocking, and they are sometimes in conflict. The first goal is to squeeze the absolute best performance possible out of a given setup, and this can involve some expensive components. The second goal is to reach the highest performance possible with the cheapest part possible, which represents the best value. Sometimes you can't accomplish both of these at once, so you may see some recommendations with what, at first, appear to be strange alternates. We also can't be all things to all overclockers, so we will spell out some ground rules on the next page.

As in past Guides, we offer a recommendation for every component that goes into a computer. Our recommendation is our First Choice and we will try to explain why we chose that component. For some components, we will also offer an alternative on that type of hardware. We've added alternative hardware picks to our guides because it allows AnandTech to recommend a wider variety of hardware. This is especially true for those willing to spend a little more or to recommend a cheaper component that is of outstanding value. Alternative picks provide you other choices, which in some cases will be better suited for your needs, and in other cases, will not be.

Most of the prices listed for the hardware that we recommend can be found in our very own RealTime pricing engine. Any prices not found in our engine can be found on pricewatch. Relevant parts of our RealTime pricing engine are listed at the bottom of every page of our Buyer's Guides so that you can choose the lowest prices from a large variety of vendors.

We are always taking suggestions on how to improve our Buyer's Guides, and the changes that you are seeing here are the result of suggestions from our readers and Editors.. Considerations for future guides include a Buyer's Guide for SFF (Small Form Factor systems), Gaming System, and Laptop/DTP (Desk-Top Replacement). If you have other suggestions, let us know by emailing them to Evan; the Guides are to help you with your buying decisions.

Overclocking Ground Rules


View All Comments

  • danidentity - Wednesday, July 28, 2004 - link

    ...for sale either online or in stores, I meant. Reply
  • danidentity - Wednesday, July 28, 2004 - link

    Wes, do we have ANY idea when we'll start seeing PCIe X800's? Reply
  • Pollock - Tuesday, July 27, 2004 - link

    I would have expected to see the 3000+ in there with the recent price drops... And I'll second #6, even if you did mention CAS 2.5 ram on the summary.

    I also think that you shouldn't focus on clear cut categories, but perhaps design one for each of the sockets that appeals at the time. Basically what I'm saying there is that you've got to get socket 754 in there but you don't have to cut anything else out.
  • Pumpkinierre - Tuesday, July 27, 2004 - link

    Agree with #15 Wesley, you've added passion to the buying guides.
  • Wesley Fink - Tuesday, July 27, 2004 - link

    #15 - The price in the Guide has always been $389, which is certainly close to $390. New Egg shows the eVGA 6800 GT expected tomorrow 7/28 at a price of $410. Pricewatch shows this link for $389 with an ETA of 7/30 - 3 days away - at The PHY brand is also shown at $389 with an ETA of 8/10 at Reply
  • kherman - Tuesday, July 27, 2004 - link

    Awesome article! Love the concept even though I'll never do an OC rig. It's interesting to read about though. Reply
  • RobJ - Tuesday, July 27, 2004 - link

    But the 6800GT is not listed in the real-time pricewatch list because eVGA's website says that the GT won't be available until September 2nd and that it will cost $390, not $380. I have been able to find it on some websites for markups as high as $460. I'll wait until the price comes down to $380. Other companies are even selling the GT for $500 and above. That's crazy. Reply
  • Wesley Fink - Tuesday, July 27, 2004 - link

    #12 -
    The only reason I did not list this in the guide is because we will be making some HSF recommendations in the next OC Guide. The HSF I had in mind for $12 was a "SPEEZE 80mm LED CPU Cooler for Socket A, Model "5F353B1L3GL" -OEM" which has an 80mm fan. A quick check shows you can now buy this Speeze for $9.99 from a reputable on-line retailer. I have found the 80mm fan HSF move more air and do a better job of cooling than the more common 60mm fan models - even the expensive ones. The 80mm are also normally lower noise.
  • trexpesto - Tuesday, July 27, 2004 - link

    Wonder what 12$ HSF is used for the DFI Infinity?

    "Overclockers will also be happy to find the 4 mounting holes around the CPU socket for heavy-duty cooling; although, we do find the CPU area has too many components around the socket that could interfere with some of the larger cooling solutions." -
  • Zebo - Tuesday, July 27, 2004 - link

    #9 Thanks....

    While only a couple mobos seem to have found a work around I appologise for my ignorance Wes. Still have issue with the presshot not because of heat, the northwood/canterwood is so much more mature and even a bit faster clock for clock,. The price factor of course.

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