As we detailed in our last few Guides, the guides for High End System and Overclocking System are by Wesley Fink, AnandTech's Motherboard, Memory and Chipset Editor. Wes will have a new guide for each area about once a month once the new guide schedule is in full swing. 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 from him every week. If you have recommendations on a Buyer's Guide for Evan, 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 is to squeeze the absolute best performance possible out of a given setup, and this can involve some expensive components. The second is to reach the highest performance possible with a given processor with the cheapest part possible, which represents the best value. Sometimes you can't achieve both these things at the same time, so you may see some recommendations with what at first appear to be strange alternatives. 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.

Overclocking Ground Rules


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  • Avalon - Friday, September 17, 2004 - link

    I like the inclusion of value OC recommendations in this guide. The biggest gripe I had about previous guides were that they only recommended what you find in this guide's performance recommendations. Some overclockers do it for the bragging rights, others do it to save money and get themselves a more powerful system at the same time. Nice work. Reply

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