Of our seven buyer's guides, one of the most popular configurations is that of the budget gamer. This is likely so for a number of reasons. First off, determining what components go in a gaming system on a budget is not an easy task. Unlike high-end configurations, where a product's performance or feature set can distinguish it from others in the market, budget systems must be configured with components that balance performance with price. Secondly, consumers looking for the most bang for the buck are usually extra picky when it comes to where their money is spent. Ten dollars here or ten dollars there in a system that is upwards of $3,000 is not a big deal, but when the system price is down to sub $1,000 levels every penny counts. Finally, it is likely that our budget gaming buyer's guide is popular simply due to the fact that many of our readers are in the market for a system such as this.

What ever the reason that you read the value gaming buyer's guide, we hope that, like our our other buyer's guides, it provides you with valuable insight as to what is going on in the computer industry and makes deciding what goes in your system a bit easier. Our task in configuring a value gaming system is a difficult one: not only must we focus on building a system that can play the games of today and tomorrow, we are forced to pay attention to prices. The ultimate goal of the value gaming buyer's guide is to configure a system that provides the most (or close to the most) gaming bang for the buck.

Every component in a recommend system, from case to monitor, is covered. The only hidden costs are shipping costs, which can add anywhere from 5% to 10% to the total system cost depending on what you get and from where. The best way to keep shipping costs down is to order as much as possible from a single vendor or pick things up locally. Be sure to take a look at the AnandTech Hot Deals Forum to see if any AnandTech readers have posted a special deal on a piece of hardware in the recommended system. Also be sure to check out our Weekly CPU & Video Card Price Guide and our Weekly Memory & Motherboard Price Guide to see if prices have been updated since the buyer's guide was last posted.

This Week

Today we reevaluate our value gaming system. You may recall that we configured our last value gaming platform about seven weeks ago. At that time we put together what we thought to be a strong gaming system at a very nice price. As is usually the case with electronic components, the power of our value gaming system has only improved since we last took a look at it. Overall our current value gaming configuration shares many traits with the value gaming system recommended seven weeks ago, but some of the components have been upgraded or otherwise changed. On the whole, prices remained about the same, falling in some areas and rising in others.

Value Gaming
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