This week we return with the second installment of the AnandTech buyer's guide. In our last buyer's guide, the value SOHO buyer's guide, we outlined a few changes we have made to the buyer's guide series. Let's turn to that article for some additional information:

What we will keep doing is brining you up to date system configuration suggestions on the type of system that you are interested in. Although it is impossible to suggest a single configuration for each individual in each situation, what we can and will do is provide you with recommendations towards a system setup; recommendations which can be altered appropriately for each user's specific needs. We will do what we have always done in buyer's guides: spec out a system using reliable components from reputable vendors. Remember, these prices are not necessarily the lowest prices on the web but are meant to be representative of what is out there and representative of what we think is the best solution in one of the six categories.

Changing this time around will be the format of the buyer's guides. We will maintain the six specific categories, value SOHO, value gaming, value professional 3D, high-end SOHO, high-end gaming, and high-end professional 3D, but this time around the recommendations will not be lumped together. Instead, we will be publishing one recommendation from each category weekly. We kicked off the buyer's guide with the value SOHO category and continue this week with the value gaming category. After the value and high-end recommendations are made we will do one article on a dream configuration. At this rate, new recommendations for each system will come every eight weeks so in eight weeks from today you can expect an updated value gaming buyer's guide. Not only does this keep the system recommendations fresher, it also keeps the price estimates more accurate.

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.

Like before, an OS for each system is recommended but the OS price is not included in the final system price listed.

This Week

This week we continue on with our value line buyer's guides. Today we take the opportunity to look at one of the more requested system configurations: the system configuration for the gamer on a budget.

Obviously the object of a value gaming system is to build a system that can provide both high frames rates and a reasonable price. A value gaming system should not only be able to run today's 3D games with speed but should also be able to run the next generation of games. We are therefore left trying to decide what components we can put in our value gaming system to not only make it fast today but reasonably fast tomorrow.

Things have changed quite a bit in the year since we last recommended a value gaming system. Everything except for the recommended optical drive has changed. On a peasant note, prices have also fallen. Our current value gaming system now rings in at over $200 less expensive than our previous value gaming recommendation.

Value Gaming
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