Home

News

Forums

Hardware

CPUs

Motherboards

Video

Guides

CPU Prices

RAM Prices

Compare Prices



Sharky Extreme : Monthly High-end Gaming System Buyer's Guide September 29, 2008





Be a Marketplace Partner








 Advertising Info

About the Double-Underlined Links



 - Most Active Threads
 - Technical Support
 - CPUs & Overclocking



Latest News


- Crucial Unveils the Ballistix Tracer DDR3-1333 Modules
- Diskeeper Unleashes the SSD+ Optimizer with Hyperfast Technology
- Samsung Introduces Three New Super-WriteMaster DVD Burners
- Elpida Shrinks Down its 65nm 1-gigabit DDR2 Chips
- Albatron Downsizes with the KI780G Mini-ITX Motherboard
News Archives

Features

- SharkyExtreme.com: Interview with Microsoft's Dan Odell
- SharkyExtreme.com: Interview with ATI's Terry Makedon
- SharkyExtreme.com: Interview with Seagate's Joni Clark
- Half-Life 2 Review
- DOOM 3 Review

Buyer's Guides

- September Extreme Gaming PC Buyer's Guide
- July High-end Gaming PC Buyer's Guide
- May Value Gaming PC Buyer's Guide

HARDWARE

  • CPUs


  • Motherboards

    - AMD 790GX Chipset Review
    - Gigabyte GA-MA790FX-DS5 Motherboard Review
    - AMD 780G Chipset Review

  • Video Cards


    internet.commerce
    Be a Commerce Partner














    internet.com
    IT
    Developer
    Internet News
    Small Business
    Personal Technology
    International

    Search internet.com
    Advertise
    Corporate Info
    Newsletters
    Tech Jobs
    E-mail Offers


  •   


    September High-end Gaming PC Buyer's Guide
    By Vince Freeman :  September 22, 2007

    AMD CPU: Athlon 64 X2 6400+ (3.2 GHz) AM2

    Current Cost: $240
    Consecutive Guides: New
    Price Change: N/A

    AMD continues to offer price drops on their Athlon 64 X2 processors, and the company has even introduced a new top-end model to the line. The combination of events has allowed us to upgrade to the 3.2 GHz Athlon 64 X2 6400+, and at only a small price increase compared to the Athlon 64 X2 6000+ from our last guide. This represents a consistent move up the AMD list, as over the last three consecutive guides, we have upgraded from the Athlon 64 X2 5200+ to the 6000+ and finally the 6400+. In terms of price-performance, the Athlon 64 X2 6400+ is a no-brainer, and not only do we have bragging rights in owning the highest-clocked AMD processor, but this also lets our AMD system close the performance gap slightly with its Core 2 Duo counterpart.

    The Athlon 64 X2 6400+ is the best choice for our high-end AMD gaming system, and at only $240, it still has one of the best price-performance ratios of any high-end AMD processor. The 3.0 GHz Athlon 64 X2 6000+ might be a slightly better value, but we had the available budget, and the 3.2 GHz clock speed and 2x1MB architecture will certainly come in handy. There are many potential sweet spots in the AMD lineup, but for a $2500 high-end gaming system, the Athlon 64 X2 6400+ is a perfect fit. The only issue is the processor's "Black Edition" designation, which translates into a bare CPU with no bundled heatsink-fan.

    Intel CPU: Core 2 Duo E6850 (3.0GHz) LGA775 Retail

    Current Cost: $284
    Consecutive Guides: New
    Price Change: N/A

    AMD may have helped out our high-end guide by releasing the Athlon 64 X2 6400+, but Intel blew off the barn doors with their latest 1333 MHz Core 2 processors. These came out of left field, priced significantly lower than their 1066 MHz predecessors, and led to what might best be called an "Intel buying frenzy". Last time out, the 2.4 GHz Core 2 Duo E6600 could barely fit into the budget, while we gazed longing at the 2.66 GHz Core 2 Duo E6700, but we're now able to slide the 3.0 GHz Core 2 Duo E6850 in with no problem at all. We had weighed going with the 2.4 GHz Core 2 Quad Q6600, but the allure of quad core processing wasn't enough to overshadow its lower clock and bus speeds.

    To say that the Core 2 Duo E6850 is a speed demon would be a serious understatement, and it ranks right at the top of the list in pure gaming speed. It is a 4MB Conroe model, running at a clock speed of 3.0 GHz, and matches the quad core Core 2 Extreme QX6850 as the highest clocked Core 2 model. The processor uses the LGA775/Socket T platform, and while its $284 retail price is a bit higher than the Athlon 64 X2 6400+, Intel does bundle a free heatsink-fan, and we're going to make use of it. The Core 2 Duo E6850 features a 65nm core, 4MB of shared L2 Advanced Smart Cache, a 1333MHz FSB, SSE4, full 64-bit support (EM64T), Intel Virtualization Technology, and Execute Disable Bit. The Core 2 Duo also includes high-end power savings features, such as Intel SpeedStep and Intelligent Power Capability, making it one of the most power efficient high-end processors on the market.

    AMD Heatsink-Fan: 3rd-party HSF

    Current Cost: $50
    Consecutive Guides: New
    Price Change: N/A

    Since the Athlon 64 X2 6400+ is a "Black Edition", it ships as a bare CPU, and we will need to select a 3rd-party heatsink-fan. There are several high-end options at this price level, including the Scythe Infinity (left), Zalman CNPS9700 (middle) and Scythe Kama Cross (right), among many others. Feel free to select a cooling solution that fits your own requirements, but we feel these three models are affordable, mid-range cooling options that won't break the bank, and are widely available at most top online stores.

    Intel Heatsink-Fan: Bundled Core 2 Duo E6850 HSF

    Current Cost: $0
    Consecutive Guides: New
    Price Change: N/A

    We're also sticking with the Intel retail cooler this month, as the addition of the Core 2 Duo E6850 has put some pressure on the budget. The retail heatsink-fans are virtually free, and can easily handle the cool-running Core 2 Duo processors. Of course, there is always the option of spending the extra money for a 3rd-party heatsink-fan of your choice, especially for the hardcore overclockers.


    Page 1 Introduction and Case
  • Page 2 Processors and Cooling
    Page 3 Motherboards
    Page 4 Memory, Hard Drive and DVD Writer
    Page 5 Video Card, LCD Display and Audio
    Page 6 Mouse and Keyboard
    Page 7 Communications, Operating System, etc.
    Page 8 Price Roundup and Closing Remarks

    Copyright(c) 2008 Jupitermedia Corporation. All Rights Reserved. Legal Notices | Licensing , Reprints , & Permissions | Privacy Policy




    JupiterOnlineMedia

    internet.comearthweb.comDevx.commediabistro.comGraphics.com

    Search:

    Jupitermedia Corporation has two divisions: Jupiterimages and JupiterOnlineMedia

    Jupitermedia Corporate Info


    Legal Notices, Licensing, Reprints, & Permissions, Privacy Policy.

    Advertise | Newsletters | Tech Jobs | Shopping | E-mail Offers

    Solutions
    Whitepapers and eBooks
    Intel Article: Using Power & Display Context in the Intel Mobile Platform SDK
    Internet.com eBook: Real Life Rails
    IBM SCA Center Article: Simplifying Composite Applications with Service Component Architecture
    Intel PDF: Quad-Core Impacts More Than the Data Center
    Internet.com eBook: The Pros and Cons of Outsourcing
    Go Parallel Article: Scalable Parallelism with Intel(R) Threading Building Blocks
    Intel PDF: Analysis of Early Testing of Intel vPro in Large IT Departments
    Internet.com eBook: Best Practices for Developing a Web Site
    Intel PDF: IT Agility through Automated, Policy-based Virtual Infrastructure
    IBM CIO Whitepaper: The New Information Agenda. Do You Have One?
    Microsoft Article: BitLocker Brings Encryption to Windows Server 2008
    Microsoft Article: RODCs Transform Branch Office Security
    Go Parallel Article: James Reinders on the Intel Parallel Studio Beta Program
    Avaya Article: Advancing the State of the Art in Customer Service
    IBM Whitepaper: How are other CIOs driving growth?
    Adobe Acrobat Connect Pro: Web Conferencing and eLearning Whitepapers
    Avaya Article: Avaya AE Services Provide Rapid Telephony Integration with Facebook
    Go Parallel Article: Getting Started with TBB on Windows
    HP eBook: Storage Networking , Part 1
    MORE WHITEPAPERS, EBOOKS, AND ARTICLES
    Webcasts
    Go Parallel Video: Intel(R) Threading Building Blocks: A New Method for Threading in C++
    HP Video: Is Your Data Center Ready for a Real World Disaster?
    HP On Demand Webcast: Virtualization in Action
    Go Parallel Video: Performance and Threading Tools for Game Developers
    Rackspace Hosting Center: Customer Videos
    Intel vPro Developer Virtual Bootcamp
    HP Disaster-Proof Solutions eSeminar
    HP On Demand Webcast: Discover the Benefits of Virtualization
    MORE WEBCASTS, PODCASTS, AND VIDEOS
    Downloads and eKits
    Actuate Download: Free Visual Report Development Tool
    Red Gate Download: SQL Backup Pro
    Microsoft Download: Silverlight 2 Software Development Kit Beta 2
    30-Day Trial: SPAMfighter Exchange Module
    Red Gate Download: SQL Toolbelt
    IBM SCA Download: Start Building SCA Applications Today
    Iron Speed Designer Application Generator
    Microsoft Download: Silverlight 2 Beta 2 Runtime
    MORE DOWNLOADS, EKITS, AND FREE TRIALS
    Tutorials and Demos
    IBM IT Innovation Article: Green Servers Provide a Competitive Advantage
    Microsoft Article: Expression Web 2 for PHP Developers--Simplify Your PHP Applications
    Featured Algorithm: Intel Threading Building Blocks - parallel_reduce
    MORE TUTORIALS, DEMOS AND STEP-BY-STEP GUIDES