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Sharky Extreme : Monthly Value Gaming System Buyer's Guide February 28, 2012
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Monthly Value Gaming System Buyer's Guide

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November Value Gaming PC Buyer's Guide

By Vince Freeman :  November 14, 2008

Price Roundup

AMD Phenom X4 System

Case: Cooler Master Centurion 5 - $45
Power Supply: BFG GS-550 (550W EPS12V) - $55
CPU: AMD Phenom X4 9750 (2.4 GHz) Retail - $164
Cooling: included Retail HSF - $0
Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-MA790X-DS4 (AMD 790X) - $121
Memory: OCZ Platinum PC2-8500 2x1-GB - $35
Hard Drive: Western Digital Caviar SE16 500GB SATA 3.0 Gb/s - $65
Video Card: Radeon HD 4850 512MB - $155
Monitor: 22" LCD with 5ms or lower Refresh - $170
Sound Card: 8-Channel Integrated - $0
Speakers: Logitech X-240 3-Piece Speaker System - $40
CD/DVD-ROM: Samsung SH-S223F 22X SATA DVD Writer - $25
Communications: Onboard LAN - $0
Mouse: OCZ Dominatrix - $30
Keyboard: Microsoft Digital Media Pro Keyboard - $14
Operating System: Windows Vista Home Basic- $85

Total: $1,004


Intel Core 2 Duo System

Case: Cooler Master Centurion 5 - $45
Power Supply: BFG GS-550 (550W EPS12V) - $55
CPU: Core 2 Duo E8400 (3.0 GHz) Retail - $165
Cooling: included Retail HSF - $0
Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-EP45-UD3P (P45) - $125
Memory: OCZ Platinum PC2-8500 2x1-GB - $35
Hard Drive: Western Digital Caviar SE16 500GB SATA 3.0 Gb/s - $65
Video Card: Radeon HD 4850 512MB - $155
Monitor: 22" LCD with 5ms or lower Refresh - $170
Sound Card: 8-Channel Integrated - $0
Speakers: Logitech X-240 3-Piece Speaker System - $40
CD/DVD-ROM: Samsung SH-S223F 22X SATA DVD Writer - $25
Communications: Onboard LAN - $0
Mouse: OCZ Dominatrix - $30
Keyboard: Microsoft Digital Media Pro Keyboard - $14
Operating System: Windows Vista Home Basic- $85

Total: $1,009


Closing Remarks

Our latest Value Gaming PC Buyer's Guide configurations upgrade the majority of components, and increase overall performance significantly. The combination of faster CPUs and a much faster video card is the perfect mix for any gaming PC upgrade. But that's not the end of the story, as we also moved to faster DDR2-1066 memory, improved the Intel motherboard, added 180GB to the available storage, increased DVD write speeds, snagged a larger LCD, and added a laser mouse. That's pretty good for one guide, and the sheer power of the Radeon HD 4850 512MB is enough to make it worthwhile.

In terms of overall gaming performance, we still give the nod to Intel, but both of our AMD and Intel system configurations are very solid, offering powerful dual and quad core processors, 2GB of fast DDR2-1066 memory, near top-end PCI Express motherboards, a 22" LCD, a half-terabyte SATA 3.0 Gb/s hard drive, a SATA DVD writer, and a blazing fast Radeon HD 4850 512MB PCIe 2.0 video card. If overall value is your main goal, these AMD and Intel gaming PCs certainly deliver, and both offer a noticeable price-performance advantage over our higher-end buyer's guide configurations.

* Please note that the prices in our guide do not include shipping costs or taxes. The final system price also reflects a "best case" scenario of finding an online vendor that stocks the majority of internal components, or having access to a number of local computer retailers for system quotes and comparison shopping.


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 and LCD Display

Page 6

Soundcard, Speakers and LAN

Page 7

Input Devices and Operating System

  • Page 8

    Price Roundup and Closing Remarks