Index

As we detailed in our last few Guides, the guides for High End System and Overclocking System will now come from Wesley Fink, AnandTech's Motherboard, Memory and Chipset Editor. Once the new schedule is in full swing, Wes will have a new guide for each area once a month. 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 every week once the new guides are launched. The final Buyer's Guide additions are still in the works, so if you have a recommendation for Evan for a Buyer's Guide that you would like to see, 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 goal is to squeeze the absolute best performance possible out of a given setup, and this can involve some expensive components. The second goal is to reach the highest performance possible with the cheapest part possible, which represents the best value. Sometimes you can't accomplish both of these at once, so you may see some recommendations with what, at first, appear to be strange alternates. 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.

We are always taking suggestions on how to improve our Buyer's Guides, and the changes that you are seeing here are the result of suggestions from our readers and Editors.. Considerations for future guides include a Buyer's Guide for SFF (Small Form Factor systems), Gaming System, and Laptop/DTP (Desk-Top Replacement). If you have other suggestions, let us know by emailing them to Evan; the Guides are to help you with your buying decisions.

Overclocking Ground Rules
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  • bluedart - Tuesday, July 27, 2004 - link

    It does say the price. Read from the top of the page:

    AGP Overclocking Recommendation: eVGA 256MB GeForce 6800 GT
    Price: $389 shipped

    BTW FX53 is a good choice at overclocking. Keep in mind this is with air. But if you utilize other forms of cooling the FX will go even higher, approaching 3GHz with proper cooling (see THG's review). This makes it one FX58. That is absolutely a grand overclock, seeing that FX58 speeds will not be here for another year or so.
    Reply
  • danidentity - Tuesday, July 27, 2004 - link

    #4: Did you read Anandtech's article on breaking the overclocking lock? Almost all companies have broken it. It is very possible to reach those speeds with the stock HSF.

    http://www.anandtech.com/cpuchipsets/showdoc.aspx?...
    Reply
  • devonz - Tuesday, July 27, 2004 - link

    Why isn't the 6800 GT card in the price list on that page? Or am I missing it somehow? Reply
  • T8000 - Tuesday, July 27, 2004 - link

    I think recommending an Athlon FX for overclocking is a joke. Those things do not even manage a 5% overclock, and their real world performance is only close to a P4 at 3.4 GHZ, as gaming at 640x480 is not very common among people spending this kind of money. And at a realistic setting of 1600x1200 and 4xFSAA, the CPU is not really the bottleneck in todays games. When you do encoding, where CPU speed does matter in the real world, the P4 is head and shoulders above Athlon FX. Reply
  • yzkbug - Tuesday, July 27, 2004 - link

    How about a VALUE OC DDR section? Paying $300+ for 5-10% performance increase over ~$150 regular DDR is a waste, imho. Reply
  • Zebo - Tuesday, July 27, 2004 - link

    Peferformance
    ------------
    1. 2.8 P4C to 3.6 $180
    2. A64 3200 to 2.5 $223

    Value
    --------
    1. Duron 1.8 to 2.4 $44
    2. Mobile XP to 2.6 $89

    :)
    Reply
  • Zebo - Tuesday, July 27, 2004 - link

    Wow recommending a P4C over a moblie barton in the value section.Twice the price for roughly the same OC performance I don't get it. It's the inverse of price to performance. must be an error is all I can imagine.

    Then recommending a Socket 775 presshot. Lets see this 3.8- 4GHZ OC with stock HSF. I don't think so. Then the overclock lock issues which hav'nt been settled, have they? My understanding is 10% over stock FSB, yeilding about 3.4 Ghz far from 4ghz, the system crashes!! What kind of overclockers choice is that?

    Reply
  • chuwawa - Tuesday, July 27, 2004 - link

    Perhaps it's time to start recommending the Athlon64 3000+ for the value OC alternative. Reply
  • bluedart - Tuesday, July 27, 2004 - link

    This is a great guide for overclocking, although I believe that there needs to be some more acutal testing with the 755 and 939 sockets to give us a better picture of how they perform. It is especially difficult when PCIxpress and ddr2 aren't widely available yet.

    If anyone else has some REAL data on overclocking these new platforms, I would like to see those posts.

    Currently I am making a heat sink out of synthetic Diamond (better heat transfer than copper and silver by 2x) and will be testing it on the FX system. If there are any other reccommendations I would be more than happy to hear them.
    Reply
  • expletive - Tuesday, July 27, 2004 - link

    I would cast a vote for the A64 3500+. If it can reach 2.6 like an FX53 at half the price that's tough to beat.

    The 3500+ is currently retailing for $390 shipped online. I know thats not quite a 'value' but to get FX53 gaming performance for half the price, that can't be denied....
    Reply

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