Introduction

It’s been a while since we really tackled anything at the high end of the computing spectrum. Since our November Gaming Guide, there have been some major changes in most areas. About the only areas that haven’t changed much are the mass storage and optical storage areas and even those have a few new additions. We have a lot of ground to cover, so we’ll just get right into it and skip all the preliminary niceties.

The biggest decision up front is, as usual, the choice of platform: AMD or Intel. For the mid-range to high end markets, we can narrow our focus quite a bit. There’s little need to look at the budget Sempron and Celeron chips, and socket 754 and 478 don’t hold much interest. Upgraders might be interested in offerings for these platforms, but we'll defer to our recent article covering CPU cores rather than deal with that here. While PCIe cards are definitely the future, we'll also have some advice for those of you who may already have a capable system and are looking to last until the next platform transition – that's about a year or so off, in case you were wondering.

Looking toward the future, there has been quite a bit of coverage recently about the latest processors coming from AMD and Intel, particularly the dual core solutions. At present, none of the dual core chips are really available (other than in OEM systems), but if heavy multitasking describes your typical workload, waiting for the dual core solutions to appear in quantity might be worthwhile. What we’ll focus on in this Guide is the current single core setups, which for most people are still more than sufficient to accomplish any given task. For the High-End buyers – particularly those who want to buy a top-end computer once every three years and then use it with few upgrades – you'll definitely want to take a closer look at our Dual Core Performance Preview before laying down several thousand dollars on a current system.

A word about prices: We're using our RealTime Pricing Engine for the majority of the prices listed, although we also shop around at various online resellers for many of the products. If you can find components for less money from a dealer who you trust, all the better. We don't include mail-in rebates in our price quotes either, which can further reduce the cost. These prices are also just a snapshot in time – May 13 th, 2005 for this Guide – so they are bound to change.

AMD Recommendations
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  • arswihart - Monday, May 23, 2005 - link

    jarred,
    I know you put a lot of work into these articles, and I take back saying this article is bs. You obviously don't need someone like me telling you you have made good recommendations, but regardless, most of your recommendations are very good.
    Reply
  • arswihart - Monday, May 23, 2005 - link

    btw, theres the Epox 9npa-sli for $158 shipped, not mentioned even while its been out for months

    if anandtech doesn't review it, it doesn't exist I guess
    Reply
  • arswihart - Monday, May 23, 2005 - link

    jarred,
    hey man, re-reading my posts and your reply, I feel I was being an ass with some of my language and tone. But you really are ignoring Epox products and always focusing on Asus and MSI for unknown reasons, and I even wonder sometimes if your site is getting some compensation for these recommendations. Don't get me wrong, they make good products, but really I don't get how you are constantly ignoring, not even mentioning, and Epox products, why?
    Reply
  • JarredWalton - Monday, May 23, 2005 - link

    arswihart - That article by Kris was the first I heard of the issues, and needless to say the Buyer's Guide was written early last week. I am in the process of editing the MSI Neo4 recommendation. Reply
  • raskren - Monday, May 23, 2005 - link

    What's the deal with these gingerbread house cases? All the other computer peripherals look fairly sleek but I would be embarassed to have either one of those cases on or UNDER my desk. Reply
  • arswihart - Monday, May 23, 2005 - link

    direct quote from today's CPU article:
    "On another side note, we have heard several reports about 90nm Athlon 64 processors performing poorly in MSI’s K8N Neo4 product line. We will have more details for you in the near future, but if you are in between motherboards and you are also planning a 90nm purchase, you may want to stay away from the K8N until we can either verify or dispute those K8N reports."
    Reply
  • arswihart - Monday, May 23, 2005 - link

    oh, I neglected to notice they are focusing exclusively on nf4 boards now, as if nf3 has no merits at all at this point (and sli is "a must for high-end, yeah right).

    Well, there's the 9npaj for $94.50 shipped @ newegg, 5 bucks more than for a chaintech, you make the call
    Reply
  • arswihart - Monday, May 23, 2005 - link

    amazing

    they continue to recommend msi neo4, even while their last article admits the boards have issues with 90nm AMD64's, truely amazing. And the Epox 9nda3j continues to be ignored, at $90 shipped from newegg, I'd much rather have it than either of the boards they recommend. Truly rediculous recommendations, this is a bs article no doubt about it.
    Reply
  • Olaf van der Spek - Monday, May 23, 2005 - link

    > We feel that the integrated audio is sufficient for anyone who doesn't intend to do any recording of audio, so we don't feel that an actual sound card is really necessary.

    What's gonna do all the audio effects in games then? I doubt every effect can be simulated by software.
    Reply
  • ghd nz - Monday, January 07, 2013 - link

    http://www.ghdhairstraighteners4nz.org Reply

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