Buyer's Guide: Value Systems - July 2000by Anand Lal Shimpi on July 4, 2000 12:00 PM EST
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You do the research on the products. You read all the reviews. You even discuss with friends. But even with all that information, building a perfect, personalized system from scratch can be quite a daunting task. With that in mind, it’s no surprise that we’ve had request after request to provide some system recommendations.
Continuing our recent tradition since the third edition of the Buyer's Guide, the AnandTech Buyer's Guide is now split into two parts, one for value systems and the other for high-end ones. The Dream System will be included in the high-end part of the article. This is Part 1, featuring the value systems, while Part 2 with the high-end systems will be published in about two weeks.
In spite of the slight format change, the Guide will continue to provide some system recommendations in 3 categories – small office / home office (SOHO), gaming, and professional. Remember that these are just a few recommendations from us if we were building the systems. Obviously, each individual’s needs will vary greatly, but that’s the beauty of building a custom system - it can be tailored to fit those special needs.
Every component, from the motherboard to the case to the monitor, is covered for each system. Sample prices based on a review of popular vendors and price search engines across the web are included as well. Note that shipping is not included in these prices. An OS recommendation is included, but that price is not included in the total system price listed. Components that are not readily obtainable were automatically out of the running for any system in the Buyer’s Guide. Where possible, we’ll link to reviews of the individual products on AnandTech for more in depth information.
Things have changed a bit this month, AMD's Duron processor is finally here and while the chips aren't as readily available as the Athlons that have recently dominated our gaming & professional value systems we did manage to find a few reputable vendors that had them in stock on-line. In spite of the Duron's introduction the Celeron is still present in our Value SOHO system since you can use that processor with a highly integrated i810E board and not have to worry about paying for a video card. Once boards based on VIA's KM133 chipset start popping up things may change, but for now the Celeron + i810E platform makes the most sense for the Value SOHO market segment.
The only regret we had was that it is too early to include NVIDIA's recently released GeForce2 MX in our Value Buyer's Guide as that card would make the perfect addition to the gaming & professional Value systems. So keep your eyes out for that addition in our next edition, but for now let's get to the systems.