Budget System Building Guide Summer 2006

Others/Miscelleneous by rutar @ 2006-08-23

Looking to upgrade your PC? Now would be a good time, with fast hardware available at affordable prices we take an in-depth look at how you can speed up your machine without breaking the piggy bank.

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Intro & CPU

Value for the money, bang for the buck and good price/performance ratio are expressions which describe what this article is all about: getting the best hardware with your money.

To broaden the audience of this buyers guide we have included computer parts aimed at three different user groups:

  • The Budget Buyer: Buys a new system every 4 to 6 years and does few upgrades without changing major parts (motherboard/case/?), wants a reasonably fast stable system at stock speeds.

  • The Overclocker: Runs his system overclocked to get more value out of components and for his entertainment, upgrades his system more often but doesn?t have the money (or doesn?t want to spend a lot) to get the latest and fastest hardware when it is first released.

  • The Silent Buyer: Cares about noise but doesn?t want to sacrifice performance for it, even not extremely noise sensitive readers might want find this section interesting, once you have experienced the joy a silent computer, it?s hard to go back.

    Additionally, a difference was made between Gamers and non-Gamers and different price ranges are being considered if there are noticeable differences.

    Processor (CPU)

    Madshrimps (c)

    The new Intel Core 2 Duo 6300, 6400, 6600 processors provide the best value right now. The price/performance ratios on the three CPUs are close so the highest rated product should be selected that fits inside your budget. Gamers shouldn?t downgrade the graphic card for a faster processor as even the 6300 is more than sufficient for tomorrow?s games.

  • Why buy the Core 2?

    Budget Buyers profit not only from the excellent performance/price ratio but also from lower electricity bills compared to Pentium Ds and A64 x2 CPUs.

    Madshrimps (c)
    From X-bit Labs CPU Shootout

    Overclockers enjoy the headroom of these CPUs due to their low heat output and low initial frequencies. The E6400 is more attractive here due to the higher multiplier compared to the E6300, as you might be limited by the motherboard overclocking capabilities before the chip is maxed out.

    Silent Buyers will like the low heat of the Core 2, making it easier to cool passively/silently and the lower load on the PSU will reduce noise even further.

    Currently retailers and second hand sellers (eBay) are abusing the low supply of these Core 2 processors to raise their profits, so comparing prices between different shops and against Intel?s suggested price is essential. As soon as the supply of the processors is bigger, the prices should come down.

    Prices from Intel:
    - Core 2 Duo 6300: $183
    - Core 2 Duo 6400: $224
    - Core 2 Duo 6600: $316

  • Large collection (50+) Core 2 CPU Reviews
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