Monthly High-end Gaming System Buyer's Guide

@ 2004/10/01
In each edition of our monthly High-end Gaming PC Buyer's Guide, we are given $2500 in cash to spend, and go to the limit in search of the ultimate in high-end game machines. These systems certainly pump out the gaming FPS, but we do not spend this money frivolously, and our tech savvy and eye for a deal play a large role in the choices we make. All of the hardware picks in this guide are done after carefully weighing the price to performance ratio of each component, then seeing how they fit into our $2500 budget. This guide also represents the median between our Value Buyer's Guide with only a $1000 limit, and our Extreme Buyer's Guide with its massive $4000 budget.

The purpose behind this guide is to give you a general idea of what kind of high-end gaming PC is possible with a budget of $2500. While the individual components are top notch, we take a look at the larger picture, and decide which pieces meld together the best to form the highest-performing, feature-rich gaming PC possible. We recommend configurations for both the Intel and AMD sides of the spectrum, and are not here to promote one platform over the other.

As hardware prices have fallen considerably since the last edition of this guide, we have had the chance to upgrade a number of components accordingly. On the AMD side of the fence we've moved to a Socket 939 motherboard and processor, which not only provides more breathing room for future upgrades, but offers higher performance as well. In addition, the video and storage components received considerable upgrades this month thanks to better component availability and price cuts. Overall, we are very pleased with the performance and features of our high-end gaming systems this month compared to the previous edition, but look forward to tweaking it more in the months to come.

Comment from Sidney @ 2004/10/01
Hmmmm, nice to have a $2,500 monthly budget in search for the best gaming rig.