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What Hardware Should I Buy? - Dec 2008

bit-tech recommends...December 2008

As we head into the season of goodwill, peace on earth, and drunken office parties, we ask you to spare a thought for Richard Swinburne, our tireless motherboard and CPU expert who's spent almost all of November slaving over hot motherboards to bring you some of the very best Intel Core i7 coverage.

While the jury might still be out on Intel's new architecture in regards to real-world gaming performance, it's clear that Nehalem is a very capable processor. However, the additional motherboard and memory costs will place it far out of the budgets of many, especially when there are still fantastic processors such as the Q6600 or E8400 available on much more wallet friendly platforms.

As well as the full launch of Intel's new processors and X58 motherboards, November has also seen the worrying trend of hardware price rises continue, especially in the affordable end of the market. In the space of a month many CPUs and motherboards have increased in price by more than £10 as the pound continues its weak run against the dollar.

Although, whether you agree with it or not as a wise financial move for the country, the VAT reduction of 2.5 percent applied from today will go some way to helping, especially if you're considering building a whole new PC or particularly expensive upgrade.

What Hardware Should I Buy? - Dec 2008
Picking out new hardware can be confusing - we hope to make it a lot simpler for you!

We've put together systems aimed at mid range, high end and premium budgets and looking at every piece of hardware you need to build a system, from processors to motherboards, cases to coolers, power supplies to hard disks. All of the recommendations made in this guide are based entirely on either our personal experiences or on our own reviews, or even occasionally good rumblings and recommendations from trusted community members. With this in mind, you know that by picking the hardware we've recommended, you’ll be getting high quality products.

Here at bit-tech, we want to take our buyer's guide seriously and will be updating it monthly, adding new products as and when we feel there's a need for change either because technology has moved on, or prices have got a whole lot more competitive. We also want to continually improve the guide, and this month have brought in a list of recommended displays to suite any budget. However, we're still looking to improve the format and expand into other areas in the future, so please do let us know what else you'd like to see here. The feedback you provide in the forums is invaluable, so don't forget to let us know what you think again this month!